International Cryptozoology Conference 2018

Professor puts his stamp on the legend of Bigfoot

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on December 14th, 2006

In last Sunday’s edition of the Los Angeles Times, a seeming rehash of the critical AP story about Jeff Meldrum was published.

While additional information was included in this article, it had the same negative slant.

Professor puts his stamp on the legend of Bigfoot

His book on the science of Sasquatch, the fruit of a lifelong fascination, troubles his Idaho State University colleagues.

By Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writer December 10, 2006

POCATELLO, IDAHO — At a glance, professor D. Jeffrey Meldrum would seem to be a star on the Idaho State University campus here.

A popular instructor, Meldrum has written or edited five books, written dozens of articles in academic journals, and ranged across the American West and Canada for his field research. Famed primatologist Jane Goodall wrote a blurb for his latest book, which she said "brings a much-needed level of scientific analysis" to a raging debate.

The problem is the debate: Is Bigfoot real?

Meldrum, a tenured associate professor of anatomy, is in pursuit of the legendary ape-man also known as Sasquatch.

Some of his colleagues are not amused. They liken Meldrum’s research to a hunt for Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, and 20 of them signed a letter earlier this year expressing worry that Idaho State "may be perceived as a university that endorses fringe science over fundamental scientific perspectives that have withstood critical inquiry."

Or, as Douglas P. Wells, a physics professor here, puts it: "One could do deep-ocean research for SpongeBob SquarePants. That doesn’t make it science."

An affable father of six sons, with a mop of brown hair and a bushy gray mustache, the 48-year-old Meldrum declines to say whether he believes Sasquatch exists. But he adds that based on the evidence he has gathered over the last decade, he thinks the likely answer is yes.

"I believe it would be more incredible to dismiss all the assertions about Bigfoot as a series of hoaxes and ruses," he says with academic precision, "than it would be to at least entertain the possibility that an unrecognized large primate exists in North America."

Even as they defend the concept of academic freedom, some who teach here worry that Meldrum’s new book, "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science," is "pseudoscience," in the words of Steven Lawyer, a clinical psychology professor.

"It’s the kind of thing that will make Idaho State the butt of jokes," Martin Hackworth, a senior lecturer in the physics department, says of the book, born out of a 2003 program on the Discovery Channel and published by an offshoot of a science-fiction house.

The controversy over Meldrum’s work is testimony to the enduring fascination with Sasquatch, as the Salish Indians called the ape-man; or Bigfoot, the term the Humboldt Times in Eureka, Calif., coined in an August 1958 article about a local logging crew’s purported discovery of giant footprints.

But although there have been plenty of books on the subject over the years, Meldrum’s is one of the very few that could put its author in the middle of an academic fracas.

Twice passed over for elevation from associate to full professor, Meldrum says he would proudly present his Sasquatch research as part of future consideration. As the book’s overleaf puts it, he is "willing to stake his reputation on an objective look at the facts." (None of his other books deals with Sasquatch, and he covers the topic in just one lecture of a survey class he teaches, on living and fossil primates.)

Pervasive lore

Skeptics say it is absurd to think that a huge ape roams the American wilderness.

No carcass has ever turned up, and many footprint "discoveries" over the years have been correctly dismissed as hoaxes, Meldrum concedes in his book.

Ray Wallace, a force behind the 1958 footprint discovery and a source of Bigfoot photographs over the years, famously confessed on his deathbed four years ago that the hulking creature once captured on film was really his wife dressed in a gorilla suit.

On the other hand, no one has ever proved that Bigfoot doesn’t exist.

Into this void comes the 297-page book, published by Forge. It’s an entertaining compendium of Bigfootology.

A chart compares estimated physical dimensions of one purported Sasquatch with Arnold Schwarzenegger "at the peak of his bodybuilding career." The California governor comes off as a pipsqueak next to the 7-foot-4, 700-pound creature. Sasquatch’s 68-inch waist is twice the size listed for Schwarzenegger, and he — or she — takes thigh size going away, 46" to 28.5".

Meldrum’s small office here is crammed with plaster casts of strange footprints and handprints, even a buttocks print, that he has collected in the wilds and that he firmly says do not belong to any known mammal.

The professor says he has heard the strange wailings that some attribute to Bigfoot, and once he was in a cabin in Ontario when a big rock got thrown against an outside wall.

Bigfoot, he presumes.

Academic status

It is unclear how his new book will affect Meldrum’s review when he comes up again for full professor, perhaps in a year or two.

"Jeff is a great teacher, and he does real good things for his department," says John Kijinski, dean of arts and sciences at Idaho State. "He runs the cadaver lab, and it’s excellent."

Kijinski says he has not read the Bigfoot book and cannot comment on how it would fit into Meldrum’s job review, although he suggests that work in a "non-peer-reviewed press" would probably count less than that in a university press or other academic forum.

"Venue where publication occurs is extremely important," he says. "As is the case with all the scientists here, our basic standard is peer review."

Meldrum’s agent for the book, Michael Hsu, president of Minneapolis-based BooBam Ventures Inc., says it involves "too edgy a topic" for academic presses and is intended for a "general audience."

Meldrum says most of his research has been financed with private donations — about $80,000 so far, the bulk of it from a Texas oilman who believes he may have encountered Bigfoot on a hunting trip to East Texas.

The professor’s supporters point out that his Bigfoot work doesn’t interfere with what he does all day, which is teach human anatomy.

"I had heard he was way into Sasquatch, but he hasn’t even mentioned it in our course," says Heather Lien, a 29-year-old graduate student in physical therapy, pausing in her laboratory dissection of the cadaver of a woman in her 70s. "I gather it’s just a sideline interest of his. I think it’s fascinating."

"Unless I ask, he doesn’t even bring it up," says Steven Johnson, 25, another graduate student involved in the dissection.

The Idaho Museum of Natural History, on the campus, has a popular "Bigfoot: How Do We Know?" exhibit, which details the scientific quest for the great hairy man and discusses the roles of knowledge, belief, faith and folk
lore in keeping the Bigfoot story alive.

"Faith is believing what you know ain’t so," says a quote from Mark Twain in the display.

Since boyhood

Meldrum’s interest in the topic dates to an itinerant childhood in the prime Bigfoot-sighting terrain of Utah, Oregon, Idaho and eastern Washington, where his father was a produce merchandiser with the Albertson’s supermarket chain.

"I spent a lot of time in the woods," Meldrum recalls. He was fascinated by animals of all kinds.

When he was 13, his parents gave him a book called "Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life," which he keeps in his office. His interest in the creature — and in the mystery and romance of the search for it — grew so profound that one friend wrote in his 1976 Idaho high school yearbook: "Good luck hunting for Bigfoot."

