Sasquatch Coffee

The Minaret Skull

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 23rd, 2012

The Minaret Skull

by DWA

I only just learned recently about what is apparently one of the more famous Bigfoot artifacts:  the Minaret Skull.  When skeptics ask, “Where are the bones?” the Minaret answer is:  “Well, this might be one.  But who knows?”  Right now, nobody does.

A friend with a similar interest in Sasquatch raised the topic in a recent email; he’d heard of it and presumed I had.  (Whoops.)  He referred me to a YouTube video of the finder of the skull discussing the incident.  Well, heh heh.  I’d definitely managed to avoid this little tidbit, and when it comes to this topic I haven’t avoided too much.  But the YouTube video and my subsequent reading sure have gotten me thinking about something, in a way that single pieces of cryptid evidence normally don’t.  It’s volume and consistency that get my attention, not Just One Thing that might, or might not, be authentic.  This is just one single piece – if, that is, it exists; what reason have we to doubt that? – of evidence.  But what this one single piece of evidence, that might or might not be something, has gotten me thinking about is:

Just how many single pieces of cryptid evidence are there, that could amount to virtual proof were they exhumed and examined, sitting in just how many places in our very own species’s clutches…that nobody knows about?

In  August of 1965, Dr. Robert W. Denton, a retired physician, was on a solo backpacking trip on the North Fork of the San Joaquin River in the Sierra Nevada of central California.  He came to a river crossing, where he found a Mexican farm worker trying to coax a stuck mule out of a bog near the riverbank.  A kick by the mule dislodged something from the bank.  The Mexican called Denton’s attention to it; the doctor picked it up.  Denton’s examination of the object revealed a skull, the top of one at any rate.  Given that who knows what any skull might be, and this one looked as if it might be human, Denton decided to take it home and find out what it was.

It turned out that it might not be human after all.  Dr. Gerald K. Ridge, a pathologist to whom Denton took the skull for identification, said that he believed that the specimen, a calvarium (the top and rear of the skull), belonged to “some anthropoid species other than human.”  He referred to size and specific skull characters more common to apes than to us.

Homo heidelbergensis calvarium used for illustrative purposes only.

Well, one would think, this is where the plot thickens.  But what went on from here is a story that most of us who are fairly read up on the efforts to confirm this animal have heard too many times.  Ridge, wanting a second opinion, sent the skull to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) anthropology department.  Two physical anthropologists – this was right up their technical alley – reviewed the specimen; agreed that they had never seen anything quite like it…and pretty much immediately concluded that the specimen was from “a young, ancient Indian male.”  Which immediately tipped off that they had indeed seen much like it, at least if they were right, because they identified it as a Homo sapiens skull.  Moreover, the calvarium is useless in making a judgment like this; race can only be deduced from facial bones and teeth, which weren’t attached to the specimen.

So exactly what prompted the two anthropologists’ difference of opinion from Dr. Ridge?  It appears that we are never going to know.  To make a long story short:  the calvarium disappeared.  It has not turned up since.  It may possibly be in the UCLA collection, somewhere.  But where can only be determined by a concerted search through an enormous stack of paper catalogs…that provide nothing but a long series of chronologically arranged ID numbers.  No notes; no descriptions.  And now one has to go through all those boxes and find the right one.  This sounds about as easy as, well, duplicating the Patterson-Gimlin film.  And no one has done that yet, either.

A more detailed write-up is here.

The YouTube video of Dr. Denton describing his find is here.  There isn’t unfortunately anything about the skull’s fate (in fact, he doesn’t even address its leaving his hands):

And this link talks about the general topic of lost bones a little more.  There’s some entertainment, and more than a little food for thought.

The easy rejoinder, of course, is:  where is the proof that this happened?  There is none.  But Dr. Denton doesn’t sound or look like the kind of person who would make this up.  Several people’s stories intersect and check out.  And if one is going to make something up, why not a suit hoax?  They’re easier.

I have long wondered whether somebody hasn’t found Sasquatch bones somewhere.  Actually, I’m pretty sure it has happened, more than once, if the animal is real; and there are as one would expect a number of stories.  Where’s the proof?  Well, the sasquatch would be proven if we had the proof.

