Bigfoot Encounters

Fingerprint Whorld
"The Sasquatch Foot Casts"
January 1985


The following 6-page paper was found in a British Library.
The spelling is correct, I'm told "Whorld" a spin on the word 'whorl' as seen in fingerprints.

"Fingerprint Whorld"
January 1985, pp. 59-63
"The Sasquatch Foot Casts"
by John Berry, FFS and Stephen Haylocle FFS (Herts)

In a recent interview by Patrick Huyghe, reported in the September 1984 issue of "SCIENCE DIGEST," Professor Grover Krantz of the Washington State University in Pullman, states that he believes the Sasquatch to be a living example of Gigantopithecus. In 'The Encyclopedia of Prehistoric Life" -1979, there are two references to Gigantopithecus:

Page 9: Gigantopithecus was probably the largest primate that ever lived, and is thought to have no descendants unless it was the ancestor of the 'Abominable Snowman' and the 'Big Foot' of the Rocky Mountains.

Page 85: Gigantopithecus was described initially on the basis of teeth purchased from a druggist by Professor Gustav von Koenigswald.

Believing in the paleontological existence of Gigantopithecus (and actually possessing an ash tray said to be made from a cast of its jaw) we decided to deal with the phenomena of the Sasquatch in two parts; first of all to briefly review current literature on the subject, secondly to give the result of our extensive examination of the three recent Sasquatch casts, loaned to us for a year by Professor Krantz.

We have found that hoax sightings and forged footprints abound in literature. In 1967, the late Roger Patterson took a film of a hairy female animal, which he saw, in Bluff Creek, California. (TV viewers in Great Britain and probably other countries might have seen the footage a few years ago in an Arthur C. Clarke program).

If the film is genuine, surely that would be the end of the matter......a huge unknown hairy primate, a female Gigantopithecus -- for that's what it must have been -- exists in North America. But in his absolutely fascinating ANATOMY AND DERMATOGLYPHICS OF THREE SASQUATCH FOOTPRINTS. Professor Krantz does not even mention the Patterson footage. A report by two Doctors of the Academy of Sciences, Moscow, in 1972, balancing the evidence of the Patterson film, photographs, casts and an article by Professor Krantz concluded:

'So our conclusion at this stage is the following: though it is not yet clear in what relation North American hominoids stand in the making of man, it is pretty clear now that they are not man-made'.

The same report, apropos the Patterson film, mentions 'an unnaturally protruding heel which may, to a casual observer seem a sticking out edge of an artificial sole'. Professor John Napier in his 1973 publication BIGFOOT points out that the Patterson film of the 'so-called' female Sasquatch and tracks found by Patterson at the same locus are not in accord with the stature estimated by the film.

We believe that the fact that the Patterson film is not taken as subjective proof of the existence of Sasquatch must indicate a hoax. Professor Napier was much taken with the Bossburg (Washington State) casts of alleged Sasquatch footprints.

Rene Dahinden informed Professor Napier that he had found 1,089 footprints in the Bossburg area, and amongst them was evidence of the existence of a crippled Sasquatch, the unfortunate creature having a club foot, a condition known as Tapiles-equino-varus. Professor Napier states: 'It is very difficult to conceive of a hoaxer, so subtle, so knowledgeable -- so sick -- who would deliberately fake a footprint of this nature'.

Kenneth Wylie in his BIGFOOT (1980) claims the Bossburg tracks were faked by Ray Pickens, an admission apparently made by Mr. Pickens during a B.B.C. Interview. Apropos the Bossburg fake, Mr. Wylie states:

'The scramble among the many investigators to delete this example from their lists, and to condemn the hoax, is instructive'. On page 212, he states: '...fakery is almost never impossible when we are dealing with human ingenuity.'

Recently we met an American from the West Coast who is an inveterate hunter in the Northwest region. He always shoots his yearly quota of two deer... he also owns a large tract of uninhabited hunting ground. We questioned him about Sasquatch... he states it is a myth, and that all films, photographs, sightings and tracks are faked. He also states that he has never met a member of the hunting fraternity who believes in Sasquatch. He was absolutely amazed when informed that as many as 2,000 Sasquatch may exist in the Pacific Northwest, a maximum figure given to interviewer Patrick Huyghe. Our American deerstalker stated that men of his ilk would have seen a Sasquatch if it existed.

