Bigfoot's Museum: Loren Coleman on his new cabinet of cryptozoology curiosities

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For half a century, my friend Loren Coleman has been obsessed with unusual animals, many of which may not exist at all. Loren is a cryptozoologist. He studies hidden and unknown animals, and the mythology, urban legends, folklore, and culture surrounding them. Sure, Bigfoot, Yeti, and Nessie are the big names, but there are countless others -- the Jersey Devil, the Thunderbird, the Mothman, to name just a few. Loren has written more than a dozen books on the subject and posts daily at the Cryptomundo blog, all from a firmly Fortean perspective. Does he actually "believe" in Sasquatch or sea monsters? No, because belief, he has said, "belongs in the providence of religion." He just tries to keep an open mind in order to accept or deny evidence based on examination and investigation.

Over the years, Loren has amassed an astounding collection of cryptozoology curiosities, artifacts, and oddities, from toys, beer cans, and t-shirts emblazoned with one cryptid or another to scientific specimens, plaster casts, and movie props. His collection, called the International Cryptozoology Museum, has been housed in part of his Portland, Maine home and viewable only by appointment only. (Two years ago, he gave BBtv a tour.) But all the while, Loren has dreamt of opening up his wunderkammer to the public. Last month, he finally made that happen. The International Cryptozoology Museum opened in a permanent space in downtown Portland, Maine, sharing space with a fantastically-fringe bookstore Green Hand Books. It has regular hours and admission is just $5. Loren answered my questions in between giving the steady stream of visitors personal tours of the collection.

More photos and interview after the jump!

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Congratulations, buddy! You've been working towards the opening of a public museum for decades. Why is it so important to you?

March 2010 marks my 50th year anniversary of actively pursuing cryptozoological subjects, through doing fieldwork, going on expeditions, working on archival/library research, writing books, blogs, and articles, and appearing in documentaries, on television programs, and on radio shows. It also signals five decades of collecting original cryptozoology items, copies of cryptid casts, expedition artifacts, various forms of other evidence, popular cultural items, tourist souvenirs, cryptid sculptures, original cz art, plus written material, books, and photographs on this subject.

I learned in this field, early on, that people come and go, and other people specialized, usually in Bigfoot only, at the exclusive of other cryptids. Nevertheless, I remained focussed on preserving the history of the general field, holistically, comprehensively, and globally. The human element has been as important, sometimes as the cryptids, to me. The hunters, seekers, and searchers, as well as the artists, writers, and "experts," have their own history to add to the story. Therefore, I tried to buy, gather, collect, and receive items, papers, and books out of respect to the work that people who have pursued these unknowns, these as yet to be discovered species, deserved.

With limited resources, passion, and forward movement, with the stories of research archives destroyed, lost, and stolen being difficult to hear, I collected and collected.

Several years ago, I decided that the next major phase of my cryptozoological life would be creating a museum for these materials. I first decided to do this as an elaborate cabinet-of-curiosities museum in my home, six years ago. Researchers, television producers, filmmakers, and some members of the general public found it. But having anything in your home, especially with my rising popularity, causes some tension with the personal and private parts of your life. The eventual goal, to go public outside my home, was always there. But I had to start somewhere.

Why is it so important? I feel cryptozoology, as a science, is significant to the history of zoology, and I wanted to attempt to be a focal point where people would know that items of historical value could be preserved. While a few Bigfoot museums exist on the West Coast, no one had provided a scientific, educational, and preservation resource just for cryptozoology. Since I had the advantage of gathering so much for so many years, it seemed a natural outgrowth of my appreciation for this field and its researchers.

I needed to go public to extend that educational mission, and assist in the reduction of the fiscal burden of having a static collection of such volume.

What's your vision for the Museum?

