Sasquatch Coffee


Where We Should Look For Bigfoot Bones

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 9th, 2009

“Why haven’t we found a Bigfoot body?” is one of the most frequently asked questions I get in the museum and at the end of my lectures on the road. I answered it partially, in the last chapter of Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America. Let me share part of what I discuss with those interested in the longer answer.

If animal remains were so easy to find, the forests of Maine would be so filled with moose and deer antlers each year from those dropped by the thousands of animals shedding their pairs, hunters and hikers would not be able to move around without tripping over mountains of discarded antlers. But every year, we are greeted by mostly fresh ground upon which to stroll.

Other than road kill, would not bear carcasses litter the woods of any country where they are found, and won’t dead mountain lions occasionally be found within some forest of the North American West? But despite numbers that must surely outnumber the Bigfoot population, decaying bears and pumas do not dot the landscape. Instead, nature finds a way to keep the forest floor clear of rotting remains with everything from flies to ravens/crows, coyotes to turkey/black vultures, bacteria to other microbes, all doing their work.

As to the example of those antlers and any remaining bones, well, besides mice, voles, and rats, I have one significant candidate for everyone to consider when dealing in the speculation about finding those extremely rare Bigfoot bones: porcupines. Porcupines will eat away whole racks of antlers and most of the bones of any animal.

The 27 species of porcupine worldwide like to gnaw on antlers and bones for the calcium and other minerals, appear to also eat bones to sharpen their teeth and seem initially attracted to bones and antlers by the odor of urine and their salt content.

But could these animals which may be the often overlooked reason for why so few bones are found in the woods also be the source of an eventual find of the century?

Porcupines, both Old and New World species, and other animals (hedgehogs and echidnas) that all look and behavior similarly due to convergent evolution, have interesting habits that should be studied by Sasquatch researchers.

One important behavior of some species of porcupines is that they hoard bones of other animals in or around their dens. Porcupines sometimes are found with bones in their living spaces. For example, the North African crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) and the Cape porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) of sub-Saharan Africa, especially in areas deficient in phosphorous, will practice osteophagia, or gnawing on bones. These porcupines will often accumulate large piles of bones in their dens.

In Africa, researchers have found that porcupines are opportunists, and use both brown and spotted hyena dens that have naturally leftover bones in them. Also gathering bones themselves, certain African porcupines have been found to typically collect only degreased and defatted bones.

In North America, studies of situations in which bones accumulate today and in the past often include porcupine caves. For an intriguing article on what Pleistocene mammal remains were found in one such gathering of bones, see “Bears and Man at Porcupine Cave, Western Uinta Mountains, Utah” by Timothy H. Heaton, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, in Current Research in the Pleistocene, vol. 5, pp. 71-73 (1988).

The odds are more highly in favor of Bigfoot bones and bodies never being found than being found. But if they are ever found, might Bigfoot teeth or old bones possibly will be discovered near or in porcupine habitation sites.

We won’t know unless we look, and reexamine past and future “unidentified” finds from porcupine caves, digs, and dens.

661 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101.

For more museum information, see here, here and here.

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.


82 Responses to “Where We Should Look For Bigfoot Bones”

  1. E responds:

    Sorry to put it like this, but this seems a bit like wishful thinking. Your argument is good indeed, but it still does not explain why we have, until now, found NOTHING! All we get are hoaxes and eyewitness accounts that could have been a sighting of many things. If there was just one little piece of evidence…..

    I think we should look for the deep rain forests and the deeper oceans for the more believable cryptids.

    But again: Good argument.

  2. greywolf responds:

    Lorens comments are very sound. If you look at the research where Doctors and pathologest look at the decomposition of humans in order to solve crimes and determine when a person passed. you will find that a person or a deer in normal conditions take a very short time to be eaten by the many critters that nature has provided for that purpose.

  3. Fhqwhgads responds:

    Maybe. And maybe sasquatch is a cannibal, as I think he is in some of the folklore. Maybe we don’t find bigfoot bodies because the other bigfoots get there first.

  4. DWA responds:

    E: that actually sounds like wishful thinking.

    We just know that nothing has been found that the public knows about.

    I know of at least one case, in AK, where bones were found, but simply not followed up because of the no-way mindset most of us seem to have.

    Without scientific followup of the evidence – of which there is a lot – all we’re doing is making up stuff, with no evidence to back it up. (For example: sightings could be anything. Only problem: descriptions are very consistent, much more so than anyone would have reason to expect from a bunch of folks randomly lying, hallucinating or mistaking stuff.)

    What separates cryptids from other subjects is that scientists don’t follow up evidence, period. There could be some VERY interesting bones somewhere, like say, a miner’s cabin, a fishing boat in AK, or a museum collection. Somebody – maybe more than one – said: I don’t care about science, now I know, that’s enough for me, and took home a cool souvenir. Maybe a construction project tossed some “cow bones.”

    Truth is: there isn’t NOTHING. Just nothing we know about. If science doesn’t want to see it, it’s going to be awfully tough to see.

  5. DTK responds:

    Insightful information. I was not aware that porcupines hoard bones from other animals. This is the kind of practical knowledge that may indeed help Bigfoot researchers finally find that proverbial “needle in the haystack.” (Bigfoot DNA)

    Seeing as how an entire species of giant ape (Gigantopithecus blacki) was discovered and specified from just a handful of teeth and a few partial jawbones, I can’t see any reason why a simple porcupine den couldn’t produce evidence of the existence of Sasquatch.

    Along this same line of thought, since birds often collect various animal hairs to construct their nests, I think probing a few birds nests for unusual hair samples in specific Bigfoot sighting locations might pay off in the long run also.

    Just some food for thought.

  6. Fhqwhgads responds:

    I’ll admit the “cannibal” suggestion was mostly in jest, but there was at least this much point to it: If bigfoots are superior to known non-human animals in intelligence, it is possible they have a form of culture. In fact, if we are to take the American Indian tales of sasquatch seriously, bigfoot definitely has a culture. It is the culture of humans not to just leave their dead lying around, like a bear or deer would do — and of course, we are just about the only animals that could easily move dead members of our own species to new locations. If bigfoots are buried in the deep woods, you can pretty well forget about ever finding them, and it doesn’t take long for even the bones to decay in many burials. It seems unlikely that a bigfoot would practice cremation, but they might expose the bodies to the birds. In other words, we assume more than we know if we suppose a bigfoot’s body must suffer the same fate as a black bear’s body.

  7. Kimble responds:

    Squatches are too big for porcupines to nibble away. How is it that human remains are often found in the woods years after the person’s disappearance? We’ve got scads of porkies in Maine.

    I think we can assume that a Sasquatch has no known natural predators. Death would most likely be from natural causes. Under the assumption that this is an animal, a sick animal would naturally find a secret place to die. Over time that secret spot gets covered up.

    For those who postulate that Sasquatches are a “giant forest people” then they may have burial customs.

    They could be killed by an accident; a tree falls on them, they fall off a cliff, pitch into a ravine, eat some bad pancakes. Would one then come across this exception?

  8. E responds:

    DWA: Sorry mate, but there is truly NOTHING. Not a single little piece of evidence for BF in NA. There is no photos, nor videos nor bones, no fur samples no nothing. As said, the argument is good, but not good enough. It’s logical in most places but it misses out the single fact that makes people (like me) skeptic: THERE IS NO EVIDENCE!

    If there truly was a big hominid walking the around the entire NA there should at least hae been one single little tiny something we can call evidence, but there is non. I am not saying people are delosional or crazy. Just saying this is truly wishfull thinking.

  9. Loren Coleman responds:

    Rob Carignan raises some valid points, perhaps with humor and reality mixed in equal parts. Of course, I was not saying that porcupines are predators upon Bigfoot. I doubt there are any Bigfoot permanently living (thus not dying) in
    Maine, anyway. Interlopers don’t count. They tend to escape to Canada to die, probably. ;-)

    Porcupines eat bones from carcasses, but the common notion that humans smell bad, taste terrible, and are rather more full of toxic chemicals than most animals may mean that they are eaten less regularly by porcupines.

  10. Loren Coleman responds:

    “E” obviously does not stand for “evidence” as “E” merely ignores the evidence and thus sets up his points as valid that there is no evidence (e.g. Patterson-Gimlin footage, footprints, hair samples, traditions, eyewitness accounts, folklore, folk art, and more) for Bigfoot. For one that does not understand what evidence is, of course, it is easy to say there is none.

  11. DWA responds:

    Loren: I could write a book to respond to E; but you did fine.

    Don’t care if you are a scientist or not. Don’t care about your fame fortune or credentials. If you think what most scientists seem to think about this topic, I can pin you down as ignorant within thirty seconds of your opening your mouth. Guaranteed. Know how? George Schaller, Daris Swindler, Jeff Meldrum and Grover Krantz, while we are on fame fortune AND credentials. They know what evidence is; and the NOTHING! guys and gals seem mysteriously unwilling to engage their like on this topic.

    Evidence? Mountains. Oceans. LOTS AND LOTS.

    Which science ignores because it had its mind made up from Moment One.

    (Enlightened scientists like those above aside of course.)

    It’s like I tell everyone.

    Here’s what I think: the evidence for the sasquatch and yeti (them at least) is compelling, and deserves concerted scientific scrutiny to determine its source.

    If you know what I know about this topic, you think what I think.

    PERIOD.

    No one’s proven me wrong yet. Save the effort. Just read up and get where I am.

    Me and the enlightened scientists who have looked at it the way a scientist should.

  12. E responds:

    Just came with a couple of thoughts.

    My point is very simple really. From my perspective at least, I see no real evidence for a 2m tall hominid walking around in NA. The Yet is a better choice in many ways.

    The Patterson film does not prove anything at all. It could be real and it could be a guy in a suit. So far (for me) it looks more like a guy in a suit.

    Footprints do not prove BF either. There have been plenty of hoaxes in that area. Also there have been some people who think it was BF but was something else.

    DNA samples from hair have never shown anything conclusive.

    We all know this,… I hope.

    And for the bones never been found is just another nail in the coffin of the BF myth (again, for me).

    Now I can understand the skepticism for scientists not willing to look into the matter. Most people laugh at the people who believe in BF or some other cryptid. But if you want to take this seriously and PROVE BF with EVIDENCE you have to bring in some facts. Something the scientific comunity and the general public can accept. Not just saying what E can see as evidence or how to write a book about my argument when I have a darn good point!

  13. DWA responds:

    E: all I can say is: read up.

    1) Hoaxes can be dismissed. The obvious ones don’t cast a scintilla of doubt on the remainder; they’re like apples and oranges.

    2) The P/G figure is unlike a human in ways that make the only conceivable hoax scenario a very unlikely one, given what we know about technology available to do that in 1967 combined with no scenario even close to explaining how the tech got to that spot (and yes, it’s a known spot, with tracks that square well with lots and lots of other tracks, all of which look nothing like the known hoaxes).

    3) The sighting reports, and the tracks, possess the only two requirements for scientifically viable evidence: frequency (lots of them) and coherence (consistent). Both characters point, strongly, to non-human sources.

    That’s the broadest-brush treatment. But it comes down to: much evidence backs the animals. No evidence supports the alternative(s). And yes, you DO have to postulate how all this stuff got faked/hallucinated/confused with other stuff…yet all of it looks, very consistently, like one thing. (Read: doesn’t happpen. Not in the universe we inhabit.)

    All I can say is: if you don’t want to believe it, there are some heavy hitters (a few of whom I list) you have to convince. Talk to them, not us.

  14. exobiologydoc responds:

    I don’t buy the porcupine hypothesis. The habitat of the porcupine habitat is primarily in the NE, MW, and the West Coast. Yet, the SE has reported bigfoot findings. Also, in Asia porcupines inhabit more moderate climates, so you would have to explain how Yeti bones haven’t been discovered either.

    So unless bigfoot doesn’t exist in the SE and there are porcupines that exist in the Himalayas, then I think Loren’s hypothesis is flawed. But here’s my bigger problem with his hypothesis:

    If there are bigfoot who exist, then we must assume that they are intelligent creatures who are as elusive as they are alive as they are dead. To assume that a creature that has evaded mankind for centuries without any evidence except for some shotty video footage and plaster footprints is unreasonable. Something that smart would not just decide to plop down and die for all of us to see. No, IF bigfoot existed, then it would either die in the same place it was hiding or some of its relative and friends would find it and hid it too.

