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Author Topic: Evidence for Bigfoot
Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Forensics expert claims Bigfoot is real

I actually saw this guy on the Discovery Channel (or maybe TLC?). His evidence for fingerprint ridges was a lot more conclusive than the article makes it seem.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Muck
The First USA Noel


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quote:
But the vast majority of scientists still believe Bigfoot is little more than supermarket tabloid fodder. They wonder why no Bigfoot has ever been captured, dead or alive.

"The bottom line is, they don't have a body," said Michael Dennett , who writes for Skeptical Inquirer magazine and who has followed the Bigfoot debate for 20 years.

SNIP

Dennett says he's not surprised by the flood of Bigfoot sightings.

"It's the same kind of eyewitness reports we see for the Loch Ness Sea Monster, UFOs, ghosts, you name it," he said. "The monster thing is a universal product of the human mind. We hear such stories from around the world."


I used to travel back and forth to work with Mike back in the 70s in Portland, OR. He was truly hlarious when some innocent Bigfoot Believer came into range. This provided hours of amusement to many of our fellow bus riders.

Muck Yeti was always polite.

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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It's a real shame that National Geographic is running this story. A real damn shame.

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BlueStar
Happy Holly Days


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Bigfoot sounds like a huge leg-end to me. [Big Grin]

I know, I'll get my coat.

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bballad
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Interesting artical in last months sceptic magazen, it was atualy looking at the Yeti myth, the basic conclusion fom reputable explores is that the yeti exist, we jsut call them bears insted of yeti
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BrianB
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
After Bigfoot tracker Ray Wallace died in a California nursing home last year, his children finally announced that their prank-loving dad had created the modern myth of Bigfoot when he used a pair of carved wooden feet to create a track of giant footprints in a northern California logging camp in 1958.
This never ceases to fascinate me. Even after a hoax is revealed that some people still believe. Here's an article from sci.skeptic on good ole Ray:
quote:
"Ray L. Wallace was Bigfoot. The reality is, Bigfoot just died," said Michael Wallace about his father, who died of heart failure Nov. 26 in a Centralia nursing facility. He was 84.

The truth can finally be told, according to Mr. Wallace's family members. He orchestrated the prank that created Bigfoot in 1958.

Some experts suspected Mr. Wallace had planted the footprints that launched the term "Bigfoot." But Mr. Wallace and his family had never publicly admitted the 1958 deed until now.

"The fact is there was no Bigfoot in popular consciousness before 1958. America got its own monster, its own Abominable Snowman thanks to Ray Wallace," said Mark Chorvinsky, editor of Strange magazine and one of the leading proponents of the theory that Mr. Wallace fathered Bigfoot.

Brian "I need a new Winston Bigfoot sig" B
ETA: Fixed a typo

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"Dear Big Foot Smellers: Please don't quote me on some of this information." John F. Winston

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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From the National Geographic article:

"It certainly wasn't human"

Now, Bigfoot advocates are increasingly turning to forensic evidence to prove the existence of the giant creature.

Investigator Jimmy Chilcutt of the Conroe Police Department in Texas, who specializes in finger- and footprints, has analyzed the more than 150 casts of Bigfoot prints that Meldrum, the Idaho State professor, keeps in a laboratory.

Chilcutt says one footprint found in 1987 in Walla Walla in Washington State has convinced him that Bigfoot is real.

"The ridge flow pattern and the texture was completely different from anything I've ever seen," he said. "It certainly wasn't human, and of no known primate that I've examined. The print ridges flowed lengthwise along the foot, unlike human prints, which flow across. The texture of the ridges was about twice the thickness of a human, which indicated that this animal has a real thick skin."

Let's put Investigator Chilcutt on the cross-examination stand and ask him...

Could a hoaxer have created an unusual pattern in a phoney track to give it a unique and therefore potentially believable appearance?

Do you have any evidence that this single print is not a hoax?

Is there any reason to believe that highly-motivated, creative and technologically-capable hoaxers could not produce a print such as this?

