Don’t Squatch Meldrum Either

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 27th, 2014

Posted by Dr. Jeff Meldrum, June 25, 2014:

Recently my good friend and colleague, Dr. John Bindernagel, had this to say:

I would be remiss if I did not register my disappointment at the recent and increasingly widespread use of the terms “squatch,” and “squatching,” which denigrates the Halcolmelm (Coast Salish) name Sasq‘ets, anglicized many years ago as “sasquatch,” and which has been more-or-less accepted by the relevant Aboriginal people.

Along with many of my Aboriginal friends, co-workers, and colleagues—and more than a few non-native investigators—I am saddened and disappointed by the lack of sensitivity displayed by the increasing use of the term “squatch” to describe a being of cultural importance to North American Aboriginal people. As if, by so doing so, we have appropriated it as our own.

It is similar disappointing to hear dedicated research into this subject by both serious amateurs and professional investigators denigrated as a trivial or recreational activity, increasingly referred to as “squatching.”Dr. John Bindernagel ~ May 16, 2014

For all who know John — he and his good wife Joan, are the salt of the earth. This insight, offered by one who has gone to great lengths to lay this evidence seriously and objectively before the scientific community, through scholarly monographs and publications, presentations at professional meetings, and sage interviews on TV documentaries, should be taken to heart. I concur wholeheartedly with and strongly echo his admonishment. Let’s strive to keep the standards of professionalism high.

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.

15 Responses to “Don’t Squatch Meldrum Either”

  1. Old Philosopher responds:

    Bravo to both these gentlemen!
    Every time I hear Bobo tell everyone, “Let’s go ‘squatchin’!”, I feel like I’ve just been invited on a snipe hunt.

    If people are going to treat investigations as a sport, they shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously.

  2. DWA responds:

    Couldn’t agree more nor say it better.

    One thing that has been underplayed in this discussion is the racial insensitivity of the public and scientific attitudes toward it. First Nations have been adamant and consistent in their descriptions of this as a real animal; it is no more a “legend” to them than the animals we know about.

    Nothing has crippled the advance of science more than the dismissal of local informants as pagan wogs or unschooled rubes who don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s an active and virulent component of racism, maybe one of the worst, as it directly stifles the expansion of knowledge.

    First Nations join the scientific proponents, the thousands who have seen them, and the many of us who are actually paying attention as well ahead of the mainstream on this. Any embarrassment when the mainstream finds this out will be heartily deserved.

  3. gridbug responds:

    Of course, some of us have absolutely loathed that particular moniker since Moneymaker and his cronies insisted on pushing it into the mainstream crypto lexicon. Glad to hear that some of the big guns agree.

  4. cryptokellie responds:

    I fully understand that I am a nobody in the Bigfoot milieu but kudos to Dr. Meldrum; I couldn’t agree more.

  5. skimmer responds:

    Thank heavens I am not alone! I’ve always detested the term. It carries a certain casualness that really demeans any serious intent.

    I move for a new definition: Squatching is the act of going out into the wilderness to look for squat.

  6. Old Philosopher responds:

    “…going out into the wilderness to look for squat.”

    ROFL! I love it. The working definition should also include recognizing every sound in the forest as a Sasquatch, and every depression in the leaves as a track.

  7. Goodfoot responds:

    Wait a minute. RACISM?

    Not enough faces, too few palms. You gentlemen have been infected with the dreaded NAME SENSITIVITY DISORDER.

    Mountain there, molehill here. “Racism’! OH. MY. GOD. You’re in way too deep. Please scramble towards the light, before it’s too late…

    And I say this as someone who cringes at the term, “Sasquatch”. Need help being pretentious? No problem, just shout “SASQUATCH!”

    Alex Jones tells a tale of recently being at a swimming hole, and two black gentleman were there. One says to the other, “Let’s go get some Chinese!”

    And the other one says, “SSSHH! That’s RACIST!!” Rated three face palms, keep the kids away…

  8. Old Philosopher responds:

    I guess to some people saying ‘squatch is no different from saying ‘coon, or ‘possum. But we aren’t talking about running after a pack of hounds with a beer in one hand and a gun in the other. (Well, maybe some folks are.)

    I, for one, wish research in the field was taken more seriously, and when ‘squatch comes out of Moneymaker’s or Bobo’s mouth, it seems even more flippant.

    And if one reads the article carefully, it wasn’t the word “Sasquatch” that was generating the disapproval, it was corrupting the name Sasq’ets even further.

  9. Joxman2k responds:

    As an Aboriginal Canadian I am not upset by the term Sasquatch. Moneymaker and the term “Squatch” or “Squatching” is a perfect fit. It trivializes serious research and popularizes all aspects of the field in a way that does it a disservice.

    Serious Researchers and all that are interested in bringing credibility to eyewitness testimony and other evidence MUST not use these terms. We must clearly separate our interest from that term at every opportunity

    This aspect of American Culture has turned some people into attention whores where claiming a sighting is likely to make you a celebrity and earn you money. In the past eyewitnesses were ridiculed, now they are encouraged to add to their descriptions to fit the “Squatch” scenario. No one knows for certain what their motivations are. Moneymaker is all inference, admittedly, based on years of knowledge and research, but it is still inference that can not be verified until an individual is studied.