Meldrum received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology from Brigham Young University, and a doctorate in anatomical sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

His specialty is the evolutionary adaptation of bipedalism, or walking on two legs. (One of the books he edited is called "From Biped to Strider: The Emergence of Human Walking, Running and Resource Transport.") Over the years, Meldrum says, he and others have come across large prints that cannot be attributed to known animals.

"The subject begs for investigation," he says, rummaging through the large metal file drawers where he keeps the plaster footprint casts.

Meldrum says many of the prints would be extremely difficult to forge. The "flat flexible feet" — up to about a size 28, quintuple-E-wide shoe — are less rigid and arched than a human foot.

"All in all," he argues in the book, "this would be an efficient strategy for a giant terrestrial bipedal ape."

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.


91 Responses to “Professor puts his stamp on the legend of Bigfoot”

  1. mystery_man responds:

    Scofftic, nice word! My problem with some of the skeptic theories is that they sometimes make the mistake of assuming that just because it could have happened, then that must stand to reason that it did happen. Yes, someone who is of freakish proportions could have been found. Yes, in theory a suit could be made using water bags to simulate muscle. Yes, it seems that “cradleboarding” can cause a head shape reminiscent of a saggital crest. And on and on. But just because something is possible in theory does not prove that it is really what is going on. I am very nuetral in my approach to the P/G foortage, but some of these skeptic theories just do not seem very plausible in their presentation as evidence. If they want to impress, they should make this theoretical suit with water bags, dress up a person with these freakish dimensions in it, then have them walk confidently over rough terrain without missing a beat. Then show me how Patterson and Gimlin pulled off the technicality and funding for this in the 60s. Then , I will be more inclined to consider these possibilities.

  2. Sergio responds:

    The BBC already tried a recreation of the Patterson-Gimlin film footage and they miserably failed, as will all others.

    They may as well attempt to replicate footage of a gorilla, orangutan or chimp in the wild. They CAN’T do it.

    They always respond to such a challenge with, “It’s not encumbent upon us to do it.” Translation: “We know we can’t do it, so we’re going to tell everyone that it’s not our responsibility to do it.”

    As alluded to in earlier comments, rather than actually seeking the truth, the holy trinity of their modus operandi seems to be to discredit, obfuscate and misinform. That’s not true skepticism, which should only be interested in uncovering the facts and truth.

  3. DWA responds:

    What you guys said.

    I get really annoyed at the skeptic attitude that proponents are just hanging on to the childish/atavistic/idiotic/whatever need for big hairy monsters in their lives. Talk about pseudoscience. The P/G film is 40 years old, and no one who’s said it was faked has either come forward with how or done it themselves. That, to me, is telling. When you grab the first guy with an axe to grind and a need for fifteen minutes and a paycheck to say, hey, I was the guy in the suit, you have lost all claim to my attention.

    Noticed that a Ben Book about lake monsters was on Loren’s top ten list. And Amazon let me read it without wasting any money. I’ve never been a lake monster fan. I think most of them if not all can be otherwise explained, and that it’s really easy to see one thing in the water and think it’s another. Ben and his buddy might have done an OK job using their look-here’s-me-in-the-lake approach on Ogopogo et al.

    But their approach falls far short when it comes to the sasquatch. People aren’t seeing ripples in water here; they have an eight-foot biped looking them in the face. They have 20-inch footprints and loud screams that they can’t link to anything else, and they’ve heard everything else. This one’s tougher, guys. Problem is that the sas gets lumped in with Nessie and flying saucers. Big mistake.

    I won’t read a skeptical book until the level of argument I’ve seen from them rises. It’s something like sas 23,444 and scofftics 0 at this point.

    If the scofftics scored some points they might get back in the game. But from what I’ve read of them, I’m just not seeing it.

    And just like mystery, I’m not a “believer.” (One believes in God, the Great Pumpkin and the Easter Bunny, things for which there are no evidence.) The scofftics can have me. If they want me enough.

    And Sergio: it surely IS the scofftics’ responsibility to do it. That’s the only way they can score the points.

  4. Sergio responds:

    Correct.

    The scientific method requires that a hypothesis be testable.

    The “dude-in-a-suit” hypothesis so far has failed all tests to validate it (BBC test being the main one).

    The “it-ain’t-no-dude-in-a-suit” hypothesis has to be validated by more footage. So far, that has proven elusive.

    Impasse?

    Well, it is not looking good for the “dude-in-a-suit” proponents.

    All it takes is another piece of footage that is at least as good as PG film to validate the “it-ain’t-no-dude-in-a-suit” hypothesis (or perhaps not even quite as good).

  5. Benjamin Radford responds:

    It’s interesting (and sadly telling) that the posters here have carefully avoided explaining how Meldrum’s work is valid science. It’s much easier to accuse me and others of some sort of KGB propaganda campaign against Meldrum or Bigfoot.(?)

    Instead of addressing the substance of my criticism about Meldrum’s “science,” I get sarcasm:

    “Wow. Now we’ll be able to better sleep at night, knowing that Radford and company are preparing a “full, close and careful explanation” of how Meldrum’s work is not scientific, to be published soon.”

    And my favorite is DWA, who likes to think he knows all about the topic, yet hasn’t bothered to read good critical analysis.

    “I won’t read a skeptical book until the level of argument I’ve seen from them rises.”

    He doesn’t even see the contradiction in his sentence, that he won’t read a skeptical book until he finds a level of argument he likes–which of course can be found in the very same skeptical books he refuses to read!

    Good science does not insulate itself from criticism, it welcomes and addresses it.

    While many posters here can’t be bothered with the facts, I and other skeptics are actively investigating and addressing them.

    While many posters here refuse to read or acknowledge “skeptic” arguments and evidence, I and other skeptics have closely read and analyzed many proponent’s claims.

    While many posters here resort to personal attacks and name-calling, skeptics are addressing the actual arguments and evidence.

    Too bad so many people here have their minds made up and are unwilling to even consider that the evidence Meldrum and others put forth simply isn’t as good as is claimed.

  6. DWA responds:

    “Too bad so many people here have their minds made up and are unwilling to even consider that the evidence Meldrum and others put forth simply isn’t as good as is claimed. ”

    Sounds like somebody who has a completely open mind to me. How ’bout you guys?

    Ben: read the posts again. We’re reading, and analyzing, the skeptical viewpoint. What we’re seeing is: rehashing analyses that have already been done, and instead of laying out a feasible and plausible and complete hoax scenario, showing, not too conclusively I might add, how small facets of a fake might conceivably have been done (under, ahem, ideal lab conditions, ahem). We’ve talked about how that doesn’t meet, well, Meldrum’s standards.

    Still, I’m pleased that the power of my arguments has led to my being singled out. Thanks! Maybe *I* ought to write a couple of books. 😀 But I had to quote you here:

    ———————–

    “I won’t read a skeptical book until the level of argument I’ve seen from them rises.” (That were me.)

    He doesn’t even see the contradiction in his sentence, that he won’t read a skeptical book until he finds a level of argument he likes–which of course can be found in the very same skeptical books he refuses to read!

