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Bigfoot Sightings and Reports


             Nineteenth century newspapers record many encounters
             between Bigfoot and the early settlers. An 1884 newspaper
             report descibes the capture of what may have been a
             young Sasquatch from alongside a railway line near Yale,
             British Columbia. The creature, nicknamed 'Jacko' by his
             captors and reported to be 4 ft 7ins tall, mysteriously
             disappeared enroute to London — never to be seen again.
             In 1924, Fred Beck, a miner, reported shooting at a large
             ape-like creature near a cabin in Ape Canyon, Washington.
             That night, Beck and his companions were attacked — a
             group of the creatures bombarded their cabin with rocks. 

             In 1958, a road crew working in North West California
             discovered their worksite was attracting a night time
             'visitor', whom they nicknamed "Bigfoot". Large fifty-gallon
             fuel drums were thrown around the site, and many
             enormous, human-like footprints were found. The media got
             hold of the story after the site foreman took a footprint
             cast to the local newspaper, and "Bigfoot" became national

             Eye-witness accounts of encounters with Bigfoot number in
             the thousands. Taken individually they don't prove a great
             deal but... as Dr Jeff Meldrum points out: 

                 "The cumulative weight of all eyewitness reports on the
                 other hand are much more difficult to dismiss.
                 Obviously, once one has acknowledged the possibility
                 and/or probability that such things exist, then the
                 consistent and also the novel features of anatomy and
                 behavior, distribution, etc. recounted by eyewitnesses
                 are quite useful." 

                Its interesting to note how many witnesses keep their
             sightings secret for years before reporting them — some
             prefer to remain anonymous and shun all publicity. Henry
             Franzoni makes this point about eye-witness accounts: 

               "Another piece of evidence that has always intrigued
                 me is personally interviewing many people who claim to
                 have had a 'bigfoot' encounter soon thereafterwards,
                 and noticing how really shook up, upset, and frightened
                 they are. I don't think they're 'faking' it."



             Footprints are one of the few pieces of 'hard' evidence,
             Roger Patterson describes the first time he saw them in
             his book 'Do Abonimable Snowmen of America Really

                 "As we talked more on the subject, Pat said he had
                 seen these giant tracks on Leard Meadow Road by
                 another old logging landing only the day before. We
                 said a hurried goodbye and hurried over there. What
                 we found was an amazing sight. The creature had
                 come down the mountain, crossed a road, gone down
                 around an old logging landing, then over the bank into
                 the brush, taking an average 52-inch stride. The
                 prints were of enormous size — 17 inches long and
                 five inches across the heel. I was so astonished I
                 could only stare and try to picture the creature that
                 had made those tracks only the day before. I believe
                 that anyone who sees tracks like Rod and I saw will
                 have to admit there would be no faking them. The
                 imprint of each foot pressed into the ground an inch
                 and a half while our own tracks were barely visible. It
                 was plain to see the foot was flexible as it stepped on
                 small rocks as it travelled down the road. If a rock
                 happened to be where the ball of the foot stepped
                 where the most weight was it was smashed down into
                 the hard road. Where the rocks were up by the toes
                 the foot curled over them like a bare foot would do." 

             These huge footprints are often said to be the work of
             hoax-mongers. Dr. W Henner Farenbach disagrees, he
             studied a database of 550 track cast length
             measurements, collected over a period of 38 years, and
             came to this conclusion: 

                "The footprint data follow a Gaussian distribution
                 curve such as would be expected from a population.
                 The mean size is larger than commonly cited
                 estimates. A collection of reports fabricated over 40
                 years by hundreds of people independently would
                 have a non-Gaussian distribution" 

             Dr John Napier, in his book "Bigfoot", describes how he
             found the prints he studied "biologically convincing" and
             went on to say: "...I am convinced that the Sasquatch
             exists." A significant statement from a leading British
             expert in primate anatomy and former head of the primate
             programme at the Smithsonian Institute. 

