Searching for Sasquatch – Using Ideas from Law Enforcement Part I

Posted by: John Kirk on October 10th, 2006

Part I

My previous lengthy series of postings on Canada’s Cryptid Cops has inspired me to share a few thoughts on ways and means that may prove useful in the search for cryptids. In particular, the sasquatch field is today populated by a large investigator base attempting to locate evidence for the existence of a North American primate as yet unclassified by science. While the attempts of most investigators are to be lauded there is a certain haphazardness in the methodologies employed by some of our fellow researchers.

Having been involved for the last 15 years in this field, myself, I have been able to study the methodologies employed by many different groups in the search for sasquatch and found many strategies to be quite useful. That being said, working for Canada’s national police force has led me to realize that there are many aspects of the work of law enforcement agencies around the world which are extremely beneficial to the sasquatch investigations community. Both are attempting to obtain evidence that will prove their case and where better to learn from than those who conduct investigations everyday.

I thought it would be a good idea to bring police investigation techniques to bear on my own sasquatch research work. By following the tried and true methodologies and systems used by police, one tends not to overlook items that may be of great value and assistance to the investigation. Today, I would like to take the opportunity to share a methodology with you that may help you in your investigations. Having said that, every investigator has the right to choose how he or she operates and I respect whatever your motive is for investigating sasquatch. You may want to satisfy a personal curiosity. You may wish to see or just film or photograph one, you may want to incur an understanding into the phenomenon or you just might enjoy going out in the bush looking for a very elusive target. All those reasons are bona fide and I have no problem with that. However, if your intention is to convince the world and in particular the scientific community and the government that sasquatches exist, then you need to obtain evidence and this is the premise of my discourse today.

Establishing that there is a case for sasquatch.

It is a rare occurrence that an investigator actually finds traces of the presence of a sasquatch out in the field. This is not to say that it does not happen, but it does tend to be rare. So what do we do? Let us assume that we are a team of detectives who have been assigned to work on a sasquatch case as a result of a report by a witness who has had an encounter with what may be such an animal. I would suggest that wherever possible, investigators work in units of no less than two people. If you have ever watched TV most detectives work in pairs as two minds are better than one when obtaining witness statements and going over ground. It is optimal to have larger teams with various constituent investigators who have pre-assigned roles based on their skills.

My own optimal investigations team is built on lines employed by some law enforcement agencies and would consist of two interviewers, two to search for and collect forensic material left by the creature at the site, a tracker with cast making abilities, a photographer, and a dog handler with a hound that possesses high grade scent-detection abilities. You will see that this is very similar indeed to a police unit that would be sent in the aftermath to a crime scene.

We are going to base our theoretical investigation on the basis that you as an investigator have been advised of a sasquatch sighting by eyewitnesses to the event. Conducting an investigation into sasquatch without a confirmed sighting to work with is a whole different kettle of fish and I will elaborate on that at some future point.

To be continued.

John Kirk About John Kirk
One of the founders of the BCSCC, John Kirk has enjoyed a varied and exciting career path. Both a print and broadcast journalist, John Kirk has in recent years been at the forefront of much of the BCSCC’s expeditions, investigations and publishing. John has been particularly interested in the phenomenon of unknown aquatic cryptids around the world and is the author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters (Key Porter Books, 1998). In addition to his interest in freshwater cryptids, John has been keenly interested in investigating the possible existence of sasquatch and other bipedal hominids of the world, and in particular, the Yeren of China. John is also chairman of the Crypto Safari organization, which specializes in sending teams of investigators to remote parts of the world to search for animals as yet unidentified by science. John travelled with a Crypto Safari team to Cameroon and northern Republic of Congo to interview witnesses among the Baka pygmies and Bantu bushmen who have sighted a large unknown animal that bears more than a superficial resemblance to a dinosaur. Since 1996, John Kirk has been editor and publisher of the BCSCC Quarterly which is the flagship publication of the BCSCC. In demand at conferences, seminars, lectures and on television and radio programs, John has spoken all over North America and has appeared in programs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, TLC, Discovery, CBC, CTV and the BBC. In his personal life John spends much time studying the histories of Scottish Clans and is himself the president of the Clan Kirk Society. John is also an avid soccer enthusiast and player.