But there’s more than a single piece of evidence that the skeptical rejoinder “Where are the bones?” may be a slight bit disingenuous, to say the least.  It’s a nice Catch-22 to demand proof when the proof tends to get thrown away by people who Know There’s No Such Thing.  But evidence doesn’t have to be proof to have power; and the stories alone are evidence.

What do you think?

About Loren Coleman
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.


31 Responses to “The Minaret Skull”

  1. Scopi responds:

    “Where are the bones?” And the answer is… “Well, this one guy one time totally found part of a cranium, though nobody with anthropological knowledge identified it as being anything other than human and no one knows where it is to verify it as anything other than human, but it could TOTALLY be a Bigfoot!”

    Sorry, if that’s evidence, then I can “prove” Santa Claus exists though the “power” of stories.

    I love the implication that anthropologists holding a truly unusual example of skull would just say, “Eh, throw this in a box somewhere.” Finding an unknown hominid would make someone’s career, period.

    Instead what we have here is the whole MacFarlane’s Bear fiasco again. “The Smithsonian totally has cave bear skull! It’s like huge and stuff!” “Oh really, let’s look at it. Um… it’s a brown bear skull, and not a very large one at all.” “… It could TOTALLY be a baby cave bear!” It’s amazing what good evidence you can make up so long as you just tell stories about physical remains, rather than examining the remains themselves.

  2. DWA responds:

    Scopi:

    “Finding an unknown hominid would make someone’s career, period.”

    One of the most common skeptical misstatements. Because if it would, we’d know now, wouldn’t we?

    Finding unknown hominids generates ridicule. Exhibit A: your post. Who wants that?

    You don’t know much about museums, do you?

    Nor about science, the history of which is more about close-mindedness and groupthink than anything else. Read some Kuhn and Bindernagel. That’ll fix it.

    It’s a shame that, for the most part, the very qualities that make for a good plower of already-plowed scientific ground make for people that can’t do much in the way of handling unknowns.

    This is only one of many stories. Anyone who actually believed your quote might wonder why that was. Rather than just call the whole thing a lie, and wonder why the heck anyone would want to make such stuff up.

  3. DWA responds:

    I did forget to note what the plowers of already-plowed scientific ground did in this case.

    They said they’d seen nothing like it; and immediately pronounced it something they had indeed seen much of…despite not even having the evidence that would make such a pronouncement possible.

    Such Inspector Clouseau bobbles are legion in scientific history.

  4. MattBille responds:

    I never heard a claim McFarlane’s was a cave bear. That’s interesting. Really, though, when you have an eyewitness report of a physical item that is now lost, you have a report in the same class as all other eyewitness evidence (“I saw bigfoot’s skull” = “I saw bigfoot” from a science POV.) The exception is when the evidence was professionally reviewed and/or recorded. No one doubts the “Peking man” bones. No one doubts the Naden Harbor carcass existed. whatever it was.

    I see no reason to doubt that this witness found a calvarium, but if he can’t even produce letters from the experts who reviewed it, and there are no photos or casts, there’s nothing here that advances the cause of proving sasquatch.

  5. DWA responds:

    Matt:

    No argument that nothing here advances the sasquatch case.

    Unless, of course, somebody was encouraged to turn a couple of research assistants loose at UCLA. Without getting laughed at.

    What this case highlights to me is the utter sloppiness of evidence handling when the people put in charge of the evidence go, oh no WAY. No letters, photos or casts? Well, those should be in the province of the UCLA scientists….who weren’t exactly encouraged to invest anything down that path, even some pro bono grad-assistant time, by the way society looks at this topic. No documentation, no proof, what were you saying again…? As I note: a convenient Catch-22, when the same kind of people who say that are tossing evidence.

    Anyone who is conversant with the evidence knows that hairy hominoids – cryptids in general – are scientific grist for, at the very least, starving grad students (or undergrads, or interested high schoolers) to get some experience in evaluating and following up evidence. And to be encouraged by a general scientific attitude that, at the very least, says: Interesting. Let me know what you find out. And that encourages open-minded inquiry. And that does a little outside reading before pronouncing sentence based on ignorance, posing as arrogance.

    Mainstream-channeled scientists have said – in as many words – that cryptids need to be proven before they invest any time. Unfortunately, our society entrusts them with that. And scoffing by scientists stymies open-minded inquiry.