    Let me put it to you in this context: When people die they aren’t strewn out in their living rooms, front yards, or offices and left to rot are they? No, they go to a hospital and die or they die and someone finds them and buries them. No one is dead in plain view.

    It is easy to find dead bodies? Well, unless you buried someone recently or live near a cemetery I’m willing to bet you don’t know where to find a dead body.

    Look I don’t believe in bigfoot, but we have to assume that IF there is a bigfoot the reason why we can’t find them is because they are smarter that we think. So that it would just lay down and get eaten by porcupines is surprising to hear from a cryptid expert.

    Prove me wrong.

  15. Fhqwhgads responds:

    Well, I am a scientist, specifically a computational physicist. Even though biology is not my field, cryptozoology interests me. [I also like long walks on the beach, rootbeer floats, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. :-) ]

    Yes, E is being very unfair to the cryptozoology community by denying that ANY evidence exists. Likewise, DWA is a bit unfair to “traditional” science, which after all has happily embraced the platypus, the coelacanth, Homo floresiensis, and feathered dinosaurs. The problem is that although a large amount of evidence does exist for the existence of an American ape or unknown hominid, most of that evidence is of low quality. No decisive evidence has been found that could prove to the world the reality of sasquatch, and that lack of decisive evidence in spite of people (almost all amateurs, to be sure) looking for years does become troubling. I’d give the sasquatch a much better chance of being real than the Loch Ness Monster, but (sorry guys) I still think it’s a long shot. I’d be delighted to be proved wrong, and I think the question is still up in the air, but I remain skeptical.

    To use a law analogy, it doesn’t take much evidence to get an indictment from a grand jury, so a grand jury would probably say we should proceed to trial in the bigfoot issue. There is no way the evidence gathered so far proves bigfoot beyond a reasonable doubt, so a conviction in criminal court would be impossible at present. Civil court, where “the preponderance of the evidence” is used, would be more interesting. I think bigfoot would still come up short, but I expect DWA and Loren to disagree.

    Fair enough. But “established Western science”, or whatever you want to call it, is really more like criminal court in cases like this.

  16. mystery_man responds:

    The only thing I will say about the whole debate going on here about “there are no remains so Bigfoot does not exist,” is that denying the existence of a potential new species based solely on the lack of fossil evidence or remains is untenable.

    As has already been stated, an animal carcass in the woods does not last long. The wet conditions and action of scavengers make short work of them indeed.

    Fossil evidence is also not a full record of all biodiversity on Earth simply because the fossilization process is extremely rare. We are constantly uncovering fossils of new animals, sometimes even after they have been found and stored away due to the fact that no one had realized just what they had found when they were dug up. SOme of the new fossil discoveries have been extremely significant and have challenenged us to re-think what we think we know.

    The bottom line is that fossils do not represent all life on Earth and in fact probably only account for a small portion of all animals that have ever existed.

    So really, it is just as likely with a seemingly rare, elusive animal like sasquatch that we are not going to find remains of them.

    Now this does not mean the Bigfoot remains are out there. That would be a pretty unscientific jump to take. I’m not saying that Bigfoot in fact must exist. That is something I have been critical about for quite some time and I can only look carefully at the evidence (and yes, it is there to a degree). What I am saying is that the argument that because we haven’t found remains yet it follows that Bigfoot don’t exist is an argument that doesn’t really hold water.

    I have argued reasons for why I am skeptical of Bigfoot before, but lack of remains is certaintly not one of them.

    Right now, I’m just trying to find out what is really going on whether that means Bigfoot is real or not, and the broad brush stroke of “no, Bigfoot can’t exist” is not conducive to finding those answers and parsing through what we have to look at.

    Anyway, on the issue of remains. As long as we are speculating, I’ll throw in something out left field.

    There has long been speculation that the hypothetical Bigfoot could have a high level of intelligence and may even be related to human ancestors. This may mean that they possess some rudimentary form of culture. I don’t necessarily beleive this, and there is no particularly solid reason to assume this, but this is hypothesizing so bear with me.

    Some cultures have been known to perform river burials, in which bodies are released into a river to be carried away. This was pretty common in feudal Japan for peasants who could not afford a proper burial. It can also be seen in India where burials in the Ganges river are commonplace. In the case of the Ganges, most bodies are cremated first, but many have no access to crematoriums and just end up tossing the corpses into the river. River burials are also seen in some other cultures.

    Now there is no reason to really suspect this is the case with sasquatch, but maybe it would be worth looking at riverbanks, sediments, and the mouths of rivers just in case we have a similar scenario going on here.

    If Bigfoot exists, it is an animal of which we have very little solid knowledge about concerning behavior and level of intelligence or cultural sophistication. So we basically look at precedents like Loren has done here, and throw things against the wall to see what sticks.

    Anyway, just a wild thought.

  17. cryptidsrus responds:

    E and DWA:

    Great debate, guys.

    Ultimately, I’m staying out of this one and I’ll just let others debate it for as long as they want. My feelings are pretty much known around here anyway.

    Once again, GREAT debate.

  18. Ferret responds:

    Unless I’m mistaken, Ivan T. Sanderson dealt with this conundrum in Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life by making the very valid point that we may very well have found remains, but they could be stored away somewhere, for all intents and purposes lost to the world. After all if you found some random bones and took them to say a natural history museum, why should they exert the effort examine at them, particularly to perform genetic analysis of them? Even if they did who’s to say we’d learn anything? So even if we had Bigfoot bones and some attention was paid to them, why would it do a single thing for us?

  19. E responds:

    DWA:

    “1) Hoaxes can be dismissed. The obvious ones don’t cast a scintilla of doubt on the remainder; they’re like apples and oranges.”

    There is a lot of dismissing to do then! Another problem is with this the “I have to believe” people. Remember the kid in a bear suit? The father said it was a family footage not meant to fool people but “just my kid in a bear suit as a joke”. Later on he got threats! Pathetic. And then there was the BF in the fridge. What a great joke.

    “2) The P/G figure is unlike a human in ways that make the only conceivable hoax scenario a very unlikely one, given what we know about technology available to do that in 1967 combined with no scenario even close to explaining how the tech got to that spot (and yes, it’s a known spot, with tracks that square well with lots and lots of other tracks, all of which look nothing like the known hoaxes).”

    Ever heard the term “perfect in simplicity”? They did it so simple that they fooled everyone. And they sure will not say what they exactly did (I wouldn’t at least)

    “3) The sighting reports, and the tracks, possess the only two requirements for scientifically viable evidence: frequency (lots of them) and coherence (consistent). Both characters point, strongly, to non-human sources.!

    What non-human sources? And which parts prove it’s a BF and not something else? Get with the facts please.

    I am not the “I don’t want to believe”person. You sem to be more the “I have to believe” kind. It’s good. No prob. Thus the debate ;) I’m more like “prove it to me!” before I say I believe in it.Rather simple dont you think? I would like to proven wrong and get some real evidence for BF or Yeti or whatever Cryptid there is out there (like the giant sloth) but believers have to do better than saying things. Specially when the evidence are against BF and not for it. And cannibalism, nature itself, inter-dimensional bla blah, conspiracy theories are not helping the believers either (this was a side note).

    In the end I still say: There should be more evidence for a living, 2 metre pluss tall, hominid living in North America.

    I know many people in the CZ debate do not like a skeptic’s view but where else would the debate come from? :)

  20. mystery_man responds:

    E- You seem to want proof just as much as anyone else does before you go and accept anything as real. That is the way it should be to be sure.

    The thing you don’t seem to understand is that besides what you seem to think about these so called “I have to believe people,” many researchers into the Bigfoot phenomena aren’t necessarily like that. Most are very aware of the need for more and better evidence, and so they are out trying to gather the hard evidence that is needed to make any scientific headway in this area. Some organizations use state of the art equipment and count scientists among their members in an effort to find out what is going on.

    I’m not sure what you are referring to with “cannibalism,” but you may be surprised to know that many of the serious field researchers are actually not interested in the paranormal stuff you are mentioning. In fact, the ones that tout conspiracy theories and inter-dimensional explanations are considered to be on the fringe by most serious researchers and are not taken very seriously. You can peruse this site and find many examples of this, where these sorts of kooky theories have been pretty much universally scorned.

    In reality, the scientifically minded among cryptozoologists want the same proof that you do. They are well aware of what constitutes evidence, and are often the first to realize when they are lacking it, but they also know that the evidence they do have needs to be followed up on. I suppose the difference in mentality between yourself and those like Dr. Meldrum is that they want to see where the evidence on offer leads rather than just dismissing it out of hand and waiting for any proof to just fall in their lap.

    I will tell you that very, very rarely is science that easy. Chanting “I want proof, I want proof,” doesn’t have much effect on getting answers. If you want to prove something to any appreciable degree that will be accepted by peers, you have to put in the work. Which is a better way to start out in this regard? Is it by dismissing all evidence out of hand? Or is it perhaps better to say “Hmmm, well that’s odd. I wonder what is going on here? I think I’ll check it out.”?

    I am not convinced that Bigfoot exists, but I do appreciate the process of trying to ascertain that through investigating whatever evidence we have available. That is the only way proof will be found if indeed proof is out there to be found at all. Either way, just sitting back and dismissing isn’t constructive at all.

    You want proof, yet at the same time you seem to somewhat look down on the people who are actually trying to parse through any evidence on hand and follow that to whatever “proof” there might be. I could be wrong about you in this regard, and forgive me if I am, but that really is the way it seems to me.

    I will tell you one thing, and that is if Bigfoot is out there, then the ones out looking now and investigating what is going on will have done far more towards helping us get to the bottom of the mystery than those who just said back deriding those who tried.

    I am actually quite critical of Bigfoot’s existence. I certainly think there are a lot of unanswered questions. However whether we ever find any answers I think depends on how you want to approach this mystery. You can either seriously try to understand what is going on, or you can sit back and wish for proof.

    Which one really sounds like it is more likely to lead us to the truth one way or the other?

  21. E responds:

    Mystery_man: You didn’t get my point there. I know very well that “BF-hunters” use time, money, technology and spirit. Motion sensing cameras are a great way to hunt down animals… Or rather their existence ;)

    I do not dismiss everything about BF, BUT I have yet to see evidence and so far there is little to nothing. Simple as that. But don’t stop looking for it. I might be wrong. It’s just odd that people can find a 14mm frog in New Guinea but not a 2 metre tall, strong, hairy hominid in North America. Do you understand my point?

    In general: There should have been more to BF then we see.

    To your other points: I know very well how science and researching works. Thus the reason I don’t get the little to nothing evidence for BF. And the “have to believe” people are theones using every excuse what so ever to explain why we still have no evidence. Thus came the inter-dimensional BF story, cannibalism and conspiracy theories ;) And those people are not helping the serious BF hunters… Oh and the hoaxers. Hope I cleared that up.

  22. DWA responds:

    M_m: couldn’t have said it better, particularly about the difference between evidence and proof, which most styling themselves skeptics on this issue don’t seem to grasp too well.

    Fhqwhgads: Not sure what you mean by “low quality.” Lots of sightings, by people apparently of otherwise unimpeachable character and powers of observation, who really don’t want to talk about this and have, at the least, nothing to gain from it, and who describe something consistent right down to seemingly minor markers like mouth and nose shape, doesn’t seem to me to be low quality. Particularly when these people – most of whom don’t know much about wild apes – describe all kinds of behavioral and other markers oddly consistent with what has been observed of known apes in the wild. Considered AS A BODY, the evidence shows both frequency (lots of observations) and coherence (the observations are consistent), which any scientist being totally objective will tell you says: let’s take this case to trial, ’cause it looks like something real.

    Nobody’s saying it’s proof. But I think there isn’t a grand jury in the world that wouldn’t take this case to trial. If it were presented with the evidence. And looked at it. As to ” There is no way the evidence gathered so far proves bigfoot beyond a reasonable doubt,” I’d agree with you. As to, “So a conviction in criminal court would be impossible at present,” fortunately for us, science doesn’t have to depend on twelve civilians. It can follow up the evidence and get conclusive proof itself – which is all but impossible in any criminal case. (Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is usually NOT proof. Proof would be everyone in the court witnessing the crime, which obviously never happens.)

