M. K. Davis Responses

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 4th, 2006

Fair is fair. I asked some questions here yesterday (although some people made the jump to the mistaken notion that they were declarative sentences). Please see specifically, Bigfoot = “Digger Indian”? Racism Revisited and the comments following that blog.

I wondered aloud about M. K. Davis’s reading of history (which seems to be different than mine), his promotional but incomplete comments for a forthcoming film that compares Native people (no matter when they appeared in America) to the cryptid seen in the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot footage, and his employment of certain terms that have a deeper history and meaning than he wishes to acknowledge. But fair is fair; M. K. Davis can have time for a rebuttal here.

Therefore, please find below M. K. Davis’s statement that is floating around the Bigfoot community, completely unedited by me (not even for spelling) and just as it was sent to me. There are always two sides to a story, and I do respect the work that M. K. Davis has contributed to the field in the past.

Hey Folks
by M.K.Davis

My grandfather was 1/2 Choctaw. I was very careful of what I meant when I said what I said. I stated that I was not referring to the derrogotory meaning that has been labeled upon various tribes in more recent times. I was referring to the term applied in earlier times to a people who sustained themselves by digging for roots and grubs with what is called a “digging stick”. I went looking for this information after I found that the Patterson subject was carrying such a stick. Here is a quote from Theodora Kroeber’s book on Ishi the last member of the Southern Yahi/Yana tribe of California.

“What then of the Digger Indians who are supposed to have been the aborigines of California, to have spoken a gutteral language, and to manage barely to maintain a miserable existance by eating the roots that they dug from the unfriendly land with that most generic of tools, the wooden digging stick? Alas the diggers are a frontier legend.”

Dr. Kroeber was obviously referring to a group of people that were different than other tribes, as she was referring to them, after discussing the possible asian origins of Ishi, who had an unusual bow relelase that was found only in Mongolia. The term “Digger” only became a derrogotory term applied much later to various tribes. It is the earlier people that I’m interested in and referred to by the only name that they were ever called. They
dug with the digging stick and were thus called Diggers. No racism was meant or implied. If you listen to the archived show, you will see that I am careful to distinguish the two terms and that I was referrring to the former.’

I sincerely hope that you understand that I meant nothing towards anyone regarding my use of the term. Do you think that Mr. Coleman really believes that I’m a racist? Maybe, perhaps he has something to lose? At any rate, if I am right, it really has to be one of those strange twists of fate, that a man that accuses me of racism, by using such an innocent term, has himself called a fellow human being a gorilla. I hope that you all understand. M.K.

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.

16 Responses to “M. K. Davis Responses”

  1. Brindle responds:

    OK, enough with the bun fight already.

    It really is pretty darn interesting if Patty is carrying a digging stick.

    Let’s wait for the evidence. We need to get a grip.

  2. lastensugle responds:

    When did Patty carry a digging stick?

  3. Al responds:

    Okay. At this point, I’m more than ready to set Political Correctness aside, and I find M.K.’s comments to be unoffensive, at least to me. I, too, am of Native American heritage, and I know when offense is intended, and when it is not.

    M.K., I am not offended.

    Now, you and I have been in the woods together, and have had many discussions about ‘Patty’. Although I find your ‘theory’ intriguing, I just can’t quite accept it as the answer to the question of what ‘Patty’ is.

    Even if I could, (just for craps and giggles), that does not sufficiently account for the widespread encounters with these creatures, continent wide. The reference you are giving to an ancient people, as I understand, is relegated strictly to the West Coast of North America, thus failing to account for other geographical regions, let alone the (at least) other two types of creatures that we have encountered.

    The “stick shower people” legends of the PNW have been passed down to us through native tales, are you trying to tie them and the “Digger” peoples together?

  4. MrInspector responds:

    OK, I went back and looked over the P/G film again and again. Straight up, stabilized, and blown up. I’m looking right now at an enlarged and clear image of the subject in the classic, head turned-arms extended stance, I can see both hands, and I see NO SIGN of this “digging stick” M.K. Davis speaks of.

    On a further note, Apes use sticks as tools as well. Chimps and Orangs, in particular, are well known for fashioning sticks and twigs into tools. Are we then to assume that they are also Indians, simply because one has a stick?

    Lets also take a look at the film, which tribe in North America is covered in long coarse hair that would match this subject? Oh wait, NONE!

    I even have a hard time believing that this is an individual with hypertrichosis. If this were the case, then this person would need to keep trimming the facial hair to keep it looking this way. I’m still of the opinion that this is:

    A) A real life Bigfoot, or

    B) The absolute best hoax film ever created!

    I can see no middle ground here, no matter how hard I look for it.

    This reminds me an awful lot of the “I see a zipper” argument.

