Here is an interesting email I recently received:
Dear Dr. Peron:
I have read almost every post on your blog including those about “bigfoot.” Your writing skills are beyond approach and your knowledge is phenomenal. However, I fail to understand why someone of your expertise would actually believe in something like “bigfoot.” I consider this “creature” nothing more than urban myth and misidentified animals such as bears. You and Dr. Jeff Meldrum at the University of Idaho and Dr. Susan Martinez at Columbia University are the only anthropologists I know of who actually seem to believe that this creature is real. I find that shocking! How can three obviously intelligent academics like yourselves believe in in such a thing or even consider it possible?
There have been thousands of sightings of this alleged creature but not one shred of evidence. Unless you want to include the complete farce of Dr.Melba Ketchum and her absolutely preposterous “DNA evidence.” Dr. Ketchum is not a reputable source as far as I’m concerned as she has some questionable associations and ideas and, besides, is a veterinarian and not an anthropologist at all. Surely with all of the sightings of this “bigfoot” creature there would be plenty of evidence and, in fact, the evidence would abound but that is not the case.
All of the alleged videos and pictures of this creature are grainy at best sort of like all those grainy fuzzy UFO pictures. Why no clear pictures if this creature actually exists and why no body? Surely, a dead carcass would have been found by now or surely one would have been shot by some shocked hunter in the woods by now but, again, nothing. Instead what we have is a lot of pictures and video that is of absolutely the poorest quality that shows men dressed in monkey suits or bears standing on their hind legs. And there is also all of those “footprints” obviously made by pranksters hoping for their five minutes of fame on stupid shows like “Finding Bigfoot” or worse.
I’m not attacking you nor am I trying to be nasty to you. I just do not understand how someone like you and as learned as you can believe something so ridiculous exists. Where is the concrete evidence Dr. Peron? What actually proof do you have that this creature is simply not an urban myth or misidentified creature? You seem to be one who demands evidence but in the case of “bigfoot” you seem to pay no attention to the LACK of such evidence and I’m really having a difficult time understanding that.
Hopefully you will answer my email and feel free to put it on your blog if you wish with my name. I have no problem with it. Just to let you know I’ve hunted in the woods since the day I was born and I have NEVER seen ANYTHING like this “bigfoot” is supposed to be. I’ve seen bears, some rather large, standing on their hind legs and I’ve even seen some walking short distances on their hind legs BUT they were easily identifiable as BEARS not “bigfoot.”
So, I’d just like to know who people like yourself, Meldrum, and Martinez come to believe in such things when CLEARLY there is NO EVIDENCE Dr. Peron.
And here is my response to Mr. Dempsey………….
Dear Mr. Dempsey,
Thank you for your email and thank you for being a fan. I’m astounded you’ve read every post on my blog as there are a great number of them. It’s always nice to have such an interested fan and you honor me.
Regarding Dr. Jeff Meldrum at the University of Idaho who has appeared on many television shows regarding Bigfoot you’ll have to contact him and ask him why he believes Bigfoot is real as I cannot answer for him. I’m sure if you contact U of I they will ensure your email gets to him. As for Dr Martinez she is not associated with Columbia University as she only completed her doctorate there but as no further affiliation as far as I know. She has authored several books and in those books she has indeed made it very clear she thinks Bigfoot is or was a real creature. In fact, Dr Martinez seems to believe Bigfoot is a “Yak” which she defines in her books as a half ancient human ancestor and half animal being. You might want to read her books or even contact her for further information on her conclusions and beliefs as I cannot answer for her either.
Regarding Dr Ketchum here DNA results have been called into question and I think she is gearing up for another DNA analysis of some new evidence to support her first analysis. You might wish to contact her for further information as, again, I cannot answer for her either. In fact, the only person I can answer for is myself and my own beliefs, conclusions, and theories regarding Bigfoot.
Let me begin with this tidbit Mr Dempsey. There actually is an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting the existence of what is being called Bigfoot! That evidence is in the form of footprint casts, blood samples, hair samples, video, sound, and pictures of good quality not only from the United States and Canada but from all over the world. In fact, some of that evidence is highly interesting and of excellent quality, contrary to what you assert.
I happen to agree with you, in part, that MOST of the sightings of this being or creature are misidentified bears or other animals. Frankly, I hold the view and opinion that MOST of the sightings are either outright hoaxes OR misidentified animals. I think actual sightings of actual Bigfoot are RARE. It is those RARE cases and encounters that I focus on and dismiss the others, meaning the majority of sightings.
