Bigfoot Encounters

"Bigfoot Exposed" a Book Review
by Thomas Steenburg
Book Review :ISBN 0-7591-0539-1

David J. Daegling is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Florida. A specialist studying anatomy and biomechanics in primates according to the last page of his book. Perhaps so, but after reading Bigfoot Exposed, his knowledge of the Sasquatch mystery seems more grade school level at best.

David J. Daegling is a Bigfoot debunker, who uses his academic credentials to make the reader, (mostly people with no knowledge of the facts or history of this on-going mystery), think he knows what he talking about! The errors of facts from chapter one to eleven are numerous.

Page # 9: QUOTE; "(Its odor is so foul that people have been known to pass out from the stench)". In 26 years of researching sighting reports and interviewing witnesses, I have never heard of a single incident where a person felt the odor from the creature was so strong they passed out! In fact I find only 1 report in 10 make any mention of an odor at all.

Page # 18: QUOTE; "(If Bigfoot habitat is so well removed from human eyes, it might hide not only Bigfoot, but also perhaps dozens of other unknown creatures as well. Yet no one has suggested such a thing") I really don't know what to say about this statement unless he's saying: if people were reporting all kinds of other creatures as well he would be more inclined to except the Sasquatch? In fact other Cryptids have been reported, though none have been given as much attention as the Sasquatch. The giant west coast salamander and a large bird reported to be bigger than the California Condors are two examples.

Also on page 18 he talks about how if Sasquatch country is so remote and so rarely visited how can there be so many sighting reports and footprints found. At first I had to agree with this statement but after looking at my files and pin maps of sightings I found that the vast majority of sightings occur not when a few people venture in remote regions of wilderness. They occur when the creature wonders near people, i.e. crossing roads, river and lake shores, back yards, etc, etc. Sasquatch is reported when they come to our neck of the woods for the most part. Sometimes when people venture out there.

Page #19: QUOTE, "(Bigfoot can see, smell, or hear people coming before people can do likewise. The implication is that encounters happen only because Bigfoot permits it. I was inclined to regard this as a thinly veiled paranormal explanation, thinking that the fact people must be allowed to see Bigfoot has supernatural, if not mythological, overtones)". The fact that the Sasquatch for the most part knows a human is around before said person sees it, has nothing to do with anything paranormal; this can simply be explained by keen animal sense. Smell, night vision, excellent hearing, and of course a very elusive nature to begin with. To be fair to the author he did try to say this very thing in the next few lines.

Page #32: The author talks about the ape canyon incident and again displays sloppy research and lack of knowledge of facts. He writes: "(Before Beck had his violent encounter; one of his partners had shot another ape-like form in the head when he saw it peering out from behind a tree. Apparently unfazed by the insult, the creature fled without difficulty)" At no time did Fred Beck or Hank, the man who pulled the trigger, say that they know for sure that the target had been hit? Fred Beck did say that he saw bark fly from the tree it was behind, so it’s a fare guess that the tree was hit. Three more shots at the things back when they caught sight of it again, but still no indication that it was hit. The author then goes on to say that when the cabin was attacked that night, and one of the creatures reached through the chinking space to grab an ax, the arm was all they saw of the attackers? This is wrong both Fred and Hank looked through the space and saw their attackers moving about outside. Hank at one point saw three of them.

Page #35: QUOTE: "(The time was right for a full scale field investigation. It took the form of The Pacific Northwest Expedition and it was one of the few Bigfoot searches that enjoyed full and adequate funding)". Perhaps the author should have consulted with John Green or the late Rene Dahinden. Both told me that even though Tom Slick was a millionaire nobody would have known it from the support he gave to his crew of the Pacific Northwest Expedition! All the men were driving their own vehicles, buying their own supplies for the most part. Slick did supply one chain saw, which did not work most of the time! Rene was quoted on a documentary, "Tom Slick had spent so much money over there looking for the yeti. I think when he came over here he was by now a little gun shy". I’m afraid, Mr. Daegling is way off the mark describing the P.N.W. Expedition as full and adequately funded.

Page #51: QUOTE; "(He would become the most successful Bigfoot hunter of all time)". Author is referring to the late Paul Freeman. And this one line makes one have to wonder about the research that went into this whole book. I knew Paul Freeman and I actually liked the guy but he was a hoaxer! Recent work by Jimmy Chilcutt, and Dr. Jeff Meldrum, has me looking twice now at some of Paul's footprint evidence, and we all have to remind ourselves that in the story, ' The Boy Who Cried Wolf', the boy did eventually see a wolf, but nobody believed him after so many hoaxes. The last time I sat down with Paul I remember as I walked up to him at the table he just looked at me and said, "Your not going to grill me again are you Tom"? I just smiled and said, "Yes sir I sure am". Paul just laughed, looked down at his coffee said and replied, "Ah Jeez".

