Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 14th, 2006
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Dr. Grover Krantz did not bring to the attention of hominology the possible importance of dermal ridges found in unknown hominoid footprint casts until 1982. Could there be a photographic record of dermals from a dozen years before then?
"Handprints" resembling those of a gorilla-like man or man-like gorilla are part of the question of unknown anthropoid cryptids in the southern United States.
Near El Reno, Oklahoma, in December 1970, something which moved on all fours raided a chicken coop, leaving a handprint on the door. Local media called it the "El Reno Chicken Man."
The door and the 7" x 5" handprint were taken to Lawrence Curtis, Director of the Oklahoma City Zoo, for an opinion. Curtis told me he was frankly baffled. He found the thumb of the print quite unusual – it was crooked as if deformed or injured. Curtis thought it was from a primate but was uncertain of what kind.
In my files, I had collected reports that over a three-year period in the same general area – a mere 16 miles away, from 1967-70, Howard Dreeson of Calumet, Oklahoma, left out bananas and oranges for an animal he described as a "chimpanzee." He had hoped to capture it. He never did.
An examination of the photograph of the El Reno "handprint" left on the chicken coop door shows not so much a deformed hand as a typical anthropoid footprint. In a good quality reprint of the photograph, dermal ridges are slightly visible.
From: Mysterious America (2007).
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.