Back to School with Bigfoot

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Jun 282017
 

Back to School with Bigfoot

Back to School with Bigfoot by Samantha Berger and Martha Brockenbrough, just released yesterday, will certainly prove to become a favorite among teachers and children alike.  All students (and teachers) have some level of anxiety of going back to school after summer vacation, and it turns out that bigfoot does as well.  

The book is from a sasquatch’s perspective as he goes through the same ordeals a student would from trying on new shoes to getting a haircut.  I would suppose that for a bigfoot, these mundane worries would be particularly troublesome.

Samantha Berger has written a number of monster-themed children’s books before, and Martha Brockenbrough was the author behind the official Finding Bigfoot: Everything You Need to Know (Animal Planet) book, for which I wrote the introduction and fact-checked the text.  She is no stranger to the bigfoot field.  

Click this link to pick up a copy of Back to School with Bigfoot for you, your children, or their teacher!  Click here for more books that I recommend for young readers.

Walking With Bigfoot – A Beginner’s Field Guide to Common Birds of North America

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Apr 172017
 

Walking With Bigfoot – A Beginners Field Guide to Common Birds of North America 
by Sharen and Mark Mellicker

This is the second in a series of children’s books written as field guides for the young bigfoot lover.  The first book walked with a family of bigfoots through the woods and pointed out tree species and how to identify them.  In this book we travel with the same bigfoot family, but this time focus on various woodland habitats and the birds that live in them.  Each page has a narrative as the main text with the margins filled by illustrations by Sharen Mellicker depicting birds and how to identify them.  

While reading this book, lesson plans and projects came rushing into my head, as is the tendency with any professional educator.  If I was still a classroom teacher, I would use this book as a template for a student assignment.  After all, there are few better “hooks” to get a young person reading than to get them reading about bigfoot.  

Bigfoot in Evolutionary Perspective – Book Review

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Mar 012017
 

Bigfoot in Evolutionary Perspective: The Hidden Life of a North American Hominin 
By T. A. Wilson

 

In a nutshell, Bigfoot in Evolutionary Perspective is a book that looks at data from various sources and uses that data to come to conclusions about bigfoot.  The sources range from John Green’s sightings database, the BFRO database, and various books and publications.  Wilson uses his own field experiences as grounds for his conclusions as well, as any field researcher should do.

The book is definitely a valuable resource for researchers.  Wilson has created numerous charts and graphs in which he shows a breakdown of how many reports from Green’s database show a certain characteristic, such as height, arm length, or even the types of foods sasquatches have been seen eating.  In fact, there is an entire section at the end of the book that only features these graphics, though they are peppered throughout the book in the appropriate chapters where those features are discussed. 

A notable chapter in the book solely deals with the value and reliability of eyewitness testimony.    This is particularly important to bigfooters because of the assumption by skeptics that eyewitness testimony is unreliable.  Using data from psychological field studies, Wilson clearly shows that eyewitnesses are adroit at getting the main details of unusual events correct in retellings. 

Other conclusions Wilson draws from the data are interesting to note, though many have been published elsewhere, such as the running speed of saquatches, how far and high they can jump, and others.  However, even when rehashing these particular abilities, he does an excellent job using sighting reports to support his claims. 

There are several points where my own opinion differs from that of Wilson’s.  These points tend to come from assumptions that Wilson makes.  Fore example, one entire chapter of the book details how sasquatches couldn’t possibly be a relict form of Gigantopithecus.   While I am far from certain that sasquatches are relict Gigantos, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the idea.  Wilson sites the research done by Cinchon in his book, Other Origins: The Search for the Giant Ape in Human Prehistory, probably the most complete book on the discovery and analysis of the Gigantopithecus fossils.  Many assumptions about Gigantos have been made by both Cinchon and Wilson that would be difficult to know considering how few fossils we have of these creatures.  No post cranial fossils of the species have been recovered, and everything we know about these creatures is derived from a handful of mandibles and a few hundred teeth.  Saying that they were quadrupeds is as speculative as saying they were bipedal.  Saying that Gigantos were almost exclusively herbivorous, had limited endurance, or only ranged locally are other examples of speculations based on incomplete data. 