Pages # 66 and 67 the author goes after the classic tale of Jacko. Those familiar with the history of Sasquatch have read about the creature that was captured by railway workers near the town of Yale, British Columbia in the year 1884. He then goes after the late Dr. Grover Krantz theory that Jo Jo the Dog faced boy was in fact Jacko. First of all Grover was never convinced of this, it was just a theory that came about due to the fact the first ads for Jo Jo came about in the year 1884. The author then suggests that P.T. Barnum's circus could have been nearby and Jacko might have been an escaped chimp from the circus? This statement really reveals David Daegling's lack of knowledge of certain facts, first of which is, even though P.T Barnum’s circus did exist and travel in 1884, special people, or freaks as they were known back then, did not work for Barnum's traveling circus, they worked, and lived at Barnum's museum of wonders in New York City. The circus did travel by rail back in 1884, but the TransCanadian Railway was still one year away from completion. Yale in 1884 was a wild west mining town, with a murder and gunfight rate that would make Tombstone, Arizona look tame. As far as I can determine, Barnum and Bailey’s Circus never crossed the border into western Canada until the 20th Century.

Page #71: Daegling talks about another classic story, the Bauman tale from Roosevelt's book, 'The Wilderness Hunter', QUOTE: "( If in fact, we are not dealing with an evil spirit and Bauman is not pulling the future president's leg, then we have an account suggesting that Bigfoot has a penchant for killing, and perhaps dining on, territorial interlopers. How is it that scores of unarmed backpackers since then, trampling through every corner of the American forests, have escaped the ire of Sasquatch?)" Daegling goes on a little more, but you get the picture of what he's trying to say. First of all, I am amazed he would take a story told back in the 1850's to suggest any possible aggression on the part of the Sasquatch in the present day. On the other hand we really know very little about this animal, and like any other wild creature it must be considered unpredictable. Every year a person is killed or badly injured by a charge or kick by a deer or elk. And every year people disappear in wilderness areas in the U.S. and Canada. No evidence that a Sasquatch had anything to do with it, however if you were hiking and were unfortunate enough to run into a hostile Sasquatch I do believe you would tend to disappear. But the most revealing statement here is the line about backpackers tramping every corner of the American forests. Mr. Daegling needs to leave his office and city more. If he does he will realize how off the mark he is.

Page # 73: The author talks of the Wallace family claims, ignoring the fact that Wallace's fake feet do not mach the castings made by Jerry Crew, nor several other castings made during that time. He also states that when Ray Wallace was not around - no footprints were found. This is not true. Ray Wallace also never claimed to be responsible for all the footprints found in Northern California. His Family members did so after his death. On page # 75 the author states how a good faker with a little know how could indeed fake all of the footprints ever found at least in northern California. Well Mr. Daegling knows of the reward offered by the China Flat Museum, so don't just say it, do it!

Page #94: Author questions why a Sasquatch would lay down in the mud to retrieve fruit leaving a body impression behind, (Skookum cast), and not tracks using the logic of, I wouldn't think to avoid leaving footprints and instead leave my whole lower body impression. I guess the reader is to assume that a wild creature of the forest should think out problems in the same manner as an associate professor from the University of Florida.

On Page #95: again he writes, "(Why leave an imprint of your whole body when one of your goals is to remain undetected)". How does he know what the 'goal' of an animal is. The creature may have just simply enjoyed a nice lie down on a cool night while enjoying an easy meal! Why the author continues to use human thought processes and apply them to a wild creature of the forest like the Sasquatch is beyond me and this is repeated through out the book?

Page # 106: QUOTE: (How did Patterson and his partner happen to be in Bluff Creek on that particular afternoon? Their plan all along was to head down to the area from their homes in Yakima, Washington, to do a documentary film on Bigfoot. This admission has struck the more cynical skeptics as more than just a little suspicious; renting a camera for the singular purpose of capturing Bigfoot on film and succeeding in short order is awfully lucky.) Again this reveals how little the author has researched the facts. Patterson and Gimlin were in the Mt. St Helens area when Mrs. Patterson received a phone call from Al Hodgson in Bluff Creek informing her that fresh footprints had been found. When Roger returned home and was informed of this - he and Bob Gimlin decided to head down there fairly sure that they would at least get some footprints on film for the documentary. The two men were also hopeful they would actually see a Sasquatch, as all researchers are when we go into the bush, but in reality they went down to film footprints. As for the point that he was caring a camera and that makes one suspicious, well you can apply that to every researcher every time they walk in the trees. Good to know in advance that if I ever get photo's myself of a Sasquatch, David Daegling will suspect a hoax right from the word go. If I stop carrying a camera and see a Sasquatch no doubt he will give me that look and say, "Why weren't you carrying a camera".

Page # 111, The Author seems to display contempt for the Institute of Hominology and it's people as a whole. He refers to Victor Porshnev, and Dmitri Bayanov, and Dmitri Donskoy as Ringleaders. I must say judging from his lack of knowledge of facts and sloppy research going into this book Associate Professor David J. Daegling has no right to be contemptuous of anybody!

