Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 23rd, 2008
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.
“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.
Let us not forget, August 27, 2008, is the 50th anniversary of Crew’s remarkable discovery of Bigfoot tracks at Bluff Creek, California.
Despite the interest generated for cryptozoology in recent days, the donation drive took a big hit from this, when this site, plus my personal and museum websites darken and crashed. Many people feel that the large numbers of people coming to Cryptomundo would have been a landfall for contributions. Actually, the opposite occurred. No sites = not donations. Less than $100 in funds have come in for weeks, while at the same time costs have skyrocketed due to the spillover needs for a larger server and new hosting costs to bring light from darkness.
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Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.