             Dr Grover Krantz, an anthropologist at Washington State
             University, reconstructed the skeletal structure of the
             foot from prints found near Bossburg, Washington. He
             noticed that the ankle was positioned further forwards
             than in a human foot, and used his knowledge of physical
             anthropology, and the reported weight and height of
             Sasquatches, to calculate exactly how far forward the
             ankle was set. Further examination of the prints confirmed
             that the position of the ankle exactly matched his
             theoretical calculations: 

                "That's when I decided the thing is real.There is no
                 way a faker could have known how far forward to set
                 that ankle. It took me a couple of months to work it
                 out with the casts in hand, so you have to figure how
                 much smarter a faker would've had to be." 

             In 1982 a remarkable discovery occured after a US
             Forestry Service employee claimed to have seen a
             Sasquatch on a logging spur road. Examination of the
             casts by Dr Krantz revealed clear details of sweat pores
             and dermal ridges (the footprint equivalent to
             fingerprints). Skin impressions found on the side walls of
             the casts indicated the creature had a flexible sole pad.
             Dr Krantz then consulted fingerprint experts including top
             state investigators, several experts at the Smithsonian
             Institute and Scotland Yard, and the current and former
             heads of fingerprinting at the F.B.I. The majority of these
             experts concluded that the prints were real, and not the
             result of a hoax. This is considered to be some of the
             most definitive evidence that has yet been found. 

Is the film genuine?

          The film has never been conclusively proved fake and the debate still rages thirty years
          after it was shot. It has been the subject of several legal actions, but none have ever
          questioned its authenticity. Bob Gimlin was actually cut out of the profits for several
          years and it seems unlikely this would have occurred if the film was not genuine.

          At its first showing, at the University of British Columbia, the film was well received by
          an audience of scientists, museum staff, and members of the press—no one suggested it
          was a fake. Bigfoot researcher Bob Titmus saw the film at this first showing, and went to
          California to check the evidence, he later wrote to author John Green reporting what he

              "Since I know more about tracks than film and generally feel that they will
              tell me a more accurate story than film, I had a very strong urge to see
              the tracks that were being made during the time that Roger was shooting
              his film. I felt that the tracks could very well prove or disprove the
              authenticity of the pictures. No one else present seemed inclined or able so
              the following day I went on to California to have a look at the tracks.

              My first full day up near the end of Bluff Creek, I missed the tracks
              completely. I walked some 14 to 16 miles on Bluff Creek and the many
              feeder creeks coming into it and found nothing of any particular interest
              other than the fact that Roger and Bob's horse tracks were everywhere I
              went. I found the place where the pictures had been taken and the tracks
              of Bigfoot the following morning. The tracks traversed a little more than
              300 feet of a rather high sand, silt and gravel bar which had a light
              scattering of trees growing on it, no underbrush whatever but a
              considerable amount of drift debris here and there. The tracks then crossed
              Bluff Creek and an old logging road and continued up a steep
              mountainside... This is heavily timbered with some underbrush and a deep
              carpet of ferns. About 80 or 90 feet above the creek and logging road there
              was very plain evidence where Bigfoot had sat down for some time among
              the ferns. He was apparently watching the two men below and across the
              creek from him. The distance would have been approximately 125-150
              yards. His position was shadowed and well screened from observation from
              below. His tracks continued on up the mountain but I did not follow them
              far. I also spent little time in trying to backtrack Bigfoot from where his
              tracks appeared on the sandbar since it was soon obvious that he did not
              come up the creek but most probably came down the mountain, up the
              hard road a ways and then crossed the creek onto the sandbar. It was not
              difficult to find the exact spot where Roger was standing when he was
              taking his pictures and he was in an excellent position.

              I spent hours that day examining the tracks, which, for the most part,
              were still in very good condition considering that they were 9 or 10 days
              old. Roger and Bob had covered a few of them with slabs of bark etc. and
              these were in excellent condition. The tracks appeared perfectly natural
              and normal. The same as the many others that we have tracked and
              become so familiar with over the years, but of a slightly different size. Most
              of the tracks showed a great deal of foot movement, some showed a little
              and a few indicated almost no movement whatever. I took plaster casts of
              ten consecutive imprints and the casts show a vast difference in each
              imprint, such as toe placement, toe gripping force, pressure ridges and
              breaks, weight shifts, weight distribution, depth, etc. Nothing whatever
              here indicated that these tracks could have been faked in some manner. In
              fact all of the evidence pointed in the opposite direction. And no amount of
              thinking and imagining on my part could conceive of a method by which
              these tracks could have been made fictitiously."