    Not somethng that makes me optimistic about any significant strides in areas where we truly need scientific assistance, let alone this one.

    When science scoffs, it cripples progress. That’s the lesson here.

    And for anyone who says well, what’s your proof?

    I hand you your question as Exhibit A.

  6. Redrose999 responds:

    Very interesting story DWA, thank you for sharing. I will say, the photo you’ve posted is very interesting, I know the face is missing, but the bow line does look rather thick for a human skull. I’ve worked with a few skulls for art, and in my days in human anatomy in college. Not enough exposure to be an expert, or even a dabbler, but enough to understand the basic form artistically. I can’t say it is not human, but it looks odd enough to warrant study. Pity it is missing.

    Wish there was a way to prompt UCLA to look and locate the original specimen.

  7. AreWeThereYeti responds:

    Barring a most-unlikely “rediscovery,” Dr. Denton’s story appears impossible to verify at this point.

    However, it does give one pause when considering the implications: the type-specimen for Bigfoot may be gathering dust; misidentified or simply waiting to be looked-at, in some unopened or unmarked storage box in the basement of any one of the museums or universities across North America. It could also be lying in the back of an old garage, moldering-away in a barn, residing as a “curiosity” in someone’s hunting camp or propping-open the door of a prospector’s shack…!

    The truth is no one knows what’s out there. Until people take the time to look, and mainstream science takes-off its blinders and acknowledges the possibility that the status quo may not be the final word on what is “known,” the odds of proving the existence of Sasquatch are that much poorer.

  8. DWA responds:

    Actually, Redrose999, that’s not the Minaret; that’s a Homo heidelbergensis calvarium. Loren put it up there for illustrative purposes.

    One thing I can give that: the brow ridge kinda says “not Homo sapiens.”

  9. paul_r responds:

    @redrose999

    “Homo heidelbergensis calvarium used for illustrative purposes only”

    The actual sample was lost per story.

  10. Hapa responds:

    I definitely think this could have been a sasquatch skull, but there is something that bothers me:

    The Minaret skull was said to be pointed, much like Sasquatch’s heads are reported to be. Such pointed heads are found on Male Gorillas and some other apes, such as the extinct Paranthropus Boisei. If this skull did indeed have a sagittal crest, then how could these scientists have mistaken it for a human deformity? Either it was not a true sagittal crest (perhaps the skull of a young specimen that had not grown into their’s yet, or maybe the point on Sasquatch’s head is not a true sagittal crest, or perhaps it was not a sasquatch’s skull), or they knew what they were looking at and chose to get rid of it anyway. It seems as if they were trying to explain away the pointed head as some form of deformity (perhaps similar to the head-flattening certain Indian tribes practiced), but the reasoning of these scientists are still murky.

    I don’t really buy into a conspiracy theory answer to this, but the events surrounding this mystery are…just about suspicious.

    Question: how can two credentialed anthropologists mistake a primate’s skull complete with sagittal Crest for a modern Homo Sapien Male…?

    Don’t they teach human/nonhuman ape biological differences at UCLA? Did they have a Florida-voter-mishap-kind of moment? Where the scientists afraid they were being duped into another Piltdown Man hoax (parts of a Real Orangutan skull were used in that famous incident)?

    What is going on here?

    People, if you do find a physical specimen of a possible Sasquatch, be very, very careful who you let examine it. Take the Minaret skull as a cautionary tale, a tale that, sadly, is not fairy tale. :(

  11. DWA responds:

    AreWeThereYeti:

    Every time I think about this issue, the phrase “doorstop for some prospector’s cabin” crosses my miind. No lie.

  12. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I think I would like to know the location of that farm, because it might merit a more thorough dig.

  13. Redrose999 responds:

    I am so sorry for my mistake there folks and thank you for the corrections.

    It would be nice if someone visited the actual site the skull was found and did some digging. There is might be something more.

  14. mandors responds:

    Archaeologists and anthropologists in the U.S. have literally thrown out artifacts, bones, weapons, pottery, etc. that did not fit their paradigm of the land bridge theory of the populating of North America for at least forty years. They COVERED THESE THINGS UP. So, it would not surprise me IN THE LEAST that they already have bigfoot skulls, bones and teeth stored somewhere in their slag files.

