Giganto: The Real King Kong… Part I

Posted by: Rick Noll on December 16th, 2005

(BeckFarewell Ride)

Well the show finally aired and so I can give some of my own thoughts on it and how it came about now. I was kind of on a gag order not to discuss the work until it actually got aired. I am very happy that the show came out the way it did and that even those dyed-in-the-wool Bigfooters are happy with Doug’s work once again.

For a while now we (NAAP) had been discussing putting together a major expedition concerning the study area Owen Caddy and myself have been working in for many years. Dr. Jeff Meldrum took on the monumental task of organizing it and many new and innovated techniques and methods were developed for it. We had a pretty good line on getting it funded but at the last minute that source decided to go a different route and produce something of their own… which they did and pretty much sucked at it I might add.

We still had our own plan though, which we had been keeping top secret, part of which entailed some preliminary work in the area. So a smaller 30 day outing was devised and planned for the summer of 2005… pretty much on our own dime. Jeff did have a couple of investors contributing but nothing on the order needed for the bigger plan.

I took on the task of documenting the entire trip out and began setting up for it when Doug Hajieck of White Wolf Productions and the producer/director of Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science called and said that he had a new show on the books for the History Channel. What he needed was an expedition and wondered if I could put something together for video work. I said it sounded interesting and would think about it. He also talked with Jeff about it and so talking amongst ourselves a little later about having him do a partial documentary on the preliminary expedition we agreed that it might actually help in further funding the larger trip planned for the future. My own documentary was going to be used basically as a “reel” for the participants to use in showing what potential investors would be buying anyway.

Doug’s show was actually about Gigantopithecus blacki… not Bigfoot, but he thought that he could elevate the general public’s awareness of the possible Asian link to the legendary figure with such a show. It would add context through a five-act treatment, at 10 minutes per act and involved a current North American expedition looking for relic giant apes and current research concerning Gigantopithecus. Travel would reach from Europe to China, with the Pacific Northwest in the middle.

The History Channel tied up my hands though with a clause that we could not use anything we found or filmed on the mini-expedition for 1 year after the first airing of the show. We felt we could live with that, in fact, it could take much of that time to produce something that much larger.

(OasisFade In-Out)

But back to Doug and Giganto: The Real King Kong

Rick Noll About Rick Noll
Rick Noll has been actively searching for the Sasquatch since 1969 and continues his pursuit with extended field trips into the Pacific Northwest's most remote regions. Rick has worked with Peter Byrne, René Dahinden, Grover Krantz, John Green, Jeff Meldrum and the BFRO during all this. He helped with many documentaries on the subject including Animal X: The Skookum Expedition and Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.

21 Responses to “Giganto: The Real King Kong… Part I”

  1. Melissa responds:

    The show was FANTASTIC 🙂 I enjoy these shows that are not tabloid tv. Thank you for all your work on this. 🙂

  2. Bluewater responds:


    I thought the show was very well done. I enjoyed the research into Gigantopithecus by the two gentlemen on the show but wanted to see more on the NAAP expedition. It felt like a teaser for a longer show that should be done on your hard work in the area. I look forward to more on your research and the NAAP expedition, but I guess I will have to wait a year till you can discuss much in detail. Is there a website for the NAAP?
    Best Regards, Chris

  3. Rick Noll responds:

    The North American Ape Project (NAAP) is run out of Idaho State U. I don’t think there is an actual web site for the group (headed up by Dr. Jeff Meldrum). If you are real interested, I would plan on attending the Bigfoot rendezvous this coming spring/summer. It will be on campus. I know the name sounds a bit different than what has been used in the past by others… but the central feature to the weeklong event is a conference.

    NAAP is basically like-minded individuals who help investigate the subject and report back. They use funded equipment and are subject to a chain of custody regime and the scientific principals. It is like doing grad fieldwork for a professor but without the credits.

    NAAP is not too much into the publicity side of things but assists others. Even though members, past and present had affiliations with other groups (like the BFRO) sharing and professional curtsey was always foremost.

  4. mrbf2006 responds:

    I thought the show was very well-done and well-balanced. Doug Hajicek and Whitewolf Entertainment are to be commended for their terrific work. I will be purchasing the DVD of this soon. Good job, Rick and company.

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, it was wonderful to see this broadcast, and the timing was well-thought out, in terms of the new Peter Jackson movie. I enjoyed that Doug’s, Jeff’s, Rick’s, and others’ efforts were supported via this documentary.

    But I remained very “hungry” and not properly “filled” after it was over.

    As a program on Bigfoot, I thought it worked relatively okay, unless you were a total newcomer to the field. However, as a program on “Giganto as King Kong” or as a straight anthropology documentary, it seemed that many in academia will just ignore it. The foci, of shifting back and forth between Giganto and Bigfoot, seemed conflicted and both came out, humm, somewhat thin.

    The Gigantopithecus scholars were generally anti-Bigfoot, anti-cryptozoology, as is well-known. They appeared to undermine the whole reason that Bigfoot should even be discussed within this hour.

    Additionally, these paleoanthropologists really added nothing new about Gigantopithecus, either. It has been known for a long time that the dating of Giganto was in the range of their televised “discoveries.” Other than supporting their trip to China, to what purpose in furthering Giganto knowledge did this program produce?

    Frankly, I was frustrated by this doc, not satisfactorily enlightened by it, during both parts.

    I did enjoy seeing Rick steer a horse across a raging stream, and Jeff out in the woods, but what new findings to hominology really came forth from these efforts?

    Perhaps we will know more in a year?