    Just my opinion.


  10. DWA responds:

    Goodfoot: nope, we got this one right. There’s no bigger enemy of PC rampant on this board than me. But there’s ignoring things that are obvious because they’ve become such background societal memes that we don’t even think about them, and “old Indian legend” is one.

    They’ve long been yelling the opposite, that this isn’t one, but a real animal. They don’t do this about Thunderbird or about any of their creation legends, any more than scientists do it about Adam and Eve. It was the precise reason early Native accounts were routinely dismissed by whites, and it’s just continuing.

    It fits the definition of racism; it stifles knowledge; and it’s not being addressed, is it.

  11. DWA responds:

    And this point certainly isn’t off topic:

    J. Robert Alley, in Raincoast Sasquatch, writes that Native legends don’t exactly jump cultures. We don’t wax eloquent about Raven and Coyote Build The World, for only one example. We put it in illustrated books that we read to our kids; but it isn’t a common explanation among European-Americans of how the world works.

    But this one is jumping cultures, and it is jumping cultures to such an extent that we aren’t even noticing how big a thing this Native legend is with Native and European alike. There is nothing else, other than the commonly accepted facts of the society… hmmmmmmmmm… that does this.

    Large numbers of Natives and non-Natives accept bigfoot as real, and in fact insist on it from their personal experiences and those of people they know. There’s nothing else doing this; nothing indeed, other than the commonly accepted facts of the society… hmmmmmmmmm… that Natives and non-Natives both consistently describe in very consistent, culture-jumping terms. Even Native art evokes features, and Native “legends” behaviors, that many Europeans describe in their encounters.

    This is so obviously compelling that it shouldn’t have to be pointed out. Yet Alley is the only one I have seen do it.

  12. Old Philosopher responds:

    I think we must define our terms in this discussion.

    First, we have Serious Research such as being carried on by the likes of Dr. Meldrum, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Bindemagel and their peers. It’s a methodical study of habitat, physical evidence, audio evidence, and anecdotal evidence, yes even including the testimony of Native Americans who have lived closer to the land than most of us for generations.
    I’ve been involved in this for quite awhile. On the BFRO network, the vocalizations labeled “Puyallup Scream” were recorded by my partner and myself back in the 1970’s.

    Now we have ‘Squatchin’. This fits perfectly into the current societal phenomenon of trying to reduce the language into acronyms that will fit into a Tweet. It’s a handy term to use when capitalizing on the craze.

    But ‘squatchin’, or “‘Squatch huntin'” is not research, it’s a sport.

    It’s similar to ‘coon huntin’, but rather than a bunch of your buddies and a couple o’ hounds, it’s best done with your new girlfriend to impress her with your knowledge as a woodsman. It’s important to have some impressive looking equipment, lots of lights, and to make enough noise while “hunting” to assure that any woodland creature in the area goes scurrying for cover. It’s also important to have answers ready for questions. When your companion asks, “What was that? (noise)”, the appropriate answer of course is “There’s a ‘squatch out there!”

    You’re not limited to one companion, of course. The more people you can have skipping and tripping in the dark, in unfamiliar woods, the better the chance of seeing something truly reclusive.

    As long as we don’t confuse the two venues, there shouldn’t be any problem differentiating between Research, and ‘Squatchin’.

  13. gridbug responds:

    The problem with the term ‘squatch’ is that above all else it’s a ridiculous attempt to create cool insider lingo where none is needed. I’d never have thought Moneymaker was a hipster doofus, but the way he insists on forcing the term into every discussion and attributing it to every noise, blip and blob that comes across his path certainly feels like a desperate attempt to further reinforce his “first timer originator” status. Adding injury to insult, the term has managed to seep into the mainstream crypto codex to the point that we now see it being used on other television programs and on various merchandising paraphernalia. It was never cool. It was never funny. And it hasn’t done the study of these creatures any justice. Nor will it ever.

  14. Old Philosopher responds:

    Can you imagine how thrilling it is for Moneymaker to be able to claim that he coined a new colloquialism?

    I’ve never liked the term “Bigfoot”, either, because it was a nickname given to one particular creature on one particular occasion. But that’s just me.

    We know now that footprints come in all different sizes and shapes. Back in the 70’s, there was only one other investigator in WA besides us who claimed to have found small footprints (under 12″-13″), but now finding ‘juveniles’ is in vogue.

    Besides the Native name from lower British Columbia, other names were common. Hoq’iam (sp?) was prevalent on the lower Olymipic Peninsula to describe the “wild men”.

    I prefer the term Sasquatch as it’s closer to the Native tongue, and at least people then know what you’re talking about.

  15. Old Philosopher responds:

    I’m sure Moneymaker is thrilled with the notoriety of having coined a new colloquialism. What better path to fame if you can’t come up with any real evidence?

    FWIW, and to his credit, I don’t recall Cliff Barackman ever using the term “squatch” on the Finding Bigfoot show.

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