Bigfoot, Human, Ape, and DNA

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 2nd, 2012

The Bigfoot DNA flap is causing all kinds of internal debates in hominology and the Sasquatch studies field.

Melba Ketchum is being quoted as saying that the real reason she is doubted and criticized is because: “Many big names have spent their lives trying to prove bigfoots are apes.”

To which, Matt Moneymaker has rebutted, “The big names have spent their lives trying to prove that BIGFOOTS EXIST AT ALL. Whatever else the DNA indicates is just dandy.”

Hey, I wrote a book entitled Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America (Simon and Schuster, 2003), so sometimes I do feel justified in getting a bit paranoid for sensing that people like myself, as well as John Green, Jeff Meldrum, and others are being talked about, indirectly. Or directly.

Of course, the simplistic, popular science retort is that Melba Ketchum, who, after all, likes to release her “scientific findings” on locations such as Facebook and Twitter, is missing the picture that humans are apes. Or as Desmond Morris famously put it, we are naked apes. Some folks like Jared Diamond’s phrasing from the title of his book, The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal. But, at its heart, the “third chimpanzee” line of thinking was more political that cladistic.

There’s always been a debate among anthropologists, philosophers, and geneticists about the placement of humans in the scheme of things.

John Hawks, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has clearly stated, often, that he does not consider there is much of a discussion here. In “Humans aren’t monkeys. We aren’t apes, either,” Hawks writes, “‘Ape’ is an English word. It is not a taxonomic term. English words do not need to be monophyletic. French, German, Russian, and other languages do not have to accord with English ways of splitting up animals. Taxonomy is international — everywhere, we recognize that humans are hominoids.”

Hawks observes, “My children can tell what an ape is…We aren’t apes. And it’s OK to teach your children that chimpanzees are apes, not monkeys. Because that’s what I do.”

Meanwhile, John S. Wilkins, Melbourne-based, University of Sydney and University of Melbourne-affiliated historian and philosopher of science, especially in biology, writes, “there’s nothing wrong with saying ‘humans are apes,’ because, on the best construal of what those terms denote, they are.”

Wilkins earlier had noted:

In the older system, Dinosaur meant the blue part. Now it means the whole outer circle. Some continue to speak about “non-avian dinosaurs” but that’s just a holdover from the past, and the Chinese feathered dinosaurs have undercut even the intuitions that made that worth doing.

Here is the human/ape case:

“Ape” has (once again) been redefined by the experts, and to make a rhetorically memorable point, some taxonomists say “humans are apes”, which is the vernacular way to say “members of Homo are members of Hominoidea” without turning off the aforementioned ten year olds. Any professional that continued to talk about “non-human apes” and meant “non-Homo Hominoidea” should be asked to justify why that is a group of interest, especially as new fossils continue to blur the intuitive lines that motivated the distinction.

Frankly, in the end, it makes more sense to read what Hawks vs Wilkins have to say about the human-ape question (and Darren Naish on the bird-dinosaur one, perhaps) than to listen too long to Ketchum-Moneymaker debate these issues.

Besides, what Bigfoot turns out to be, based upon scientifically, peer-reviewed published forensic testing after the recovery of a body or physical evidence with a verified, credible chain of custody, remains to be part of the story here.

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.

31 Responses to “Bigfoot, Human, Ape, and DNA”

  1. Steve Schaper via Facebook responds:

    Yes, when results that shout “contamination” from the rooftops are taken as evidence of an improbable trans-species hybridization.

  2. mandors responds:

    1) Humans did not evolve from chimpanzees, gorillas and the like. This is because:

    2) Bipedalism in ape-like species as discovered in the fossil record and DNA studies predate chimpanzees and gorillas.

    Conclusion one: Human, chimpanzee and gorilla evolution is not direct but parallel. There was likely a common ancestor, but that species existed tens of millions of years ago, and the bipedal apes from which humans evolved arose some time “shortly” thereafter.

    Conclusion two: If an enormous bipedal ape-like creature exists in North America, its DNA would more resemble human DNA because of a common bipedal ancestor that was closer genetically to humans and bigfoots, than chimps and gorillas.

