International Bigfoot Symposium Keynote
||John Green with Bob Gimlin at the Willow
Creek Museum in Bluff Creek, CA
Most of you will have noticed that I am not Jane Goodall, and
you may well be wondering why I have been asked to fill her spot
at this symposium. Well, you are missing the obvious. We have
the same initials.
Dr. Goodall has been unable to keep her commitment to speak here
is most unfortunate. Her presence might well have focused the
attention of the media on the fact, which they have so far largely
succeeded in ignoring, that scientists of world-wide reputation
are starting to take a serious look at the evidence that humans
are not the only bipedal primates on Earth.
in my opinion, is the current development that holds the greatest
promise for the future of Bigfoot/sasquatch investigation...
is by no means just Jane Goodall.
recent years I have had considerable contact with:
- George Schaller, director of science for the Wildlife
- Esteban Sarmiento, primate specialist at
the American Museum of Natural History
- Russel Mittermeier,
president of Conservation International and chairman of
the world-wide Primate Specialist Group
- Daris Swindler, author
of the atlas of comparative anatomy of man and chimpanzee.
All but Dr. Mittermeier have spent time examining the Skookum
of them are on our side.
have all stated, all but one of them publicly, that the evidence
already accumulated establishes the case for full scientific
participation in getting to the bottom of this matter. Dr. Mittermeier
told me that he has long considered taking up the hunt himself--and
he told Jeff Meldrum that he would not fear being criticized
for doing so, because he and his team have already discovered
several other unknown primates.
Swindler, whom I have known for more than 30 years, has appeared
in documentaries on this subject in the past as the obligatory
skeptical scientist. Now, after careful examination of the best
heel print in the Skookum cast, he has expressed the conviction
that it is the heel print of a large unknown primate - and he
would be here with us today if his health permitted.
this high-profile support, and with the increasing number of
less eminent but fully-qualified zoologists and physical anthropologists
who are already participating at their own expense, the time
may well be near when scientific institutions with resources
and funding will join us in our search.
that, however, is in the future, and I am really about the past.
The number of individuals and groups now participating in the
investigation and the amount of information now available on
the internet have gone far beyond my ability to monitor, and
my own recent efforts have produced nothing worthy of the keynote
position that has been assigned to me here.
I do have is experience, nearly a half century of it, so mainly
I will talk about that.
would like to start with a few words about Bob Titmus.
Those of you who have had a chance to go through the Bigfoot
wing of the Willow Creek museum will have noted that most of
the items exhibited are his and you have probably made the connection
that without him there would be no Bigfoot wing and we wouldn’t
be holding this symposium.
you may not realize is that without Bob Titmus there would have
been no magazine articles by Ivan Sanderson, no expeditions funded
by Tom Slick, no movie by Roger Patterson, no books by John Green
or Grover Krantz or John Bindernagel - and in all probability
most of you would never have heard of Bigfoot.
never wrote a book and never sought publicity, so he never became
well known, but not even Rene Dahinden dedicated his life to
the hunt for Bigfoot to the extent that Bob did, and no one in
the 40 years that he was active accomplished anything to compare
with what he accomplished.
you think that statement is extreme, try to think of anyone else
whose original materials - not clippings or copies - could form
the basis for a substantial museum exhibit. And yet almost all
of this is from California. The bulk of his time was spent in
British Columbia and the material from the most productive period,
when he was able to spend full time in the hunt, was lost when
his boat burned and sank while he was on shore.
was a hunter all his life, and was also a master taxidermist,
so he knew a lot more about animal sign and animal anatomy than
most of us. He also had almost unlimited patience and perseverance,
great assets when looking for individual hairs in the underbrush.