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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As I said before, I saw this man interviewed on what I believe was the Discovery Channel, and he was not talking about evidence based on one track in particular. I believe he had dozens that were found in different locations, over a period of decades that had similar ridge patterns. I'm not defending his claim that Bigfoot is real - just that in the documentary he presented much more "evidence" to back up his claims. It was presented very profesionally, and even though I am a skeptic, he argued his case rather well.

I will really try to find the name of this documentary if I can, but I don't have time tonight.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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The Spider in the Ointment
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It's interesting that the "Bigfoot" phenomenon is not really just an American, but a universal phenomenon. "Yeti" is well known because of Everest... but I think every single culture has an equivalent somewhere. Even Scotland does if we go far back enough, and I know someone who claims they've seen the Scottish "Bigfoot" as a child. If you're so inclined, you see them as nature spirits.

The Russians also have "Alma", which doesn't get much publicity. Siberia is even more vast than the north American wilderness... people have even claimed to see mammoth there...

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DemonWolf
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by The Spider in the Ointment:
It's interesting that the "Bigfoot" phenomenon is not really just an American, but a universal phenomenon. "Yeti" is well known because of Everest... but I think every single culture has an equivalent somewhere. Even Scotland does if we go far back enough, and I know someone who claims they've seen the Scottish "Bigfoot" as a child. If you're so inclined, you see them as nature spirits.

The Russians also have "Alma", which doesn't get much publicity. Siberia is even more vast than the north American wilderness... people have even claimed to see mammoth there...

Scotland also has Nessie.

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IMJW-052804

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The Spider in the Ointment
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by DemonWolf:
quote:

Scotland also has Nessie.
Like Bigfoot, Nessie's just the most famous of her species... there's Morag and hundreds of other kelpies. Some are completely forgotten. Bigfoot has his counterparts in Louisiana and other places in the USA... but is famous because of THAT film!

 -  -

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mnotr2
Jingle Bell Hock


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I know that Bigfoot is real. Elvis and Jim Morrison told me so when I stopped at their 7-11 in Florida to get gas.

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Infinite goodness is creating a being you know, in advance, is going to complain.
Captain Billy Cutshaw

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by mnotr2:
I know that Bigfoot is real. Elvis and Jim Morrison told me so when I stopped at their 7-11 in Florida to get gas.

Really? In what town? [Cool] I'll have to stop by and say hi!

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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mnotr2
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Cervus:
Really? In what town? [Cool] I'll have to stop by and say hi!

Why Sarasota of course.

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Infinite goodness is creating a being you know, in advance, is going to complain.
Captain Billy Cutshaw

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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No! Not Sarasota. It was somewhere between Panama City and Destin, near the Tom Thumb.

Edit. OK, I made up the part about the Tom Thumb. But there was a sighting near Eglin.

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Aw, I was hoping it was the Everglades Skunk Ape. [Big Grin]

--------------------
"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
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Aren't all Floridian yeti called Skunk Apes?

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Robigus, Frozen Mushroom
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Spam & Cookies-Halloween Treat:
Aren't all Floridian yeti called Skunk Apes?

No, some are called Governor Bush.

Okay, I got it. [fish]

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eaglesight
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I just spent two hours writing an intelligent, thought-out response to this thread, in which time it was moved and my reply was lost.

Here is the reader's digest version since I don't feel like typing it all out again.

Trying to find an animal like bigfoot or living dinaosaurs is called cryptozoology. It means the study of hidden animals. Such an animal confirmed living is the coelacanth. The gorilla is too. It was considered a piece of legend like bigfoot into the 19th century. I can't find a website to supprt that statement now though. =)

Some things that have happened that are considered evidence are the apparent rotting carcass of a plesiosaur caught by some Japanese fishermen, another carcass that washed up on Moore's Beach in Monterey Bay, CA, sightings by primitive peoples in Africa, and some other stuff I can't remember what I said. Besides the many reported sightings, and the actual taxonimic classification of such a creature.