We also find it pertinent that although Sasquatch tracks appear to be extremely numerous over the years, the author of FIELD GUIDE TO ANIMAL TRACKS had to attend San Francisco zoo to obtain a jaguar's paw print, and this animal does live in the wilds of the USA.

Professor Krantz is a leading American anthropologist, the only reputable scientist in the U.S.A. who has firmly stated his belief in Sasquatch. He has researched the creature, examined countless casts, and has interviewed many of the people who have stated they have seen a Sasquatch. He admits that he has discovered many hoaxes and lies in his researches, but still sees proof that the creature exists, and, as previously quoted, he estimates that between 200 and 2,000 of them exist in the Pacific NW area.

We must always remember the Coelacanth... if an authority had stated in 1937 that they were still swimming and breeding off the east coast of South Africa, he or she would have been ridiculed and lampooned all over the world, for it was said to be extinct during the Cretaceous Period. A living specimen was caught in 1938, as have numerous examples subsequently.

From our researches in the Sasquatch literature, to which we have but briefly referred, we find almost universal skepticism. We admire Professor Krantz for his persistence against all the available observations of continual hoaxing. A phrase made by Professor Napier, re the Bossburg cripple, we find particularly poignant, and we repeat it: - 'It is very difficult to conceive of a hoaxer so subtle, so knowledgeable - so sick...' But such a hoaxer did exist.

Examination of Three 1982 Sasquatch Casts.
Of course we can only comment on these casts insofar as ridge detail permits and whilst there certainly is some, overall there is tantalizingly little for the fingerprint expert to get his teeth into.
We wonder if the reason for the poor quality of ridge detail could be the use of an insensitive medium for casting. The casts we have been fortunate enough to be allowed to examine are second-generation latex casts from original casts made using plaster of Paris. The imprints recorded represent the huge footprints of a large creature said to be a Sasquatch (in fact 2 individuals are represented in the 3 casts).

The footprints were made in soft, fine-grained soil in the State of Washington on the border with Oregon, and were tracked by Forest Rangers over some 3/4 of a mile in 1982. Three only casts have reached us but measurements taken between these and other footprints at the same location have revealed details concerning the likely size, weight and type of locomotion used by the "creature".

For the reader's interest, the Sasquatch (Amerindian word for "Big Foot") from this and other "evidence" is reckoned to be of humanoid shape, hair covered, bipedal creature, 2.5 metres tall, weighing about 400 Kg, and with short toes, collapsed arches and the ankle a little further forward on the foot than in humans. The Sasquatch is roughly twice the size of an adult gorilla, which is the nearest known creature with which to liken it. We do not know if the casts we have seen are genuine or fake and we have not interviewed any of the people involved in the finding or recording of these fascinating imprints, nor do we think a positive decision could be made anyway without visiting the site of such tracks and examining and casting the footprints ourselves together with other experts. We know only too well that anything can be faked if there is sufficient motive to do so and the Sasquatch is as big a "crowd-puller" in the U.S.A. as is the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland. Only a fool would confirm or deny the existence of either positively, without a shred of evidence.

In this instance, the case for the Sasquatch is stronger than for the Loch Ness Monster because we do have these casts not bones or teeth or a skull, but footprints at least, of an alleged very shy and completely overlooked species of ape. As we have already said, just enough ridge detail is visible in these casts to grab our attention but there is not enough to give a full account of the plantar surfaces from a ridge-by-ridge point of view. We agree entirely with Olsen when he says that if these are fakes then they are brilliant fakes by someone well versed in our science in addition to anthropology, zoology, biology and any other "ology" necessary to fool all the experts.

There is nothing in any of the 3 casts at which we can point an accusing finger and cry "fraud" but as one of the casts appears to show an extra, sixth toe; we can imagine a "master faker" smiling to himself and with a look of triumph saying, "They'll never believe anyone would fake a deformed foot". On the other hand, or foot, it might just possibly be that we have seen evidence of a creature which many believe could yet inhabit one of the many large and unpopulated wildernesses of this globe without being "discovered" by man. Many creatures have good cause to stay hidden from humans and the Sasquatch may be smarter than most.