What’s more, his subconscious mind was tuned to continuously
check out animal tracks from a moving car no matter what else
had his attention, the way most of us are subconsciously aware
of the traffic around us.
the time in 1958 when his old friend Jerry Crew came back from
the Bluff Creek road job with a cast that proved that the huge
tracks were not just big bear tracks, Bob devoted all the time
he could afford to the search for the track maker.
success came quickly. After only a few weeks he and his friend
Ed Patrick, who is here today, found on a sandbar in Bluff Creek
slightly smaller tracks of distinctly different shape, proving
that “Bigfoot” was not just a freak individual, but
a member of a population. The casts that Bob made on that early
occasion are on display in the museum, and are still among the
best ever made anywhere.
was much slower after that, and a few years later Bob abandoned
his beloved taxidermy, selling his business so that he could
spend full time in what was then a hot area on the coast of British
Columbia. There he suffered back injuries that left him fighting
extreme pain for the rest of his life, but he kept up the hunt,
including many returns for weeks or months at Bluff Creek. On
one of those trips he made his invaluable series of footprint
casts from the Patterson film site, and on another he drained
a pond to get at what I consider are probably the only genuine
hand impressions ever cast.
accomplishment, which should have settled this whole matter years
ago, was gathering one by one from twigs where he had reason
to believe a sasquatch had passed, a set of hairs that were identified
by radioimmunoassay as having to be either chimpanzee, gorilla
eminent scientist who made the identification had previously
established by the same method that chimpanzees are more closely
related to humans than to gorillas, a finding since confirmed
through DNA, so that identification was as good as saying “it’s
something close to all three but not any of them.”
knew they were not human hairs, because there were guard hairs
that all tapered to a point, while human guard hairs, all on
the head, grow continuously and have cut-off ends.
they weren’t chimp or gorilla hairs was equally obvious,
since they were brown and found on twigs in a California forest.
That they were something different from all three could have
been established in minutes with a comparison microscope, but
the scientist had ground up every hair.
spent a lot of time with Bob and I could tell stories that you
would find a lot more entertaining than what I am actually going
to say, but my main role in this investigation, especially in
recent years, has been the collection and study of information,
and since I have been at it for so long and since I no longer
write books, I believe that I should use this opportunity to
pass on to you some of what I think I have learned.
me stress that I am speaking strictly about just one form of
unrecognized bipedal primate, the huge one that makes the enormous
footprints in North America. There are others described, particularly
in Eurasia, that I don’t pretend to know much about, and
those which are a lot smaller presumably have a very different
I should warn you that some of the things I have to say will
be things many of you don’t want to hear, and may refuse
to accept. Being, like a lot of sasquatch hunters, a contrary
sort of person, I’ll get to that part right away.
and foremost, we are not involved in a story that can be shaped
to fit our own fantasies, and it is not necessarily one with
a happy ending.
of us probably started out with a mental image of what these
creatures are, but if we aren’t prepared to amend it to
fit the facts as we learn them we are not likely to accomplish
anything. Most of us also want to believe that our efforts will
be beneficial to the sasquatch in the future. I sincerely hope
that will be the eventual result, but experience suggests that
a disturbing episode will come first.
evidence is crystal clear that we are dealing with animals, not
semi-humans or super-humans. That means that anything that any
of us do towards proving that sasquatch exist brings closer the
day when zoologists and physical anthropologists will take over
from the amateurs.
will want to study these creatures in every possible way, and
some, I expect, will get official permission to collect for dissection
not one, but several.
am, of course, familiar with the argument that we should only
study sasquatch the way Dr. Goodall studies chimpanzees, and
such methods will certainly be tried. I doubt, however that they
will prove to be practical with creatures that are so much more
mobile in their home environment than humans, and even if they
are practical, they cannot provide all the information that will
anatomy of creatures that walk in much the same way that humans
do is going to be studied in detail. To do that effectively will
involve dissection, and will require more than one cadaver, because
the cuts made while exploring one bodily system destroy the others.
may consider what I have described so horrifying that it will
never be allowed, and attitudes towards animal rights may have
changed to the point where that will be the case, but 30 years
ago I was shown a freezer full of chimpanzees stacked up like
cordwood awaiting dissection for just such a study.
if your top priority is to make sure that no sasquatch is killed,
your most logical course is to do what over the years quite a
few like-minded people have already done—drop the whole
thing and hope, although of course it won’t happen, that
everyone else will do the same.