    And as to this: “Civil court, where ‘the preponderance of the evidence’ is used, would be more interesting. I think bigfoot would still come up short, but I expect DWA and Loren to disagree.” I do. The skeptical case – that all of the copious stuff we have seen on this topic has no consistent basis in reality, but is rather a concatenation of various random kinds of false positives – has no evidence backing it. (And it should. Where are all the false positives? No, the fakes don’t count, because they are nothing like what witnesses are reporting. They are an utter non sequitur in this discussion.)

    If I had to bet all my money on the existence or the non-existence of the animal, straight up, right now, the evidence leaves me with only one sane bet. The one backed by evidence. Any jury would be compelled to agree; a decision against the reality of the animal would be a totally irrational one, driven entirely by incredulity. Surely no jury has EVER done THAT. :-P

    E: Like mystery_man, I am a SKEPTIC on this issue – another thing that those who style themselves skeptics seem to have a lot of trouble understanding. The major difference between me and them is that I trouble myself with the evidence. You have to do that here. This is a scientific debate, son. No evidence? You LOSE.

  23. MattBille responds:

    Most of the points have been covered, so just a couple of thoughts:

    The new book on Percy Fawcett, The Lost City of Z, cites a time when Fawcett and companions were starving, and even though he was already a seasoned hand who knew how and where to look for animal carcasses, his party could find none whatsover. This was the Amazon, where heat, moisture, vibrant insect life, etc result in a faster breakdown of biological remains than in the Pacific NW, but it’s a data point.

    A report of possible primate remains which were not properly investigated, were lost, etc. is “just another report” – that is, by itself it does not strengthen a case. With the remains missing, it’s like having one more sighting report of footprints. A case like Cadborosaurus where we at least have photographic evidence something existed is better but not sufficient.

    An example I used in recent sea serpent discussion is that, while there are certainly prevailing climates in science (ask the Anthropogenic Global Warming skeptics), one cannot make a flat statement that remains would be ignored.

    A paleontologist who thinks she has a plesiosaur skull only 10 million years old vs. the established 60M is not likely to rush her find into print, either in scientific or popular media, unless several collegues approached privately all corroborate her analysis. If she gets an unfossilized plesiosaur skull, though, that’s unquestionable, indisputable evidence of recent survival, and there’s no way she will decide not to become famous by publishing on it. That’s what you need to have Sasquatch taken seriously by the “general scientific community” – not reports of creatures, not reports of lost bones, but an unfossilized piece of an animal that anyone can come examine and test for themselves. The idea that any scientist has that level of evidence and has not published on it seems to me absurd on its face. Sure there would be a lot of initial flak, but if the evidence was there for any skeptic to examine, who would NOT want to become legendary in science as the discoverer of a North American primate?

    The bone from the Yeti hand strikes me this way: that claims of its validation were released only via TV and the holder did not invite scientists to come examine it OR take it to a primate lab and let them publish the results OR take it to someone like Krantz who could have had controlled testing done makes it much less valuable as evidence even though it might in fact be genuine. (In this case, that it was stolen and illegally imported might make the current holder understandably wary of any such testing, but then why trumpet it to “Unsolved Mysteries”? And either way, the result is the same: it’s not available as evidence, so we can’t call it proof of existence.)

    The PG film is a good example of evidence that’s not quite good enough. Some experts have come away convinced this could not have been faked – others still believe it could.

    When a subject is scientifically controversial and has been surrounded by hoaxes, nothing but an unquestionable piece of an unknown primate is going to qualify as a breakthrough. (The only exception I can think of which would still do it is a closeup multiple-witness sighting by qualified biological scientists, and we should not hold our breaths waiting for the needed chain of events to occur.)

  24. DWA responds:

    Matt Bille says: “The idea that
    any scientist has that level of evidence and has not published on it seems to me absurd on its face. Sure there would be a lot of initial flak, but if the evidence was there for any skeptic to examine, who would NOT want to become legendary in science as the discoverer of a North American primate? ”

    (a) Sure one would want to. But not if the “initial flak” would wind up costing that person a liveliheood. I would believe ANYTHING is possible if scientists can’t confirm an eight-foot bipedal ape.

    (b) Who says a scientist would have to have any of this evidence? In fact, I would say that if people do, those people have quite easily and handily justified NOT giving it to a scientist, because they’ve seen science’s attitude and don’t find the game worth the candle. (If I ever find anything I could see myself in that camp.)

    (c) How’s “legendary” working for Roger Patterson? Just sayin’.

  25. Fhqwhgads responds:

    DWA: Yes, that is exactly what I mean by “low-quality evidence”. And if, for some insane reason, I had to bet all my money one way or the other, I would honestly bet that bigfoot doesn’t exist except as a cultural phenomenon. I would bet that the details that you value so highly were obtained in some round-about way, through the popular media, from friends, or from the interviewer, just as the Dogon knowledge of Sirius B appears to have come to them from Europe. And, with most reports having Bigfoot go naked, but some having him wear a hat and cause Indian suicides and some having him wear a more complete suit of old clothes, together with the reports of werewolves, dog-men, and what not, the fact that some of these reports describe plausible ape behavior is just not that impressive: I would expect some to get that right by chance, even if we weren’t a country with Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, Animal Planet, King Kong, Leonard Nimoy’s “In Search Of”, and any number of other places where people could get information about apes, real and imaginary.

  26. DWA responds:

    Fhqwhgads: I know you won’t take this personally, being a scientist and all, but your last post simply bespeaks an ignorance of the evidence.

    This is the totally factual way I am putting it, no connotations or aspersions intended, implied or present.

    You need to read up. I trust you will.

    Or not. But not reading up means I don’t have to take you seriously. Unless you took me seriously when I started telling you all about your science like an expert. ;-)

  27. Fhqwhgads responds:

    DWA: No, I am saying that a verbal description of an alleged sighting is inherently a poor form of evidence. Period. There are too many opportunities for memories to become distorted or contaminated by what the witness has read elsewhere or seen on TV or has suggested to him by the interviewer — even subtly and inadvertently, though body language or facial expressions. Yet this is what you immediately turned to in your response to my earlier post. Look: I’m not interested in even huge mounds of low-quality evidence. That may keep hope alive and justify further investigation, but that’s all it can persuade me of.

    I have read, here and elsewhere, of several interesting, more tangible forms of evidence, such as specific footprint casts, hair and blood samples, the Patterson-Gimlin film, etc. All of that is interesting (probably the P-G film most of all), but not yet conclusive.

    If there is something much better than this, then I have to say that cryptozoologists have been doing a pretty good job of keeping it secret! I would think I would come across conclusive evidence in this blog as soon as anywhere if it existed.

    Don’t vaguely say “go read up”. Let me know what you consider the top 10 items of evidence. After all, that’s what I have done elsewhere in the case of a scoffer who considered relativity unsupported: I gave him a list of about 10 different experiments that supported special relativity, general relativity, or both.

  28. DWA responds:

    Fhgwhds:

    “That may keep hope alive and justify further investigation,…”

    THAT IS ALL IT CAN DO. And the latter is what it SHOULD be doing, to any scientist that acquaints himself properly with it. I personally would like the investigation to come from long-term stays in the field (which no one is doing now, and which confirming the speicies will require). It’s not proof! How could it be? I don’t really care about hope; the evidence has nothing to do with hope. And there is too much of it to ignore.

    “Don’t vaguely say “go read up”. Let me know what you consider the top 10 items of evidence. After all, that’s what I have done elsewhere in the case of a scoffer who considered relativity unsupported: I gave him a list of about 10 different experiments that supported special relativity, general relativity, or both.”

    I’m not falling for that one! I’m no dummy! :-D

    For starters, give me ten experiments that will support the sasquatch. Or better yet, ten individual pieces of evidence (given what you have already said about P/G) about which you would say: Wow, you’re starting to convince me here.

    EXACTLY.

    Ten pieces of evidence weren’t enough for me. (I’ve read hundreds of sighting reports; the best books on the subject; and the testimony of scientists who have been swayed by the evidence.) Why would they be for you?

    Relativity is WELL supported. I can’t help it if a scoffer was too dumb to know that. Plus the scientific establishment genuflects at the feet of Einstein. The sasquatch doesn’t have an Einstein, for one thing because it’s about things we have a very hard time believing, so we don’t look at them the way physicists review each other’s equations. We go please!, and look the other way. Nobody – at least nobody who knows zilch about the topic, which unfortunately are the ones the proponents have to convince – takes ANY single piece of evidence for the sasquatch seriously. How could ten make a dent?

    GO READ UP.

    It is when you have seen how many reports there are; how consistent they are, on how many different characters; how you can draw bell curves for many different characteristics that show up in reports; when you see that what people are encountering DOESN’T EVEN FIT THE (naive) PUBLIC PROFILE OF THE ANIMAL, so you know they aren’t getting it from the media; when you have truly immersed yourself in the data, um, the way Einstein did to come up with relativity – this is how you come to understand that the notion is beyond laughable that this could be the result of a random concatenation of hoaxes lies misidentifications and hallucinations. It just isn’t happening. There is, there has never been, any phenomenon, ever studied by humans, that has this sizable and consistent a body of supporting evidence…THAT IS NOT REAL! (There is NOT. You will not name me one.)

    Ten anything will not get you there.

    Do like Einstein. READ UP.

    What I would say to so-called skeptics: Don’t go vaguely telling ME that those scientists I list up there are full of crap. DEBATE THEM, NOT ME. They convinced me. I’m doing all the education here I care to.

    Which is one freaking hell of a lot.

    But still. ;-)

  29. norman-uk responds:

    The idea to look at porcupine’s leavings for Sasquatch evidence is an intelligent and useful suggestion and woudn’t it be great to find a cache and in that cache find some hugh teeth and those teeth had, what is almost becoming familiar, the treasure of an unknown primates DNA ! Bones there may be too, up until now perhaps written off as deer or bear.

    Though from a distance and never having the pleasure of horripilating (not a naughty word) in some lonely forest, I am convinced of the reality of Sasquatch. There is ample evidence which matrixes together to make a very positive case for the existence of Sasquatch. Not proof of course of the type that would be good currency anywhere but good enough for those on the spot like Amerindians. At the very least good enough to be taken seriously by scientists.

    Of course it is a hugh problem that better physical evidence has not been found or plenty of good film. There are explanaitions but these are not entirely convincing and this is one of the main reasons for many they are ‘non-believers.’

    There are scientists who have seen the light but these (imo) are seen as being on the fringe. They deserve great respect for being open minded even where they are constrained from an active interest. It seems strange that in general it will not be a scientist who prove bigfoot but Tom, Dick or Harry or of course Jill or jane or Mary.

    Some notoriety attaches to the search for Sasquatch by reason of hoaxes and talk of it being paranormal. The first is entirely to be expected with such a charismatic mystery and the second, true or not, is a rather confusing and not (imo) essential distraction.

  30. DWA responds:

    Fhgwds:

    And I should have addressed your first sentence.

    “I am saying that a verbal description of an alleged sighting is inherently a poor form of evidence. Period.”

    That is WRONG. Period. And needs to die a quick death. Anyone who believes this believes that scientific research into unknown phenomena is wrong, that nothing counts other than proof.

    It is not proof. There may be factors that make an individual’s report suspect. But a large body of eyewitness accounts from the kinds of witnesses I talk about above is…well, it is more than good enough for anyone being objective to say, we need to look at this.

    Ask those scientists up there.

  31. mystery_man responds:

    E- I think I have a clearer idea of where you are coming from. Perhaps I was a little too quick to label you as overly dismissive. It is good to hear that you do not shun the efforts of those trying to investigate these things.

    I would like to make it clear, that cryptozoology as a whole (and in this case sasquatch in particular) is not just a bunch of people who came up with a cool idea for a creature and are now trying to justify it’s existence. This is not made up fantasies. The fact is that there are precedents of major large animal discoveries that before their documentation were confined to scant evidence, sightings and tales from natives. If you look at the stories surrounding animals like the gorilla, giant panda, or something like Bili apes, for instance, the tales read very much like the sorts of accounts we get about sasquatch and other cryptids today.

    Does that mean sasquatch are real too? No it does not. In fact, I have some issues myself of the plausibility of something this large remaining undiscovered in North America. However, the methodology and approach of cryptozoology are based on discoveries that did happen and thus some researchers feel this can be applied to cases like the sasquatch as well. We are not talking about UFOs or interdimensional beings here, but rather a large animal well documented through folklore and sightings that may or may not be real, as other similar animals have proven to be in the past.

