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Bigfoot FAQ

Table of Contents for Frequently Asked Questions:

Adapted from Henry Franzoni's original IVBC FAQ

  1. Is Bigfoot real? And if you believe it is real, what is your best evidence for believing so?
  2. If the Bigfoot phenomenon is real, why don't many credible academic scientists get involved?
  3. Why haven't bones or remains of dead bigfeet been found yet?
  4. Why has nobody ever shot a Bigfoot?/Why hasn't anyone hunting killed one?
  5. With all the people in the woods owning video cameras today, why hasn't anyone photographed one other than the controversial Patterson film of 1967?
  6. Where can I get a copy of the Patterson film on the net?
  7. Is the Patterson film a hoax or a film of a real creature?
  8. How big are the footprints? Aren't the big footprints fake? Wouldn't it be easy to fake them?
  9. Why can't our satellites see any?
  10. How do I know if some Sasquatches are around?
  11. Why is there a lack of evidence in the winter?
  12. How many Sasquatch are there in the Pacific Northwest?
  13. Is the population dimishing?
  14. What is the "range" of Sasquatch?
  15. Do Sasquatch migrate, or migrate seasonally?
  16. Are Sasquatch nocturnal and/or crepescular?
  17. What are Sasquatch reported to eat?
  18. How tall are they?
  19. Where do Sasquatch make their homes?
  20. Is anyone doing real scientific research into the phenomenon of Sasquatch and/or Bigfoot?
  21. Can you recommend any Bigfoot/Sasquatch Books and Periodicals?

Frequently asked Questions

1. Is "Bigfoot" real? And if you believe it is real, what is your best evidence for believing so?

Whether or not Bigfoot is real, the "Bigfoot phenomenon" is real. This idea was first enunciated by Dr. Robert Pyle, in his book Where Bigfoot Walks. The "Bigfoot phenomenon" is the certain fact that we continue to receive "Bigfoot" sighting reports, and we continue to find "Bigfoot" footprints in the forest. Something is making the footprints, and something is being seen in the Pacific Northwest by human observers.

What hard evidence is there?

a.      Introduction to the Patterson Film Controversy

953 frames of 16mm footage filmed by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin on October 20th, 1967, at approximately 1:15pm, is often cited as the best evidence to date. The mere existence of what we call The Patterson Film, provides evidence that the "Bigfoot phenomenon" is not always due to a mass hallucination, or socialogical phenomenon, since you can't take pictures of a mass hallucination or a socialogical phenomenon.

The film is also evidence that in it's case, the Bigfoot phenomenon is not due to a catalogued animal that has been misidentified, since we do not recognize exactly what kind of creature is in the film. It looks like a human being in a gorilla suit, so it could still be caused by a hoax. The film could still be caused by deliberate human fabrication, but we can tentatively rule out unwitting human fabrication in the form of "mass halucination" and we can tentatively rule out "a misidentified catalogued animal" as the possible causes behind the Patterson Film.

Whether or not the Patterson film is a "real" film of a "real" creature, the mere existence of the Patterson film suggests that the "Bigfoot phenomenon" is most likely to be caused by one of two possible explanations: 1) It's caused by a hoax or hoaxers, or, 2) it's caused by sightings of an uncatalogued animal. Different sightings and footprint finds may have different causes behind them. (More details about the Patterson Film are found in FAQ question #7 below.)

b.      Sighting Reports

Stories about sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures amongst native americans and eurocentric immigrants and their descendants provide evidence that the Bigfoot phenomenon is not culture specific, lending even more evidence to the idea that it is not caused by a mass halucination, since mass halucinations don't jump cultures very well. The stories also show that the phenomenon is a continuous one which has occurred in the Pacific Northwest for more than 150 years. Bigfoot sighting stories and footprint stories from eurocentric and indigenous cultures have been written down for the past 150 years, the oral history of the indigenous peoples is much older.

J.W. Burns spent many years as a teacher on the Chehalis Indian Reserve beside the Harrison River about 60 miles east of Vancouver B.C. He wrote numerous newspaper stories about the encounters his Indian friends had with the hairy giants, including an article in a major national magazine in 1927. While those stories certainly did not convince non-Indian society that such creatures actually existed, they did make the name "Sasquatch" a household word in that corner of the world.

Fred Beck had an experience on Mt.St. Helens in 1924 which was published in local newpapers such as the Oregonian. Fred and his son Ronald published a book about this experience in 1967.

If the "Bigfoot phenomenon" is mostly caused by deliberate human fabrication, the written stories suggest it's been a long term hoax operating over a 150 year time span, and all across the United States and Canada. It could not be caused by a single hoaxer, since no one can live that long, but could be caused by a group of hoaxers, or groups of hoaxers.

Sighting report frequencies do not correlate well with human population density. If the sighting reports were generally due to hoaxing, the frequency of the reports would be expected to correlate well with human population density.

The distribution of the geographic place names associated with Bigfoot do not correlate well with human population density either. If one had to pick one pattern to describe in general the location of the greatest frequency of place names, they could be said to correlate with the summit peaks and ridgelines of the mountain ranges of the United States.

c.       Footprint finds, tracks, track castings

A strong piece of evidence which suggests that the footprints are not a due to a hoax or hoaxers is from Dr. W. Henner Farenbach. He has studied a database 550 track cast length measurements and has made some preliminary observations which are covered in detail in the FAQ later. To summarize his preliminary observations: The gaussian distribution of the 550 footprint lengths gives a curve that is very similar to the curve given by living populations of known animals without much sexual dimorphism in footprint length. The standard error is very low, so additions to the database won't affect the result very much. It is not very likely that coordinated groups of hoaxers conspiring together for 38 years (the time span covered by the database of track measurements) could provide such a "life-like" distribution in footprint lengths. Groups of hoaxers who didn't conspire together would almost certainly result in a non-gaussian distribution for the database of footprint lengths. (See the answer to FAQ question #8 below for more details.)

This low likelyhood of footprint hoaxing suggests that the "Bigfoot phenomenon" is caused by something other than hoaxers. The evidence suggests that the most likely single cause of the "Bigfoot phenomenon" over the last 150 years is human observations of "an uncatalogued animal", i.e. sightings of some kind of "real" flesh and blood creature which has co-existed with homo sapiens in the North American Pacific Northwest for at least the past 150 years.

d.      Hair Samples

Purported Bigfoot hair samples are being studied, but no one wants to talk about it yet. Rumour has it that results will be announced one day, and that there has been some trouble sequencing the DNA. I'd suggest sending any hair samples you find to Dr. W. Henner Farenbach.

e.      Audio Recordings

Purported Bigfoot audio recordings have been made by more than a few people. Ron Morehead and Al Berry recorded some in the Sierra Nevada over a 20 year period. Their web site, Sierra Sounds sometimes has a small sample recording free for downloading, and they have a CD and Cassette for sale with more Bigfoot sounds. Professor R. Lynn Kirlin has made an analysis of some of the tapes, excerpts of which are on Sierra Sound's web site.

2. If the Bigfoot phenomenon is real, why don't many credible academic scientists get involved? Is it because some people claim that Bigfoot has psychic powers and claims such as that make it so that serious scientists wouldn't touch the topic with a ten foot pole? Do scientists cease to take the subject seriously when the incredible claims of the "Lunatic Fringe" are given any credence whatsoever?

First of all, a few credible academic scientists have spent some time examining the phenomenon, some becoming more convinced of the reality behind the phenomenon, and some becoming more skeptical of the reality behind it, as time passed, including:

Dr. W. Henner Farenbach, Dr. Grover Krantz, Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, Dr. John Napier, Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Dr. William Saxe Wihr, Dr. Gordon Rugg, Dr. John Bindernagel, Dr. D. W. Grieve, Dr. Dmitri D. Donskoy, Dr. Robert Pyle, Dr. William Montagna, Thomas Steenberg, Dr. Ruth McFarland, Loren Coleman, Kenneth A. Sayers, V.B. Sapunov, Jeff Glickman, R. Lynn Kirlin, Jim Hewkin, and Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffman (who is also known as Dr. Zh. I Kofman).

