Ichnotaxonomy of Giant Hominid Tracks in North America

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 22nd, 2012

Occasionally, we should pause to re-review worthwhile contributions to the scientific literature that deal with Bigfoot and Sasquatch. In 2007, Jeff Meldrum, Ph. D., published one such paper. It was entitled “Ichnotaxonomy of Giant Hominid Tracks in North America,” and dealt with his understanding of the patterns being seen among Sasquatch and Bigfoot tracks, prints, and to a lesser extent, trackways.

Abstract—Large bipedal hominoid footprints, commonly attributed to Bigfoot or sasquatch, continue to be discovered and documented, occasionally in correlation with eyewitness sightings, and rarely in concert with photographic record of the trackmaker (gen. et sp. indet.). One of the best-documented instances occurred in 1967, when Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin filmed an over two meter tall upright striding hominoid figure, at the site of Bluff Creek, in Del Norte County, California, and cast a right and left pair of exceptionally clear footprints in firm moist sand. Additional footprints were filmed, photographed, and cast by multiple witnesses. Molds and casts of a series of these are reposited at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, while ten original casts are among the Titmus Collection at the Willow Creek – China Flats Museum, Humboldt County, California. These casts have been 3D-scanned and archived as part of a footprint virtualization project and scan images are accessible on-line through the Idaho Museum of Natural History. The initial pair, originally cast by Patterson, and the remaining casts made by Titmus, are designated the holotype of a novel ichnogenus and ichnospecies describing these plantigrade pentadactyl bipedal primate footprints – Anthropoidipes ameriborealis (“North American ape foot”). The footprints imply a primitively flat, flexible foot lacking a stiff longitudinal arch, combined with a derived, non-divergent medial digit.

Download the paper here: Ichnotaxonomy of Giant Hominid Tracks in North America

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

12 Responses to “Ichnotaxonomy of Giant Hominid Tracks in North America”

  1. DWA responds:

    Don’t ever count on a scoftic to bring this paper up.

    Kudos to Dr. Meldrum for forcing the discussion underneath the locked door.

    Anyone who knows even the barest about the topic knows that the chance that all the footprint evidence – let alone everything else as well – adds up to a false positive is…well, think of the least likely thing you ever heard of.

    About that likely. Which is why this paper got published.

  2. William responds:

    I was just thinking about find tracks of BF last night. It ocurred to me that if I was an investigator like the Finding BF folks, why not find the nearest water source located next to a recent or “hot” BF siting and simply search for prints along the edge. All animals including humans have to have a water source and that is always where tracks are more easily made and ergo found. It would seem like Bigfoots would have to drink a lot of water to support their huge bodies. Has anyone ever consistently done this as a logical method of finding tracks to cast?

  3. Novelhawk responds:

    Dr. Meldrum’s “mid-tarsal break” concept is one of the most interesting ideas that could point to a legitimate creature.

    I find it harder to believe that every hoaxer who ever donned a pair of Bigfoot shoes knew enough about bipedal morphology to include a mid-tarsal break in the fake feet, than the possibility of an undiscovered North American ape (or hominid.)

    Thanks for posting! Dr. Meldrum is one of cryptozoology’s best mouthpieces for promoting a serious academic study on this topic.

  4. placer responds:

    finding tracks and sightings is not difficult in wyo. theres hardly any trees. theres prints all over the place, and 100’s of reported sightings. officials think 5-10 times more sightings than reported.the other thing that I should say is that some of them are way bigger than most people think 15′ +. thank God for bear spray.

  5. RandyS responds:

    Slightly off-topic, but in reference to the Patterson-Gimlin film and tracks, one of the things I find most difficult to understand is how, in the adrenaline-charged aftermath of the “bigfoot massacre,” Patterson, et al, had the presence of mind to obliterate all of the other prints and make casts from the one remaining trackway.

    Yes, my tongue is very firmly in my cheek.

