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The Mormon Conspiracy and Bigfoot

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 29th, 2012

The Mormon Conspiracy
A View From The Outside
by Loren Coleman

Here is a posting first seen on Cryptomundo on February 5, 2008. It stirred up discussion of a topic some would like to keep quiet. But it won’t go away. Please note, I am reporting here, not stating any stance, one way or another. I am merely trying to highlight an issue that is out there, being talked about in back room conversations and campfire exchanges. With this summer bringing forth Mitt Romney as a national presidential candidate, Mormonism may or may not be a topic in politics. But it is already one within the politics of Bigfoot hunting. We should not be afraid to tackle it here again. (Comments from 2008 have been retained.)

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mormon1

Look, no one wants to talk about it straightforwardedly, so let me bring this to the fore.

In the journal published as a book, Intermediate States: The Anomalist 13, I deal with a touchy subject in my article “Between Worlds: The Three Nephites.”

I began the essay this way:

During the 2008 presidential campaign season there was much talk of Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because of the candidacy of Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. But few of those interested in his candidacy realized that one tenet of the Mormon faith includes the belief in a race of beings who live in a world between the known and unknown.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints accept as true that the Nephites – initially righteous people, who eventually fell into wickedness – once existed and may still walk among us, saving lives and doing good deeds, and looking for redemption. ~ for more, see Intermediate States

morman2

In terms of cryptozoology, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) have figured into some of the backstories and rumors linked to Bigfoot for a long time. Let’s sort through some of these links.

A few would have you believe there is a Bigfoot Mormon Mafia. What dots are being connected?

The late Grover Krantz grew up in a devout Mormon family, and his parents were actually living in a heavily Mormon location (Rockford, Illinois) when he was born. Krantz later rejected his Mormon roots, to further his scientific thinking.

Jeff Meldrum is [or was] a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and reportedly writes books, according to his critics, “defending the historical veracity of the Book of Mormon, in essence saying he thinks American Indians are decendents of Jews who emigrated here thousands of years ago.”

Are Mormons behind all cryptofilm productions? What details are being connected here?

Doug Hajicek, the executive producer of “Monster Quest” was raised a Mormon, although his current status as a LDS member is unclear. He is not, however, a member of the subgroup headed by an estranged relative. Perhaps someone has their Hajiceks confused?

Haijeck’s half-brother is Elder John J. Hajicek, one of the leaders, along with James Strang, of the Sabbath-keeping Mormons. This branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has accepted the reality, apparently, which says Cain and Bigfoot are one in the same. A cryptofiction version of these thoughts can be found in Clan of Cain: The Genesis of Bigfoot by Shane Lester. But John Hajicek has nothing to do with “Monster Quest.”

Sunn Classics Pictures, a Mormon-owned documentary production company, did produce films in the 1970s, on Bigfoot, Noah’s Ark, and other mysteries outside the mainstream. Of course, they made one on Lincoln’s assassination too, and the company happened to be located in Utah, where Mormon ownership might be expected.

John Green, writing on July 25, 2004, to the editor of The Skeptical Inquirer, addressed some of the rumors floating among skeptics that the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot footage was created by the film company American National Enterprises of Salt Lake City, and they produced a hoax. It is intriguing that it has come to a point that Green would even have to say this. He wrote that it has been…:

…claimed at times that the making of the [Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot] movie was somehow a Mormon conspiracy. Ron Olson, son of one of the three owners of American National, says that none of them were Mormons, and that their only association with Patterson was that they paid him for using his footage in their movie.

I suppose if people look hard enough they can find conspiracies whereever they want to find them.

But perhaps the truth here is a little more innocent and subtle. It has often been acknowledged that to be a Mormon one must allow for a more open-minded approach to life, which happens to include cryptozoology and other anomalist topics. Maybe it is nothing more than that at work, at least in a few cases. Or maybe it is nothing at all.

In terms of full disclosure, it must be stated that some of us who aren’t LDS are open-minded too. After all, I grew up with more than a dash of Aimee Semple McPherson in me, at least until zoology, anthropology and cryptozoology took over my life in 1960.
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Update:

Perhaps it is merely a coincidence, but I noted after I wrote the above, over at 10 Zen Monkeys, a new blog essay appeared about “The Morman Bigfoot Genesis Theory.”

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.


34 Responses to “The Mormon Conspiracy and Bigfoot”

  1. Richard888 responds:

    Excellent article, Loren.