It's a pretty courageous thing for any academic scientist who depends on his or her reputation for crediblity, to stick their neck out and suggest that Bigfoot is real. No scientist I know is willing to go further than that and risk the loss of credibility by speculating about the possible "sixth sense" that Bigfoot possesses. However, I think that the uncanny ability to remain hidden from human observation is a truly puzzling power of Bigfoot; the nature of which remains an open question.

Why Puzzling Powers of Animals have been Neglected
(Excerpt from Seven Experiments that Could Change the World by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake)

Institutional biology is currently dominated by the mechanistic theory of life, according to which all animals and plants are essentially complex machines, in principle fully explicable in terms of ordinary physics and chemistry. This theory is far from new. It was first proposed in the seventeenth century by René Descartes as part of the mechanistic philosophy of nature: the cosmos was a machine, and so was everything within it, including human bodies. Only the conscious, rational mind of man was different, being spiritual in essence. The mind was supposed to interact with the machinery of the body through a small region in the brain.

In many ways the mechanistic approach to life has been effective. Factory farming, agribusiness, genetic engineering, biotechnology, and modern medicine all bear tribute to it's practical utility. And in terms of fundamental understanding, much has been learned about the molecular basis of living organisms, the nature of the genetic material, DNA, the chemical and electrical activities of the nervous system, the physiological role of hormones, and so on.

Academic biology has inherited from seventeenth-century science a strong faith in reductionism: more complex systems should be explained in terms of smaller and simpler parts. Originally it was believed that atoms formed the fundamental bedrock for all physical explanation. Now that atoms are known to be complex structures of activity composed of subatomic particles, themselves patterns of vibration within fields, the seemingly solid foundations of marterialistic science have dissolved. In the words of the philosopher of science Karl Popper, "through modern physics materialism has transcended itself."(a) Nevertheless, in academic biology, the reductionist spirit remains strong and gives a great impetus to the attempt to reduce the phenomenon of life to the molecular level. At this point, it is believed, the baton of reductionism can be passed to the chemists, who in turn passed it to the physicists as molecules are reduced to atoms and finally to subatomic particles. Hence molecular biology is one of the most prestigious and well funded of the life sciences. Meanwhile, fields of inquiry that are inherently holistic have a low status in the hierarchy of science: for example, ethology, the study of animal behavior, or morphology, the study of the forms of organisms.

However, from that time that Descartes first proposed it, the mechanistic theory of life has been controversial, and until the 1920s it was opposed by a rival school of biology known as vitalism.(b) Vitalism is the doctrine that living organisms are truly alive. Mechanism is the doctrine that they are literally inanimate and souless. For more than two centuries, vitalists argued that living organisms were animated by vital principles not known to physicists and chemists from the study of inanimate matter. By contrast, mechanists always claimed that there were no such things as vital factors or life forces. Their act of faith was that even if everything about living organisms could not yet be explained in terms of physics and chemistry, at some stage in the not-too-distant future it would be.

Because vitalists admitted the existence of unknown vital principles, they tended to be open-minded about the possibility of phenomenon that could not be explained in mechanistic terms, such as psychic phenomenon in humans and uncanny powers in animals.(c) By contrast, mechanists, as a matter of principle, were generally closed to the possibility of any phenomenon that seemed inexplicable in terms of current physics and chemistry.

Mechanists often invoke an argument called "Occam's razor." This "razor" was originally used by a medieval Oxford philosopher, William of Occam, as a way of denying that theoretical constructs have any reality outside our minds. On the grounds that "entities are not to be multiplied unnecessarily," the simplest hypothesis is to be preferred. But when mechanists use Occam's razor, they do not do so in any strict philosophical sense, but merely as a justification for sticking to the currently orthodox scientific point of view.(d) They usually take it for granted that mechanistic explanations are the simplest, even though they attempt to apply them in practice to, say, predicting the behavior of an ant on the basis of the structure of its DNA would involve calulations so fiendishly complex that they could not be done. Any postulated non-material fields, forces, or principles are to be rejected — unless they have already been accepted by physicists. Mechanists have always feared, and still fear, that to admit the reality of anything "mysterious" or "mystical" in the realm of life would be to abandon the hard-won certainties of science.(e)

For those outside established science, these old controversies may seem dusty and remote. But unfortunately they are still relevant today. Most biologists, agriculturalists, and doctors have been brought up to believe that the mechanistic theory represents the triumph of reason over superstition, from which true science must be defended at all costs. Nevertheless, psychic phenomenon have refused to go away. Animals continue to behave uncannily. Non-mechanistic forms of medicine flourish outside the orthodox insitutions. Popular doubts about the practical applications of mechanistic principles in factory farming, forestry, agribusiness, and vivisection are growing rather than diminishing. The prospect of genetic engineering excites more fear than admiration. And the mechanistic theory of evolution by blind chance and natural selection has failed to win the hearts and minds of most people, despite the strenuous efforts of neo-Darwianian evangelists.

All these factors conspire to produce a defensive attitude in many biologists, and an unwillingness to explore the possibility that life may be stranger than anything dreamed of in old-style physics. This helps to explain why the puzzling phenomenon... (has) ...received so little attention from professional researchers.

Although the old vitalist-mechanist controversy has done much to shape the attitudes of present-day biologists, it is no longer, in my opinion, a fruitful way to explore the nature of life. Since the 1920s, a broader alternative to the mechanistic theory of life has grown up in the form of the holistic or organismic philosophy of nature. From this point of view, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Not only living organisms, but also non-biological systems, such as molecules, crystals, and galaxies, have holisitc properties that are not reducable to their parts. Nature is made up of organisms, not machines.(f)

While academic biology is still under the sway of an old kind of thinking, a paradigm more than three centuries old, other branches of science have in many ways moved beyond the mechanistic worldview. Since the 1960s, the entire cosmos has looked more like a developing organism than a machine, continuously growing, and evolving new patterns of organization within itself as it does so. The rigid determinism of the old-style physics has given way to a recognition of an inherent spontaneity in nature — through indeterminism at the quantum level, through non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and through the insights of chaos and complexity theories.(g) In cosmology, there has been the recognition of a kind of cosmic unconsious through the discovery of "dark matter," the nature of which is utterly obscure, but which nevertheless seems to constitute some 90-99 percent of the matter in the universe. Meanwhile, quantum theory has revealed strange and paradoxical aspects of nature, including the phenomenon of non-locality or non-seperability, whereby systems that were once parts of a larger whole retain a mysterious connectedness even when many miles apart.(h)

Biologists in general take an old-fashioned view of physical reality. They have, by definition, specialized in biology; most have little or no education in quantum mechanics or other aspects of modern physics. Ironically, many are still hoping to reduce the phenomenon of life to the physics of the past; but physics has moved on.

This ideological background helps to explain why the seemingly extraordinary powers of animals have been negelected by professional researchers, and consequently, why such fundamental questions remain open. However, I am not advocating any particular theories to explain them. I believe current orthodoxy is too limited, too narrow, but I also believe that the way forward depends on what nature herself tells us. At present we need more facts..."

Footnotes for FAQ Question #2

1.      Popper and Eccles (1977) The Self and it's Brain - Springer, Berlin

2.      For historical accounts of this controversy, see Sheldrake A New Science of Life: the Hypothesis of Formative Causation (1981) - Blond and Briggs, London.

