Sasquatch Coffee


Bigfoot = “Digger Indian”?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 3rd, 2006

Is M. K. Davis a racist? Of course not. But what are we to make of what he is saying? That question sounds shocking, doesn’t it? Well, I think you will be surprised by what I, a part Eastern Band Cherokee man, find myself forced to post today. I have to be forthright to paint this picture clearly, so there will be absolutely no confusion about what is being discussed.

M. K. Davis recently made some revelations that he now considers Bigfoot to be nothing more than a “human.” This stirred up a great intellectual debate at this site, on email lists, and on forums about whether Davis meant hominid, or were some forms of Homo to be considered “human.” Or even what “human” means. See recent postings “Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot = A Hairy Human?” and “More On Bigfoot = Human?” detailing those statements, with the attached comments.

Has M. K. Davis now thrown a “Michael Richards” incident into the middle of the whole study of Bigfoot with some new enhancements or probing of his theory? Has Davis walked into a minefield of racism in his latest remarks, showing that he has little basis for his original insights? Does his most recent revealing statements reflect a complete lack of knowledge about the historical square peg he is trying to fit Bigfoot into – a racist one?

Roger Knights, Seattle Bigfooter, shares this:

M. K. Davis was on the X-Zone talk-show 11/30/06 in an interview with Rob McConnell. It’s archived at X-Zone Archive, where you can click on a link to replay the 4-hour interview. He indicated there that his candidate was a surviving digger Indian of the type the Spanish encountered, or heard tell of, when their ships explored the California coast long ago.

Perhaps M. K. Davis, who lives in a part of the country far removed from California and does not have a background in anthropology, is unaware that the employment of the term “Digger Indian” is based on a rather well-documented history of it being used as a highly offensive racial epithet?

Seen below is an archival photograph from the Library of Congress that is labeled “Digger Indian Squaw.” The term “digger” points to Native Californians who have been demeaned via a word that rhymes with another one that has been used in American racism.

LofC Indian

Consider the following academic examination of “digger” from The Scientist, immediately following the image of Bigfoot from the Patterson-Gimlin footage, which may be compared to the Native person above, who are both females:

Patterson Gimlin Bigfoot Film

When the gold-seeking Forty-Niners poured into California during the last century, they had little respect for the native people they encountered. Secure in their belief of racial and religious superiority, they mockingly called the Native Americans of the area “diggers” when they saw them foraging for roots and bulbs. Pinus sabiniana’s common name originated when the prospectors noted the tree’s value to California Indians.

Understandably, many Native Americans find the term digger offensive. A spokesman…for the California State Native American Heritage Commission says, “The word ‘digger’ is very derogatory and insulting to California Indian people.” A historical interpreter…for the California State Indian Museum in Sacramento agrees: “To call a California Indian a ‘digger’ means you are either ignorant or you are purposely trying to insult him. It is a very derisive word.” These observers concur in the opinion that the term digger is as offensive to California’s Native Americans as the term nigger is to African Americans.

//////

Next, consider the definition found within The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05, which states: Digger Indians Term indiscriminately applied to many Native Americans of the central plateau region of W North America, including tribes in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and central California. The name is supposedly derived from the fact that they dug roots for food. It has no ethnological significance and was a term of opprobrium.

Let me save you the time looking up the specific and formal meaning of “opprobrium”; here it is:

opprobrium \uh-PRO-bree-uhm\, noun: 1. Disgrace; infamy; reproach mingled with contempt. 2. A cause or object of reproach or disgrace.

When people discussed the so-called “Digger Indians,” it was the apex of racism. Take for instance this description by O. P. Fitzgerald:

The Digger Indian holds a low place in the scale of humanity. He is not intelligent; he is not handsome; he is not very brave. He stands near the foot of his class, and I fear he is not likely to go up any higher. It is more likely that the places that know him now will soon know him no more, for the reason that he seems readier to adopt the bad white man’s whisky and diseases than the good white man’s morals and religion…I said he was not handsome, and when we consider his rusty, dark-brown color, his heavy features, fishy black eyes, coarse black hair, and clumsy gait, nobody will dispute the statement. But one Digger is uglier than another, and an old squaw caps the climax.

The following appears to be another typical example:

Digger Indians

…The Digger has a good appetite, and he is not particular about his eating. He likes grasshoppers, clover, acorns, roots, and fish. The flesh of a dead mule, horse, cow, or hog, does not come amiss to him–I mean the flesh of such as die natural deaths. He eats what he can get, and all he can get. In the grasshopper season he is fat and flourishing. In the suburbs of Sonora I came one day upon a lot of squaws, who were engaged in catching grasshoppers. Stretched along in line, armed with thick branches of pine, they threshed the ground in front of them as they advanced, driving the grasshoppers before them in constantly increasing numbers, until the air was thick with the flying insects. Their course was directed to a deep gully, or gulch, into which they fell exhausted. It was astonishing to see with what dexterity the squaws would gather them up and thrust them into a sort of covered basket; made of willow-twigs or tule-grass, while the insects would be trying to escape; but would fall back unable to rise above the sides of the gulch in which they had been entrapped. The grasshoppers are dried, or cured, for winter use. A white man who had tried them told me they were pleasant eating, having a flavor very similar to that of a good shrimp. (I was content to take his word for it.)