In the International Cryptozoology Museum brochure, I have placed the official mission statement. Here it is:

Mission Statement

Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals. These are usually larger zoological species that, to-date, remain unverified by science, such as Yetis, Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and Sea Serpents, as well as hundreds of other yet-to-be-found animals (cryptids) worldwide, but which compelling ethnoknown evidence has been collected for their possible existence. It also encompasses the study of animals of recent discovery, such as the coelacanth, okapi, megamouth shark, giant panda, and mountain gorilla.

The International Cryptozoology Museum™ has as its primary mission to educate, inform, and share cryptozoological evidence, artifacs, replicas, and popular cultural items with the general public, media, students, scholars, and cryptozoologists from around the world.

This museum is the result of five decades of field research, travel, and dedication to gathering representative materials, native art, footcasts, hair samples, models, and other cryptozoological samples. Its director, Loren Coleman has moved his cabinet-of-curiosities collection featured on various cable programs on History, Travel, Animal Planet, SciFi, CNN, Fox, Discovery, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, CBC, and Boing Boing TV channels to downtown Portland, Maine. He and a dedicated battery of volunteers have opened the museum to the public on November 1, 2009, the world's first cryptozoology museum.

Realizing that cryptozoology is a "gateway science" for many young people's future interest in biology, zoology, wildlife studies, paleoanthropology, paleontology, anthropology, ecology, marine sciences, and conservation, the museum will fill a needed educational, scientific, and natural history niche in learning.

Intlczmusuem62 You built it and the crowds have been coming. What's the big attraction?

The attraction appears to be on many levels. Cryptozoology, in general, is very popular.

I am extremely visible in various media, via my books, my Cryptomundo blog postings, and my appearances on currently running and reruns of television programs ("MonsterQuest," "Lost Tapes," "In Search Of," "Weird Travels," and individual documentary television special interviews).

The International Cryptozoology Museum is the first and only museum of its kind in the world.

The museum's unique collection has writers talking about their own personal favorites, such as the Crookston Bigfoot, the P.T. Barnum FeeJee Mermaid, the Furbearing Trout, the Civil War Thunderbird, and other specific items, thus making the articles "personal." As opposed to the media treatments just being about Bigfoot, the diversity, fun, artistic variety of cryptozoology, the authentic and the fakes, the factual and the awful, are part of it, without judgement, as learning tools. For the media, it's a positive story, with a happy ending, about a topic you do not see covered everyday.

Portland, Maine's thriving art community within its rebounding Arts District is a center of some attention and great support in Maine and among artists. The museum sits at the edge of the Arts District, two blocks from the Portland Museum of Art and Children's Museum, next to Longfellow Square, which supports bookstores, cafes, and performing arts centers. It is a thriving, Bohemian, creative location that is exploding with new energy.

The museum opened in conjunction with Strange Maine Gazette newsletter editor and Strange Maine blogger Michelle Souliere's dream of having her own new business, a bookstore. This happened at the front of this location, and she invited me into the space, to share her rent. It was the right opportunity at the right time, and the media has loved this part of the story too. Michelle named it the Green Hand Bookshop, and she specializes in supernatural fiction, mysteries, Fortean books, pulp fiction from the 1930s-1950s, colorful paperbacks for the 1950s-1970s, and related material.

 Mediawiki Images Thumb 7 79 Lorencoleman.Jpg 180Px-Lorencoleman So far, what is the most popular piece on display?

The Crookston Bigfoot, created by Wisconsin taxidermist-artist Curtis Christensen in 1990, is by far the most popular piece that is part of the museum. It is located right inside the front door to the bookstore, serves as the first attraction in the museum, and everyone comes in to look at it, take their photos with it behind them, or just stare at it. The left front store window is the museum's, has a display in it, and the Bigfoot is sitting right behind that.

At the back of the Green Hand Bookshop is the ICM, so people have to walk through the bookstore, pay their five dollars, and then enter the back hallway and room that is the jam-packed museum.

The Bigfoot pulls many people into the bookstore who never even come into the museum, but, well, I guess that's my gift to the world. The Bigfoot gets everyone smiling and thinking. I like that. Some people take it seriously, some folks laugh and don't. That's okay. It gets a reaction that provokes thought, no matter what.

