Monday, January 4, 2010



In regard to our previous blog posting involving those shall we say "controversial Bigfoot issues," a certain "Anonymous" said in our Comments field:
"How can there be a massacre of creatures that do not exist?"
And then Anonymous said...
"No Bigfoot. No cry."

This led to us contacting him to discuss Bigfoot a bit more in-depth. What follows was done by email, often with two threads going at one time, back and forth, so it is a bit freewheeling and a touch disjoint at times. Bear with us. We feel there are some interesting points made in there.

Image: "Thinker-Squatch" confabulated by Steven Streufert, who is a somewhat sloppy Photoshop artist.

ANONYMOUS: Ain't no such thing as B/bigfoot. Waiting for Godot. Good for laughs. Good for a window into what's going in the minds of the fringe of humankind. But that's it.

I've read your blog. Your considerable intelligence and apparent talents are going to waste. They are being wasted on a dispute with a fool who is, like Don Quixote, attacking windmills, while you defend the windmills, both of you agreeing they are something more than windmills. There is an imaginary movie on the screen. You defend what is on the screen. Another says that what is on the screen does not show the full reality of the fictitious fiction-predicated fiction that follows. Bottom line is, it's all fiction. Why argue over fiction.

There is no bigfoot. Never was. Never will be. The Patterson-Gimlin film is a hoax. The whole thing is a sham. It's obvious. If there were a bigfoot, there'd be certain evidence of it by now. A creature that size cannot exist without a breeding population of some size, bones, etc., and, if it is intelligent, other signs of its society. Why not focus on elves and dwarves and trolls? If you want to comment on the social phenomenon, write a book about the bigfoot culture? Either you can be a Tolkienesque fiction author or you can be a social commentator. Other than that, why waste time on this fiction?

This little feud also shows that it's just like everything else involving humans - much ado about nothing - except in this case it's much ado about REALLY nothing.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: You may be wrong....

I guess I don't know what else to do these days, really. Plus, Bigfoot is fun and fascinating.
I suppose what I am doing is kind of like full-immersion anthropology.... And I do tend to believe. Bigfoot is one of the last real mysteries in the visible, objective world... I mean, what we can see with our eyes and physically sense.

ANONYMOUS: There ain't no bigfoot. Take my word for it.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: So, let's make this the start of an interview for the blog, eh?

ANONYMOUS: Nah. You need publicity. Not naysayers. No interview. There ain't no bigfoot. Take my word for it.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Afraid of the debate, eh?

ANONYMOUS: I see no debate. There are real things that I struggle with that are right in front of my nose that are up for debate. A modern-day fairy tale is not one of them.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: We miss so much, always looking at those things right before our noses, always seeing things from the nose perspective....

ANONYMOUS: We don't miss that much. There are MANY noses. We are not talking a microbe here that would only be seen if the right soil sample were put under a microscope. We are talking a creature bigger than a man. There is no way that and the artifacts of its existence would be missed. It is so incredibly improbable that Bigfoot exists that it is a sign of insanity to even believe in it. This is religion. This is a sad pastime for minds that are bored and unchallenged. There are indeed many wonders out there, but it requires some patience and some discipline and learning to address these questions. Bigfoot is just cheap thrills. Bigfoot is a wannabe "scientist's" adolescent drive-in movie sex.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: How do you KNOW????

ANONYMOUS: Logic. Occam's razor militates against the existence of Bigfoot... BIG TIME!
Large animal. Intelligent. Ape or even hominid. THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL that this large and sophisticated creature, with a breeding population that would have had to last from the last thawing of the Ice Bridge to the present, would not leave REAL evidence of its existence. If such a creature were real, there'd be bones, discarded tools, burying grounds, nests, a lot more footage of the creature, almost certainly animals captured, etc. It is, in fact, INSANE to believe otherwise.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: A lot of things that do exist would be considered highly unlikely or non-parsimonious if they did not in fact exist. What if you had never heard of one, and I proposed the idea of a panda to you? Or a whale? There is a lot of evidence of Bigfoot, just none yet accepted by many scientists. Google Jeff Meldrum Bigfoot, see what comes up.... Occam's Razor is a mental tool, not an external fact. Belief in Bigfoot usually IS based on evidence, or even actual experience, for those who believe.