call these big creatures sasquatch because that is the name for
them where I come from, far older than “Bigfoot”,
and not so suggestive that there is only one of them. But why
do I call them animals? Not just because of what I have learned
about them in the last 46 years, but more because of what scientists
have learned during that period about human origins.
finds have established that more than a million years ago our
forbears had already lost the primate’s best natural weapons,
fighting teeth. And for evolution to reduce their dental armament
until it became no better than our own must have required a similar
previous period when those small, slow bipeds had weapons in
gives some idea of the almost unimaginable amount of time that
human ancestors spent relying more and more on mental adaptions,
mastering the use of weapons and tools, precise communication
and group co-ordination, in order to survive on the dangerous
African plains and become what we are today.
idea that creatures, which emerged from that time period, equipped
with magnificent physical adaptions also acquired mental abilities
similar or superior to our own may have romantic appeal but it
is evolutionary nonsense.
they walk upright like us, so they must be our close relatives.
Something as unusual as upright bipedalism couldn’t have
evolved twice. That is a compelling common-sense argument, but
science has recently blown a huge hole in it.
the few higher primates known to exist there are two very unusual
methods of locomotion, one is upright bipedalism, the other is
knuckle walking. We are the only recognized bipeds, but there
are two knuckle-walking groups, chimpanzees and gorillas.
chimpanzees are far more arboreal than gorillas their feet are
very similar, and like gorillas they have special pads for walking
on the backs of their fingers.
sense says that such odd adaptions must have a common origin,
so chimps and gorillas must be each other’s closest relatives.
Immune reactions and DNA analysis, however, both say that the
chimpanzee’s nearest relative is us.
walking, therefore, must have evolved after the gorilla’s
ancestors started their own branch of the family tree, and chimpanzees
and gorillas must have evolved it separately.
am not submitting that as proof that humans and sasquatch evolved
upright bipedalism separately, but it does prove that it could
have happened, and considering that our DNA is almost identical
to that of chimpanzees and bonobos, the chance that we are even
more closely related to sasquatch seems to me to be a very slim
other thing I have to say that may well upset some of you is
is nothing new about people claiming that they have been able
to make detailed observations of sasquatches and know all about
their appearance and behavior. People with stories like that
have turned up numerous times in the past 45 years, and so far
the end result has always been disappointment. If you are involved
with such a person, be cautious. I have watched former colleagues
get so deeply committed and then so sharply disillusioned that
it soured them on the whole subject and they dropped out.
there is nothing new about people believing they see or hear
or smell evidence of sasquatch presence almost every time they
go out in the woods.
unidentified sounds and smells are just that, unidentified sounds
and smells, and shapes found in photographs that could be sasquatches
could also not be. There are other agencies besides sasquatch
that can take food, make beds of vegetation, break trees and
branches, move rocks, pound on things or make interesting depressions
in the ground.
have been cases where people have gone far beyond any reasonable
extreme to fool someone with manufactured evidence of sasquatch
presence, and also cases where people have gone pretty far to
fool themselves. Try not to add to that list.
of us surely hope that some day some such story will be proved
to be true, and at my age I tend to wish very hard that it will
happen soon, but my experience offers no reason for optimism.
Many years ago I decided that people who saw so much and knew
so much were a long way ahead of me, so they had no need of my
help and I would just await definite results. I am still waiting.
anyone hoping to persuade mainstream science to take on this
quest and provide the expertise and resources to bring it to
a conclusion, episodes of this sort do real harm. Those
who take them seriously end up looking foolish, and the prospect
of looking foolish is surely one of the main reasons why few
of the scientists that we know have an interest in this subject
do anything about it, and why there is no financial or institutional
support for those that do take it up.
this respect I have my own cross to bear, the Albert Ostman story.