The Bigfoot itself is enormous, being 8 feet tall (8.5 tall with the stand) and about 400 pounds. It is a beautiful piece of taxidermy sculpture.

Were there any pieces that you just couldn't bear to let leave your house?

This museum is a beginning. I would like more room someday, but I had to start out smaller than desired to see if I can make the rent and expenses. I have kept the admission price at the lowest possible amount, five dollars for all ages, no discounts. One-year, five-year, and lifetime memberships are available. These first few year's prices are low so no one would feel mislead by the collection's size, which actually has multiple layers of exhibitions in 500 square feet, with two display cases in the middle of the room, shelves all around, items up front and in the hall, and more. For example, there are 15 ft ceilings in the space and the 11 ft long Fox-TV "Freakly Links Thunderbird" is displayed from on high. On another wall is the almost six foot long lifesize coelacanth.

 Wp-Content Uploads Unknown-13 Also, although I have some wonderful docents, headed by Jeff Meuse, my coordinator, and his wife Jessica, I am the only one who knows the collection, thoroughly, so I am conducting all the tours. I'm hoping to bring some of the volunteers up to speed in 2010, for I have talks to give and more documentary appearances to make. For example, I'm giving a keynote on "Bigfoot in Film" late in January 2010, and delivering a talk at a Mystery Cats Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in March, then going on to Loch Ness.

Did I leave any pieces in my home that need to be in a future museum? Well, in a roundabout way, yes: My 40,000 volume cryptozoology library, which I would like to make part of a larger museum someday.

I would configure the museum differently, also, if I had more space for more display cases that would allow me to exhibit smaller, more valuable figurines I do not have now displayed due to the possible loss of them.

But, in general, I'm very happy with what I have been able to share with the general public in this initial offering. Also, I plan to rotate new exhibitions in, all the time, and actually change around an entire shelf subsection once every three months or so, to keep displays alive, so to speak.

What's your favorite piece in the collection?

My favorite piece, other than the sentiment value I attach to specific items that were gifted to me by my sons, is the original flag from the 1960 World Book expedition headed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Marlin Perkins, who were allegedly in search of the Abominable Snowman. (They were also spying on Tibet, but that's another story, altogether.) This flag, one of the first items I ever collected, parallels my entry into the field in 1960, and that the first cryptids that aroused my questions, curiosity, and interest were the Yetis.

Is there a particular artifact out there that you've always wanted to display but haven't been able to acquire?

I feel that within the present cultural milieu of what is recognized as significant in the history of cryptozoology and what I know is still out there someplace, I would like to obtain the Minnesota Iceman for the museum. Even though I understand it is a fake or copied model, I would be delighted with it. It has gone on and off the market for over $10,000 in the past, and I have always wanted to acquire it for my collection.

Bates College Museum of Art attempted to merely rent it for the 2006 Cryptozoology traveling exhibition curated by Mark Bessire and Rachael Smith, but I understood there were issues with transportation and insurance costs being much too high. I certainly know it would be a great centerpiece for the future expanded ICM, and that would be my reachable dream.

Bigfoot in a museum would be the great, but probably unattainable, Holy Grail.


    1. Ha! Just recently, my wife mentioned that she always just assumed that Chewbacca was supposed to be a Bigfoot.

  1. …It also encompasses the study of animals of recent discovery, such as the coelacanth, okapi, megamouth shark, giant panda, and mountain gorilla.

    Coleman seems like a nice guy, but I’m curious how the biologists who study those species would feel about being lumped into the same group as jackalope taxidermists and Nessie chasers.

  2. [i]Does he actually “believe” in Sasquatch or sea monsters? No, because belief, he says, “belongs in the providence of religion.”[/i]

    Does that reply sound weird to anyone else? The questioner is clearly asking whether he thinks there’s enough evidence to justify the existence of these cryptids. Coleman’s response was needlessly coy, especially for someone who has been doing this for 50 years.