  2. dogu4 responds:

    Very interesting, indeed. Thanks Loren, for the rational perspective. It does underscore the difficulty in trying to correlate spiritual beliefs and science in that when one is invoked to inform the other, it does a dis-sevice to both and of course generates a touch of heart-burn. But eventually it brings out the truth just a astrology presaged astronomy. I’d love to see cryptozoology advance without the scriptural input but such is the way of intellectual evolution.

  3. HulkSmashNow responds:

    Great article, Mister Coleman. This is something I didn’t know about Mormons or their beliefs.

    Well, people do have a right to believe in whatever they want…this country was founded, in part, on that great principle. And most organized religions are riddled with inaccuracies, historical, scientific, or otherwise, and I’m a proud and devout member of one of those organzied religions.

    I’ll admit that Bigfoot could be any number of things, but let’s hope that it’s just something as mundane as a relict hominid or unknown primate!

  4. CamperGuy responds:

    I would be surprised if there were a LDS conspiracy concerning Bigfoot.

  5. hudgeliberal responds:

    While I am not religious and actually abhor most religous ideas and theories,I do think that relgious freedom should be allowed,however,I think that a certain group of politicians have used religion and fear to garner political power. As for the bigfoot and Mormon issue,I try to always keep an open mind and at least give every idea or opinion the respect of doing my own research and making up my own mind. I think the idea is very,very far-fetched but until I can look into it further and see the evidence I will refrain from giving an opinion. It seems to me,with all the new excitement around the sasquatch question(the most mainstream media and documentary films being made since the mid 70′s)that it has given birth to some new thinking and theories about how to prove,disprove or catch one of these elusive creatures. That is a good thing,however,some of the outlandish and ridiculous ideas and all of the numerous “sighting” videos and jokes are doing more harm than a million skeptics and debunkers could ever do to our cause. I think in the end it will boil down to what most of us have known all along,the creature exists and is a unclassified North American Primate that crossed the bering land bridge centuries ago. Will the “proof” that science needs ever be found? I doubt it. I have a feeling that these creatures,like most animals pushed by man,are on the verge of extinction. I think that if one isnt found soon..it may never be. I think that for all of the wild and crazy theories(aliens,Mormons etc.)if anyone is to ever have success..it will come from doing what was done many times in the 70′s..constant expeditions from qualified and experienced people.

  6. Nikolai responds:

    The big clue was the title of Shane Lester’s book “Clan of Cain.”

    Bigfoot’s tie in with Mormonism or at least Mormon folklore seems to have been based on an encounter with a Bigfoot-like being by one of the early church leaders David Pattern:

    “He walked along beside me for about two miles. His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark.”

    Pattern thought this entity was Cain from the Book of Genesis who, according to the story, was condemned by God for killing his brother Abel and therefore transformed and cursed to walk the Earth.

    Another encounter with a hairy “Cain” is mentioned in the Church’s Archives where one of the Church’s “presidents” during the 1800s allegedly drives off an attack from a huge, hairy creature by invoking the name of Christ.

    Thus, if there was any official interest in the Mormon Church for looking for Bigfoot it may be on account of these experiences from the Church’s early history and perhaps this belief that Bigfoot is actually Cain from the Bible.

    Sources:
    http://www.mormonmentality.org/2008/01/15/a-mormon-bigfoot.htm
    http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/comments/is_bigfoot_really_cain/

    (For the record I’m not Mormon but once heard the Cain sighting story from a Mormon co-worker years ago and it always stuck out in my mind that it could have just as easily been taken as a Bigfoot sighting.)

    -Nikolai

  7. rl_esteves responds:

    Some of my family are Mormons and I’ve always wondered what was the significance with all the geneology and what made them come to the conclusion that Native Americans are part of the lost tribes of Israel.Considering how important Native Americans are in Mormon belief should there really be any surprise that they would also acknowledge some of the beliefs of the Native Americans if for nothing other than to show a genuine admiration for the people,as well as their culture and folklore?

  8. kittenz responds:

    Religious beliefs and other fairy tales usually have at least a grain of fact somewhere in their history.

  9. silvereagle responds:

    I can recall from my childhood (1964) where the Christian minister mentioned in church of the existence of Bigfoot as being of a spiritual nature, in order to help provide an example on which the membership could justify their belief in a God, that they could not see. So Mormons are not unique in attempting to utilize the Bigfoot as a religious learning tool. We can blame the church for blowing the lid off of the Bigfoot secret. Which is why pretty much everybody in my home town knew then, what is forbidden to be spoken, today.