    I haven’t come down one way or the other on the whole Ketchum DNA situation, especially the dubious background stories. But, from the above, the proximately of bigfoot and human DNA shouldn’t be surprising. This is also likely because whatever bigfoot is, if it is, it’s probably not gigantopithicus, but based on descriptions and the scant photos/videos, a large hominid relative to homo sapiens.

  3. Desertdweller responds:

    I agree with mandors.

    It is one thing to be a hominid. It is another thing to be an ape.
    Humans are hominids. They are not apes. He stated the reasons clearly. I would expect BF DNA to be more like human DNA than ape DNA because of the split of the human range from a common ancestor. While humans were developing, so were apes, but in a parallel progression. Does this make a BF a human? No. But it does not make it an ape, either.

    We have the advantage of being able to decipher DNA to establish lines of evolution. We no longer have to classify what a creature is based on appearance alone. Empirically, a BF might be considered a type of gorilla. But genetically, we should be able to see what it really is.

  4. semillama responds:

    Another fine post on this matter, Loren. Thanks.

    Mandors: Did you consider parallel evolution for Conclusion 2? Bipedalism in a Homonoidae species does not necessarily imply direct genetic relationships to other bipedal hominoids. Especially if there appears to be significant differences in foot anatomy, as is suggested though Meldrum’s study of alleged Sasquatch tracks.

  5. cryptokellie responds:

    To Mandors…
    Exactly what I have been posting to other related articles here. Both in terms of species, interbreeding and the time frame we are said to be dealing with.
    But fear not, the sasoons will have their say…as well they should.
    Humans are not Apes. No apes are commited to full bipedalism. Like bears and elephants for that matter, apes can or may be taught to “walk” but it is not their default mode of locomotion. Humans are bipedal…end of story. Bigfoot, if it exists will probably be closer to human lines than ape lines. Actually, there are many real anatomical/skeletal and physiological differences btween apes and humans, not just bipedalism. That we are related as advanced primates is clear but humans are not “naked apes”. There are no (normal) humans with an functionally opposable big toe yet all apes have them. This is a human adaptation which allows us run quickly on two legs. No apes can run in a marathon as a human being can.

  6. SIRUPAPERS responds:

    While not a proponent of Dr. Ketchum, we should at least be fair enough to admit that everything that has been released to the press and through social media was in response to a leak. This makes Dr. Ketchum bad at information control, not a bad scientist. It is not uncommon for controversial scientific findings to be leaked prematurely; this will not be the last time something like this happens. That being said, it may be that she is a bad scientist, but that can ONLY be determined when her paper is peer-reviewed and all of her findings and evidence are released. So let us keep the ad hominem attacks to a minimum until we at least have all the information.

    Speaking of “ad hominem” let’s discuss the ape/hominid controversy (sorry, it’s what passes for a transition on a Sunday morning).

    Let’s all be honest enough to admit that part of what is driving the vitriol against Dr Ketchum is the fact that she is claiming that Bigfoot is not an ape (as the term is popularly understood). If she had said that the DNA proved our elusive friend was an unknown, un-catalogued ape how many of her current detractors would have built a shrine to her brilliance? While I agree with Dr. Meldrum, and most of everyone reading this site, that the preponderance of evidence suggests that Sasquatch is a large bi-pedal ape we should be open to the possibility that it is something else, something more human than we are comfortable with.

    Up to now the arguments have been:

    1) Sasquatch is an ape and Dr. Ketchum is a crazy cat-lady.

    2) Sasquatch is a hominid and Dr. Ketchum is a genius.

    But might I suggest a third alternative?

    3) The DNA studied is not from Sasquatch but from another unknown creature?

    This may be far-fetched, but a possibility we need to be willing to look into.

    All I am asking is for everyone to take Cliff Barackman’s advice and wait to see what her evidence is and then go from there. I too find several of the comments made to the public from Dr. Ketchum’s camp questionable but to assail her as a pseudo-scientist at this point is uncalled for and really detracts from our collective goal: verifying the existence of and protecting this elusive and unknown wonder.

