“The Discovery of the Sasquatch, Reconciling Culture, History, and Science in the Discovery Process” By John A. Bindernagel, PhD - johnB@island.net
Foreword by Leila Hadj-Chikh, PhD
ISBN: 9780-0-6682887-1-9 Beachcomber Booksbeachcom@island.net $55.00 USD (incl S & H)
The first thing we noticed about this 7 x 10, 325 page book was the unusual cover with page marking flaps, front and back.Very nice, I liked that idea right away and used the fold-out flaps to mark the pages where I left off as I read along; small thoughtful details make for reader enjoyment. The beautifully edited book sports 99 photographs, 35 drawings and 20 maps some of them repeats previously published in Bindernagel's first book, "North America's Great Ape: The Sasquatch”.
I am quick to say at the outset that I wasn't a fan of Dr. Bindernagel's first book or its ape bias toward a resolution for the Sasquatch but this latest 2010 publication,"The Discovery of the Sasquatch" is indeed impressive in its softly implied “don't be afraid to believe” approach and it is a fine summary of information. It was clear Dr. B., gave considerable thought to the course this book would take; it is caringly detailed, well written and edited and in fact it is refreshing in places as you will read...
“The Discovery of the Sasquatch” offers important insights not only about the potential for an unrecognized species, but also about people of like-mind who have thus far declined to investigate the subject of Bigfoot. Dr. Bindernagel engages his reader and carefully unlocks a door to the discovery of a subject long held in the past as foolish nonsense
his effort should be applauded.
The late Dr. Grover S. Krantz, while he publicly supported the ape theory, allowed for other possibilities and I may say he was the only credentialed scientist outside of one other who was unafraid to inquire about close encounters such as mine, which I think spoke volumes about Krantz's willingness to think outside the box; yes, the ape box. A formidable cross-examiner/interrogator, Grover Krantz never saw a Sasquatch but Dr. Bindernagel at one point in the past, did. Or he alluded to having such an encounter with a Bigfoot but wouldn't talk about it and when pressed recently on a blogtalkradio interview, he recanted. Did he see one, he isn't saying.
This book does not address the same biomechanical issues in the same manner as Krantz, although some updates to Krantz's out-dated notations would have been a plus. This work seemed to me to be geared more towards a suggestion to his contemporaries that we, that is, general research has mounting evidence that needs the serious attention of the scientific community and he writes, "it is no myth..." ...a bold and courageous thing to suggest to the skeptical brotherhood of impassive Ph.D's.
Bindernagel writes about what he perceives is the discovery process in unraveling the dynamics of the bipedal life form known as Bigfoot and he does it magnificently. He carefully examines how perceptions influence scientific attitudes towards this controversial subject. In science, Bigfoot isn't just controversial, it's the verboten subject, again Bindernagel covers it well but I was left to wonder what effect his discovery process approach will have on his colleagues?
I failed to see what progress can be made by mentioning again the deep-set eyes or the conical head of the mountain gorilla... it was as if he wanted
the brotherhood to consider the mounting evidence for Bigfoot but while they're at it, consider the ape, again and again and again, so went the underlying tones.
As we've come to expect, equal time was not given to any extent to the many human-like behaviors or to the primitive physical characteristics that have been observed in the Sasquatch, only casual treatment of limb and neck proportions in comparison to …again… gorillas and chimps etc., and those behaviors and characteristics vis-à-vis his first ape book. I had hoped for at least some offerings and comparisons or some reference to a wider field of view... but it was not to be. Perhaps we have learned nothing from the impressive work available to us from Dr.'s Ed Fusch, Wayne Suttles, James Wallas or the much ignored J.W. Burns and others.
The future of Sasquatch DNA was not discussed in this book and regrettably the possibility of speech & language was not discussed but he does talk about tracks hoaxed or not and misidentified bears, hallucinations and imaginary beings - I'm not sure this is the direction to take with the scientific community but it will hopefully play well with newcomers in general research.
It may sound like I didn't enjoy this book, not so, it was an interesting read; Bindernagel does a smashing job with detail. The ‘expanded' content listings - another plus. As with any book, the Index in its detail is the greatest asset any author can make... detailed indexing eases reader referencing and look-back ability for citations and quotes... Bindernagel presents an excellent Index.
Dr. Leila Hadj-Chikh wrote a profound first sentence in the 'foreword' of Dr. B's new book, which was striking in its impact. It reads in part: "For most scientists, the word "sasquatch" only enters their conversations when they are making a joke of some sort." That is an ugly truth but she is absolutely right, North American scientists do not take the subject of Bigfoot's existence seriously - why to even hint that Bigfoot might exist as a primitive feral human or something in the genus Homo is such a stretch for the brotherhood that only a new ape species seems a tolerable substitute to the idea of a primitive wild man. Leila's foreword was most enjoyable though very long as was the title of this book.
"The Discovery of the Sasquatch, Reconciling Culture, History, and Science in the Discovery Process" was a step up from his previously published work on the subject but the ape bias is still glaringly present in this effort and narrower than I remembered. I am not a Sasquatch skeptic by any means but what I encountered in the remote wilderness was no ape, if it was, I would be very vocal in my support of such a viewpoint - - that said, I figure John was very brave sending me a copy of his book for review. Still, I have no qualms about recommending his portrayal of what he finds real and I applaud his right to raise his voice and pen his thoughts accordingly. Bravo!
You will enjoy Dr. B's new release; it is a worthwhile read and will undoubtedly provoke thought and inspire comment. ...
Bobbie Short December 2010 Bobbieshort@yahoo.com
"The Discovery of the Sasquatch" 2010 by Dr. John Bindernagel
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