'Mahalo, dude'There, I said it. After what is basically my entire adult life, I am ready to embrace the truth that Sasquatch is a myth. This conclusion is born out of frustration, yes, and many would say that unless I am willing to truly devote all of my time and resources to the search, I could never believe they exist.
But that would be foolish too.
Should I stay the course like Rene Dahinden, who died still believing in a hairy, bipedal forest monster? Should I spend more than 50 years searching like Peter Byrne or John Green only to find nothing but a few questionable hairs and reams of ridicule and doubt?
What about the thousands of 'eyewitnesses' who claim to have seen a giant ape-like creature?
Or the special few who seemed to have recorded images or sounds that point to a non-human thing? Can I completely discount all of that as imagination or hoax?
In the paucity of hard evidence, a person who is on the fence has to decide, at some point, whether a few anomalous DNA samples and some blurry video footage is enough to keep them on the path of discovery.
This is the case for Jeff Meldrum, who rests his reputation as a tenured, full Professor on the fruition of scientific consensus.
It's the case for serious investigators like Derek Randle and his Olympic Project team, who chase and catalog, lecture and argue that Bigfoot IS a real, extant creature, it's just that...he's real elusive.
This is where my rope starts to get thin, when humans have cataloged every other creature that we co-exist with down to the bones, and yet there are still intelligent people out there who think big hairy forest people exist WITHOUT any bones.
Also, I think it's too much to accept that raccoons and porcupines are so good at eating bones that this is why we have never found any, just doesn't wash when bears, cougars and mountain goats are also elusive, yet we have their bones to add to the mammal taxonomy.
Also, I have personally seen and photographed bears and mountain goats. (Still working on cougars, but I'm pretty sure they exist).
Bear hemorrhoids...the worst.
You, the Sasquatch Whisperer are asking, 'How hard have you really looked?' 'What are my field credentials?'
That's a fair question, and I am miles behind the hard core investigators like Derek, Meldrum or the crew of Finding Bigfoot. What I have done is paltry, but:
1). Spent several overnight trips with BF-related individuals as well as luminaries, with recording gear and a serious attitude of quiet patience.
2). Attended four conferences that featured the big names in Sasquatchery including Doc Meldrum, Derek and his team, Thom Powell, John Bindernagle and was in attendance when Todd Standing was shouted down by the crowd for grandstanding on weak evidence while fellow panelists like Les Stroud worked hard at staying neutral.
3). Have personally bugged the hell out of Meldrum, Powell, Randles, Tom Baker, Scott Taylor, Standing and Stroud with pesky questions.
4). Have dug into the meatiest eyewitness accounts with people like John Carlson, Scott Taylor and Randy Hunt, all of who claim to have witnessed Sasquatch or similarly-related entity's.
5). Have had four inexplicable experiences that could be construed as Bigfoot-related, ie.
a).On a hike up a ridge in the Gifford-Pinchot as dusk approached, wife and I got the distinct, unnerving feeling of being watched. On the hike out we found a pile of bones, provenance undetermined, but likely Elk.
b). Another hike at Packwood Lake had us stopped after a wood knock noise. The lack of sound in that section of trail was palpably creepy and hastened our departure.
d). Hiking at Mud Mountain Dam, our group of three got temporarily lost and stumbled onto another fresh pile of bones, probably deer, but not established.
d). During an overnight stay at The Olympic Project's HQ in Port Angeles, I experienced a sudden onset of extreme cold and fatigue that layed me out just prior to a night hike. I shivered in my sleeping bag for twenty minutes thinking I was becoming deeply sick until the feeling stopped abruptly and I rejoined the group feeling as well as ever.
So....do any of these experiences help me ?
Apparently not, because I'm posting this rant.
So now, are you are fully ready to argue for the GHH (Giant Hairy Hominid - my term)?
You: 'But S.A.R., there's thousands of reports...from credible witnesses!'
Yes, the BFRO in particular has lots of witness accounts...and they're fun to read but are they really enough by themselves to make a case for existence of a previously undiscovered species?
In a word: No. Eyewitness accounts are admissable in courts of law, but recent court cases based on memory recall and individual perceptions proved that they can be unreliable and biased. Consider that bears can and DO walk around on their hind legs and when upright an adult brown can clear 6 feet pretty easily. Also, people lie for a variety of reasons.
This, coupled with false identification and outright hoaxes leaves us with delusion, not a GHH.
'I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.'
You: 'But Your Majesty, they've got footprint casts...and, and HAIR and stuff.'
Mmmm, not so much. Again, search youtube for 'bear tracks' and look at how amazingly similar they look to a very large human footprint. Also, those annoying hoaxers are getting increasingly good at faking trackways, ask any well known Sasquatch researcher and they will admit that they have seen faked prints. As to hair, and 'stuff' (which is what we will call bigfoot shit for now) SURE..lots of hair and stuff has surfaced and gotten tested. Sykes, Ketchum, et.al., have made claims of 'novel DNA' but since we don't have a body/specimen to type against, that stuff is a basically a 'one-off', meaning, it is not repeatable and hence not real in a scientific sense. I'm starting to feel like Bill Nye now, but maybe we should just ask him.
Bill: 'nobody has come up with strong proof.'
(Bill Nye The Science Guy's Big Blast of Science-Perseus Publishing - 1993)
Ok, so Bill's out.
You: 'But what about those dudes, like Meldrum and Krantz and Bindernagel? huh, HUH!?'
Yes, these gentlement are real scientists and they all think 'something' big, hairy and bipedal is cruising around out there. But they're still just three dudes with an opinion...man. There are many more scientists who disagree with the good Drs. and biologist Bindy. They cite that pesky requirement of a body to add to the taxonomy.
'Hey..I feel like I exist..that should count for something!'
Dr. Krantz, probably the father of modern scientific inquiry into Sasquatch-related shit believed that Bigfoot could be a relict population of Gigantopithecus. Fossils of Giganto mandibles and teeth WERE found in Asia but due to the lack of a full set of bones, it is arguable as to whether that creature was bipedal or ambulated on all fours. Also, Dr. Krantz's work failed on scrutiny when it was determined that he had fallen for hoaxes.
Meldrum, who currently carries the brightest torch for existence, believes they exist based mainly on his examination of numerous plaster footprint casts. He IS an expert on primate locomotion ( what a cool job title!) so we should consider his point of view carefully. BUT, because we don't have a living, breathing creature to observe actually making these tracks, we still forced to speculate as to it's existence. Bottom line. I like him, have bothered him a few times with stupid questions, and I like Bingernagel too, especially when he bailed on Todd Standing at the Sasquatch Summit in 2014 when the Toddster tried to get Bindy to agree that they had found bigfoot prints on a hillside. "No," he said.
So what are we left with?
Those reports from eyewitnesses, as compelling as they feel, are not enough. We need a body, really.
And after we have that body, it must be made available to the whole of the scientific community and to establish independent corroboration. This is a big deal, after all, the rewriting of history.
'Saddened, S.Quatch walks forlornly back to his cave.'
Do I think it will happen? No...just as I don't think we will ever see governmental acknowledgement of Aliens, Sasquatch will remain a mythical figure. I now open the floor for discussion.