Bigfoot Doc Interviewee: T. Dale Stewart

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 27th, 2010

The anthropologist who was interviewed in David L. Wolper’s Monsters! Mysteries or Myths? (1974) is relatively unknown today.

T. Dale Stewart was quoted in Wolper’s documentary as an example of a mainstream anthropologist’s view on Bigfoot. Here is what he had to say:

“Eyewitness testimony in the case of Bigfoot I don’t think is very good because you can’t test it. It’s credibility of the person and these people…they want to see something strange, they can imagine it. I don’t believe in Bigfoot because no hard evidence has been presented. All the evidence so far is in the form of footprints and such reports–all of which constitute soft evidence…Hard evidence is like [a] skull.”

Stewart died in 1997. He was an interesting character, and folks might enjoy knowing a little more background about him. His published obituary of the time highlighted his achievements.

T. Dale Stewart Dies at 96; Anthropologist at Smithsonian
New York Times: October 30, 1997

T. Dale Stewart, a physical anthropologist who was an authority on human bones, died on Monday in a nursing home in Bethesda, Md. He was 96 and a longtime resident of McLean, Va.

Dr. Stewart went to work for the Smithsonian Institution in 1924. After time out to earn a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, he rose to be the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History from 1962 to 1965. In theory, he retired from the Smithsonian in 1971, but he continued working there for more than two decades.

Denis Stanford, an archeologist who is chairman of the museum’s anthropology department, said yesterday: ”Modern physical anthropology has been significantly influenced by his work. He was a broad thinker and a precise scientist. He would only work on one small project at a time and really milk everything he could out of it from an analytical point of view.”

In 1960, while Dr. Stewart was a curator at the museum, he reported that evidence had been found that early modern man had lived side by side with Neanderthals in the Middle East.

Dr. Stewart said the two species evidently lived in the same caves — but not simultaneously — and existed as distinctly isolated populations that might even have waged war against each other.

Those possibilities were suggested by studies that Dr. Stewart had made of skulls and other bones that had been removed from Shanidar cave in Iraq and earlier from two caves 600 miles to the southwest, on Mount Carmel in what was then Palestine. He reported on those studies in an article in the journal Science in 1960.

The relationship between Neanderthal man and modern man is currently the subject of lively discussion in the scientific world, and Dr. Stanford said, ”It is true that they likely lived side by side, as Dale suggested.”

Dr. Stewart indicated the breadth of his thinking in a 1985 interview. Asked to describe his field of expertise, he answered crisply, ”Mankind.”

He was also called on to apply his expertise to the study of modern bones. After a man’s bones were found in Manassas, Va., at the bottom of a well, Dr. Stewart discovered evidence from which he concluded that the man had been a bootlegger during Prohibition and that because proof of his death had been lacking, his assailant was never caught.

The Pentagon also asked him to help identify the war dead in Korea. And when the Army found a mass grave in Europe and wanted to know whether it stemmed from a modern atrocity, he applied his analytical skills and demonstrated that, as he put it, ”they’re bones from the Franco-Prussian War.”

Dr. Stewart was born and reared in Delta, Pa., where his parents operated a pharmacy. As a boy, he loved unearthing arrowheads and fragments of Indian pottery along the Susquehanna River. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1927 from George Washington University while working for the Smithsonian. He received his medical degree in 1931.

He married Julia C. Wright in 1932; she died in 1951. He married Rita Frame Dewey in 1952, and she died in 1996.

His survivors include a daughter, Cornelia Gill of McLean; three grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

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.

13 Responses to “Bigfoot Doc Interviewee: T. Dale Stewart”

  1. Cryptidhunter 1 responds:

    There is no doubt in my mind that Bigfoot is a real animal. There is just too much evidence and eyewitness reports over a period of several hundred years to dismiss the existence of this animal as either a series of hoaxes or misidentifications of known animals. Where the debate lays is not if theses creatures exists, but rather WHAT these creatures are. It is my belief that what people have been seeing in the woods of North America for hundreds of years represent a relict population of Gigantopithecus Blacki.

    The creatures known as the North American Bigfoot or Sasquatch commonly range in height from six to ten feet in height, with exceptional specimens up to fifteen feet in height! This is well within the known height range of Gigantopithecus. There are many other “types” of unknown hairy hominoids reported around the world including the Yeti of the Himalaya’s, the Yeren of South China, the Yowie of Australia and the Almasti of Central Asia just to name a few. Some of these animals most likely represent disparate populations of Gigantopithecus, while others such as the Almasti and the Kaptar of Central Asia and Siberia most likely represent relict populations of Neandertals.