  15. odioustrident responds:

    The UCLA ID’ed the calvarium as human based on the calvarium itself… then ID’ed the race based on age and location. I just don’t see the reasonable doubt here.

  16. DWA responds:

    odioustrident:

    “The UCLA ID’ed the calvarium as human based on the calvarium itself…”

    Which the first person to see it called, well, read up there; and which the second persons to see it said they’d never seen anything like before.

    “…… then ID’ed the race based on age and location.”

    How in the bleeding name of Roger Patterson can one racially ID a bone “based on age and location?” You have to forgive me for saying that’s one of the biggest HUH!?!?!?! statements I think I have heard. And in crypto one hears a lot of them.

    Um, sorry to get passionate there. But that leaves a positive ocean of reasonable doubt here. I mean, if you are, you know, curious, and of scientific (and truly skeptical) bent.

  17. MattBille responds:

    What exactly is the evidence that anyone at UCLA ever heard of this, much less identified it?

  18. odioustrident responds:

    They made an assumption based on the facts. Nothing crazy about it. A lot of professional opinions are based on logical assumptions. If someone finds a skull they deem human by scientific analysis, they often flesh out that analysis with their opinions. Assuming this was a Native American given the place and age is reasonable once you’ve established the species.

    You’re claiming there is reasonable doubt while making huge assumptions about the claims these UCLA anthro’s made. Your main assumption is that they ID’ed the racial background based on the skull itself… when they would obviously know better.

  19. odioustrident responds:

    MattBille- I’m more curious about this than the dissection of what these guys said based on limited info.

  20. semillama responds:

    @mandors: “Archaeologists and anthropologists in the U.S. have literally thrown out artifacts, bones, weapons, pottery, etc. that did not fit their paradigm of the land bridge theory of the populating of North America for at least forty years. They COVERED THESE THINGS UP”

    Um. no. it makes for a nice story, but this just doesn’t happen. Of course, I’m an archaeologist, so I’M ONE OF THEM, and I don’t expect you to take MY word for it. In fact, the weight of archaeological opinion is now swinging towards a few migrations at different times, and there’s even some distinguished professors with good arguments for some European visitations by the Solutrean culture. But if you’re talking about waves of Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Egyptians…well, not so much.

    Back to the topic at hand, it might not be as hard as folks think to track the skull fragment down, if in fact it was donated to UCLA. Research institutions do tend to keep track of these things, especially after the passage of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), so it would be worthwhile for someone to follow up with UCLA and see if there’s not a record from 1965 about such a donation. I can’t imagine there were tons of skulls being donated back then, although probably a decent amount of human remains were being processed, since that was before NAGPRA and the essential halting of human remains excavation in American archaeology.

    A good take-away from this story is to make sure you have signatories for all transfer of material from your hands to someone else’s, in the case that someone actually does find fossil remains of an unknown hominid in North America and needs it analyzed. There are enough serious scientists willing to at least look at such material now (Meldrum, Disotell to name a couple).

  21. DWA responds:

    odioustrident:

    One needs bones to make a racial identification. Period. Age and location could not be established to the extent that would satisfy any scientist. The documentation required to nail those things down is extensive. (Muleskinner kicks it, doctor grabs it, doesn’t even begin to qualify.) They would not be sufficient, even if they could be nailed down. But the calvarium by itself can be used to make a species ID, and it’s clearly possible here that the wrong one was made; none was attempted at all; or that the one that was made wasn’t the one they wanted to make.

    This is so very clearly a situation in which a “logical assumption” is inapprorpriate that one does not have to be a scientist either to see that, or to worry about the judgment of any scientist who would think that one was. It’s not something I could take seriously if a scientist tried it. I’d laugh at him. And he’d know his pants were caught down.

    I’m not inclined to call the good doctor a liar. The absence of proof is a killer. (Thank you, mainstream science.) But if this incident did indeed happen, science tripped over its own shoelaces.

    (I know, I know. I asked people what they thought. But you gotta know you’ll hear what I think.)