Then I said some stuff about how it could be possible because we haven't explored everything and there are lots of wild places in the world where such creatures could hide. And some other stuff.

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DrFraud
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by eaglesight:
Some things that have happened that are considered evidence are the apparent rotting carcass of a plesiosaur caught by some Japanese fishermen, another carcass that washed up on Moore's Beach in Monterey Bay, CA, sightings by primitive peoples in Africa, and some other stuff I can't remember what I said. Besides the many reported sightings, and the actual taxonimic classification of such a creature.

"There once was a plesiosaurus
Which lived when the earth was all porous.
It fainted from shame
When it first heard its name
And departed a long time before us."

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"Danger is a good teacher, and makes apt scholars. So are disgrace, defeat, exposure to immediate scorn and laughter."
- William Hazlitt; _Table-Talk: Essays On Men And Manners_

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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From what I've heard, the basic problem with the Yeti is that it's so big (we're talking 8 feet tall and nearly half a ton) that it simply CAN'T be that hairy and not have a body temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit (I'm overstating things a bit). If you look at other animals that large (elephants, for example), you see that not only do they not have massive amounts of hair or fur, but they actually have cooling mechanisms built into their bodies (the large ears of the elephant in this example). I suppose it's possible for something like this to survive in very cold climates, but then you're in a quandary as to how it sustains itself. I won't say it's impossible that a Bigfoot exists in the forests of the Cascades, but I will say that it's very, very unlikely.

As for the "they're a part of the cultural lexicon" argument, lots of things are a part of the lexicon that don't actually exist. Griffins. Hippogriffs. Dragons (yes, there's the Komodo Dragon, but does it a. have wings, and b. breathe fire? No). Chimerae (our own resident Chimera excluded). Cockatrices. A lot of those monsters from Dungeons and Dragons games were based on bestiaries "compiled" by monks in the medieval times; some of them turned out to be true ("BLACK PEOPLE LIVE IN AFRICA") but the vast majority were sheer conjecture, and in general said more about the culture that created them than their actual existence.

Similarly, I think there's a combination of a couple societal tropes at play that make the Bigfoot so popular in this day and age. One is the notion that science, despite its seeming smugness about discoveries and whatnot, could be dead wrong about something as conspicuous as an 8 foot tall hairy creature that has, to this time, left no natural record. The other trope, I think, has to do with the notion that these are peaceful, intelligent creatures that are happy living in an uncivilized, simple manner. Sort of the "noble savage" of our generation.

Well... science could be wrong about a lot of things, it's true, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say probably not about this, and as for the noble savage? That's what Corky from "Life Goes On" and Cuba Gooding Jr. in "Radio" are for.

John Craven

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Give big space to the festive dog that makes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with wheel spokes.

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The Spider in the Ointment
The Red and the Green Stamps


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On a very basic level I sympathise with cryptozoology... after all a surprising number of real creatures have been turned up (that wee beastie in Cuba being an example)... but the bulk of cryptozoologists seem to be more interested in chasing moonbeams.
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Rabidmonkey
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Barns & No Bull:

Let's put Investigator Chilcutt on the cross-examination stand and ask him...

Could a hoaxer have created an unusual pattern in a phoney track to give it a unique and therefore potentially believable appearance?

Do you have any evidence that this single print is not a hoax?

Is there any reason to believe that highly-motivated, creative and technologically-capable hoaxers could not produce a print such as this?

I just wanted to answer a couple of your questions. It is possible that a hoaxer could put unusual patterns into casts. The first cast Jimmy Chilcutt examined contained dermal ridges that he was able to quickly determine as fake, being human thumb dermal ridges. Although it was never determined if the cast was an outright hoax, or if the caster used his fingers to clean up the edges of the cast.