How could we have taken seriously his tale about being carried
off in his sleeping bag by a big male sasquatch, being kept corralled
in a box canyon with a family that included an old lady, a young
male and a younger female, and escaping by getting the old male
to swallow a box of snuff?
was a very believable fellow, who handled tough cross-examination
with cheerful composure, swore to his story without hesitation,
and stuck to it until he died, but I wouldn’t believe him
if he were telling it today.
however, he would have easy sources for his descriptions of those
four individuals and what they did. When his story
came to light, in 1957, the opposite was the case.
were not commonly thought of as completely hair-covered creatures
living much the same life as a bear, instead their public image
was that of a tribe of giant Indians, hairy only on their heads,
who lived in villages, held annual get-togethers on a special
mountain, and used signal fires.
descriptions, so contrary to the media image of his time, have
stood up wonderfully well over the years. More than that, he
was questioned for hours by Daris Swindler and the veterinarian
from the Seattle primate center, and they told me that the physical
details and the actions he said he had witnessed all rang true.
he actually observe such creatures, in whatever circumstances?
There is just his story, with no supporting evidence, and that
is unfortunate, because there are elements in his story that
would be very significant but are not confirmed by subsequent
reports. No one else, to my knowledge, has claimed that the females
go out and gather food to bring back to a home place, or that
sasquatch sleep in woven blankets of bark and moss, and while
there is indeed a widespread assumption that they live in family
groups the bulk of evidence suggests, to me at least, that they
witness who contributed some unique elements of information did
have evidence to show.
Thomas, a logger living in Colton, Oregon, eventually claimed
four separate sightings - which is more than enough to set alarm
bells ringing - but his first story, of watching a big male sasquatch
dig deep into broken rock high up on a mountain ridge to get
at hibernating rodents, was backed up by the hole in the rocks,
five feet deep, as steep-sided as a well, and obviously beyond
human ability to duplicate without machinery.
also had something to say bearing on the family hypothesis. A
female and infant were with the big male and shared in eating
the rodents, but Glen noted that the young one was always careful
to keep on the other side of its mother from the male.
Thomas did not tell his first story until after the Patterson
movie was public knowledge, but another account of exceptionally
detailed observations came to light not just before the movie,
but before the first “Bigfoot” cast was made in 1958.
Roe, a man whom I later learned had an established reputation
as an accurate observer of wildlife, told of watching a six-foot,
very heavy, hair-covered, obviously female creature in a small
clearing on a mountain near Tete Jaune Cache, British Columbia.
He said it was eating from a bush, not berries, but the leaves.
(A full-size copy of a drawing of the animal, made by his daughter
at his direction, is on display here.)
Ostman and Roe stories had a lot to do with my becoming caught
up in this investigation so long ago, but there was another that
was even more instrumental. That was something that had taken
place at Ruby Creek, British Columbia, in 1941. As a sighting
report it was nothing special, a women living in an isolated
home on an Indian reserve told of seeing a hairy giant approach
from the nearby woods. She fled, but a group of men went to investigate
and found a series of huge humanlike tracks, which, among other
things, indicated that the track maker had stepped casually over
a four-foot railway fence.
was told that story in 1957 by one of the men involved, someone
I already knew and respected, and I later spoke with three other
people who had seen the tracks. I was also told that a deputy
sheriff from Bellingham, Washington, had come to investigate
at the time. He had since died, but from his son I obtained a
tracing of a footprint cast that he had made.
I came to this area in 1958 I had that tracing with me, and,
as you can see, it is almost a perfect match for a tracing that
Bob Titmus had made from Jerry Crew’s “Bigfoot” cast.
at this point I might go on to tell of seeing some old tracks
on the Bluff Creek Road on that occasion and
of returning to see the second type of tracks found by Bob Titmus,
and also of my experiences with Roger Patterson before and after
he got his movie. The time to deal with those events, however,
is tomorrow afternoon in the panel discussion, with other people
who were much more closely involved than I was.
the first time at any symposium, you will have the opportunity
to hear directly from Bob Gimlin, who was with Roger on that
fateful day, from Ed Patrick, who was with Bob when they found
the new tracks, and from Ed Schellenberg and perhaps others,
who were there when the original Bigfoot tracks showed up on
the Bluff Creek jobsite.
have mentioned that the bulk of evidence does not support the
hypothesis that sasquatch live in family groups. On
what basis do I make that statement?
