Are Women in the Bigfoot Field
Better Observers or Men?

The question was asked, "why do some people think that a Sasquatch is more attracted to a female in the woods?"

Three names...
1. Dian Fossey and her fieldwork with the Karisoke mountain gorillas in Virungas Volcano Nat'l Park in Rwanda east Africa.
2. Jane Goodall and her famous hands-on fieldwork w/chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream Nat'l Park on Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania
3. Dr. Birute Galdikas, noted for her continuing fieldwork w/orangutans at Camp Leaky in Tanjung Puting Nat'l Park in Central Indonesian Borneo

All 3 nationally recognized women in the field were highly influenced by Dr.'s Louis Leakey and George Schaller. None of these women were chosen on the basis they'd be more likely to 'attract' wild non-human primates they were to study but all of them were chosen more likely because they were self-assured, fearless, gutsy, highly intelligent and self-motivated women.

Fewer people have had more impact on the study of primate origins in his time than Anthropologist Dr. Lou Leakey, PhD., who continually selected attractive women to conduct field research because he believed they made better observers than men; women who were more perceptive, more patient, had a better eye for detail, were less fearful than men and did not excite aggressive tendencies in male primates.

In the field of Sasquatch research one of the more prominent early women in the field before her retirement was anthropologist Dr. Connie Cameron in Whittier, California also noted for twenty-five years devoted to the publishing of 'The Bigfoot CO-OP Newsletter" and long time enthusiast Joyce Kearney. Earlier still, there was British author-anthropologist, Dr. Myra Shackley along with the Sumatran field specialist Debbie Martyr. Marion T. Place authored four children's books on Bigfoot; Sali Page Sheppard-Wolford and Ramona Clark Hibner whose field research was limited to the State of Florida. These women were followed by author-psychologist Dr. Barbara Wasson who was often a companion field investigator with the late Rene Dahinden. Bobbie Short came along in the '80's working the Southwest for 28 years; she is noted for ferreting out the truth with her the work-horse website Bigfootencounters dot com and the free distribution of the monthly Bigfoot_Newsletter_Online. Other women in the field in no particular order include Diane Stocking formerly a BFRO curator in Florida now researching in Oregon, Diane's twin sister Donna Cohrs in Florida, author Mary Green and her story re: Janice Carter in Tennessee. There are other prominent women like Dr. Mitsuko Choden in Nihongo, Japan whose interest in the North American Bigfoot is equal to that of author Dr. Kunsang Choden in the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan.

The list of contributing women in research goes on - Arizona Attorney Mary Lutz, Esq., Arla Williams, Melba Ketchum, DVM, Sally Ramey, Carene Rupp, Kathy Moskowitz Strain, Sally Newberry, Lisa Shiels, Leann McCoy, Lunetta Woods, Sharon Lee, Melissa Hovey, Monica Rawlins, Montra Freitas, Sheryl Jenkins, Linda Moulton-Howe, Dana Holyfield, Dr. Leila Hadj-Chikh, Dr. Renae Holland, Autumn Williams, Alysha Mantooth along with character sketch artists Alex Evans and Patricia Barker.

Marine biologist
Dr. W. Henner Fahrenbach, Ph.D., formerly from Beaverton, Oregon, now retired and living in Arizona speculated on the latter point with regard to women and the Sasquatch some time ago as follows:

(1997) - "From eye witness interviews I gathered the marginal impression that a sasquatch of either sex will respond differently to a man than to a woman observer or couple. I explored this hunch statistically by way of existing data records and found little difference. However, the problem is many fold. In an encounter, it is rarely recorded whether the Sasquatch or the person/s involved broke off the meeting; thus, a potential greater lingering of a Sasquatch vis-a-vis a female observer may be negated by the possible greater propensity of the woman/ girl to run off. From the attitude that many women have reported to me from encounters, namely a mixture of curiosity and warm concern, it would follow that their body language - something that even notoriously dumb animals like horses are keenly aware of - would project a benevolent intent. Conversely, a man standing his ground may project just enough aggressive body language for the Sasquatch to quickly depart the scene..."