3.      For example, the two leaders of the vitalist school in the early twentieth century, Hans Driesch and Henri Bergson, both served as presidents of the British Society for Psychical Research; and the vitalist views of the naturalist Eugene Marais enabled him to investigate the behavior of social animals in a very original way. His work on termites is discussed in Chapter 3 of Seven Experiments that Could Change the World Sheldrake (1995) - Riverhead Books, NY. And among psychical researchers there was a general openness to unusual powers in animals, as expressed, for example, by Haynes (1973) The Hidden Springs: An Enquiry into Extra-Sensory Perception - Hutchinson, London.

4.      Occam used this argument to oppose Platonists, with their notion of eternal, universal Ideas existing either independently or as Ideas in the mind of God. By the same token, this argument is opposed to the notion of universal mathmatical laws of nature existing independently of human minds. Many mechanists, and certainly many physicists, are secret Platonists, and do not apply Occam's razor to this part of their thinking. Occam also used his razor against Aristotelians, with their doctrine of non-material essences inherent in material things. This argument would also rule out the real existence of fields, such as the universal gravitational and electromagnetic fields. Again, most mechanists do not take Occam's razor seriously in this case either. Most think of the accepted fields of nature as really existing, rather than as mere models in the minds of physicists.

5.      Some even see these questions in the light of a great struggle of good against evil, against "the Beast that slumbers below," as Harvard scientist Gerald Holton, has put it. He recently exhorted the defenders of mechanistic science, which he describes as the "proper" worldview, to be on guard, calling upon them to "defang" this Beast as "a duty they owe to their own belief system." (Holton, 1992) "How to Think About the 'Anti-Science' Phenomenon" Public Understanding of Science 1, pp 103-128.

6.      For a detailed discussion, see Sheldrake (1988) The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature - Collins, London.

7.      See, for example, Prigogine and Stengers (1984) Order out of Chaos Heinemann, London., and Gleik (1988) Chaos: Making a New Science Heinemann, London, and Waldrop (1993) Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos - Viking, London.

8.      For a discussion of these developments and their implications, see Sheldrake (1990) The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God - Century, London.

3. Why haven't bones or remains of dead bigfeet been found yet?

A few possible explanations from the different schools of thought:

  • "Once a bone is divested of its covering of soft tissue and is exposed to the elements, water begins to leech out the minerals that gave the bones its rigidity. Once a bone demineralizes it can be destroyed easily, even by the acidity of the soil and water that surrounds it. Remineralization of bone over time resolidifies it and eventually fossilizes it. Regions like eastern Ohio which have poorly drained soils (clay) produce extremely fragile bones if any. The clay contributes to a low pH (acidic) and prevents water from easily percolating out of the soil and evaporating. The acidic soil/water increases the rate of mineral leaching." Source: What the Bones Tell Us. Schwartz, JH. 1993 (isbn 0-8050-1056-4)
  • Ray Owen, son of a Dakota spiritual leader from Prairie Island Reservation in Minnesota, told a reporter from (the) Red Wing (Minnesota) Republican Eagle, "They exist in another dimension from us, but can appear in this dimension whenever they have a reason to. See, it's like there are many levels, many dimensions. When our time in this one is finished, we move on to the next, but the Big Man can go between. The Big Man comes from God. He's our big brother, kind of looks out for us. Two years ago, we were going downhill, really self-destructive. We needed a sign to put us back on track, and that's why the Big Man appeared".

"The Lakota, or western Sioux, call Bigfoot Chiye-tanka (Chiha-tanka) in Dakota or eastern Sioux); "chiye" means "elder brother" and "tanka" means "great" or "big." In English, though, the Sioux usually call him "the big man." In his book The Spirit of Crazy Horse, {Viking, 1980}, a non-fiction account of the events dramatized by the excellent recent movie Thunderheart, author Peter Mathiessen recorded some comments about Bigfoot made by traditional Sioux people and some members of other Indian nations. Joe Flying By, a Hunkpapa Lakota, told Mathiessen, "I think the Big Man is a kind of husband of Unk-ksa, the earth, who is wise in the way of anything with its own natural wisdom. Sometimes we say that this One is a kind of reptile from the ancient times who can take a big hairy form; I also think he can change into a coyote. Some of the people who saw him did not respect what they were seeing, and they are already gone."

"There is your Big Man standing there, ever waiting, ever present, like the coming of a new day. He is both spirit and real being, but he can also glide through the forest, like a moose with big antlers, as though the trees weren't there..." (This FAQ contribution was from Gayle Highpine - "Attitudes Toward Bigfoot in many North American Cultures" published in The Track Record, #18, Copyright July, 1992 - Portland OR)

4. Why has nobody ever shot a Bigfoot?/Why hasn't anyone hunting killed one?

  • They don't exist.
  • They bury their dead.
  • They conceal themselves before death, and the remains are therefore hidden.
  • Scavengers eat the remains.
  • If science eventually recognizes that early man represents Bigfoot, then bones are plentiful. n North America we haven't found any that are recognized yet. A skull from brazil has heavy brow ridges. As there is no fossil evidence of Gorilla or Chimpanzee. we should expect they would be said not to exist. FAQ submission G. from Henry Franzoni.
  • Maybe there's a "paranormal" explanation for it...

During the evening of February 6th, 1974, a lady living near Uniontown Pennsylvania, was sitting at home watching television. She heard a noise on her porch and went to investigate, thinking the dogs were to blame. She took a loaded shotgun with her, to scare the intruders. She turned on the porch light, opened the door and stepped into the doorway and was horrified to see a 7-foot-tall hairy ape-like creature standing only six feet away. Thinking it was about to attack, for it had raised its arms above its head, she fired into its middle but amazingly the BHM 'just disapeared in a flash of light'. (Stan Gordon, "UFO's in Relation to Creature Sightings in Pennsylvania", a paper presented to the MUFON UFO Symposium, 1974, pp. 144-5)

5. With all the people in the woods owning video cameras today, Why hasn't anyone photographed one, other than the controversial Patterson film of 1967? (filmed on a wind up F100 16mm Kodak movie camera)

A few have shown up recently. A brief bit with Anna Marie Goddard on Hard Copy from northern California, another anonymously sent clip we call the "Snow Walker" footage, and a few videos from Ohio.

"SnowWalker" update from Dr. Jeff Meldrum (meldd@fs.isu.edu) on 12/20/96:

Latest on the "Snowwalker" video: The matter has been taken up by a German TV producer. She has made contact both with First TV and with the former producer of Paranormal Borderline, at least the latter seems cooperative. The video was purchased by First TV $2000. She has shown the episode footage to German specialists in Himalyan region who confirmed that the scenery is consistent with the region, and to a German zoologist who was impressed by the video. I have suggsted that she try checking the tour permits with the appropriate Nepalese government agency for a Belgian or French couple. I am trying to do some checking through my Nepalese wildlife biologist contact.

6. Where can I get a copy of the Patterson film on the net? Isn't it in the public domain? Who owns the copyrights to it?

a) Mrs. Patterson, Roger Patterson's widow, who still lives in Yakima, WA, has the TV and Movie rights to the actual film. Rene Dahinden has the rights to the 953 still frames from the film. For information on the TV and movie rights, you'll have to call directory assistance in Yakima, WA for Mrs. Patterson's phone number. The film is not in the public domain. The black and white version of frame 352 is the only part of the film that is in the public domain, but the color version of frame 352 is not in the public domain. The original film no longer exists. Five known copies were made of the original film. The five copies, long, long ago, were once in the possession of René Dahinden, John Green, Dr. Grover Krantz, Erik Beckjord, and Peter Byrne. René Dahinden possesses one of the copies, but it is no longer known who possesses the other four original copies, or if they still exist.