ANONYMOUS: There are Pandas and smaller whales in zoos and aquaria. Larger whales have been photographed and filmed extensively. The marine realm is much less accessible to us than the deepest forests, yet we have evidence of myriad "improbable" marine creatures. There is NO hard evidence of Bigfoot. None. Just a movie that is almost certainly a hoax and lots of footprints, which are easy for humans to make and of which the large part are, even amongst Bigfooters, clearly considered hoaxes. It is a billion-to-one against a Bigfoot exiting on logical grounds. So... applying the principle of Occam's razor, a thinking person must conclude that Bigfoot almost certainly DOES NOT exist.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Not everything is logical, on it's surface. Logic does not always have predictive power. The universe is full of surprise and things of wonderment. At one time Westerners scoffed at the idea of the panda. And the gorilla....

You can cite all the animals in the zoo, but perhaps Sasquatch is smarter than they are, with a much smaller population. One of the premises of the reality of Bigfoot is the idea that they are highly adapted to avoid humans; they would have had to be so to survive alongside our species as homo sapiens spread out across the land bridge. I think you exaggerate those "odds" against its existence. For instance, the Gigantopithecus lived for some odd million years, and the only way we know of it at all is a few dozen teeth and two partial jawbones.

ANONYMOUS: The universe is indeed full of surprise and things of wonderment, but they are always things that can be rendered credible or explained in some logical framework. Things outside of that are the realm of hallucination, superstition and religion.

No matter how smart Bigfoot is, it cannot exist without a breeding population. At the very minimum, we are talking, say, 200 individuals, but even then it's hard to see how enough genetic diversity to maintain a species that would not succumb to deleterious recessive traits could sustain the species. Now, that's AT LEAST 200 individuals who would have the chance of encountering one another. And if they are intelligent and human-like, everything suggests they'd live in groups. They'd thus logically be concentrated into small units, yet disperse enough to avoid detection. But there'd have to be enough to maintain a viable breeding population in America over tens of thousands of years.

American Indians are genetically related to the much larger population of East Asians. Where is the evidence for a similar larger founder stock of American Bigfoot in Asia? Abominable Snowman legends? Moreover, the smarter it is, the more likely it will leave artifacts of it existence. Is it a human-like ape? It's going to be intelligent and social and leave real artifacts of its existence. Okay...let us just concede then that maybe a minimal population of these creatures exist. They came across from Asia, but became extinct there, only surviving in legend. They evolved to be afraid of humans and to hide from humans. Fine. Still, there'd be some remains of them. Bones. Burial grounds. Something. Unless they are super-intelligent aliens or ghosts. It's in the same category of plausibility as UFOs or ghosts. Gimme a break.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: There are logical explanations for the possible existence of Sasquatch; it's just that there has not been the full objective verification of a confirmable body or part that would have been distinguished as such. Read the Meldrum book, Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. There is a lot of evidence that goes beyond hoaxery, apparently. Even the Patterson film has never been conclusively proven to be fake. People just say, Oh, that could not be real, even when it is right there before their eyes! Look closer and you will see the convincing details, too.

ANONYMOUS: Sasquatch as a microbe of a micron in diameter that has not been detected: okay. Sasquatch as a very large and intelligent ape that ranged far and wide and crossed from Asia to America without any definitive trace: near impossible.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Right now, up in the Klamath and Siskiyou wilderness area I would venture to guess that there are NO "noses" out there. There is a LOT of open and inaccessible land. Any remains would be a needle in a haystack to find. Some would argue with you about "signs" and traces. Many involved are not insane or deluded or something like that, but simply SAW one, clearly, right before them, leaving tracks behind that were later cast. How do YOU know they were hallucinating?

