To Kill or Not to Kill Bigfoot

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 6th, 2006

In Craig Woolheater’s blog , he quotes John Green as supporting the killing of Sasquatch, cutting up their bodies, and collecting many to do the dissections he feels are needed. He ends with this statement:

So if your top priority is to make sure that no Sasquatch is killed, your most logical course is to do what over the years quite a few like-minded people have already done—drop the whole thing and hope, although of course it won’t happen, that everyone else will do the same.

To John Green’s continued support of actively hunting down Bigfoot to ready them for the autopsy table and if you don’t think that way, get out, well, I must reply to my old friend.

Frankly, proving the reality of Bigfoot is not a black and white issue where if you don’t “believe” in killing them you should leave the field. That is much too limiting and unrealistic in a modern world in which humane capture, captivity, and probable release techniques exist.

The first large unknown hairy hominoid captured will live its life in captivity, no doubt, and there it may be examined internally. MRIs, CAT scans, EKGs, and a whole battery of medical and other procedures may be used to examine it.

It is doubtful the first one will be returned to the wild, so, of course, it will die someday within the reach of future scientific examinations. Then it will be dissected, just as newly discovered animals, including various kinds of humans, have been for further study. But in the meantime, why not study the living animal’s captive and adaptive behaviors?

The days of Queen Victoria, when only killing an animal would establish it was real and not folklore, are, indeed, long gone.

Continuing to place the “kill vs no kill” debate into a political debate of “love it or leave it” is not helpful.

If you don’t wish to kill Bigfoot but are interested in studying them and proving they exist, please understand that John Green’s black and white stance is not universal. Most of us, whether Russians, French, Canadians, or Americans, as I have outlined in Bigfoot! and The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates, can stand on that gray area of using telebiology, not kill Sasquatch, and yet, happily, remain in the quest. You also can stay in the field, no matter on which side of the debate you land. There is always a middle ground, too.

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.

21 Responses to “To Kill or Not to Kill Bigfoot”

  1. 2400bc responds:

    I have decided to only kill a Bigfoot (or any other cryptid for that matter) if it tries to attack me.

    Something I don’t understand is why people like John Green don’t carry tranquilizer guns instead of rifles. This seems like a much better alternative. It would allow a person to get up-close and take as many photos and samples as wanted and then let the creature return to its habitat without harm.

  2. joshharris responds:

    I think killing the Bigfoot may be the only way to get the information about the creature that is needed. Unfortunately harming an innocent creature, but is this the only way? I believe so. Sacrifices must be made to ensure the scholastic discovery of such an astonishing cryptid.

  3. SteelTex responds:

    Either way you look at it you are in for a miserable failure. For around 40 years there has not been one shot and killed (no body). There has been one pretty good suspect film, and a host of videos, pictures,and eyewitness reports. (Mostly suspect). Track castings and hair samples are not enough proof of the animals existence. Getting one within 50 yard to tranquilize it is going to be a job, although this would be my plan of attack for a capture.

  4. shovethenos responds:

    Of course if any cryptid hominids can be classified as “human” nothing can be done to them without their informed consent. Anything else would violate the Nuremberg Code and numerous other laws/rules.

    As far as non-human cryptid hominids are concerned, any “sacrificing” of them outside the realm of valid legal self-defense – i.e. real, direct imminent danger – should probably be considered a serious crime. I’m not an expert in the genetics of rare and endangered species, but it sounds like these animals, if they exist, could be too rare to risk any further depletion of the gene pool.

    They safely capture very dangerous animals all the time, claiming that one MUST be killed in the interest of documentation seems pretty ignorant and short-sighted.

  5. Horrificus responds:

    I have 2 comments:

    1. I agree that many Bigfoots must be killed and dissected, in orer to prove their existence.

    2. I am going to need the same proof of the existence of John Green.

  6. CryptoInformant responds:

    I agree, these animals show near human intelligence, so must be tricked, trapped, observed until their death, and ONLY THEN can they be autopsied.