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    Random postings about tracks in general, on other sites, and/or not Meldrum-related are not approved for posting. Please stay on topic. Thanks.

  7. Desertdweller responds:

    I have always been very impressed with Dr. Meldrum. His courage to present physical evidence to challenge conventional thinking in his academic field lends a lot of credibility to cryptozoology.

    Very inspiring!

  8. krs9864 responds:

    I applaud Dr Meldrum for making this information available to the scientific community and to those of us out here in the general world. Has anyone else noticed that part of his work seems to be based on Ivan T. Sanderson’s previous work? I will admit that I have not waded through the complete paper yet, so if Sanderson is cited I have not read it yet.

  9. krs9864 responds:

    Nevermind! He listed Sanderson in the references… **sigh** One day I’ll learn to read all the way thru before opening my yap….

  10. DWA responds:

    This quote is important:

    “For this reason it is worth
    pointing out that those inclined to take the probability of sasquatch’s
    existence seriously are either those with direct experience of seeing or
    hearing the animal, or seeing its tracks; whereas armchair skeptics have
    little or no direct field experience or knowledge of how widespread the
    trackway evidence is. ”

    You can add to “armchair skeptics”: most scientists.

    With this topic, amounts to: same thing.

    We tend to be intimidated by the Expert Role that scientists play in our society. Really, though, outside of their narrow disciplines, scientists aren’t that much more qualified than the rest of us. I’ve said it many times here: I can shred like toilet paper the ‘argument’ – it’s not one – of any scientist who comes on here with a James Randi attitude. I haven’t been wrong yet. I simply know more about the topic.

    One doesn’t need to be a scientist – or even a grad student – to know more about this topic than most of the scientific community does. One simply needs to be able to read reasonably sophisticated material. It helps as well to be able to think about what one has read, and to leaven it with one’s own experience.

  11. Troodon56 responds:

    Yep. Congratulations to Dr. Meldrum, for being an actual scientist, rather than a skeptic! In my opinion, closed-minded skeptics are being just as unscientific as “fringe” cryptozoologists are. Critics of cryptozoology often claim that cryptozoology is pseudoscience, because it is biased towards the existence of cryptids. In other words, they claim that us cryptozoologists do not use the scientific method, because our studies focus on trying to find evidence that proves the existence of cryptids. However, not all cryptozoologists are like this. I know many cryptozoologists that are very scientific and honest, such as Karl Shuker, Loren Coleman, John Kirk, Bernard Heuvelmans, and Ivan T. Sanderson. These people all stick firmly to the scientific method, to carry out their research.

    However, what those professional skeptics fail to realize is that they are also being pseudoscientific, because they don’t use the scientific method, either! That is because they are biased *against* the existence of cryptids!

    Therefore, this is my case for why cryptozoology should be an actual science, and why it is certainly not an example of a “pseudoscience”, like so many people accuse it of being; If anything, the skeptics are actually being more pseudoscientific, than we are!

    And, so, in the end, I, once again, have to congratulate Dr. Meldrum, for doing actual research on Bigfoot, while everybody else is too closed-minded to even bother taking a closer look at the evidence. Good job, Dr. Meldrum! 😀 !

  12. DWA responds:

    The critical difference between skepticism and what the bigfoot deniers call ‘skepticism’:

    Skepticism always takes the evidence fully into account.

    I make the point elsewhere, and might as well here:

    Concatenating P/G; this published paper, listing as only a fragment of the type trackways the one laid down by the P/G film subject; and the copious and consistent witness literature, one has more evidence for this animal than one has for much of what science considers proven. (As Meldrum himself says in this paper, citing Gigantopithecus.)

    One has more than enough, in fact, to do no damage to science at all – to in fact make a significant effort to advance it – by pushing for the provisional identification of an animal awaiting formal scientific classification.

    Do it, Jeff. Join forces with John Bindernagel, who seems ready to make just such an effort.

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