    1. I didn’t ask him that question directly and get that response. I’ll clarify by editing “he says” to “he has said.” Still, I think his comment is quite meaningful. In my view, once you “believe” something, that ends any debate or discussion around an issue you might have, even inside your own head.

    2. This is actually a pretty common idea among fortean types, starting with Fort himself. I think John Keel phrased it best in The Mothman Prophecies:
      “I don’t believe anything, because belief is the enemy.”

      If you work on the fringes of science, you are hit daily with things that don’t fit into your model of reality. To believe in some and not others is to reject possibilities based on your (explicitly arbitrary) existing structures of belief, whereas blissful agnosticism of the type employed by true skeptics and good scientists does not get in the way of research. There is a fundamental difference between saying “it doesn’t seem like this is legit” and saying “this is a hoax”, and fortean types tend to say the former when a lot of more mainstream scientists say the latter. This means that they take a look at plenty of things that are absolute BS, but it also means that they take a look at plenty of things that merely appear to be absolute BS. To believe *anything* would make this tenuous and highly valuable situation impossible to maintain, and cryptozoology would quickly become a cult theology.

      Whether or not things exist is generally not the point of serious cryptozoology; people who say their goal is to “prove bigfoot exists” will not be reserved and impartial in the data they put out. Being out on the fringes of the accepted is fun, and BS is just as amusing as reality.

  3. #4, that’s because he doesn’t want to think of himself in the same vein as people who believe in angels and fairies and whatnot, but there’s the same amount of verifiable evidence (ZERO) for bigfoot and Nessie as there is for any mythological creature.

  4. In my view, once you “believe” something, that ends any debate or discussion around an issue you might have, even inside your own head.

    Why, just the other night I said to myself “I believe I’ll have a beer.” Then I went to the fridge and found that I was fresh out! The paradox nearly destroyed my entire concept of the universe.

  5. The problem with believing in cryptids, particularly ones that have achieved a certain level of pop-culture notoriety, is that even if you have valid scientific reasons for thinking they might exist and deserve further study, you are considered a crackpot. And even if tomorrow someone does find an actual bigfoot corpse, you will still have a sheen of “crackpot” in the minds of some people. Of course some of those people believe in god, despite even less evidence, and no real way to prove his existence anyway.

  6. A hominoid still undiscovered in this day and age? I wonder what a respected primatologist and anthropologist like Dr. Jane Goodall might say.

    1. I’m still waiting for Dr. Goodall to explain how such primates could have migrated to North America from Africa, much less maintain a breeding population here for all of human history without leaving any physical evidence of their existence.

  7. It also encompasses the study of animals of recent discovery, such as the coelacanth, okapi, megamouth shark, giant panda, and mountain gorilla.

    But sadly not the strange new sea cucumbers, transparent-headed fish, or many others that are too weird to be rumors before they were discoveries.

  8. Carl Sagan once said he was depressed when he saw people really into astrology because he couldn’t help thinking how more useful to society, and ultimately more fulfilling to the individual if their enthusiasm for nonsense could be channeled into real science.

    As a biologist I feel the same way about cryptozoology. There *are* undiscovered species out there. Biologists realize this. Imagine if instead of obsessing about Bigfoot and Nessie the self-declared “cryptozoologists” went on field trips to the Amazon and helped catalog the actual undiscovered species there. Granted, they are mostly uncharismatic insects, but still they teach us a lot about biodiversity.

  9. Takes lots of guts to stick plans and ideas outside the mainstream. I say congratulations Loren.

  10. Jane Goodall has said she believes in undiscovered primates and as for evidence, how many times have scientists denied the existence of something that later proved to indeed be very real? Please don’t give me the “If they existed, we would have found a body” nonsense either. I have hunted my entire life in woods teeming with literally millions of whitetail deer and I can count on the fingers of one hand(with a couple of fingers left over) the number of deer carcasses I have stumbled across in the woods. Now imagine if you had a species perhaps intelligent enough to actively hide their dead. Just because a few well-known frauds have been foisted on the public is no reason to doubt all evidence before it is carefully evaluated.