    Good science does not insulate itself from criticism, it welcomes and addresses it.

    ———————–

    Ben: I pointed this out. I’ve read samples of your work and samples of Daegling’s, and I’ve seen reviews of Daegling’s book — from people who LIKE it, and I put one up here — that tell me that you’re…well, you’re doing what you say science shouldn’t do, and I agree: insulating yourself from the critiques of your stance that make very good points, and refusing to respond to them.

    You’re not name-calling; you’re just condescending, which when you’re better than us, is OK, right? “Sadly” isn’t a word that should show up in any true analysis, of any stripe.

    You’ve gotten sarcasm. But you’ve gotten a lot of good points too, points that it appears you’re going to condescend instead of address. Maybe we’re just getting a bit frustrated with you here. So you’ll have to forgive us for a) not thinking you’ve read or thought about some very thought-provoking posts; b) not thinking you’ve paid any attention to the loads of compelling reports of encounters; or c) paraphrasing someone else apropos this thread, getting a little snippy when we sense our time being wasted in discussions with people who have not bothered to be fully informed before submitting their opinions or challenging others. (I told you, in detail, what fully informed meant to me. Respond.)

    No one has shown how two guys so down on their dough that they rented their camera and borrowed their horses pulled off history’s greatest hoax — in itself just a tiny fragment of the evidence for the sasquatch. Krantz showed Patterson lacked the sophistication to even touch it. So, what, the CIA put the big feller there? Who else knew where they were going to….oh sheesh, I’m done with Patty. NEVER BEEN DEBUNKED. NEXT?

    You continue to commit the skeptic’s error of asking us to defend good science. (And good film.) You put the burden of proof on us. I’ve said it before; that’s wrong. THE SKEPTIC’S ROLE IS TO INITIATE THE INQUIRY. THE BEST SCIENCE IS SKEPTICISM. (Not scoffticism.) Proponents have provided the data. (Nice non-job on that, science!) It’s up to science to do what science has — I’m gonna use “sadly” here — failed to do so far. Which is: follow the smoke to the fire. Which is what our men Bindernagel and Krantz and Meldrum have been doing.

    So: are you gonna do what I’ve politely asked, or not? Are you gonna go to the websites and review the sighting reports, and really address how so many reports by so many keen observers with no prior knowledge of this critter can be describing the same animal, or not? Are you ever going to acknowledge that all, that would be ALL, science begins with a layman’s observations? Or are you going to do, again, what’s already been done? Over and over and over, with no benefit to your cause? Do you honestly think the Patterson film would be enjoying such a lusty and continuing rebirth were it not for the widespread reaction to it, starting in one’s genetic heritage as a hunter of game, that says: that ain’t fake?

    Or are you going to keep pretending that ignorance is bliss?

    I say it again: I’m not “a believer.” Whatever that means. The side that does the best science has me.

    And so far it’s not yours.

    Having read one of Meldrum’s papers on the subject, I’m getting his book. Having read enough scoffticism, I won’t get Daegling’s. You don’t have to give me an argument I “like.” I’m rooting for the sas, gotta admit it. Cool critter; I’d like him to be real. But I will read, and go with, anything that shows me it just ain’t likely. So far, though, sas is driving for a touchdown and the defense ain’t stopping him. That’s just what I’m seeing. Objectively, man! I root for my team. But when they lose, they lose. Patty ain’t losing on this scoreboard, which is just counting points. Wishes count for nothing. I wish every lake monster existed. But I’m willing to bet against any of them, based on the evidence. (OK, from what I’ve read of it, nice book, Ben. On THEM.)

    I read good science, not pseudoscience.

  7. DWA responds:

    OK, Ben, I’ll break it down.

    First a little chunk for the Patty-obsessives out there. The rest later, be patient.

    The search image in that film is NOT a man in a suit.

    Know why?

    A man in a suit looks like a MAN.

    In a suit.

    I’m staking my genetic heritage as a predator on it. The burden of proof is on YOU, the skeptic, to show me how I’m wrong. That you keep either getting that wrong or failing to acknowledge it is, to use one of your favorite words (becoming one of mine too. Thanks, Ben!), telling.

    I’m betting against you. Just, mind you, on the strength of what I’ve seen from you so far.

    If you can move beyond Patty to the mountain of other evidence, let me know. If you can debunk it, REALLY let me know.

  8. DWA responds:

    Oh, Ben, I put this at the bottom of a post on another thread.

    But since you don’t seem to be reading the truly skeptical side too much (a number of genuine skeptics on this board, but you’d be excused for not noticing), I’ll put it here.

    ————-

    If you’re a skeptic [but like so many of them uninformed, something I should have included the first time], I point you to the BFRO and TBRC websites (and there are others), and tell you to come back to me when you’re educated.

    (Ben.)

    ——————

    Thanks for reading this far. If you did.

  9. Sergio responds:

    Radford said: “It’s interesting (and sadly telling) that the posters here have carefully avoided explaining how Meldrum’s work is valid science.”

    I said, and will say again: “The Oxford English Dictionary defines hypothesis as “a supposition made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation…Please explain what part of that relates to pseudoscience? (This is the second time that I’ve asked this very simple question.)

    The scientific method is as follows: Observe; hypothesize; test; make inferences/conclusions.

    Is this not what Meldrum is in the process of doing? He has a hypothesis and now seeks to prove/disprove? So far, his testing apparently leads him to believe in validation of his hypothesis.”

    Radford said: “Good science does not insulate itself from criticism, it welcomes and addresses it.”

    REASONED criticism IS absolutely welcomed, NOT criticism based in ignorance, arrogance, or based on emotions such as “It’s just NOT possible.” If the so-called skepticism begins from that point, it is not skepticism, nor is it reasoned, and therefore it is not acceptable criticism.

    Radford said: “While many posters here resort to personal attacks and name-calling, skeptics are addressing the actual arguments and evidence.”

    Actually, from my perspective, calling an Associate Professor of Anthropology of Idaho State University a pseudoscientist absolutely crosses your own hypocritical line of “personal attacks and name-calling.” If you can’t stand the heat…

    Last, you keep referring to yourself and your cohorts as “skeptics.” While it may be true that you consistently, and perhaps instinctively, doubt and question, (which is the nature of true skepticism), you and your cohorts go well beyond that. As I have mentioned before, you attack by discrediting, smearing, misinforming and perpetuating.

    How can you, in an intellectually honest way, support the hair-brained, preposterous hypothesis of David Daegling regarding the Patterson-Gimlin film subject? Among a whole litany of other idiocies, waterbags as muscles? That hypothesis has been tested; it has FAILED, and miserably. Why are you not on your soapbox about that?