The really interesting thing that I think that Mr. Chilcutt has presented is that he has found characteristics in the dermal ridges that are consistent throughout the 10+ casts with dermal ridges. The characteristics include direction of dermal ridges (running the length of the foot, instead of across the foot as in humans), the size and width of the ridges, sweat pores found along the ridges, and others. All these consistent characteristics have been found on casts made my different people, all around the country, from different sized foot casts, and from casts found back in the 60's to the present. The dermal ridges have also only recently been noted. It seems that if a hoaxer took the time to create these dermal ridges, that they would have also made an attempt for them to be noticed and not wait 40 years. Also, because of the shared characteristics, it would to have to have been one individual or a group with a coordinated effort, or else the dermals would have shown varied characteristics. It seems unlikely that one hoaxer could have been leaving these tracks around the country for 40 years. In addition, it also seems unlikely that a group of hoaxers has stayed together for 40 years making these prints around the country and no one would have been caught or said something.

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eaglesight
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by The Spider in the Ointment:
On a very basic level I sympathise with cryptozoology... after all a surprising number of real creatures have been turned up (that wee beastie in Cuba being an example)... but the bulk of cryptozoologists seem to be more interested in chasing moonbeams.

Actually, I was surprised when I Googled "cryptozoology" to research my post by the number of hits I got from paranormal-themed sites and other kooky places. They probably outnumbered other hits by 3-to-1. My first introduction online to cryptozoologists was as a legitimate, well-researched bunch who are simply trying to examine some evidence. I think the term was coined to mean such serious research but has been hijacked by those who use it in a paranormal or other fringe kind of context.
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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Bravo:
From what I've heard, the basic problem with the Yeti is that it's so big (we're talking 8 feet tall and nearly half a ton) that it simply CAN'T be that hairy and not have a body temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit (I'm overstating things a bit). If you look at other animals that large (elephants, for example), you see that not only do they not have massive amounts of hair or fur, but they actually have cooling mechanisms built into their bodies (the large ears of the elephant in this example). I suppose it's possible for something like this to survive in very cold climates, but then you're in a quandary as to how it sustains itself. I won't say it's impossible that a Bigfoot exists in the forests of the Cascades, but I will say that it's very, very unlikely.

Huh? Elephants have cooling mechanisms because they live in a hot climate. For many types of animals, the ones who live in cold climates are larger because that makes for a smaller surface-to-volume ratio, minimizing the loss of heat though irradiation. Compare a polar bear or a grizzly bear with a jungle bear, for example, or a Siberian tiger with a Bengal tiger.

Jaime

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"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Rabidmonkey:
quote:
Originally posted by Barns & No Bull:

Let's put Investigator Chilcutt on the cross-examination stand and ask him...

Could a hoaxer have created an unusual pattern in a phoney track to give it a unique and therefore potentially believable appearance?

Do you have any evidence that this single print is not a hoax?

Is there any reason to believe that highly-motivated, creative and technologically-capable hoaxers could not produce a print such as this?

I just wanted to answer a couple of your questions. It is possible that a hoaxer could put unusual patterns into casts. The first cast Jimmy Chilcutt examined contained dermal ridges that he was able to quickly determine as fake, being human thumb dermal ridges. Although it was never determined if the cast was an outright hoax, or if the caster used his fingers to clean up the edges of the cast.

The really interesting thing that I think that Mr. Chilcutt has presented is that he has found characteristics in the dermal ridges that are consistent throughout the 10+ casts with dermal ridges. The characteristics include direction of dermal ridges (running the length of the foot, instead of across the foot as in humans), the size and width of the ridges, sweat pores found along the ridges, and others. All these consistent characteristics have been found on casts made my different people, all around the country, from different sized foot casts, and from casts found back in the 60's to the present. The dermal ridges have also only recently been noted. It seems that if a hoaxer took the time to create these dermal ridges, that they would have also made an attempt for them to be noticed and not wait 40 years. Also, because of the shared characteristics, it would to have to have been one individual or a group with a coordinated effort, or else the dermals would have shown varied characteristics. It seems unlikely that one hoaxer could have been leaving these tracks around the country for 40 years. In addition, it also seems unlikely that a group of hoaxers has stayed together for 40 years making these prints around the country and no one would have been caught or said something.

