That Mangy Bear: The Final Word

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 29th, 2007

This somewhat comedic video is from Blake “DoctorAtlantis” Smith, who introduces it thusly: “I have posted a follow-up video based on several remarks from [pro-‘juvenile Sasquatch’] posters. I think this video, while still mildly sarcastic, does contain some good analytic data.”

{Warning: Loud music soundtrack.}

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.

47 Responses to “That Mangy Bear: The Final Word”

  1. Ceroill responds:

    That’s very amusing, Loren, thanks!

  2. Alligator responds:

    These video clips have been great. Looked at the BFRO site; they still seem to be grasping at straws on these photos.

  3. samman58 responds:

    OK. What about image #2?

  4. Scarfe responds:

    If the bear is looking toward the camera, the paws look awfully twisted

  5. 3tIeNnE responds:

    Scarfe beat me to it: if the bear is really looking toward the camera, the front left foot (or paw) is really twisted, just as the right one. I think the “face” that appear in photo 3 is just an optical illusion. It doesn’t make sense when you look at the rest of the body (especially what would be the front paws).

    I hate to say it, but theses pictures aren’t clear enough for us to identify what animal is showing up in this weird posture. It’s still not clear to me that this is a bear, but i can’t say it’s a Sass either.

  6. Richard888 responds:

    I agree with Scarfe & 3tIeNnE that the face is an optical illusion. Evidently, DoctorAtlantis sees what he wants to see 😉

    Also, “thinking critically and thinking often” leads to two conclusions in this case, not just the “it is a mangy bear” conclusion.

  7. shumway10973 responds:

    Facing towards or even away from the camera would explain the extreme difference in the length of the legs (or at least what appears to be the front “legs/arms” of a sasquatch, if it is one). This is just one of those things with cameras, they can take beautiful accidental photos one second and then the next few are crap for one small reason or an other.

  8. Shane Durgee responds:

    Yeah, it’s strange that people are saying that this is unquestionably a bear. There’s no way we’ll ever know what it is.

    You guys beat me to it, but I agree that it’s definitely not looking toward the camera.

    I can’t think of any animals, including primates and especially bears, that bend at the waist the way this animal is doing in the second picture. Or at least I’ve never seen a picture or video of a known animal doing that. I think that second posture is the key to identifying it.

    Until then, it’s simply inconclusive. To reach a premature conclusion, and remain stubborn about your opinion, is bad science no matter what side of the debate you’re on.

  9. Shane Durgee responds:

    “I agree with Scarfe & 3tIeNnE that the face is an optical illusion. Evidently, DoctorAtlantis sees what he wants to see ”

    I can see about hundred more compelling bear faces in the foliage and ground if I look hard enough. He doesn’t believe that primates exist in our woods so of course he matrixed a face into the second posture to settle his mind.

    Basically this view: “I don’t believe primates exist in North America, so this must be a bear. Since it must be bear, there must be a way to explain the second posture.” Grasping at straws indeed.

  10. DARHOP responds:

    Scarfe responds:
    November 29th, 2007 at 8:08 am
    If the bear is looking toward the camera, the paws look awfully twisted
    It is looking at the camera. And the front left leg is really twisted. In my opinion, the momma bear is stradling one of the cubs in play.

    3tIeNnE – It makes perfect sense. The animal is in a weird postion because they are at play.

    Richard888 – If that is an illusion. It is a pretty exact shape of the head, of the animal in question. Pretty funny how a trick of the light can show a perfect bears head.

  11. 3tIeNnE responds:

    DARHOP: I don’t want to turn this into a forum thread like the ones on the BFRO forums, but that can’t be the momma bear (basically because of it’s size). Plus, Mr. $Maker himself mentioned that there is an undisclosed picture showing what is believed to be the actual momma bear.

    So is this creature playing with the bear cubs that were shown in the first pictures (30 minutes earlier)? Possible. But it would be a weird (but possible) coincidence if both paws were pointing in the same direction, completely twisted.

    And on top of that, you see the exact shape of the head facing the camera? Have a look at this enhanced/texturized image:

    I think it’s obvious that the bear face some people see is just an optical illusion. Such as Elvis looking at me on my french toasts this morning.

  12. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I disagree Loren…

    This isn’t by far the final word about the mangy bear!

    Not by a long shot 🙂

    But I think it is a good analysis, and I hadn’t certainly seen the lump under the “creature” until now, and I agree it might be one of the previous cubs.

    Whatever it is, somebody should do a rock song called “Mange Bear”. Maybe Kid Rock! 😉

    I have one question. Would it be possible to wire more than one surveillance camera in these kind of experiments , in order to have 2-3 shots of the animals from different angles, that it might even give you an stereoscopic view of them or something? This way you wouldn’t be restricted to the analysis from only one point of observation…

  13. Loren Coleman responds:

    Ah, a metaphorically hopeful statement quickly proven by the comments here, of course, that we all have hardly heard the last words on these photographs.