That being said and if you indeed have read every post on my blog then you well know I tend to be somewhat of the skeptic in most things. I did not used to believe Bigfoot was real and, like you, dismissed it as a myth or hoax. Only after several years of investigating this creature and seeing the evidence for myself (including personal sightings of the creature) have I come to believe in the existence of Bigfoot. Further, only after having examined some of the evidence and making some comparisons with it and primates including ancient humans, have I come to believe this being is, n fact, very real and very rare. I have not come to this conclusion lazily! I have come to my belief and conclusion in what Bigfoot actually is via the EVIDENCE that I have seen with my own eyes and examined MYSELF!
Frankly, there is a lot of hype surrounding Bigfoot and a lot of hoaxing going on. Every prankster wants his or her five minutes of fame just as you say and I dismiss them outright! After a bit of practice you get to where you can identify a prankster rather easily. What I focus on is the witnesses that are not trying to get five minutes of fame. In fact, most of them don’t even want to talk about their encounter or sighting and it takes a bit of prying just to get it out of most of them! These are the people whom I believe REALLY have encountered or seen something REAL and in my mind these are the people who provide the BEST EVIDENCE for the beings existence.
Further, I myself have spent much time in the wilderness in a wide variety of environs to the point of I pretty much know right away what something is in the wilds. So when I see something odd and/or out of place I take notice right away because I want to know what it is. For example, when I am out on one of my regular hikes and I notice sets of footprints in the soil that are very large and human-like I immediately take notice as I notice if they are imprinted in mud or on dry soil or snow or whatever. Water tends to distort and exaggerate such prints and I know this myself via my own experiments of walking barefooted in snow or mud and looking at my own prints which are larger than my actual feet. But, on dry land my footprints are the actual size of my feet and when I see the prints of Bigfoot on dry soil then I pay attention. If you know anything about bipedalism then you know when bipedal creatures walk there is pressure in various areas of the foot and you can see that reflected in the footprints. Consider this as opposed to a prankster with a big wooden stamp of a big human-like foot. You would NOT see the pressure impressions in the soil but just a flat stamp! This is NOT what I see in prints in dry soil left by Bigfoot. What I see is the heal pressure point and the toe pressure points and the kick up of soil as the creature was walking about.
Dr. Martinez believes Bigfoot is a “Yak” which is a hybrid creature between ancient human ancestors and an animal primate. Dr Meldrum believes the creature might be some species of the ancient Gigantopithecus. But, this large primate was only found in China as far as we know so how did it get to the Americas? Or is the creature native to the Americas and a giant ape species who happens to be bipedal? I don’t know as yet and I don’t think anyone else does 100% either.
So why no body? That’s the question most people ask. Have you ever found the remains of a cougar in the forest? Have you ever found the skeleton of a bear in the wilds? After my decades of hiking in some very remote regions in the world I have never found either! So to me it is not surprising that we have no body or no skeletal remains of Bigfoot. Or do we? I say that because there IS the possibility that some actual Bigfoot remains have been misidentified as ancient human ancestors by my own colleagues in the past!
My own theory is along the lines of that postulated by Dr Susan Martinez. That is, what we are calling Bigfoot is actually some sort of prehistoric human-other primate hybrid. Clearly it is bipedal. Clearly it stand upright. Clearly it has some human characteristics archaic or even modern! Clearly it is a rather intelligent creature as it seeks to avoid modern man! My theory is it is some sort of hybrid that is coexisting with us. And that would be the NORM not the exception because if you look back at human evolution scientists are coming to the belief that the norm has been the existence of more than one species of ancient human ancestor coexisting with another species. Human evolution has been one of a twisted bush or stream rather than a ladder in which one human species disappears and a more modern one emerges. So with that being the NORM why should it be any different TODAY?
You can certainly believe anything you desire Mr Dempsey but I suggest you take a closer look at the evidence that DOES exist and with a more open mind. There is something in our wilds that is bipedal, intelligent, big, and furry and people like me, Meldrum, Martinez, Ketchum, and MANY other researchers are trying to identify it and understand it. Would it not be a disservice to our professions if we ignored it or summarily dismissed it as “urban legend”? REAL science is about exploring AND uncovering the UNKOWN, Mr Dempsey. That is what we are attempting to carry out. REAL SCIENCE! If Bigfoot turns out to be a hoax or misidentified animal such as a bear in the end then so be it! At least we will know and right now we DON’T know! Real scientists follow the evidence WHEREVER it leads and that is what we are all trying to do. Would you wish us to follow some fore-drawn conclusion or perspective instead? Would you rather we form our theory first and then skew the evidence to fit our theory? Wouldn’t that be unethical and FAKE science, Mr Dempsey? In my mind it would.
Again, thank you for your email and interest in my blog and I hope you’ll keep reading. And, please feel free to comment on the blog if you wish.