  6. shovethenos responds:

    One thing that was mildly and indirectly supportive of the Bigfoot-Giganto theory was the relatively sparse phyisical evidence on gigantopithecus. If the species evolved and was in existence for thousands of years (if not longer in other evolutionary iterations) and all they have are a little over a thousand teeth and some jaw fragments its kind of hard to fault crypotzoologists for not producing a full skeleton. Or a live specimen.

    Even pondering capturing a live specimen, if they exist, is pretty frightening. In light of that chimpanzee mauling earlier this year, imagine what a gigantopithecus could do. That Poe short story “Murders in the Rue Morgue” also describes what orangutans are capable of, though I don’t know if he had any factual basis for it.

    Loren, this line of thinking brings to mind a couple questions. I’ve heard of several contact reports that feature helicopters and/or gunshots in addition to sightings or vocalizations. (I forget the exact locations, I think the South.) Has there been much research into government government involvement in the phenomena? Anything to indicate that evidence is being gathered or captures are being attempted? Any attempts to cover-up, minimize, discredit, etc civilian sightings?

  7. shovethenos responds:

    Scratch the “thousands” above, should be millions of years.

  8. Melissa responds:

    Mr. Coleman, Question. Does’nt the debate have to begin first, openly and outside of the rooms of the scientists in order for the general public to put this together in their own minds? How much more is known about Giganto, other than teeth and the mandible? The discussion has to begin, but it has to begin slowly, I think, or no one will take this search seriously.

    In my opinion, shows like this need to be done, to take this topic out of the “tabloid” headlines, and into mainstream discussion, but it will happen slowly, and I can live with that.

    As a newcomer to this field of research, I am glad to see a program done on this subject that didnt include UFO’s and aliens or ghosts.. Other than legend meets science, there are very few programs that actually discuss this topic in a serious manner.

    This program showed the techniques and tools involved in this search, it shows this is a serious search for an animal as yet undocumented.

    I think the link between giganto and BF (if it exists) will be slow in the making – or no one will pay attention, and it will go back to tabloid journalism.. I don’t want that.

    Just my opinion 🙂

  9. Rick Noll responds:

    Maybe you should watch it again then… Briggs Hall has some powerful comments that should not be glossed over. Look at his screen credit. In fact all of the eyewitnesses interviewed on this show were credentialed and very serious about a real animal. They are trained observers… in law and science.

    Real science may not be as entertaining as some would wish, as it is conducted. People just want the end results… even if that was NAAP’s ultimate goal during this effort, the venue wouldn’t be here or on the History Channel.

  10. Loren Coleman responds:

    I think I am being misread and/or misunderstood. That’s okay.

    I very much appreciate the show, and glad it was done. I applaud the work highlighted in it.

    I was only speaking to the shortcomings, as I saw them.

    One of the major unmentioned traps in the foundation writings for this program, of course, is that assuming that the PNW’s bipedal classic Sasquatch exists (which I do), then the whole thesis of the documentary is that Gigantopithecus must be the responsible primate (which I do not). There’s not even any proof that the extinct Gigantopithecus was a biped.

  11. Rick Noll responds:

    Point taken… but what other candidate is there? And why should others even be explored?

    Most of the animals in North America came from the very area where Giganto fossils have been found. Yes there were Rhinos and Mastodons that came over as well but… what about the other candidate’s body size?

  12. shovethenos responds:


    What are the song references supposed to mean?

  13. Rick Noll responds:


  14. shovethenos responds:

    No idea.

  15. Loren Coleman responds:

    Rick writes: “..but what other candidate is there? And why should others even be explored?”

    The answers are:

    (1) Paranthropus. This is a species that is the same size as Sasquatch and bipedal. Gigantopithecus was said to be much larger (10 feet) and perhaps is not bipedal.

    (2) Why shouldn’t we explore all possible candidates?

    Guess I should write a posting to CryptoZoo News on this alternative theory to Gigantopithecus that has been around since at least 1971.


  16. earthman responds:

    Yes, my anthropology professor stated all great apes could easily harm humans. Add to that, the fact that the most dangerous bite at the zoo (except Komodo dragon) is a primate bite, infects immediately. Y’all need to be very careful around a ten foot great ape.

    I have a problem with the idea of a capture anyways. Animals this rare need to be left with their populations for genetic diversity. The emphasis could become the finding of a recent skeleton that could be studied and DNA sequenced.

  17. Rick Noll responds:

    The music references are the songs I listen to while writing the posts. That’s about it.

  18. Rick Noll responds:

    I wasn’t aware that a definitive answer as to Paranthropus being bipedal had been made yet…

    And their diminutive size (1.3-1.4 meters tall), preferred habitat (open tropical savannah) and the age of the fossils (4.4 mya) has always distanced them from serious consideration, at least in my mind.

  19. shovethenos responds:


    I agree that a hypothetical capture would be dicey, but then again they capture all kinds of very dangerous animals for zoos and for nuisance calls all the time.

    There are a couple scenarios, if Gigantos/etc. still exist, where capture would be recommended. For instance, the population may be bordering on extinction and might be helped with captive breeding programs. Or one particular population might be stranded and isolated from more viable ones.

  20. Loren Coleman responds:

    Wanted to stop by here to say my posting on Gigantopithecus versus Paranthropus is online now, at

    Rick and I were discussing this here, so that’s my overview. 🙂

    BTW, the evolved probable affinities to Paranthropus in Asia were 7 to 8 feet tall, the Giant Man of Java, Meganthropus.

  21. DGBennett responds:

    It’s only a matter of time before more evidence is discovered. I was amazed to see the pictures (a couple of months ago) of a real giant squid in the wild, attacking a bait line near Japan — still considered by many to be possibly the most elusive creature in the sea. So it can happen on land as well!

    Keeping the faith,

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