20 Responses to “Searching for Sasquatch – Using Ideas from Law Enforcement Part I”

  1. joppa responds:

    Criminal forensics are only as good as the investigators who use them. A healthy dose of scepticism is useful for every one who seeks the “truth”, whether looking at a crime scene or looking for a bigfoot. My trouble with some “investigators” is they find what they want to find; that every broken sapling is a bigfoot marker, every impression in the ground is a gigantic footprint, and if you look at all my photographs very carefully, you’ll see a sasquatch just peering around the tree and through the bushes. Oh, and you can buy my book at my website for $19.99.

    The truth is out there, lets just look for it honestly, carefully, with good science and a healthy check on our egos and agendas.

  2. OKCurious responds:

    I am excited about this line of thought. I look forward to the next installments. I appreciate those with the expertise taking their time to share their knowledge and thinking.

  3. Rillo777 responds:

    Joppa makes some extremely important points. Healthy scepticism does provide a sort of “reality check” on the situation. With current technology we should be in a position to finally find some real answers, however, the problem often is not the resources but the desire to devote the time to using them. Investigators seem to be either fanatical or half-hearted about seeking something like bigfoot. And a major problem seems to be finding people who have both the resources and the committment to look for something that may or may not exist. Convincing people to spend time and money on something they do not believe in to be begin with is, at best, problematic. Thus we get reports based on wishful thinking and accidental encounters. So, how do we get trained, reliable and careful investigators involved?

  4. mystery_man responds:

    I am quite fascinated about this idea of joining police forensics techniques with other research techniques. Sure, the people who are using them have an effect on the outcome, but I think you will find that with any tool known to man. A tool or technique is only as good as the people using it, but having these techniques available is better than not having them at all. I do think of these forensic techniques as a powerful tool and potential ally to the field researcher. Hopefully they will be used in an openminded,
    meaningful way. Can’t wait to read more about this.

  5. dharkheart responds:

    I think Joppa has given voice to how many feel concerning investigation into any cryptid, bigfoot specifically.

    I believe in bigfoot, but I don’t believe everything that has been put forth in an effort to prove its existence: blurry photgraphs of shadows standing behind trees or bushes 30+ yards away, etc.; giving a supposed “bigfoot hand” to a chiropractor to examine instead of, oh, I don’t know, maybe a forensic anthropologist?

    Skepticism can be one’s best tool in discerning what is fact from what is fiction

  6. cabochris responds:

    This is very good thinking. After 15 years of research even the author has yet to prove Bigfoot. The utilization of police techniques is on the right track, as past methods to discover our hairy friend have failed. As a teen in the early 70s the idea of Bigfoot fascinated me. Yet now it is nearly 2007 and still no Bigfoot? Skeptics might claim this passage of time to be evidence that Bigfoot is simply a story. Yet we know better and understand that we may be looking for a particular grain of sand on a beach, when seeking Bigfoot!

    Since what has been tried in the past has failed, I agree new methods need to be employed and no matter how silly they may sound! Having watched a few reality police shows on TV, often times police have utilized the services of a psychic. I have heard that some police departments do this often. On one show a detective flat out stated that psychics often got things right and help to solve cold cases! Sounds silly huh? But why not hire a well known psychic to help find Bigfoot? But do like the police do. Wait for a case. A sensible Bigfoot sighting or fresh tracks. Do your investigation. Then bring in the psychic!

  7. Ray Soliday responds:

    I agree with Joppa, but instead of scepticism, maybe being objective would be better, sounds less polarizing. Cops are characterized as cynical, not usually as skeptical,( and certainly not romantic dreamer). Detectives follow where the facts lead them.

  8. Ole Bub responds:

    Good afternoon Cryptos…

    Excellent thread John…we should all learn a lot…I agree a healthy dose of constructive skepticism is a good thing…when tempered with respect…JMHO

    I look forward to an informative series.

    seeing is believing…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  9. CamperGuy responds:

    Sounds like a fun exercise.