A few cases in point:
A sasquatch, upon meeting a couple, the man was on aluminum crutches, looked at the couple long enough (the couple studiously avoiding frank eye contact), that the woman started talking to the sasquatch in soothing tones about them "we're not going to hurt you." The disinterested Sasquatch departed. This is a peculiar behavior by women in that it suggests that some women are not always quick to recognize size & bulk as something fearful.

A woman and her son, facing a Sasquatch up close had enough time in the protracted encounter to study it down to its toe nails. They departed quietly leaving the Sasquatch standing there, the woman with better details.

A couple sunning themselves in bathing suits observed a nearby juvenile Sasquatch in the water, evidently intent on catching fish, for about half an hour (without being noticed despite conversational exchanges). They then walked to the edge of the river themselves and sat down on rocks. The Sasquatch observed them out in the open for about 15 minutes and then retreated to bushes, from where it continued its inspection of the "white dwarves," until they departed. When questioned, the woman observed greater detail than her male companion.

A teenaged girl observed a female Sasquatch from behind a screen door, as it explored a walk-in food locker in the middle of the night. Both looked at each other for some time before she screamed awakening the household. The Sasquatch did not react to the scream and only left at the approach of several other male persons from within the building (with a tidy chunk of meat under her arm).

In another instance, a male observed what he thought was a bear feasting on a carcass and approached it until the "bear" stood up on two legs, faced him and started flailing his arms in a circular motion in the air above his head. The male observer was so shocked he could but tremble violently and then, unable to get up, he crawled on hands and knees back to his truck where the wife stood unimpressed with hands on hips. The male observer still has difficulty describing details of the Sasquatch, but his wife had intimate detail and a non-emotional, matter-of-fact tone to her voice.

Long retired bigfoot field investigator Mike Dardanos described his own horror upon seeing an enormous human-like figure approaching their mountain campfire. He readily admitted great fear, whereas his companion stayed in her camp chair while Mike ran screaming "run, run" all the way back to the truck fully expecting her to follow. Mike, a combat Marine said he felt no sense of anything but quick retreat, ("get the hell out of there") noting the size of the image in his retelling, "the biggest figure of a man I've ever seen." As a result, he didn't have much of a description. His female companion on the other hand, slow to feel fear said she was more amused by Mike than she was afraid of the shadow, which she did not describe as something frightening. "It was just a huge dark figure," she said, while Mike's descriptive words were, "..the damn thing was huge, wide and coming right at us." Mike's female companion was quick to tell on him, saying he sat behind the wheel of his truck quietly shivering and swearing.

Maryland Pixel Work Shop owner, Dave Bittner told a similar 1990's story that occurred in Pennsylvania while out bigfooting late one night with a group of friends, one was a veteran U.S. Navy Seal that went by the screen name, "Shikiri" and another early-day footer by the name of Scott McCaslin. The creepy sounds and visual they described sent Bittner hauling tail back to their vehicle, leaving a stunned McCaslin and his fiance behind. She had the better description.

Dr. Grover S. Krantz stated that women tend to "lock-in" the visual of a Sasquatch and are the better ones to articulate detail from that impression plus they maintain details longer, whereas unarmed men have a tendency to quickly 'assess danger over detail' & depart an area where an unknown is greater in stature than they are. Krantz noted that men in the safety of cover or from a tree-stand observed longer than in a ground situation of confrontation or surprise. "Women," he said, "are slower to recognize trouble if something fearful is present in daylight hours but more inclined to be "as fearful" at night; adding that he believed women were more incline to sense fear in sounds and vocalizations than men were, especially at night."

