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Finding Bigfoot

JLibourel

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Since this delectable thread has just been resuscitated, I thought I would mention an interesting and entertaining book I just purchased,Abominable Science by Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero. This book was originally published in hardcover in 2013, but the paperback, which I discovered at the local B&N, only came out this year. This book is a witty and entertaining critique of the "science" of cryptozoology. I might mention that I was an early member of the International Society of Cryptozoology, which attempted to tackle these matters scientifically. It folded many years ago. Anyway, the book analyzes the evidence for four "star" crypto critters--Bigfoot, the Yeti, the sea serpent (with special focus on the British Columbian version known as Cadborosaurus) and the Mokele-Mbembe (a dinosaur or dinosaur-like beast reputed to live in central Africa).

The authors pretty well demolish the cases for the existence of any of the these creatures. With regard to Bigfoot, I was gratified to see how closely their arguments parallel those I have raised in this thread. On the matter of the Yeti, it was interesting to learn that the Dalai Lama, who ought to be in a good position to know, believes that the legend is simply based on brown bears.

Still, I would not discount the possibility that a few large animals remain to be discovered in remote parts of the world or in its oceans.

On a separate note, Bigfoot buffs will often argue that the absence of BFs from the North American fossil record is meaningless. With that in mind, I consulted Bjorn Kurten and Elaine Anderson's monumental work Pleistocene Mammals of North America. I checked for every large mammal currently native to North America. By "large" I mean animals like woodchucks and skunks on up. I didn't bother with really small stuff like mice, rats, bats, voles and such. And what did I find? Every larger mammal currently extant is well represented in the Pleistocene fossil deposits. Doesn't that tell you something?
 

JLibourel

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I thought I'd revive this thread to note that John Green, one of the most eminent Sasquatch/Bigfoot researchers, died in May of last year. I guess this leaves Peter Byrne as about the last of the old "Bigfoot Pantheon" still standing. He'll turn 92 next month.
 

JLibourel

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Recently, I read a book Monster Trek by one Joe Gisondi, a professor of journalism at Eastern Illinois University. Published last year, it is not so much a book about Bigfoot as about the Bigfoot subculture--the enthusiasts, the organizations, the "celebrities," etc. As any of you who followed this thread would know, I passed from skeptic to total disbeliever as the years went by. Nonetheless, while many of the sightings and encounter stories struck me as very far-fetched, some others did give me pause. Many were devoid of dramatic details and were reported by veteran outdoorspeople, park rangers and the like. Particularly notable was the "conversion" story of Jeff Meldrum, one of the very few scientists who take this matter seriously. Briefly, he said that there was such a wealth of anatomical detail in a Bigfoot trail he was shown that he, an expert in anatomy, was ineluctably drawn to the conclusion, much against his will, that the trail had been made by an actual living creature.

After reading it, I still remain very skeptical about the existence of BFs, but if one were to be killed or captured, I would be somewhat less shocked than previously.
 

idfnl

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Recently, I read a book Monster Trek by one Joe Gisondi, a professor of journalism at Eastern Illinois University. Published last year, it is not so much a book about Bigfoot as about the Bigfoot subculture--the enthusiasts, the organizations, the "celebrities," etc. As any of you who followed this thread would know, I passed from skeptic to total disbeliever as the years went by. Nonetheless, while many of the sightings and encounter stories struck me as very far-fetched, some others did give me pause. Many were devoid of dramatic details and were reported by veteran outdoorspeople, park rangers and the like. Particularly notable was the "conversion" story of Jeff Meldrum, one of the very few scientists who take this matter seriously. Briefly, he said that there was such a wealth of anatomical detail in a Bigfoot trail he was shown that he, an expert in anatomy, was ineluctably drawn to the conclusion, much against his will, that the trail had been made by an actual living creature.

After reading it, I still remain very skeptical about the existence of BFs, but if one were to be killed or captured, I would be somewhat less shocked than previously.
Hey Jan

If there is any fact behind this stuff, it's gotta be Orang Pendek.

The Oxford DNA study from a year or so ago determined that the Yeti was a formerly unknown bear/thought to be extinct. Which remains biologically novel.