  10. Captain Avatar responds:

    *****************************
    Benjamin Radford Says:

    December 18th, 2006 at 11:33 am
    It’s interesting (and sadly telling) that the posters here have carefully avoided explaining how Meldrum’s work is valid science. It’s much easier to accuse me and others of some sort of KGB propaganda campaign against Meldrum or Bigfoot.(?)
    ******************************

    I am curious. Have you read his book? I have. Apparently you have not. In the absence of reading his book, how can you label his work pseudoscience? What are your criteria for imposing such a label? Dr. Meldrum advocates that science should take a serious look at the bigfoot phenomena based on a multiple forms of circumstantial evidence. He does not flat out advocate that these creatures exist and that the evidence supporting such a contention is irrefutable. Dr. Meldrum has set forth a hypothesis. Are hypothesis not the cornerstone of scientific discourse? The responsible position in this debate should be that of the neutral scientist, not of the believer or skeptic. Neither side is absolutely right. For the believer the circumstantial evidence is simply not enough to withstand the scientific method. Conversely, for the skeptic, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Neither side can win. Nonetheless, I believe the weight of the circumstantial evidence warrants further scholarly study. Dr. Meldrum has started the ball rolling in this respect. He presents a compelling case for further study.

  11. DWA responds:

    Sergio/Captain et al:

    Anyone want to make a wager?

    Just like his last one, Ben’s next post will be one he could have written without reading anything we’ve said.

    Bets on?

  12. Benjamin Radford responds:

    “REASONED criticism IS absolutely welcomed, NOT criticism based in ignorance, arrogance, or based on emotions such as “It’s just NOT possible.”

    I think you will find my criticism is quite reasoned, and I have never said anything remotely like, “It’s just not possible.” Please do not put words in my mouth.

    “The scientific method is as follows: Observe; hypothesize; test; make inferences/conclusions.”

    That’s actually incorrect. There’s not one specific set of steps for “The Scientific Method.” It is in fact a series of methods, and I’ve written a book on critical thinking, logic, and scientific methodologies.

    “Is this not what Meldrum is in the process of doing?”

    Some of it is, some of it isn’t. For example, Jeff takes up several pages discussing Fahrenbach’s analysis of John Green’s data, compiled from stories and anecdotes, many of which Jeff admits are unreliable. Fahrenbach’s analysis has no scientific validity to it whatsoever, yet Meldrum treats it as valid. Meldrum seems unable or unwilling to distinguish good science from bad; that is one hallmark of pseudoscience.

    I challenge anyone to explain how Fahrenbach’s analysis (heavily quoted and cited by Meldrum) is in any way scientific.

    “calling an Associate Professor of Anthropology of Idaho State University a pseudoscientist absolutely crosses your own hypocritical line of “personal attacks and name-calling.””

    There you go again… Where exactly did I call Meldrum a pseudoscientist? More words in my mouth. In my opinion, and that of others, Meldrum clearly engages in pseudoscience; one example is given a few sentences above. You will notice that I criticize Meldrum’s work, not the man. I happen to like Jeff very much, I just don’t like his way of mixing truth and fact with assumption and conjecture while labeling all of it “science.”

  13. DWA responds:

    @@@Parse time. Look for these.

    ————-

    “REASONED criticism IS absolutely welcomed, NOT criticism based in ignorance, arrogance, or based on emotions such as “It’s just NOT possible.”

    I think you will find my criticism is quite reasoned, and I have never said anything remotely like, “It’s just not possible.” Please do not put words in my mouth.

    @@@We’re not; we’re just reading what you write. I’d never call someone’s science bad to sell a book. I’d tell you why it’s bad while I’m telling you that it is. That’s what we’re doing for you: showing you why your logic is faulty. Jeff’s not getting the same courtesy. (No. He’s not. But wait ’til I get there, OK?)

    “The scientific method is as follows: Observe; hypothesize; test; make inferences/conclusions.”

    That’s actually incorrect. There’s not one specific set of steps for “The Scientific Method.”

    @@@But apparently you think there is; and it ain’t that one. And that one is, most certainly, one, if there are any at all. Trust me, human knowledge has been much advanced on precisely the above model. We’ve already explained to you, more than once, what’s wrong with yours. Not hearing what’s wrong with ours.

    It is in fact a series of methods, and I’ve written a book on critical thinking, logic, and scientific methodologies.

    @@@Not sure that what I’ve seen makes that one worth the shekels. Although, hey, you’re willing to say Bigfoot might exist. 😀

    “Is this not what Meldrum is in the process of doing?”

    Some of it is, some of it isn’t.

    @@@Now that’s SLICK, slick. Who cares if that is or isn’t what he’s doing, when we’ve already heard that it’s “incorrect,” hmmmmm?

    For example, Jeff takes up several pages discussing Fahrenbach’s analysis of John Green’s data, compiled from stories and anecdotes, many of which Jeff admits are unreliable.

    @@@That’s SLICK, slick. Until we have a body, what is there but stories (true, but stories nonetheless) and anecdotes, hmmmm? You discredit every sighting report and all other physical evidence based on the absence of a body. Since science is doing no heavy lifting here, the scientist operating without assistance uses what he has. The apple hitting Newton on the head was an anecdote. Fleming finding out something interesting about mold was an anecdote. Just like a Bigfoot sighting report is an anecdote. The science FOLLOWS. Let’s get our sequence straight here. (And no word on what, precisely, Jeff did with the unreliable anecdotes. Safe bet: he noted carefully what precisely it was he did with them. But then, I’m buying HIS book. So I’ll just wait, and check there. 😉

    Fahrenbach’s analysis has no scientific validity to it whatsoever, yet Meldrum treats it as valid.

    @@@Undoubtedly because there isn’t a body yet. SLICK, slick! Maybe I WILL buy yer book. 😀

    Meldrum seems unable or unwilling to distinguish good science from bad; that is one hallmark of pseudoscience.

    @@@Just on the basis of what I’ve read from you and Daegling, not certain that assertion has any scientific validity to it whatsoever.

    I challenge anyone to explain how Fahrenbach’s analysis (heavily quoted and cited by Meldrum) is in any way scientific.

    @@@Why bother? You’ll just tell us that you can’t make any assertions about the sas without a body. SLICK, slick! Or you’ll just jimmy your def of “science” on us as you’ve done so capably above.

    “calling an Associate Professor of Anthropology of Idaho State University a pseudoscientist absolutely crosses your own hypocritical line of “personal attacks and name-calling.””

    There you go again… Where exactly did I call Meldrum a pseudoscientist?

    @@@NOWHERE! Why, I can’t see the word anywhere NEAR Meldrum! No prints on this body at all. SLICK, slick!

    More words in my mouth. In my opinion, and that of others, Meldrum clearly engages in pseudoscience;

    @@@Like I said, Mr. Holmes. No prints AT ALL….! 😀

    one example is given a few sentences above. You will notice that I criticize Meldrum’s work, not the man. I happen to like Jeff very much,

    @@@AND WITH SUCH FRIENDS I WILL MOVE MOUNTAINS! 😛

    I just don’t like his way of mixing truth and fact with assumption and conjecture while labeling all of it “science.”