    Matt Bille:

    When evidence gets tossed, um, where is it? When I say “Catch-22,” that’s what I mean. I can’t prove it happened; neither of us can prove it hasn’t happened more than once, and that it doesn’t continue to happen. Close-mindedness takes many forms; if any are in evidence (e.g. the hip-shoot reaction to the P/G film), none are surprising. Unless the finder does exhaustive documentation himself, anything a scientist gets that doesn’t agree with his worldview, he can toss. There’s nothing about the history of science that gives me any comfort at all that the scenario hinted at here (and by several posters) doesn’t happen, quite a bit.

    Which is why I brought this up. Scientists, of formidable credentials, disagree with the mainstream on the hairy hominoid question. If they are found to be right, it will be a major black eye for our public perception of scientists. And a very well-deserved one.

    Read that link up there, below the video? The opinions expressed by scientists in that article are telling.

    They may get worthless stuff.

    And then they may get stuff they either don’t know anything about, or don’t want to.

    They’re human. Unfortunately, though, they’re scientists, too.

  22. odioustrident responds:

    DWA- You are using the UCLA group results as a reason to cast doubt on their findings, but why would a scientist state something so grossly incorrect? If they made an outrageously rare error as you are implying…. the whole story is subject to doubt. The story is more believable if they made an assumption that was explicitly their own opinion and not based on physical evidence. Your interpretation of what they did wrong injects too much narrative into the few facts we have. We need to think about what is more likely…. as per usual.

  23. DWA responds:

    odioustrident:

    “why would a scientist state something so grossly incorrect?….”

    Um…only for the reasons that many other people in positions of trust have abused that trust. Only for the reasons people lie under oath. Only for the reasons scientists “find” what the money wants them to “find.” Right, global warming deniers? Only for the reasons SCIENTISTS have published FRAUDULENT FINDINGS. And been caught at it.

    Only for the most obvious reason of all: I’m busy. Who the heck cares about this? It’s human because, well, it IS. Got too many irons in the fire. Let’s make this go away. Let’s see if he ever checks back.

    Gee. You tell me. I would hope we’re not that naive. They were pretty sure that what they thought wouldn’t get challenged, and that this would Go Away. Look, they were right! If this happened, that is, they were right. And if it did, why do you think we don’t have proof?

    If they “made an assumption that was explicitly their own opinion and not based on physical evidence,” as you say is “more believable,” they made an “outrageously” COMMON error among scientists, which is: a comfortable assumption that just might be Flat Wrong. (Iguanodon? That’s not a thumb, it’s a horn. Piltdown? The Missing Link, for over 50 years. The earth? EVERYTHING revolves around the earth. The coelacanth? EXTINCT. And every hominid fossil is a direct homo sapiens ancestor. No brainer, right?)

    You don’t “make an assumption” like that in science. Not if you are wearing your scientist hat, which if anyone must wear their professional hat all the time, a scientist must. You review the physical evidence, and make the best judgment you can, hopefully calling on more experience than yours if you aren’t sure. You don’t just assume, and toss. Making “an assumption that was explicitly their own opinion and not based on physical evidence” is not an innocent mistake for a scientist; it’s dereliction of duty. You review and pronounce upon the physical evidence, because that, not Assuming Stuff, is your job.

    Scientists do that every time, right? Sure they do. If what seems to have happened here happened: no they don’t. And who can prove it? Nobody. And who would be so unscrupulous? Certainly not a scientist.

    Convenient, eh?

  24. mandors responds:

    @ semillama

    “In fact, the weight of archaeological opinion is now swinging towards a few migrations at different times, and there’s even some distinguished professors with good arguments for some European visitations by the Solutrean culture.”

    Thank you for kindly proving my point.

    Do you think Mr. “Archaeologist” you could have proposed that 15 years ago? Even as a hypothesis? NO. In fact, some of the evidence of these multiple migrations comes from materials COVERED UP BY YOUR ILK for thirty years! So please, do not pull the high and mighty academic voice of reason BS here.

    Your Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) argument is beyond disingenuous. NAGPRA doesn’t apply if the “scientist” says it’s a BEAR skull. Something I would not put past many of the tenured self perpetuating “scholars” of your field. Please.

    The list of cognitive dissonance and nihilism in archaeology is long. Viking habitations in North America? Cannibalism in Chaco Canyon? 9,000 year old human remains in South America? You, your colleagues and predecessors make your money perpetuating theories, NOT making discoveries. In fact, the ONLY discoveries made in archaeology in the last thirty years have been by courageous men and women rejecting the dogma of your field.