Page # 121, Author makes the same statement as Greg Long did in his book, ' The Making Of Bigfoot' questioning how is it that after such heavy rain was Bob Titmus able to find such well preserved tracks 9 days later? And just like Greg Long it appears that he has never seen the Titmus castings or he would have noted how weather worn they are compared to the two prints Patterson himself had cast the day of the filming. Again, sloppy research!

Pages # 140 and 141, Author brings up the bell shaped fastener issue of a few years ago and again he doesn’t know the facts. Cliff Crook ran with this just to annoy Rene Dahinden. Chris Murphy never really thought anything of the strange blur taken from a blow up of a photo copy of frame 352 from the book, ' Manlike Monsters On Trial', He just asked Cliff what this might be? Murphy's only mistake was saying, "Do what you want", when Cliff Crook asked to go to the media about this. The end result was a very irritated Dahinden on another warpath, with Chris Murphy wondering why everybody suddenly seemed mad at him and the fall of Cliff Crook from grace in the Bigfoot field. Not that Cliff would really care.

Page # 143: Daegling brings up the sagittal crest on the Patterson/Gimlin film subject stating why would a female creature have what is generally thought of as a male characteristic. Professor Daegling is not the first academic to publicly criticize the subject on the film for this, and when I hear and read these statements my sympathy for the late Rene Dahinden's anger towards Ph.D.'s in general rises. It really makes one wonder about the so called academics when they make statements which in the first year of post secondary education in the field of anthropology, taught them that the sagittal crest in primates is not a gender characteristic, it is a size characteristic! If female gorillas and orangutans grew to the same size as their male counterparts they to would have a sagittal crest too!

Page # 167: I personally can't believe he quoted Eric Beckjord? Unless of course he knows that to the general public he makes us all look crazy! He does this again on page # 197, enough said.

Page # 168: The author then quotes a Mr. Donald Baird, who claims that any individual can with a little home work - make completely convincing trackways using templates and a mallet. Also banging his own prints with forest litter. Well, Mr. Baird obviously has never left his office to study any of these footprint finds. He should put his money where his mouth is. Again there's a reward waiting for you at Willow Creek, so just do it! He won't of course.

Page # 215: QUOTE, (If Bigfoot does not count as a scientific enterprise, then scientists have no special claim to knowledge in that field. The status of Bigfoot search as science is arguable. There is no reason, in principle, that the conduct of research into the sasquatch can not be done scientifically. The important point is that, historically speaking, the little science that has been done has been sabotaged by special pleading, faulty premises and shoddy scholarship). Mr. Daegling just described his own book.

Page # 217 : Daegling quotes Richard Greenwell from the television show, ' Animal X'. I've noticed throughout the book that many of his quotes from researchers are taken from television documentaries, not that there is anything wrong with that, but did he actually talk to researchers who were involved with the Pacific Northwest Expedition or any other investigation for that matter?

Page # 234: Author states that the twisting of trees by Sasquatch, (a sacred cow I question by the way), comes from First Nation sources? I've found no mention of tree twisting in any First Nation history in regard to the Sasquatch. As far as I know this was a theory that was first put forward by the late Robert Titmus during the Bluff creek activity in the late 1950's. In 26 years of interviewing alleged witnesses, I've talked to many who have seen the Sasquatch, and many who have found twisted trees, but I'm still waiting to hear from a witness who watched a Sasquatch twist a tree.

Chapter 10: With which the author really admits he’s never done any field research, talks of a one day drive to the town of Bardin, Florida. Where a local legend was started in 1981, (Bardin Booger). Why he thinks that this little local fable is even relevant to hundreds of years of oral and written history from western Canada, as well as the Pacific Northwest of the United States, I just can not understand. I could see the point of his argument if when reports from Washington, Oregon, and California started to become wildly known it was found that no such history of similar creatures existed from British Columbia, and Alberta. After all one would have a very hard time trying to explain Bigfoot as a flesh and blood creature in the U.S. if there were no such reports from the adjoining parts of western Canada. But as we well know the Sasquatch in Canada was well known long before the late 1950's. Similar reports were known in the U.S. before the late 1950's as well, that time only gave birth to the popular U.S name for the creature … BIGFOOT!

I'm afraid 'Bigfoot Exposed', is a prime example of the academic worlds arrogant dismissive attitude, which has been there side by side with this mystery from day one. The book is full of factual mistakes as to the facts of certain cases, and is full of assumptions by the author based on his ignorance of the subject as a whole. And it reveals his arrogance towards his fellow PhD's who have made the effort to look at the evidence. I’m afraid when it comes to the on-going Sasquatch question, Associate Professor of Anthropology, at the University of Florida, David J. Daegling is still in kindergarten.

Thomas Steenburg, author, field investigator
British Columbia, Canada
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Additional incoming review comment on "Bigfoot Exposed,"

From Mitsuko Choden, primate docent, Japan and Bhutan:
"My God, why would an anthropologist write about a subject he obviously knew nothing about, I am not acquainted with the author, but I am embarrassed for Daegling, he publicly shot himself in the foot and at the same time mystified his esteemed more knowledgeable colleagues.

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