What the experts say

          The film has been examined by several scientists and their opinions as to its authenticity
          differ. Dr. Grover Krantz, professor of Anthropology at Washington State University,
          while discussing the possibility of faking the film on a TV show:

              "I went through it, frame by frame, measuring everything I could on it...
              what the body proportions were... and I can state flatly that there is no
              human being alive who could fit into a costume with the dimensions that
              are shown there."

          His view is shared by Dr Dmitri Donskoy, Chief of the Chair of Biomechanics at USSR
          Central Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow:

              "...with all the diversity of human gaits, such a walk as demonstrated by
              the creature in the film is absolutely non-typical of man."

          But Dr John Napier, physical anthropologist, former head of the primate program at the
          Smithsonian Institute in Washington disagrees. Here is an extract from his book 'Bigfoot':

              "There is little doubt that the scientific evidence taken collectively points to
              a hoax of some kind. The creature shown in the film does not stand up well
              to functional analysis. I could not see the zipper; and I still can't. There I
              think we must leave the matter. Perhaps it was a man dressed up in a
              monkey-skin, if so it was a brilliantly executed hoax and the unknown
              perpetrator will take his place with the great hoaxers of the world. Perhaps
              it was the first film of a new type of hominid, quite unknown to science, in
              which case Roger Patterson deserves to rank with Dubois, the discoverer of
              Pithecanthropus erectus or Java man..."

          Dr. William Montagna, director of the federal primate center at Beaverton, Oregon, gave
          his thoughts on the film in Primate News, September 1976:

              "Along with some colleagues, I had the dubious distinction of being among
              the first to view this few-second-long bit of foolishness. As I sat watching
              the hazy outlines of a big, black, hairy man-ape taking long, deliberate
              human strides, I blushed for those scientists who spent unconscionable
              amounts of time analyzing the dynamics, and angulation of the gait and the
              shape of the animal, only to conclude (cautiously, mind you) that they
              could not decide what it was. For real or woe, I am neither modest about
              my scientific adroitness nor cautious about my convictions. Stated simply,
              Patterson and friends perpetrated a hoax. As the gait, erect body, and
              swing of the arms attest, their Sasquatch was a large man in a poorly
              made monkey suit. Even a schoolchild would not be taken in. The crowning
              irony was Patterson's touch of glamor: making his monster into a female
              with large pendulous breasts. If Patterson had done his homework, he would
              have known that regardless of how hirsute an animal is, its mammary
              glands are always covered with such short hairs as to appear naked."

          Dr D W Grieve, Reader in Biomechanics at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine,
          London, concluded in his report on the film:

              "My subjective impressions have oscillated between total acceptance of the
              Sasquatch on the grounds that the film would be difficult to fake, to one of
              irrational rejection based on an emotional response to the possibility that
              the Sasquatch actually exists. This seems worth stating because others
              have reacted similarly to the film. The possibility of a very clever fake
              cannot be ruled out on the evidence of the film. A man could have sufficient
              height and suitable proportions to mimic the longitudal dimensions of the
              Sasquatch. The shoulder breadth however would be difficult to achieve
              without giving an unnatural appearance to the arm swing and shoulder
              contours. The possibility of fakery is ruled out if the speed of the film was
              16 or 18fps. [No one knows at what speed the film was shot.] In these
              conditions a normal human being could not duplicate the observed pattern,
              which would suggest that the Sasquatch must possess a very different
              locomotor system to that of man."

          Silas Salmonberry, co-founder of the Internet Virtual Bigfoot Conference said of the film:

              "Some people actually believe (incorrectly, I might add) that the Patterson
              Film has been shown to be a fake by experts. However, no expert has
              claimed it to be fake based on relevant techniques from his (or her)
              particular field of expertise. And certainly the film is of fairly poor quality,
              but not all that bad considering the apparent circumstances under which it
              was taken. A great deal could still be done with it if anyone with necessary
              skills, equipment and money would take an interest in the film. In fact, it is
              possible that the Patterson film has enough evidence to prove the existence
              of Bigfoot once and for all."

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