    1. All of the dozens of whitetail deer corpses I’ve seen have been along the side of the highway. Clearly, if Sasquatch exists, it’s smart enough to avoid its natural enemy – the Buick.

  11. FYI

    The Green Hand is run by Michelle Souliere who writes the wonderful “Strange Maine” blog and the “Strange Maine Gazette”…sort of a Weird New Jersey for people in northern New England. She does a wonderful job researching all the history, folklore, and other nutty stuff coming out of that state.

    Check out her webpage when you get the chance:

  12. Bigfoot is real. A hundred or so years ago people thought that pandas and gorillas weren’t real.

    People have had sightings for hundreds of years, Native american stories abound ( as well as other cultures like Tibet), and even though the prime hoax period has ended there are still sightings reported.

    The main proof is the volume and location of sightings, which are consistent enough not to be possibly hoaxed by any one individual or even groups of individuals. Go to The fact is that people keep seeing them.

    No one’s shot one yet because they are terrifying and at the same time mostly humanoid, enough to make people instinctively not want to shoot one.

    And I quote “Chewie, is that you?”

    1. A hundred or so years ago people thought that pandas and gorillas weren’t real.

      Then why were they assigned their current scientific taxonomical names in 1869 and 1847, respectively? Those species were fairly well documented even before photography was practical in remote places, and the only reason they held out as long as they did is because they live in remote areas that were still largely unexplored by naturalists.

      By contrast, if Bigfoot legends are to be believed then those creatures live in populated areas across North America in an age of cell phone cameras and DNA labs. That’s not just a “shy hominid” level of evasion, that’s some sneaky ghost ninja shit.

      Bigfoot legends are fun and I’d love to visit this museum as much as anybody but let’s face it, no species has ever been discovered by a self-described “cryptozoologist.”

  13. I thank David for the good interview and this posting. I also appreciate those who have not been sidetracked, but who celebrate the museum as a focal point for an interest in wonder, curiosity, adventure, history, fun, animals, and an understanding of the gateway importance of cryptozoology.

    The anthropologists and zoologists of yesteryear are not the ones of today. Many who are in academia currently realize that their early sincere intrigue with cryptozoological topics (way beyond Sasquatch and Sea Serpents) have fostered a lifelong pursuit of new species and unanswered questions.

    Despite a history of bones of contention and pitfalls like the Piltdown Man, we all realize anthropology gives us insights into human mysteries, just as those aware of how rare cryptid fakes are understand how the cryptozoological method (listening to ethnoknown folklore and sightings, then producing evidence) tell us much about the possible zoology of the future.

    The International Cryptozoology Museum respects and is interwoven with the fabric of science that gives us zoology, anthropology, marine sciences, and more. The museum serves as a place to preserve how cryptozoology has been involved, naturally, in the discoveries of the past, present, and future, in spite of the very few but much publicized hoaxes and missteps. Part of the objective of the museum is to share the reality that cryptozoology is not just about Bigfoot, Abominable Snowmen, and Nessies, of course. Thanks go out to those with minds open who are willing to consider that broader fact.

    Most sincerely,
    Loren Coleman

  14. Maybe explain why people continue to find footprints and to have sightings, from a wide spectrum of geographical locations and from a wide range of respected and trustworthy people. There aren’t enough hoaxers to pull it off for so many years!

    My friend was a forester in Oregon who had a job doing fire watches. He said he found tracks, out in the middle of nowhere, and when he camped in a valley he was scared shitless because of their howlings, back and forth.

    You could face the fact that lo and behold, science hasn’t discovered everything yet. They found a deer in vietnam jungles only a few years back with gills on it’s muzzle, for pete’s sake. No one can say science has perfectly solved everything. That would be naieve and contrary to the very basis of knowledge and scientific reasoning/exploration/discovery.

