Update: The Foot of Bigfoot?

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on February 15th, 2007

Cryptomundo readers asked in the post yesterday, The Foot of Bigfoot?, whether DNA testing was going to be conducted on this mysterious foot.

Apparently, Virginia Bigfoot researcher William Dranginis is attempting to do this.

Virginia Mystery Ape Foot

Foot ‘looks like bear’s hind paw’
Thursday, February 15, 2007

FREDERICKSBURG — The apelike foot found in a Spotsylvania County landfill still has folks scratching their heads.

Spotsylvania Sheriff Howard Smith said yesterday that he plans to send the foot to an as-yet-undetermined expert for further examination. “So we can find out what it is,” he said.

Already, word of the find is making the rounds on Internet sites dedicated to Bigfoot sightings and theories.

William M. Dranginis, who operates the Virginia Bigfoot Research Organization, has offered to have DNA samples, if he can obtain them, tested by experts, including renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. Dranginis said he has already made arrangements with Goodall in case an unidentified creature is ever found.

“You prepare for this,” he said in a phone interview yesterday.

Goodall has said she is certain Bigfoot creatures exist in nature.

“Dr. Goodall is curious and keeps an open mind on the subject,” Nona Gandelman, a spokeswoman for the Jane Goodall Institute in Arlington, said yesterday, adding that Goodall was traveling and not immediately available for comment.

Dranginis, who has viewed photographs of the foot found in Spotsylvania, said it resembles a bear’s skinned hind paw. Authorities say the foot, which appeared sawed off above the ankle, is about 8 inches long.

“That would be relatively small even for an adolescent Bigfoot,” said Dranginis, who has been on a quest since spotting what he described as a Bigfoot creature in Culpeper County in 1995.

“There’s big bucks in bear poaching,” said the 48-year-old Manassas man. In Virginia, bear-hunting season runs for specified periods from mid-October to early January, depending on the locality and the weapon to be used.

Authorities initially thought the foot might belong to a human and that it might be evidence of a homicide. Workers found the appendage Saturday afternoon in the treaded tracks of a bulldozer used to move garbage at one of the county’s landfills.

Three dozen searchers — sheriff’s deputies and volunteers from the fire and rescue departments — sifted through half of a 127-ton load of fresh garbage looking for more body parts.

Authorities halted the search Monday morning after receiving word that the state medical examiner’s office in Richmond determined the foot belonged to an apelike species, based on the bone structure revealed through X-rays. At the time, the sheriff said he considered the case pretty much closed unless someone came forward with information.

Yesterday, Smith said he plans to send the foot for testing after it is returned from the medical examiner’s office. Arkuie Williams, a spokesman for the medical examiner’s office, said officials there are still doing further investigation. He would not say what tests are being performed but reiterated, “It’s not human.”Kiran Krishnamurthy
The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia Mystery Ape Foot

Virginia Mystery Ape Foot

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.

113 Responses to “Update: The Foot of Bigfoot?”

  1. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Mystery-Man writes: “there is no fossil record for it,”

    I would say between gigantopithecus, Lucy, homo floriensis, and all the other various fossil hominid and ape species, there is some fossil precedence for other bipedal primates and/or large apes.

    No direct fossil record, no, but then again, we infer amazing things about these fossilized critters often based on little more than a jaw tooth and a couple of fragments of bone.

    Not to argue, but just, you know, to stimulate thought.

  2. mystery_man responds:

    Jeremy_Wells- I thought someone might bring up those fossils and it is right for you to do so. I should have made that clearer. What I mean is recent fossil evidence that would coincide with Bigfoot being one of these past creatures or even just fossils that show something even similar to bigfoot existing at any time into the modern age. If the fossil record of these types of creatures abruptly ends at a certain point, then it is difficult to say that these might have continued to exist into modern days. A lot of hardline skeptics will point at this lack of fossils, so it is something to keep in mind.

    That being said, I do not personally think that the lack of fossils is proof that there is no Bigfoot. This is simply because fossils are very rare and it takes a surprising amount of factors to come together to make the process happen. Add to that the very thing that you mentioned that sometimes there are only fragments. Sometimes only years later do scientists figure out what these fragments are. Some fossils get boxed away somewhere and are not seen for what they are until further down the line. it is amazing to me how much this happens with trained archeologists. DWA has on occasion mentioned, and I tend to agree, that there is a possibility that fossil remains of Bigfoot HAVE been found, but they have not been recognized as that.