When Bishop Soule was in California, in 1853, he paid a visit to a Digger campoody (or village) in the Calaveras hills. He was profoundly interested, and expressed an ardent desire to be instrumental in the conversion of one of these poor kin. It was yet early in the morning when the Bishop and his party arrived, and the Diggers were not astir, save here and there a squaw, in primitive array, who slouched lazily toward a spring of water hard by. But soon the arrival of the visitors was made known, and the bucks, squaws, and papooses, swarmed forth.

snip

The scattered remnants of the Digger tribes were gathered into a reservation in Round Valley, Mendocino county, north of the Bay of San Francisco, and were the
re taught a mild form of agricultural life, and put under the care of Government agents, contractors, and soldiers, with about the usual results. One agent, who was also a preacher, took several hundred of them into the Christian Church. They seemed to have mastered the leading facts of the gospel, and attained considerable proficiency in the singing of hymns. Altogether, the result of this effort at their conversion showed that they were human beings, and as such could be made recipients of the truth and grace of God, who is the Father of all the families of the earth. Their spiritual guide told me he had to make one compromise with them–they would dance. Extremes meet–the fashionable white Christians of our gay capitals and the tawny Digger exhibit the same weakness for the fascinating exercise that cost John the Baptist his head.

There is one thing a Digger cannot bear, and that is the comforts and luxuries of civilized life. A number of my friends, who had taken Digger children to raise, found that as they approached maturity they fell into a decline and died, in most cases of some pulmonary affection. The only way to save them was to let them rough it, avoiding warm bed-rooms and too much clothing. A Digger girl belonged to my church at Santa Rosa, and was a gentle, kind-hearted, grateful creature. She was a domestic in the family of Colonel H–. In that pleasant Christian household she developed into a pretty fair specimen of brunette young womanhood, but to the last she had an aversion to wearing shoes.

The Digger seems to be doomed. Civilization kills him; and if he sticks to his savagery, he will go down before the bullets, whisky, and vices of his white fellow-sinners.

Sorry, but the above text about the demeaningly named “Digger Indians” hardly seems be about Bigfoot, at all, to me.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


55 Responses to “Bigfoot = “Digger Indian”?”

  1. fuzzy responds:

    I find the whole concept intellectually revolting!

  2. BurningStarFour responds:

    I’m a little lost here. How do you take the photo of the Native American above and turn it into Patterson’s Bigfoot? Not only is his racist remarks ridiculous, but Mr. Davis seems highly delusional at best.

  3. Mnynames responds:

    So to paraphrase him, “Bigfoot is sort of human- he’s an Indian.”

    Not only is this statement repugnant, it’s academically meaningless. And if he tries to defend it by saying that “Digger Indians” aren’t like American Indans, he’s essentially creating new terms out of whole cloth (Or worse, denying the humanity of a whole group of people).

    It’s like saying that when the (N-word) is used, it doesn’t refer to an African-American. Of course it does, and we’d be fools not to recognize that that is the intent of the speaker. It’s just not a kind or meaningful reference, and clearly betrays more about who says it than who it is being said about.

  4. joppa responds:

    A landmark book in anthropology is “Ishi – Between Two Worlds”, the story of the last “wild” California Indian. He stumbled into Berkeley around 1911 and was studied and lived at the University of California.

    Ishi did not look or act like a Sasquatch. He was typical Native American in appearance, and was not of giant stature. He was called a “Digger”
    Indian, which had developed as a term describing the remnants of the coastal Indians of Southern California, who by the time Americans arrived had dwindled to only a few dozens of family units. Ishi was the last documented member of these Native Southern Californians.

    The “Diggers” have a pine tree named after them, the Digger Pine, which grows in So. Cal. and has the biggest pine cone in the world. The cones are as big as a child’s head and are as hard as rocks and sharp as bear claws. These cones were used by the Indians to dig for roots and tubers. Thus “Digger Pine”.

    The term “Digger” was a catchall term for these remnant coastal Indians used by the early American settlers (not the Spanish), who never bothered to ask them their real tribal name.

  5. hiram responds:

    Does anyone really think that Mr. Davis’ deliberately used the term “Digger Indian” to disrespectfully identify the Miwok tribe? If that term carries the same negative meaning in California as the “N” word in the south, why has the Digger Bay Marina on Lake Shasta – which the owners clearly state in their web site advertising was named after the Digger Indians – continued to use such a derogatory term as a business name?