What makes us afraid of the unknown, the unfamiliar? The lesson we process during our formative years are usually, "if it is unfamiliar, it could be dangerous, only trust in things you know." The result of this, is that when you get too close to the edge of what's familiar, like seeing a large looming figure of a Sasquatch, your brain sends off all the same chemical and hormonal warning signals that it would if you absentmindedly got too close to the burners on a hot stove. Caution and your physical reaction are there to protect you, but it also is keeping you fenced into a safe little circle away from opportunity and growth. It may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the circumstance when women take more chances than men; many say it stems from maternal instincts; mature women tend to be more willing to step beyond than mature men.

What we can observed from the data is that men are less inclined to observe details of an encounter but more apt to be the better debater and the better definer of Sasquatch evidence than the women were. Women are more curious and more detail oriented. Men were incline to later speculate and sometimes were more apt to braggadociously exaggerate what they found difficult to articulate in detail at first glance. In one case, a couple argued back and forth about small detail he didn't see that she did; she accusing him of making up what he observed and he accusing her of seeing something that didn't exist in his visual; it is rare that couples describe the same details and behavior.

Children playing outdoors in a rural mountain atmosphere were more apt to be undisturbed by the presence of a same-size Sasquatch. We have in the database several reports of small Native American children playing tag with small Sasquatch children but only until an older Indian adult parent appeared on the scene, then the hairy little ones departed or were quickly collected by an adult Sasquatch.

When the children were asked to talk about their hairy little playmates, most of the children involved were unaware of the subtle differences. Children age 6 or more knew about the 'man of the mountain' but usually disregarded the warnings. Ten years old and up, the pre-teen better heeded the warnings about "stealing children," and both boys & girls could give adequate detailed descriptions of the sasquatches they did observe.

It appears, the male observer better recognizes what he perceives to be a "no win" situation, whereas the female observer's mothering instincts kick in and their want to understand what they see takes over, thus they stay longer observing the picture in wider depth. Women are by nature, talkers; woman take time to talk softly to the Sasquatch, men don't. Male reaction is instant and excitable, female reaction delayed and calmer, sometimes by days if we pay attention to studies collected from the data...

Of interesting note, more women have up-close encounters than men, leaving speculation that the Sasquatch may regard males as a threat to their well being thus aggression or seemingly aggressive behavior towards men; a natural response by the Squatch considering men are usually "the seasonal hunter." The Sasquatch may regard the carrying of a rifle something to be concerned about - yet there are instances where hunters are recorded as saying the Sasquatch mindlessly advanced on them, rifle or no. It appears that not all Sasquatch groupings or family units are knowledgable when it comes to the weapons of modern man.

This has been more of a brief case look see than it is a scientific study, but it was fun running the figures and rereading the data again. All manner of statistical figures can be worked via collected data by rereading the various cases and running the figures, I was surprised at some of the notations presented.

Psychology Today, "Excuses: why people lie, cheat & procrastinate.." Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.,Psychology Professor, Amherst.


Notes from Dr. Henner Fahrenbach, Ph.D. Marine Biologist, Oregon.

"Why People Lie - Psychology" -

"How Fear works" Julia Layton for Discovery Health

"Why People Believe weird things: Pseudoscience, Superstition" by Brian Doherty

Collective database and various interviews, 1997
Data collected from undernet chat rooms and personal notations, 1994-1998.

Human reactions to Insecurities
Dr. Louis Leakey, Ph.D., article notations
Retired California investigator, Mike Dardanos, 1995
Retired Maryland Bigfoot investigator Dave Bittner, 1996

My own database and collected stories

"7 Steps to Controlling Fear" by Dave Grossi, Law Officer Volume 4 Issue 6

Life expectancy and gender response', IVBC Digest V4 #98, 13 Sept '97

The Psychology of Lying (and exaggeration) New York Times: Health

Galdikas, 'Reflections of Eden', Boston, New York, London: Little Brown & Co, 1995, p.25.

Mental Health Wellness and understanding

Scientist, conservationist, primatologist, Birute Marija Filomena Galdikas (Bio)

Lou Leakey's friend, Dian Fossey and "Gorillas in the Mist."

Jane Goodall's many books on the chimpanzee; "In the Shadow of Man" and "Return to Gombe."
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