Critical Evidence for Sasquatch

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 8th, 2009

What are five possible shapes of the head of the Bigfoot shown in the Patterson-Gimlin footage?

CRITICAL EVIDENCE: Frightening encounters with the legendary monster known as Sasquatch are reported in almost every state of America. These run-ins with terrifying upright hairy beasts date back centuries and sightings number in the thousands. Despite the many Sasquatch reports, skeptics point to the lack of evidence as compelling reason for the creature being merely a myth. Now, however, new analysis of the best existing evidence could finally uncover proof of this elusive beast. A special MonsterQuest investigation gathers together the critical evidence – from startling videos to tracks, prints and sighting maps. State of the art analysis may finally give definitive proof that Sasquatch is among us.

MonsterQuest, Wednesday, July 8, 2009. New program, 9:00 PM Eastern, History.

Bill Munns works on Sasquatch photogrammetry.

Jeff Meldrum inspects Bigfoot casts.

Expedition team maps search location.

Part of the quest begins.

The helicopter lifts off.

MonsterQuest exclusive photographs may be enlarged by clicking on any of the above.

Enjoy the program as it overviews the Patterson-Gimlin footage, footcasts, the Freeman footage, sighting patterns, and more in a “special investigations” episode that focusses on the entire body of evidence!

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

31 Responses to “Critical Evidence for Sasquatch”

  1. Weezy responds:

    I’m really looking forward to this one. I enjoy MonsterQuest anytime it’s on, but I enjoy it when it’s about Sasquatch the most. Pretty much any show about Bigfoot really interests me, I’m looking forward to the day we have proof.

  2. Kronprinz_adam responds:

    I sincerely would like to hear about some solid proofs found about Bigfoot. It would be amazing!!

  3. gridbug responds:

    Nice! Can’t get enough of that Freeman footage! 😀

  4. Greg102 responds:

    This is the EXACT type of episode I have been wanting for a long time. I can’t wait for tonight. It will be interesting what NEW analysis they do with the PG film. It’s been looked at so many times, I am a little skeptical any new revelations can be made about it, but it will still be great to see. The Freeman footage in my opinion is most likely a hoax, so spending time on that footage is most likely a waste of time, but will be interesting to see what they say about it. I sure hope they have some new casts or hairs or something to bring to light, but i’m not holding my breath either. No matter what, this will be a great episode, and what i’ve been wanting to see on a monsterquest. 1-2 day expedition episodes are pretty dissapointing so to do a new look at existing evidence shall be entertaining. Hopefully the will be doing a “critical evidence” episode for other cryptids as well!!

  5. F15Pilot responds:

    I live in Canada (BC) and have never seen a MonsterQuest episode. I wish the Bell ExpressVue satellite system (that I have at home) would pick the SciFi Channel (or is it SyFy now?). These shows sound great, but it would be nice to be able to watch one.

  6. Ceroill responds:

    F1 5Pilot- it’s on Hisotry, not Syfy.

    Looks like a very interesting show, but I’m not expecting anything definitive to be determined or agreed upon.

  7. WightSpider responds:

    To F15pIilot- try I believe you can watch live tv from the site. I’m not completely sure how to use it as I haven’t myself.

    But I am looking forward to this episode.

  8. timi_hendrix responds:

    Hey F15Pilot,

    I know your pain. I also live it Canada and we miss out on plenty of good crypto-shows.

    But finally MonsterQuest can be watched in full on their very website.

    Here is the link!

    – Tim

  9. cryptidsrus responds:

    I’m also looking forward to the episode.

    I also look forward to new insights into the PG film.

    F15Pilot: Did not know Canada did not get this. Bummer. I empathize.

  10. fossilhunter responds:

    Greetings All!
    Two things were running through my mind after watching the episode.
    1. Can both the Freeman and the Patterson films be real, since they seem to show two different looking animals?
    2. I noticed they didn’t use any evidence from an episode of Monsterquest! 🙂 Although they did put some new touches on other evidence.
    Altogether this was probably my favorite episode yet! No suspenseful waiting an hour to discover that Lake Okanagan is home to salmon and the like. Let’s hope they take a look at other types of crypto-critters with similar episodes!

  11. zpf responds:

    Great show. I particularly liked the demonstrations of how human heads did not fit inside Patty’s head dimensions, and how the wider-angle lense altered the estimation of the creature’s size.

