El Reno’s Dermals

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 14th, 2006

El Reno Nape

Click on image for full-size version

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 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.


7 Responses to “El Reno’s Dermals”

  1. CamperGuy responds:

    My neck of the woods except that area is lightly wooded at best. Not what I would normally consider bigfoot habitat.That is not to say it wasn’t.

    With that said there was another report of a boy who had gotten a brand new hunting rifle either for his b-day or Christmas. Anyways he went out and came across something that was described at the time very similar to bigfoot. Whatever it was it scared the boy so badly he dropped his rifle and went running back home. The adults and the boy went immediately back and found the gun on the ground but no sign of the creature. This was in the Yukon (Oklahoma) area which is very close to El Reno and same type of terrain. Don’t remember how many years ago maybe in the 80’s? Played on the local tv for a couple of days then the story died. Btw both of these areas are within about thirty miles of Oklahoma city and certainly not isolated.

  2. LSU_Crypto responds:

    7×5 isn’t much bigger than the hand of a small full grown man. I would assume this to be an escaped primate or perhaps a juvenile sasquatch.

  3. Ole Bub responds:

    Agreed Camper…I’ve been on many a quail hunt in the Calumet area….not much cover til you get near the Canadian River…a lot of deep gas drilling activity out there, especially now.

    I suspect the NA folks in Anadarko could shed some light on the subject…the famous dumpster footage was from an El Reno Casino I believe…JMHO

    seeing is believing…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  4. thegoblinking responds:

    I agree with also agree with Camper. I onced lived in Bethany OK, between Yukon and OKC. There are wooded areas but they are few and far between.

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    Do not look to “wooded areas.” Instead, search your maps and the area for the greenbelt passageways these animals travel…along such bottomlands, swampy, bushy zones on the banks of the North River, which also has a game bird hatchery there. Look to the areas along Sixmile Creek and Fourmile Creek too, around El Reno.

  6. Mnynames responds:

    Looking on Google Earth, I can see your point. The river meanders a bit, but it does connect Calumet and El Reno, and around it is about as close to woodlands as you can get in that area of Oklahoma. Still pretty scrubby if you ask me, but then I’m used to the Jersey Pine Barrens, a veritable jungle by comparison. If there are Sasquatch in OK, they must be sticking close to the woods, otherwise they’d be very easily spotted crossing all the open fields.

  7. 12inchPianist responds:

    I don’t know about that deformed thumb. I just squatted on the floor as if to crawl into a short space, and crouched forward on my hands to simulate what the creature may have done.

    I have to say, my hand would have made that exact print. Crooked thumb, pinky apart from the rest, palm squished into a question mark. My hand is just a bit larger that 8×5, and I’m only 5’8″ if I try hard. I’m going to go with unimpressive human.

    I would lean towards hobo, maybe escaped prisoner. I could believe feral child were the prints smaller. In the video I’ve seen of a feral girl, she had her hands scrunched like that most of the time when in ‘dog’ mode.

    My two cents.




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