    Why would there be a long and consistent history, common even to this day, of sightings and tracks? Bear suit? Track making shoes? for 400+ years ( which would only cover european settler documentation, not the Native americans history)?

    As for sneaky ninja, there’s reportedly not that many of sasquatch but THERE ARE MANY DOCUMENTED SIGHTINGS! I don’t know much about cryptozoology, I just stand by reason about Bigfoot.

    1. Nobody is claiming that all bigfoot sightings are hoaxes- I’d guess that around 99% of evidence is plain old self delusion. Same goes for space aliens and demons, which have similar track records for evidence dating back thousands of years.

      Also, nobody has claimed that “science has discovered everything.” I’m sure that there are many wonderful new species out there to discover and I can’t wait to learn about them. I’m just not betting that one of them will be a new species of North American ape.

    1. p.s. Giant squid

      Yes, giant squid. A species known to naturalists for centuries through large amounts of physical evidence despite the fact that it lives in an environment so remote that we’re still only beginning to explore it. And just one of the mysterious, wonderful creatures on our planet that real scientists would love to learn more about.

      Not sure what they have to do with Bigfoot though.

  15. Yay Loren!! Now send me another cryptid mutant to draw, too much time has passed since the last. “Woof! Woof!” ;)

  16. “I’m still waiting for Dr. Goodall to explain how such primates could have migrated to North America from Africa”

    Because there are NO primates in Asia, right? Gibbons, orangutans, _Gigantopithecus_, dryopithecines – you’re on notice!

  17. I just love how people claim there’s “ZERO evidence for sasquatch” without even bothering to consider the mountain of evidence that does exist and the credible examinations of said evidence done by respected (non-cryptozoologist) scientists. They just make the assumption that the evidence is fake or non-existent. Hardly a rational scientific approach!

    Occam’s razor says that the simplest explanation or strategy tends to be the best one. Now you tell me, if you find over-sized foot prints complete with dermal ridges that cannot be identified as belonging to any known primate in a remote mountain valley that’s essentially the middle of nowhere, which is the simpler explanation? That there’s an unknown hominid inhabiting the remote reaches of North America (and if you don’t think they’re remote, you’ve never flown over the Pacific Northwest!)? Or that there are people with enough time, resources and expertize to trek to these remote locations without leaving any signs of a human presence except for these “fake” foot-prints in locations where the chances they will be found are extremely slim to non? They would have to place millions of hoax prints in remote locations in order to account for the few that are actually found.
    Seems to me that it’s more logical to conclude that it’s possible there’s an unconfirmed hominid out there. But then, I’m just a “crackpot”.

  18. And of course there are only two options: real, or hoax. Misinterpretations do not happen.
    Occam’s razor: ur doin it wrong.

  19. I’ve had this Bigfoot argument with Brainspore before on this very site, I don’t particularly want to have it again. All I can say is he seems to have a very strong opinion, and there’s no argument you can make that will convince him otherwise; he seems to take the corpus delicti route: no Bigfoot specimen means no Bigfoot. I can understand that.

    What I don’t understand is why he needs to denigrate the notion of Bigfoot whenever it gets posted on boingboing; I have no great love for steampunk, but I don’t feel a need to post “this is lame” every time there’s some new steampunk gadget here.

    Brainspore, if you don’t think cryptozoology (or this particular strain of it) is valid science, fine, but it’s not hurting anybody. Wouldn’t your time be better spent trying to get newspapers to stop publishing astrology columns?

    1. I want to correct one thing: I never said “there is no Bigfoot.” My stance is “there is currently no compelling evidence for Bigfoot.”

      1. “compelling evidence” is in the eye of the beholder; seems like a lot of people think hundreds of sightings, footprints and blurry film are compelling enough to spend their lives studying the phenomenon.

        In other words, it’s a matter of opinion, not scientific certainty.

