SCIENTIFIC PUZZLERS WILL GO APE OVER BIGFOOT STUDY
The Salt Lake Tribune
March 3, 1993
Big Footprints, By Grover S. Krantz
The gorilla was a mythical beast to European scholars for 250 years until its existence was proven with a skin and skull in 1849. In "Big Footprints" author Grover S. Krantz builds a scientific argument that sasquatch is an undiscovered animal -- the gorilla in our midst.
Krantz, an anthropology professor at Washington State University, asks skeptics to suspend their disbelief and look at the evidence that a great ape lives mostly undetected in the forest of North America. The most common evidence is the big footprints left behind.
Krantz has examined the prints like a sasquatch Sherlock. Examining them in detail -- the dermal ridges or ``fingerprints'' in plaster casts, the number of tracks found over time, plus sightings of huge, hairy, foul-smelling beasts that even frighten dogs -- Krantz deduces it wouldbe too much to hoax.
He believes sasquatch is the closest ape to man, weighing up to half a ton, walking around remote woods at night on feet twice as large as a human's. Krantz estimates a couple of thousand of the shy creatures exist, feeding on carrion, roots, berries and even fir needles, dying in hiding places where their bones are never found.
There are no scary stories -- no tabloid "Bride of Bigfoot" accounts in this book, subtitled "Scientific Inquiry Into the Reality of Sasquatch." Much of it is a detailed analysis of plaster casts of Bigfoot tracks and why they would be impossible to fake. Some sasquatch can be identified by their tracks, and Krantz writes of Dermals and Cripple Foot like favorite pets.
One chapter analyzes a 53-second film shot in northern California in 1967. The photographer, Roger Patterson, and a friend say they surprised a sasquatch and Patterson was able to film it walking away. Krantz goes through the film frame by frame and uses it to judge the size and weight of the animal and make conclusions as to why the film could not have been faked.
Krantz also covers reports of apelike creatures in other parts of the world and theorizes about the fossil that could be Bigfoot's ancestor. In the last several chapters, Krantz bemoans his fate as a scientist in the no man's land between the ``Scientific Establishment'' and the lunatic fringe. He says his part-time interest in Bigfoot has hurt his career as an anthropologist and made him an object of ridicule. At the same time, he'll have nothing to do with people who connect Bigfoot with UFOs or try to communicate with sasquatch by channeling.
He also believes the day is coming when his work with plaster casts will be vindicated and a sasquatch will be killed or found dead, supplying scientists with a specimen. Then doubters will have to admit that Krantz was no crackpot, and that gigantopithecus, like the coelacanth, is not just a fossil.
By Doug Esser, -Associated Press Writer
Submitted by Marlene Trask (Dr. Grover S. Krantz passed away Valentine's Day, 2002)
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