Krantz Is Dead: Comment to Anthropologist Hawks

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 27th, 2007

Grover Krantz

John Hawks, (Ph.D., 1999) an anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, writes a popular blog on all subjects he feels impact on anthropology. His contributions are usually intelligent and look at various sides of anthropological debates.

However, once in a blue moon, usually with tongue-in-cheek, Hawks writes about Bigfoot-related items, such as his take on the 2005 Texas conference. Intriguingly, the way most cryptozoologically-oriented students find their way to Hawks is when they search for information on Gigantopithecus, as he noted in 2006, here.

Now his newest assault on hominology is about how Bigfooters have brought back Grover Krantz from the death, or, at least, if you read his blog uncritically that’s what you might think has happened. But why should we put up with this without a reply? We shouldn’t, so please see below my email response to Hawk’s June 26, 2007 “strawman” ridicule of the BFRO’s over-publicized “expedition” to Michigan.


Dear John

Regarding your John Hawks Anthropology Weblog on the comments about the Michigan Bigfoot hunt, I understand you are trying to be funny. A sense of humor is important, but as your “raising the dead” comment is directed to the Bigfoot ecotourists or the Bigfoot Field Researcher Organization (BFRO) organizers, it appears to be slightly misdirected.

What you are pointing to is not a quote from any Bigfooter. A closer reading demonstrates it is the reporters, via specifically the Daily Press of Escanaba, Michigan, with enhancements by the Associated Press, who are making the mistake of paraphrasing Grover Krantz as being still alive enough to make a comment on Sasquatch and Gigantopithecus. Anyone that would say Krantz used the words “believes” or “primitive man,” obviously never knew Grover.

Grover Krantz

The BFRO folks are well-aware that Grover died on Valentine’s Day 2002, as his death was widely reported in the Bigfoot community (see obituary here) and, for example, on National Public Radio on February 18, 2002.

Let me be clear. I don’t support the BFRO and their “Bigfoot expeditions.” They seem little more than charging a large fee for taking people camping. However, one can say these “canned adventures” are not much different than “summer seminars” in archaeology where non-academic “anthropology tourists” are allowed to pay for the experience to go on a “dig.” There’s nothing wrong with either, basically, if we are honest about their ultimate worth, beyond funding sources, to each field of study.

But the folks at the BFRO know that Grover Krantz is dead, and it is merely to make points about what you like to label as “pseudoscience” that you would write your sarcastic blog.

Serious cryptozoology, however, is not about making fun of its critics, but concerned with gathering evidence, searching for unknown animals and clarifying facts misrepresented in blogs and news articles.

Best wishes
Loren Coleman
Author, Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2003).


An update to this selection can be found here: “The AP and Dr. Hawks Respond.”.

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.

17 Responses to “Krantz Is Dead: Comment to Anthropologist Hawks”

  1. greywolf responds:

    Thank you Loren for your comment on all this. Now perhaps Grover can rest till the press or BFRO or M.M. opens mouth and inserts foot again. You are right; I can go camping in really wild areas with a good topo map and hunt Bigfoot for a lot less than they charge but each to their own way for adventure.

  2. bill green responds:

    hey everyone dr grover krantz is still a wonderful researcher & scientist even though he passed away few years ago. his memories of sasquatch research still are alive & well in spirit to me. i still injoy reading his books about sasquatch very informative. thank you bill green 🙂

  3. dogu4 responds:

    Regarding he media in general: despite the high flown sentiments of grade school civics classes and the safekeeping of the first amendment, it seems like the obvious connection is the desire to sell advertising dollars while doing nothing in the way of research to check facts so long as the same old saw plays the same old tune.
    Thanks, Loren. An informed and dispassionate response is the right one when the establishment starts acting like a bunch of wigged-out “true-believers”.
    I must confess that I do read Hawking’s essays and find them pretty interesting, but biases are a natural part of the intellectual landscape and it’s there where the truth prevails. Cheers.

  4. DARHOP responds:

    I alway’s thought them BFRO expeditions were nothing but expesive camp out’s too… I can go to the same areas they do and not pay 4-6 hundred $ doing it…
    And Grover is alive… He lives in all of us Cryptid seekers…

  5. jerrywayne responds:

    For me, Krantz”s finest moment can be found in his debate with Duane Gish, the creationist, as he defended science and evolution. He did very well (and showed himself as no Fortean).

  6. mrbf2007 responds:

    This is another bad example of how the media gets it wrong. Dr. Krantz deserves a better tribute than to be thought of as still alive. He was a great scientist and a brilliant man. It is a shame to see him mentioned in this context. MM should be ashamed of himself for not correcting the reporter of this story. RIP, Dr. Krantz.