        1. I never meant to imply otherwise. FWIW, I find Bigfoot a very entertaining topic- just not a very likely reality. I look forward to visiting Loren’s museum if I ever make it to Maine.

          1. Here’s my feeling on cryptids. No proof that they do exist. No proof that they don’t exist. So you look at probability.

            Nessie: Very small search area. Several scientific expeditions finding that the loch can barely support fish, let alone a monster. Hundreds of thousands of tourists scouting for signs. Probability approaches zero.

            Bigfoot: Vast, uninhabited, heavily forested search area. Number of searchers insignificant compared to search area. Probability remains unknowable, thus 50/50.

  20. People find tracks, people have sightings. Many of those people are very credible, like policeman or long time hunters or foresters, who would have nothing to gain and only to lose by coming out and saying they saw a giant hairy creature in the woods. That plus a long history dating back before european settlers as well as the settlers themselves having sightings, in a time before mass media, a time when a mass hoax wouldn’t have been viable. Native american tribes in California were sculpting monkey-esque/gorilla heads before the europeans even arrived. Why would they do that in North America?

    Regardless of doubters, you have to admit said facts. These facts are conclusive in that a hoax is impossible to pull off at that level, with so many locations and calibre of witnesses, who often had sightings in groups of people. Yet people are seeing something, hearing something and finding large tracks which have all the characteristics of a giant walking hominid.

    If the discovery of strange exotic animals previously unheard of and unfounded ( according to almighty science and research ) which had prior to finding a specimen garnered only derision and laughter, as you are so alluding to and perpetuating towards people who believe in the evidence of sasquatch, then you aren’t making the most basic of logical connections. Only a few believed in earlier unfound animals, to the criticism of others. The same is being done here. It’s no different. The forest isn’t being watched 24/7 by security feeds. The Sasquatch is mostly nocturnal, intelligent, rare and by all accounts extremely elusive. It’s not like there’s herds of them flocking together.

    But fortunately, the existence of a creature like sasquatch isn’t dependent upon the opinions of doubters. It’s dependent upon evidence, of which there is plenty. Last i checked, hearing and seeing was empirical evidence, not to mention a documented history, BOTH native and western. Again, maybe you can explain why detailed footprints indicating appropriate bones structures and anatomy consistent with a walking ape family species are continuing to be found, as well as the sightings by credible witnesses. You can’t.

    If you say self delusion, then you are victim to said delusion as well. Self delusion is a concept used by conservatives to eliminate what doesn’t fit into their narrow vision of the world. How could you be any less delusional than credible witnesses? If you believe something contrary to the modern view, ( which is constantly changing anyways) then you must be mad. This is how it has worked from medieval times to now. Before it was religion, now it is science.

    In my humble opinion, without criticism towards anyone and from experience, I think it’s quite arrogant to believe that there aren’t things that science hasn’t found, that there aren’t things beyond our current understanding and even our current ways of thinking or tools of understanding. Just because it seems unlikely doesn’t mean much. We don’t know everything yet! We aren’t said masters of the world, let alone the north american wilderness, which still has enough left to hide a creature like sasquatch, especially on the west coast where there are the most sightings.

    We have yet to reach an age of full knowledge, so why limit possibilities that have concrete and logical evidence? Why side with the latest conservative view point, which is destined to become antiquity and pitied by the view of those in the future? No one with intelligence would think back to the time when people were killed for saying the earth was round and think “Ah, the good old days.”

    Evidence doesn’t point to a hoax. Evidence points to a large upright ape descendent, like us, and that threatens the common view of man and environment that we have all been raised with, so some people shut their eyes to the evidence before us.

  21. I would never have believed in mr. foot unless I had this friend of mine. I found lots of books on bigfoot on his shelf one day and I laughed at him and asked why. Then he told me about being in the middle of nowhere/Oregon forest on firewatch and finding large tracks by a river bed. He camped in a valley between larger hills or mountains passes and he could hear them screaming back and forth. At first he didn’t know what the hell it was and he was scared because it didn’t sound like any animals he had heard before, being a forester, and then he did research and matched the sound with what has been previously recorded.

