Approaching Sasquatch hunt as an academic

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on September 1st, 2012

POCATELLO, Idaho — Academia is a lonely place for Sasquatch hunter Jeff Meldrum.

Meldrum, who teaches anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University, might be the only college professor in the U.S. researching and publishing work on Bigfoot, or at least the only one putting his name to the subject.

Meldrum brought attention to the subject with his 2006 book, “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.” Nearly all of the 13,000 copies of the book have been sold.

The Sasquatch limb is a thin branch to venture out on, and in the academic world, some would say it’s more akin to thin ice.

“People say, ‘You are paid by Idaho State and you are doing this?'” Meldrum said. “But this is legitimate research. This could be one of the most outstanding questions in natural history and human anthropology that we have today.

“I’ve gone to great lengths to go about it in a very objective, very professional manner in order to cultivate credibility.”

The work will pay dividends if 54-year-old Meldrum or someone else proves the existence of a bipedal hominid that isn’t a human or known primate, something Meldrum thinks will happen in his lifetime.

In the meantime, criticism follows.

“Each time you get these (different species) pushing closer to the present, you have to ask, ‘why do we assume we’re the only ones?'” – Meldrum

Meldrum’s research lives in two realms.

The first is anthropological, taking into account the fossil of many species of hominid distinctly different from the primates on the human evolutionary track or our extinct cousins, Neanderthal’s.

With one species as modern as 11,000 years ago, the crux of Meldrum’s argument is that we can’t be sure a species hasn’t persevered in some remote corner of wilderness. This doesn’t mean Sasquatch exists. It means he could.

Meldrum’s second realm is field work. His office is filled with more than 200 molds of Sasquatch footprints taken from all over North America. He said the molds, some 16 inches or bigger, indicate creatures more than 7 feet tall and weighing 700 pounds.

Read the entire article here: Approaching Sasquatch hunt as an academic

Source: The Sacramento Bee

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

9 Responses to “Approaching Sasquatch hunt as an academic”

  1. DWA responds:

    “… Featherbrained and intellectually questionable academic endeavors like Bigfoot …. All of this suggests that the Easter bunny deserves serious consideration.” – ISU physics professor Martin Hackworth in an April 8 newspaper column published in the Idaho State Journal

    Hackworth, who has taken shots at Meldrum over the years, is not the only critic on campus.

    Another physics professor, Douglas Wells, sounded off to the L.A. Times for an article in 2006.

    “One could do deep-ocean research for SpongeBob SquarePants,” Wells said. “That doesn’t make it science.”


    Sometimes the most concrete-headed people out there are scientists. What do we give people like THAT tenure for?

  2. graybear responds:

    Has anyone else noticed that the professors criticizing are both physicists? What are physicists doing criticizing an anthropologist about anthropologic questions? Go back to your thought experiments, guys, you are both laymen here, no better or better trained than any poster on Cryptomundo.

  3. slappy responds:

    ^ the questions are not “anthropologic”, the questions regard the validity of his scientific method

  4. DWA responds:

    graybear: Precisely the problem.

    Bindernagel’s “The Discovery of the Sasquatch” has so many juicy quotes in it that I wish I had my copy to hand now. Because one of them directly addresses this. But hey, it says, in essence: outside their fields of expertise, experts are no more expert than anyone else, and need be taken no more seriously when they say stuff. But since laymen generally don’t know squat about science, they presume scientists are expert in any scientific topic.

    Well, they ain’t, as we see here. I’d make short work of our two physicist friends, and I avoided science like the plague in school.

    Unfortunately – for them – I just can’t help thinking like a scientist. Clearly, when they are done with physics, our two friends are sick and tired of thinking. OK, of thinking like scientists.

    The critical mark of the truly scientific man is THE OPEN MIND. This does not mean a mind that says: show me the proof and I’ll believe you. (It is a CLOSED mind that can only be ripped open by proof.) This is the mind that I demonstrate when I say to you: show me the evidence that your proposition – centaurs; mummies walking at night; crop circles as Messages From Jesus – should be taken seriously. I will suspend judgment in the meantime. This does NOT mean (as our physicist friends will think it does) that I agree with you. It means: a truly open mind doesn’t go one way or the other without evidence.