  10. sschaper responds:

    I suppose that research could be done to see if even the native stories were collected by LDS members.

    There is a substantial amount of hearsay in the article. Has Meldrum published anything claiming that the sibero-americans are actually Hebrew? Or is he just being accused because of his affiliation? (I know Loren, that you are just reporting, not supporting)

    Being one of those horrible Trinitarian, monotheistic Christians (along with the Pope, the Patriarchs and the Protestants), I am trying to tread carefully regarding the LDS religion. Hoaxing is far from unknown in it, having been founded as a hoax. But this article is broad enough to make me skeptical of it.

    For example, Monster Quest. They don’t only look for Napes. And they did provide very significant (and a first) footage of a giant squid (whether architeuthis or a Humboldt). So far as I know, squids and orang pendek, etc., have nothing to do with the LDS religion. Though I could be wrong.

    If the LDS does have an investment in Napes being proof of their extra books, then I suppose it makes sense to be aware of that when evaluating reports. But even an agenda doesn’t disprove the results, necessarily.

  11. cryptidsrus responds:

    Great article as always, Loren.
    I did not know about the LDS-BIGFOOT connection so I was glad to be informed about it.

    LEXRST—I agree with you. I was thinking the same thing.

    Who knows, IF Romney were to have become president maybe he could have surreptitiously encouraged research into Sasquatch?

    We’ll never know, since it seems highly unlikely he has a chance now after Super-Tuesday.
    I didn’t personally like him anyway.
    Mentioned him because it was relevant to the discussion.

  12. pollyjk responds:

    So here is the thing, as in any organized group or religion there are urban legends. You know, those stories that everyone swears is true but no one has any firsthand evidence. This is one of them. I am a Mormon, have been for 22 years. I also believe in bigfoot, I have since I was a small child and I saw The Legend Of Boggy Creek. I also was an anthropology major in college, where my professor adamantly believed in the existence of unknown hominids. I do not believe nor have I ever believed that Cain still walks this earth. There is no church doctrine to support that theory. Again urban legend. What I do have a problem with is the widespread prejudice and the ridicule I face as a mormon. I am very disappointed to see it crop up here where I have been a reader for many years. Sschaper is a good example he says ‘on the one hand I will tread carefully’, but in the same paragraph that’ Mormonism is founded on a hoax’. I respect that opinion don’t happen to share it. I think most of this that are frequenters of this site are a bit more open minded and I like to think less likely to believe every written word. As a mormon we do not believe everything that comes tripping out of someone’s mouth just because he is a member of the church. Anymore then I believe every cryptid account.

  13. bill green responds:

    hey loren & researchers wow this is a very inpressive article about the morman conspiracy & the sasquatch pheanomena. good evening bill green :)

  14. Karl responds:

    Very interesting Loren. So, do you know any Mormons who do not believe in Bigfoot?

  15. tdmcg82 responds:

    I too am a Mormon and will concede that there may be such creatures as Bigfoot in existence. OFFICIAL CHURCH doctrine from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says nothing about a Cain to Bigfoot connection. There have been members of the Church that have made such claims, but this is not taught in Church. This is pure speculation by some members. God does not command in all things and there are some mysteries that God has not revealed to man. But religion aside, I am abhorred that the author of this article is making such claims that this is accepted in mainstream Mormonism. This is just like the claim that practicing Mormons still practice polygamy (only offshoot radical groups that only CLAIM to be Mormons still practice this. The practice ended over 100 years ago. Any member found to practice polygamy is excommunicated from the Church. This fact does not keep people from still claiming that Mormons are still like this. Most Mormons DO NOT believe the claim that Cain is Bigfoot. Just because some people associate themselves with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also claim this does not mean ALL MORMONS believe this. This is just pure speculation with no official statement from The Church.

  16. planettom responds:

    Interesting read. Such a different, kind of odd perspective to look at the Sasquatch phenomena. Thanks for the information.

    I’ll refrain from posting my religious beliefs here. God is love.

  17. Loren Coleman responds:

    Commenter tdmcg82 writes: “the author of this article is making…claims that this is accepted in mainstream Mormonism.”

    Please re-read this blog and do not kill the messenger. I am not making any such claim. I am challenging such an overall claim, and stating a subgroup allegedly holds such beliefs.

  18. enjoyment responds:

    Thank your for reporting the article. As for the conspiracy, some people just have way to much time on there hands.

  19. skeptic responds:

    For the record, I’m a catholic.