  7. darkworx responds:

    Sadly science will never take Sasquatch seriously until ONE IS KILLED and paraded around… It’s sad…but it sounds true

  8. shovethenos responds:

    I don’t know. I think if numerous hair and scat samples containing DNA can be collected eventually science will not be able to ignored it. How many samples that will take is a guess. But like I said before: How many unidentified DNA samples does one have to find before someone admits that you’re finding unidentified DNA? If you collect a dozen DNA samples that are all unidentified, but close enough to be the same species, that is very hard to ignore.

    I also think sooner or later one will be hit by a car, if they haven’t been already. I think there’s a report on the BFRO site about one bleeding by the side of the road. And a lot of the reports on the BFRO site involve near-misses with cars/trucks.


    There are a number of reports of cryptid hominids being shot/killed. There’s the famous account of loggers/trappers shooting one and then having their cabin bombarded with rocks and logs that night. On the BFRO site there are numerous accounts of people shooting at them, some very recent. I think Loren was in anonymous contact with someone who said he had shot and killed two but felt guilty about it and had buried them. Supposedly there was some agreement or proposed agreement for him to reveal the location just before he died. Someone might try to get Loren to comment on this.

    Trapping might be a better alternative to tranquilizing. There was a picture recently on the Coast to Coast AM website of a “bigfoot trap” someone had constructed. It didn’t look sturdy enough for the job, in my opinion. If you’re going to construct a trap it would have to be very strong and very well set up. From both the inside and the outside, since others might try to break a trapped one out.


    I think that some of the cryptid hominids, if they exist and the relevant accounts aren’t hoaxed, might be very close to or at average human intelligence. Some of the vocalizations recorded sound like they could be language, and some of the reports indicate vocalizations are used like language. And this isn’t too far-fetched – some human societies didn’t have fire or complex tools. And some lost fire use after they were isolated. Read Guns, Germs, and Steel for discussions of this.

  9. r.lee responds:

    I am completely against a “kill” policy.

    It’s not that important to me that its existence be proven once and for all to science. For those that have seen Bigfoot, it’s been proven. For others who have not; well, live with it. Maybe you’ll see one, maybe you won’t.

    I’ve never seen one. Frankly, with all of my UFO and paranormal adventures, I’d rather not. It certainly can’t add to my credibility among some people. (Not that I much care.) But I believe it exists; more likely than not. That’s enough for me.

  10. cryptohunter65 responds:

    First off, cut the attacks on John Green. He has been studying Bigfoot longer than any of you clowns! He wrote the first books on Bigfoot and is the reason that most of you ever even heard of Bigfoot. John has earned a place of respect in Cryptozoological circles, so give it to him.

    From what I have read, a few of you should check your facts before you decide to post. Any vet will tell you that you can’t just tranq an animal. Each animal must be matched to a specific drug. You also need to know the weight of the animal so you can measure the proper dosage. Too much kills the animal, too little lets it wander off to die a rather unpleasant death. I have no intention of waltzing up to a large and potentially dangerous animal with an airgun and a little dart. If you want to, well we do have an overpopulation problem.

    There have been some claims of people having shot Bigfoot. In most of the stories their rifles were woefully underpowered, don’t try it with anything smaller than a .338. Feel free to try it because a body is the ONLY way that science will accept this animal.

    DNA evidence only identifies those creatures that have been identified and for which samples exist. You can hand in hair samples till doomsday and the best answer you can hope for is an unknown primate. No specimen to compare to, no identification.

    A lot of you have to learn a cold hard fact. Cryptozoology is a biological science. In a biological science animals must die to advance scientific knowledge. There is no other way. Too much “polical correctness” has crept into the Cryptozoological world. People want to claim to be scientific in their approach, then they scream that you can’t kill the animal. All this little movement does is hinder the work of serious researchers. John Green was correct. If you can’t stand the idea of killing an animal, you have no place in this field. Go join PETA.

  11. Loren Coleman responds:

    A couple replies to the above…

    The story about the buried Bigfoot bodies comes via a caller to Coast to Coast AM when Robert Morgan was on the program. They supposedly were hidden in Texas and a map was involved, promised to Morgan. This completely fell apart. No map. No bodies. Probable hoax.

    One of the problems with getting into the “kill vs no kill” debate is that it quickly becomes emotional, as per cryptohunter65’s comment above.