  5. lastensugle responds:

    I just looked at the enhanced version of the P/G film, when I realized that this enhancement is done by M.K. Davis himself. Why would he think/claim this creature is carrying a stick, when he himself has done an enhancement which clearly shows shes carrying nothing?! Chimps use sticks as tools too, by the way, and they’re not human.

  6. mystery_man responds:

    First it was said that they have a culture and now that Patty is carrying a digging stick. This is a lot to claim from a short video clip that a lot of other experts have examined backwards and forwards. I for one would really like to see what it is that points to all this. I know that everybody is saying “let’s wait and see what he has”, and I really want to keep an open mind, but the fact is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. He has come out with all this stuff that has created an amazing controversy here and I feel that we deserve some sort of facts or evidence to support these claims, not assurances or talk. With all the Johor fiasco and what not, I do not feel I am being unreasonable to be on the skeptical side until I see what kind of research he has turned up. If it is so sound and reliable, why hold back?

  7. bill green responds:

    hey loren, interesting new article about mk davis that i finally agree with you. i guess you kinda made a nice return apology to mk davis. thanks loren keep up with research, yes im really looking forward to seeing mk new p/g bigfoot film footage evidence etc as well. lets all be patient. thanks bill 🙂

  8. satarina responds:

    i think it’s just time for mr. davis to admit that he screwed up. whatever his intentions, whatever he meant, it hasn’t come across in the way he says he wanted it to. hey, that happens. it’s not the end of the world.

    of course, it’s not helping at all that this ‘digging stick’ he claims to have seen is invisible, as far as i can tell. his basis for his comments is something that only he can see, apparently.

    from his response above, it looks like he has taken a paragraph of text that discusses a ‘legend’, and a stick that only he seems to see, and constructed an argument that he feels is sound. and he is upset that no one can follow that argument?

    so, mr. davis, instead of retaliating against those whom you say have just misunderstood what you said, try showing us what prompted the theory in the first place. quit with this johor-like promotion and give us the information we need to follow your reasoning, because right now it doesn’t seem like anyone can.

  9. moregon responds:

    OK, again if you had listened to the show Mr. Davis said he had further enhanced the work he had already done. So looking at his previous work you are not going to see anything. He plans on making a formal presentation of his findings very soon, so let’s give him the opportunity rather than starting another lynching party. If what he says is true, it’s significant, we can wait a bit longer since we’ve already waited almost 40 years.

    Mr. Coleman, thank you for being big enough to allow Mr. Davis an oppotunity to clear his name.

  10. Ray Soliday responds:

    Rather reminds me that “semantics” can get things all jacked up. As for Davis, his use of the “word” had no malice intent. He stated the context for how the word was meant, (listen to the archive). As for his theory, I do not concur.

  11. MattBille responds:

    Mr. Davis may be saying that further enhancement has yielded new details from the film, and this is of course possible. However, a digging stick is a substantial object. Even if it were only, say, 18″ long (remember the film subject has big hands and would likely be using a good-sized stick to fit them), this is large enough to be obvious on either the original film or the enlargements/enhancements already done. There seems no logical way something of this size could have been missed by all the examinations of the film done so far.

    Matt Bille

  12. Kathy Strain responds:

    I am Native myself (as well as a Anthropologist/Archaeologist) and I am not insulted by MK. However, he is reading too much into Kroeber’s comments. She stated that “Alas the diggers are a frontier legend” meaning that what the 49ers described wasn’t true…NA were not living hand-to-mouth and grubbing around in the dirt. She was not referring to another group of people out there (diggers (or bigfoot as MK suggests) and NAs). Regardless, MK should not have used the term as it has ALWAYS been associated with California tribes.

    I am still at a loss to understand why MK is heading down this road. There isn’t a digging stick in the film (and how could you tell it was a digging stick anyway vs. just a plain stick?). How can you tell anything about Patty’s genetic origin from a film? Credibility is about all any of us have, and to make a extraordinary claim, you best have extraordinary evidence.

  13. Loren Coleman responds:

    Here’s a quick review of M. K. Davis’ remarks to try to understand the essence of what he’s saying (click on link below):

    What’s Being Said?

  14. YourPTR! responds:

    I don’t see “Patty” carrying anything, let alone a “digging stick”. :O

  15. scout242 responds:

    I’m a little late on this comment….but….one mistake I did notice is that he said that the thumb ring was only known to the Mongols?….He needs to study the Native American histories a little better…..Ishi also used a thumb ring…even though he didn’t know a thing about the Mongols….Hmmmm

  16. CryptoInformant responds:

    I don’t see a digging stick in that video any more than I see Tom Biscardi, in a top hat, riding a pygmy purple donkey. And, even if the sasquatch did have a stick, who’s to say that it was a digging stick? It could have been a weapon, or even a toothpick! If you are going to make extraordinary claims, don’t stall on the evidence, because it ticks people off!

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