    Mr. Davis made a mistake in trying to tie Patty into any KNOWN human lineage, although he probably right in his overall conclusion.

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    Names still exist on the landscape of America that insult various racial and ethnic groups all the time, even if someone at a marina wishes to rationalize them. Read the article from The Scientist in the link, above. The use of the word “Squaw” has been outlawed in some states due to what the word really means.

    Lack of sensitivity to the words used is no excuse. M. K. Davis did not do his homework before he proclaimed his findings.

    A deeper and more obvious disturbing aspect of this is that very overtly M. K. Davis is using a name given to Native peoples as if they are subhuman or a “type” of human who in some way can be exchanged for Bigfoot in the greater scheme of things, as posters have noted above.

  7. sausage1 responds:

    Mnynames is correct. It is what this man is NOT saying that is almost as offensive as what he is clearly saying.

    Honestly, it’s like something out of 19th century pseudoscience. The science is at best woeful, the grasp of available data is selective in extremis and the terminology embarrassingly offensive.

  8. Matt K. responds:

    This is pretty low. I listened not only to the internet program he was on, but I also talked to him directly on the phone after it was over. M.K. Davis is in no way a racist. What you are doing is CLEARLY taking what he said out of context. He said himself during the interview that he didn’t mean “digger indian” in the racist sense. He was referring to the actual tribe of Digger Indians, as called by other Native Americans, who were a very primitive type of N.A. who were known for their large size, and their primitive lifestyle. They were called “Diggers” because they would literally dig for their food with digging sticks. That’s how they got their name. We’re talking pre colonization of the United States. I’m part Cherokee as well, so don’t try to throw that in there as some sort of disclaimer to launch your attack. Anyone who actually listened to the program, or knows M.K. Davis knows he isn’t and wasn’t being racist by using that term. They should also know from his previous work where he exposed the Honey Island Swamp Monster as a hoax, that he goes into his research with no preconceived notions hindering his work. He allows the evidence to guide him. He isn’t saying Bigfoot is human, or that there are no hidden apes in North America, he is simply saying he has found evidence in the Patterson film that supports the subject in the film as being human. It is his theory that it would possibly be a “Digger Indian” for lack of better term, that was filmed by Roger Patterson. Nobody has seen his evidence or his findings, yet everyone is quick to attack and make claims against him. Why is that? What kind of intelligence level does that show. If someone said they had found a cure for cancer, would everyone instantly attack them for it without first listening to what they had found?

  9. Brindle responds:

    It is going to be really interesting to see how this pans out. I suggest we hang on to our seats and see what happens.

  10. sschaper responds:

    God save us from “politically correct” idiocies!

    Do we KNOW that Mr. Davis is a racist? Do we KNOW that he has the same understanding and use of the word “digger” as others do not?

    Is condemning 19th century Americans for using terms from (Algonquian?) languages for natives who weren’t Algonquian superior in any way to their judging of the natives by -their- standards?

    It seems obvious that “digger” wasn’t chosen as a synonym for the ‘n’ word, but rather as a description of their gatherer lifestyle. At least, at first.

    I did not know about the term, let alone that it was derogatory until I read the article. I therefore find it highly plausible, until proven otherwise, that Mr. Davis also was unaware.

    The idea that there is no excuse for not knowing the latest PCBS newspeak diktats is highly offensive. The Political Officers don’t even understand that changing syllables doesn’t change the semantic domains, and it is the underlying derogative intent that is the problem, not the syllables. That is why they have to change what is CorrectSpeak every few years.

    Why don’t we ask Mr. Davis what he meant, rather than trying and condemning him in absentia in a Soviet-style kangaroo court. Maybe he -is- guilty, but we don’t know.

    As for “Patty” being a Miwok, that just isn’t credible. Could he have been thinking of the native stories of the “stick indians”? (is that a valid translation? Would they have used the term ‘indians’? That doesn’t seem likely.)

    grrr.

  11. sschaper responds:

    I highly respect Mr. Coleman, but on this particular matter of philology and presuming to know someone’s intent based upon an absence of evidence, I must respectfully disagree.

  12. stonelk responds:

    I see nothing in the above text that would make me think Diggers and Sasquatch are one and the same. It is hard for me to imagine a group of Sasquatch rounding up grasshoppers. I have had contact with people from another part of the globe where refrigeration is unknown to the common person and they sun dry their meat without salt. It smells like road kill but once you get past the smell, it’s not bad. It sounds to me like the person who wrote the story embellished it to make it sound like the Diggers were stupid and sub human. Nowhere did it mention that adults were seven to nine feet tall, covered with thick hair from head to toe and stink to high heaven. That Diggers were prone to curl up and die when white folk tried to civilize them is no surprise. They had little or no defense against the disease brought by the whites.