    First off, no one is attacking John Green, who is a personal friend of mine, but only his ideas.

    Secondly, if one is going to ask for the “facts to be checked,” they should do the same. Yes, John has been around a long time, but he is not the author of the first books on Bigfoot or the reason I heard about Bigfoot. Ivan T. Sanderson’s articles and books, written in 1958-1961, would have that honor. John’s booklets (which he thought of as monographs) on Sasquatch he personally published later, and his opus from the publisher Hancock House appeared in 1978.

    Yes, John has earned a place of respect, and he does get it. That’s no reason to make this into a shouting match about this concept of his that ends with yet another call for people to leave the field (or join PETA) if they don’t follow the same point of view as John. If one wants to look at this scientifically, not emotionally, it then makes no sense to throw people overboard because they don’t have your same belief system.

  12. daveW responds:

    It is sad to say that killing an animal is necessary, but that is most likely true. It makes for a good discussion.

  13. sassafrass responds:

    I believe it would be insanity to destroy a sasquatch, if one even could. To kill a creature that has remained scientifically unknown, only to make it scientifically known shows how naive our species really is. Is it not good enough to just know in your own mind that something exists? As opposed to seeking a corpse and/or photo/video to show others that yes it is true. Only to have 75% of the skeptics rebuke there statments to claims that “I knew it all along.”
    This creature has obviously had the smarts to avoid us and our destructive nature, why dont we all just leave them alone, proof is not needed if your gut tells you it is real. Take care.

  14. r.lee responds:

    I don’t know if I”m one of the “clowns” cryptohunter65 refers to; one hopes not. However, one is entitled to one’s opinion, and I will state mine. I am not attacking anyone, not John Green, or anyone else. I am stating that I do not think it is necessary to kill a BF. Simple. Rudely dismissing views such as mine with a “go join PETA” is not necessary.

    My point is, simply because someone has the opinion science “gets to” kill something doesn’t make it right all the time, in all cases. With BF, this is very different than — well, anything. Heck, it’s Bigfoot.We don’t know what we’re dealing with.

    As I said, for those that have seen BF, the proof is there.

    I disagree that a “no kill” policy somehow hurts BF research, or that one is being “politically correct” because one does not support a kill policy.

    Screaming at those who don’t support a kill policy with comments that they go join PETA, are politically correct, or need to stop attacks (when none are being made) is what hurts research.

  15. Caroline63 responds:

    To kill or not to kill, that is the question, and a hard one too. Especially in this country right now, where discussions of kill or not kill spill over into all parts of our lives. It is very hard to decide what to do under situation in which one might run into a Bigfoot. Tranquilizing is difficult, without proper dosages, and some people and animals are allergic to certain types of anesthetics. So, you might be doing one a lot of harm if you shoot it with a dart. Sadly, scientists will not be satisfied with pictures or hair samples. There are a lot of samples that have been studied, and in all cases it comes back as an unknown. If one is out with a large gun, and sees a Bigfoot, and can’t catch it any other way, does one shoot to bring back the evidence? Shoot it to wound it? Shoot it in the kneecaps and call for help? Would the chance of fame and glory overcome any moral scruples? The person who finally brings solid proof of a Bigfoot can essentially write his or her own meal ticket for life. Would the thought of money overcome any moral feelings one might have? Capturing one somehow would seem to be the most logical solution, because we do need to know what makes them tick…and how closely related they are to us, and if they are some type of proto-humans and what they are made of. Could we study one, tag one and track one, to pick up the body at death for any additional tests that could be run? I just wish someone would find one soon. Mysteries get more and more difficult to live with every year.

  16. frodnum responds:

    Case closed.

  17. shovethenos responds:


    Thanks for the response, I knew I had heard that somewhere. Too bad it was a hoax.


    You give it all away with the “overpopulation” crack. According to the books from the 70’s we shouldn’t be here – we should have eaten ourselves into starvation already. And of course Malthus’s models would have had our demise long before even the books from the 70s were written. But let me guess – you have the answer to the “overpopulation” problem and it involves you telling other people what to do.

    Intentionally killing a cryptid isn’t the “ONLY” way science would accept one. DNA samples combined with better photographic evidence would probably do the trick for a lot of people. Certainly until one could be captured or one gets hit by a car and recovered.