  12. bobzilla responds:

    Well, I still didn’t see any conclusive statements. We’d seen the broken foot analysis before, they did virtually nothing with the Freeman footage, and the PG analysis seemed like just another opinion. The mid-foot (not sure what it was called) part was new and interesting, to me anyway.

    I’m not sure what all the “special software” was that was supposed to be used, but as they were saying that I could see Photoshop on the monitor behind them and in several other shots as well. On the PG segment, it looked like he was using Bryce. Not exactly top of the line software.

    Monsterquest seems to take an hour each week to say “we still don’t know”.

    They are entertaining, and I’m sure I’ll keep watching, but it’s hard to take them seriously sometimes.


  13. Sassafrasquatch responds:

    I found the rainfall chart/sighting report overlay to be very convincing. If these sighting reports are simply mis-ID / Hoax reports as most skeptics would have you believe..then why are there NO reports from the areas that have the least amount of rainfall? Should’nt those reports be random and scattered ALL OVER the map if they are simply prankster-hoaxer or badly ID’d bears?

  14. Loren Coleman responds:

    My problem with the rainfall analysis is that it stopped too short. The problem with just that one variable is that it left out other rather obvious ones that needed to also be tested.

    For example, if you recall, the rainfall/sightings chart had concentrations of dots around population centers and, I wonder, if it also correlated with high numbers of active Bigfoot groups, such as in Ohio, turning in high numbers of accounts? (The chart also showed, for example, no sightings for Maine, even though I know that is not the case.) So what was the source of their database?

    Also, the rainfall chart appeared that it might overlap with a forestry map. Certainly, Ivan Sanderson in his 1961 book had already matched up the Bigfoot sightings with range maps of ecobiological diversity, especially linked to montane and valley habitat, e.g. circumpolar boreal forests.

    It seemed a logical next step for the rainfall guy to overlay a map of forests on that North America chart.

  15. greatstart responds:

    This was an excellent, excellent episode! I know that the MQ producers read this site and I am glad they do. This was the best episode this season. Keep up the good work!

  16. Captain Morgan responds:

    Hi Loren,

    I wonder if we may contact Mr. Orr and inquire as to what was the source of their database, and if this can be re ran with other data? Or if he is willing to share the data with others to model?

    Over all I thought this was one of the best MQ episodes and probably THE best BF related.

    I’m not sure that it’s MQ’s goal to make conclusive statements. It seems to me they want to present the research and evidence presented by others and let them speak for themselves. Thus the summarizations “This man claims he” and “This researcher claims” etc.

    Btw, my first post here at Cryptomundo, Hi everyone!


  17. swnoel responds:

    Entertaining as usual…

    Two experts comment on PG and come to different conclusions.

    Attempt is made to enter area where original PG film was taken, 3 feet of snow and a no go.

    Why not wait till area is assessable?

    Why no investigation of Freeman video, appears to be as good as PG?

    Maybe they should hire a professional trapper/ tracker and I don’t mean BG hunter.

    Go into those regions for a minimum of a month, where the evidence is supposibly overwhelming.

    Then see what transpires.

  18. raisinsofwrath responds:

    It was so entertaining that I was awake for almost 40 minutes of it. Seriously though, I did learn something new in that Patterson took a lie detector and passed. The head thing was somewhat interesting. However, I must agree with Loren regarding the rainfall deal.

    Nothing groundbreaking IMO.

  19. Loren Coleman responds:

    I like MonsterQuest, and I think this episode spoke to many people’s desire to have more programs constructed in such a fashion. I see it as an extension and update of Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.

    My comments about the rainfall charts were not a criticism, btw, per se. That was only me merely doing what my mind does, which is to continue to ask more questions every time parts of the answers are presented.

    I also very much enjoy individual eps about local creatures and regional investigators attempting to locate evidence. That works for me too.

  20. bobzilla responds:

    I don’t like when they have the “testing a sample” portion of the shows. I think on the short-faced bear and Megalodon episodes they did that. First, the scientists receives the sample, later in the episode, they open the sample, thenlater, they take a piece of the sample, then at the end…the let down.

    Just get that out of the way from the beginning. They know at the start of the episode that it’s a dead end.

  21. cliff responds:

    bobzilla – the mid-foot part you were referring to is called the “mid-tarsal break” and it’s an anatomical feature specific to certain great-apes where basically the bones in the mid-foot create a flexible joint or “hinge” that allows apes to bend their feet around curves in tree branches, etc. This is completely different from the anatomical structure of a human foot.

