John Green on Bob Titmus

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on February 5th, 2006

This article was originally presented at the 2003 International Bigfoot Symposium by John Green. This is the 2nd part of more to come. Posted with John Green’s written consent.

The first part is available on Cryptomundo here.

I would like to start with a few words about Bob Titmus.  

Those of you who have had a chance to go through the Bigfoot wing of the Willow Creek museum will have noted that most of the items exhibited are his and you have probably made the connection that without him there would be no Bigfoot wing and we wouldn’t be holding this symposium. 

What you may not realize is that without Bob Titmus there would have been no magazine articles by Ivan Sanderson, no expeditions funded by Tom Slick, no movie by Roger Patterson, no books by John Green or Grover Krantz or John Bindernagel – and in all probability most of you would never have heard of Bigfoot.

Bob never wrote a book and never sought publicity, so he never became well known, but not even Rene Dahinden dedicated his life to the hunt for Bigfoot to the extent that Bob did, and no one in the 40 years that he was active accomplished anything to compare with what he accomplished.

If you think that statement is extreme, try to think of anyone else whose original materials – not clippings or copies – could form the basis for a substantial museum exhibit. And yet almost all of this is from California. The bulk of his time was spent in British Columbia and the material from the most productive period, when he was able to spend full time in the hunt, was lost when his boat burned and sank while he was on shore.

Bob was a hunter all his life, and was also a master taxidermist, so he knew a lot more about animal sign and animal anatomy than most of us. He also had almost unlimited patience and perseverance, great assets when looking for individual hairs in the underbrush. What’s more, his subconscious mind was tuned to continuously check out animal tracks from a moving car no matter what else had his attention, the way most of us are subconsciously aware of the traffic around us.

From the time in 1958 when his old friend Jerry Crew came back from the Bluff Creek road job with a cast that proved that the huge tracks were not just big bear tracks, Bob devoted all the time he could afford to the search for the track maker.

Initial success came quickly. After only a few weeks he and his friend Ed Patrick, who is here today, found on a sandbar in Bluff Creek slightly smaller tracks of distinctly different shape, proving that “Bigfoot” was not just a freak individual, but a member of a population. The casts that Bob made on that early occasion are on display in the museum, and are still among the best ever made anywhere.

Progress was much slower after that, and a few years later Bob abandoned his beloved taxidermy, selling his business so that he could spend full time in what was then a hot area on the coast of British Columbia. There he suffered back injuries that left him fighting extreme pain for the rest of his life, but he kept up the hunt, including many returns for weeks or months at Bluff Creek. On one of those trips he made his invaluable series of footprint casts from the Patterson film site, and on another he drained a pond to get at what I consider are probably the only genuine hand impressions ever cast.

Another accomplishment, which should have settled this whole matter years ago, was gathering one by one from twigs where he had reason to believe a sasquatch had passed, a set of hairs that were identified by radioimmunoassay as having to be either chimpanzee, gorilla or human.

The eminent scientist who made the identification had previously established by the same method that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than to gorillas, a finding since confirmed through DNA, so that identification was as good as saying  “it’s something close to all three but not any of them.”

Bob knew they were not human hairs, because there were guard hairs that all tapered to a point, while human guard hairs, all on the head, grow continuously and have cut-off ends.

That they weren’t chimp or gorilla hairs was equally obvious, since they were brown and found on twigs in a California forest. That they were something different from all three could have been established in minutes with a comparison microscope, but the scientist had ground up every hair.

I spent a lot of time with Bob and I could tell stories that you would find a lot more entertaining than what I am actually going to say, but my main role in this investigation, especially in recent years, has been the collection and study of information, and since I have been at it for so long and since I no longer write books, I believe that I should use this opportunity to pass on to you some of what I think I have learned. 

To be continued tomorrow… 

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.

2 Responses to “John Green on Bob Titmus”

  1. rayrich responds:

    Awesome article!

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    This talk by Green is not clear on a point that Titmus is always credited as the person that taught Jerry Crew how to make the plaster casts that he first took in October 1958. From the context of Green’s comment, one would think that Titmus only became interested after Crew made the cast. But it was Titmus’s intervention that caused the cast to be made in the first place.

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