  14. doctoratlantis responds:

    It could be pareidolia on my part. My first hypothesis was that the bear was sitting and that the lump was its knee. The bear is definitely skinny regardless.

    My original thought was that the pattern of light coloration on the left leg was consistent with the muzzle coloration on many black bears. However, some bears have nearly all dark faces as well.

    I don’t know if we can assume that the paw directions indicate facing. Bears can rotate their paws like we can twist our hands. If I’m correct, the paw positioning would be peculiar because the skinny bear would be resisting the force of the cub pushing her. These cubs look pretty big, and I can’t comment on the size of them relative to the mother except to say that they would need to be nearly independent since winter is coming, so they’re probably too big to be nursing as a solitary source of feeding.

    But I will run this by some of the biologists I’ve been talking with and see if I’m out in crazy la-la land or within the reasonable biometrics of bear physiology. 🙂

    Thanks for watching the video either way.

  15. bill green responds:

    lol thats a very interesting music video about that very conterersal manged bear photos indeed. great article as well.

  16. doctoratlantis responds:

    Shane Durgee – I’m open to the idea of a North American ape. I’m also open in the fact that I’d prefer a body, or at least a DNA sample to pretty much ANY photographic evidence. The truth is that technology has advanced to the point that video and photographs can easily be manipulated.

    But if DNA were found and multiple analysis by a disparate group of scientists indicated that it was from an unknown species of ape, and the evidence had provenance, then that would certainly go a long way towards convincing me.

  17. Shane Durgee responds:

    Ah, well then sorry for misunderstanding your stance and for making broad assumptions. I’m absolutely with you here:

    “I’m also open in the fact that I’d prefer a body, or at least a DNA sample to pretty much ANY photographic evidence. ”

    I’m not in the camp that this is a bigfoot creature, though it does look to me more like a primate of some kind than anything else. If it were actually proven to be a bear, that would sit pretty well with me too. There’s just no way to prove it one way or the other, and I was mostly lashing out at the thought that the animal could be identified absolutely.

    While I have your attention, I really think you’re wrong about the bear head in the second photo. Some markings or twigs in the fur are matrixing a face there. Notice the white splotch at the top of the arm, right under your alleged bear face. I think that’s an armpit, and it matches up pretty well with where we know the, presumably furless, armpit is in the first photo.

  18. squatch-toba responds:

    IT’S A BEAR……c’mon people!! I would have loved for this to be a Sasquatch just as much as the next guy…but it’s not. It’s just a bear. How do these simple things get so contraversial???? Everyone wanted it to be a Sasquatch….but it just isn’t…no matter how hard you try…just an old mangey bear. Next…….!!!

  19. gridbug responds:

    Has the “missing photos” query been satisfied yet? ‘Cos if not, then the BFRO is deliberately holding out on the other pics from the sequence that would show beyond the shadow of a doubt what the subject in the photos really is. It then stands to reason that since there are only two photos shown in the sequence that document the peculiar subject, it must be a bear, which is why the other pics have been withheld. If the subject is in fact a “juvenile squatch” then the other pics in the sequence would be proof positive.

    Of course, I may have missed out on the official BFRO explanation as to why there are only two photos of the mysterious subject.

  20. Richard888 responds:

    Hey, all. Picture 2 has a feature that might prove conclusively that the creature is a bear. If this feature is correct and not another camera illusion then there would be no need for the alleged “missing pictures.” If you look closely at the head you can see a sharp bear-like ear sticking out. Without this feature and without the prohibitive thought that “there are no apes in North America” the pictures are pretty controversial, IMHO.

  21. doctoratlantis responds:

    The other photo showing “bears”
    Looks like the BFRO is trying to stop the rumor that they are holding back “other animal” shots. They’ve released the other shot that shows some “bear like” creatures (one big one and two little ones) but none of the critters are facing the camera so…. who knows.

    I do have one big question, though… WHY IS THIS NEW PHOTO IN COLOR???

  22. DWA responds:

    Excellent advice at the end: Think critically. Think often. Think too much.

    This isn’t an either/or. This is a no-way-to-tell. Photoshopping something doesn’t help determine what it is, and if the discussion of Jacobs doesn’t prove that to a fare-thee-well, then, well, this is a sasquatch.

    (I was gonna say “I’ll eat my hat,” but that’s old.)

    You can either see what it is, from the photo, or you CANNOT.

    Why are we still talking about these shots? They can’t assert, much less prove, anything.