  7. Goodfoot responds:

    SIRUPAPERS: Might I suggest that being betrayed by a Russian blabbermouth is not necessarily indicative of “bad information control”? Ever had it happen to you? It happens to EVERYBODY, a few times during their lifetime.

  8. LordBalto responds:

    “3) The DNA studied is not from Sasquatch but from another unknown creature?

    This may be far-fetched, but a possibility we need to be willing to look into.”

    There seems to be an awful lot of missing of the point here. If the DNA evidence is anywhere near the truth, whether it represents “bigfoot” or “not-so-big foot,” it is, without a doubt, one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the last few centuries. It’s not just that there may be human-unknown hybrids out there. It’s that there were hominids close enough to humans to interbreed with them (with US) that are no longer found here on earth. Did they die out when their relatives didn’t, or did they go somewhere else, like space? There have been, not many, but a few, UFO reports involving ape-like creatures smart enough to build spaceships.

  9. SIRUPAPERS responds:

    To Goodfoot: That’s my point exactly. Leaks like this happen all the time. I’m simply saying that her findings (once they actually come out) should not be disqualified BECA– USE a Russian blabbermouth can’t keep his trap shut.

    To LordBalto: The importance of Dr.Ketchum’s findings are not lost to anyone… IF her findings are published AND her work is credible. The overall point I am making is that we don’t have her findings or evidence. This is like arguing over whether or not a movie will be good based on a description of a teaser trailer! I like to decide if a movie is good after I’ve seen it. So when Dr. Ketchum’s work is released we can see how important it is.

  10. todreynard responds:

    I think that a lot of vitriol comes from the perception that Dr. Ketchum has been unwilling to share her information with interested parties before the completion of the peer review process. Richard Substadt basically leaked her thesis (human hybrid based on mtDNA) sometime back and was lauded by many who are criticizing Ketchum for what is basically considered, in the profession, an ethical breach. Poll any laboratory – that kind of behavior would not be tolerated by superiors or peers. When you are employed in a technology-based industry, you typically sign an NDA, as a condition of employment, that extends beyond your employment with that company. The people generating the information have a basic right to control how it is used.

    Ketchum may not be a “great” research scientist, but she has run a laboratory and a business based on the technology used in the study. She is also a credentialed professional. If you tune out the background noise generated by the blogosphere, then her press release – in response to a high-profile leak – is probably one of the more credible packets of information proffered on this subject in a long time…maybe ever. Credible because there is an expectation that she has objective information that can be (and has been and will be further) laid out for other people to review and question.

    She’s presented a complicated 2-part thesis: 1) they exist and are genetically distinguishable from all other known animals and 2) they are human hybrids. I think the mistake that she has made is trying to get that all into one paper and get it accepted. This probably should have been presented in 2 papers. Paper #1 should have been: They exist and have novel gene sequences relative to known primates. Paper #2 should have followed with the hybrid interpretation. She and her team have really upped the ante with the mtDNA stuff and it was a very risky gambit playing it all at once. Of course, we’ll need to see some kind of publication before we can reasonably second guess her actions.

  11. corrick responds:

    Excellent post by manders and the discussion by others. Not that I think bigfoot exists, but if it did, its alleged habitual bipedalism certainly suggests a
    far more recent parallel evolution path to humans than to the other greater

    Wouldn’t keep my hopes up about Ketchum’s “studies.” Outside herself and her questionable “posse” there is zero confirmation by any credible sources or institutions that anything is true…that DNA tests were ever run or that her “paper” has ever been submitted to any credible peer review group.

    Caveat emptor bigfootus!

  12. Goodfoot responds:

    Nonexistent primates are unlikely to be bipedal.

  13. Goodfoot responds:

    SIRUPAPERS: I totally agree. I’ve also “known” a movie would be great, based on the teaser trailer, only to discover in the theater that I made a terrible mistake.