    “But few of those interested in his candidacy realized that one tenet of the Mormon faith includes the belief in a race of beings who live in a world between the known and unknown.”

    This is no different than the belief by some catholics of the “purgatory”.

    According to this belief (which I don’t share), if you die and aren’t really a bad person but didn’t quite “make it” into heaven, you are given a second chance of sorts. You live as a ghost for a while with the opportunity to redeem yourself through good deeds and exist in the spirit world, able to interact with the real world in a limited way so that you may help others.

    I have to say that I am disappointed with Coleman’s post here, he shows prejudice against mormons while ignoring similar beliefs of other religions. We could easily go down the list of similar beliefs held by other religions. Then, considering that 94% of the population belongs to one of those religions, it shows the fallacy of Coleman’s argument.

    Anyway, it is his blog to opine as he wills.

  20. Loren Coleman responds:

    When “skeptic” writes, apparently in all seriousness, that he/she is “disappointed with Coleman’s post here, he shows prejudice against mormons while ignoring similar beliefs of other religions,” I say, “calm down.”

    For those who are emotionally reading and reacting to this entry, I ask you please to re-read the entire essay and get to the underlying theme: “I suppose if people look hard enough they can find conspiracies whereever they want to find them.”

  21. Benjamin Radford responds:

    Thanks, Loren. Absolutely fascinating, and little-discussed.

  22. skeptic responds:

    Ok, I’ve calmed down and you’re right, this isn’t discussed at all and maybe we should.

    If we are to dismiss anyone who believes in “beings who live in a world between the known and unknown”, then only atheists would be credible BF researchers.

    I’m sure Mr Radford would agree with that. :)

  23. jdwhitcomb responds:

    I’m also LDS (Mormon). I found Loren’s article interesting but on a far-out subject. Yes, it seems a conspiracy can be imagined for almost anything.

    I’ve been active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1971, attending hundreds of church meetings of many kinds. The Big Foot subject has never come up as part of any meeting-discussion or discourse, as far as I recall (in casual conversations, maybe once every ten years).

    Part of why the Big Foot is not an issue with our doctrine is that the Nephites were an advanced civilization: Surviving Nephites would not look anything like giant apes. The Book of Mormon mentions how a few Nephites were granted an extension of life, to continue preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it was the Lamanites (enemies of the Nephites) who sometimes wore little clothing and were portrayed as looking or acting more like animals.

    The Cain interpretation of a hairy thing walking on two legs–that I have heard about twice in thirty-seven years: it is speculation by a very few individuals; it is not taught in church nor published in any church literature.

  24. nathangines responds:

    I am a Mormon and I am very devoted my the faith. I have served as a missionary for the church. I believe that the doctorines of the church are true. I know the official beliefs very well and so I want to say that there is nothing in main-stream Mormon doctorines that says Cain is bigfoot. Some have that theory, but it not not an official belief. As a member of the church I do have an open mind and think that is it a possibility, that cain is bigfoot, but I personally believe that the idea is false. Because of the many sighting and their locations. If there is a bigfoot, there are probably quite a few of them.

    As for the Mormon conspiracy. I don’t know what to say. I think it sounds a little crazy. What would Mormons have to gain by keeping the bigfoot legend alive?

  25. bigfootsdad responds:

    “on Bigfoot, Noah’s Ark, and other mysteries outside the mainstream…” I didn’t know Noah’s Ark was outside the mainstream in 1970?

  26. rickg13 responds:

    A fascinating article, but as far as conspiracy theories go I find it a bit out there. As others have mentioned, the gains here seem a little dubious compared to the effort. I’d sooner believe a conspiracy amongst small business owners in Scotland regarding keeping the legend of Nessie alive, that would make more sense (in fact that might be one of the few conspiracies I’d be willing to accept without a skeptical eye :) .

  27. mandors responds:

    Maybe the preponderance of Mormons in crypto and other Fortean endeavors has something to do with geography. Persecution drove Mormons west, where coincidentally large numbers of bigfoot sightings occur and where modern UFO phenomena originated. Perhaps having these correlated phenomena in their “backyard” combined with being raised in a culture that was forced into the periphery led to an interest and a sympathy in many Mormons to things “out of the ordinary.”

  28. Ulysses responds:

    While not to scoff at the connection or the religion, it was first brought about by the greatest hero epic (my opinion) Beowulf over 700 years ago, predating Mormonism by 500 years. Look to JRR Tolkien in how myth translates into verse and C.C. Lewis’s connotations into the divine with his Narnia series. Both brilliant! I just wanted to bring about the apparent origins of this idea to the reader and one more thing; Wasn’t it kismet when The Six Million Dollar Man ripped off the arm of Grendel, I mean Bigfoot in the old TV Series?