And actually, bigfooting is a much more fun and healthy pursuit that sitting around in a laboratory all day under fluorescent lighting. To these guys, myself included, it is also an enjoyment of nature, and one of the last non-internal adventures left to us humans.

ANONYMOUS: Bigfooting is fun. There you go. That explains the phenomenon. Seriously.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Well, first, from the sightings there would seem to be a population that ranges through most of the parts of North America that provide forested, isolated, and normally high precipitation zones; or there are several regional groupings. If anything, encounters are proliferating.

ANONYMOUS: Big area. Breeding population means they can all encounter one another. Encounters proliferating could just mean alcohol is proliferating.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Family groups have been sighted. A fellow in my shop whom I know to be rational and sane told me he was out hunting and saw three of them as clear as day down the hillside. No mistaking them for a bear or humans. What do you say to that? I hear such things ALL the time around here.

Image: Original source unknown, found on internet site.

ANONYMOUS: Sightings? Why all the sightings? With so many sightings proliferating in the age of cheap digital cameras and cell phones with camera/video capabilities, shouldn't digital evidence be increasing? Sightings. Hallucinations. Drunk or otherwise.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: The background population is considered to be either a branch of earlier hominid, or else the Giganto type of ape. There are plenty of examples of relic populations of animals being found.

ANONYMOUS: Evidence of migration from Asia to America? Fossils usually exist for this type of thing. No? Ahem...

BIGFOOT BOOKS: There HAVE been artifacts and remains found, but none have either been preserved for modern science or been found convincing enough to be accepted by the mainstream. What do you make of hair found that tests out as "unknown primate"? What do you make of the incredibly scant evidence for Giganto... which is, despite that, a known species?

ANONYMOUS: Where can I see these artifacts? What museums? Or can I at least see photos? Face it, you are in the realm of RELIGION. The weird Bigfoot Religion. Amen!

BIGFOOT BOOKS: But you admit... it is "NEAR" impossible? You said it "ALMOST certainly" does not exist.

Reports are numerous of Sasquatch being seen but then basically just disappearing by blending in with their surroundings, or of odd sounds, and rocks being thrown, but with the actual sighting being totally elusive. If real, they are very sneaky, clever, and perfectly adapted, without the need of tools and cultural artifacts. Despite this, they ARE seen, they do leave traces, however frustratingly inconclusive.

ANONYMOUS: They must be as sneaky as bin Laden, who is dead. Give me a break...

Yeah, I admit it NEAR impossible as in:
[He presents a link to a scene from "Dumb and Dumber:"]

BIGFOOT BOOKS: And yet, you believe in bin Laden, and with no evidence you believe he is dead? Osama was alive once, and MAY just be hiding, not dead.

ANONYMOUS: Yes, because there is no evidence he is alive now, but there is evidence he once was. Evidence!

BIGFOOT BOOKS: If a rock hits you on the head in the middle of the woods with no other humans around, and you heard strange vocalizations and found big footprints, how would you explain it?

ANONYMOUS: I'd say you were then suffering from post-concussion hallucinations.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: I meant... a small rock. And where did it come from? A mischievous squirrel?
Yes, bigfooting is "fun." So I argue it is a very healthy, sane pursuit. I like the idea of mysteries and unexplainable things; but I have experienced certain things in the woods I cannot explain, and I know people who HAVE seen them in states of total sanity and clarity.

ANONYMOUS: Me too. The wind. A poetic moment.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Look at science. Many of its propositions seem utterly absurd or incomprehensible (like multidimensionality and quantum physics), and much of it remains in the realm of hypothesis and theory (like string theory).

Image: Original source unknown, found on internet site.

ANONYMOUS: Not true at all. Completely unabsurd and very comprehensible if you know science.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Whales can encounter one another over vast spaces of oceans. Why not Sasquatches across the mountains and woods?