  13. joppa responds:

    I reserve comment on whether the term “digger” is racist, or that Mr. Davis uses it as such. I am saying that Patty is not a member of a hidden Indian tribe, certainly not Miwok, or any other West Coast tribe. His choice of a name for her is already taken, it is as though he called Patty a Cherokee, Creek or Pawnee. Sorry, but those names belong to certain groups of people, as does “Digger”.

  14. captiannemo responds:

    I am part Cherokee on my father’s side and part Blackfoot on my mothers.The thought of the American Indian as some sort of sub-human is deeply disturbing. Now I know how that Neanderthal feels in those Geiko insurance commercials.

  15. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Perception is a double edge sword in itself. It really does not matter what Davis meant, his hearers hear what they will hear, thus the problem.

    The bigger problem being the two photos in no way match, which means we are in for some interesting explanations.

  16. satarina responds:

    You know, no matter how he meant the term, he’s gonna anger some people with the claim itself. It’s crass and tactless to compare the creature in the P/G footage with any ethnic group in particular, whether it’s Native Americans, Germans, or Scotch-Irish. The fact that he chose a group to identify this creature with is very easy to take as insulting – and difficult to excuse, for whatever reason.

  17. busterggi responds:

    I know the term ‘digger Indian’ originally meant specifically several Californian tribes who foraged predominantly for food.

    I know the term ‘digger Indian’ came to be used as an insult because Europeans considered these tribes to be sub-human (of course this particular Europeans also weren’t farmers who also dig for food).

    What I don’t know is how anyone can consider Patty to be an Indian or any other H. sapiens sapiens.

    I think however that M.K.Davis MAY have only meant it in the first way. In which case he is not a racist, only an idiot. If he meant it the second way he would be a racist idiot but I’m feeling generous at the moment.

  18. hiram responds:

    Thanks to all who have expressed common sense. Mr. Davis is an honorable human being, and in my opinion does not deserve the label of a “racist”.

  19. Roger Knights responds:

    Hi, just to get this started, here’s what I posted on Bigfootforums.com that Loren posted above:

    “… a surviving digger Indian of the type the Spanish encountered, or heard tell of, when their ships explored the California coast long ago.”

    I almost added that “he specifically disclaimed a connection between what the Spanish saw (or heard of) in the 17th century (or earlier?) and what the 49-ers described in the 19th.”

    I didn’t add those words because Davis said only three sentences about the early and late versions of digger Indians, and I wasn’t sure what he meant. I INFERRED (but wasn’t confident in my correctness) that he was saying that the Spanish exploratory ships heard (and saw?) legends about a race of giants whom the local Indians described as another tribe.

    This would be similar, I imagined, to what the explorers further north heard tell of. In the PNW these giants were thought by the natives to be another tribe of gone-wild Indians. Many tribes referred to them as “stick [forest] Indians.” (Most PNW tribes avoided the forests and stuck to the coastline and riverbanks.)

    But we today interpret this to mean that these Indians were just kindly viewing Sasquatches as members of a broad human-type (hominoid) family, not that their “stick Indians” were actually human (homo) in the sense we understand the term today. (With fire, culture, etc.)

    But this is what “threw” me, because Davis had elsewhere said these early Sasquatches DID have culture. But maybe he thought that because the local Indians imagined that their Sasquatches MUST have culture, because they were human. In the PNW the same thing happened–local tribes described Sasquatches who wore clothes (sometimes), carried clubs, made raids, etc. (You can see why I didn’t want to enter all these realms of speculation.)

    So my tentative conclusion, which I didn’t want to post because I was uncertain, was that Davis hadn’t looked at the matter in the context I’ve just given, but had jumped to the conclusion that just because the local tribes CALLED their 17th-century Sasquatches another tribe of Indians, and described them as having culture, they actually WERE such.

    I don’t think Davis was being derogatory with “digger.” He just (I think) was trying to say that what the Spanish had called “diggers” were really a much wilder tribe of humans than the ones the 49-ers encountered. But Davis himself then (I think) mistakenly identified whatever-it-was the Spanish sailors heard of as belonging to the homo category, just because it was CALLED human back then.

    If I’d realized that my brevity might have caused trouble for him, I’d have added a warning against the interpretation that he was being derogatory. I did provide a link to the archived program, where people could make their own interpretation.

  20. Tegan responds:

    OK, I presume that Mr Davis did some research into the term “Digger Indian” before he made up his theory. I presume that he ran across the same materials Loren just posted (and I ran across in a quick Google search) that make it clear that “Digger Indian” is a derogatory term. I presume that, but I don’t know Mr Davis, so I don’t know for sure.

    In my view, there are two possibilities: Either he didn’t do basic research, which means his theory is garbage to begin with, or he did the basic research and learned that the term was an insult, but used it anyway.