  23. Loren Coleman responds:

    Two bears, now three bears. Perhaps that is exactly why it was so important to hide this fact for so long.

    The logical conclusion is that the “Jacobs creature” is not a “juvenile sasquatch” but the third bear, the mother bear, the juvenile bear, the mangy bear.

    Why come up with an invented Bigfoot when it makes more sense that what we are seeing here is what it looks like – various images of bears, nothing more?

  24. mystery_man responds:

    Loren took the words right out of my mouth.

  25. red_pill_junkie responds:

    2 cubs and their mother, and that’s that.

    Now, can we please leave that poor bear alone to scratch her mange in peace? 😉

  26. DARHOP responds:

    I wonder where Goldy is hiding in the photos?

  27. Artist responds:

    No value!

  28. wtb1 responds:

    I’m sorry, I can’t be so kind. Anyone not accepting that these are pictures of bear(s) and do not have bigfoot in them needs some serious mental health intervention.

  29. cryptidsrus responds:


    There’s nothing wrong with a little hope, is there?

    Funny video, regardless.

    I tend to agree that it is a bear. Weird positions they are in, though.

  30. moth man responds:

    that was weird even though it was a bear i thought it was a cryptid

  31. DWA responds:

    wtb1: I can’t be so kind either.

    What you said – not you, just what got put up with your handle – is a classic example of true-believer, gotta-be-cause-I-think-so, see-what-you-want-to-see thinking.

    THERE IS NO WAY TO TELL WHAT THAT IS FOR SURE. Anyone who thinks so – here, try your thinking on for size – is ignorant about wildlife and photography in general, and about bears in particular.

    Thinking it’s this or that, based on what you know, and expressing that opinion, is one thing. Labeling anyone who doesn’t see what you see a nut…well, it’s why we took so long to figure out the earth isn’t the center of the universe.

    If you’re not a total flat-earth ignoramus with no curiosity about cryptids at all, you avoid opinions like that.

    Not a knock, because I know you don’t know better.

    Just some advice. From someone who knows a LOT about bears.

    You think you’re so smart, do ya. Tell me why you are so sure. And I will make you look very funny as I tell you why you’re wrong. In fact, here’s a bet that, in the discussions taking place so far about these photos, I’ve already said why you’re wrong.

    Your move.

  32. AlbertaSasquatch responds:

    I think we should all feel sorry for the poor bear in the picture because if its got a bad case of mange, which it looks like it does, then it probably won’t last the winter. Here in Alberta the coyotes get mange all the time and I shoot everyone I see. Not because I’m a bloodthirsty killer but because the cold is going to slowly kill them. You also have to be very careful with mangy coyotes because they act really aggressive sometimes and do unexpected things. One attacked my friends dogs the other day and his mom grabbed a shotgun and shot it in the air and it didn’t even flinch. It was not scared at all. God only know what a mangy bear would do and how it would act around people. Just my two cents.

  33. moth man responds:

    that was really funny thanks for the laugh loren

  34. DARHOP responds:

    DWA – Just some advice. From someone who knows a LOT about bears.

    But you didn’t even know Bears have a sagittal crest. So how much do you really know about bears ?

  35. DWA responds:

    DARHOP: I know more than enough to know the following things:

    1. Bears don’t have sagittal crests.

    2. Anyone who can see a sagittal crest in those photos is seeing an APE.

  36. doctoratlantis responds:

    DWA – Where exactly do you see this crest? Which photo? Can you perhaps take the picture and circle the crest and then post it somewhere so we can see it?

  37. Ceroill responds:

    I suspect that DWA is talking about gorilla skulls. Do a simple google image search on ‘gorilla skull’. You’ll see an abundance of pictures showing sagittal crests. The fact that it doesn’t show in the live animal has to do with the massive muscles that attach to it, as I recall.

  38. DWA responds:


    I’m not saying anything about seeing a sagittal crest myself. I’m replying to the people who are, and those who are saying that bears have them.

    I may stand corrected that bears do not. But there is simply no visible observable effect (e.g. “conehead”) in a bear. It’s simply not a feature identifiable in a good look at a bear, as so many people have id’d it in sas sighting reports.

    I hear people saying, so what if it’s a sagittal crest in those photos? bears have them.

    If you can actually see one, you’re not describing a bear. THAT is my point. You might find one on a bear skull. But you won’t see one on a bear, any more than you can see fine details of bone structure looking at my face.