  7. Kathy Strain responds:

    Ug-oh…now Loren, you don’t really think that BFRO expeditions are really “not much different than “summer seminars” in archaeology where non-academic “anthropology tourists” are allowed to pay for the experience to go on a “dig.”” do you?

    First and foremost, there are both free versions of those seminars (like what I do with the U.S. Forest Service) and ones that you pay for…but the cost of the seminar goes to fund research on the archaeological site…not into someones pocket. Secondly, those archaeological seminars are taught by professional archaeologists using the scientific method each and every step of the way. Participants are not handed shovels and told to “go for it” and that they get to keep whatever they find. Each participant is carefully trained in the scientific method and works with delicate tools to tease history out of the dirt. Lately, the findings are written up and published in scientific journals…so everyone can see the results and critique it. Surely you see the difference, right?

  8. jodzilla responds:

    Sock it to ‘im! I love Sasquatch: The Evidence. It’s right next to my bed. (That’s probably too much information, and a little sad.) Oh well, I’m glad you gave this guy some attitude.

  9. silvereagle responds:

    Loren, Now you’ve done it. You’ve crossed Kathy Strain. May God have mercy on your soul.

  10. Kathy Strain responds:

    God said She was busy right now, but Loren had nothing to fear…

  11. Loren Coleman responds:

    An update to this selection can be found here: “The AP and Dr. Hawks Respond.”.

  12. sasquatch responds:

    Well, in defense of Mr. Moneymaker; I saw/heard him interviewed on Fox News this morning and the poor guy could hardly get a word in edge-wise as he first needed to clear the air of several misconceptions, but they were thrown at him with considerable speed and rudeness, all the while this moronic blonde in the background did nothing but giggle her cutesy little_off. Then they said, well here we have a picture of you with a creature…But Matt had to interupt them again to say it wasn’t him….They threw up a shot of that paleo-sculpter with his Gigantopithecus in the backyard in L.A.- Moneymaker corrected them on this point. Well anyway, The show was typical of Media interviews with Cryptozoologists-uninformed, rude, presumptive, smug and downright ignorant and arrogant at the same time. Shepard Smith was equally as annoying when he smugly anounced that Bigfoot was dead when Ray Wallace passed away a couple years ago. One thing that’s almost as annoying is the un-“freindly fire” between Cryptozoologists. Personally I think evolution is a moronic concept, Not withstanding Mr. Hawkes’ “Creationist Cracks” comment (typical ad-hawke-ism coming from Mr. Hawkes) but Grover seemed like a nice old guy and I have his Big Footprints book and agree with a lot of what HE said.

  13. Sylense responds:

    Good point from sasquatch on the “un-friendly fire”.

    It’s getting to be more and more pathetic the way folks can’t get along within the research field. MM is a creep because he charges people to join his expeditions? Would you like to quit your job and have willing people pay you to search for sasquatches? I would!! Good for him!

    Are you happy going on your own or with friends at no charge? I am! Good for you too!

    We’re all in this together. Some of us have more time and money to be in the field doing research. Lets not be jealous of the folks who do.

    Without jealousy, there’s a better cohesiveness and we need to stick together. A MM bashing isn’t what this was intended to be.

    Goog job on the article response Loren.

  14. harleyb responds:

    Way to go Mr. Coleman, Cryptozoology should not be taken lightly at all. Alot of people take advantage while real researchers are keeping it real.

  15. aletaaa responds:

    Shut up Moneymaker. You make us all look bad.

  16. dogu4 responds:

    So Fox News, Shepherd Smith and the giggling blonde bubble head. If this is where you get your news on any subject at all (and I’ll disregard Sports since that isn’t really news anyhow), then I suggest you take that last step to realize that they treat any subject that same way if it’s not in line with their narrowly defined focus group proven paradigm of their ideal viewer. I find Fox particularly egregious, but it’s pervasive. Even Ira Flatow on NPR’s science friday seems to think that interest and relevancy are measured by how stereotypical and pre-masticated the information can be made for the very lowest common denominator of an audience….dumbed down and dull.

    I don’t know if it’s a result of the internet or if the internet is the result of it, but thank our good fortune to live at a time when the so called news has never shown so much potential nor done a worse job at using it to inform people.

    So, thanks again, Loren for keeping the level of interest and discussion head and shoulders above the mob.

  17. sasquatch responds:

    I’ve detected ommissions and slant from every “news”
    outlet out there. It depends on which slant suits YOUR slant more that determines the outlet you gravitate to. But, it seems that every media outlet treats cryptozoology and -ist’s with a disdain and nervous offhandedness that belies what I see in a lot of people; cowardess. Very few folks are secure enough in their standing with their peers to risk being ridiculed or bunched in with folks who seem to hold a minority view on topics. So, they laugh, call you crazies, cranks (Hawks) or fanatics or whatever they can think of to stall for time and avoid actually adressing the topic(S).

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