  14. DWA responds:

    J. Robert Alley has an excellent treatment of this topic in Raincoast Sasquatch, one of the best books, in my opinion, to read about the general bigfoot subject despite its geographic focus.

    His conclusion, essentially? Bigfoot could be

    1) a large, wild hominid (“although certainly not our species”)
    2) an ape
    3) something else on the primate family tree, neither human nor ape, depending upon a number of factors

    He offers good food for thought about each.

    Then there’s the possibility, in my mind significant, that even if what these folks are speculating were to come to pass, we haven’t sequenced “bigfoot,” but only one of several varieties of North American wild hominoid.

  15. Ken responds:

    I keep reading over and over again in peoples posts that humans are NOT apes, but this is not true, look it up. There are five species of great apes: Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Orangutan, Gibbon/Saimang, and Human. I am not saying that this makes the hybrid thing any easier to follow, I am just trying to straighten out your facts.

  16. MR JOSHUA responds:

    Nobody has proven whether Gigantopithecus was a quad or a biped because there is not a complete skeleton or any foot fossils. There have been many accounts of Bigfoots running bipedally only to drop and run quadrupedally. So to rule out Bigfoot not being an ape soley because it has been seen moving bipedally is baseless and is downright bad science. However there is only one known animal that could match bigfoots dimensions and that is Gigantopithecus. The hybrid theory is bogus and Ketchum will be exposed as a fraud soon enough and I can’t wait to see the “egg” (or steak) on all these Ketchum follower’s faces.

  17. Goodfoot responds:

    DWA: Sorry about some glitch. As I was saying, I tend to eliminate #2, because of the paucity of New World apes, especially ones who walk on two legs and talk.

    But this comment:
    “Then there’s the possibility, in my mind significant, that even if what these folks are speculating were to come to pass, we haven’t sequenced “bigfoot,” but only one of several varieties of North American wild hominoid.”

    I do think it’s “hominid”, but no matter… I really, really like that. You are consistently one of the most thoughtful posters here, and it keeps me coming back for more.

  18. Goodfoot responds:

    MR JOSHUA: I certainly could be mistaken. It’s happened, for sure, but in all the accounts of four-legged locomotion by Bigfoot that I’ve read, that behavior was seen when climbing a severely-inclined slope. I’ve climbed them all all fours. It’s the only reasonable way. You too, I bet, but do HUMANS walk on all fours? Only when the occasion warrants it.

    I sleep on a pallet on the floor – nothing fancy at all. I’m nearly 65. It’s a feather mattress-topper. When I arise, I do so from a four-legged stance. (Not always easy to do with two bum knees, but I guess old Bigfoots sleep in much the same manner). It doesn’t make my a quadruped.

    Again, going from memory, but quadrupeds, such as mountain gorillas, have short legs in relation to their torsos, and arms about as long. You take another look at Patty Girl and tell me that’s a quadrupedal being.

  19. JE_McKellar responds:

    To expand on the point John Hawks made, the Latin taxonomic words are supposed to be precise, as opposed to the ambiguity of the vernacular and common use. Here’s a rough translation, though:

    Anthropoid = Monkey
    Hominoid = Ape
    Hominid = Chimpanzee/Bonobo/Human
    Hominin = Humans and recent human-like bipedal apes.

    These all refer to branches on the family tree, so Anthropoid actually includes Monkeys, Apes, and Humans, and Hominoid includes all apes and humans. So while in common usage we call Orangutans, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, and Gorillas Apes, but not humans, “hominoid” refers to all five.

    The ape/hominin distinction seems to confuse people because Gigantopithecus was a close relative of modern Orangutans, and thus an hominoid or ape. The hominin branch, from which we came, also includes a variety of bipeds who have since died out, like Paranthropus, the Flores Hobbit, and Homo erectus. The Ketchum data, as far as it goes, seems to suggest that Bigfoot is descended from a mixed population of modern humans and a closely related, but unknown species of hominins, perhaps a relict population of unusually large Homo erectus (much like the Flores Hobbit is an unusually small relict population of Homo erectus). Presumably the Bigfoot ancestors migrated into North America from Eurasia much like humans and many other large animals did, during the Pleistocene.