    I had laughed at him at first because it was so out of character for him to be involved ( at least from the standard cultural response most have) in this kind of topic. All his other books and concerns in the world are extremely practical and forthright. He’s a sane upright individual who would never get tripped out by pseudo sciences.

    Otherwise, I would not have given a thought to this whole phenomena, especially based on the odd cultural reference or an old episode of unsolved mysteries. To each his own, I guess. It’s not like anyone’s got a *big HAIRY foot* against anyone’s head. *puts foot down*.

    But seems respectable enough and the whole footprint/sightings evidence is convincing to me because it has a pattern too large for hoaxing and it coincides with encroaching man, i.e. sightings increasing based on a dwindling forest.

  22. I’m not happy with having coelacanths and megamouth sharks lumped in with yeti and bigfoot. Not so much in the context of the museum and the collection, which are quite interesting when viewed as a whole, but in other ways the whole bigfoot obsession strikes me as rather sad.

    It is as if the natural world isn’t good enough, isn’t interesting enough. To be of interest, things have to be big, so-called charismatic megafauna, or they have to be vertebrates, warm-blooded and close to human. The obsession with things almost human strikes me as vanity. There are those who are desperate to see fairies, but who would ignore the splendid little wool-carding bee patrolling his territory that is the patch of mint right outside their doorstep, beating all intruders save for females of his kind. Those he handily seduces. You can have a cup of tea and watch these happenings almost effortlessly. And you don’t have to go to Loch Ness or the Pacific Northwest.

    Really, it seems to me to be an insult to the bees in the garden when you insist on believing in the fairies at the bottom of it.

  23. Human nature generates boogeymen: the legends and myths of North American tribes probably date to their first contacts with other races eg white men with long red hair. Hoaxers have fun (and profit) with costumes, faked footprints, and phony reports. Honest people can be very poor eyewitnesses, and well-meaning people get scared by strange sounds in the woods at night, and taken in by distorted or hoaxed footprints. Even the Bigfoot believers admit that even by their loose criteria 9 of 10 reports are not worthy of further investigation. Yet they make make the newspapers and the 6 o’clock news. Bigfoot “sightings” and “prints” are reported, not just in remote “unexplored” “cryptid territory” like forests in the Pacific Northwest, but all over the US from Florida to Ohio to Washington to Alaska to West Virginia to New England and New Mexico, in rural, urban and suburban settings; swamps, deserts, woodlots, hills, valleys, mountains. Crossing roads, migrating away from winter weather, robbing dumpsters, throwing rocks, making unearthly calls, maintaining breeding populations, yet shy and impossibly sensitive to human presence, secretive, concealing their tracks, feces, colonies, burying their dead, and never once leaving a living or dead specimen or even credible evidence. The idea of an undetected new genus of giant primate living in a temperate zone, all over North America is ridiculous. The Bigfoot is a cultural, not biological phenomenon. Bigfooters try to “cross-examine” rational people, to get them to admit that Bigfoot is “possible;” well, it is “possible” that a flying saucer is going to pick me up today. But is that what we mean by “possible?” Should we spend our time and money, as a nation or as individuals or as a scientific community on something that is “millions to one” unlikely? As soon as someone like Jane Goodall says “it’s possible….” then the Bigfooters trumpet it forever as if she were a weather forecaster saying “…possible showers…” ie something that might actually happen in the real world. No, for my money, Bigfoot is not possible. And I have been known to buy a lottery ticket.

  24. Yesterday I had a revelation (ha ha) on this very topic. I realized that it was impossible for this creature to exist unless, of course it was immortal or extra-terrestrial, both highly unlikely. The reason is quite simply. Every species requires a breeding base & if they have one the numbers will be large enough that they won’t be able to hide. They’ll be QUITE noticeable. Therefore bigfoot does not exist. Sorry.

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