7. Is the Patterson film a hoax or a film of a real creature?

The Patterson film's authenticity is still an open question.

a.      Grover Krantz - (From a Summer 1994 Interview, from the TV show Encounters the Hidden Truth)

"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.

Maybe it's a man whose got his elbows out, and that's the shoulders... But, then any man of that height... the elbows are much to far apart to be the shoulders... there's one way you could do it..." (i.e. fake the movie) "...You get a six and a half foot tall man, go one third out on his upper arm, break it, and introduce a new joint.

b.      John Napier -

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 Raymond Dart of Johannesburg, the man who introduced the world to its immediate human ancestor,Australopithicus africanus.

c.       Mark Chorvinsky has published works supporting the hoax hypothesis.

d.      This FAQ summary below of the story behind the Patterson/Gimlin film is from Chris Murphy after working with René Dahinden for two and one half years:

Bigfoot
THE PATTERSON/GIMLIN FILM

The Patterson/Gimlin film is a movie of a Bigfoot creature taken by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin in 1967. Both men lived near Yakima,Washington State. Patterson had been involved in the search for the elusive Bigfoot or Sasquatch for many years and had written a book on the subject entitled Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist? In this book, he calls attention to the significant amount of evidence that supports the creature's existence. Gimlin, a highly experienced outdoorsman, was a close friend of Patterson and agreed to accompany him on a wilderness expedition to search for the creature.

Equipped with a 16mm hand-held Kodak movie cameria, the two searchers set out on horseback in October, 1967 and explored the wilderness regions in northern California. They concentrated their search in the area near Bluff Creak which is in the SixRiversNational Forest. Bluff Creek itself, is about 38 air miles south of the California/Oregon border and 18 air miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. This region was selected because Bigfoot footprints had been found there in prior years. A road was constructed into Bluff Creek in 1957, opening the area, which up to that time had been remote wilderness. Road construction workers noticed large human-like footprints in the soft soil which were reported to the press by Jerry Crew in October, 1958. The word "Bigfoot" was used in the press release and has now become a common name for the creature. Subsequent investigations at that time revealed tracks of six different sizes, indicating that a number of creatures frequented the area. Footprint sizes ranged from 12¼ inches to 17 inches long.

In the early afternoon of October 20, 1967 Patterson and Gimlin spotted a female Bigfoot down on the creek gravel sandbar. Patterson's horse reared in alarm at the sight of the creature, bringing both horse and rider to the ground, Patterson pinned below. Being an experienced horseman, he quickly disengaged himself and grabbed his camera. While running toward the creature, Patterson took 24 feet of color film footage. During this time, the creature quickly but calmly walked away across the sandbar into the woods. In the meantime, Gimlin observed the whole scene, rifle in hand, in case his friend was attacked by the creature. The men had previously agreed that under no circumstances would they shoot a Bigfoot unless in self-protection. The creature, estimated to be 7 feet 3½ inches in height and weighing 700 pounds, left footprints 14½ inches long by 6 inches wide. In that part of Bluff Creek, there is a sandy clay soil with a blue-gray tinge. This type of soil holds footprints remarkably well for a long period of time.

Fearing a possible confrontation with the creature and perhaps others of its kind, the two men decided not to pursue their prey into the forest. They reasoned that they had photographic evidence of its existence and did not want to put the creature or themselves in jeopardy.

The film has been studied by many scientists throughout the world who continue to remain divided on the authenticity of the sighting. Roger Patterson died in January, 1972 steadfast in his belief in the creature's existence. Robert Gimlin, who now resides in Yakima, also continues to maintain that what he saw was the elusive North American Bigfoot. To this time, no firm evidence has surfaced to cast a doubt on this truly amazing discovery.

e.      This FAQ contribution below from Silas Salmonberry, founder of alt.Bigfoot.research, and co-founder of the IVBC:

Roger Patterson's Movie

One of my earliest recollections of Bigfoot/Sasquatch lore was indeed the Patterson Movie. Most people have seen the film in one form or another and many people believe they know all there is to know about the film. Perhaps it is realistic to assume that one could become fairly familiar with most of the information in the film. In reality, however, what people know about the film and reality are often quite different. In this document, we will try to analyze the facts behind the Patterson 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.

Roger Patterson became a Bigfoot enthusiast after reading an article by Ivan Sanderson in True magazine in 1959 and 1960, but his first search for Bigfoot began as a trip to Willow Creek and then to Bluff Creek in 1964. On the Bluff Creek trip he was lucky enough to meet Pat Graves who had seen tracks many times and knew there were some fresh tracks just down the road. Here is an excert from Roger's book entitled Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist?:

Throughout our conversation we learned that he definitely was a firm believer in the existence of "Bigfoot". He had seen hundreds of tracks year after year, some of them on creek beds thirty or forty miles back from any logging road! Pat wasn't always a believer that such things exist. During his first six months on the job, stories from other forest service men and loggers came to him about huge human-looking tracks being found in different places. Before he had seen them he thought they might be those of a deformed bear or possibly someone trying to fix up a hoax. But after seeing the tracks for himself, Pat states flatly, "The thing that makes those tracks weighs around 1,000 pounds, walks upright, takes strides from five to ten feet long (10-foot strides probably running), goes up and down rugged terrain where a man just can't go, and has a foot very humanlike."

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.

That particular experience can have a powerful effect on anyone, and it definitely had an effect on Roger Patterson. He spent a great deal of time on trips to the Mount St. Helens are, which was fairly close to his home of Yakima. He had never heard of the ApeCanyon incident until he went to California.

In July, 1966, while near the ranch of Charle Erion, he saw some 18-inch tracks which were like those of Bigfoot but a little narrower with a heel less than four inches wide. In late 1966 he published his book which was a compendium of stories from newspapers and magazines. The book did not make enough money to finance a serious full-time search (he had hoped it would) but the book did generate alot of publicity and exposure and he was able to obtain a great deal of additional information.

Roger was described as a Rancher, but although he had been a rodeo rider and was of course an expert with a horse, he was not a rancher. He had a volkswagen van which he had rigged up to carry two horses. His obsession with and skill on a horse might be why he got the movie, but his reluctance to actually shoot the Sasquatch was the reason he didn't get any conclusive proof. He was convinced that Sasquatches were human and should not be shot. At the time of the film he had already had one encounter with death — a brush with Hodgkins disease, which was a that time incurable — but no one who had met him would have thought it. Incidently, he would die from the disease about 5 years after the movie was made.

In the fall of 1967, Roger and his friend Bob Gimlin went to Bluff Creek with three horses in the back of Bob's truck to search for Bigfoot. Roger had already taken a great deal of 16mm movie footage of outdoor shots for a planned show of his hunts for the hairy beasts. He thought he had a reasonable chance of getting Bigfoot tracks if he could maintain the search for a few weeks.

It turned out that they were only there for a few days, riding along the roads and in creek beds searching for tracks, when they almost literally bumped into Bigfoot herself! The meeting took place early in the afternoon of October 20th, 1967, as the two men rode around a bend in the creek bed. It has been surmised that perhaps the sound of the running water muffled the sound of their horses, or possibly the Sasquatch did not relate the sound of hooves to the sound of approaching humans. In any case, the Bigfoot was still sitting by the creek when the two men on horseback came around the corner, and took the confrontation rather calmly. The horses, however, were spooked and they reared with Roger's horse falling on its side. He quickly scrambled clear and then got around to the saddle bag and grabbed his camera. Bob maintained his position on his horse and had his 30.06 ready. The Bigfoot did not show any fear over the gun, and remained watching them before fairly deliberately walking across the sand bar. By this time, Roger had got his camera and had run after the Bigfoot so he could get close enough for a good picture. He tried to run and film at the same time which resulted in a series of blurs, and one time he lost his footing while he crossed the creek. Finally, he got to within about 80 feet of the Bigfoot, at which time it turned its upper body sideways for a single stride and looked straight at him. Roger didn't move position after that.