    I agree that a lot of the evidence is shaky and some things have turned out to be misidentifications or outright frauds. However, I don’t feel we should necessarily throw the baby out with the bathwater. With hoaxes, for instance, can we really say with certainty that because there are documented hoaxes it stands to reason that everything related to Bigfoot must be a hoax?

    To look at it from another angle, are hoaxes the sole cause of Bigfoot reports or do hoaxes stem from people faking a real animal that has become a target because of its fair share of ridicule and doubt cast upon it? It’s sort of like which came first, the chicken or the egg? The same can be said to some extent about misidentifications.

    Maybe all sasquatch evidence is, but that has not been demonstrated to me to my liking at this point.

    Where I think we disagree is in the area of what constitutes “evidence.” You seem to think there is none whatsoever. I do think that some of the evidence is not as strong as some would have us believe, but there are certainly things that have been brought forward for which the labels “hoax” or “misidentification” don’t really answer the questions to my satisfaction, and for which I think more investigation should be done. For those seriously studying this phenomenon, this is the reason why they continue what they do, following leads that may (and often do) turn up nothing at all, yet might just possibly break some incredible new ground.

    It is good that you have an understanding of research techniques. Then you understand that sometimes a hypothesis is formed based on evidence that is quite tennuous at first. We observe an anomaly or something for which the established paradigm does not quite seem to fit and we form a possible prediction for why that might be. In this case, sasquatch, which are supported by folklore and sightings accounts similar to other very real animals in other parts of the world.

    While I disagree with my friend DWA that we have “oceans of evidence,” there do seem to be some things that could certainly be seen as odd and worthy of further study. I wouldn’t say there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever.

    In the end, the onus of proof is absolutely on the ones who have proposed the hypothesis of a North American ape. You are perfectly within your rights and perfectly rational to doubt its existence until such proof is forthcoming. But in the meantime, I think we should maybe not be so harsh on those who are trying to follow the leads that may point to that proof.

    Anyway, no hard feelings. :)

    Fhqwhgads- I am a biologist myself, and you had me at “computational physicist.” :)

    No, everyone, that does not mean “listen to me, I’m right!” To be honest, with a complete unknown like the sasquatch, I’m not sure how much of an advantage my knowlege is here or if I have any more of an idea of what is going on that a physicist or even a layman. In fact, I rarely bring my background up here simply because I want people to think about my comments on the merit of what I say rather than any credentials I have.

    I only mention it here because it is good to have another scientist here at least considering these things. It shows that cryptozoology is not a wholesale unscientific pursuit when done right. We can at the very least show that while we may be critical, not everyone in mainstream science (hello Dr. Meldrum) dismisses sasquatch completely out of hand as hogwash.

    In fact, I would expect that at the very least a good scientist would probably say “I don’t know,” when presented with the question of whether sasquatch exists or not.

  32. Fhqwhgads responds:

    DWA: I asked for evidence. Sounds like you’ve got nothing more to offer than what I’ve already mentioned. That’s disappointing, but not surprising. I’ve noticed that you respond to challenges with abuse and generalities, not specifics.

    Anybody else: I seriously would be interested in a “Top 10 Reasons To Believe Bigfoot Is A Real Animal”. Naturally, different folks will have different lists, but this would be a lot more useful than a vague “go read the literature”.

  33. kentmcmanigal responds:

    All rodents chew and eat bones, and there are more small rodents, by far, than big ones like porkies. I’ll bet the small rodents are responsible for destroying a lot more bones than the bigger ones.

    Every bone I have ever found has been chewed on to some extent, yet with very few exceptions I have been able to tell what type of animal any bone I have found came from. However, in my experience most people are so pathetic when it comes to identifying bones, or even road kill, that I have no doubt sasquatch bones could have been found and misidentified. Probably many times.

    Of all the bones I have found in the woods, I have not turned even one over to any “authorities”. Why assume others would act any differently?

  34. raisinsofwrath responds:

    Loren, I know we disagree on this subject but I will say this: You are very correct in that animal remains are taken by the forest quite quickly. I’ve been hunting for 30+ years and in all that forest scouring time I have never seen a bear carcass nor a deer antler. In fact seeing some animals such as foxes are rare treats.

    That being said I still think there’s a possibility of Bigfoot burying their dead. Now when I say burying I don’t mean in the literal sense of digging a hole but more so dragging the body to a specific location or just covering it with leaves, rocks and branches. Possibly they may deposit their dead in remote caves or holes. Now I’m not claiming that BF has the sensibility to dispose of their dead but I am willing to entertain the possibility of an intelligent creature doing something if only a crude representation. Of course no matter what they may do it is inevitable that the forest will claim the body.

    Anyone that doesn’t realize how efficient the wild is in disposing of the dead has never spent time in the wild.

  35. DWA responds:

    Fhqwhgads:

    Given that you’ve admitted you are a scientist, I find your posts on this thread disappointing, and very surprising. (Actually, not so much, and very unfortunately, especially from scientists, who seem – with notable exceptions, mystery_man being one – to forget what they are when it comes to this topic.)

    Anyone familiar with the evidence would find your post that begins “DWA: Yes, that is exactly what I mean by “low-quality evidence”. And if, for some insane reason, I had to bet all my money one way or the other,…” as impossible to write for anyone familiar with the evidence. The whole post is red-flag.

    I find too many people too ready to concoct pet theories and throw them at the wall, without any regard to the target they’re aiming at (other than the wall, to see if it sticks). Everything you cite in the above post is well known, by any serious researcher, to be fringe crap that has served to discredit the solid core body of evidence.

    You know what I think of physics? Don’t care, never will, and will never go on any physics website or other forum to say what I think, because I don’t care enough to do that. Why is it, then, that people who do not care enough about cryptozoology to even read the basics before they come here do so anyway

    …to lecture people who know more than they do? …….

    I’m astonished that the field puts up with it. It may be more than anything else what has crippled crypto as a science: its tendency to put up with folks who go off half-cocked.

    You should know, as a scientist, very well, and if you don’t I’m astonished, that you put up a red herring up there with your ten-examples thing, and lie in wait ready to shoot up anyone who takes you up on it. Your relativity example is apples and Ganymede, and you know it is: relativity has been an established part of the mainstream physics landscape for decades. I ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION, IN DETAIL, in terms anyone calling himself a scientist should understand. And I laugh at being called a bully, by someone who, whether he knows it or not, came on here to do that. Like so many do who think that crypto is a bunch of lovable bumpkins who can be toyed with. What do you take me for? When something is not proven, any example that is put up can be shot down with the simple: that’s not proof! OF COURSE IT ISN’T. Why would we be here if it was? The sasquatch would be in field guides.

    For a scientist not to understand what frequency and coherence mean in the analysis of anecdotal data, and not to understand that nothing unproven can be proven by anything other than proof, and worst of all not to understand that his questions have been answered, in detail, is…well, like I say, scientists forsake their science, for the most part, for incredulity when they come here. Maybe that isn’t too surprising: after all, most scientists do their research on knowns, not unknowns. So they simply don’t understand how to handle anecdotal evidence, how to suss the wheat from the chaff to focus on the searchable.

    You gonna give me a physics degree in two hours? Not gonna get a sasquatch degree from me in one post. (Go back and read them all.)

    And GO READ UP. You’re a SCIENTIST, for pete’s sake! And should know, very well, that all I have to do is read your posts to tell you where any effort I made to further bring you up to speed would get me.

    Sorry. I’m one of the nicest people here. So when you tick me off, you crossed a line.

    Careful how you respond to this post. You’re a SCIENTIST, for pete’s sake. ACT like one.

  36. DWA responds:

    Kentmcmanigal: well put, right on. If the animal exists, you are of course right. You’d have to be.

  37. jaguarsky responds:

    I agree that there are many and various reasons why we do not find the remains of Bigfoot. But for those that have seen the creature, close up, with no margin for error, remains are not necessary. Of course we can’t convince others only with anecdotal evidence, but we must remember that large and some not so large new species are being found nearly everyday.

    I have had the gift of seeing a large ape-like being. A friend and her daughter saw the same nearby about a year earlier. (I did not believe them at the time) I used to think that Bigfoot was probably a legend with some basis in fact and much more basis in misidentification. But we know what we saw. We saw him very close; both sightings at less than 30 feet.

    Can I convince you? No. Do I care? No.

  38. Fhqwhgads responds:

    DWA: OK, so we don’t respect each other. I’m sure we can both live with that. But for the sake of anyone else who might be listening, can you give five reasons why you think bigfoot is real?

    And yes, I do have to briefly explain physics to non-experts. For example, here are a few of the reasons for accepting relativity.

    1. A classic example is the fact that general relativity accounts for changes in the orbit of Mercury that could not be explained by Newton’s theory of gravity.

    2. Another classic is that starlight passing near the sun is deflected in the way Einstein predicted, not as Newton would have expected. This was first observed during the solar eclipse on May 29, 1919.

    3. Taking example 2 to greater extremes, in some situations an object’s gravity can act as a lens to magnify (and usually distort) the light from a more distant object. This can be seen in many of the Hubble Deep Field images. On a smaller and closer scale, “microlensing” has been used to detect planet-mass objects against dense backgrounds of stars.

    4. In 1971, four commercial jets carried atomic clocks in trips around the world. 2 went east, 2 went west. The changes in the times recorded by the clocks were consistent with relativity.

    5. Binary pulsar PSR 1913+16 shows evidence of both a more extreme rotation of the stars’ orbits than is seen with Mercury and a decay of the orbits due to the loss of energy to gravity waves. Again, this is consistent with relativity but very difficult to explain without it — impossible for Newtonian gravity.

    OK, that’s enough to make my point, although I could give more. Notice that although I do not tell you how to make the calculations needed for the relativistic predictions, I do give specifics that will put you on the right track. You can easily find more than you ever wanted to know about any of these items.

    You apparently want to be considered a scientist. Well, fairly or not, cryptozoology is pretty universally considered a fringe science at best. When someone asks for what you consider the best evidence, you can blow them off and say, “What? I don’t have time to tell you what evidence I think is best. Go read it in the literature. You’ll find it in your local library or bookstore between the books on ghost hunting and the ones on UFOs. Or you can watch this great special that’s coming on right after America’s Most Haunted Casinos.” That will garner tons of credibility for your studies.

  39. jerrywayne responds:

    Even though I am skeptical of the existence of bigfoot, I agree with Loren and others that the absence of remains in the wild is not a compelling reason to discount bigfoot as a real biological entity.

    As to the “evidence” that bigfoot does in fact exist, I think the opposing factions (see above posts) concerning this issue are both correct.
    DWA and others are correct when they assert that bigfoot evidence is bountiful. I would dare say that there is more evidence for bigfoot than for any other cryptid, including the yeti.

    E, I think, is equally correct when he assumes there is no evidence for the existence of bigfoot.
    How can both factions be correct? Simple. The factions are talking about different things.

    DWA and other advocates are talking about what I would call “soft” evidence. This evidence includes eyewitness accounts, tracks, and the Patterson film. Since there are thousands of sightings and hundreds of tracks, this evidence is quantitatively impressive.

    E. and skeptics like myself address “evidence” from the “hard” perspective. As E. points out, the hard evidence for the existence of bigfoot equals NOTHING. In other words, there are no bones, pelts, unequivocal video or film, full body dead or alive, etc., that would verify the existence of such an animal as bigfoot.

    Advocates look at the soft evidence and conclude one of two things. There is enough soft evidence to thoroughly warrant a serious consideration concerning the possible existence of bigfoot, or such evidence is substantial enough to conclude such animals exist.

    Skeptics find the lack of hard evidence troubling, given the thousands of sightings and hundreds of trackways. How could the widely distributed, tallest and perhaps largest land animal in North America not be confirmed and cataloged in the same fashion as bear or elk or whatever? And the skeptic finds in the soft evidence the suggestion of man-made phenomena, not excluding it from consideration, but necessarily limiting it as confirming the reality of American giant bipedal apes.

  40. Fhqwhgads responds:

    Well said, jerrywayne.