I wasn’t always the homebody I tend to be today. I
won’t bore you with specifics, but I spent many years and
traveled many miles stirring up, investigating and recording
sighting reports and footprint finds, and I conducted an information
exchange involving most of the investigators active at the time.
certainly didn’t compare with what the Bigfoot Field Researchers
Organization has done in recent years, but it went on a lot longer,
and the number of reports that I had on file grew year by year
from dozens to hundreds and eventually to thousands. For a while
I even tried to keep up with all the information that became
available after the internet got going, but that has now grown
beyond what I care to attempt.
few years I used to go through a complex exercise in trying to
analyze the information in those reports, counting tiny symbols
entered on big sheets of graph paper, until that became completely
impractical. Then, about 10 years ago, I switched to trying to
do it with a computer—and I knew nothing about computers.
hunting in the early days used to be stimulating, even exciting
at times, occasionally hilarious. Entering thousands of reports
in a computer is just a wearisome grind, and many a sad software
story is involved before you even get to that stage. I won’t
bore you with specifics, but nothing comes easy.
any event, for the past several years I have had thousands of
reports entered, currently just over 4,000, and considerable
ability to get answers to questions from them.
many questions only a minority of the reports contain any answers,
but nearly all reports tell how many creatures were involved
and their size. Currently out of 3,684 such reports 3,325 list
single adults and 171 more than one adult. Small creatures by
themselves were reported 111 times, and small creatures with
one adult 37 times.
Only 40, or just over one percent of the reports, involve combinations
of large and small creatures that may have been families including
an adult male and female.
32 of the creatures seen alone were described as adult females,
so it seems plain, assuming that sasquatch do exist, that only
the adult males normally behave in ways that expose them to a
risk of being seen by humans.
does leave open the possibility that females and young are often
present but remain out of sight, however it seems to me beyond
reason to elevate that possibility to an assumption. The family
of one male, one female and their offspring is, after all, unknown
among large higher primates other than man.
has always been my hope that someone would show up who could
write a program that would set the computer, on its own, searching
day and night for relationships among the hundreds of items of
information until they revealed something unsuspected that would
be useful. So far that hasn’t happened, but
by less exotic means the computer has provided interesting answers
to some frequently asked questions, and has poked holes in some
of the things we used to think we knew.
smell, for instance. It seems as if people are always reporting
that sasquatch have a terrible smell. In Florida they are even
called “skunk apes.” The numbers tell a very different
story, at least for western North America. In the spring of 1995,
when I had only western entries completed, strong smell was mentioned
in only 72 out of 923 descriptions.
course in many cases, because of distance or some other reason,
there could have been a smell that the witness did not detect,
so I checked the few entries where the animal was reported to
be 10 feet or less away and not separated from the witness by
glass or any other barrier. The result, there were 14 mentions
of a strong smell and four of a mild smell, while in 26
encounters there was no smell noticed at all.
used to speculate whether the lack of smell in some cases, strong
smell in others, indicated that sasquatch shared with dogs an
inclination to roll in strong-smelling things, but gorilla researcher
Dian Fossey has provided a more likely explanation. In her book “Gorillas
in the Mist” she refers several times to a powerful “fear
odor” produced by adult male gorillas under stress, and
notes that they have special glands in their armpits from which
the scent is emitted.
to frequently asked questions, how many times have we heard the
challenge, “If these things exist how come hunters (or
loggers, or prospectors etc.) never see them?”
even more frequent question is “If these things exist how
come nobody ever sees them?”, but you don’t need
a computer to answer that.)
to the people whose recreation or occupation regularly takes
them into the woods, the answer, of course, is that they do report
sightings and they do find tracks.
the end of 1995 I had 1162 entries of sightings and track finds
in which the activity of the witness was noted. Of these, 125
were hunting, 34 logging, 23 prospecting, 10 trapping and 77
involved in other outdoor occupations.