The look apparently scared Roger, he later stated:

You know how it is when the umpire tells you 'One more word and you're out of the game!'? That's the way it felt.

After he had stopped, he got clear pictures of only about 9 paces before the creature passed behind some trees, and for much of that distance parts of the legs and feet were obscurred by some drift wood on a sand bar. The exposure is more or less correct for the scene, but the black animal is underexposed and even the sharpest frames are still slightly blurred due to camera motion. The original film looks sharp, but the creature is only about one sixth the height of the frame — about as big as one of the sprocket holes in the film!

He got some more footage when the animal came into view again, but it was a long distance off and he wasn't holding the camera steady. There was also some film taken afterwards when they were making casts of the tracks but it seems to have been lost. The prints were about an inch deep, measures 14 inches in length and 5frac12; inches in width at the ball of the foot and 4 inches at the heel.

Casts were made of both the left and right feet. At this time the men rushed the film out to Roger's brother-in-law for processing and phoned the B.C. (British Columbia, Canada) museum to try to get some scientists and a tracking dog sent to the location. The two men then returned to Bluff Creek at which time a torrential downpour began. They returned home and were lucky to get out before a mud slide blocked the road.

Roger's brother-in-law was the first to view the film. No copies were made, and by the end of the first day the original was fairly scratched up. Roger was interested in going to New York and Los Angeles with his newly acquired piece of film, but was convinced to take the film to the University ofBritish Columbia where some people had taken an interest in the subject. The Vancouver showing included the University scholars, people from the museum and from the press. The film was well received and no one suggested that it was faked. After all, if the film was a fake then so were the footprints, and this would imply that Roger and Bob were in on the fakery.

The film generated a great deal of interest for a day or two, the the interest rapidly died down. In Los Angeles and New York, no one was about to be impressed by two hicks from Yakima with some bizarre claim of a movie of a monster. Life magazine showed some interest until they had some individuals at the AmericanMuseum of Natural History look at it and claim it was a fake. Only Ivan Sanderson and Dr. John Napier from the Smithsonian Institute would take it seriously. The first still picture was presented to the public in a men's magazine called Argosy accompanied by a story by Ivan.

The subsequent history of that strip of film would make a book by itself, with deals and double deals involving many individuals and some fair-sized corporations, and with several legal actions, at least one of them in the hundred thousand range, and not all settled yet. The only thing of importance for the purposes of this volume is that at no time in any of the disputes has anyone ever questioned the authenticity of the film. In a way that is unfortunate, as there would be great value in having that question dealt with in court, but it has never been an issue. As a result of one disagreement Bob Gimlin was cut out for several years from any participation in the profits, and it is worth reflecting on whether Roger would have dared to let that situation develop if the film were a fake.

No true investigation of the film was undertaken at the time (or shortly after) the film was taken. The only person who did any sort of investigation was Bob Titmus who went to California and went over the evidence there. Here is a letter to John Green regarding the showing of the film at the University of B.C., and what he found at Bluff Creek:

By the end of the day it became apparent that a few of the viewers felt that there was a possibility the whole thing was a very elaborate and expensive hoax. I felt that this possibility was so extremely remote as to be almost non-existent. (None of these individuals witnessed more than one showing, I believe). However, I did have to take into consideration the fact that I believe that I viewed the film through somewhat different eyes than most of the persons present.

Firstly I think that a taxidermist will see and retain far more detail, while watching an animal, and is probably far more qualified to recognize anything unnatural, than the average person.

Secondly, evidence I witnessed in the mountains of Northern California about ten years ago changed me from a non-believer to a believer and since that time I have spent a major portion of those years, as you know, interviewing witnesses, investigating reports, collecting evidence, casting many, many different tracks, setting up camera and live traps, tracking the creatures dozens of times, etc., all of this was in an effort to capture one of the creatures. All of this experience only strengthened the case of the existence of the creature Bigfoot/Sasquatch.

Thirdly, many years ago I saw one of these creatures at fairly close range and watched it for about ninety seconds before it walked off into the timber.

Almost none of the persons present at the showing of the film had a background of experience like this so it is not surprising that there was some variance in the conclusions arrived at.

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.

While passing through Weaverville I had phoned my sister and brother-in-law in San Diego and invited them up to Bluff Creek for a visit after my several years away and also to see the tracks. They arrived at my camp this particular evening shortly before I was preparing to leave. We stayed over another day. Allene was a skeptic and Harry a hard-headed non-believer. Both of them left there believing in the existence of this creature. I didn't try to convince them of anything. I simply took them to where the tracks were and let them examine them to their own satisfaction and draw their own conclusions. Harry has hunted big game all of his life. He has been all over Africa, Alaska, Yukon Territory, Canada,Mexico and the U.S. and stated that this impressed him more than anything he had ever seen in the bush in all of his travels. Harry made several tests and observations, one of which was walking briskly beside the tracks to try to match their depth of up to an inch and a quarter and more in places. Harry is a 200 pounder and the best he could do was an imprint of about 1/2 of an inch on the rear portion of his shoe heel and one-eighth of an inch and less on the rest of his shoe imprint. We both agreed, considering the depth of the two imprints and the difference in the amount of bearing surface, that the creature that made these tracks would have to weigh at least 600 to 700 pounds.

John Green also filmed a sequence whereby he tried to mimic both the sasquatch and the position of Roger in an attempt to try and estimate the height and thus the weight of the Sasquatch. Although a rather difficult task, it seemed to indicate that the Sasquatch was between 6 feet 5 inches tall and 6 feet 9 inches tall (or thereabouts).

Dr. D. W. Grieve, an English anatomist specializing in the human gait, studied both films (the original Patterson Film and the film shot by John Green), he found that the film showed the foot length to be 13.3 inches and that the creature was not over 6 ft 5 inches:

Earlier comments that this specimen was just under 7 ft. in height and extremely heavy seem rather extravagent. The present analysis suggests that Sasquatch was 6 ft. 5 in. in height, its weight about 280 lb. (127 kg.) and a foot length (mean of four observations) of about 13.3 in. (34 cm.).

His analysis only considered the film evidence and not the footprint evidence which indicated that the footprints were actually 14 inches long. Furthermore, he estimated the stride length at 262 centimeters when it was actually 207 centimeters. He subsequently recognizes these points but does not alter his claim that the being in the film is not over 6 feet 5 inches.

In terms of weight estimates, Dr. Grieve's estimates the weight to be 280 pounds, again based on the film evidence and the assumption that the Sasquatch was one quarter larger than the model used in Green's film (a 6' 5" 180 pound man). In another study, Dr. Krantz came up with a weight of 640 pounds by calculating the volume of each part of the body. Footprint evidence suggests a being of immense weight.

Another problem with the Patterson film is that Roger was not sure of the speed at which he took the film. He usually had the camera set at 24 frames per second but after the filming he found that the setting was 18 frames per second and he wasn't altogether sure when it was changed. It seems reasonable to assume that it was changed when his horse fell on its side (but this is hard to prove, of course). If the film was taken at 24 frames per second, then Dr. Grieve found that the stride was similar to that of a human, although the bending at the knee in one position and the angle of the thigh at another were not similar to a typical stride in humans. At 16 or 18 feet per second, the gait would resemble a humans even less.

Igor Bourtsev, in Moscow, did find an ingenious way of determining the film speed. By analysing the number of strides per second from the jitter in the camera, he ruled out the 24 frames per second film speed since Roger's pace would have been higher than a sprinter. Although that seems like a reasonable approach the matter is by no means closed.

