April 30, 2007

Best Witnesses: Biologists or Truck Drivers?

Pitt Lake Giant

This Pitt Lake, British Columbia, Sasquatch was seen by two prospectors in June 1965. Should we discount this sighting because the eyewitnesses weren’t biologists? Credit: Harry Trumbore’s drawing from The Field Guide of Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates.

Regarding a couple quick comments there, however, I thought I would separate them out from the terminology debate. Some people have noted that it seems certain states and provinces may not appear to be able to support a population of Bigfoot living there. But, remember, reports do not necessarily reflect that Bigfoot live where they are sighted, but only they have been seen by other primates (humans), who are perhaps merely viewing Bigfoot passing through, for a variety of reasons (i.e. migration, hunting, searching for mates).

More significantly, Cryptomundo commenters have alluded to a couple old questions I often hear on the lecture circuit: Have biologists been eyewitnesses to unknown hairy bipedal primates? Aren’t the only credible sightings those by scientists?

One of the reasons behind Patrick Huyghe’s and my writing of The Field Guide of Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates was to show the diversity of credible witnesses. I’ve interviewed and investigated the backgrounds of many Bigfoot sighters who are more credible than some academic anthropologists, that’s for sure. Why should truck drivers be seen as less reliable than biologists?, I find myself asking, quick often.

Yes, some good eyewitnesses have been people who should know what they are observing, such as Gerald Russell, a naturalist (see FGBF, noted above, pages 126-127); Gary Samuels, a mycologist (pp. 72-73); Georg Steller, a naturalist (pp. 64-65); and physicians (e.g. George Moore & George Brooks, pp. 136-137; Ivan Ivlov, pp. 120-121; V. S. Karapetyan, pp. 92-93).

But the witnesses in Huyghe’s and my field guide also include a school superintendent, orchin collector, surveyor, engineer, geologist, timber prospector, fossil hunter, forestry committee members, reindeer hunters, construction workers, military personnel, campers, youth, Sherpas, natives, housewives, guides, and others.

Why should any of these witnesses be said to be less credible just because they are not biologists or anthropologists?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

Filed under Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, Books, Breaking News, Cryptomundo Exclusive, Cryptotourism, CryptoZoo News, Cryptozoologists, Cryptozoology, Evidence, Eyewitness Accounts, Sasquatch, Windigo, Yeti, Yowie