    Which brings to question the correct classification system for these upright hairy primates. Many of these animals, commonly believed by evolutionary scientists to be either ancestors of “modern man” or early “proto-humans” are in fact merely bipedal apes that God has created to walk upright. The only similarity these animals have with humans is there bipedal gate. Everything else about their anatomy, from their musculature, bone structure and sagital crest place these animals within the families of great apes and not at all related to humankind. As a cryptozoologist myself, I therefore propose a new classifaction system for these animals. The modern use of the family Homindae (members known as hominids) are too tied into evolutionary dogma. Therefore I propose abolishing that classification and replacing it with the name Hominoidea (which is currently used as a superfamily designation humans, their supposed ancestors, and modern day great apes). However I propose that this “new” family of Homiodea (members known as hominoids) be made up of only bipedal apes including: Gigantopithecus Blacki, Neandertals, Homo Erectus ect not to mention Sasquatch, Yeti, Yowie, Almas ect when and if these animals are proven to exist.

    And the quadrapedal apes will be placed into the family Pongidae (members known as pongids) including: gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangatans ect and Loren’s NAPES (North American Apes) when and if they are proven to exist. Therefore, my new classifaction would refer to bipedal apes as hominoids, members of the family Homioidea, and it would refer to quadrapedal apes as pongids, members of the family Pongidae. Humans as God’s special creation, created in His Image would, of course, fall outside of the Linnean classifaction system. I know this isn’t a theology website, and I apologize Loren if I was too “preachy.” However, I felt it necessary to reform the Linnean classifaction system to help those Cryptozoologists and enthusiasts who happen to be Bible believing creationists such as myself. Thus reconciling these animals, known as Satyrs in the Bible, with creationist cryptozoology. A good way to avoid confusion.

  2. shownuff responds:

    As a non religious person I dont see a problem with what Cryptidhunter1 said. It would clarify alot of confusion. Much respect to Cryptidhunter1. Its hard to explain to this subject to not only bible believers but as well as Muslims and Jewish community. But by changing the classification it would clear things up. wow respect.

  3. jrobojock responds:

    Hello, I am a college lecturer in technology as well as a Christian. I am also an Intelligent Design believer, because how do we explain worldwide evolutionary changes surfacing in similar species, after all, the engine of evolution is mutations created by geographically secluded populations. However, this is not my main point in writing, as nobody will talk me out of my beliefs, as I work with many scientists who, I think, are full of themselves as well as their giant egos. Further, the Bible and early Jewish texts, specifically the Torah. mention the existance of what we may consider to be “giants”; in fact, read the following text regarding Nephilim, who were alleged hybrids of man and angels and who had terrific powers and possible outsized bodies.

    Genesis 6:4
    In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times. (In some versions the term terrible countenance is used)

    Numbers 13:32-33, Hebrew spies report that they have seen fearsome giants in Canaan:

    32. And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.
    33. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

    This is also not to mention the famous story of David and Goliath.

  4. Ethologist responds:

    I say this meaning no offense to anyone. But, the above post by Cryptidhunter1 is the exact reason why cryptozoology will never be an accepted sub-study of zoology.

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    Ethologist’s point is heard, but I would like to mention that just as T. Dale Stewart’s remarks are outdated, so too are Cryptidhunter’s. Modern cryptozoology has moved beyond both of those points of view, and is much more forward-thinking than the above comments give it credit.

  6. paul_r responds:

    “Eyewitness testimony in the case of Bigfoot I don’t think is very good because you can’t test it. It’s credibility of the person and these people…they want to see something strange, they can imagine it. I don’t believe in Bigfoot because no hard evidence has been presented. All the evidence so far is in the form of footprints and such reports–all of which constitute soft evidence…Hard evidence is like [a] skull.”

    I really can’t say that this is anything more than basic science.

    Regarding Cryptidhunter1

    The number of eyewitness reports can be misleading even were most true. At best, the eye witness should lead in the direction of tangible physical evidence which is always required to prove something;”like a skull” or something… and we have giganto hypothesis from Grover Krantz because we have some jaw bones and teeth which yet does not prove in any way that it was bipedal… we need like hip bones or neck vertebre to demonstrate uprightness and bipedalism.

    If we take the PG film at face value and call it bigfoot then we aren’t looking at an ape. It would match much closer to homo-hiedlbergenisis or homo-erectus. This also would be supported by first nation beliefs such that the sasquatch were another tribe of humans.

  7. kgehrman responds:

    Quote from Cryptidhunter 1
    “Many of these animals, commonly believed by evolutionary scientists to be either ancestors of “modern man” or early “proto-humans” are in fact merely bipedal apes that God has created to walk upright.”


