Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 25th, 2007
There’s a new argument occurring over at the James Randi skeptics forum, between Bigfoot promoters and skeptics, this last week in February 2007. It’s all about the unlikely subject of what was said by anthropologist Grover Krantz regarding the reality of the Skookum Cast.
Here’s the result of some research and what may be the “final” confusing answer on the matter.
In 2004, Scott Herriott engaged in a spirited exchange with John Green on the Bigfoot Yahoo list about the subject. Herriott displayed some skepticism pertaining to Green’s claim that Krantz had endorsed the Skookum Cast. After all, Herriott remarked, there seemed to be nothing published by Krantz to show he endorsed it. Green replied:
I never appreciate insinuations that I am a liar.John Green, December 2004
Herriott then asked specifically:
What exactly did he [Grover Krantz] say in reference to it? Any videotape of him saying this? Even a confirmed written sentence from Krantz saying, in essence, “I think the Skookum imprint was definitely made by a Sasquatch?” Excuse me if I’m somewhat skeptical of claims made by fellow advocates.Scott Herriott, December 2004
To which, John Green answered:
Grover [Krantz] was terminally ill when he examined the cast, although he did not know it until shortly after that. I am not aware of anything he may have written, nor do I recall his exact words, but I was with him during the examination and had several telephone conversations with him about it afterwards. He always discussed it in terms of what it obviously is, and never expressed any doubts about it.John Green, December 2004
This is a a fiberglass replica of the Skookum Cast, which was on display at the “Bigfoot in Texas?” exhibition at the University of Texas San Antonio.
The “Skookum Cast” is a reproduction of a massive impression made with 325 pounds of casting material, mostly by Rick Noll. It is said to be an alleged partial Bigfoot body print found on September 22, 2000, in a muddy wallow, near a road in the Skookum Meadows area of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington state.
The initial examination of the recovered cast took place outside Seattle, at Derek Randle’s workshop, the first weekend after it came out of the woods. This examination was attended by Grover Krantz, John Green, Ron Brown, Jeff Meldrum and John Bindernagel, as well as Rick Noll and Derek Randle, of course.
During Grover Krantz’s first encounter with the Skookum Cast, in September 2000, the Australian crew of “Animal X” (for the Animal Planet) was filming that initial examination of the Skookum Cast. In it, reportedly, Grover Krantz is thought to be heard saying he agrees with everyone else examining the cast right at the beginning of the program. Later, according to proponents of the cast, Krantz is shown examining the cast, appears with his book, says the cast certainly looks like a Sasquatch thrashed around on the ground and then acknowledges he was quite impressed with it. Clear verification that Krantz made these statements, one way or the other, on the record about the Skookum Cast are still unverified, until a transcript of that program can be obtained.
Jeff Meldrum in his new book mentions he flew in for the weekend to see it. Meldrum’s university issued a press release about the cast on October 23, 2000. This news dispatch was picked up by newspapers across the country, and Meldrum’s name was tied to the Skookum Cast, not Krantz’s or Noll’s. Meldrum’s statements were published in New Scientist (December 23, 2000). Meldrum noted that the imprint seemed to have been made by a large, hair-covered hominid more than 2.5 meters tall. He found markings that looked like human dermal patterns on the heel print, he said.
Jeff Meldrum’s 2006 book does not contain statements from Grover Krantz seconding his opinion on the Skookum Cast. No websites contain any first-hand Krantz statements on the cast.
John Green’s first published comments on the Skookum Cast occurred during November 2000, and remain easily accessible on the internet. Chris Murphy’s 2004 book has no statements from Krantz on the Skookum Cast.
David J. Daegling’s skeptical Bigfoot book indicates that Krantz made comments that did not endorse the Skookum cast. Perhaps some of Krantz’s interview remarks can be read that way?
Even after inspecting the Skookum Cast three times, [Grover Krantz’s] opinion of it was tempered by a cranky ambivalence.Bruce Barcott, Outside Magazine, August 2002.
I don’t know what it is. I’m baffled. Elk. Sasquatch. That’s the choice.Grover Krantz said to reporter Bruce Barcott of Outside Magazine.
The June 2002 videotaping of the documentary, Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, with a gathering of scientists examining the Skookum Cast, took place after Grover Krantz had died. Of course, Krantz’s last book was published in 1999, so it contains no comment on the 2000 discovery, either.
Grover Krantz died on the morning of February 14, 2002, in his Port Angeles, Washington State home.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.