    (No, I don’t anxiously await centaurs’ appearance when I’m out on walks. I’ve never seen a bigfoot; why should I expect a centaur?)

    Scientists seem viciously insistent on judging – particularly so when the topic is outside their understanding. Ask a dinosaur guy whether we’ve found every dinosaur; he’ll tell you, shoot, how can we say that? We’re finding new ones every year. Ask him about the sasquatch and he’ll say: where’s the fossil evidence of primates in North America, of any kind? This is a clear contradiction of his thinking – how about (c), fella, “we haven’t found it yet”? – but he won’t understand that.

    (Illustrative. Nothing against dinosaur guys. Some might be closet Bigfooters. Paleoanthro guys can be just the same way; the fossil record is patchy, until we are talking about Bigfoot.)

    What we see from my physicist friends here is an extreme example of what is called the “argument from authority,” to wit: I’m a scientist, so you have to believe me. Actually, it’s a better example of what is called the “argument from ignorance,” to wit: I know nothing about this, so you have to believe me.

    But hey. Scientists not only do it too, but they are among its most notorious practitioners.

    As we see here.

  5. DWA responds:

    “slappy responds:
    September 2nd, 2012 at 1:03 pm
    ^ the questions are not “anthropologic”, the questions regard the validity of his scientific method”

    No they don’t.

    Go up there and show me one legitimate question that has been raised about Meldrum’s “scientific method.”

    On second thought don’t bother. There are none, period.

    The questions pertain to one thing: the topic of his research, which they have decided out of hand – and in contradiction of a mountain of evidence – is nonsense.


    When you pronounce something nonsense – and in so doing show you have paid not shred of attention one to the evidence – you have forsaken the scientific high ground, and relieved serious people like me of any necessity to take you seriously.

  6. norman-uk responds:

    I find it strange that other faculty members can shoot their mouth off about Dr Meldrum, shouldn’t they be sat upon? Wouldn’t there quite rightly be a furor if Dr Meldrum did the same about their work? Maybe the intemperate and ignorant critics have some support higher up in the ISU establishment.

    Their outbursts sound to me more like the screams of a dying paradigm which is unable to explain the sasquatch phenomenon and to which they cling! Congratulations to Dr Meldrum on his steadfastness and magnificent work.

    One does hope the present situation is temporary and will be moved on by new DNA studies which are hugely changing the landscape. The latest of these is where a single strand of DNA can be sequenced rather than double meaning even degraded DNA samples can produce perfect results.

  7. graybear responds:

    norman-uk: “screams of a dying paradigm.” Brilliant!

  8. Desertdweller responds:

    Dr. Meldrum is very courageous. The scientific academic community, which should be open-minded, is notorious for being close-minded.

    Dr. Meldrum has accumulated a great deal of evidence for the existence of uncatalogued primates. This, to me at least, makes him a serious researcher and not a crank. His critics, by refusing to consider his evidence, appear to fit the definition of cranks. Their qualifications to judge Meldrum are not enhanced by their expertise being in another area.

  9. DWA responds:

    Just happened to be over on the BFRO website, and this caught my eye, from an eyewitness:

    “We were leaving the next day and nobody bothered to check for footprints or anything. If you have been conditioned to think something doesn’t exist, you don’t react the way people may think. If I had the chance to go back to that day I would have been in the woods at both ends of the lake looking for signs or footprints. It wasn’t until the ride home that I really started to think about what happened.”

    If there isn’t one paragraph that explains the “elusiveness” and “scarcity” and “nobody-sees-them” and “why didn’t they check for prints if something actually happened” misconceptions about the sasquatch perfectly, that one is pretty close.

    As Sherlock says, when you’ve exhausted all other possibilities, whatever is left, however unlikely it may seem, must be the truth.

    And just like me – and just like Meldrum – Sherlock thinks like a scientist.

    Shame more scientists don’t.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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