The subculture, to my disappointment, appears to contain a ton more liars than I thought possible. Decent people impugn their own beliefs into this stuff, but I guess humans are even less evolved than I thought, and my measure of our entire species was pretty low on that scale already.

Jeff Meldrum remains an honest arbiter. Perhaps it's possible we're seeing the very last few in existence. My feelings, 2 years on, about breeding populations has diminished. The one thing that keeps me engaged is the Patterson Gimlin film and the Paul Freeman film.

Unfortunately, the internet enables people to us use basic anatomical knowledge to push forward a hoax. I guess this thread has converged with Trump, in that it's just as bizarre to me that the Russia hoax is furthered. I guess the bigfoot fakers and Trump haters are not so far apart? How I do digress.

But hey, @erictheobscure has taken a real interest in this topic lately, he follows me around the forum labeling me a bigfoot believer, which as anyone that has taken a passing interest in this topic knows, is a lie.
 

imatlas

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But Yeti is real?
 

JLibourel

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I think in the course of the thread that I have stated that orang pendek is the "manimal" that is most likely to be real. As I recall, I also mentioned that my Dutch grandmother, who had lived on Sumatra, spoke of the orang pendek as if it were a regular animal. But then, there were language problems between us, and she was something of a dingbat. I would suggest that the matter of the orang pendek is muddied by the fact that there are several known primates on the island: the orang-utan (although some of the orang pendek sightings have been far from the regions where orang-utans are found), the siamang and even the pig-tailed macaque (a large, baboon-like monkey). It occurs to me that the presence of the little Malay sun bears on the island could also increase the possibility of misidentifications.

As to BFs being a diminishing species, hovering on the brink of extinction, I would have to ask, "Why?" In California alone, since hunting them was banned in 1972, mountain lions have increased their numbers from 600 to about 6,000 statewide. Since 1980, black bears have increased from about 10,000 to somewhere between 30 and 40 thousand and extended their range dramatically. In the case of BFs, we have an animal with no natural enemies to speak of (grizzlies maybe, but they're very rare and localized south of the Canadian border) and negligible to non-existent human persecution. If the large number of BF reports outside the Pacific Northwest have any credibility whatsoever, they are adaptable to a wide range of habitats, and given the ubiquity of sightings, the species is hardly on its last legs.
 
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Jr Mouse

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Still waiting on the poop. How come no one has ever found Bigfoot poop? Because the things are not fraking real.
 

JLibourel

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Today, October 20, marks the 50th anniversary of the famous Patterson-Gimlin film. Blurry and ill-focused though she is, "Patti" remains the Gold Standard of Bigfoot imagery. Curious that!
 

JLibourel

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Just a little update: A recent study of mitochondral DNA was conducted on nine items (hair, scat, a tooth, etc.) that purportedly came from Yetis. Eight of them came from brown bears--either the Tibetan or the Himalayan subspecies. The ninth item--the tooth--came from a dog. Dr. Sykes' finding of close relationship with a polar bear seems to have been discarded.

The Dalai Lama has been quoted as believing it probable that brown bears are the source of the Yeti legend, and he ought to be in a good position to know if anybody is. (Oops, I just saw I had said the same thing two years ago!)
 
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JLibourel

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Hey! Hey! It's Bigfoot Day! Well, it is August 27, 2018--exactly 60 years after Jerry Crew found the giant tracks beside his bulldozer in Bluff Creek, whereupon the legend of Bigfoot was born. I remember all the public interest in BF that fall as if it were yesterday. As a lad I was initially skeptical. However, by the late '60s, especially after the Patterson-Gimlin Film, I became a believer and continued to be one for a number of years. However, 60 years is a long time to wait for something tangible to turn up, especially when it's supposed to be a creature the size of a Kodiak bear that ranges over most wooded portions of temperate North America.

In all likelihood, the tracks were actually the work of the prankster Ray Wallace.
 

JLibourel

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I saw in the paper the other day that in one poll 16% of Americans polled believe Bigfoot is a real animal, up from a meagre 11.4% two years ago. I should have thought the passage of time would have diminished belief in the creatures' being real, but evidently this hasn't been the case. I suspect the abundant YouTube videos purporting to show BFs may have contributed to this modest resurgence of belief.
 

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