    @@@I agree. Why, this approach makes him a….a….BENGLINGITE!

    As I figgered. Ben, we’ve told you where to go. If this keeps up, we’ll have to tell you where to go.

  14. Sergio responds:

    “I think you will find my criticism is quite reasoned, and I have never said anything remotely like, ‘It’s just not possible.’ Please do not put words in my mouth.”

    To the contrary, I have found most of your criticism to be based more in dogma; the dogma of skepticism, almost as if it’s religion. Since you seem almost incapable of actually grasping what I write, I find it necessary to reiterate; perhaps the second time you will be able to comprehend the basic language that I am using. Nowhere did I say that you said, “It’s just not possible.” Nowhere. However, I have read quotes of a multitude of so-called skeptics who basically say that.

    For instance, one of the professors at ISU equated the research of bigfoot to be synonymous with researching Spongebob Squarepants. You don’t have to have an IQ above 70 to figure out that the guy is saying, “It’s just not possible.”

    The last time I checked, there were not thousands of reported sightings of Spongebob Squarepants from police officers, scientists and pastors.

    “That’s actually incorrect. There’s not one specific set of steps for ‘The Scientific Method.’ It is in fact a series of methods, and I’ve written a book on critical thinking, logic, and scientific methodologies.”

    Really. You may want to tell that to all these guys:

    Introduction to the Scientific Method

    What is the “scientific method”?

    Scientific Method

    The Scientific Method

    The Scientific Method

    The Scientific Method

    The Scientific Method

    Steps in the Scientific Method

    I could go on and on and on and on, Radford. Once again, you display pure unabashed arrogance.

    “Meldrum seems unable or unwilling to distinguish good science from bad; that is one hallmark of pseudoscience.”

    That’s incorrect. Remove the name Meldrum, and insert Daegling, or Radford, or Shermer. Then, the statement becomes correct. Waterbags anyone?

    Fahrenbach’s data is based on anecdotal data; there’s no secret there. There is nothing unscientific or pseudoscientific about basing hypotheses on limited data. That’s what a hypothesis is, in case you’re confused; it’s a supposition based on limited, or even anecdotal, data. As long as the hypothesis is not dogma, and is flexible, it is perfect science.

    “Where exactly did I call Meldrum a pseudoscientist?”

    Here: “The problem with much of Jeff Meldrum’s work (and his recent book) is that it is rife with pseudoscience.”

    Here: “…Meldrum clearly engages in pseudoscience…”

    Don’t insult my intelligence.

    If someone were to say, “Radford engages in prevarication,” that would by logical conclusion, be tantamount to calling Radford an equivocator or prevaricator.

    If someone were to say, “Radford engages in playing the piano,” that would, by logical conclusion, be tantamount to calling Radford a musician or pianist.

    If someone were to say, “Radford engages in putting off stuff,” that would, by logical conclusion, be tantamount to calling Radford a procrastinator.

    “I just don’t like his way of mixing truth and fact with assumption and conjecture while labeling all of it ‘science.’”

    Of course not, your position is not dynamic, is rooted in dogma and is in direct contrast to Meldrum’s position.

    Let’s go back to school.

    What is the definition of hypothesis?

    SUPPOSITION based on LIMITED DATA that warrants FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

    Translation: taking some, maybe even a few facts, forming some theories or making ASSUMPTIONS, and then proceeding forward for more intense investigation, to determine the validity of the ASSUMPTIONS.

  15. Captain Avatar responds:

    Well written and very logical. Bravo Sergio!

  16. DWA responds:

    I’m with Sergio.

    And I’m wondering whether SpongeBob the physics professor would like to hear Meldrum’s refutation of string theory.

    He needs to keep his nose in his own trough. And shut up.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when it comes to the sas, science forgets what science IS.

    Must be some peculiar Pyramid Power the sas gains from the Mother Ship.

    Sheesh.

    Fortunately there are exceptions to the rule. To Meldrum, Fahrenbach, Bindernagel, and Krantz and all their associates: a toast.

    (We’ll start the fire with copies of Daegling’s book.) 😀

  17. DWA responds:

    On further reading, Sergio, I’m not sure this is going to yield any fruit.

    See, the scofftic slant on this is to argue minutiae — like what science means, as if they’re using it — and ignore the weight and bulk of the evidence. Yes, Ben, the only scientific way to look at this is that the sightings — which scofftics ignore as unscientific, hence your slur against Fahrenbach — constitute evidence. If you had reviewed those sightings in any depth, you’d know what a powerful piece of evidence they are. The sightings are the elephant in the room that the scofftics don’t want to talk about. Sorry. You have to talk about them.

    Stop wasting our time, and tell us how the scofftics plan to bring science to this hunt. As skeptics like Meldrum already are.

  18. Patrick Bede responds:

    Valid points, Sergio, although I am sure I don’t have to remind you that when talking to someone of “dogma” (as you say), you may as well be talking to the wall.

  19. Patrick Bede responds:

    Benjamin Radford said: “I just don’t like his way of mixing truth and fact with assumption and conjecture..”

    Sure, whatever. I bet a wad of cash that you’re not too enamored by the way he took you and your goons to task in the last chapter of his book, which was actually one of my favorite chapters.

  20. mystery_man responds:

    Wow, this is one of the longest ongoing debates I have ever seen on this site and I’ve been here for a fair while. I’ve been mostly sitting this one out and seeing what comes up. Not much I can really add here other than I am tending to agree with DWA, Sergio, and Captain Avatar.

    I have a fair amount of skepticism myself, but I look at what I’ve seen and what I’ve researched from both angles and I tend to think that there is some grasping at straws going on from the skeptics side at this point, as if they are absolutely willing to do anything it takes to disprove the theories of proponents, a dogma as Sergio put it.

    Just as they accuse believers of having already made up their minds, so too do they already have their minds made up. I am not a “believer”. I am just a scientific minded guy who wants to find out what is going on. There still has not been much evidence put forward from the skeptic side that has really seemed so untouchable and it seems that Meldrum’s work is just being systematically discredited here.

    I have not seen the skeptic party of this debate come forward with anything that would lead me to believe that, say, Daegling’s theories hold anymore water or are any more valid than Meldrum’s or any other scientific proponent of Bigfoot. The scientific veracity of Meldrum has been targeted, the scientific validity of the skeptic theories haven’t even been put out there for us to look at.

    How can we be so sure that the skeptic side of this is practicing what it preaches? What we get is an attack of the scientific methods of one person and a challenge to defend the validity of them without the attacker putting anything out on the line that could possibly be criticized. It’s looking like a ballgame where you are in the bleachers criticizing how the teams are playing without putting your own team out there to play. The skeptic theories have conveniently been avoided here.