commonest sighting report, by far, was something seen on or beside
a road from a car, and the second most common was something seen
outside by a person in a house. Of encounters in the wild, at
least a third were by hunters or people working there.
of the questions that we ourselves tend to ask is whether sasquatch
migrate with the seasons, the hope being that they might regularly
pass by the same spot at the same time of year. In 1996 I looked
at the evidence of the computer entries in three different ways:
- The relationship of altitude to the time of year
- The relationship
of direction of travel to the time of year
- The relationship
of location to the time of year
of these showed any consistent pattern that would indicate migration.
were highest in summer, but lowest in the spring, not the winter.
of travel was a mishmash of inadequate numbers, but showing a
slight majority heading south in the summer and towards the ocean
beaches in the spring—the opposite of what the migration
hypothesis would suggest.
and longitude put the center of observations in all four seasons
within a circle just 30 miles in diameter.
that the examples I have just given were picked because I thought
you might find them the most interesting, you can see that sasquatch
hunting by computer is not particularly exhilarating even after
the task of doing the entries is completed.
am glad, however, to have been able to provide data for studies
other researchers have done, and perhaps I will be able to do
the same for some of you in the future.
have said that the events at Bluff Creek in the 1950s and 60s
can best be dealt with at the panel discussion tomorrow, but
there is one aspect that very much involves the present, and
perhaps I can dispose of it now.
am referring to the claim made last year by his family that the
late Ray Wallace the contractor on the road construction job
where the first “Bigfoot” track was cast, made those
footprints by walking around wearing a pair of wooden feet.
the first newspaper to carry the story behaved responsibly, and
asked the Wallaces to demonstrate that they could duplicate those
tracks with the wooden feet that they displayed as proof, that
story would never have been printed. Instead it was treated as
revealed truth, and it was republished and broadcast all over
the world, with some wonderful embellishments.
newspaper quoted a Wallace nephew saying that Ray had sent younger
members of the clan out to make all of the big tracks that have
been reported all over the continent. Others took a mention of
Ray making movies of his wife in a fur suit and twisted it to
include the Patterson movie.
the newspaper in Eureka, which had printed the original stories
that introduced “Bigfoot” to the world, got on the
bandwagon with a yarn about how the publisher at the time had
known all along it was a Ray Wallace hoax.
was a totally irresponsible performance by the media, and frankly
a lot of people involved in Bigfoot research weren’t any
better. Their reaction might be summed up as: “Okay, Ray
Wallace faked the Bluff Creek tracks but we have other tracks
that are genuine.”
didn’t bother to find out, any more than the media did,
whether the Wallace claims were true, and seemed perfectly willing
to discard as evidence tracks that are the most thoroughly investigated
and best authenticated of any that have ever been found.
current Wallaces actually don’t show any sign of knowing
much about the Bluff Creek tracks and may even believe that what
they are saying is true, although one of them told Rick Noll
that his father never actually said he had faked the tracks,
they just grew up knowing he had.
wooden feet that they showed the media, as you can see in the
full-size photos of them on display here, do not match the original “Bigfoot”.
They do appear to be attempts to duplicate the casts made by
Bob Titmus of the different set of tracks he found on a Bluff
Creek sandbar, but one of them is so crudely carved that they
would not likely fool anybody.
expect those feet were just made to see whether tracks could
be faked with them, something that probably, like myself, some
of you have also tried. The answer, of course, is that you can
make passable tracks in flat ground if it is soft enough, but
in firm materials or up and down slopes, forget it.
of the original tracks were in very firm materials, and some
went up and down steep slopes. This museum has had an offer in
circulation for several months now of $100,000 for anyone who
can show how they could have been faked.
far there is no sign that any Wallace cares to try for the money,
but perhaps they haven’t heard of it. The same editors
that swallowed whole their nonsensical story refused to believe
a real one. Priding themselves, I suppose, on not falling for
a publicity stunt, they gave the $100,000 offer no publicity
that the $100,000 was put up in an attempt to get publicity,
since all other attempts to get the media to counteract the damage
they had done had failed, but it is a genuine offer. The first
person who can demonstrate how the Bluff Creek tracks could have
been faked will be paid $100,000. Tomorrow, you when you hear
the people who were involved at the time describe what they observed;
I think you will agree that there is no cause for concern that
the money will ever be claimed.