  41. CBFResearcher responds:

    For all those looking for Bigfoot bones, try checking the the following:
    Lets start on page 97 og John Greens’ ‘Bigfoot: On the Track of Sasquatch’ book where he says… and I quote… “The British Columbia Museum (located in Victoria, B.C.), for instance has a jaw bone supposedly belonging to a deceased Indian which one of the staff members states is so large that he has fitted it over his own face until his chin hit the front of it.” This was in the 1970′s… and work was being done so the artifact was placed away in a crate until room was available for it to be displayed… It’s 2009 and I don’t think anyone followed up on it. If it is true, then there might actually be bones, and DNA test can be performed on it, should it be recent enough of a find to allow that to happen…

    I was out there last summer and never had a chance to investigate the claim, however, I will be contacting the current curator this year and will hopefully get to view/handle the artifact and if possible, get all bone dating and DNA testing completed at my expense if neccessary to finally prove once and for all the there may be a chance that a creature as such has survived in the Pacific Northwest of North America… If it is still in the museum, what a find it would be. Science would then be able to have a chance to study a primate or parts there-of.

    The next question of course is: Do they still exist? I know they do… The hobbit (Homo floresiensis) was found to be closely related to “LUCY” and is only around 10 to 12 thousand years extinct. Anything is possible.

    If anyone can or would like to investigate the above claim at the BC Museum before me, please do… I encourage it.

    Cheers,

    CBFResearcher

  42. Fhqwhgads responds:

    CBFResearcher, the “hobbit” was found to have some primitive features and was short (like Lucy), but everyone agrees it was genus Homo, not Australopithecus. I think you overstate the relationship between Flo and Lucy.

    Of course, the bigger question is whether the hobbits are really extinct.

    As for the big jawbone, do you know the staff member was an average-sized adult male?

    Also, I remember a family member (my grandmother, I think it was) telling me that the Apalachee had been described by the Spanish as giants, and that bones had been found near Apalachicola that gave some substance to the claim. Unfortunately, I don’t know if the story about the bones was true or just a juicy rumor, or what may have happened to the bones if they were real.

  43. DWA responds:

    Fhqwhgads :

    “DWA: OK, so we don’t respect each other.”

    If we’ve gone this far, and that’s true, then we’re both idiots. And I have a funny feeling you don’t try to put up all those reasons for accepting relativity if you feel that way.

    Note that you said: ACCEPTING relativity. I’m not asking you to ACCEPT the sasquatch; just that there’s a lot of evidence, and it meets the standard for scientifically testable. Which scientists in relevant fields – like Meldrum, Bindernagel, Krantz and Mionczynski – attest (if they aren’t totally convinced, and some are, and I’ve talked to two of the ones above); and my independent research corroborates.

    (I have no desire, ever, to be considered a scientist. That I think like one is a blessing I have no desire to follow to getting paid for it. I have a great voice and hate singing, too; stuff happens. I get paid more than enough and have more than enough fun doing what I do.)

    I agree with jerrywayne, too. THERE’S NO PROOF. That’s what he’s saying; and we wouldn’t be here if he was wrong. Until science follows up and declares the proof – for which we delegate it the responsibility in this society – there is no proof. Advocates will never prove the sasquatch; we wouldn’t let them. SCIENCE does that.

    And note that, in every one of the numbered reasons you cite for accepting relativity, everything – except the straightforward calculations you left to me – is ACCEPTED by science as being real. As are the methods for performing the proper calculations. As is relativity, by much if not most of the physics mainstream. Don’t have the numbers on that, again admittedly not caring enough; but I have a feeling we don’t talk about Einstein at all today if relativity is the Bigfoot of physics. Right?

    All you have to do is extrapolate from what is known to what can be imputed from that; and indeed, that is all Einstein did, even though he was apparently the only one who brought to the table what was required to take that step.

    Note that mainstream physicists are running all these tests of what Einstein told us.

    Scientists are running no tests – that would be, big zero, with the exceptions some of whom I note above – with the sasquatch yes-it’s-DATA. Jeff Meldrum has NO MARKERS. And neither do I. If I did what you did up there, you wouldn’t accept ONE thing I put up. And neither does science. If you did, you would have zero choice but to accept the sasquatch. (OK, you would have that irrational little doubt that most of us harbor about it. But you would have to admit that there’s a lot of evidence, and whether it’s being followed up or not, it by God should be.)

    Which is one reason why science refuses – and that is the word – to look at the evidence. This CAN’T be real, it CAN’T.

    But if the data says it is, well, it could be. And all the evidence says it is, or I wouldn’t even be here.

    If you still aren’t convinced that I have even the smallest smidgen of a point, and we have firmly established that what you are asking me to do is unfair, because relativity is a mainstream idea and the sasquatch isn’t, and THAT’s unfair, we’ve gone as far as a thread on bones – remember? – will take us. (kentmcmanigal has the last word on this thread, far as I’m concerned. That was quick.) I can go farther; but thread hijacking – what we’ve already done here – makes me uncomfortable.

  44. Fhqwhgads responds:

    DWA: You seem to think that the evidence for relativity is accepted because people already believe in relativity. Although relativity is a mathematically and philosophically appealing idea even without the evidence, it is in fact only because of experimental data that Einstein is considered an insightful genius rather than a charming crackpot.

    Ultimately, if you’re not willing to say what you consider the best evidence is for bigfoot being real, then that’s the end of it. I’m not interested in your ideas about how science should work, what scientists should think, or what scientists do in fact think; your views on these topics are of interest only to yourself. I am also not interested in this becoming a personal spat between you and me. If you’ve got nothing better to say than what you’ve said, this is my last response on the topic.

    I am open to being persuaded that bigfoot is real, or at least that the odds of him being real are greater than they now appear. You clearly are of the opinion that the odds are in favor of bigfoot being real. I assume you have reasons for believing this. For the last time, what reasons do you consider most persuasive?

  45. DWA responds:

    Fhqwhgads:

    Spoken like a mainstream scoffer.

    No interest here.

    Next thread, folks.

  46. DWA responds:

    Fhqwhgads:

    Should have added this: READ MY POSTS.

    You’re asking a question to which you won’t even read the answers. And like your ignorance of the evidence – for which you are responsible and not me – your posts make it flamingly obvious.

    Done here. I’m a nice guy. But you gotta be too.

    Oh. Smart scientists never scoff.

  47. MattBille responds:

    A few followups to objections raised by DWA and others:

    Rumors and reports about bones are clues. They may lead to hard evidence and, when they seem plausible, should be ardently pursued. But they are not proof (meaning a level of evidence every open-minded scientist should accept) by themselves.

    As to people losing their careers to the flak over a claimed discovery, this can happen if they make the claim without enough evidence. But if, as in my example, my paleontologist has an unfossilized plesiosaur skull on her desk that anyone can come and verify, the flak will dissipate, and she will indeed go down in scientific history.

    Likewise, Roger Patterson did not gain such fame because he did not discover unquestionable proof of a new species. He got intriguing evidence that made a lot of scientists who had previously ignored the subject pay attention to it. Some came away convinced that this pointed the way toward an important find: others, most notably Napier, rejected it as a hoax (whether perpetrated by P&G or on them).

    Even if a film is genuine, someone still has to take the next step and provide the same proof required for any other species, whether ant, mouse, or ape: a type specimen any interested scientist can come and look at for him- or her-self.
    There are some variations: a specimen caught alive, studied and filmed in a lab, and then released has been accepted in some cases. Video made by scientists who have a wild population definitely located and under observation would also probably also do it. It may be unfair, but a population monitored by amateurs would probably not cross the threshold set by zoology in general unless they invited at least a couple of people with scientific backgrounds who were not part of the original group to come see for themselves.
    In other words… keep looking.

  48. DWA responds:

    Matt Bille: no arguments against a single point in your last post. I couldn’t have summarized my own position better.

    Your last sentence sums it up. That’s what the evidence says we should keep doing.

  49. norman-uk responds:

    Fhqwhgads

    The reason Sasquatch has not been proven is very much a failure of science not of those who experience it in one way or another. Good evidence is there but science refuses to deal with it until it is proven to them. There is a similar situation to Einsteins in that he evolved some hypotheses but without proof challenged science with them. Scientists took up his challenge and now with hindsight and after hugh efforts, you can, with a council of perfection, quote them.

    Due to the qualities of the Sasquatch phenomenom which enters the natural world and entwines the nature of man, the science involved is more soft, rounded and more slippery. But scientits can deal with it and so they should, they need to do their job!

    You do not rate eyewitness reports but another way of looking at them and imo superior is to regard them as a valuable resource, which they are. Evidence for Sasquatch is on record, like ripe fruit waiting for you to pluck
    and I hope you do so. at least to the point where you can see that scientists should now pick up the baton in a fairminded and positive way and not assume negative is conclusive without balancing it with positive evidence. Not forgetting your iconic figure of Einstein spent 10 years cogitating from a standing start to arrive at E=MC2

  50. DWA responds:

    M_m: I’d like to respond to this.

    ————————————-

    There has long been speculation that the hypothetical Bigfoot could have a high level of intelligence and may even be related to human ancestors. This may mean that they possess some rudimentary form of culture. I don’t necessarily beleive this, and there is no particularly solid reason to assume this, but this is hypothesizing so bear with me.

    Some cultures have been known to perform river burials, in which bodies are released into a river to be carried away. This was pretty common in feudal Japan for peasants who could not afford a proper burial. It can also be seen in India where burials in the Ganges river are commonplace. In the case of the Ganges, most bodies are cremated first, but many have no access to crematoriums and just end up tossing the corpses into the river. River burials are also seen in some other cultures.

    Now there is no reason to really suspect this is the case with sasquatch, but maybe it would be worth looking at riverbanks, sediments, and the mouths of rivers just in case we have a similar scenario going on here.

    —————————————–

    Personally, as interesting an idea as it is, I don’t think I’m using limited research resources to go there.

    My reason: there’s no evidence that such a thing is going on. No sightings support it; no finds of any kind indicate it as a possibility. It goes on; but not in the species speculated here. As you yourself say, there’s no reason to suspect it. I don’t think I want to follow up on something that there is no reason to suspect.

    I would want to keep the search focused on what is out there: concentrations of sighting reports and associated evidence, and long-term stakeouts in those areas to garner more evidence. Which would include a thorough search for remains, in places where one might be likely to find such remains for known similar wild animals, such as, say bears (caves/sinkholes/overhangs; bases of large hollow trees; under foundations of building ruins; etc.) Perhaps researchers looking for chimpanzee remains in Africa (work in this area is cited in Meldrum’s book) could be used as a model. Yes, the environment is different, but as numerous parellels with known apes are consistently observed in the sasquatch, the literature might be at least worth perusing.

    All evidence indicates that this is a wild animal, living like wild animals do. I wouldn’t want to make cultural presumptions unless there is reason to do so, which there does not seem to be here.

  51. DWA responds:

    Matt Bille: agreements aside, two things you say do deserve additional comment.

    “As to people losing their careers to the flak over a claimed discovery, this can happen if they make the claim without enough evidence. But if, as in my example, my paleontologist has an unfossilized plesiosaur skull on her desk that anyone can come and verify, the flak will dissipate, and she will indeed go down in scientific history.”

    Again, total agreement. Which leaves us with what a scientist should do with a sighting of which he/she is absolutely, personally certain. There’s the gray area; and I’m convinced (because instances are out there and I am sure they are tip-of-iceberg) that few if any scientists, regardless of credentials, would go on the record publicly reporting an encounter, because, regardless of who makes the observation, observations aren’t proof. If I have a skull, I’m putting it out there. If I’m a scientist. (Me, personally? Let me think about it…after I’ve assessed its usefulness as a doorstop. ;-) )

    But you know, maybe scientists coming out of the woodwork to report their observations might be the break in the logjam that we need. Scientists who have seen a sasquatch take note. There’s more than one of you, if the sasquatch is real; but somebody has to take the first step.

    “Video made by scientists who have a wild population definitely located and under observation would also probably also do it. It may be unfair, but a population monitored by amateurs would probably not cross the threshold set by zoology in general unless they invited at least a couple of people with scientific backgrounds who were not part of the original group to come see for themselves.’

    I don’t think that’s unfair at all; it is what I would expect science to do. Again: science has the burden of proving phenomena in our society, not laymen. Followup is what I would want to see, and what has been lacking on science’s part in spite of much to go on. The failure to confirm the sasquatch is the failure of science, not of the proponents, as skeptics so often and erroneously allege.

    norman-uk: excellent post. I particularly liked this:

    “Good evidence is there but science refuses to deal with it until it is proven to them.”

