Bigfoot Encounters

The Rant Mullins Saga

Bigfoot Jokester Reveals Punch Line — Finally

 
1982 - Rant Mullins, whose name recently appeared in wire service news stories and on national television, has been sending tremors through the "Bigfoot Community."

A longtime resident of Toledo, Washington, north of Mount St. Helens, in the heart of Bigfoot territory, Mullins, now 86 says he has tramped the woods since 1910 without seeing a sign of Sasquatch.

In 1924, Mullins and a companion George Ross rolled some rocks onto a cabin along the so-called Ape Canyon on Mt. St. Helens and may have been responsible for Fred Beck's legendary Bigfoot "encounter" (a tale with a number of highly questionable aspects to it).

Mullins, a retired logger, disclosed this spring that while working for the Forest Service in 1930, he and some of his friends decided to "have some fun." Mullins fashioned a pair of 9 inch by 17 inch "feet" with a hatchet and a jack-knife from a piece of alder wood.

Bill Lambert, who was with Mullins, took the wooden feet to a spot at the base of Mount St. Helens where there were some huckleberry pickers.

According to Mullins, Lambert walked around the pickers' cars making "Bigfoot" prints. Later in the day, when Lambert and Mullins along with others were at the Ranger Station, the pickers came running to them to report the tracks.

Mullins lost track of his handiwork from the summer of 1930 until 1948, when Bert Lewis, one of the original hoaxers return them to him. In 1969 he supplied another pair of 16 inch wooden feet to Ray Wallace who allegedly took them to Northern California. Ray Wallace and Rant Mullins were neighbors in Toledo, Washington.

In all, Rant Mullins claims he made eight sets of these wooden feet, most of which went to California. After explaining how he carved them, Mullins displayed his last set for the Skeptical Inquirer. They bore a striking resemblance to the 14.5 inch plaster casts of tracks cast by such famous Bigfoot proponents as Bob Gimlin, Rene Dahinden and Roger Patterson.

Mullins believes the Sasquatch legend in California and the Pacific Northwest is based solely on the hoaxes made from "his wooden feet" and says some of the Bigfoot promoters are well aware of that possibility. Resentful of Roger Patterson, Mullins claimed he talked with an associate of Patterson who help hoax Patterson's famous "Bigfoot" film taken at Bluff Creek, California October 20, 1967. Mullins was told the costume was made of bear hides. [The source was never named, - the costume never surfaced.]

Mullins said he wanted to get the practical joke off his chest and challenges the Bigfoot promoters to show he's wrong. He added that he is willing to undergo a polygraph test to substantiate any and all of what he has said. [According to the Mullins family, he was never polygraphed.]

This article was written by and Michael Dennett for the Skeptical Inquirer 7 (1):8-9 in the Fall of 1982 and was sent to me courtesy David Daegling, Dept. of Anthropology at the University of Florida, received June 8, 2001. In the original article, Dennett used 'Rent Mullens,' which is incorrect, his name correctly spelled was 'Rant Mullins.'

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