Actually, there has been an increase in photo evidence, but they are nearly all very dark, tiny, blurry, inconclusive. Blobsquatches. The creature is not posing, you know? And this equipment is normally of very limited quality, resolution and capacity. If I took a picture at night with my cell phone camera of my daughter standing on the edge of the woods in my yard one would only see a dark blur.

The artifacts are held by researchers, as museums won't have them. Dr. Meldrum has a ton of great evidence I his lab. There is an element of faith, and of Mystery, I'll admit that. It's part of the fun and fascination. And, I'd argue that Bigfoot is way more plausible than God, yet billions believe in That!

ANONYMOUS: Whales don't pose either, yet, in an alien (to us) aquatic habitat, they make their presence known in film and photos. They spend a tiny fraction of their time breaching, yet we have the evidence. Sasquatch, a terrestrial creature, can't even give us that? What a spoiled sport. He is nocturnal. I guess the confident stride of PGF is an anomaly, then. Artifacts held by researchers? Any researcher worthy of the name would have it documented and publish it, a.s.a.p. Bigfoot is more plausible than God, but that doesn't say much. Tinkerbell is more plausible than God.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: There is nowhere for a whale to hide when it breaches. That is why they are sitting ducks for whaling ships and sightseers, despite considerable brain size and all. No one ever SEES Tinkerbell. The stuff HAS been published. It's just kind of hard to get peer review. Look into the works of Meldrum and Grover Krantz.

ANONYMOUS: Can you send me the evidence? If it has been published, that should be easy. Otherwise, it's TinkerFoot to me.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: I don't HAVE to believe in Bigfoot. God requires belief and faith. Bigfoot just shits in the woods, walks across the road, and then eats blackberries in the yard. It's very simple, actually. No heaven, no hell, no dogma; just a well-adapted creature living in the forest and mountains in the real world. To me it is relieving to not have superstition and belief. Bigfoot is anti-religion, anti-human culture, its very opposite.

ANONYMOUS: Tinkerbell is the same, and her shit has also not been found. Anyway, who cares? There are a lot of myths. Evidence?

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Like Rene Dahinden said, "What if I hit you over the head with one of those footprints' plaster casts? Would that be real enough for you?"

ANONYMOUS: Does buying an extra-large condom mean you have an extra-large dick? Same logic.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: You can't verify the empty space in the condom, nor really hit someone over the head with it. But many of the footprints have very convincing anatomy. Good enough to convince anthropological anatomist, Meldrum, anyway. Any guy can buy a big condom, but can he USE it???

ANONYMOUS: Anyone can make a "cast" of my penis that is two-feet long. That is not evidence of being Long Dong Silver.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: But would it have dermal ridges, and convincing anatomy? Perhaps "unknown primate" pubic hair remains, too?

ANONYMOUS: Oh, does all that show up in Bigfoot foot casts? Wow. They must really be into foot-casting, pressing their dermal ridges and sprinkling pubic hair on them as well. Smart Bigfoot. Good boy. Heel.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: The pubic hair would have come from your theoretical penis casting. Normal remains of an organic, biological mammalian foot placed on the ground. Ask Meldrum. Primates have dermal ridges on their feet, too, you know. Bigfoot will have his say!

ANONYMOUS: If you believe in Bigfoot, you are as irrational as any theist. Evidence. Show me. They have published shit evidence on other animals before. Where's the Bigfoot shit evidence?

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Bigfoot shit HAS been found, or so it is proposed. Big, nasty, stinky ones, containing parasites not known in other animals. I had a bird shit on my head once--could that have been Tinkerbell?

ANONYMOUS: If  I had evidence of this, I'd publish a.s.a.p.. It'd make me famous. Any scientist would do so. If it were real. Bigfoot flies with Pinocchio

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Hey, Pinocchio becomes a "Real Boy."