    The skeptical stumbling block, in a nutshell. Science doesn’t want to do the heavy lifting that is its responsibility. I think a major reason for this is that most scientists tend to work with knowns, not unknowns; so they require a foundation of proof to work from. Most scientific research is finding out new things about the known; virtually none is in proving unknowns. Sorry, gang, with the sas that is what you have to do; and as scientists, yes, you need to deal with that. By working with good evidence, which, no, we know this, ok? does not amount to proof.

    Deal. Napier said that the discovery of the sasquatch would be an enormous blow to scientific credibility. Napier was right. Science can’t afford to sit on this kind of stuff, regardless its conservatism.

    And if you don’t have the time or money to prove it yourself right now? Then at least you have the responsibility to act like a scientist, for Pete’s sake. Stop the idiotic I-am-an-EXPERT!!! scoffing. It’s crap; and it casts doubt on everything you’ve done as a scientist. Here, rehearse this:

    “I don’t know the answer to that. I wish the searchers luck, and am rooting for them.”

    You’re welcome.

  52. CBFResearcher responds:

    TO: norman-uk, DWA, and Fhqwhgads.

    All of you have insightful comments and all should be respected. Have you ever seen evidence yourself? I have… I was sceptical, until 1991, when I was confronted with the scariest situation of my life, and nothing has matched since… While fishing in the East kootenay region of BC on a beautiful fall morning, I encountered a situation that I could not wrap my head around. A boulder the size of my head flew over me and landed in the pool in front of me… out of nowhere. I was frozen in complete fear, not knowing what had happened or how it could happen. 40 feet behind me was a creature that could only be described as an ape, on 2 feet, and huge. That was the day I thought I was going to die. It simply looked at me and walk away. Not a BEAR, or anything I ever saw before. I have guided in the rockies and foothills of Alberta and BC for around 20 years and have never witnessed anything like it before or since.

    I could care less if scientists look into the existance of this magnificant creature or mammal. First of all, they get their money to research things that are known… not unknown! If that makes any sense… But that’s the way it works. Here in Canada, a researcher was given $50,000.00 to study cow farts and the effects of the methane gas they produced to predict future effects in the environment! Why would a scientist get off their ass when easy money is availble?

    The only people that will ever solve the Sasquatch issue are the people who either are amature hunters of the mammal or someone who gets very lucky and produces a specimen. Of course, scientists will quickly jump on board to make their specific claims, probably stating, and I predict! “I knew it all along, but I didn’t want to jeopardize my tenure!” and will then fight amonst themselves to get control of the data. This has happened in the past and will happen again, in any field of science and new discoveries.

    At the end of the day, most witnesses are not nuts, they know what they saw, there is physical evidence, so whats the problem… It’s an ape, a North American Great Ape… Walks on two feet, eats leaves, berries, and meat, and fish, lives in solitude, and will likely become exstinct because us humans are too damn stupid to protect it and its’ environment until it’s much too late.

    Great forum, will be here again to looking forward to more of all your views.

    Thanks

  53. CBFResearcher responds:

    Fhqwhgads:

    The info I have about the size of the jaw bone at the BC Museum is that a normal sized adult fitted the jaw over his face and it easily covered it, as if it were a substanstial giant specimen. At the time, easrly 70′s, there were no physical anthropologists there, so it was apparently incorrectly catigorised as a large indan… It almost seems comical by todays’ standard of research, but if it wasn’t for the fact that a I just happened to be reading a book that is over 30 years old, I likely would have never ran into it. It seems intriguing enough, but I just have to find out. As it is, and with many other artifacts stored away in some basement in some undefined building in the world, a discovery can be uncovered by just reading between the lines and investigated… Surprises do happen!!!! And as we all know, it can happen in the most unlikely place or time, by the most unlikely person…

    If it does not turn out to be of any signifgance, then, oh well… at least it was checked out!

    Food for thought… Hear about the pigmy rhino in Indonesia? The funny thing is, is that science now accepts it is real, yet there is only about 10 seconds of video to prove it. Patterson/Gimlin has more video, a lot clearer, and way more convincing that the little piece of night vision video that some researcher shot, and he/she wasn’t even there to actually witness the shot happening! Once again, science has failed to live up to what scientists are paid to do… And that’s research of the new, not the research of something known…

    :)

  54. mystery_man responds:

    DWA- Oh, come on now that was just a wild bit of speculation. Of course I didn’t mean to imply that this is what is really going on, and I completely appreciate the fact that there is absolutely nothing to lead us to think that my idea has any merit. I was just throwing it out there, a mental burp so to speak. I wouldn’t use any of the limited recources in this field on it either.

    That was just a bit of fun I was having and nothing to take seriously. To be honest, I’m surprised anyone was even paying attention enough to read it.

    I’d like to respond to this too-

    “Most scientific research is finding out new things about the known; virtually none is in proving unknowns.”

    Well, that’s not really strictly true. Scientists study a lot of unknowns, but the thing is that they are working within a known paradigm. They are basing their research on certain parameters that have been established though countless experiments, copious evidence, and have withstood the scrutiny of peers and attempts of falsification from a wide range of scientific disciplines.

    Even in fields where radical or sparsely supported new hypotheses are being formed, such as physics, there is still more or less observance of the paradigm. So we know how some particles behave but we may not know why they do so or what causes a certain unexplained observation. In this case there may be some new process proposed for which there is no real evidence, but the existence of such a phenomenon would explain why everything else does what it does or how it is connected, according to established paradigm.

    I’m no physicist so maybe fhqwhgads can help illustrate this more clearly than I have here. The point is that the hypothesis can be new and even radical, but it still typically fits into the universe as we know and perceive it up to this point.

    Does this make sense?

    So scientists will study unkowns, but most of this research is still based within the paradigm as we know it. The paradigm is not something to take lightly, as it is usually something that has withstood falsification and is supported by a growing foundation of data that has been built up and peer reviewed.

    Now the paradigm can be changed, but THAT is where you are going to need a pretty solid case for why you think it should be. You not only have to show why you are right , but also why everyone who came before you is wrong .

    Scientists stay within the framework of the paradigm for a good reason, but it doesn’t mean they are unwilling to study unknowns. It actually happens all of the time.

    Where Bigfoot comes in here is that it falls outside of the established natural history of wildlife in North America. There is nothing remotely like it in this habitat(except us), and no similar creatures to be found. This doesn’t mean sasquatch are not there, but this is obviously something that falls out of the paradigm and so it is going to take a pretty good substantiating evidence for something like sasquatch to get much mainstream attention.

    I don’t think scientists want the sasquatch not to exist or even want to necessarily toss it. They just tend to not see much justification for pursuing it because it has not been demonstrated to their satisfaction that what we know about North American wildlife is wrong or has a place for a radical animal like the sasquatch.

    Maybe proof isn’t even what is needed to get this scientific attention, but just something more for them to suspect that an 8 foot tall temperate dwelling bipedal primate is a reasonable notion. Scientists don’t just going off to study willy nilly whatever they feel like. They have to have reason to suspect that what they want to study is a viable avenue of research (the very reason why my river burial idea is a dead end at this point). Even if the scientist himself feels it is, he still has to get funding for it, and that means he has to show others that it is a viable option as well.

    Unfortunately for those of us who want serious inquiry into the existence of sasquatch, this just hasn’t been demonstrated to the broader scientific community at this point.

    Now, don’t start jumping on me, you know I am open to the evidence. I’m one of those scientists that sees the possibilities here and think investigation is warranted. I’m just trying to illustrate why perhaps some scientists can be seen as “ignoring” this field. I personally don’t see a lot of scoffing per se, just disinterest.

    I for one would like that to change. I like this line that you wrote, and it sums up the way I look at it-

    “I don’t know the answer to that. I wish the searchers luck, and am rooting for them.”

    That’s the way it should be for all involved. If someone has the resources and time to do this, then more power to them. I think that every one here, even the ones you don’t agree with, have held to this more or less. Most here have been at least entertaining to some degree the idea that sasquatch might be out there.

  55. DWA responds:

    M_m: I’ll agree (w/regard to your speculation about river burial); it was wild. :-D

    I just thought it was a good place to make a point: research in this field should follow the evidence, and there is a lot of that to follow.

    With regard to your statement about paradigms, I think you could easily make the case for rethinking the paradigm with regard to the sasquatch. There may be nothing like it confirmed in North America. But there is much suggestive of it in the fossil record (they’ve even found a midtarsal break in a hominid). And look at all of the animals who have representatives in the tropics, the polar regions, and the temperate zone: canids; felids; cervids; mustelids; bears; rodents; birds; …I could keep going but you get the point. There are several species of nonhuman primate that spend the winter in places where it regularly gets below zero and snows. Bats don’t go Arctic but get close.

    Is it really a tenable paradigm, again given the evidence, which is substantial, that apes are the exception to what seems to be a rule? That question doesn’t make it a slam dunk; but that question alone should get the mainstream thinking about this more than they have. And maybe taking a look at the evidence, about which a number of scientists who have done so could tell them much.

  56. DWA responds:

    CBFResearcher: “All of you have insightful comments and all should be respected. Have you ever seen evidence yourself?”

    Tracks, in Northern California in 1986, in an old road bed which was miles from a trail, let alone a road. At least I’ve never seen anything in my life that looked so much like tracks that wasn’t tracks: and if they were tracks, a bipedal animal, with feet like ours but substantially bigger and heavier than us, made them. (We weren’t making a dent in the substrate, with lug sole boots and heavy packs.)

    And I’ve read many reports of experiences just like yours.

    Welcome, and stick around. It gets interesting around here.

  57. MattBille responds:

    The Sumatran rhino has been a known species for a long time, so I’m not sure what that reference is. John MacKinnon, IIRC, when speaking of the mystery ape tracks he found, used it as an example of how elusive an animal could be: “The Sumatran rhino is big, slow, and stupid, but I’ve never seen one.” What was more startling a few years ago was the discovery of a Vietnamese population of the Javan rhino, again a known species, but a thousand-kg animal found in a region where it was thought to have been extinct since the 1960s.
    I don’t doubt a wary population totaling maybe a few hundred sasquatches could hide for a long time, but how long? (I can’t accept the estimates there are thousands of them – the odds against their avoiding definitive discovery seem far too high.) Sooner or later, an elk hunter or a logging truck has to off one. If we don’t get a body in another 50 years, will that be proof all witnesses were mistaken? What about a hundred years, or two hundred? No easy answer there.

  58. jerrywayne responds:

    Interesting comments, all around.

    I think we should dispense with the let’s blame scientists for not taking the bigfoot phenomena seriously complaints. If we are dealing with a large animal native to our continent, then conclusive evidence should be available to the professional hunter and tracker, as well as the dogged amateur. I agree with CBFResearcher on this issue.

    CBFResearcher gives us his own bigfoot sighting. Before I weigh in as a skeptic, I am wondering if any advocates here can come up with explanations or scenarios that would impeach CBFResearcher’s sighting as evidence for bigfoot?

    Nothing personal, CBF. I’m just curious about how others would perceive and handle a skeptical approach to your claim, even advocates who would otherwise be predisposed to accept it at face value.

  59. DWA responds:

    Jerrywayne: two things you say deserve comment.

    “I think we should dispense with the let’s blame scientists for not taking the bigfoot phenomena seriously complaints.”

    I’d disagree, for two very simple reasons. (1) the evidence is enough to convince any scientist that the matter at least needs further review, and (2) I know of no scientist who is as well acquainted with it as I am who is *not* convinced, at least, of that.

    Once again, skeptics can’t ignore (2); yet they seem to consistently ignore it. Just like most scientists simply ignore the evidence.

    Several scientists, with utterly unimpeachable chops, have been *convinced* by the evidence that the animal is real. That would be unreasonable, and from a scientific standpoint irresponsible, to “dispense” with.

    In fact, if you dispense with that, we should just stop the discussion now, and stop bringing this up on Cryptomundo. If there is no evidence, the sasquatch isn’t real. Done. Yet the discussion goes on, doesn’t it. That’s because it’s running on a very big supply of fuel.

    “CBFResearcher gives us his own bigfoot sighting. Before I weigh in as a skeptic, I am wondering if any advocates here can come up with explanations or scenarios that would impeach CBFResearcher’s sighting as evidence for bigfoot?”

    That is an irrelevant discussion, and I would never participate in it, for to do so would indict CBFResearcher as either seriously deranged, or quite the mendacious fellow, or a fool.