    Either way, it doesn’t reflect well on Mr Davis. If he was referring to a pre-Columbian group, he needed to find a less-racially charged name to refer to them by.

    And yes, there IS no excuse for not knowing the “latest PCBS newspeak diktats” if you are DOING RESEARCH ON THAT VERY TOPIC. It’s forgivable to the average person, but the researcher has to know his material. It’s clear that either Mr David doesn’t know it, or doesn’t care. Both are not acceptable.

  21. Raptorial responds:

    I’m with Tegan. Either Davis didn’t do his research or blatently used such a term. I don’t see why some of you people don’t look at the facts.

  22. bill green responds:

    hey loren, this is a very interesting new update about mk davis new p/g film evidence. very informative indeed.

  23. Loren Coleman responds:

    I asked questions about what M. K. Davis was thinking and the personality given to someone who embraces racist labels that are used to create subhuman characterizations. I did not share any finalizations via calling anyone a name, but asked you, the reader to think about what is happening here.

    I do not presume to know what Davis was thinking when he made the “barker at the circus” and “digger Indians” statements he has made lately. I brought this news to this blog to stimulate some reflection and discussion about all of this.

    If Davis did do his research, how could he go forth with the statements he is making?

    Has he not looked at photographs of Native Californians, easily discovered on the web by a researcher of his caliber?

    Or is he purposedly relying on various incorrect notions, based in racism, that the Indians he refers to are indeed the P-G Bigfoot, and are in some way larger, dirtier, hairier, and subhuman?

    Folks that wishes to dismiss this as merely a “politically correct” debate are missing the point. Those people are ignoring the underlying criticism about comparing humans (no matter whom they may be) to the photographed Bigfoot. It seems some may be missing the premise of my critique of M. K. Davis’ frames of reference for his comparisons.

    It is one thing to talk about whether someone means “some kind of hominid” (such as Neanderthal, Gigantopithecus or Paranthropus) when we all heard “human.” But such a position is radically different than the one that stares us in the face now, that someone is claiming that the well-studied image in the frames of the P-G footage is nothing more than an example of a First Nations/Native American Indian.

  24. daledrinnon responds:

    I first commented on the matter when I was discussing whether or not Julia Pastrana might have been a halfbreed Bigfoot (at which time I meant a Neanderthal type in specific, and it is another can of worms altogether). I then mentioned that the usually-published statement that Julia was a “Digger Indian” was an insult and a racial slur. I did not consider then that saying a person was part-Neanderthal was a racist slur (I happen to admire Neanderthals), but I have been repeatedly told that more recently and it is not a matter I choose to advance at this point. BUT “Digger Indian” has ALWAYS been a term of degradation and is definitely used as such in the way Davis is using it. NOBODY should use the term at ANY time in polite conversation.

  25. alanborky responds:

    WHATEVER M.K. DAVIS IS

    – for his reputation’s sake I sure hope he has some truly remarkable evidence to even justify making such a statement, never mind proving it, because for Patty to be a member of any kind of tribe implies that somewhere out there, squirrelled away between all the hordes of roving Bigfoot and their ilk, are a mysterious tribe of outsized Native Americans who, rather than supposedly becoming extinct were instead busy acquiring a covering of head to tail fur, and yet until M.K. Davis came along, nobody, neither all the other Native Americans, or indeed anybody else, had noticed a thing.

    That said, his ingenious stabilisation of the image of Patty was a very sturdy and useful piece of research, and the one thing his work couldn’t be called – at least uptil now – is that of an idiot.

  26. Roger Knights responds:

    One important point is that there’s nothing intrinsically nasty about the term digger itself. It wasn’t intended to wound, like “gook,” etc. Initially, before the 49-ers arrived and attached bad associations to the word, digger merely described the tribe’s habit of foraging. What’s bad about that? Eulell (sp?) Gibbons thought it was terrific.

    And the term was partially restored by the “Diggers” of the Haight-Ashbury in the 60s, although their main referent was an egalitarian faction in Cromwell’s army. This public use of the word may have subconsciously colored the way Davis thought, so that he figured it wasn’t hurtful.

    Today, few people have memories of the associations the 49-ers piled on, so it doesn’t strike the (unlearned) majority as anything more than a descriptive term. Probably all the public associates with the word is the famous last-of-his-tribe-Indian who came in from the cold, Ishi.

  27. moregon responds:

    M.K. Davis specifically said, “And this is not… NOT to be confused ahhhhh with what they call digger Indians today.”

    He said it was what the early SPANISH PADRES called the people he was referring to. He never said they were People of First Nations. I hope everyone cools down and listens to the archived program themselves and makes up their own minds.

  28. Brindle responds:

    Good point. Ya’ll need to listen to the program before making a comment.

  29. dharkheart responds:

    oh.my.lord.