  25. DWA responds:

    mandors/semillama:

    I might rephrase mandors’ last sentence: In fact, the only discoveries made anywhere in science that mean much are made by courageous men and women rejecting the dogma of their fields.

    Most scientists do indeed make their money “perpetuating theories, not making discoveries.” This is the discussion I wanted to get started here. If indeed the Minaret skull just disappeared from the conversation – if not the UCLA collection – what does that say about what you want most from a scientist, which is curiosity? There were clear curiosity tags in this story, then poof. I understand that they have work they’re getting paid to do, like rigging climate studies and turning forest destruction into “ecosystem management.” But must it appear, so very often, as if their main occupation is jamming their imaginations into the smallest possible box? Imagination has been the big driver of science. Meldrum and Bindernagel aren’t eating off of bigfoot. So where are they finding the time? Their curiosity, is where they are finding it. Not to mention their inability to ignore evidence hiding in plain sight.

    Do the skeptics ever argue with them? NO. You wonder why. That they have no argument themselves, I get. But the lack of curiosity flat scares me sometimes.

    In some small pockets of science – paleontology (and by extension paleoanthropology) and astronomy – there seems to be leeway for cool stuff like new theories, artistic license in the service of dialogue, and amateur discovery. Maybe they need to hold seminars.

    But then again, paleoanthropologists would be the last people I’d expect to see sourpussing hairy hominoids. What is up with that?

  26. Hapa responds:

    On the Monsterquest episode on the Yeren, there was a scientist interviewed who was decades ago given physical samples of a supposed Yeren (I believe it was hair). The scientist, a person who did not take the Yeren seriously, threw out the material and continued on with his regular work. When he mentioned this on the show, he shrugged…
    Likewise when the first Duckbill Platypus specimen was sent to scientists for study (a stuffed specimen), it was rejected almost immediately as an “Obvious Hoax” (Which should be a reminder that one should be careful about who is allowed to examine a future Sasquatch Holotype). Only later was it proven to be a real bonafide animal.
    These incidents are no where near isolated incidents. The Minaret skull is no exception, and hopefully like the Platypus a new physical holotype will prove the detractors wrong.

  27. thylo responds:

    @Mandors

    and i quote you thus: “Do you think… you could have proposed that 15 years ago? Even as a hypothesis? NO.” (referring to the multiple migrations theory of the peopling of North America).

    well… actually YES… 15 years ago… 1997ish… yeah I was an anthropology student at that time, and that theory was covered in great detail then. in university… not in some closed-door meeting of ill intentioned professors wishing to continue the status quo. sorry bud.

    there is a cautionary tale here though from that time: “Kennewick Man” from Oregon- remains that could drastically alter the pre-Columbian history of North America, did garner decent media attention, and became a huge political hot potato, only to slip off the radar somewhat ignominiously. This was not a cover up, but it was awkward and left the stage rather abruptly. and for that you can thank not the academics that fought to keep examining the specimen, but political special interest groups that lobbied for its removal from discussion.

    with that I will just say that I don’t believe that academics would knowingly suppress the truth, but that their complacency, arrogant assumptions, or any of a number of basic human flaws that give us those “go away kid, you’re bothering me” impulses could lead to a tragic overlook of physical proof of something outside the accepted norm.
    and to me that is a more plausible situation than a concerted cover up.

    that said, people can argue about the alleged UCLA determinations till they are blue in the face. making sweeping statements about the veracity and meaning of testimonies and stories and anecdotes (some 40 to 50 years old) does not amount to much at this point.

    there are only a couple of reasonable avenues to pursue if one wants to get to the bottom of this:

    1) investigate the original location the calvarium was located at, and
    2) investigate the books and specimens at UCLA to find the object in question, and then flesh out the tangible details from there (hopefully if the specimen can be found, then some paper trail on who examined it and what was said can also be found (or better still, found to be alive and interviewable)).

  28. DWA responds:

    thylo:

    “with that I will just say that I don’t believe that academics would knowingly suppress the truth, but that their complacency, arrogant assumptions, or any of a number of basic human flaws that give us those “go away kid, you’re bothering me” impulses could lead to a tragic overlook of physical proof of something outside the accepted norm. and to me that is a more plausible situation than a concerted cover up.”