    I’m perfectly willing to look at the research and ideas from both sides, but I’ve seen the theories that have been floating around from researchers like Daegling and they are not necessarily scientifically valid. Some of the research done by the self styled skeptics has actually been rather far fetched in my opinion.

    I really do appreciate a skeptical approach and when it is well done and science is applied, it can be of great importance. However, I often feel the skeptic side of the Bigfoot debate happens to be engaged in proposing theories that are possibly just as invalid as they accuse Meldrum’s of being.

    This happens a lot even in mainstream science and it is unfortunate because it doesn’t help either side. I am in no way attacking the skeptic side, just pointing out that in my opinion, this is very curious for someone who says they are looking for the facts. This is all I really want as well, the facts. I am of the mind that I see a piece of evidence and think “hey, that is compelling, I wonder what that is and how can we prove it?”

    If it is a man in a suit, so be it, go out and replicate it. If it can be done, it should be easy and this has not turned out to be the case. If it is a human, go out and collect more than just speculation of why it COULD be human.

    A lot of researchers of the film have said it is most certainly not human. If all the eyewitness accounts all over the world for all this time are phony, then show how this is psychologically and statistically possible.

    Footprints? Go out and leave realistic footprints with dermal ridges all over the Northwest in remote locations so it can be shown that it can be done or at least present the logistical feasibility of this endeavor.

    This is what I want to see, not conjecture, or neat little ideas of how the P/G footage can’t be real, or systematically adhering to a skeptic agenda of fitting the available evidence into a theory that debunks the other side, or finding holes in another scientists research.

    Some skeptic “facts” are just as absurd or unfeasible as the “true believers” they attack. I haven’t made up my mind about Bigfoot, but I’d like to see valid, scientific research from all sides.

  21. DWA responds:

    Ben: just so you know, mystery_man’s post is a SKEPTIC talking.

    Not sure what you think of the intellectual capacity of those of us here, but all of us, sounds to me, understand what a SKEPTIC is. I’d put you in the GRIM-DENIER camp, not the SKEPTIC camp.

    Definition of GRIM DENIER? You “think” it could exist. But you would try to explain away anything but one ripping the door off your cabin and saying hi. (You might even say THAT was a disgruntled actor tired of all the waterbags.)

    mystery_man’s post? That’s SKEPTICISM. Guess I’m a skeptic too: I’d love to have this critter out there. Cool, gotta admit it, an ape that can eat anything we can and much we wouldn’t touch; that can run like a deer; that swims (and catches fish with its bare hands); that makes crude shelters (just like other apes do, Ben); that could kill and eat me if it wanted to, but doesn’t. I’d like to believe it. But why haven’t I seen one? Why have none of my outdoor friends seen one? (Have they just heard a GRIM DENIER go on and on, and said why bother? Hmmmmmm.) Why are you treated like a nut if you have seen one? (Are GRIM DENIERS Just That Way? Hmmmmm.) Why do we believe 52 new species in Borneo, a little ISLAND ferpetes, but not one here? Why do people who never go in the woods think the woods aren’t big enough for this critter? Why are people who never hunt so sure that we — heeeey, who IS we anyway…? — should have shot one by now? Hmmmmm. Man, that Patty film does NOT look like a guy in a suit. I’ve seen loads of guys in ape suits; sounds kinda shaky to me. I’m open…but why hasn’t anyone just duplicated it if it was so easy for two out-of-pocket cowhands to do? Hmmmmm. Wonder what it could be. And people who don’t sound insane to me — who in fact sound like they were, most of them, not only of extremely sound mind and perception but previously in the denier, not the skeptic, camp — are seeing something they were told doesn’t exist, and believed that it didn’t UNTIL THEY SAW ONE. What’s going on THERE?

    mystery_man is telling you what YOU need to do. Read it carefully. Time to do some heavy lifting there, Ben. Proponents? They already HAVE. They have a film, a film of an animal that in forty years has never been shown to be anything but that, like a film of a deer is a film of a deer, and sightings, lots of them, from many places, that sound to me like they are describing members of the same, or a related, species to the one in the film.

    You need to come up with an explanation, a solid, logical explanation, of why all of this, all of it, could be chalked up to hoax lie or mass hallucination. Plus honest mis-identification, by outdoorsmen of copious experience with local wildlife, of extant North American animals — checked out a book on them lately? — AS AN EIGHT-FOOT TALL BIPEDAL APE.

    You can’t just say that it COULD happen. Heck, the animal just as likely, maybe even more likely, COULD be real too. Ever thought of that?

    Apparently not ENOUGH.

    I close with what is becoming one of my favorite lines: if a man’s livelihood depends upon his not understanding something, it is going to be very hard to get him to understand it.

  22. Benjamin Radford responds:

    This sort of forum is a time-waster. My positions and opinions on the topic come not from dogmatism but experience.

    I have almost certainly done more research and study on Bigfoot and other cryptids than all of you combined. I’ve read and studied arguments and analyses on both sides of these issues, while those here seem to have carefully avoided or dismissed any skeptical or critical inquiry.

    I find it funny that people here seem to think I have some axe to grind on the topic. I don’t know if Bigfoot is out there or not, I don’t really have a personal investment either way. I’m trying to bring some science and reality to the issue, and am shocked at the hostility that brings.

    I’m pleased that people here seem to admit that Fahrenbach’s analysis is not scientific. It is only one of many studies that Meldrum pretends is scientific but is not.

  23. Benjamin Radford responds:

    Perhaps I should end my participation here with this comment, to all those who are so defensive about criticisms of Meldrum’s work and the state of Bigfoot research:

    If you are so certain that skeptics are wrong, and Bigfoot is out there, then get off your computer, get in the truck, and go find Bigfoot.

    No one is stopping you. Go do your own scientifically valid studies and research (it will be a nice change). Every single person who has looked for Bigfoot has failed to bring back the hard evidence needed to prove it exists, but you just might be the first. It will show up the skeptics and critics and prove you were right. So let’s see it.

    I’ll be waiting, as I have for the last 20 years.

  24. Sergio responds:

    “I have almost certainly done more research and study on Bigfoot…than all of you combined.”

    Really. A another audacious statement considering you don’t have the slightest clue to whom you’re speaking. It’s another typical statement from you, and is further evidence of your condescension.

    I doubt very seriously that your level of “experience” comes even close.

    Tell me, how many bizarre human-like 14″ tracks in the wild have you found by happenstance? How many nights have you spent in sub-freezing weather, tracking these things, only to find at daybreak bizarre human-like tracks outside your camp? How many times have you had pine cones thrown at you from the darkness of the thousands of acres of woodland just beyond your light’s beam? How many times have you seen one of these things?

    Until you have experienced these things, you know NOTHING but superfluous fluff.

  25. DWA responds:

    Now, class.

    Could Ben or could Ben not have written that post before he ever checked into this thread?

