Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Skamania County > Article # 17
Media Article # 17
Article submitted by LeRoyFish@BFRO.NET
Thursday, December 21, 2000
By Kurt Kleiner
THE imprint of a hairy backside in the mud of Washington state is the strongest hint yet that Bigfoot is roaming the North American far west, according to researchers who made the discovery.
Many people doubt whether the giant primate, commonly known as Bigfoot, actually exists. Hundreds of its supposed footprints have been photographed and cast, but this is one of the few body impressions of the hypothetical creature.
Comic: Bigfoot research struggles to be taken seriously [Photo: Moviestore Collection]
"If we can just get other scientists to look at this with an objective view, I think they'll say there must be something out there," says LeRoy Fish, a zoologist and retired wildlife ecologist who took part in the expedition that discovered the imprint.
Most stories of the bipedal apelike creature are dismissed as misidentifications or hoaxes. But Fish and others think Bigfoot, or Sasquatch as it is known in Canada, may be living hidden away in remote wilderness areas.
The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), which includes some trained scientists, sponsored a 13-person expedition in September to look for evidence in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southern Washington state. To attract one of the creatures, the team set out food, spread pheromones and played recordings thought to be the calls of other Bigfoots.
After placing apples in a muddy spot one evening, the investigators returned the next morning to find an impression which, they say, shows the left forearm, hip, thigh and heel of a large primate. They believe the impression was made as the creature sat down and reached over to pick up the bait.
Anthropologist Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University says the imprint seems to have been made by a large, hair-covered hominid more than 2.5 metres tall. Meldrum says he found markings that look like human fingerprints on the heel print. "All we're trying to say at this stage is that there's evidence that justifies objective consideration," Meldrum says.
The BFRO is inviting outside scientists to examine the casts, but has so far had no offers. "It's been a challenge," says Meldrum. "For most people, you just mention Bigfoot and you get a snicker." Benjamin Radford of the Skeptical Inquirer magazine agrees that mainstream scientists are wary of the subject because of a history of fakes. "After a while they just get tired of wasting their time on hoaxes."
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