According to Professor Krantz, the three casts reveal a foot 38 cm long approximately and about 17 cm wide at the toe and 1O cm at the heel. The toes are more "squared-off" than in a human foot and there is very little size difference in the toes; the "big" toe being only slightly larger than the "little" toe. Another curiosity common to all 3 casts is the apparent lack of flexion creases in the short toes.

At least, none appear in the casts and this may or may not mean that they do not exist on the foot that made the indentations in the soil. For instance, a print taken with ink from a human foot will show little of the toes apart from the big toe and quite often, it will not be possible even to see what patterns exist, let alone see signs of flexion creases.

In an ape, the toes are as long as fingers and would be fairly represented in a print but the Sasquatch casts are nothing like an ape's foot print, do not have an opposing 1st digit and appear
"human-like". Thus it may be a "red herring" to read too much into the
apparent lack of creases in the toes.

The dermal ridges present appear to us of "normal" type and size and not larger than one would expect on any human or ape hand or foot. Sweat pores also appear and these too are normally spaced along the ridge summits. The difference between the pores and bubbles in the latex-casting medium can easily be distinguished.

Individually, the casts are named by Professor Krantz as "Full Left", "Full Right" and "Short Right" (so called because the heel end is missing).

Full Left: This cast reveals the best example of sweat pores at the base of digit 2 and most of the apparent toe patterns can be seen. The patterns are set fairly low on the digit (as we believe is the case in human toes) and Prof. Krantz lists digit 1 (big toe) as being a loop, although we can also see it as an arch. Digit 2 is a low count loop, or arch, there being a diagonal mark in the cast right where the recurve in the loop appears to be. Digit 3 cannot be clearly seen and nor can "Digit 6". Digit 4 is another possible arch with what may be a diagonal scar and Digit 5 is an arch or small count loop with its ridges continuing to flow on to the apparent extra digit 6.

It still concerns us that if this was a cast of a human foot, only the tips of the 4 toes may show and if one assumed that this was the imprint of the whole toe then naturally, all the patterns would appear to be arches when in fact, the actual pattern is lower down and not recorded. The toes would also appear short, when in reality they are not. This "Full Left" cast also reveals a few ridges on the sole about half way down, below Digits 5 and 6, and a few more on the heel apparently running straight across. The mid-sole ridges appear to us to be somewhat diagonal from heel to big toe, which is at variance with Prof. Krantz's finding that these ridges are "transverse" as in a
human foot.

Full Right:- Patterns, or apparent patterns on the digits of this cast are all a little obscure but as ridges can be seen running straight across the digits, they could well be arches. Again, mid-sole ridges are recorded and seem to us to be diagonal from heel to little toe and more reminiscent of the skin at a human elbow crease than of a plantar impression. However, this is probably just a trick of the casting medium and/or wear on the sole of the foot that made the imprint. Some ridges are also visible on the edge and side of the heel on the little toe side. The main points of interest on this cast are firstly, the impression of a large stone in the center of the cast indicating a thick fatty pad on the sole of the foot and pliable enough to assume the shape of the stone which has been stepped on. This pad must be, according to Prof. Krantz, at least 2 cm thick. Secondly, the Professor mentions ridge dysplasia on some toe tips and fore part of the sole. We can see what he means but feel that this too could merely be a trick of the cast or wear. We did note a few other possible areas of "dysplasia" on the Full Left cast. We do not like the term "dysplasia" either, as in dermatoglyphics dysplasia is a very ill defined term and different to "ridge dissociation" which is what we think the Professor is describing. Certainly, most fingerprint experts will understand what is meant by ridge dissociation and this is a much better defined term. It is also very rare and this is the first time that we have seen anything like it on a foot.

Short Right:- There is not much for the fingerprint man in this case. Digits 1 and 2 are not clear, 3, 4 and 5 appear to be arches. Some indistinct ridges can be seen on the sole.

Together, these casts appear to represent the foot of a highly unusual creature, flatfooted in the extreme and with a congenital disorder -- ridge dissociation. There is also the matter of the extra digit. As we said, it could well be faked and if so, the "culprit" is worthy of the Lewis Minshall Award.
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Copyrighted to John Berry, FFS and Stephen Haylocle FFS (Herts) January 1985
Source: British Libraries

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