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Bigfoot’s 50th Anniversary: August 27th!

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 23rd, 2008

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This month the cryptozoological enigma termed collectively “Bigfoot” advances to its fiftieth year milestone.

As I have often said, the search for Bigfoot is in its infancy.

The first live giant panda and the first body of the mountain gorilla were only revealed after long quests. The discovery of Bigfoot is not something any of us should expect to have happen overnight, although I have seen many people leave the field frustrated and totally skeptical of the eventual results. Recent events may have caused increased Bigfoot interest among a wider spectrum of folks, but it also had some people who have been seaching for years to express that they had reached the end of the line.

Cryptozoology, a methodology for finding new species, is a mixture of passion and patience. It takes time to find remarkable animals.

Five decades ago on August 27th, Jerry Crew found giant humanlike footprints, one of which he would cast a few weeks later, thanks to instructive help on making plaster of Paris casts from Bob Titmus. Crew’s discovery would advance hominology from Sasquatch stories to Bigfoot sightings and track finds.

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“In August of 1958 — on the morning of the 27th to be precise — a very sane and sober citizen by the name of Mr. Gerald Crew, of Salyer township, Humboldt County, northwest Califonia, an active member of the Baptist Church, a teetotaler and a man with a reputation in his community that can only be described as heroic in face of certain almost unique pensonal tragedy, went to his work with heavy-duty equipment at the head of this new lumber access road being pushed into uninhabited and only roughly surveyed territory near the borders of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. This huge block of territory is crossed kitty-corner from the south at Willow Creek to the northeast by a winding blacktop road, and from east to west by only four other roads of lower grade. Logging trails and some ‘jeep-roads’ now finger into it from these roads and from the main arteries that enclose it to north, west, south, and east, but these are of very limited extent and are hardly used at all. Jerry Crew’s crawler-tractor had been left overnight at the head of the new road about 20 miles north of its digression from the narrow blacktop that runs north through the Hoopa (as it is on maps) Amerindian Reservation from Willow Creek to a place with the delightful name of Happy Camp up near the Oregon border….

“What Jerry Crew discovered when he went to start up his ‘cat’ was that somebody had inspected it rather thoroughly during the previous night, as could be plainly seen by a series of footprints that formed a track to, all around, and then away from the machine. Such tracks would not have aroused his curiosity under normal circumstances because there were three dozen men at that road-head and the newly scraped roadbed was covered with soft mud areas alternating with patches of loose shale. What did startle him was that these footprints were of a shoeless or naked foot of distinctly human shape and proportions but by actual measurement just 17 inches long!”

~ Ivan T. Sanderson, writing of the incident in Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life.

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Let us not forget, August 27, 2008, is the 50th anniversary of Crew’s remarkable discovery of Bigfoot tracks at Bluff Creek, California.
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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.


4 Responses to “Bigfoot’s 50th Anniversary: August 27th!”

  1. AlienBigCats responds:

    Happy Birthday to Bigfoot…

  2. mystery_man responds:

    The saddest thing about the Georgia hoax is that it has had the effect that Loren describes, of making people think that this is the end of the line for Bigfoot studies. This is a poor reason to suddenly give up on Bigfoot as a line of scientific inquiry, especially if one had put a lot of years into the search. How does a hoax mean we have come to the end of the line? How can someone think that? You can be skeptical about Bigfoot for much better reasons than that.

    I think it is important to remember that some jokesters’ hoax doesn’t have anything to do with whether Bigfoot exists or not. It doesn’t prove anything except that there are some pretty odd, terribly bored people in this world. And all this is coming from a fairly skeptical person, folks. I cannot say if Bigfoot exists or not. I just look at whatever evidence there is with a reasonably unbiased, critical eye. I am pretty sure that this hoax does not in any way somehow “disprove” the possibility of the existence of sasquatch. There is still plenty of circumstantial evidence that is worth at least looking into.

    Of course, just because new animals take a long time to discover, or that sasquatch COULD be out there doesn’t mean it DOES. But there IS the possibility, some things definitely point in that direction. This hoax doesn’t change the fact that Bigfoot is a phenomena still worthy of investigation. That some intelligent, qualified people would give up looking into this area because of a hoax is unfortunate.

    I say let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water here. Whether Bigfoot exists or not, let the evidence or lack of it convince you, not a hoax.

  3. rickodemilo responds:

    I now share a birthday with bigfoot. That is freakin awesome!

  4. DWA responds:

    mystery_man: well said.

    The kid with the shark fin in “Jaws” didn’t make the real shark unreal. People stuffing into a horse costume doesn’t make us doubt horses. I saw someone yesterday dress up as a FISH. I’m still pretty sure that fish are real.

    And yes, this is directly relevant to the sasquatch.

    I frequently hear in reply to the above something like “yes, but those other animals you refer to are known to exist.” OK, they are. But we have a logical fallacy here. Does something exist only because we know it does? Obviously not. The giant panda and the mountain gorilla didn’t leap into existence when they were discovered; they had been there all the time. Whatever animals we haven’t discovered in the vastness of the ocean are there, and have been for as long as they have been, whether we ever know it or not.

    If the sasquatch has been among us all along, it’s clearly illogical to use guys in suits – or suits, sans guys – as “evidence against.” Scientists may be rational in evaluating this question in terms of, essentially, betting research dollars against those going to known critters. What we have proven is what we know to exist; we know where it is, and often, when it is there. It’s what Vegas calls a safe bet. But if the animal is, it is and has always been, regardless what we have to say about the matter.

    I actually read something from one of our favorite scoftics recently that said the existence of the sasquatch grows less likely with each passing day. That’s clearly irrational (unless he meant that the chances of its habitat disappearing altogether seem to be going up every day). The existence of the sasquatch, on any given day, has only one of only two probabilities: 100 percent or zero. It is, or it ain’t.

    And there is a lot of evidence that it is. And none – that would be NONE – that it ain’t.

    This is not as simple as “you can’t prove a negative.” What it means is that there is not a shred of evidence that all of the sightings, trackways and other encounters are false positives, i.e., a thing that can be proven or disproven, nor even a shred of evidence that so many of same are false positives that they cast as much as a scintilla of doubt upon the remainder. Misidentification, intoxication, or faked physical evidence seem to be the three stock debunks. I have read reports beyond counting that could not, in any conceivable way, be any of these. They were either sasquatch, or they were lies. All of them lies? Even half of them? I sure would not take that bet. And if one of them is real, then the animal is.

    If you are looking for the sas, and you are smart, you still will be long after the Georgia stink passes. Because the odds, so far, seem overwhelmingly on your side.

    The only rational thing to do, with any cryptid, is this: toss out the trash, and evaluate the evidence that behaves like that for animals we know.

    For which, in the case of the sasquatch, there is a LOT.



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