After viewing the Patterson film one is usually left somewhat confused. One would rather not believe in "monsters" or beings from children's fairy tales, but one is presented with a rather large amount of fairly circumstantial evidence. Dr. Grieve makes an interesting observation:

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.

A biomechanical study of the film was done in the U.S.S.R. by Dr. Dmitri D. Donskoy, Chief of the Chair of Biomechanics at the U.S.S.R. Central Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow. He examined both the movie and stills taken from it, and concluded that it showed an efficient pattern of locomotion which differed from that used by humans. Dr. Donskoy noted that the arm motion indicated a being with massive arms and the muscles strong. The leg movements he finds to be typical of massive limbs with relaxed muscles, while the amount of knee flexion far exceeds that of a normal human walk. He concludes that this creature walks is absolutely different from any human gait.

The only way to imitate the Patterson creature would be with a man in a suit. The Patterson film was shown to people in the movie business, and the general conclusion was that if it was a fake, it was a better fake than the professionals could do.

Now what of the detractors? Dr. William Montagna, the director of the federal primate center at Beaverton, Oregon, writing in Primate News, September, 1976 says:

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.

That is quite interesting, but based on that type of reasoning elephants do not have trunks. Hairy breasts are forbidden, until we find an animal with hairy breasts and then it is accepted?

More from Dr. Montagna:

To believers who complain that we scientists are too opinionated to look at the evidence, I reply: Is a scientist to listen to every zealot who regales him with tales of a putrid stench, who shows him fake footprints, or makes films of a man wearing a badly tailored monkey suit? The scientist who is reviled because he won't listen to fantasy goes securely on his way, knowing that life is so full of real wonderment and mystery that he does not have to fantasize. But perhaps I ought to add that man's need to fantasize is a vestigial remnant of his past. It created mythological characters, good and evil; visions of miraculous events, heaven, purgatory and hell. It created the oracles, the art of palmistry, phrenology, astrology and all sorts of other occult sciences. And finally, it peopled man's world with monsters.

Rather than commenting on this statement, I believe it stands on it own (or more likely, does not stand on it own).

8. How big are the footprints? Aren't the big footprints fake? Wouldn't it be easy to fake them?

A substantive answer to "How big are sasquatch foot prints?" and an implied answer to "Aren't the big footprints fake? Wouldn't it be easy to fake them?" from Dr. W. Henner Farenbach:

Foot prints are currently one the "hardest" sasquatch data, since they can be measured in the light of day with a ruler and are not subject to distortion by the emotional state of the observer. The data presented here have been generously provided by John Green from his database with added local records. The data span 38 years and all the Western U.S. plus Western Canada. Many of the footprint records pertain to long tracks that were followed, in some cases, for miles, though still only yielding one data point for foot length. By implication, the records have been collected by many hundreds of people, most unknown to each other, without any knowledge of the "normal" size of a footprint {which isn't known anyway, but see below}. The list consists of raw data and has not been culled according to the "credibility" of the reporters (a purely subjective value judgement, that would only lead to a graph of the analyst's personal preference).

N = 551; Mean = 15.80"; Median = 16"; Range = 4" to 27"; Standard error = 0.131; Standard deviation = 3.07; Variance = 9.4223; Skewness = -0.1930; Kurtosis = 2.1616

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 (Sapunov, 1988). The curve is slightly skewed toward the left side of a histogram (negative skewness), i.e., slightly more small footprints than large ones about the mean by virtue of the contribution of juveniles to the curve, otherwise composed of the two adult sexes. It has a slightly higher peak than expected at the center of the distribution (kurtosis), a result that I attribute to the overlap of a Gaussian bimodal distribution for males and females, which appear to show sexual dimorphism, though not to the degree that a population foot print histogram would show two peaks. The small standard error suggests that further additions to the list would make no noticeable difference. Given these statistics, even a generous handful of contained fake data would not significantly affect the distribution.

Paul Freeman, a long term investigator of Sasquatch in the Blue Mountains, has claimed repeated track finds that are very controversial, and many think he has hoaxed them. René Dahinden is convinced that anything from Paul Freeman is a hoax, and he's not the only one convinced of that. Dr. Henner Fahrenbach thinks that Sasquatch evidence should be evaluated without prejudging it, and that hoaxed data will be revealed through study. Dr. Jeff Meldrum recently bought most of Paul Freeman's cast collection for a purported $2,000.

9. Why can't our satellites see any?

They could, it's just that {a} the satellite images would need to be enlarged to a suitable size and {b} the images would need to be of an area which happened to have a visible Bigfoot in it. The cost and effort of doing a large enough survey would be enormous. (This FAQ Contribution from Gordon Rugg)

10. How do I know if some Sasquatches are around?

  • There are huge barefoot human-like tracks.
  • Every creature in the forest becomes utterly silent.
  • The call of a nightbird is heard during the day, or the call of a daytime bird at night.
  • A powerful, indescribable animal smell is present.
  • A roaring scream, a screaming roar, louder and unlike any other animal, is heard.
  • Trees 4" thick are being snapped in half by a very strong creature that is apparently just out of your sight.
  • A large creature is hitting large sticks against large trees, again apparently out of your sight.
  • Animals are found hung in trees, heavier and higher than a cougar/mountain lion could carry them.
  • Strange pits or rock-cairns are found in remote places.
  • Trees 4" thick are found broken off, ten feet above the ground.
  • Stumps are found in remote places, ripped out of the ground.
  • One apparently speaks to you in your native language.
  • One helps you when you break your leg in the remote wilderness.

11. Why is there a lack of evidence in the winter?

a.      Peter Byrne wrote:

Bernard Heuvelmans was consulted on this perplexing aspect of the Bigfoot phenomenon and is unable to come up with an answer other than that our Homo nocturnus hibernate through the winter months, but this is not a satisfying answer, according to him none of the primates of our plane — us, apes, and monkeys — hibernate or have ever hibernated.

None of the large wild creatures of the Northwest hibernate. The big animals of the Northwest are mountain lion, deer (various species), elk, and bear. None of these hibernate and anyone that thinks that the bear — our bear, here (in Oregon/Washington), hibernates, is wrong. Yes, he may lie up for a a while when the temperature drops below zero and the wind is howling. Our black bear is not a true hibernator and never has been.

b.      They stay where they are, for they are far better equipped than man to spend a harsh winter in the wild

c.       They migrate to warmer areas for the duration of the winter.

d.      They hibernate, as bears do from other geographic areas.

e.      They go "home" and stay out of the cold.

12. How many Sasquatch are there in the Pacific Northwest?

13. Is the population dimishing?

Very few or a population of at least 2,000 individuals. A population that size would yield a healthy population with enough genetic variation in the gene pool to prevent strange recessive genes from being expressed in the progeny. René Dahinden once commented to Henry F. that in the early 1960's around Bluff Creek,California, he found tracks all the time, thousands of tracks. Nowadays, tracks are seldom found. Perhaps the population of bigfeet has been reduced greatly over the last 30 years, or perhaps the bigfeet have learned how to hide their tracks much better. Perhaps human attention itself pushes these beings further away from places of human habitation.

14. What is the "range" of Sasquatch?

Unknown. Reports of Bigfoot-like beings come from the world around. There are some graphs of sighting report densities in the US and Canada on the IVBC web site in the Native American section. Sighting reports and footprint finds have occured in 49 of 50 the United States (not Hawaii), and all ten provinces in Canada. Reports of similar creatures are found in the Himalyas (the Yeti), Australia (the Yowie), The Pamirs, the Caucasus, and the Ural Mountains in Russia, (the Almas and Almasty) the Tien Shan Mountains in China (Yeh Ren), the Cairngorn mountains in Scotland (the Big Gray man), South America, and Africa. Anecedotal data suggests the range is at least the North American continent and one can speculate that related species could be distributed world wide.