    I thought that was a pretty cool, and pretty substantial, bit of evidence myself. And although I’ve been disappointed with several of the previous MQ episodes, I think this was probably one of the best MQ episodes that I have watched so far.

  22. smwmustang responds:

    Great episdode but I felt they fell short on the Freeman footage. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t the Freeman footage go on to show two potential “creatures” together and one being smaller then the other.

    If so, then why not show the whole thing. I know Freeman had his times for us to doubt the footage, but if you watch the complete footage it does not appear to be fake as well as looking very similar to the PG footage.

  23. Buckeyes1 responds:

    Perhaps I didn’t understand the portion about the Patterson film. The SPFX man seemed perplexed until he changed the lens type. Why was the camera’s lens type ever in question? Don’t we know what kind of camera and lens Roger was using?

    I know the film speed has been questioned in previous documentaries since Roger’s camera had 3 speed settings and he claimed he was not sure what it was set at when he took the famous footage, but since when has the lens type been a mystery?

    Also, since the film’s speed was never brought up in this show, have we come to some sort of consensus regarding which speed Roger took it at? I remember seeing a documentary several years ago where the expert (I believe it was the late Grover Krantz) claimed that the creature walked quite differently if you show the film at different speeds.

    At certain speeds Grover claimed a human could not duplicate the gate of the figure but at another speed the figures walk look identical to an average humans.

    I find it odd that so much was made of the lens type which ought to be common knowledge by now, while the film speed mystery was left completely unaddressed.

  24. Loren Coleman responds:

    Buckeye, what you are talking about is The Munns Report by wildlife artist, 3D computer graphics professional, exhibition creator, digital character lip sync animation software inventor, and cinema special effects designer Bill Munns. It discussed it at Cryptomundo in May 2009.

  25. Loren Coleman responds:

    Buckeye, what you are talking about is The Munns Report by wildlife artist, 3D computer graphics professional, exhibition creator, digital character lip sync animation software inventor, and cinema special effects designer Bill Munns. I discussed it at Cryptomundo in May 2009.

  26. LanceFoster responds:

    I enjoyed the show a lot, since I am not up to speed on all the current developments. The Patterson film is what got me interested in Bigfoot when I first saw it as a kid in the 60s.

    I liked the structure of this episode. It would be great if they would look at the most compelling evidence for other cryptids, such as the evidence for freshwater lake monsters.

    The midtarsal hinge and broken foot reconstructions were probably the most interesting parts for me; it would have been nice to look at the dermal impression evidence as well.

    The rainfall map should have been only one part of the GIS study (maybe it is, and the rest isn’t done yet). Other factors that should be layers in any future maps:

    1. Forest and vegetation types. More rainfall generally means more vegetation growth, and more cover for large animals to hide in. But the varieties of forest types probably matter as well: hardwood vs coniferous (what is the supposed diet), diversity of vegetation, etc.

    2. Elevation/terrain types/slopes etc. Does rougher terrain or elevation figure in?

    3. Human population centers (people tend to see more, when there are more people to see 😉 but remoteness also is key for larger mammals who need larger territory, and larger breeding populations.

    4. Active Bigfoot enthusiast groups. People who go looking actively, will see more. We don’t have any real active Bigfoot groups in Montana that I know of, yet we have a fair number of sightings anyway. There are lots of sightings in the NW and California where there are more groups and remote terrain, but there are also a surprisingly large number of sightings

    Of course there is no apparent attempt to set quality standards for the sightings either; a sighting of a Bigfoot from 20 feet away by a credible witness in the deep woods of Washington is not differentiated from a sighting of a dark manlike form in thick farmstead woods from 200 yards by an elderly housewife who forgot her glasses…in the twilight 😉

    There are likely multiple variables, which is what I suspect.

    As an anthropologist myself (focused more on cultural anthro and archaeology than physical or primatology) I think there are probably a convergence of factors, some cultural or psychological in nature (90%+ of sightings) but with that 10% of those non-hoaxed Bigfoot sightings by credible witnesses in good conditions, and with physical proof gathered.

    Just like with UFOs, I think there are multiple things going on that get lumped under “Bigfoot,” some human error or hoaxing, even some possibly paranormal/Fortean, but that Bigfoot does exist as a physical being, I do not doubt, either as an anthropologist or as a Native American.