Another glaring example where my opinion diverges from that of Wilson has to do with the sasquatch hand.  Since Wilson assumes that sasquatches are a hominin, which could very well be true, he also assumes that they would have to have human-like hands for precision grip.  Yet the data suggests otherwise.  Wilson contests the idea that the sasquatch thumb lies parallel to the other fingers.  Such a thumb, if limited to this one position, would indeed lack the ability to pick up, grasp, and hold objects, just as he claims.  Wilson’s mistake is his assumption that the sasquatch thumb can ONLY lie parallel to the other fingers.  Just as your thumb can move inwards in a grasping motion and back and forth on a more horizontal plane, sasquatch thumbs seem to do the same.  In fact, the available sasquatch hand casts show the thumb to be impressed at various angles from the other fingers demonstrating this mobility.  Wilson uses many paragraphs to explain why such an inflexible and strange hand structure could not possibly be used for the variety of applications that sasquatch hands must be used for.  I agree.  The problem here is the inflexible idea that sasquatch hands can only bend a certain direction.  I would argue that assuming a sasquatch thumb can only move in that limited way is a product of rigid expectations. 

This cast was collected by Wes Sumerlin in the Blue Mountains. Note the angle of the thumb compared to the other fingers.

This huge hand was cast by Paul Freeman in the Blue Mountains. Note the thumb position as it bends inwards towards the camera.

The Titmus hand cast from the Bluff Creek area. Note the thumb lying parallel to the other fingers on the left.

Since Wilson disagrees with the hand analysis supported by Krantz and Meldrum based on the Freeman hand casts, he therefore goes on to assume that the Freeman handprint evidence, and indeed other casts not collected by Freeman but are often ascribed to him because they were collected in the Blue Mountains, are all hoaxes.  This assumption then spills over to any evidence thought to have been collected by Freeman in the Blue Mountains.  In my opinion, this is an error.  Not only does most of the Freeman evidence stand up to analysis, but many of the so-called Freeman casts were actually collected by others, including Wes Sumerlin, Dar Addington, John Mionczynski,  Vance Orchard, and others.  Unfortunately due to incomplete and poorly-recorded data, these others’ contributions to the Blue Mountains evidence has been incorrectly ascribed to Paul Freeman.  

Don’t get me wrong.  Just because I disagree with some of Wilson’s conclusions doesn’t make this book any less valuable.  In fact, I agree with most of his conclusions about bigfoots.  I can also happily say that I picked up a couple things from the book that I hadn’t considered before.  Wilson bravely speculates on what he thinks bigfoots are and can do, which makes for a much bolder book than the compendium of sighting reports that most bigfoot books end up being.  Early in the book Wilson states that these are only his conclusions and he can be reasonably disagreed with.  All good researchers should have this opinion.  None of us have all the facts, and Wilson uses statistical analysis well to support many of his conclusions. 

The book can be a little dry at times, as any statistical analysis can be, but the text is information-rich.  I don’t agree with some of Wilson’s assumptions, but I also don’t mind my own assumptions being challenged by others, such as Wilson, when they are well-informed, use data, and have some field experience to back them up.  While peppered with sighting reports, this is not a narrative, and the eyewitness reports are included to support Wilson’s conclusions as examples.  For those scientifically-minded bigfooters that use facts and data to drive their opinions about sasquatches, I strongly recommend reading this book. 

Click the link below to purchase your copy of this excellent bigfoot book. 

 

Bigfoot in Evolutionary Perspective: The Hidden Life of a North American Hominin

Sasquatch Tales: Woodbooger’s Woods

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Feb 242017
 

Sasquatch Tales: Woodbooger’s Woods 
By Dana Lynd

I love it when people think outside the box, and there is not doubt that author Dana Lynd did just that when coming up with the idea for Sasquatch Tales: Woodbooger’s Woods.  

The book shares an account of a family’s camping trip to the woods.  Knocks are heard, a footprint is found, but not much really comes from the events.  When the end of the book is reached, the reader is instructed to turn the book over and backwards, and then to read the book again.  This time it is presented from the eyes of a sasquatch watching the family on their camping trip.  

The book is an excellent example of perspectives in storytelling, and with a sasquatch as a silent protagonist, it would certainly be a favorite in the classroom or at home.

To order the book, click the links above.  For more suggestions on bigfoot books for kids and teens, click this link

“A Wish for Giants” Production Tee Shirts

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Jan 112017
 

A Wish for Giants Tee Shirts now available

Last year, a new bigfoot book called A Wish for Giants was released.  A large portion of the proceeds from that book go towards helping an organization (that for legal reasons cannot have their name officially associated with publications) that takes children with life-threatening diseases and helps them live out one of their wishes.  I have done work with this organization in the past, so I know they are legit.  

