Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Sunday Book Review, July 29, 2012: "Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence" and "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science"

"Ah," Dear Readers, you may be saying as you read the title of this post, "Madame L is at it again. Who cares whether the creature called Bigfoot or Sasquatch really exists? It's impossible for such a creature to exist, and all those bogus programs on TV where they're supposedly hunting it are a waste of time!"

And so on...And Madame L would not disagree with your assessment of the Bigfoot-hunting programs on TV and most of the books written about the creature.

But Madame L definitely would disagree with your assessment of the value of knowing whether the creature actually exists and of knowing more about it, if it does.

And Madame L thinks this book, written by a scientist, Dr. Grover S. Krantz, is the authoritative book on the subject.

Madame L enjoys Dr. Krantz's peculiarly academic way of dismissing much of the so-called evidence of the existence of Bigfoot. Here's an example, dealing with the people who think Sasquatches have mystical or magical qualities and/or have some special information they want to impart to the human race:

"I have been contacted by several rational-sounding people who say they are or have been in telepathic contact with sasquatches. Each of them presents a very different version of what the creatures really are. If one of them is right, the others are totally wrong. Since all but one version must be wrong, there obviously has to be some explanation of how a false impression of telepathy has been experienced by the rest of them. It then becomes a simple step to appy that explanation to the single remaining version. What most likely occurs here is that a person is having a conversation with him/herself, and is silently verbalizing both sides of the discussion. It is a known psychological phenomenon that many such people, at one time or another, fail to note that both sides of the discussion are their own creation, and ascribe one of them to an outside source. In most instances of this phenomenon, that outside source is attributed to an entity very different from the sasquatch, but the principle is still the same. This is classed as a minor mental disorder, but it is fairly common and generally has no serious repercussions."

If any of Madame L's Dear Readers are interested in Sasquatch, this is the book to read. Another, more recent one, which Madame L recommends is "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science," by Jeff Meldrum.

Both of these books are worth reading because they put the cultists and lunatic fringe in their proper place and examine the actual physical evidence, from skin ridges and furrows to anatomy and physiology; they dismiss the "paranormal" explanations with appropriate humor (see above quote); and they perform authoritative analyses of recordings, photos and movies.

By the way, because Madame L likes to illustrate her posts and book reviews with photos, she performed a quick Google search for a photo to accompany this one, but (strangely enough) she found nothing. She did find a website, "Paranormal Plus," with a hilarious article titled "My Elusive Friend, Bigfoot." Madame L recommends this article as an object lesson in the improper use of the exclamation point. Here's a quote from the article:

"On one occasion, Bigfoot came up during the day when no one was at home and went into the barn where he normally ate his sweet feed. This time he left three rocks on the barrel top! Pearl told me that this was his way of expressing thanks for the feed and that many scientists including her had witnessed this action many times. Evidently one was for the papa, one for the mama and one for the baby who we learned they had started bringing with them.

"...Weather permitting, I still go over there each day and my time is never wasted! I feel that Bigfoot continues to be looking for new and amazing ways to mystify me and I think he loves doing this.

"...Most who have studied him are convinced that he does indeed have psychic capabilities unlike anything a World-Class Psychic could imagine. To prove this point there have been many times when I have managed to communicate with him on a somewhat successfully degree via thought-emanations but I may never know the true degree of my success!"

Talk about having a conversation with oneself, unaware that both contributors to the conversation are oneself... One can agree at least with the last part of the last sentence quoted here.


AskTheGeologist said...

Madame Elle is distantly related (by marriage) to a scientist who has heard creatures calling back and forth to each other as they fled his approach, in a very remote part of northern California that was 2 hours from the nearest civilization by bad road. Her Distant Relative had two similar experiences spaced one year apart. He also took the opportunity to examine plaster casts of footprints collected by a colleague scientist working on chromite deposits in that region. One cast was 16 inches long with a heel 4 inches wide. There were coarse whorls on the big toe. The scientist who collected these said he had been carrying around plaster of paris for years, and had seen so many tracks that he had become very picky of what he would "cast." Only very clear prints in very fine mud beside a creek would suffice.

Madame Elle's Distant Relative also talked with a BLM land manager who quietly asked all in the party to NOT announce it if they ever encountered a Sasquatch - because this brought a flood of weird city types who would get themselves lost in the woods and the BLM land manager whould have to go find them and help them out. He said it had become a real pain, and interferred with his main job, which was patrolling for poachers.

There are recordings on the BFRO website that sound remarkably like what Madame Elle's Distant Relative heard two years in a row near Brown's Mine in Northern California.

Ellen said...

I enjoyed reading your post. Your quiet sense of humor made me smile. And now I'm happy to read the DR's comment, above! (Just thought I'd add that extra little exclamation point. You know, for fun!!)