    Davis is intellectually challenged. His theory is BS. Those are not initials for Bigfoot and Sasquatch.

  30. drthomas responds:

    I was surprised by M.K’s statement. Somehow he got lost on the search for the truth. A few years ago I mentioned to M.K about the relationship between Neanderthal Man and Bigfoot and how if you just covered a typical Neanderthal Man with hair, you got what closely looked like a Bigfoot. I’ve been doing a lot of studying and reading on the Neanderthal bone frame structuring and other than Giganto Blacki and a cross between the two is the only other plausible theory. If not just a straight forward cross between B.F and man. From all the tales of Indian maidens being taken for mating. If all the stories are true of babies being born, then it is possible that Sasquatch or Bigfoot is some type of cross or at least close enough to produce young. It’s possible that maybe the so named Digger Indian may not be a true lineage of just the early people of this land but maybe the children of the early Sasquatch and some of the maidens they stole. However without DNA samples taken from all sources this theory is just speculation.

  31. ToddPartain responds:

    As a father of three bi-racial children, I have this to say…

    ..It is a shame that we waste our time debating such nonsense. Racism is all about intent. It is nearly impossible for the average person to stay abreast of every pc term. A friend of Choctaw descent recently corrected me about the term “Native American” . He stated, “Now I hear we are considering the term ‘indian’ to be short for ‘indigenous americans’, so the elders want to start using that again after years of branding it a racial slur. Somebody had recently brought up the point that anyone born on the continent is a native american-including you, white man.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him, that despite my obvious irish looks, I recently learned I also have cherokee and blackfoot ancestors.

    We need to forget about labels and work on awareness that we are dealing with something real, that as Rick Noll summed up-”Not everything is known.”

    As per being compared to a sasquatch as an insult, that’s relative also based on perspective. Homo-Sapiens are clearly superior because we can deplete and corrupt our environment as we alter it to suit our fragile nature. Oh, and we can also wage war on a genocidal scale over nothing more than political and religious ideology.

    Sasquatch comes equipped with everything needed to survive harmoniously in nature, including the sense to stay away from those strangely weak and twisted but entirely destructive sub-sasquatch creatures known as humans.

    Who is “sub” to whom?

  32. caddo21 responds:

    I myself would have used the term WILD indian which is what Ishi was described as.

    As for an intentional racist remark, No.

  33. cryptowarrior responds:

    I’ve known M.K. and have been following his research into the Patterson film for 3 or 4 years now. I must say that I am baffled at the direction his research has taken and I thoroughly disagree with his recent theories. Now I wouldn’t say that M.K. is a close personal friend of mine but I do know him well enough that I find it hard to believe that the man is a racist! I do however believe that he may not have realized that the terminology he chose may have had a racist connotation to it. To imply that M.K. is a racist without giving him a chance to explain (or further bury himself whatever the case may be) is nothing short of character assassination. In any form of media there is a built in audience that will believe what is said without asking for proof. Therefore by posing the question “Is M.K. Davis a racist?” Loren Coleman has unfairly labeled the man “Racist” without having to actually make the statement, nor accept any responsibility for it!

  34. drypondscout responds:

    Wow. I came to this site to escape from the popular cultures saturation of the airwaves, internet and print. The last place I would expect a PC debate is here. Apparently MK Davis is the cryptozoological equivalent of Michael Richards for using a outdated term that is now considered a big no-no. I think it’s just because HIS BIGFOOT theory in considered unsound on a forum where everyone debates creatures that have yet to be proven as real as the average housecat. Don’t get me wrong, I want these creatures to be found, but this is all beginning to sound like some explorers club taking shots at each other in an old 30′s movie.

  35. scotto responds:

    I’d be very careful about publicly branding someone with the “racist” name, if it was not their intent.

    There are so many different names from history, how do we keep track in a “politically correct” society who we are offending?
    I do not think offense was his intent.

    I’m sure after all of this we’ll see what M.K. has to say, and he may be stunned and reply that it was taken out of context.

    I think his claims are pretty wild, and how is it best to “pigeonhole” a sasquatch into a human category? I doubt there is anywhere near enough evidence available to do that, let alone from a nearly 40 year old piece of cine film.

    Let’s hear from M.K. before jumping to conclusions.

    JMHO.

  36. Grant responds:

    I don’t know about the other sides of this, but I agree with hiram and some others. Whether it’s called “political correctness” or not, it’s very easy to use a term that’s considered racist without BEING a racist. Some time ago, when the term “Native American” first became very popular, a lot of people practically assumed it would become the ONLY right expression to use, and for a while, people who used “Indian” were made fun of for being incredibly unenlightened, or even jumped on in a more serious way. Now, of course, people say or write “Native American” AND “American Indian,” often in the same sentence (including this site). Maybe “Indian” isn’t considered on the same level as “Digger Indian,” for some of the reasons mentioned here, but I still think that using that term isn’t enough to make this person a racist.

