Guy Edward's Bigfoot Lunch Club has a recent post about Rick Dyer's admission of the 'Hank' Bigfoot body as a full-on hoax.
For most semi-serious BF followers, this was a foregone conclusion and the admission part is just more time-wasting, but it is important to note the effect that a hoax has on any effort to uncover truth, regardless of the field of research.
For the record, Jeff Meldrum did not buy into the 'Hank' story for a millisecond. Even after Dyer blatently baited him with a Youtube come-on to travel (either direction) to see the body, Meldrum posted his own rebuttal and then never commented publicly again. Smart move, as it turned out.
His partner, Derek Randles, was less cautious and had a dialogue with Dyer that included intimations that he would be willing to come see the body and that Randles believed that Dyer might actually have a real bigfoot body. (Click on images to make them larger!)
I don't blame Derek for his actions, since this is the sad requirement of any serious Bigfoot researcher. When a new, fantastic claim like this pops up, you really have to dig into it the best you can to find out if there is any substance. This includes traveling to wherever the 'evidence' is, which Randles offered to do (but luckily did not have to follow up on) and which Meldrum DID do, when he went to Russia and China to look for Yerens and that B.S. filled story that Igor Burtsev foisted on him.
All of this leaves me depressed.
After all the years since Bob Gimlin nearly fell off his horse in Bluff Creek, since all the years since Thom Slick threw his checkbook on the table and said, 'Let's do this thing,' the sharpest, most
dedicated people in the field still have nothing more than room full of plaster track casts, some specious DNA papers, some blurry, distant photos and video and a bunch of stories of fleeting glimpses of big hairy things in the woods.
It's no wonder that skeptics get good mileage out of the suggestion that Bigfoot isn't real.
The P/G film, the Freeman footage, and Todd Standings puppets are the best film evidence available to date. Les Stroud is getting some new viewership hits on his recent show that includes the short, annoying images of a thing that looks like B-movie actor Treat Williams in heavy makeup. The Grays Harbor Thermal footage is basically just a ghost, and that dude on Youtube with the 'Ontario Sasquatch' audio is so bizarre that it's either real or it's evidence of a man going mad on tape. (I suggest that anyone who is unfamiliar with any of the names in the last paragraph simply google the terms to find the latest B.S. the bigfoot world has to offer. )
There is the nagging aspect of thousands of witness accounts, though. Could thousands of people be lying? Sure. Could thousands of encounter reports be hoaxes? That's less likely, but still possible.
Could the hundreds of very good, trained observer-type reports of very large, hairy humanoids seen by cops, soldiers, forest rangers, Doctors and biology majors be figments of imagination?
Not likely at all.
So if we distill the stories down to the very best, most vetted and triple-checked anecdotes, what do we have?
If we stick to the tenets of good science, then, we basically have nothing more that stories and conjecture. So we're left with the choice, 'Is Bigfoot an imaginary, mass hallucination?' or 'Is Bigfoot a real entity, but proof of it's existence is not possible within the boundaries of known scientific practice? '
You can see where I'm going with this, and since I just re-read Grover Krantz' 'Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence', I will now include this quote: 'Many sasquatch enthusiasts seem to think that by finding more widespread [anecdotal and trace] evidence of the species, they are in effect strengthening the argument that the species is real. Up to a certain point this reasoning is valid … But when it is suggested that a wild primate is found native to all continents, including Australia, then credibility drops sharply. … Beyond a certain point, it can be argued that the more widespread a cryptozoological species is reported to be, the less likely it is that the creature exists at all.'
It could be, too, that we ARE hallucinating Bigfoot into existence, the way Tibetan's suggest with thier 'tulpas'.
Dr. Robert M. Pyle says most cultures have human-like giants in their folk history. "We have this need for some larger-than-life creature," says Pyle, author of "Where Bigfoot Walks." Pyle is skeptical that Bigfoot exists but hasn't ruled it out. "This could be a case where biology and mythology correspond."