Rabidmonkey,

One thing that we as an audience to the 'Bigfoot' phenomena must keep in mind is human nature, and how people naturally cling to beliefs regardless of how ridiculous those beliefs are. There is a conspiratorial aspect to these types of beliefs (ie Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, UFOs, etc) in which those who are sympathetic to the alleged phenomena consciously or unconsciously give support to (or give reverence to) testimonials and supposed evidence that suggests the phenomena really exists.

IOW, we would like to know if Investigator Jimmy Chilcutt of the Conroe Police Department in Texas is really a Bigfoot 'true believer' in 'real life'. A lot of the so-called experts in Bigfoot, UFOs and such are actually 'true believers' in their chosen expertise. They cannot be trusted for real objective analysis of evidence or testimonials.

For example, look at the 'expert analysis' that Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman gives to the "Skunk Ape" photos in another thread in this category. Loren Coleman on the Skunk Ape Photos .

Notice that he immediately calls the photos 'remarkable'. Then goes on to pose pseudo-objective questions about eyeshine, pupil diameter, the dentition, the tongue, the nails, etc. He immediately does a complete 'end run' around the obvious question of whether the photos are hoaxes. Never mind that the photos might be fake, the 'experts' want to talk about the 'yellow canines'.

So we have to be strongly skeptical even of 'reports' that entire series of 'unrelated' footprints contain so-called dermal ridges. Does everyone agree who views these footprint castings that those are real dermal ridges and not fakery or artifacts of the device or casting process? (Would carved wooden feet sometimes show the 'grain' when making an impression, that later gets called 'dermal ridges'?) Given the biased nature of so-called 'experts', I would not be quick to believe anything they say.

I want to know just how much of an intelligent person and critical thinker this Investigator Chilcutt is before I start to take his word as being meaningful on evidence for truly enormous primates living secretly in North America. I already know that Loren Coleman cannot be trusted to present an objective 'investigation'.

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Terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied... by you!

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Rabidmonkey
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It is hard to tell if people like Mr. Chilcutt have a bias as a true believer. Presently, I believe you could call him a 'true believer' as he had stated he believes in them based on the evidence he uncovered. According to his statements, he originally contacted, and made arrangements to view Dr. Meldrum's collection and cast with dermal prints to disprove them. Although that statement would suggest him being objective with the evidence, it is still a personal statement. The fact that has found several of the casts as fakes also seems to lean to the side of him being objective.

As for the Loren Coleman 'expert' statement, I think that was a bad example. Anyone can call themselves an expert, and lots of people do. Loren Coleman has about zero real world expertise. Mr. Chilcutt does have real world expertise in the fingerprint area. He has been working as a fingerprint technician for decades and is recognised as an expert witness by the courts. The one thing that puts him above others, is that in '95, he began a research project looking at primate print characteristics. According to his statement again, he said there are only 4 or 5 other researchers out there looking at non human fingerprints and that they are all biologists. I don't know who else has investigated the dermal ridges.

I mostly just wanted to put out some of the details of the Chilcutt story as the National Geographic story is mostly just an overview. I just think Mr. Chilcutt has presented information that is atleast interesting.

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Rabidmonkey,

My personal bias in this instance is to insist that skepticism be applied to everything connected to 'Bigfoot' evidence.

I want to know if many different people who view the castings agree that they are seeing impressions of dermal ridges. I want to know from professional plaster casters if they could be seeing an artifact of the casting process. I want to know if it can be established that the collection of footprint castings were truly independently acquired and do not have some hidden relationship with each other. I want to know if there is some cultish association of hoaxers that cause them to act out a role-playing relationship of 'footprint maker' and 'footprint finder'.