    Wonder if he needs a body of a giant squid to believe that one. 😀

    You’re right, Ben. It’s a time-waster. For us.

    We’ve found a one-trick pony, somebody who’s gonna keep worryin’ that bone until a body gets dumped on his desk.

    We’ve taken your arguments apart and you keep tossing them at us!

    Go wait, man. I have a funny feeling that a lot of people who have seen a sasquatch are laughing out loud right now.

    One last thing about your hopefully last post on this:

    Go read ours over and over again until they sink in. Or not. Your line of reasoning leads nowhere; so it’s worth nothing to us.

    But thanks for not playing.

  26. Ceroill responds:

    It’s a bit interesting how easy it seems to be for folks to make assumptions and generalizations about each other, when they really have no real knowledge to base such opinions on. This has happened on both sides of the topic. Ben, I would like to thank you for joining in this discussion. Thanks also to the others who have put forward their thoughts and positions. I have found this interchange to be of great interest, even when it becomes emotional.

  27. Patrick Bede responds:

    “I’ll be waiting, as I have for the last 20 years.”

    Yep, that’s the kind of experience that puts us all to shame.

    If anyone needs to get off their glutes, it’s you, as your final statement indicates.

  28. DWA responds:

    Well, Ceroill, you’re right. Cooler heads didn’t always prevail here. On any side (there’s obviously more than two here). Frustration happens. And I’m sorry to the extent I contributed to that.

    It’s just that I think skepticism needs to be something more than sideline cynicism. Cynicism annoys me. True skepticism doesn’t, because the true skeptic’s mind is open.

    I don’t have anything to prove here, for sure. (Nor should anyone who has been face to face with a sasquatch. That would sure be enough for me.) I think there’s more than enough evidence in hand to satisfy me that there’s a non-conventional explanation for the sasquatch phenomenon, whatever that may be. Maybe it’s my lack of understanding what possible positive result sideline cynicism could possibly be aiming for that got my goat here.

    Ben may have looked at lots of evidence. But he sure don’t seem to be having much fun with it. And it’s the holidays, too. (Heeeeeey….maybe I’ll go over to TBRC and celebrate my newfound skepticism with one of those long-sleeve Bigfoot Ts…..!) 😀

  29. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    RE: # 54
    Ben, while I haven’t had the opportunity to read Meldrum’s book yet, I have heard him speak (at an earlier event in the same “Bigfoot in Texas” series where I heard you speak) and while his examination of the evidence has lead him to dismiss some as hoaxes, his analysis of the evidence that can NOT be dismissed, including the evidence for flexion not found in a human foot, yet found in many “good tracks” from disparate locations and times, was probably the most scientific evaluation of Bigfoot evidence I have ever seen. While there were probably a few more “yawns” in the audience while Meldrum was explaining the flexion patterns one finds in a chimpanzee foot than there were a month later when you were regaling us with slides of Bigfoot’s adventures as chronicled by the Weekly World News, I don’t think that says anything about how scientific Meldrum is. In fact, I think pseudoscience is usually a little more interesting (less yawns) which probably accounts for its popularity.

    I don’t mean to be dismissive of your view-point. In fact, as Loren also noted that day, I agree with the content of your presentation, as it regards to the mythical Bigfoot. This is the kind of folklore that grows up around any animal when we are so woefully ignorant of it though. It’s the same kind of “traveler’s tale” told about the gorilla before critical analysis of its habits could be undertaken.

    Perhaps, ultimately, Bigfoot will end up in the same camp as the basilisk and chimera, relegated to our folklore. Perhaps someday they will stand with the panda (and 52 new species from Borneo recognized as of this year), as a symbol of our truly limited knowledge of this world we live on.
    Either way, the study of the creature, and the beliefs about it, enrich our understanding of the human experience and the variety of ways we seek to understand the world, and that, my friend, I think we can all agree is a valuable pursuit.

    Peace, JD

  30. Captain Avatar responds:

    Jeremy_Wells, how true (and sad) that fascinating scientific study can be boring to the average person seeking excitement. Dr. Meldrum’s book is certaintly not tabloid fodder nor should it be read by those seeking “I had an affair with bigfoot” stories.

  31. mystery_man responds:

    Hmmm, I don’t think I was being very aggressive towards Ben at all, yet he seems to be questioning the credentials of those involved on this post. I am a science teacher, I am not some armchair computer freak and have seemingly spent about as much time as Mr. Radford has here on the computer. I would love to go out and get the omnipotent experience he has gotten in this field, but unfortunately, I have a wife, baby daughter, and bills to pay. I also have to protect my reputation at work from exactly what has gone on with Meldrum. I live in Japan, and they do not always take kindly to this kind of dabbling. Not everyone here is an armchair computer geek and not everyone can “get off the computer” and do all the research needed. Life doesn’t work that way and it is not a realistic option for some of us unfortunately. I have my own research and classes and field trips to attend to. The only release I get is my own research of the topic of cryptozoology and joining in on forums like these. I am not a fool, as I get the impression I’m being called from what Ben says about none of the posters here knowing what they are talking about. I feel a little like I’m being preached to, and I think that has ruffled some feathers and caused people to snap a bit more than they perhaps should have. But the undeniable arrogance and boasting is there. Sure, he has written a book, but I speak fluent Japanese and write scientific papers in Japanese (English is my first language), so can you do that? I find it remarkable how quick Mr. Radford can be to judge the scientific know how or intellect of the posters here, making broad statements that come across as quite self important. The fact is, Ben, you do not know who is on here posting, there could be people who know more than you do. Not saying I’m him, but why the brash, condescending remarks?

  32. DWA responds:

    Well, mystery_man, not saying that I take back a thing I said. I could have put less edge on it.

    Although I admit — for precisely the reasons you state — that doing that got a bit hard. Ben will think what he thinks, judging by the performance I saw here, no matter what he hears. In fact, I think that other than selling books and lectures, what he’s doing is pointless. He clearly will not be swayed by anything but a body. So why is he even on here talking about evidence? None would sway him. Don’t expect him to report a personal sighting. I honestly believe that’s the last thing he would do. That would cut into precisely what’s putting bread in his mouth, don’t you think? From his posts, boy, I do.

    As I said earlier: if your livelihood depends on not understanding it, it’s going to be damn hard to make you understand it.

    He didn’t address a single substantive point any of us made, even when a skeptic or two told him point blank what skeptics need to address. And he won’t, because his modus operandi carefully skirts the opposition’s strengths. Fortunately for him, the lake monster crowd’s evidence isn’t that strong. I’m a real skeptic on those. I’ve seen enough lumps in the water to know that a lake monster could be anything.