    Right. Exactly. And the stuff below it I can’t argue with either.

    I HATE conspiracy theory. Which is precisely what this and stories like it aren’t.

    Read that link up there below the video. Some of what is said there reflects the “complacency, arrogant assumptions, or any of a number of basic human flaws” you are talking about.

    I sense quite a bit of “I am A Scientist, you are The Unwashed” in the attitudes of individuals toward individuals when it comes to anomalous evidence. It’s simply not warranted.

    There are scientists who think – know, as far as evidence can give one to know it – that the sasquatch is real. (Read Bindernagel and Meldrum, stop arguing with me!) And many who suspect it just might be, but can’t talk about it because of the above attitudes.

    And I know that no scientist who believes the sasquatch doesn’t exist can last long in an argument with me. And I’m not even a scientist. I’m just in command of the evidence. And they are not.

    When ignorance masquerades as arrogance it can set the quest for knowledge back decades. It’s happened many times.

    THAT is the take-away here, whatever one thinks of this one – and that’s all it is – story.

  29. AreWeThereYeti responds:

    @ DWA (and a little off-topic):

    Wow! Great stuff here; both the article and your follow-up.

    As a longtime reader and sometime commenter, I can only sit in admiration of someone willing to submit an article to a widely-read blog knowing that it will be picked-apart, criticized and then generate responses requiring numerous arguments, defenses and counterarguments.

    Seeing Loren’s and Craig’s names heading the various blogs, here, on a day-to-day basis lulls one into a sense that its a mundane – even easy – process. But, when a regular commenter appears as an author, it shakes things up and makes one – or, at least “this one” – consider the behind-the-scenes steps a little more closely.

    To be clear, I am not a DWA “booster” – we’ve had our differences of opinion in the past – but I gotta respect someone who’s willing to lay it all on the line, take a shot at this thing from the other side, and deal successfully with the repercussions.

    Well done, sir!

  30. Hapa responds:

    @DWA

    “But then again, paleoanthropologists would be the last people i’d expect to see sourpussing hairy hominids. What is up with that?”

    Just doesn’t make sense, does it? Considering that such scientists know very well similar creatures have been found in the Fossil Record (Australopiths, Paranthropines).

    The reason I think they poo-poo evidence of Sasquatch is the fact that, so far, no hominin/Hominid fossils, other than those of homo sapiens, has been found in North America, and the hominids most like sasquatch (such as, once again, Australopiths and the Paranthropines, in almost all but size and location) are all found in Africa.

    However, if the above is the major reasoning for dismissal of Sasquatch (and many, many other hairy unknown bipedal primates of the world), then why have most scientists not ever considered the connection between the early hominid apes and the African Agogwe, a “little-foot”, if you will, that is sighted in Africa? between 4-5 feet in height, covered in red hair, sounds like an extra from the documentary “Walking with Cavemen”. One of the countries where they have been sighted is Tanzania, where primitive hominid remains have indeed been found. (See “Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: a global guide, by Michael Newton, page 14).

    So far, the only major scientist that comes to mind who made this connection was the late Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans! Why don’t most scientists stop to think outside the box?

  31. DWA responds:

    AreWeThereYeti:

    Thanks. Words like that are gratifying to read. As a guy just having fun on the Internet, I want to add to that as much as I can for everyone I’m sharing it with.

    Hapa:

    Speaking of fun. You’d think science would be fun. But a lot of scientists don’t seem to think so. And the rejoinder “it’s fun enough without this crap” doesn’t cut it. Scientists are supposed to follow evidence where it leads; and their profound lack of curiosity about a not-at-all implausible Topic That Keeps Coming Up, And A Truly Curious Scientist Might Wonder Why, and Bulletin! A Few In Fact Do And One Might Pay Attention To That…

    Um, anyway. Profound lack of curiosity in scientists – to the point of jeering at stuff – makes me wonder, and worry, about the myriad ways scientists work to blunt the effectiveness of science, an otherwise near-perfect tool for discovering the vast mysteries of the universe.

    On which we haven’t gotten rightly started yet, most particularly right here at home.



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