15. Do Sasquatch migrate, or migrate seasonally?

Henry F. finds no evidence for migration. The sighting reports and other possible Bigfoot related stories take place in the same general areas consistantly for 150 years. Others have looked for years for migration routes. I believe these beings do not move along predictable seasonal routes. I find it remarkable that the Native American stories from 100 - 300 years ago take place in roughly the same areas as modern sighting reports. This is a controversial view I maintain.

16. Are Sasquatch nocturnal and/or crepescular?

Unknown. The amount of human observers during the day is relatively large, and at night small. There are about the same number of reports from the daytime, as from nighttime, which would indicate that there is more activity at night, since the chance of being seen by a human observer is much smaller at night. There are less humans around at night, and a human can't see as much in the darkness.

17. What are Sasquatch reported to eat?

They are reported to be omniverous, seen eating most edible plants and sometimes are reported eating deer, small rodents, elk, and fish.

18. How tall are they?

Range of Apparent Height: 18" - 15ft

19. Where do Sasquatch make their homes?

Unknown.

20. Is anyone doing real scientific research into the phenomenon of Sasquatch and/or Bigfoot? Has anyone done so in the past?

Yes, but we must extensively qualify this affirmative response. A short taxomomy of Bigfoot researchers follows.

Someone once said, that the search for Bigfoot is a "holy quest conducted by unholy men."

"Most of the Bigfooters begin by gathering all the information they can find, then rejecting those reports or references they deem groundless or unsupportive of their biases. A few of the major players apply certain standards to weed out more vacuous or obviously fatuous data. Others build great middens of material..." [Robert Michael Pyle, Where Bigfoot Walks, pp 187 - Houghton Mifflin 1995]

Youngsters such as myself, consider the "early horsemen" seeking to resolve the origin of the Bigfoot phenomenon as: Peter Byrne, John Green, René Dahinden, Ivan Sanderson, Tom Slick, Bernard Huevelmens, Dr. Grover Krantz, Ivan Marx, Ray Wallace, Bob Gimlin, Jerry Crew, and Bob Titmus. These are the men who began pioneering efforts in the 1950s, many of whom have persisted until the present day.

However, some 'sighting reports' and 'track finds' in the Pacific Northwest of North America were documented by earlier European explorers and researchers. Native oral tradition predates European contact, perhaps by millenia.

Jose Mariano Mozino, the naturalist who accompanied the Spanish explorer Bodega on his expedition to explore the Pacific Northwest coast in 1779 documented native stories about the "Matlox", on Vancouver Island, B.C. His book, Noticias De Nutka published in 1782 in Spanish, and then translated by Iris Higbie Wilson in 1970, (University of Washington Press, Seattle and London) says:

I do not know what to say about the Matlox, inhabitant of the mountainous districts, of whom all have unbelievable fear. They imagine his body as very monstrous, all covered with stiff black bristles; a head similar to a human one but much greater, sharper and stronger fangs than a bear; extremely long arms; and toes and fingers armed with long curved claws. His shouts alone (they say) force those who hear them to the ground, and any unfortunate body he slaps is broken into a thousand pieces.

David Thompson, the great land geographer, found curious animal tracks near Jasper, Alberta which he wrote about in his journal on January 7th, 1811. (see T.C. Elliott, "Journal of David Thompson", Oregon Historical Quarterly, 15 March-June 1914) Some years later, a book of Thompson's, Narrative of His Explorations of Western America, based on his journal, was published. In it he says:

I now recur to what I have already noticed in the early part of last winter, when proceeding up the AthabascaRiver to cross the mountains, in company with.... Men and four hunters, on one of the channels of the River we came to the track of a large animal, which measured fourteen inches in length by eight inches in breadth by a tape line. As snow was about six inches in depth the track was well defined, and we could see it for a full hundred yards from us, this animal was proceeding from north to south. We did not attempt to follow it, we had not time for it, and the Hunters, eager as they are to follow and shoot every animal, made no attempt to follow this beast, for what could the balls of our fowling guns do against such an animal? Report from old times had made the head branches of this River, and the Mountains in the vicinity the abode of one, or more, very large animals, to which I never appeared to give credence; for these reports appeared to arise from that fondness for the marvellous so common to mankind: but the sight of the track of that large a beast staggered me, and I often thought of it, yet never could bring myself to believe such an animal existed, but thought it might be the track of some Monster Bear.

Artist Paul Kane described an 1847 visit to the mouth of the LewisRiver, and a native viewpoint he encountered there, in his 1854 book Wanderings of an Artist Among the Indians of North America (London, 1854) on pages 199-200:

When we arrived at the mouth of the Kattlepoutal [Lewis] River, twenty-six miles from Fort Vancouver, I stopped to make a sketch of the volcano, Mt. St. Helens, distant... about thirty or forty miles. This volcano has never been visited by either Whites or Indians; the latter assert that it is inhabited by a race of beings of a different species, who are cannibals, and whom they hold in great dread; they also say that there is a lake at its base with a very extrordinary kind of fish in it, with a head resembling that of a bear more than any other animal.

Native Americans and First Nations peoples in the Pacific Northwest have been describing and studying the "Bigfoot phenomenon" at least since the very beginning of European contact. Native oral traditions predate European contact in the region, and are possibly 9,000 years old, which is the carbon dated age of the oldest human remains found in the region so far.

Fearsome Animals of the Logging Woods, Including Some of Desert and Mountain, or some comparable title was privately printed in 1910 by its young authors, William T. Cox and Coert Dubois, both of the forest service, after much research and exploration of sources. Mr. Dubois, who afterward entered the Consular Service, illustrated the work most admirably, while George B. Sudworth, dendrologist, author of Forest Trees of the Pacific Slope, devised the Latin names of identification. The volume was sold by subscription largely within the appreciative family of the forest service. No copy of this book is known to exist today.

Fred Beck had an experience on Mt. St. Helens, WA in 1924 which first broke in the Portland Oregonian, July 13, 1924. Articles continued to be published on July 14th, 15th, and 16th. This episode has become known as the "ApeCanyon incident". Fred and his son Ronald later wrote a book about this experience named I Fought the Apes of Mount St. Helens first published in 1967.

J.W. Burns spent many years as a teacher on the Chehalis Indian Reserve beside the Harrison River about 60 miles east of Vancouver B.C. He wrote numerous newspaper stories about the encounters his Indian friends had with the hairy giants, including an article in a major national magazine in 1927. While those stories certainly did not convince non-Indian society that such creatures actually existed, they did make the name "Sasquatch" a household word in that corner of the world.

The LondonDaily Mail sponsored an expedition to look for the Abominable Snowman in Nepal 1954. Over 300 men were part of it including Dr. Charles Stoner, Ralph Izzard, Tom Stobart, John A. Jackson, and Dr. Bisaway Biswas.

Bernard Heuvelmen's book On the Track of Unknown Animals was first published in French in 1955 by Plon, the first English translation of it by Richard Garnett was published in 1958 by Hart-Davis in Great Britain, and Hill and Wang printed the first American edition in 1959.

Tom Slick did a reconnaisance of the Himalya in 1956 looking for clues about the Yeti. Peter Byrne found his first yeti footprint in 1948 in Nepal, and in 1955 he proposed a fall 1956 expedition to Nepal which was written about in an article published in the Australian Sidney Sun Herald of 8/14/1955. Tom Slick and Peter Byrne met in the spring of 1956 in Nepal. The first Tom Slick/Peter Byrne Yeti reconnaisance in Nepal took place from March to April 1957. The "Slick/Johnson Snowman Expedition" of 1958 had members Geraald Russell, Peter Byrne, Bryan Byrne (Peter's brother), George Holton, Norman G. Dyhrenfurth, Gyalzen Norbu, and Captain Pushkar Shamshere Rana. The "Slick/Johnson Expedition" of 1959 was composed of just Peter Byrne and his brother Bryan.