    The debunking style of Radford’s book on those — and yes, Amazon gives you enough of a look to know it — simply won’t wash with the sasquatch. You don’t have hundreds, let alone thousands, of eyewitness acconts by divers in Loch Ness or boaters on Champlain, with descriptions that fit the profile of all the other reports, by people who didn’t even think about sasquatch before their sightings. That’s powerful if you ask me. Could you fake one or two of those reports? Sure. Half of them? Eyebrows up. ALL of them? you HAVE to show me that. Sheesh, it’s easier to accept the ape than the skeptics on this animal.

    Again, so far. I’m waiting. And if the skeptical tack is Radford’s, I’m gonna wait longer than he has, I think.

  33. mystery_man responds:

    What you said.
    I also don’t think he is going to change his mind on any of these issues and no he didn’t really address our points but rather seemed to give the same kind of almost prewritten lecture. I sometimes got the impression that our posts were not being carefully read. The sad part is, I am very flexible with this and I don’t think we have made any unreasonable demands or made any outrageous claims. There was a remarkable avoidance of any of the points being made to him and although he said we did the same thing, I feel his points were addressed fairly well. I am not entrenched with Meldrum’s ideas or in the idea that Bigfoot exists but he dodged any requests to show us his theories and our inquiries were subtly skirted. Instead, Mr. Radford got a little hot headed himself and we were not really asking any more of him than he was asking of us. Definitely hypocritical in my opinion. I mentioned some things that need to be addressed and they were not even given consideration. Instead we get “I have more experience than all of you”, “go out and do the field research” and what not. Not the answer I or any of us was looking for. If it is so hard for him to get an admittedly skeptical person as myself to see his points, how is he going to sway, say, a true believer? I don’t think any of us said that we are “convinced Bigfoot is out there” as we were accused of being. I think it was actually made quite clear that we were open minded on the issue. I am willing to see lucid, scientific skeptical viewpoints if they are unbiased, reasonable, and open minded. Exactly what I expect from any evidence FOR sasquatch. However I didn’t see any here from Mr. Radford, which I find odd from someone purporting to have done so much homework on the issue and so committed to finding the truth. In my opinion, it really did seem that there was a lot of denial of any evidence pointing to the existence of sasquatch, no matter how compelling or worth looking into it may be.

  34. Ceroill responds:

    It seems to me that one stumbling block in the exchanges may be the use of the word ‘evidence’. To a man of Ben’s mindset it may be that anyone else, since they obviously do not have his outstanding credentials and background, is not properly authorized to use that word. ‘Evidence’ may imply a certain level of veracity to the data and samples that he is currently unwilling to admit.

  35. DWA responds:

    Well, c., you may be right.

    But we gave Ben more than one string to tug on here. I didn’t say it in as many words, but the way he and Daegling approach to the Patterson film as a possible hoax is like me postulating that the Pearl Harbor attack may have been done by birds and not by the Japanese, because among other things birds can fly.

    Nice point. But there’s more that needs to be taken into account, doesn’t Ben think…?

  36. Patrick Bede responds:

    I regret absolutely nothing that I’ve written.

    Look, for the reasons that all of you have written, and as I wrote earlier, you may as well be talking to a wall. The guy is laughingly high on himself, and “sadly” low on others. That is quite evident in his interactions here. and elsewhere.

    His main emphasis was: “None of you can be right, because you’re not as educated, not as intelligent, not as experienced, not as discerning as ME, you pitiful, sad little Meldrum minions.”

    Now, I find THAT “sadly telling.” If he doesn’t care who he is speaking to, then that in itself speaks volumes about his self-love and smugness.

    If he doesn’t realize that 99% of the posters here use pseudonyms, and he could be talking to Frank Peretti, Daris Swindler, John Green, Patrick Bede, or Stephen Hawking, then he is not quite as discerning as his self-love and smugness will allow him to believe.

  37. Ceroill responds:

    DWA- apparently he doesn’t. Only those he accuses of doing bad science or being gullible need to take more into account. Obviously in his eyes Meldrum is overenthusiastic and misguided, and therefore getting sloppy in his science. And also, just as obviously (in his eyes) those who write here are not capable of understanding his analyses of the bad science, so he didn’t even deign to explain his points to us.

    Unless….hey, here’s a wild speculation- Is it possible that he’s not going into detail about his analyses because it’s all in his upcoming book? If he just tells us gratis there’s no reason for us to buy his book. Hmmm….just speculation, though.

  38. Sergio responds:

    How is it possible to actually have serious, engaged dialogue with someone whose level of self-inflation facilitates a position of superior intellect and experience?

    In B. Radford’s first post in this blog, he launched into one of his blatantly patronizing, belittling rants with a verbal attack on Al, one of the Cryptomundo posters, with this gem: “This is patently ridiculous.”

    What wonderful manners.

    At that point, Al and other posters such as DWA and Patrick Bede apparently took umbrage, as did I.

    It became obvious to me how actually undiscerning Radford is when he gave a blanket endorsement to DWA of David Daegling and his book, as if DWA would see the light, if he could only be exposed to Daegling’s book of disinformation and half-baked science.

    True skeptics should bristle that this guy and others like him call themselves “critical thinkers” and “skeptics,” when he is really nothing more than a know-it-all cynic who likes to boast of his self-inflated importance.

  39. DWA responds:

    I’ve thought about this, and what it comes down to for me about people like Ben.

    I think they found out when they were fifteen that Santa Claus wasn’t real, and they’ve never gotten over it.

    I have no way of backing this one up. But I think the walk would be pretty hard to fake. 😉

    It would be nice if I had a dog in this fight. But I simply think that the best evidence — and that evidence’s standing four decades and more after it was found against all critical attacks thus far — satisfies me that we have something that’s unexplained, that looks like it’s a North American ape, and that’s enough for me until I’m shown that the preponderance of evidence is too shaky to accept.

    So I’m waiting too, Ben. But my time in the woods informs what I’ve seen — and what I’ve seen is a lot — and tells me it’s better than what the skeptics have come back with so far.

    I’m open, if I can be convinced. But evidence has to do it.

  40. mystery_man responds:

    Amen to that. Wow, interesting, animated debate. I think I’m going to leave this one at that for now. But I’m sure this subject will pop up again in a future post.

  41. DWA responds:

    Hee hee. I read back and found this in one of my posts:

    “… . I’m waiting. And if the skeptical tack is Radford’s, I’m gonna wait longer than he has, I think.”

    My first brush with the data was in a 1968 article in National Wildlife Magazine, a pretty conservative mouthpiece indeed, yet an article so balanced and thoughtful and respectful of the evidence that quotes and images from it have stuck with me even though I was only 10 when I read it. (One of my favorites, paraphrased, from a scientist specializing in a relevant field: you could find a guy that big to put in that suit. But you’d have to break both his shoulders to get him in the suit.)

    So, Ben, I’ve been waiting almost twice as long as you — over 38 years to be more precise.

    Sas lives, until you kill him. And I’ll believe it when I see the evidence.

    That’s called SKEPTICISM.




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