Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science

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9780765312174: Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science

In this landmark work on a subject too often dismissed as paranormal or disreputable, Jeffrey Meldrum gives us the first book on Sasquatch to be written by a scientist with impeccable academic credentials. He gives an objective look at the facts in a field mined with hoaxes and sensationalism. Meldrum reports on the work of a team of experts from a wide variety of fields who were assembled to examine the evidence for a large, yet undiscovered, North American primate. He reviews the long history of this mystery--which long predates the "Bigfoot" flap of the late fifties--and explains all the scientific pros and cons in a clear and accessible style, amplified by over 150 illustrations. Anyone who has pondered the mysteries of human evolution will be fascinated and eager to join Dr. Meldrum in drawing their own conclusion.

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About the Author:

DR. JEFFREY MELDRUM is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology at Idaho State University.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

Doug Hajicek, nature film producer, took a break with his cameraman, and wandered near the shoreline of Selma Lake, nearly 1000 miles north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. In the Arctic to film giant lake trout, they had flown into this remote location by floatplane. Along the isolated beach they encountered a crisp 17-inch footprint. The print was exceptionally clear and detailed, and except for its enormous proportions, clearly human-like in form, with distinct toes and a broad rounded heel. Some 40 inches further ahead was another similar footprint, followed by another, and so on trailing alternately into the distance. This resembled no bear track. Besides, a polar bear hind paw measures only between 10 and 14 inches long. The hind paw of an Alaskan brown bear may reach a full 16 inches in length, but their range is generally restricted to the Pacific coastline. Grizzlies do range farther to the east but their foot is only about 10 inches long. Could it be an out-of-the-way Alaskan Brown, or an over-sized grizzly, fishing for giant salmon? Hajicek weighed that possibility but he was familiar with bear sign from extensive documentary film-making with Lynn Rogers, the "man who walks with bears," and he knew that a bear track consists of a distinctive alternating pattern of hind and forepaw prints. The narrow interdigital pad of the fore paw is much abbreviated compared to the hind paw, to which is added an extended distinctly tapering heel pad. Whatever animal had left these tracks was walking upright, on hind feet only, and had struck off from the lakeshore in an apparently determined course with an impressive stride. Judging from the freshness of the tracks, it may even have been the filmcrew`s arrival by floatplane that sent it on its way.

Hajicek’s curiosity was piqued and together with his companion, they followed the advancing line of footprints. For over a mile they traced the creature’s enormous strides, before deciding that they didn’t actually want to catch up to whatever behemoth had left the immense tracks clearly and deeply impressed in the frosty tundra soil. The men remained mystified over what could have been responsible for these prodigious footprints. They returned to the lake thinking that they could readily follow the tracks from the air over the relatively treeless landscape and perhaps overtake the trackmaker. But the pilot of the floatplane refused to talk about the tracks and rebuffed their suggestions to pursue them, and so they gave up on the idea.

Hajicek was unfamiliar with Sasquatch and therefore had no real concept of a giant upright ape upon which to hang the enigma of the footprints. The obvious and unavoidable fact that some unusual animal had made this impressive trackway continued to dog him, and his thoughts frequently returned to the scene of the discovery. The suggestion that someone might have intentionally hoaxed them at that precise spot beside a 70-mile long lake in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, accessible only by floatplane, seemed absolutely nonsensical. Hajicek thought about it a great deal and eventually, with the advent of the Internet, encountered the website of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), and discovered that he was not alone in his experience. In fact, a surprising number of other people had discovered large inexplicable footprints in the wilds of North America. He also learned that the BFRO was compiling an electronic database of reports of sightings and footprints submitted by witnesses from all walks of life. A network of field investigators responded to and documented these reports, where possible, by interviewing witnesses and collecting corroborative evidence, or determining alternative explanations. Hajicek began to educate himself about the accumulated information concerning the history and nature of this hypothetical and strangely elusive primate. He was surprised and irritated that the public at large, and particularly the media, ignored the extensive evidence for the existence of this otherwise legendary animal. Being a filmmaker by profession, he thought what better project than to produce an informed documentary that dealt objectively with the data and explored the question of Sasquatch with an open mind. The folks at the Discovery Channel concurred and so the concept of Sasquacth: Legend Meets Science was conceived.

The format of the documentary was a noticeable departure from the established formula for "monster" media. Instead of trotting out a series of sensational eyewitness accounts with interviews and dramatic recreations, then "balancing" them with retorts by armchair skeptics and willfully ignorant scientific experts, Hajicek opted to let the data stand on their own. He would present the accumulated evidence on its own merits and enlist the expertise of scientists willing to evaluate it objectively and to pursue their analysis wherever it might lead them with out prejudice. Several of these recruited scientists were previously unconcerned with the matter of sasquatch, but nevertheless, in the spirit of exploration, were quite willing to ply their skills to evaluate the evidence laid before them. Others harbored a longstanding interest in the subject, but had rarely spoken openly of it for fear of ridicule and a concern for their reputed credibility. A few of the scientists, like Dr. Bindernagel, Dr. Fahrenbach, and me, had already crossed paths with the evidence and were actively engaged in ongoing research into the matter, in spite of its unpopularity within mainstream science, and even our own institutional colleagues.

The Internet has provided a novel and readily accessible forum for the exchange of ideas and information. Like Hajicek, other witnesses frequently submit reports of their encounters with sasquatch to the many sites on the Internet concerned with the topic. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization was one of an overwhelming number of websites that one is confronted with when searching the Internet for information relating to sasquatch or bigfoot. It was the one that captured Hajicek’s attention and subsequently cooperate during the development of the documentary concept. Many of the pioneering scientists Hajicek would work with were associated at one time or another with the BFRO. For a time the BFRO took the lead among a new generation of amateur and professional investigators. There were a number of organizations of various stripe, but the BFRO boldly touted the distinction of being "the only scientific organization probing the Bigfoot/Sasquatch mystery." A rather grandious assertion perhaps, but, in so far as efforts were made by its investigators to adhere to the principles and methods of scientific research during the collection, handling, and evaluation of objective evidence, that standard was applied with varying success. Like any community, the BFRO was not without its volatile personalities, egos, strong wills, deep-seated opinions, conflicting agendas, and other controversies. However, in spite of intermittent lapses, there has been a degree of cooperation, collegiality, and professionalism among its individual membership.

Matthew Moneymaker, the founder and driving force behind the organization, recruited and sometimes rode rough shod over a line-up of amateur curators and investigators with varied skills and backgrounds. Affiliated with their ranks have been a number of credentialed scientists -- primatologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, wildlife biologists, geologists, and engineers, which pursue a professional interest in the matter. Some of the most dedicated field researchers, however, have little, or no formal training in the sciences, but often possess a vast experience in the outdoors and keen powers of observation and discern

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Descrizione libro Forge Books. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 320 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 7.3in. x 1.1in.In this landmark work on a subject too often dismissed as paranormal or disreputable, Jeffrey Meldrum gives us the first book on Sasquatch to be written by a scientist with impeccable academic credentials. He givesan objective look at the facts in a field mined with hoaxes and sensationalism. Meldrum reports on the work of a team of experts from a wide variety of fields who were assembled to examine the evidence for a large, yet undiscovered, North American primate. He reviews the long history of this mystery--which long predates the Bigfoot flap of the late fifties--and explains all the scientific pros and cons in a clear and accessible style, amplified by over 150 illustrations. Anyone who has pondered the mysteries of human evolution will be fascinated and eager to join Dr. Meldrum in drawing their own conclusion. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780765312174

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