Jane Goodall: “I’m sure that they exist”

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on September 27th, 2016

Today in Bigfoot History – 2002


On this date fourteen years ago, Jane Goodall sent shockwaves through the scientific community and the public at large with comments made during an NPR interview. Goodall is considered one of the 20 most influential living scientists.

You can hear the relevant portion of the interview, where she expresses her conviction that an undiscovered species of ape exists in North America, here:

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.

6 Responses to “Jane Goodall: “I’m sure that they exist””

  1. Goodfoot responds:

    What other apes are known to exist, or have existed, in North America? When a noted scientist says something with those two things in the same sentence, I just have to wonder what time they started drinking that day.

  2. dconstrukt responds:

    its awesome to watch the video… plus listen to her….

  3. Fhqwhgads responds:

    “Goodall is considered one of the 20 most influential living scientists.” The problem with that is that when she is speculating about Bigfoot, she is not really acting as a scientist — particularly when she says she is “sure” rather than presenting it as a hypothesis. When she leaves evidence and analysis, she really becomes just a celebrity, which leads to confusion among those who don’t really understand how science works. Similar thoughts apply to various speculations of Stephen Hawking — about whether or not God exists, about whether there are intelligent aliens in nearby space and whether or not we should fear them, etc. Heck, this situation is not very different than your favorite actor or singer speculating on who should be president or the proper role of Black Lives Matter.

    Science rests on the strength of the evidence and the strength of the arguments, not on who is considered “influential”. If Bigfoot is a real, biological animal, not a mere cultural phenomenon or even a paranormal entity, that strong evidence will eventually emerge. (And to state the obvious, however suggestive certain pieces of existing evidence might be, nothing with that critical strength has yet been found.)

  4. gollumses responds:


    What she said in that interview has nothing to do with “The Scientific Method”. She was asked if she thought it was possible for an unknown species of large ape could live in the US. She wasn’t asked if she could present any evidence of Bigfoot or Yeti. She was just asked what she thought.

    I believe the point you are missing is that there are VERY few people on this Earth more qualified to give an opinion on an unknown North American Ape/Hominid. Just a cursory listen, will tell you that she has put a good deal of thought and research into the subject of Yeti/Bigfoot. She says “I have heard…” “I have spoken with Native Americans….” “I have about 30 books on the subject….”.

    Few people worldwide know more about Chimp/Ape Behavior than her. If what Dr. Goodall had heard about or read about, didn’t mesh with what she knew about ape behavior, it is quite unlikely she would be “SURE” they exist. Also the bit about a hair tested in England that didn’t match any known animal.

  5. Fhqwhgads responds:


    First of all, let’s perform a thought experiment. For the sake of argument, imagine she had said the following. “Sorry, but much as I would like to believe otherwise, Bigfoot is a bunch of bunk. Large primates ARE elusive, but not supernaturally elusive. They can be found, which is how I managed to study chimps for so many years. They can be hunted, with disastrous consequences both for them and for those who, like my colleague Dian Fossey, try to protect them. But any creature that is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere, as seems to be the case for Bigfoot, is not real in any sense recognized by science — and for better or worse, I am a scientist.” How would that statement be treated on Cryptomundo?

    1. Most likely, it would simply be ignored. Not only is “Distinguished Scientist Says Bigfoot Is Not Real” scarcely breaking news, it’s also painful for the true believers to read. This is what usually happens here.

    2. If her comment could not be ignored, she would be scornfully dismissed as a “scoftic” — which is the word used by the Church of the Unknown Primate for what they consider infidels.

    3. A few of the more thoughtful true believers would also explicitly deny your assertion that “there are VERY few people on this Earth more qualified to give an opinion on an unknown North American Ape/Hominid.” They would point out that looking for apes in Africa does not necessarily give insight into how apes on a different continent with a different climate might live. They would point out that Bigfoot seems to be built for bipedal locomotion, like we are, not for the occasional short bursts of bipedal walking seen in chimps, and the Bigfoot has a much larger mass than a chimp, meaning its lifestyle must be very different. They would say that Bigfoot is either an offshoot of human evolution much closer to us than to chimps, or perhaps a descendant of Gigantopithecus, which is at the same evolutionary distance (and it is a considerable distance) from both chimps and humans. They would say that chimps have as much relevance to Bigfoot, on account of them both being hominins, as mountain goats have to bison, both being bovids.

    That’s what would have happened if she had, however carefully, said what Cryptomundians do not want to hear. However, because she said what they DO want to hear, the precise opposite happens. She gets not one post, but multiple posts — in spite of the fact that she never claims to have as much firsthand knowledge of Bigfoot as many of the regulars here. (Google “Jane Goodall Cryptomundo” to see how often she has been highlighted.) And she has people like you who want to claim that her scientific achievement gives her credibility even when she is giving opinions she cannot back by science.

    Sorry, though: a scientist may be an expert at science, like Itzhak Perlman is an expert violinist, but if she’s not actually doing science, you might as well ask Itzhak Perlman if Bigfoot is real. They’re both experts at something; and neither would actually be using their expertise.

    That’s fine if this is just meant as a pep rally for those whose faith in the Unknown Primate may be flagging, but it’s nothing like actual evidence, and what is really needed is actual evidence.

  6. dconstrukt responds:

    no disrespect to anyone…. I don’t give a flying F about any of the shit you guys just said… lol…. (and I really say it in the nicest, joking and sarcastic of ways)… I just wanna know WTF is in that B+W video above!!

    is it a dude in a costume?

    or is that a real living “thing”?

    it’s been boggling my mind since I was a kid.


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