Jerry Crew was a bulldozer operator working for Wallace Brothers Construction (Ray Wallace and his brother) in Bluff Creek California in August of 1958. He said he noticed big footprints visiting the worksite. After about a month of this, he went to a taxidermist friend (Bob Titmus) who gave hime some plaster and intructions on how to use it to make a track cast. He was photographed a month later next to a cast of a footprint track another construction crew member had named "Bigfoot", in an article which appeared in the Humbolt Times of Eureka, CA, written by Andrew Genzoli published on October 1st, 1958. The story got picked up by API and sent around the world on October 6th, 1958. The name 'Bigfoot' dates from these Humbolt Times and API newspaper articles. John Green visited Bluff Creek after he read the API article in late 1958, once with his wife, and once with Gus Milliken from Yale BC. Green says Dahinden first went to Bluff Creek in 1959.

John Green, Bob Titmus, Ivan Sanderson, and René Dahinden were negotiating with Tom Slick to sponsor a Bigfoot expedition by the end of 1959 in Northern California. Ed Patrick, F. Kirk Johnson Jr. (Tom's partner in many ventures, including two yeti expeditions) and Tom's secretary, Jerri Walsh, were there for the first Slick sponsored "Pacific Northwest Expedition" late 1959. Later, in early 1960, Tom Slick brought in Peter Byrne and Bryan Byrne from the Slick sponsored Yeti expeditions in Nepal to run the Pacific Northwest operation assisted by associate Steve Matthes. Dahinden, Titmus, and Green went back to B.C. Ray Wallace, Ivan Marx and John Albert La Pe, made an appearance in Northern California around the time as well. John Green says René Dahinden first asked him about finding a Sasquatch in 1956. Green published an April Fool's Sasquatch article in an Agassiz B.C. newspaper he owned in 1955. In 1961, Tom Slick decided to sponsor a "British Columbia Expedition", Titmus, Green, and Geoff d'Easum were on the Northern Coast of B.C. working for Tom Slick in July of 1961. For more details of this period, please read Loren Coleman's definitive work on this, Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti, 1989, Faber and Faber, Boston and London.

Robert W. Morgan led the "American Yeti Expeditions" in the early nineteen seventies and crossed paths with Peter Byrne in Hood River in the early nineteen seventies. He has an audio cassette for sale on the web at the American Anthropological Research Association web site and he continues to explore the Bigfoot phenomenon to the present day.

Peter Byrne continued to head projects to search for Bigfoot to the present day. He ran the 'Bigfoot Information Center' in Hood River, Oregon, from 1971-1979, and then he was director of the Bigfoot Research Project for it's entire duration from 1992-1997. At this point, he has spent 16 years full time heading a project to look for either the Bigfoot or the Yeti. He is the greatest fund raiser of all time for Bigfoot/Yeti research, and certainly one of the greatest explorers and students of the Bigfoot phenomenon. He was a professional big-game hunter who became a wildlife conservationist. His current investigation is benign, he does not seek to kill or shoot a Bigfoot, he seeks rather to communicate with them in a similar fashion to the one Jane Goodall used with mountain gorillas. He's a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and a member of the Explorers Club. It was Peter Byrne who captured Henry's imagination and inspired Henry to get involved, and it was Peter who invited Henry to join the Board of Advisors of the Bigfoot Research Project and enable Henry to develop lasting relationships with many esteemed collegues.

Peter's most recent approach as director of The Bigfoot Research Project (TBRP) used high technology and computers in its methods. Sighting reports were examined for credibility, rated, and the 400 or so rated sighting reports were then placed in a computer database to look for any "geo-time" patterns that might be determined. Using this data as a means of determining where and when to look for Bigfoot, a remote sensing system was then placed in the remote Cascade Mountains which used seismic sensors to trigger a day/night camera system which broadcast video signals to another location where it was stored on video tape. A helicopter with a FLIR unit was available for rapid response, as was a motor home, a jeep, a snowmobile and Deborah Wolman and Tod Deery as staff. In case of an actual sighting, a biopsy dart named the "K-dart" would be used to gain a small tissue sample, without injury to the animal.

Jeff Glickman designed and built the remote sensing system for TBRP, and he designed and built the computer database and software to look for "geo-time" patterns. At the conclusion of the Bigfoot Research Project, The North American Science Institute, acquired all the TBRP's data and research results. Jeff Glickman is the acting director of NASI, and Tod Deery and Deborah Wolman are the current staff. NASI has access to all of the resources of TBRP plus some news ones. The Institute now has complete access to a state-of-the-art forensic image and audio analysis laboratory in addition to access to an enhanced GIS (Geographic Information system) software package and computer facilities. NASI will also be redeploying TBRP's surveillance system and developing and deploying additional ones. NASI hopes to serve as an institutional home for scientific and educational projects related to the Bigfoot phenomenon. NASI is a curator, clearing house and a disseminator for information and artifacts related to the phenomenon. I am currently a member of the new Research Board of NASI. Twenty five of the most credible reports ('A' class as referred to them), from the Bigfoot Research Project appear in the first journal published by NASI.

The Chinese Government has recently (1996-1997) sponsored scientific "wildman" expeditions into the Shennongjia region in central Hubei Province, China. Dr. Grover Krantz has recently participated in a Chinese expedition.

There are groups of Russians doing scientific work as well. For details read the book In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman by Dmitri Bayanov, published by Crypto-Logos, 1996, Moscow,Russia. This book and another brand new one (1997) by Bayanov,America's Bigfoot: Fact, Not Fiction (which reviews the Patterson film) are available in America and Canada from Pyramid Publications.

21. Can you recommend any Bigfoot/Sasquatch Books and Periodicals:

All the books mentioned in this FAQ and referenced on the web sites are worth reading. Some excellent Bigfoot books not know to be available on the web are:

  • On the Track of Unknown Animals, Bernard Heuvelmans, New York, Hill and Wang, 1959 (Bernard Heuvelmans has republished this book at the hefty price of $42.00, available from John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., Southern Cross Estate, 1 Oldlands Way, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, UK.)
  • Where Bigfoot Walks, Across the Dark Divide, Robert Michael Pyle, Houghton/Mifflen, 1995
  • Bigfoot: The Yeti and the Sasquatch in Myth and Reality, John Napier, New York, E.P. Dutton, 1973
  • Sasquatch - The Apes Among Us, John Green, ISBN 0-88839-123-4 Published by Hancock House/copyright 1978 Cheam Publishing.
  • Big Footprints: A scientific inquiry into the Reality of the Sasquatch, Dr. Grover Krantz, Boulder,Colo.: Johnson Books, 1992
  • Sasquatch Apparitions, Barbara Wasson, 1979 Barbara Wasson.

And there's periodicals:

  • Cryptozoology - Interdisciplinary Journal of the International Society of Cryptozoology.PO Box 43070, AZ85733USA
  • Cryptozoologia, Number 1, May 1995, is available from: Square des Latins 49/4 - 1050 Bruxelles phone 02/647 30 26
  • The Bigfoot Co-Op Newsletter : A bi-monthly newsletter with articles contributed by a good portion of the active Bigfoot field researchers on the scene today. A one year subscription (six issues) is $8.00 The mailing address is: Bigfoot CO-OP, 14602 Montevideo Drive, Whittier, California 90605
  • The British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club : A quarterly cryptozoology newsletter with Sasquatch related articles in most issues.


 Many Thanks Henry Franzoni

 

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