  37. Carlfoot responds:

    If you look hard enough you can find racism if you want to. I don’t see it here.

  38. sasquatch responds:

    I think ALL evolutionist’s are racist’s. It totally follows; If you think we came from “Sub” or “Pre human” orders then it forces one to beleive that certain “humans” are higher on the “Evolutionary Ladder” than others, unless of course you think that all people advanced at the exact same rate world wide. A pretty preposterous concept in itself. I wish evolutionists would just admit it instead of coming off as the totally hilarious “politically Correct” self contradictary psuedo intellectuals they really are. One example; I heard an “African American” lady bragging on a talk show that her “Race” were the first humans because Leeky et al. had “proven” that Africa is where “early man” arose. Now, I think that woman shot herself in the foot and inadvertently supported all the justification for the racist descrimination her people have had to endure. Evolution is the biggest justification for racism ever invented (It IS a hideous invention after all). MK Davis’ statements should not insult evolutionists at all! So don’t try coming off as politically correct and sensitve blah, blah, blah. It makes me laugh so hard I get an upset tummy.

  39. vet72 responds:

    For nearly forty years about the only controversy the P-G film footage created was whether or not it was showing an authentic Bigfoot or a concocted hoax. I never imagined it creating a racial controversy but in the this day and age of “political correctiveness” it’s better to keep one’s mouth shut. I can’t pass judgment on Mr. Davis on whether his comments were racially intentional or vice-versa. I’m sure he’ll have his day in court so to speak so I’ll wait and see how he defends himself. It is unfortunate though and hopefully there will be an amicable resolution to all of this.

  40. mystery_man responds:

    All evolutionists are rascists? One ignorant person’s claim on a talk show led to this rant? If anyone is going to visciously attack evolution, I suggest they learn a little more about it and how it works before making such bold statements.

  41. mystery_man responds:

    As for MK Davis, this has been a very interesting debate on rascism and political correctness, but the bottom line is I still see no hard evidence forthcoming. We still don’t know what is going on as far as Davis’ research goes, don’t know what is going on. A couple of times on this blog, people have been attacked for making statements or claims without any follow through such as evidence, photos, etc. I think MK Davis must have seen this coming. For now, I’m trying to look past the possible rascism here and at the main focus of all this and that is the claim that Patty is human. If MK Davis wants to be taken seriously, he is going to have to tell us more of what is going on, what he means, and most importantly show us how he came to all of these conclusions.

  42. Brindle responds:

    We need to get over MKD not being too clever on the radio. If every one was so vilified for doing or saying something not too bright, we would all be in an uproar all the time. I want to see what he has to substantiate his claims.

  43. mattlake responds:

    Let’s give this man the benefit of the doubt. He may be misguided on the science front, but he’s just ignorant in terms of linguistics.

    There’s a huge difference between a racist and someone who uses words they don’t know the origins of. Consider the words “gypsy”, “Eskimo”, and “German”, all of which were offensive or demeaning to people of a certain tribe at a certain time. (The Romans called the Teutonic tribes germani because it meant, roughly translated “people who shout a lot”.) And also consider how upset some people got a while ago about words that are linguistically free of race connotations, such as picnic and niggardly.

    The real problem is not so much about race hate, it’s more that some people use words they don’t know and others read into words things that just aren’t there.

  44. MattBille responds:

    I wonder if Davis relied at all on the story recounted in Sanderson of a huge “wild man” who, when shot and captured (he died soon after, according to the tale), turned out to be exactly that, a very large mixed-race (Causacian, Native American, and African American) man who had chosen to “live wild” and avoid the taunts of society.

    As a side note, John “Grizzly” Adamns, who was always on excellent terms with California Natives, had two long-time assistants from a tribe that he referred to as Diggers.

  45. MattBille responds:

    An addition to my earlier comment about John “Grizzly” Adams.

    The popular biography I have on him does not try to pin down the proper name for the tribe involved. Adams, when dwelling in the high Sierras, referred to the locals as “Digger Indians” but found their language to be so difficult he gave his “Digger Indian” assistants Native names from local rivers (Stanislaus and Tuolomme.) They lived in organized villages with lodges. Their name for Adams (hyas tyee = great chief) is only somewhat helpful, as several of the Northwestern tribes, from northern California to Alaska, used tyee as a noun for impressive leaders or animals (large king salmon were called tyee). (It may have been Salish originally, but it entered the trading language the whites called Chinook Jargon and thus was widely used.)

    Incidentally, Adams apparently never encountered sasquatch-type creatures or at least told no stories about them, although he was a lover of tall tales. He did once claim to have seen an animal that looked like “a hedgehog with the head and feet of a bear,” though this seems more suggestive of a bear with an unusual skin condition than anything else.