  20. MR JOSHUA responds:

    @Goodfoot. Plenty of anomolies on Patty Girl. Female hair covered breasts do not occur in the ape or human species. A Sagical Crest is also a male attribute with an incredibly rare exception with female apes, not humans. So I don’t know how well Patterson stands up (literally) in this discussion. Many people have seen bigfoot pursue prey items on all fours (BFRO database has multiple examples). Again, without a full skeletal example how can we determine bigfoots are true bipeds ? What is this community standing on besides PG and Ketchum’s assertions on facebook ?

  21. cryptokellie responds:

    To Ken;
    You look it up and read further.
    The term “Great Apes” is a non-scientific, generic name for all the members of the family Homindae which include four of the members that you listed above. Gibbons are not classified as Great Apes. Those names you cite are genera, not species, meaning the genus Gorilla has at this time six regognized species of which say, the Western Gorilla – Gorilla gorilla is one. At this time the Genus Homo has only one member, Homo sapiens. Humans are included in the family Homindae but are not the headline title a “Great Ape”. A Mountain Lion or Puma is often classified as a “Little Cat”…ever see one? Not little. Some small anatomical differences – not being able to roar – make the Mountain Lion a “Little Cat” and the smaller Leopard a “Big Cat” Although included in the same family, Humans have far more differences from the other “apes” than do cats species everywhere which can interbreed. Human and apes cannot. Only apes have feet with an opposible big toe. Only Humans are exclusively bipedal – we cannot interbreed…the list goes on. My point is that Humans, while grouped into the same family Homonidae, should not be considered by the circus name “Ape”

  22. squatchman responds:

    I know that sasquatches are not human, but an ape.

  23. Goodfoot responds:

    MR JOSHUA: I’m about as far from the “Bigfoot Community” as one could get. Ask one of them instead.

    In fact, YOU’RE the anthropological expert here. ASK YOURSELF.

  24. Goodfoot responds:

    MR JOSHUA: Yeah, none of those “species” Ken mention are indeed species. Chimps and Bonobos, I believe, are lesser apes.

    I’ve never actually called anyone an “ape”, but perhaps I’ve been called one. Hard to remember.

  25. MR JOSHUA responds:

    @Goodfoot – To be honest….I don’t know what it is and I am no expert by any means ! Just taking all the evidence into account and trying to make an educated guess. What I do know for sure is that Bigfoot is a mystery that has captured my imagination since I was a boy. Maybe I am just frustrated that every time “proof” is reportedly found it someohow is never taken seriously and the old “we need a body” cliche comes up. Or maybe it is because this subject finally has mainstream media attention and four “yahoos” are sounding air raid sirens in the Sierra Mountains trying to attract a bigfoot. Anywho, no hard feelings here.

  26. Goodfoot responds:

    MR JOSHUA: me too, buddy. I got hooked by a black-and-white movie named “The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas”. Something of the sort. I was off to the races from that day.

    The very notion of “a body” makes my skin crawl, frankly. If the fools want to bag a body, I can’t promise anyone I won’t go and bag THEM. I just wouldn’t be able to take it.

  27. Goodfoot responds:

    squatchman: Christians, etc., “know” that God exists, but can offer no proof of the unknowable.
    Atheists “know” God doesn’t exist, but can offer no proof of the unknowable.

    But YOU: YOU have special knowledge, I swear! Did you feed one a banana, and train him to do circus tricks?

    Of COURSE YOU DIDN’T! What you claim to “know” is unknowable. At the present time.

    Arrogance always begets boastfulness and ignorance. And hey, I KNOW that’s not YOU!

  28. cryptokellie responds:

    BTW…Before anyone calls me on the opposible big toe comment in my earlier post…I know that monkeys and other primates have them too. I was only referring to Ape versus Human at that point and that Humans lack that anatomical feature.