  39. DARHOP responds:

    DWA responds:
    December 3rd, 2007 at 5:51 pm
    DARHOP: I know more than enough to know the following things:

    1. Bears don’t have sagittal crests.

    2. Anyone who can see a sagittal crest in those photos is seeing an APE.

    Do I need to find the article again that says Bears do have a sagittal crest.
    to prove my point. Or is it you just can’t admit when you are wrong ? Because it will only take me a few minutes to find an article saying bears have a sagittal crest. And I’m not talking about these photos. I’m talking about bears in general. They do have a sagittal crest. I posted the article on here before when we were on the sagittal crest subject. Obviously you did not see the article. I’ll see if I can find it again. Heck I’ll just look in the older post and see if I can find it there.

  40. DARHOP responds:

    Just because it’s not visible doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

  41. DARHOP responds:

    I may stand corrected that bears do not. But there is simply no visible observable effect (e.g. “conehead”) in a bear. It’s simply not a feature identifiable in a good look at a bear, as so many people have id’d it in sas sighting reports.

    I understand what you are saying. But to say that they ( bears ) do not have one is an incorrect statement in my opinion. That’s all.

  42. doctoratlantis responds:

    If the bear is looking toward the camera, the paws look awfully twisted.

    1) I suspect the bear is twisting its paws and trying to resist the pressure of a cub underneath it. Because it is a snapshot we can’t know how long this awkward position was maintained.

    2) I believe my hypothesized paw positioning is within the reasonable range of motion for bear paws with my hypothesized orientation. (At least the front paws. I don’t think there is enough detail in the rear paws to determine their orientation.)

    Here’s my complaint about the idea that the head is that big round thing under the animal. If it is a head and the animal is facing the left, then it is bent at a terrific angle.
    If it is a head and the animal is facing the camera, then its neck doesn’t appear to be connected to the spine, but has to come out of the chest or something. (There is a clear delineation between the inverted v-shape between the legs and the round shape. I’ve heard people say that sasquatch has no neck – but I’ve always assumed that meant the head was supposed to be plopped close to the shoulders – not that it literally had no neck.)

    On the other hand, if my hypothesis is correct and it is a crappy photo of a bear facing the camera – then we’ve no more an exotic phenomena than bad photography.

    I’m still not sure that the bear face I see is “really” there and not a trick of the camera, but I am sure that the creature is a bear.

  43. DARHOP responds:

    Here is the article. It’s not much, but it does say they have a sagittal crest. I guess you didn’t see this.

    DWA responds:
    November 1st, 2007 at 12:19 pm
    I JUST read a new submission on the “when is a mangy bear a mangy bear?” thread that CONCLUSIVELY proclaims a sagittal crest.

    Do bears have those?

    DARHOP resopnds:

    Grizzly Bears do.

    Grizzly Bear Ursus arctos

    The grizzly bear is a large mammal in the Ursidae family. The skull of a grizzly bear is extremely large with a broad, short rostrum. The large canine teeth and specialized pre-molar and molar teeth support its omnivorous diet. The sagittal crest is more developed in older individuals.
    specimen information

    Collected: 5 June 1988
    Locality: Whitecourt, AB
    Township: 59 Range: 13 W5
    Latitude: 54° Longitude: -115.75°
    Age: adult Sex: m ©2006 Royal Alberta

  44. doctoratlantis responds:

    DARHOP – If this were a Grizzly bear it would be pretty weird in its own right. Most likely this is a black bear, one of the many thousands in Pennsylvania.

  45. DWA responds:


    not sure if you’re reading my posts. Read them again.

    Whether or not bears have sagittal crests is IRRELEVANT TO THIS DISCUSSION.

    A bear’s would not – does not, never did – yield the sighting phenomenon that it does in an ape. I. E.: you WOULD NOT SEE IT.

    Period. Done.

    From someone who knows a LOT about bears. 😉

  46. DARHOP responds:

    doctoratlantis responds:
    DARHOP – If this were a Grizzly bear it would be pretty weird in its own right. Most likely this is a black bear, one of the many thousands in Pennsylvania

    doc, I’m not saying this is a Grizzly. That was just the article I found on bears and sagittal crest. In fact I believe the bears in question are Black Bears. All three of them. Momma and her two cubs. I guess it would be wierd if it were a grizzly. As I’m not sure to many grizzlies are in that neck of the woods. I may be wrong though, about Grizzlies in Pennsylvania. Wouldn’t be the first or last time.

  47. DARHOP responds:

    DWA,OK, you’re right. I guess it is irrelevant to the discussion. No need to holler. But when one clams to know so much about bears, and they say bears don’t have a sagittal crest when they do. I think it makes another question just how much the other really knows about bears. Regardless if it is irrelevant or not. I myself take to heart, what you and others here say. I think a lot of you have some really good comments. So when I see little things like that. It just makes me question that’s all. I know you didn’t say anything in this post about sagittal crest but you have in the past. And I know what you mean about being able to see it. As they are not really visible in bears. :0)

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