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No. 134: MAR-APR 2001

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Bigfoot Mile-high, But Light-years From Acceptance

Colorado is not prime Bigfoot country. Most Bigfoot reports come from the Pacific Northwest. Nevertheless, enough Bigfoot sightings, hearings, and footprints have accumulated in the Rockies for the Denver Post to print a lengthy review of the Bigfoot phenomenon.

The article identifies three Colorado hotspots: (1) Leadville, where the Little Creek Monster was reported as early as the 1880s; (2) the southern San Juan Mountains; and (3) Pike National Forest. A few reports even come from the plains east of the Front Range.

Coloradans have reported seeing the animals walking along a stream below Loveland Pass, drinking from a pond in the Lost Creek Wilderness, running after deer in the Roosevelt National Forest, chasing cars near Gypsum and roaring at hikers, campers and fishermen in various locations. The reports have come from scientists, wildlife biologists and elk hunters.

Surely, this enough to convince everyone of Bigfoot's reality. Not so! To recognize Bigfoot officially scientists must have a living specimen, a corpse, or at least an good skeleton. They do not. Even though there are thousands of Bigfoot sightings recorded continent-wide plus hundreds of casts of huge footprints, these are not enough. Just as with UFOs and sea monsters, fraud and misidentification abound in that field of endeavor called "cryptozoology."

However, bigfoot researchers do have one advantage over UFO and Loch Ness aficionados ; namely, those hundreds of casts of outsized footprints. Some are so detailed that the skin's ridge patterns are clearly apparent. These ridge patterns ("dermatoglyphs") do not seem to match those of human feet or any of the other great apes. (SF#129)

This is all very good, and some scientists are impressed by the sheer magnitude of the evidence. As G.W . Gill, a professor at the University of Wyoming, comments: "Either the most sophisticated hoax in the history of anthropology has gone undiscovered for centuries, or the big ape exists ." [Of course, the same can be said for UFOs and Nessie.]

On the other hand, if Bigfoot is so ubiquitous, as claimed, why do not the many hunters of lions and bears, who scour the Rocky Mountain wilderness aided by dogs, ever submit credible Big-foot reports? If Bigfoot is really out there, these woods-wise hunters should have seen him or her.

We still need that Bigfoot specimen, dead or alive.

M. Shermer, editor of Skeptic, speaks for most of mainstream science:

If you believe in Bigfoot, you most likely believe in the Loch Ness monster, the lost continent of Atlantis, whatever.

(Stein, Theo; "Not All Scientists Doubt Bigfoot Now ," Denver Post, January 14, 2001. Cr. . G. McCudden and D. Phelps)

From Science Frontiers #134, MAR-APR 2001. 2001 William R. Corliss

Other Sites of Interest

  • SIS. Catastrophism, archaeoastronomy, ancient history, mythology and astronomy.

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