  29. Dana responds:

    I belive in the possibility of bigfoot. see following 1925 vintage quote on origin of man

    Certain European philosophers agree that the species grows and develops, and that even change and alteration are also possible. One of the proofs that they give for this theory is that through the attentive study and verification of the science of geology it has become clear that the existence of the vegetable preceded that of the animal, and that of the animal preceded that of man. They admit that both the vegetable and the animal species have changed,  308  for in some of the strata of the earth they have discovered plants which existed in the past and are now extinct; they have progressed, grown in strength, their form and appearance have changed, and so the species have altered. In the same way, in the strata of the earth there are some species of animals which have changed and are transformed. One of these animals is the serpent. There are indications that the serpent once had feet; but through the lapse of time those members have disappeared. In the same way, in the vertebral column of man there is an indication which amounts to a proof that, like other animals, he once had a tail. At one time that member was useful, but when man developed it was no longer of use, and therefore it gradually disappeared. As the serpent took refuge under the ground, and became a creeping animal, it was no longer in need of feet, so they disappeared; but their traces survive. The principal argument is this: that the existence of traces of members proves that they once existed; and as now they are no longer of service, they have gradually disappeared. Therefore while the perfect and necessary members have remained, those which are unnecessary have gradually disappeared by the modification of the species, but the traces of them continue.

    The first answer to this argument is the fact that the animal having preceded man is not a proof of the evolution, change, and alteration of the species, nor that man was raised from the animal world to the human world. For while the individual appearance of these different beings is certain, it is possible that man came into existence after the animal. So when we examine the vegetable kingdom, we see that the fruits of the different trees do not arrive at maturity at one time; on the contrary, some come first and others afterwards. This priority does not prove that the later fruit of one tree was produced from the earlier fruit of another tree.

    Secondly, these slight signs and traces of members have perhaps a great reason of which the mind is not yet cognizant. How many things exist of which we do not yet know the reason! So the science of physiology, that is to say the knowledge of the composition of the members, records that the reason and cause of the difference in the colors of animals, and of the hair of men, of the  309  redness of the lips, and of the variety of the colors of birds, is still unknown; it is secret and hidden. But it is known that the pupil of the eye is black, so as to attract the rays of the sun; for if it were another color, that is, uniformly white, it would not attract the rays of the sun. Therefore, as the reason of the things we have mentioned is unknown, it is possible that the reason and the wisdom of these traces of members, whether they be in the animal or man, are equally unknown. Certainly there is a reason, even though it is not known.

    Thirdly, let us suppose that there was a time when some animals, or even man, possessed some members which have now disappeared; this is not a sufficient proof of the change and evolution of the species. For man, from the beginning of the embryonic period till he reaches the degree of maturity, goes through different forms and appearances. His aspect, his form, his appearance, and color change; he passes from one form to another, and from one appearance to another. Nevertheless, from the beginning of the embryonic period he is of the species of man; that is to say, an embryo of a man, and not of an animal; but this is not at first apparent, but later it becomes visible and evident. For example, let us suppose that man once resembled the animal, and that now he has progressed and changed; supposing this to be true, it is still not a proof of the change of species; no, as before mentioned, it is merely like the change and alteration of the embryo of man until it reaches the degree of reason and perfection. We will state it more clearly: let us suppose that there was a time when man walked on his hands and feet, or had a tail; this change and alteration is like that of the foetus in the womb of the mother; although it changes in all ways, and grows and develops until it reaches the perfect form, from the beginning it is a special species. We also see in the vegetable kingdom that the original species of the genus do not change and alter, but the form, color, and bulk will change and alter, or even progress.

    To recapitulate: as man in the womb of the mother passes from form to form, from shape to shape, changes and develops, and is still the human species from the beginning of the embryonic period — in the same way man, from the beginning of his existence in  310  the matrix of the world, is also a distinct species, that is, man, and has gradually evolved from one form to another. Therefore this change of appearance, this evolution of members, this development and growth, even though we admit the reality of growth and progress, does not prevent the species from being original. Man from the beginning was in this perfect form and composition, and possessed capacity and aptitude for acquiring material and spiritual perfections, and was the manifestation of these words, “We will make man in Our image and likeness.” He has only become more pleasing, more beautiful, and more graceful. Civilization has brought him out of his wild state, just as the wild fruits which are cultivated by a gardener became finer, sweeter, and acquire more freshness and delicacy.