  29. free2all responds:

    In the Bible we are told the account of Cain killing his brother Able. God curses Cain for committing the first murder or shedding of blood and he is to become a vagabond and wanderer upon the earth. Cain fearful of his life appeals to God and God puts a mark upon him so men will know who he is. We do not know what the mark is but could it be a mutated gene giving Cain and his clan an unusual appearance. Ancient Jewish documents found in Qumran record the account of Lamech, the grandson of Cain with his son encountering Cain. They are extremely frightened by Cain’s appearance, and mention he appears like a wild animal, so out of fear they kill him, not knowing what/who they killed. In the lost books of Enoch, Enoch records a world of Giants creating chaos on the world. He mentions demons tampering with the animal kingdom creating a race of monsters to destroy God’s creation resulting in God using the flood to purify the earth. Going back to the clan of Cain account, could these individuals have been allowed on the ark to survive and live out God’s curse for the first shedding of blood. The American Indians have legends of Giants and a great flood. The old testament records the Anikim ,Goliath and Esau the brother of Jacob was a wild man covered with red hair who loved the outdoors and smelled. It has been recorded the remains of giants have been found only to be buried away in some dark warehouse never to be seen. The fact is there is a great conspiracy taking place. One that will do whatever it takes to keep your eyes off Christ and what He alone did for all mankind. His wonderful blood shed to reconcile man back to God and save us all by his life. Check it out for yourselves.

  30. Taylor Reints responds:

    “The late Grover Krantz grew up in a devout Mormon family, and his parents were actually living in a heavily Mormon location (Rockford, Illinois)”

    I used to live in Rockford. They had no Mormons, however. Krantz was born in Salt Lake City, if that is to be referred to as the “heavily Mormon location”.

  31. Loren Coleman responds:

    Mr. Reints, you might want to recheck your “facts.”

    First off, perhaps your experience in Rockford was not the one shared by Krantz.

    As I noted in my obituary of Krantz: “Grover S. Krantz, born in 1931, in Salt Lake City, grew up in Rockford, Illinois, then moved with his family to Utah when he was ten.”

    His parents had apparently relocated to Rockford as the missionary part of their life.

    Rockford is most definitely an important area to the LDS Church.

    In 1839, the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, led his followers to a specific area in northern Illinois, purchased land, and renamed the area Nauvoo, which means “beautiful place” in Hebrew. Religious persecution raged and the Mormons were driven out of Nauvoo where they began their famous trek to the Salt Lake City valley. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been on a mission to respect and resettle the general Nauvoo-Rockford area (the towns are 227 miles apart) ever since.

    Today, two physical church locations of the LDS exist on Alpine and University Drive in Rockford. Maybe there are no Bigfoot in downtown Rockford, Mr. Reints, but there most certainly are Mormons there (even if you didn’t see any).

  32. G. de La Hoya responds:

    Loren, thanks for the article. From a Judeo/Catholic perspective I refer you to the Nephilim, Genesis 6.

    The “Giant” race isn’t talked about unless you are maybe in upper level theology courses.

    Another link about the Nephilim.

    Interesting reads if you have the time.
    Peace, G.

  33. choppedlow responds:

    Wow, I’m not the only LDS person who like the bigfoot thing. No, there is no ‘mainstream” mormon doctrine about bigfoot. There is a famous tale of a guy riding his horse and seeing a smelly creature type guy who said he was cursed to walk the earth and never taste death, and then the guy rebuked him (however you do that). This tale is passed around when members start talking about things. I mean, think about it…. Can’t die, looks like he needs a shower……you can see where some people would think it was Cain. Right? But no, there is no official anything. It’s sort of like a Bible study where someone goes off on a tangent for a bit. Every religion has them. Catholics and Jews have the best stories about ghosts and monsters, but they too are just stories. All religions are goofy and believe a basic version of Santa Clause, they dress funny and tend to stick together because they act weird. We (us Mormons) don’t own the patent on goofiness, no matter how hard we might try.

  34. kittalia responds:

    I am also LDS, and besides teenagers telling ghost stories at cookouts, I have never heard this urban legend discussed. I agree that the high percentage of LDS or former LDS can be explained by overlapping a bigfoot population density and an LDS population density chart. To reiterate, I have never heard this story discussed seriously, nor have I heard anyone over ten that actually believes it.



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