    There is no scenario that can “impeach” his observation. Why? Simple answer, which is, of course, a question: Were you there? I (and so Daniel Loxton, a prominent sasquatch skeptic) will take any observation over any “impeachment” of it by someone who was not present. It’s simply not scientific, or rational, to attempt this barring substantial evidence that he was either lying, or extremely seriously impaired. Loxton explains why, succinctly: we weren’t there, and lack what Daniel calls the “privileged viewpoint” of the one who was. What kind of evidence could we POSSIBLY be going on? The only answer is: none. Scientific discussions require evidence to support any position.

    CBFResearcher’s observation is ONE OBSERVATION. One can do absolutely zero with a single data point. Where it gains strength is that it reads true to many other observations that have been reported; that this, and many other, observations have been made by people generally known for skepticism, and knowledgeable about what they’re looking at; and that it takes place in a region that has a history, a long one, of reports. In other words: there is much more evidence that it is legitimate than there is that it’s not. The only question is, how good that evidence is; which turns totally on the question whether the sasquatch is real. Which is something we don’t know yet.

  60. DWA responds:

    Matt Bille:

    “I don’t doubt a wary population totaling maybe a few hundred sasquatches could hide for a long time, but how long? (I can’t accept the estimates there are thousands of them – the odds against their avoiding definitive discovery seem far too high.) ”

    That’s not a good reason for not accepting the estimates. I’d say that the volume of reports and track finds alone argues for a population in thousands or higher; and that an animal for which reporting same brands you a nut could have a population of hundreds of thousands and go unconfirmed by science. I know of at least four wildlife biologists who have seen one; two of them I know personally and the other two reported anonymously. You know there have to be more, saying nothing for a number of very good reasons, if the animal is real. (I know another wildlife biologist personally who is convinced by the evidence even though he hasn’t seen one; he’s drafting management plans.) That the “odds against their avoiding definitive discovery seem far too high” is a totally subjective evaluation that isn’t backed by evidence. “Definitive discovery” means scientific review and confirmation. Science isn’t even looking at the evidence.

    “Sooner or later, an elk hunter or a logging truck has to off one. If we don’t get a body in another 50 years, will that be proof all witnesses were mistaken? What about a hundred years, or two hundred? No easy answer there.”

    Well, no. Two hunters (at least) have killed one. At least two other people have severely wounded one, i.e., badly enough to knock it down; and at least a couple others have hit one with a bullet. All we have is their say-so. And we’ve discussed here that there are a number of reasons to accept the possibility that someone could kill one of these and, confronted with what he’s done close up, suddenly think better of chopping off a humanlike hand to show his buddies. One described to Grover Krantz a foot that confirmed Krantz’s suspicion of what it would have to look like to support a biped that big. Odds on that being made up…? Evidence that it was….? (Hint. The latter: none.)

    Again, evidence and proof are two different things. We have much of the former. We won’t have the latter unless scientists say we do. I am very comfortable dismissing evidence without review or followup, for which clear scientific protocols exist.

  61. DWA responds:

    VERY BIG TYPO in my last post, of which part read:

    “I am very comfortable dismissing evidence without review or followup, for which clear scientific protocols exist.”

    That is (I’m sure you know, but I make sure) not comfortable I wanted to say, but UNcomfortable.

    Thank you.

  62. mystery_man responds:

    DWA- Well, you’re not going to get much argument from me there. But then again, I’m not the one that needs convincing.

    However, the records of wildlife in North America don’t point to anything sort of primate like the sasquatch. Other primates in the world also do not fit the sasquatch mold. All of the great apes that are comparable to sasquatch (as far as we know) are not temperate animals. In addition, they do not match the size or the bipedalism of sasquatch. If we had more evidence of this happening, more precedents in nature and specifically in North America, that would build the case for sasquatch.

    With sasquatch we are dealing with something that, while I don’t think is completely implausible, would be very unique indeed. It may not violate the paradigm, but it certainly challenges it.

  63. mystery_man responds:

    DWA- I should also add that just because we find bears and primates in vastly disparate places, this does not necessarily follow that every habitat must have something like this. There are many habitats without indigenous non-human primates, bears, and so on. In many instances, there is merely something else that fills the same niche, and there are also geographic limitations that can effect the biodiversity of an area.

    It is not a given that an indigenous large primate must live in North America. There are other animals that can fulfill the roles that these animals have in places where they are present. So the challenge is in convincing the scientific community that this is not an accurate model of wildlife in this region.

    The main problem the paradigm poses here is that right now, there is nothing that solidly shows that North America has its own large primate or that it even should have one. If we could find more examples of animals like this, or even related ones, occurring in this region either alive or through remains, then the case for sasquatch would be bolstered. All we would need is something even remotely like the sasquatch.

    We can follow the evidence, and I think we should. I am just illustrating that just because other habitats may have their own representative primates that doesn’t mean that North America must have them too. As a matter of fact, that hasn’t been demonstrated conclusively at this point at all.

    Like I said, it is the established paradigm in this case that needs to be shifted and that is going to need some serious evidence before this happens.

  64. jerrywayne responds:

    DWA,

    I don’t wish to say that science has no place in bigfoot research. Instead, I’m thinking the constant harping on the reluctance of the scientific establishment to accept the soft evidence of the bigfoot phenomena, a harping that seems to be standard procedure in some quarters, is unnecessary. Proponents do not need the scientific establishment to be companion advocates as a necessary prerequisite in solving the bigfoot mystery.

    As to CBFResearcher’s sighting, I am not suggesting we “impeach” CBF personally. I’m asking for a fuller discussion as to whether or not we can accept CBF’s post as “evidence” for the existence of bigfoot. To take a second look at CBF’s post does not imply he (or she) is either “seriously deranged”, “mendacious”, or a “fool”. Mi amigo, it seems to me you have stacked the deck in favor of the legitimacy of any and all sighting statements if you precondition the discussion in that fashion.

    Of course you are right to argue that nothing can be definitive proven against his sighting (unless there is a countering eyewitness). To argue otherwise is fruitless. Yet, given the prominent place eyewitness testimony plays in the study of cryptids, I simply think more discussion should be afforded to the nature of sightings, their sometimes uncritical acceptence, and the method of cataloging such sightings.

  65. MattBille responds:

    As DWA notes at the end of his comment on the likelihood of kills, we do not know that there have been two kills. We know only that there are two claims or reports of kills. That’s no different, qualitatively, than two more reports of sasquatches that were not killed.
    DWA’s note about the wildlife biologists is very interesting. If they are certain of what they saw, they have a duty to science to discuss it. Getting together and making a joint statement, it seems to me, would be more powerful and harder to ridicule than one or even three individual statements. It still would not get us to the gold standard – hard evidence that would lead to publication of a species description in a referreed journal – but it would certainly boost “maintream” interest in the value of the search.

  66. MattBille responds:

    One more followup to a good point DWA made.
    I’m the first to agree my comments on the likelihood of discovery v. species numbers are a judgment call on my part, although I stand by them.
    It might be useful to use an example from a known species. For simplicity’s sake, let’s talk only about the Lower 48 U.S. states.

    The Brown (Grizzly) bear in the Lower 48 numbers about 1,100, confirmed to live in only three states (WA, MT, WY). If we speculate there are a few hundred more bears, with populations in ID and OR and maybe CO, is that too much of a stretch? Bear biologists, without any accidental kills or what I will call surefire video (clear, close-range video from an official source like a USFWS trailcam or aerial bear survey) from the additional states, would probably call it unlikely (and have, when sightings were reported), although not impossible. If we speculate there are thousands of additional bears, with outlying populations (however thinly spread and perhaps isolated) from Texas to Florida to North Carolina, the bear biologists would laugh in our faces. No surefire video? No kills? No way, even though we know the animal exists and lives on this continent.
    If I report a grizz in CO, there may be some official interest because we do know that species used to live here, plus it’s not beyond possible migration range from known habitat. (In practice, official reaction has been wildly inconsistent: some good reports have been thrown out, while other have sparked major search efforts.) If I report a grizz from Tennessee, officials might check for reports of lost or escaped captive bears, but they won’t give any credit to the idea I’ve found a population, largely because that species has never been proven to live in the area or anywhere within a reasonable migration range.

    The same logic would apply if we hypothesized a large species with a known, recent fossil record like the giant short-faced bear. Given no modern hard evidence, finding a single population would be considered amazing: the very idea of a population with a multi-state range would be considered absurd.

    Now our sasquatch appears to have a roughly similar body mass and diet to a grizz, although it’s logical to presume higher intelligence and thus better ability to hide when it wants to. Presuming a species wary of man, with at least chimp-level intellect, then a few hundred in the PNW wilderness areas seems possible. A nationwide population of thousands seems so unlikely to have not yielded an accidental kill or other undeniable evidence that, to me, I have to presume people are mistaken until the body comes in. The quality of reports and sincerity of witnesses may be every bit as good from all these areas as from the PNW, but the odds to the animal existing undiscovered do shrink, even if there’s no sure way to put numbers on those odds.
    It gets harder to clear the bar for recognition of such a population because we have no validated fossil or other evidence (that is, validated enough to get a species description published in a referreed journal, which remains the standard for “discovery” even if one thinks it unfair) that the animal lived anywhere, much less the specific areas it’s being reported from. That does not make it impossible, but it helps make anything but the most undeniable evidence insufficient.
    (I am leaving aside tracks for the moment because, given the inconsistency of track appearances from all over, I would argue no one, not even guys like Medrum or Bindernagel, knows a genuine squatch track for certain without a foot to compare it to.)
    That’s just one guy’s judgment call. I’d be interested to know what any working biologists/zoologists on the list think of my logic.

  67. DWA responds:

    jerrywayne: keep in mind that I’m referring to questioning one person, on his personal experience.

    To do that with one means you need to do it with all – or at least with enough of them (and that would be a lot) that you would have a high likelihood of the rest being similar.

    Not only would no skeptic attempt that (I don’t think); proponents contend that the sheer volume and consistency of them argues that you would need to have a lot of sane sighters; or at least a lot more than anyone supposes of nutty people with sane exteriors. In other words: there’s so much of this stuff that it’s probably easier to follow it up than debunk it.

    CBFResearcher’s goes in a very big pile. And I’ve read way too many of these that are either (1) authentic or (2) deliberate lies or big-time hallucinations. In other words, the description absolutely rules out an innocent mistake.

    My question: why would so many people not only lie about this, but postulate an animal way smaller, way faster and more athletic, and way more carnivorous than the naive public image of the sasquatch as an enormous, lumbering vegetarian? And if they’re all either lying or on drugs or whatever, why are their accounts so consistent? I wish I could buy that they’re copying from each other; but my read makes that way unlikely.

  68. DWA responds:

    m_m: Can’t argue with anything you said.

    Scientific paradigms are useless unless they are only moved by new knowledge. The scientific paradigm regarding the sasquatch pretty much follows your reasoning.

    My argument would be that paradigms get called up for review when they become shaky; and the volume and consistency of the evidence make the current scientific paradigm way shaky to a number of scientists.

  69. DWA responds:

    Matt Bille: wouldn’t argue with a thing you said.

    I too think that scientists who have seen one of these things would have, with their colleagues, a credibility that, say, I wouldn’t. As one who has said here more than once that if you are a scientist, you have to be one all the time, not just when it suits you, I would have to agree with you that the individual scientist has a duty to expand human knowledge. Bet that made our scientist sighters REALLY comfortable. :-D

    As to the grizzly, that’s sound reasoning, and I’d probably react similarly to reports of a population in Florida. Well, OK, you’d have to show me the evidence before I bought it, and I wouldn’t be holding my breath. (And I might wonder who did the releases.)

    But the sasquatch is something that is utterly denied, out of hand, in the face of the kind of evidence that would get people serious about a new bird…say, the ivorybill, for which there is far less evidence than for the sasquatch that it’s still alive, and a very similar species making misidentification a real possibility. As we both seem to agree, it’s such a third rail to report a sighting that there may be individuals who should be doing it, and aren’t. Yes, the woodpecker did exist once. But the paucity of remaining habitat and the paucity of undisputed sightings of a once-known bird with a three-foot wingspan make it very unlikely, to me, that it’s still around.

    And you bet I would like scientists to chime in here.

  70. mystery_man responds:

    Matt Bille- Well for what it’s worth, in my opinion as someone in the field, I’d say what you mention is about right. It sort of fits in to what I was saying about the model of wildlife in North America.