    I do find it amazing how much can be inferred from very little evidence when it comes to fossils. But since there are no known direct fossils of Bigfoot, it would be hard to infer too much about them anyway. Let us also remember how much theories on behavior and physiology of past lifeforms can change based on new evidence coming up. With only remains to look at and no live specimens to study, sometimes assumptions get overturned. A lot of debate goes on with long extinct creatures, just look at the fierce debates that Homo florensiensis triggered in the scientific community. The same goes when new, groundbreaking fossils turned up that challenge preconceived beliefs. Nothing is necessarily certain and textbooks can be rewritten. That is the tricky thing with studying long extinct creatures.

  3. mystery_man responds:

    You are also quite right that the fact that these types of creatures existed in the past shows that there is a precedent and that it is possible. I am in full agreement with that. Just whether there are anything like that alive today is a tough one.

  4. kittenz responds:

    People bury their dead too in many cultures, but sometimes we find the cemeteries. And not every person who dies, dies in such a way as to be immediately retrieved and buried. So Bigfoot burying their dead would not necessarily explain why no bodies have been found and studied.

    I find it odd that no bodies or other sub-fossil remains of Bigfoot are known to exist. But I don’t think that has to mean that they don’t exist. Their remains may be extremely rare, and who knows, someone may stumble across a Bigfoot burial ground tomorrow.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    Well, it’s hard to say whether they bury their dead or not, there is no evidence at all for that and it is pure speculation. However, it is an interesting concept and it could very well explain a lot about why bodies are hard to find. I feel that if Bigfoot does bury its dead then I don’t believe they can really be compared to human cemeteries in that they are most probably in remote areas where people are not out digging. I mean, fossils can go undiscovered for awhile even where people ARE digging. I also sometimes hear people say that one would have been hit by a car or died of natural causes and I have my own ideas to explain this.

    First of all, a creature of the size we are talking about is not necessarily going to be killed outright by a car. It could limp off and survive or die in a remote area. It is not necessarily going to die right there by the side of the road and it would probably be a remote road. They may even issue a distress call to bring other that might carry the body away, who nows? Without any real insights into their behavior, it is plausible to think that this could be the case. It might mess up the car and leave some tissue samples behind, so I wonder if this has ever happened.

    Second, if they die of natural causes, they might go off to die somewhere that is remote and with this, plus being buried, they are unlikely to be found. Even if they are not buried, you have the fact that it is a rare creature and there is all kind of scavenger action going on. Even with known animals, how often is the carcass of a bear or wolf, or gorilla that died of natural causes found? I know, they are documented, but Bigfoot is likely very rare. If they bury their dead, then I feel it is doubly unlikely anyone would stumble across it. If it is an unmarked burial, people may stumble over it and not even realize how close they were to a fantastic find.

    I think there is the possibility of someday finding remains and this possibility is going to become more real as humans further encroach into this creature’s habitat.

  6. Craig Woolheater responds:

    OK folks,

    This one has gotten pretty far off-topic. This post was about the mysterious foot found in the Virginia landfill.

    If you want to continue the discussion regarding evidence, do so at the post Evaluating Bigfoot Evidence.

    I have posted the latest information regarding the mysterious foot here at Cryptomundo at Latest Update: The Foot of Bigfoot?

    If you want to discuss the foot, do so either here or at the post linked above.

  7. IBRO responds:

    Well if the decision is that it’s officially not human then it could be a number of different animals. At first glance it looked to me like a human foot with half of the toes missing.

    The hardest part about this argument is that no one finds a dead bear out in the woods but we’re also not saying that there aren’t any either.

    In the case of the elusive Bigfoot, scientists have found Gicantopithecus teeth (in Vietnam) maybe they would be able to come to some conclusion if they were able to compare DNA from this foot and that of the teeth. That’s if the scientists decide that this foot is officially an unknown primate. If this is from a Bigfoot how in h#$% did someone get a hold of a foot? Did they capture it or did they find it somewhere?