A creature like a Bigfoot is not hypothetically impossible in our world. But a gigantic primate that lives in the vicinity of human beings and has never been truly confirmably-encountered nor left a single piece of evidence (not a single hair, bone, fece, etc) in recordable history is just too much to allow to be placed in the reasonable theory category. Yes, the biggest problem with supporting the existence of Bigfoot is the total lack of physical evidence. That not a single hunter has shot one is truly remarkable.

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Terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied... by you!

Posts: 3157 | From: Illinois | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rabidmonkey
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Barns,

I agree 100 percent that skepticism should be involved with Bigfoot claims as with many other things as well. I will try to get to all of your questions. The casts with dermals have been shown to various professionals. The late Dr. Krantz took some casts to various criminal forensic investigators and got agreement that they were dermal ridges although none of them specified species so they well could be human. This same person also conducted what I would deem "field experiments" and could not get false dermals from normal casting experiments. I also wanted to not that plaster is not the normal casting medium. Most of the casts were made of hydrocal, which is a gypsum product and classified as cement. It is used because it is harder, is less exothermic, is finer material and allows for greater casting detail, and is closer to true size than plaster when dried.

The casting collection is rather well documented as for independently acquired. The cast collection Mr. Chillcutt used was Dr. Meldrum's collection that is an anthropology professor at the University of Idaho. The collection is made up of copy's of famous casts, casts collected by Bigfoot enthusiasts/investigators, and from castings that prints that average people either casted or made reports about prints that were casted by various people. There are some relationships between some of the casts such as multiple casts being cast by the same individual.

There are people who hoax Bigfoot sightings and evidence. If there is a cultish association of them, they have kept themselves hidden very well.

As for physical evidence, there is more than you would think. A lot of hair evidence has been found. Dr. Henner Fahrenback has earned the reputation as the hair specialist in this area. Lots of suspected Bigfoot hair is sent to him, and most of it comes back as human, bear, dog, etc. But he does have several hairs that he has said are unknown primate. The only problem with hair, feces, DNA, etc. is that a type specimen is needed for comparison. Feces have also been found that is claimed to be Bigfoot. Once again, it does little to prove or disprove the existence of Bigfoot. The only interesting thing found about suspected Bigfoot feces, is that some of them contain newly discovered parasites in them. The logic presented as to why this was relevant to suggesting the existence of Bigfoot, is that many parasites specialize to having one host. And that the reason the new parasites were discovered is because the host has not yet been identified. I think some of the evidence presented is interestingly suggestive of something new, but the only way to prove it one way or the other is with a body.

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bballad
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Bravo:
From what I've heard, the basic problem with the Yeti is that it's so big (we're talking 8 feet tall and nearly half a ton) that it simply CAN'T be that hairy and not have a body temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit ...
John Craven

This is absolutily not true, not only do Yeti exist in the himalayas, they exist all over the northern hemisphere. Explorers have asked locals in the himalayas o show them yeti, they have seen this rare creature and reported back to the rest of the world. Unforutnitly they are ignored by sectics and cryptozoologists alike. It seems the yeti is know by other names else where in the world, it is a creature that is hugh and very hairy, we call them bear.
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The Spider in the Ointment
The Red and the Green Stamps


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"It seems the yeti is know by other names else where in the world, it is a creature that is hugh and very hairy, we call them bear."

Oh bull... the yeti/meti thing has already been brought up, the only problem is that the hairy humanoid feature DOES exist in Himalayan cultures... it's almost universal. Even the Maori and the Scots and the Russians have their local versions.

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The Spider in the Ointment
The Red and the Green Stamps


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"My first introduction online to cryptozoologists was as a legitimate, well-researched bunch who are simply trying to examine some evidence. I think the term was coined to mean such serious research but has been hijacked by those who use it in a paranormal or other fringe kind of context."

Quite.

"Cryptozoology" means "hidden zoology"... so someone who explores the deep ocean and turns up new life... is - a cryptozoologist.

The first person who verified the giant squid was one... and the existence of the okapi, and the coelancanth...

It is not the hunt for ghosts.

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