Where's the Bigfoot scat evidence? Well, I can't really say. But the problem with excrement is it decomposes quickly in the field and smells really bad. The parasite scat thing happened in the early sixties. Science journals don't like to publish Bigfoot stuff, so it ends up in the Bigfoot genre books and web sites.

ANONYMOUS: There you go. I guess excrement doesn't decompose so quickly when it is important.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: If a turd falls in the forest, and no one is there to see it, does it really fall?

I think this is part of why I like Bigfoot: It is not human, just a free floating possibility and it represents freedom; and yet it has its feet on the ground, as it were.

Bigfooters love science and scientists, by the way, or at least when they have open minds they do....

ANONYMOUS: Yeah, whatever. If you publish this it could be perceived as justification for hating scientists. They don't need more anti-sciene BS. Other scientists are already enough for scientists to deal with.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: You should see how they revere the scientists at Bigfoot conferences...!

ANONYMOUS: ...those who validate preconceived notions and ideology.


Editorial NOTE: From here the conversation evolved into Existentialism and Politics. THE END, for all Bigfooting purposes.

Some readers on the believer side may wonder why we published all these criticisms. Well, please keep in mind: these are questions we have to face all the time. It is good to consider them, and to hone and perfect our responses. We say: welcome skepticism and criticism, but then CHALLENGE it with logic, evidence, and accuity.



Many of the readers of this blog may wonder why we came out as so critical of David Paulides, author of The Hoopa Project. Well, we felt much of that needed to be said. Our intention was mainly to explore the issue of "The Bluff Creek Massacre Theory," which we had tried to delve into with Dave and MK Davis in interviews. We were unable to crack that nut with them. We also wanted to challenge certain ideas about the timeline of events surrounding the making of the Patterson-Gimlin film. Along the way, in our effort to defend the honor of John Green and Bob Gimlin, not to mention the memory of Roger Patterson, Bob Titmus and Rene Dahinden, some interpersonal issues arose with Mr. Paulides. Our interview with MK fizzled out when he would not talk about certain issues. Really, we wanted to stick to the just the issues, but we felt some of these things to be of deep importance within the Bigfoot community. And so we talked about them. However, we had told Paulides before that we felt The Hoopa Project was among the bigfooting classics, and would last over time--we STILL think that is so.

DON'T GET US WRONGLY--we read both of Mr. Paulides' books (the other is Tribal Bigfoot), and found both to be mainly quite fascinating reads. We STILL recommend them. Mr.  Paulides is a dogged investigator with some unique angles, and did some excellent work especially by focusing deeply on particular areas, delving into them, and revealing both new information on Bigfoot/Sasquatch sightings in those areas, and also unique characteristics that would have been missed in superficial or more glancing inquiries. However, our qualified problems with these books and their conclusions and methods remain. There are issues with the facts in some major and important areas, there are issues of logic and methodology that need to be addressed. There is the issue of history, and the books' serious lack of citation and crediting of prior books and research done by others. We wish to again explore The Hoopa Project, and in an analytical close re-reading we intend over the course of the next few weeks or months to unearth what we liked in this book, and to reveal and explore what bothered us about it during our first read and subsequently. We hope that NABS and their friends will not see this project as an outright and biased attack. Rather, we wish to be fair, and give credit where credit is due, but yet to discover areas that could be corrected and improved. The book has great value, and we hope that in the end perhaps Mr. Paulides could be encouraged to issue a corrected and revised second edition of his interesting book.

 Me got woken up by New Years hu-man noise. Me start thinking, me not go back to sleep. So me have idea. Me get angry again about hu-man crazy acting and thing they think about ME. Me will set them straight. Now I talk to human friend who write and he like my idea. Next time on this blog-thing hu-man write ideas. He call it PROPOSITIONS FOR A NEW DECADE IN SQUATCHING.
Me spell that right? It be  up here next time, if hu-man not hibernate too.

The text of this blog entry is copyright 2009, Bigfoot Books and Steven Streufert. Please present with citation and blog link if you are quoting. Thanks!