  46. Loren Coleman responds:

    Here’s a quick review of M. K. Davis’ remarks to try to understand the essence of what he’s saying (click on link below):

    What’s Being Said?

  47. YourPTR! responds:

    I’m not saying that Bigfoot is an Indian, that’s clearly ridiculous, Bigfoot ISN’T human (anyone can clearly see that from viewing the P/G film) and I don’t know what M.K Davis could be thinking in claiming such being possibly the one individual who has spent the most time studying the film.

    Bigfoot is obviously a bipedal ape. An extremely interesting, remarkable and UNIQUE! ape, but all the same still an APE! Most likely has higher, possibly much higher intelligence than a “standard” ape would have though. But saying that, if he was really human wouldn’t he be much more likely to be a more “primitive” race of people, such as in appearance, culture, technological progress etc. :)

  48. shumway10973 responds:

    Doesn’t the Native American seem to be lacking some hair? I mean, if the bigfoot in pic is supposed to be female (I just never looked close enough), the female Native American is a little lacking in the fur department. This is a perfect example why I dislike the conventional science plaguing our western world. People like this guy will say anything (no matter how outrageous) and then try to make it work. Unfortunately, the average person out there (most cryptomundo bloggers not included in this statement) will accept anything science says without questioning, even if it sounds absolutely stupid.

  49. sasquatch responds:

    Yeah, like Dolphins with legs.

  50. Mnynames responds:

    Shumway, you seem to be confusing M. K. with an actual acredited scientist. Everything I’ve read says that he’s an enthusiastic amateur with some tech skills…

  51. cosmic monster responds:

    It’s an interesting theory if MK is suggesting the Digger Indians are the “wild men” that started the Bigfoot myth, but I don’t think Bigfoots and Diggers are the same thing.

    I think most people who claim racism act offended because they’re supposed to be offended. This is as productive as arguing over a blobsquatch. You see what you want to see.

  52. sschaper responds:

    Tegan, I hate racism, but I also hate tyranny, which is what PC is. Fairly idiotic tyranny at that.

    I cannot conceive that Davis was thinking that bigfoot are Miwok. I assume he -must- have meant something like some form of hominid that the locals knew of and called ‘stick Indians’ (though I still wonder if that is the right translations – the locals didn’t call themselves Indians)

    As to culture: scientists refer to chimps as having culture, because some groups fish for termites with sticks, others crack nuts with rocks, and they pass this information down through learning, rather than instinct. I -assume- that is what Davis meant. I mean…

  53. CryptoInformant responds:

    I agree that it is debatable as to what is “sub” to what. For example, on the basis of how the species interacts with everything else, I would say we are sub-everything short of bacteria and a smirking chimpanzee. However, if you look at lasting impressions, then everything is sub-our enormous, ugly, ENVIRONMENTAL SKID-MARKS. It is only when you look at comparative intelligence that we can honestly and honorably say we are superior, and even that is debatable, because, OF COURSE we will be superior to other animals when we RIG THE TESTS.

  54. CryptoInformant responds:

    Sasquatch:
    WHAT!?! Evolution simply states that SPECIES CHANGE OVER TIME THROUGH GENETIC MUTATIONS! This leads to every INDIVIDUAL PERSON being different, but in no way higher or lower evolved than others, as we are ALL ONE SPECIES, that evolved from different species of humans. These humans evolved from HUMAN-LIKE APES, which in turn evolved from other apes, and so on. What YOU are doing is furthuring the assumption that scientists think Neanderthals are inferior, when in fact, they were EQUAL TO US IN MOST WAYS, AND ACTUALLY SUPERIOR IN OTHERS. It is when people like you assume that evolution states that everything evolves in a line, and that more derived species are better, that evolutionary biologists shake their heads and take some headache medicine, because NOTHING makes our heads hurt more than smart people saying stupid things. For example, humans are more derived than sharks, but I would say sharks are actually better. I personally don’t care for political correctness in general, but RACISM MAKES ME SICK, whether perpetrated knowingly or not. I respect YOUR views on the development of life, even though I disagree with them, so don’t go around putting mine down with HALF-BAKED ASSUMPTIONS!

    Thank you for having your own opinion, and God bless you, America, and the World. Have a nice day.

  55. CryptoInformant responds:

    Sasquatch:
    In your comment about “dolphins with legs,” I assume you are talking about Ambulocetus, the ancient whale with short legs? Sorry, but there is a profound difference between that and the unfounded statements by some “scientists.” This “walking whale” has actually been found, fossilized, in the Messel Shales. Comparison between its bones and those of later whale species show that this amphibious mammal is indeed the ancestor of whales, but it is certainly not a dolphin, as that group of whales has certain features it does not have, and that developed after its extinction. So, unless you are going to say that the fossils were faked, I think we can safely say this particular discussion on evolution is over, and we can get back to the topic at hand.



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