  27. greatstart responds:

    The way they presented the evidence and studied it was the best I have ever seen on a show. The midtarsal hinge was a great finding yet some people on here are still not satisfied that MQ did a good job. Can someone point out better show that is currently running than MQ?

  28. cryptidsrus responds:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I especially enjoyed the PG film analysis and Munns’s conclusions. I’m very surprised that nobody had ever bothered to qualify the size of the lens used in Patterson’s camera. But I guess that has been discussed here before—must have missed that conversation. And the new determination of the beast’s size was very heartening.

    And I do agree with others here that not enough of the Freeman footage was seen or studied. Although Meldrum’s estimation that the footage was legit after talking to Freeman is not scientifically “acceptable,” I personally have a lot of trust in Meldrum’s integrity—so his estimation of the film’s “validity” goes a long way in “legitimizing” it—at least in MY book.

    Great show and great thread, Loren. I wonder what skpetics like Radford or Nickell would make of the new evidence presented here. Not much, I’m afraid. 🙁

  29. semillama responds:

    I found the show to be one of the best Monster Quest episodes I’ve seen. I felt they could have gone two hours, as I wanted to see more of Munns’ technique and it would have been nice to have included the dermal ridge evidence as well, but then I guess you’re approaching a duplicate to Legend Meets Science.

    The thing that really stuck out for me that was new, and perhaps folks didn’t pick up on it as much as I did, was the use of photogrammetry to determine the height of the individual in the P-G film. This was the show highlight for me. Munns essentially proved without a doubt that the individual was over 7 feet tall. I’m not so certain about the head-mask thing, but his knowledge about the history of special effects and monster costumes in particular carry a lot of weight.

    Perhaps folks can correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t the P-G film also show a step style by the creature that is in line with the mid-tarsal break?

    As far as the Freeman footage goes, I don’t think that it shows enough to be considered as good as the P-G film. The image is too low-quality, and you never see the entire creature, which is also backlit. I’m not saying it’s a hoax, but I’m also not saying it’s a sasquatch either. The data is simply not there in the film.
    Hopefully, with the introduction of affordable Hi-def capable camcorders to the general market, some one will finally be able to get a film that outshines P-G.

    I generally consider myself a skeptic, and I think that the evidence pointing to the existence of a large bipedal primate unknown to science is actually pretty good – granted the arguments against it existing aren’t easily dismissable either. It’s the type of rigorous investigations shown in this episode that will get us closer to the reality of the situation.

  30. Ceroill responds:

    I also found this episode to be fascinating. I think this is about the closest we’ll see on a show like this to the definitive statement one way or the other that so many crave. If there were definite proof that would make the news long before a show like this was finished being edited and eventually broadcast.

    But one thing that caught my attention was what some saw as an inherent conflict in the statements of some of the experts. One man said that what the PG film clip shows has to be human, because of the way it moves. At least one other showed evidence from that film or from other sources that indicated an ape. What if, going on the assumption for a moment that there is something there, this creature is a transitional form? It might just be a previously unknown member of the genus Homo, but retain a few ape-like traits such as the mid-tarsal break, limb proportions and head structure.

    Just a possibility to muse on.

  31. DWA responds:

    Got to this one late.

    Ceroill: “One man said that what the PG film clip shows has to be human, because of the way it moves. At least one other showed evidence from that film or from other sources that indicated an ape. What if, going on the assumption for a moment that there is something there, this creature is a transitional form?”

    Well, could be. And it could be people reading into it more than is there. It could just be a bipedal ape, which is what I’m sticking with until evidence comes in otherwise. (The old walks/looks/quacks thing).

    I’ve seen that the gait, and the feet, and the hands, and the face, and the “language,” and whatever else make it human. (Don’t think anyone has said that its saying “don’t shoot!” made it human. Yet.) Well, to me, that’s like saying that a penguin has to be human because it looks like a guy in a tuxedo. I’ve seen people postulate a conscience, advanced reasoning ability and a soul based on the gait and the feet alone.

    Is a dragonfly a bird because it has wings? No more than an ape is human because it’s bipedal.

    I mean, we don’t know yet. Over the past few decades we’ve seen one “human hallmark” after another go by the boards because we find that other species have it. Who knows whether the discovery of the sasquatch could move the human template again? I sure don’t.

    But to say it does based on evidence we have, well, is a porpoise a fish?

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