    I would think a good investigator would draw conclusions from the facts and evidence and not from a predisposed point of view either for or against the existance of bigfoot.

    I like the idea of a dog to follow the scent of the elusive bigfoot but really doubt the dog would do so.

  10. sasdave responds:

    Using law enforcement techniques sounds great; yet, believing in what you are doing will make or break the investigation. As I have seen this grand creature. Yet, many of you deny that these creatures are intelligent and will show themselves to only those who they wish.

    Example; Rene Dahinden had been investigating and searching for these creatures for many years. From my understanding, he had many castings, hair; yet, he became hardened in the end and sold out to a beer company.

    In turn those that have witnessed and verbalized their sasquatch sighting have been in many cases accused of being drunk or wanting attention. Seeing is believing and no dead body is needed.

  11. goerman responds:

    Finally –

    SOMEONE headed in the RIGHT direction!

    Genuine forensic evidence has ALWAYS been required when investigating the unexplained and unknown!

    Will you center your efforts on suspected “window” areas?

    Yours in research,
    Robert A. Goerman

  12. sausage1 responds:

    Very interesting ideas, founded on good practice in a tough field.

  13. joppa responds:

    After being a “student” of bigfoot research for over twenty years, I am convinced that 95 per cent of what we hear about is fraudulent, mistakes or wishful thinking. However the other 5 per cent is pure and exciting mystery. That 5 percent of wonder keeps me in the hunt.

  14. mikew responds:

    “I am convinced that 95 per cent of what we hear about is fraudulent, mistakes or wishful thinking.”

    Your right on the money there.

    In 50 years time with still be just a few hairs, some more bits of plaster and some witness reports.

    And some unidentified dna from?

    And how does the “sasquatch hunting team” work out which “evidence” is fake/misidentified evidence?

    There has to be a reason why mystery monster ape like forms pop up on so many continents that cannot ever be captured/shot/leave bodies etc.

    What other large animal shares the same broad morphology, exists in the normal animal kingdom and is like this?

    The answer is the same as how much proof will “sasquatch hunters” have in 50 years from now.
    Answer = 0

    How many untold hundreds of millions of man hours, have hunters been wandering around the US and Canadian for instance and never managed to kill one?

    How will police “forensic techniques” solve those problems?

    I know, let’s just ignore them. 🙂

  15. wanderingwildebeest responds:

    It would be very interesting if a group of investigators started a “Cold Case” squad to solve this seeming endless mystery. I for one would be glued to their reports.

  16. goerman responds:

    “COLD CASE / Paranormal”

    Great idea for a TV show!

  17. cabochris responds:

    Once the new police team finds that a Bigfoot is in an area, then they could call in the Bigfoot Volunteers. We could start the organization now.

    Lets say Bigfoot left a few tracks the night before. The police guys do their thing and investigate. Then they call us volunteers in. A 3 mile circle is drawn on the map, with footprints in the middle. Then the 1,000 to 2,000 volunteers close in on the Bigfoot from all directions. Bingo, we got our Foot!

  18. rifraft responds:

    I believe it is a matter of resources. If only we had the money. We could, at a moments notice, dispatch a well trained team with all the expertise as was presented in this first part. We would solve this mystery pretty quickly. But we don’t, and I doubt we ever will. The subject has been made silly in the minds of those who truly have the power and the resources to bring closure and as usual another question frozen in time.

  19. mikew responds:

    “We would solve this mystery pretty quickly.”

    Sure, if the holes in these ideas that I pointed out several posts up on this page, didnt exist, you may have a valid point.

    That’s the post on this page that appears to be invisible. 🙂

    Its amazing how rigid believers, as well as sceptics, can be.

    If both groups see information they cannot answer they just pretend they cannot see it and carry on.

    Which is intellectually dishonest.

    Oh well. Nothing changes.

  20. rifraft responds:

    I just want to say I did read your invisible post and felt it disingenious. No ones killed it is a misnormer. No ones turned it in to be examined is correct some in history have claimed kills. This may be an animal that is very rear, intelligent and noctunal. This three ideals, put together could add up to a no kill and very impossible catch. I really find that those who say impossible just have not been studing their science history books.

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