    And acting like a “kill encouraged” stance is any more objective and scientific than a “kill discouraged” stance is nonsense. Again, I’m not an expert on the genetics of rare and endangered animals, but I don’t see how killing off what could be crucial genetic material could be seen as positive. If the animal is out there in sufficient numbers it will eventually be documented, intentionally killing one just to speed the process up seems dangerously shortsighted.

  18. Roger Knights responds:

    Green expresses himself very well on this matter in the last chapter of his book, “Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us” (1978). It’s been out of print for many years and is expensive on the used book market, but it is scheduled to be republished this year.

    Green, although supporting a theoretical “Kill” position, has in recent years stated that there is sufficient evidence in the Skookum cast and the inhuman arm-to-leg ratios in the PG Film to establish the reality of the creature without a body. He foresaw that possibility in his book, writing (pp. 113-14):

    “A great deal could be done with it [the PGF] if anyone with the necessary skills and equipment or the money to pay for them would take an interest. In fact, it may well prove eventually that the evidence to establish the existence of the sasquatch has been available on that piece of film since 1967.”

  19. Gurpreet responds:

    One of the Cryptozoology websites had a quote that went something like this “What is the most intelligent animal? The one that has never been caught by man.” Bigfoot is truly an enigma…as a medical doctor, having viewed the Patterson-Gimlin film, I have absolutely no doubt that that is a real creature, a very large, non-human primate and not at all a human in a gorilla suit. I think that the intelligence of these creatures is at least equal to that of human beings. As a person who is very involved in spirituality, I also believe that there is a spiritual, some may say paranormal, aspect to these creatures…I have met two spiritual counselors who have either seen or communed with Bigfoot, and there are other similar references (see the non-fiction book Ghost Hunters, by Ed and Lorraine Warren, in which a Bigfoor telepathically projects images into Lorraine’s mind). So, part of me realizes this is a flesh and blood creature that lives in our physical realm, but part of me also believes that there is more to this creature than just the physical…it may well be that they have been able to evade capture for so long because they have abilities…psychic/spiritual/paranormal/knowledge that we truly are in the dark about. As to the kill/no-kill question…I am also unsure as to the best answer…it is likely that modern scientists will not take seriously anything less than a body but if we can succeed in capturing one alive, that would be ideal.

  20. cryptohunter65 responds:

    To all the members of Cryptomundo, both those who posted here and those who visited this post, I wish to apologize for the post I made. I was not exactly in my right mind when I made that post. I am amazed at how rude I was and I hope you will forgive me. This is an adult site shared by intelligent people and my post was anything but. I promise that you will not see another post like that from me again.

    This subject is sensitive, but a very good one to debate. That is the only way that new ideas will come forth. On that subject I believe Caroline63 has come up with a very good idea. If a very small tracking device could be made that could be implanted under the skin, this creature could then be followed until it’s death and gathered. Here is a project for the tech crowd. It has to be small, with a long life.

    I have one big concern with live capture. This is a large, very powerful creature. We don’t know what it’s reaction to being cornered would be, but I would guess that like any other animal it would be violent. An amateur attempt would most likely result in somebody’s death. Discovery is not worth somebody’s life.

    Once again, I am ashamed of my previous post and offer some very humble apologies.

  21. Ole Bub responds:

    I’ve seen these magnificent creatures on two occasions…I’m against killing one except in only the most extreme case of defense…involving others….if you are at risk…it is a risk you took willingly…I never felt fear or apprehension in either of my sightings….rather a sense of awe and wonder…IMHO

    Regarding a capture situation…highly unlikely but in that event….I hope science has the common sense to study, catagorize and release the subject implanted with a GPS transmitter and track it’s migration routes and patterns to help establish sanctuaries and protective legislation. The thought of a captured Sasquatch languishing away in some university laboratory “habitat” is disconcerning…JMHO

    These creatures are huge, especially the girth of their torsos… I’ve mentioned before….only a large caliber chest wound or clean head shot is a sure kill…anything less would probably just maim or wound….a certain tragedy…IMHO

    seeing is believing…

    ole bub

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