    So Neanderthal is was ape?
    I wonder why they are beginning to find DNA of Neanderthal in modern Homo Sapiens.
    Some kinky hookups must have been going done in Eden.

    This would of course mean that some humans are part ape.

    While, for some odd reason, this does make me think of the great line in “Buckaroo Bonzai”
    spoken by Dr. Lizardo : “Laugha while you can monkeyboy.”
    I don’t think we need to change the scientific classification system of mankind just yet.

    You are entitled to you opinion Cryptidhunter 1 and thanks for sharing.
    I just wish we could keep Creationism and religious dogma out of the cryptozoological realm.
    But I think I may be on the losing end of this wish.

    But I agree with Ethologist, who said it a lot quicker and in fewer words.

  8. jrobojock responds:

    Religious dogma? I think it quite funny that people who claim that dogma is afoot don’t consider the belief that a 7 foot tall man-ape running around the US, as dogma, despite not having one shred of physical evidence. Too funny!

  9. Sennsquatch responds:

    I’m with Ethologist…there is NO room in Science for the myth that is religion. There is no need for Science to amend it’s classification system in order to please those, who for the most part, are offended by the work of scientists and those involved in the pursuit of true knowledge. The Sasquatch imo will someday be catalogued into this system and those religious zealots will have to come to grips with the fact that they share so much with us genetically that they WILL be classified as hominid…just like us…end of story.

  10. Ethologist responds:

    Loren, you’re right. One anonymous and most likely uncredentialed opinion should not speak for an entire area of study. But, the fact of the matter is there must be credentialed experts if this field of study is ever to be taken seriously. Said experts MUST have a sufficient (a doctorate or atleast a master’s degree) formal education in the fields of zoology or anthropology and also MUST be fully informed on the data and information regarding certain undiscovered creatures. While amateur’s still contribute much to mainstream scientific disciplines (ornithology comes to mind, citizen (amateur) scientists offer huge amounts of support and data to scientists), a peer-reviewed arena of informed scientists must be had to move cryptozoology forward as a discipline.
    Also, I appreciate the support some have shown me in my above statement. I fully expected it to go the other way.

  11. springheeledjack responds:

    On the other hand, she had warts…

    There is much coming to light also that early humans and other forms may have actually been running around competing for the same food sources. Now, I can’t remember the who’s and what’s, but I’ve read it several times from different sources–I’ll go check on the specifics, but I wanted to get my two cents in before this post gets washed away.

    So it very well may be that BF and man having been walking side by side for a long time, and perhaps BF doesn’t propogate as fast as present day humans, accounting for its small numbers, being forced into its present day niche.

    As far as the religious/science debate…I’m one of the truly crazy people that doesn’t believe science and religion don’t have to be at odds with one another. Any way you slice it, people are seeing something out there in the backwoods (and not so backwoods), on multiple continents, in multiple environments, and regularly. And it’s not all hysteria, hallucinations, misidentifications, hoaxers and true believers. The sheer consistent number of sightings each year, across this country alone, and the consistency of the data of the sightings, given independant witnesses, is enough to make me think that BF is out there. As to what BF is I think is still open to debate, but to ignore or dismiss it is as foolhardy as to believe everything.

    There, now I believe I’ve opened several cans of worms and spread them all over the ground…

  12. Cryptidhunter 1 responds:

    I mean no disrespect to you either, Ethologist. However, your above comments show that you are completely ignorant about the many contributions that creationist researchers have made in the field of cryptozoology. Most notably the numerous field investigations of the Ropen in Papua New Guinea. At the very least a significant minority of cryptozoologists are Bible believing creationists. Should the many contributions made by these researchers be discounted because of their religious faith? Of course not! Just as the many contributions made by evolutionists in the field of cryptozoology should not be discounted either. There is at least as much evidence for the existence of creation as their is for evolution. But the object of my above post was not to start a conflict between creationists and evolutionists on this blog. The object was merely to first and foremost clear up the confusion that many creationist researchers have about their existence of these unknown hairy hominoids and their proper place in Creation, and also to state my personal opinion on the matter. However, to malign people in the field who happen to be of religious faith is of poor character. Especially considering the many contributions to the field of cryptozoology made by creationists.

    Also it must be remembered that even though science was in the last century dominated almost exlusively by evolutionists, currently about 45% of scientists don’t believe in evolution. I’m not trying to start a creation vs evolution debate here. I’m just stating the facts.

  13. Ethologist responds:

    Cryptidhunter1, clearly you did not read my above posts.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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