    We may never know.

    I guess its up to the experts to find out. All we can hope for is that we get the truth and not some trumped up story.

  8. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    The thing we have to remember when we talk about the “elephant graveyard” analogy is that, according to the notion, these elderly elephants go to these places to die, they aren’t carried there by their brethren. What we do see, and infer from the extremely social creatures they are, is that elephants who visit these places and pick up these bones are “visiting”.

    But with sasquatch it seems that this is a more solitary animal (we might hear tales of a couple seen together, or small family units, but they aren’t herding creatures). This solitary nature would make it more likely, in my opinion, that they die alone. But we are also talking about a wild creature that, like most wild creatures, when dying of natural causes would choose someplace remote to curl up and die, someplace they aren’t likely to be found or disturbed while they wait for nature to pass. I can’t say whether or not we are talking about a creature at the very top of the food chain. But if, like human beings, sasquatch could be vulnerable to predatory attacks from cougar, grizzly or wolves, well, there go your remains again.

    I think it is most likely that (if these creatures do exist) no remains have been found for these two reasons, coupled with the relative rarity of the animal. That leaves us waiting for some semi-truck driver to smack one on a lonely mountain road somewhere, sometime before we get our “hard evidence”.

  9. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Is keeping it on a physical specimen in general (i.e. a body) on topic enough, or do we need to move on to another forum? 😉

  10. kittenz responds:


    I don’t really believe that they bury their dead either (Sasquatch that is, not bears 🙂 ). No other animals are known to do that (except us), and you are dead on (no pun intended) about the “elephant graveyards”. Of course we won’t really know for sure what their habits are, unless and until they are actually found and studied.

  11. Craig Woolheater responds:


    As this topic is specifically about the foot found in the landfill, it would be more appropriate to continue the discussion regarding evidence at the post Evaluating Bigfoot Evidence.

  12. Sergio responds:

    Benjamin Radford said (to DWA):

    Once again DWA shows his deep lack of understanding about science. If DWA really thinks that footprints, shelters, and vocal recordings of anything (Bigfoot or otherwise) is ‘hard evidence,’ he needs to take an intro course in science.

    Dude, you are in serious need of an attitude adjustment. Why all the freaking condescending remarks all the time?

    Why do you feel the need to consistently belittle and try to make others seem not as knowledgeable or intelligent as you? You don’t know anything beyond what is posted on this website about these readers. You don’t know anything about this guy DWA. He could be a freaking rocket scientist with an IQ of 200.

    I submit that you, Benjamin Radford, need to an intro course in playing well with others. If you’re smarting because people here don’t take too kindly to your smarmy little jabs all the time, well, that’s kind of what happens when a person makes smarmy little verbal jabs all the time.

    You remind me of the kid who runs out on the playground and begins to look for a group of kids to play with. Every group you go to kicks your butt out because all you do is trash talk and tell them how sorry they are at kickball and how you are like the most awesome kickballer in the state. (Yet they can all see that you can’t play for crap).

    You know, there’s a way to debate, and then there’s a way not to debate. The right way, the best way, the most productive way, is not go into the debate thinking your opponent is just flat out dumber than you. Odds are, he’s not. And then don’t go talking about how dumb your opponent is. I mean, is that really getting anywhere?

    I wonder if you frequent the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website and send smarmy little condescending remarks to them all the time. After all, they have some fuzzy black and white footage of a pileated woodpecker, and they’re calling it an ivory-billed woodpecker. That’s ALL they have! At least in the case of bigfoot, there’s no mistaking that thing in the P-G film as anything else. Now, does that mean that the ivory-billed woodpecker Cornell and Auburn guys need to take an intro level science course?

    Go. Just go play kickball with those guys a while. You don’t stir up good honest intellectual debate here. Rather, you incite people because of your stupid condescension that is constantly on display.

    Look, you don’t have to PROVE anything to anyone. Just discuss the issues with people without calling them stupid.

  13. Wayfarer4000 responds:

    There is one certain way to settle the issue. Subject the specimen to DNA testing. If it turns out be another, “unknown primate,” it may also be a type specimen. However, I strongly suspect that it is a bear’s left, hind paw or a left foot from a well-known primate.

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