    The gardeners of the world of humanity are the Prophets of God.

    (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 309 circa 1928)

  30. dharkheart responds:

    Mandors and Goodfoot: excellent posts. Thank you.

    Personally, I’ve never thought Bigfoot to be a Gigantopithecus simply based upon anatomy; pictures and video released don’t seem consistent with the representations of Gigantopithecus. But that is my opinion, as I have never seen a Bigfoot, or Gigantopithecus and I, personally, reject the “I was Bigfoot’s love slave”, et al., descriptions.

    I believe Bigfoot is a flesh and blood creature. I do not subscribe to the shape shifting, dimension hopping, creature idea. Having said that, I do not want to be inundated by those who do believe Bigfoot is a forest fairy/spirit. So in the physical sense I think Heidelbergensis is a possible candidate, though DNA analysis might indicate otherwise and there is the issue of hair: Heidelbegensis is typically not represented as being unduly hirsute.

    I look at dog breeding as simple examples. Take the American Pitbull Terrier as an example–again, I’m not trying to begin a debate about pitbulls, just making a point here–There are the American Pitbull Terrier which is the true “Pitbull” in American history, the American Staffordshire Terrier which is the show counterpart bred for show standards, The American Pitbull, the English Staffordshire Terrier and lesser known “bully” breeds. They are all distinct if one is knowledgeable about them, yet to the person uneducated in the distinction between them all, they are just “pitbulls.” They all have the common ancestor that is now extinct: the English White Terrier.

    I don’t think that having a creature that at some point tens of millions of years ago evolve (Oh, I’m sorry, I’m a Christian yet I believe in evolution, too. In my mind, I can accept both and rectify them but that’s another whole post in itself not proper for this forum) alongside humans and apes.

    Loren has devoted a good portion of his life to the study cryptozoology and Bigfoot as a cryptid found with that scope of study. Jeff Meldrum, who placed himself under the microscope with his peers as an academic who believes Bigfoot exists based upon his examinations of evidence falling into his area of expertise. Anna Nekaris, another academic who lends scientific credence to Bigfoot and others too numerous to mention. But my point is this: none of them has had a body, or other real physical evidence to examine so they put forth their opinions based upon experience with similar creatures and scientific method. No one knows for a fact what Bigfoot is.

    As Loren consistently points out, there are undiscovered species being reported all the time. The fact that Bigfoot has remained elusive is indicative of intelligence. That alone causes me to lean toward its DNA proving a closer kinship to humans

    Everyone here makes very good points in their posts and I, for one, appreciate all (except for the “spirit” non-physical Bigfooter posts) the opinions and observations everyone have taken the time to put into word in this forum.

  31. Goodfoot responds:

    dharkheart: Of course, our American Indian predecessors on this continent generally believe Bigfoot to be BOTH a flesh-and-blood creature, AND a forest spirit. I don’t have a whole lot of trouble with that line of thought, myself. And hey, they’ve been observing them a lot longer than European descendents and black Africans, first slaves and then free men (avoiding the entire “freedom” argument, please!) have. I defer to their experience.

    I once heard several Taos Pueblo Indians (as they call themselves!) on a bus, discussing (in English, not in Tewa, which they usually slip into in things of a sensitive nature) horseback riding in a remote part of the Pueblo land, and encountering some “wild indians” there.

    Now THEY know, and I know AS WELL, that there are no “wild indians” dwelling on Taos Pueblo land! I had no choice but to believe they were speaking in “code”, so to speak, about Bigfoots. And there is quite a history of encounters on their land, which they have continuously occupied for over 1000 years.

    And it was only a couple miles from Taos Pueblo land that I had my Bigfoot speech encounter, at close range. But I’m not here to discuss that….

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