is the story about Ray Wallace? I never met him, because he was
never around Willow Creek the times I was here, but I was told
early on about his reputation as a practical joker, and in later
years I got occasional letters and phone calls from him.
to newspaper stories he was pretty upset in 1958 about people
suggesting he had faked the tracks, pointing out, undoubtedly
correctly, that the whole thing was interfering with his contract
and costing him money.
wasn’t long, though, until he began to try to get in on
the action, telling outlandish tales about his adventures with
Bigfoot. He even tried to sell Tom Slick a movie of Bigfoot he
that claimed to have taken. I wasn’t there, but I was told
that Ray asked for $10,000 and wouldn’t show Tom the film
until he had the money.
had learned by then that Tom could be very gullible at times,
but that wasn’t one of the times, so we never knew what
would have happened if he had agreed to pay.
thought then that it was an attempted swindle, but having learned
more of Ray’s reputation from people who knew him well
and admired him I feel sure now that it would have turned out
to be just one of his pranks.
while later, after he had returned to the area in Washington
where he came from, Ray got involved in selling very odd looking
footprint casts, supposedly from the Mount Saint Helen’s
apes. I never heard that he had casts from Bluff Creek, and I’m
sure he never claimed publicly that he had faked the tracks there;
because he would certainly have been called on to prove it.
give you something of the flavor of the man, I’ll quote
a couple of passages from of his letters.
1961 he wrote to the Klam-ity Kourier, here in Willow Creek,
foot used to be very tame, as I have seen him almost every morning
on my way to work… I would sit in my pickup and toss apples
out of the window to him. He never did catch an apple but he
sure tried. Then as he ate the apples I would have my movie camera
clipping off more footage of him… I have talked to several
movie companies about selling my movies which would last for
three hours. The best offer I’ve had so far is $250,000.
letter to me in April 1979, included the following:
says who has heard Big Foots screams in northern California,
before all the Big Foots were killed and hauled down the Klamath
River in a tug boat and out into the ocean 12 miles to where
there was a small ship anchored in international waters
and frozen into a block of ice and then transported to Hong Kong
and sold, so now there aren’t any more left in northern
California, or is there if they are being let out of flying saucers.
Ray did was so transparently bogus that it seemed obvious he
was just having fun. It is hard to imagine he expected his yarns
to be believed, and although some writers back East swallowed
the bait I don’t know of anyone involved in the sasquatch
search in the West who took him seriously or felt that he was
causing any sort of problem.
he didn’t fool people on a grand scale until he wasn’t
around to enjoy the joke, and unfortunately when it did happen
it did real harm.
will never know the full extent to which people or projects that
could have made valuable contributions in this field have turned
away or been turned down because the media fell for this silly
story, but we do know of enough examples to establish that the
effect will be substantial and long-lasting. Sasquatch hunting,
however, has always been three steps forward, two steps back,
so we will just take our lumps and carry on, undeterred.
that vein I would like to close with one of my favorite memories
from the days when Rene Dahinden and I were pioneers in this
strange pursuit. We had been on a radio phone-in show for a couple
of hours, back in 1963, when a man called in and said something
“Don’t you idiots realize
that there are two hundred million people in North America and
you are the only two who take this stuff seriously.”
don’t remember the caller’s exact words, but Rene’s
reply still rings in my ears:
there are two hundred and twenty million people in North America,
and every bloody one of them is wrong!”
may be an extra hundred million of them today, but there are
also a lot more of us, and we are making real headway—so
this article on the Bigfoot Forums >
This article was originally presented at the 2003 International
Bigfoot Symposium. It was published on the Bigfoot Information
Project website on August 22, 2004. It will also be published
in an upcoming issue of the Texas Bigfoot Research Center's
newsletter, Texas Bigfoot Report.