    In the example of grizzly bears, having someone see them out of their known range may raise eyebrows, but it would probably be investigated because they are a well established animal in North America. Nobody disputes that they are there, and so a sighting might warrant inquiry.

    With a fossilized bear, even in its historic range, you have more problems because now you have to demonstrate somehow that this bear has defied the records and has established breeding populations all this time without any documentation. But at least they are consistent with the known natural history of the area.

    With sasquatch we have something completely new, an 8 foot tall, bipedal primate of some sort. Even in the tropics, where similar creatures exist in great apes, it needs to be shown pretty conclusively that we have a population of something like this. In North America we have these things in temperate climates in a landscape where no large primates are known to be. I don’t really see any reason why we could not have a temperate large primate, but nothing in the records of North America really suggests that this is happening in this habitat.

    It has been said here that lack of fossils does not necessarily negate the existence of sasquatch, and I think this is true. However in the case of North America, there is no physical evidence in the fossil record at all, and nothing even really like a sasquatch. There aren’t even related fossils that tie in with what we see with the sasquatch upon which to build a case.

    And that is the problem I see here with fossils. We have a lack of any transitional fossils or anything related to such a creature in North America with which to work with, so sasquatch is sort of in a void in that regard. It is going to take a lot more to overcome this than if we were dealing with bears. If this was an animal that was extremely elusive and confined to remote habitats, that might not be too bad, but here we have an animal that seems to have a range encompassing the entire United States in all sorts of habitats.

    To have such a large animal with a huge range like the sasquatch seems to have, and seen as often as it is, yet leaving no remains that are even related to anything like it in the geological record , strikes me as a little odd although not a complete condemnation of sasquatch.

    So in a continent with no known record of large primates, and no relatives of such an animal, the bar is high for evidence that the model we have for wildlife in North America is off, and that it harbors multiple wide ranging populations of bipedal apes.

  71. DWA responds:

    Something else I might want to comment about from Matt Bille’s:

    “I would argue no one, not even guys like Medrum or Bindernagel, knows a genuine squatch track for certain without a foot to compare it to.”

    No question. This is why the evidence doesn’t amount to proof: no type specimen.

    But Meldrum, Krantz, and other qualified individuals have found numerous markers on alleged saquatch tracks that are consistent across the samples they have reviewed (and consistent with each other’s analysis), and which seem to indicate an animated source, or if not such an incredible fake that a scientific expert with genius mechanical capacity would have to be responsible if the putative maker wasn’t. They could be fakes; and without the type specimen we can’t be sure; but it sure seems a stretch to assume it.

  72. norman-uk responds:

    I think there is limited benefit in comparing Sasquatch to a grizzly bear and concluding that what would not work for a bear would not work for Sasquatch, ditto the short faced bear. Sasquatch is clearly a different and special case. What is needed is a scenario that is tailored to fit what is known about Sasquatch. This must neccessarily be different to that of known bears.

    That scenario could include migration from Asia or Europe, intelligence about equal to humans, a wandering mixed with static lifestyle, tolerance to large temperature ranges, avoidance of man but not completely, wide range etc etc………

    There IS of course another primate in N.America which also has migrated from Asia or Europe and now is settled in hugh numbers! It is not established that Sasquatch is an ape though and there are indications that it is humanlike.

    No body has surfaced though it is probable we have DNA and its validity will grow in response to scientific progress. So we will be able to describe the animal accurately from its DNA. Just a matter of time! When this happens it should be possible to for Sasquatch to be validated for science

  73. jerrywayne responds:

    MattBille,

    I’m intrigued by your comment that a “nationwide population of thousands” of bigfoot “seems so unlikely” that you “have to presume people are mistaken” when they report continent wide sightings. I agree with you here, and then you say such reports “may be every bit as good from all these areas as from the PNW.” If that is the case, what basis do you have to presume PNW sightings are not “mistaken?” Is you view based solely on innate plausibility, or on other evidence you find more valid relating to a PNW population of bigfoot?

    DWA,

    CBFResearcher’s sighting may be “authentic.” Also true, it may be based on “deliberate lies” or even “big-time hallucinations.” Personally, I would not rule out “an innocent mistake” as an explanation. However, we really know nothing more than what we find here: words on a computer screen. My question is: can we presume CBF’s sighting statement is evidential? Or would it be irrelevant, as it stands, to a case based on real evidence?

    Is it truly amiss to entertain various possible explanations for CBF’s sighting (and by extention, other sightings) and not simply settle (almost as dogma) on a “Bigfoot Is Real” interpretation?

  74. DWA responds:

    jerrywayne,

    “CBFResearcher’s sighting may be “authentic.” Also true, it may be based on “deliberate lies” or even “big-time hallucinations.” Personally, I would not rule out “an innocent mistake” as an explanation. However, we really know nothing more than what we find here: words on a computer screen. My question is: can we presume CBF’s sighting statement is evidential? Or would it be irrelevant, as it stands, to a case based on real evidence?”

    ————————————————–

    Everything in the statement portion of that passage I’d agree with. (It’s hard for me to imagine what CBF saw that you could make an innocent mistake on, given what’s being described. But I suppose it’s conceivable. Give me time.)

    As to the questions: I presume, as I said, that this encounter goes in a very big pile. We can’t disprove it (or them); we have no reason off the top of our heads, absent evidence, to presume it’s a lie, a hallucination or a mistake; and we can’t make similar judgments about most all of the many other such reports out there. They are what they are. What we can look at is the number of them, and their sheer consistency. How could that consistency be happening, with how many there are? Why would so many people be picking this to bother with? Are they all consistently crazy, and so consistently crazy about the exact same thing? Are they all mistaking known animals of various sorts for the exact same kind of consistently described animal, which is also leaving tracks that are consistent with one another, and displaying behaviors that are so consistently reported that the biology of a species is emerging from the reports? (THIS is why I say immersion in the reports is utterly essential to the most basic understanding of the evidence.)

    The easiest thing to do that doesn’t involve dismissing the entire pile, entirely, out of hand, which no scientist being true to science could do in good conscience, is to simply say: there’s the evidence, and boy it sure looks, acts and graphs like a natural source, external to the observers, is producing it.

    So, science, what does information like that say to you?

    —————————————————–

    “Is it truly amiss to entertain various possible explanations for CBF’s sighting (and by extention, other sightings) and not simply settle (almost as dogma) on a “Bigfoot Is Real” interpretation?”

    —————————————————–

    Entertaining various possible explanations is one thing. But when no evidence can be shown that any of those possibilities is indeed correct, or even likely, why not entertain the possibility that the individual might have seen just what they say they did, and then note how many people are saying they are seeing the same thing? Nothing even remotely dogmatic about that. It seems more like common sense to me.

    It does not seem to be common sense, at all, to presume that we “would know by now” ANYTHING about an animal that can’t even be reported without the observer being presumed incorrect. I think a million of them could be roaming my home state of Maryland, and science wouldn’t know. Not until someone seeing one got taken seriously (and scientists seeing one could report it without fearing for their careers).

  75. CBFResearcher responds:

    Hi all,

    There seems to be a lot of dialog since I last signed on. Some good points as well. Let me assure you, I saw what I saw. Not a hallucination, not a BEAR, and not a man in a suit. I am a very experienced outdoorsman and have routinely ran into almost every species of wildlife in NW Canada, except a badger, and I would love to see one in the wild one day.

    I agree that my sighting goes into yet the big pile of sightings, that being said, it’s still evidence. This was the first time I have ever printed it anywhere. Maybe I now wish I didn’t as the usual ridicule by non-outdoors people rears up.

    I have to also let you know that my brother, a very avid hunter calls my sighting BS. He says they don’t exist cause he has not seen one. The best part is, he has recently moved to a location in British Columbia on Vancouver Island where he is now, as we speak, hunting in a location that is very well known for sightings and contact with the animal. I suspect in the next few years he will eventually get lucky, and scared to death like I was, when he sees the animal for himself. He will call me and with his tail between his legs, will admit I was right all along.

    As for the doubters that Bigfoot exists, I suggest you spend a little time (or lots of it as I do) in the forest, hiking, hunting, fishing, or guiding. You may have that surprise sighting. These sightings are rarely planned and come as a complete shock to the system when they happen. This is attested by virtually all people who report the sightings.

    Saying all that, I guess the courts should now let all those people out of prison who were incarcerated based on eye witness reports of a crime committed. As someone said in an earlier comment above, “a lie or hallucination” or a case of “mistaken identity”.

    That about sums it up. I guess I’ll just keep the track photos I took at a place where 9 loggers watched one for 20 minutes near Whiteswan Lake BC a few years ago. It would be pretty pointless at this time to bring them out. The whole story of their sighting can be read at the bfro under the type A sightings in BC.

    By the way, I am enjoying the many comments by all, very insightful by both sides of the skeptics and believers.

    Cheers

  76. norman-uk responds:

    I do not think wide spread sightings of Saquatch equates to numbers in the thousands even if they were all good. Another explanation may be that Sasquatch is a wanderer or migratory. Or that if someone sees a sasquatch they take notice. A large percentage only tell a circle of aquaintences as they realise they will otherwise find themselves in a hot seat. But still enough reports get out to give the picture. In total are not the numbers relatively small?

    Some people do think there are thousands of Sasquatch and others think not and the ubiquity of the reports a reason for scepticism about the existence of Sasquatch altogether. I think there may be local concentrations related to food resources or freedom from interference and increasingly important being isolated thus avoiding human diseases. Otherwise I think Sasquatch are widespread if thin on the ground and we had better take advantage of eyewitness accounts (such a CBF’s), as a valuable resource while we can before and thank those who share their experience with us.

    Through most of mans history the moon was just an eyewitness report, then a piece of cheese, then much more based on a matrix of evidence and finally total proof when science got its body part! With Sasquatch we are at the matrix of evidence stage and unless only one side of a case can be appreciated, its a good stage to be at.

  77. DWA responds:

    CBFResearcher: I know it probably gets frustrating.

    I’ve talked about that here before, that difference between scientific proof and personal proof. If I saw a sasquatch tomorrow, I would not care a fig who else ever knew; I’d know now. And then you have the John Greens and Grover Krantzes who have been on this case like bulldogs despite never seeing one themselves.

    I don’t have my proof yet. But your experience is part of the “big pile” that, far from being a pejorative, tells me we should be looking for it.

  78. DWA responds:

    I was walking past the Smithsonian’s National History Museum yesterday afternoon when my companion talked about the collection rooms in there, all that stuff that never sees the light of day. She said heck, there could even be bigfoot bones in there.

    Don’t know whether that was a crack or not (or whether she’s a closet crypto; if she is, she’s way closet). But I wonder how many museums have taken a serious look at all that stuff they have that the public never sees?

  79. DWA responds:

    I mentioned the Smithsonian’s National History Museum in my last post up there.

    Lifelong Washingtonian. Sheesh. It’s the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of NATURAL History (NMNH).

    I feel better already. In my defense, we do use “national” around here a lot, particularly for museums.

  80. CBFResearcher responds:

    DWA: Thanks for the comment. It’s the 3rd week of January and I thought I would look this post up to see when the last update was. Looks like a month ago.

    So, if anyone is reading this, The BC Provicil Museum apparently has a jaw bone of a “Big Indian” in storage somewhere just waiting to be seen. I plan going there next summer and convince the curator to bring it out, if it can be found, and have scientists, anthropolgists, and the like study it. Will keep all posted…

  81. CBFResearcher responds:

    Further to my last post, it is interesting to note that the forests in the upper NW parts of U.S. and Canada have very acidic soil with high PH levels. This combination mixed with lots of moisture and generally warm year round temperatures litterally melts the bones of animals very quickly. I once found bones from some animal that was obviousley there for quite some time and the bones were basically moist white mush when touched. You could see the layout of the skeleton, but all of the bones were just wet chalk. This could easily account for the lack of almost any animal bones in forested areas.

  82. DWA responds:

    CBFResearcher: hey, no problem. I like late check-ins. As we can see I’m one myself. ;-)

    Apropos other threads I’ve gone through with scoffers lately, I should note something really interesting that happened with Fhqwgds up there.

    He tells me not to point him to the literature (the depth and breadth of which is the primary evidence for the reality of sasquatch). Then, when he’s asked to prove relativity, he points us to the literature.

    Interesting? Oh I’d think so.

    Evidence is evidence. That for the sasquatch is more compelling than that for relativity. And if you don’t understand why….you are a physicist. ;-)



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