A Wish for Giants

The author, Aaron Dunbar, is not taking the extra step to make a movie from his book.  To help fund this endeavor, he is selling A Wish for Giants tee shirts.  If you would like to help this movie become a reality and help some children along the way, click on this link and pick up a shirt!

 

Dec 222013
 

It has just come to my attention that my good friend, Kirk Sigurdson has started a blog related to his new bigfoot-themed novel, Kultus.  I wrote about my take on Kirk’s book in a previous blog post.

Kirk is an excellent writer, so I would encourage you to not only read his book, but check out his blog as well.  He is a man of many interests, and he offers unique perspectives on each and every one.

Click here to visit the Kultus Book Blog.

Dec 042013
 
The cover of Kultus.  Cover design by
Guy Edwards of Bigfoot Lunch Club.

Author, teacher, and envelope-pusher Kirk Sigurdson has published his first fictional novel having to do with bigfoots entitled Kultus. I have read it cover to cover, and I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, characters, and message.  The setting is a slightly fictionalized Skamania County, WA in and around the Columbia River Gorge.  Kirk uses his knowledge and experience of bigfoots and the radical politics of logging to intertwine them into a story about conservation, land use, and passions.

Here is the blurb from Amazon about the book:
Jonathan Dewey Graham owns the largest stand of Pacific Rainforest in the United States. The Old Growth Resistance (OGRE) wants to stop him from logging on his own land by suing to classify it as a protected wilderness area. OGRE’s campaign, funded in part by marijuana cultivation, hits a roadblock when forest giants (bigfoot) are discovered living in the ancient old growth forest. Ultimately, the precarious balance between landed gentry and environmental extremists comes to rest on the shoulders of a twelve year-old girl—Graham’s only child—who is befriended by a lone forest giant. The end result is both poignant and tragic. Kultus touches upon the universal nature of love, sentience, and the sustainability of resources in a world burdened with an ever-growing human population. Television personality, Cliff Barackman, calls this novel, “The riveting story of a metaphoric tug-of-war between lawyers, timber companies, land owners, hippies, and one young girl. Outside of these warring interests are the sasquatches whose ultimate fate depends on the outcome of the human wrangling.” A surprising amount of research from the fields of anthropology and cryptozoology helps to enrich the story with realistic details. Like Upton Sinclair’s, The Jungle, Kultus has the power to transform society for the better. Its social commentary about non-human intelligence is at once captivating, and also chilling.

I can highly recommend this book to any reader of bigfoot fiction. Being a teacher of literature, I can safely say that Kirk’s writing style will not disappoint, and his imagination will live up to the same expectation.

Buy this book from Amazon by clicking this link.



Nov 202013
 
Sanderson’s inscription to Jerry Crew

While filming volume two of Bigfoot Road Trip, I was treated by seeing (and holding and caressing) many lost treasures of bigfoot history.  Among them was this little gem.

Ivan T. Sanderson gave Jerry Crew a copy of his book, Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life.  Sanderson was kind enough to write a short, personalized inscription into the inside cover the book, which Jerry kept safe over the years (though a little water damage and time has taken their toll).

Sanderson and Crew knew each other well, and considered each other friends.  Besides this book, there were letters from the men to each other, as well as other relics from the history of bigfooting.  Many of these will be showcased for the very first time with the release of Bigfoot Road Trip, Volume 2, expected to be released this summer.

Jun 112013
 
A new children’s book has hit the stands to help encourage the young people in your life to start bigfooting.  Cindy Rose Caddell has combined her love for bigfooting with her artistic skills as a photographer and artist to produce a well-written book perfect for any bigfooter between the ages of two and nine years of age.  
You can buy the book from Amazon by clicking this link.  
Mar 282013
 

The Sasquatch Field Guide
by Dr. Jeff Meldrum
Finally, a concise and well-written field guide has been published to help the bigfoot field investigator document various types of evidence in an appropriate way. Dr. Jeff Meldrum has put together a field guide on heavy-duty, waterproof card stock that literally fits in your back pocket or backpack, adding little weight to those ounce-sensitive backpackers with an interest in collecting data from the backcountry. Seemingly thinking of everything, Dr. Meldrum has even included a ruler along the top margin of the Guide so the researcher will always have a scale item for any photos taken in the woods.
The Sasquatch Field Guide not only helps researchers with identifying possible spoor left by bigfoots, but it also helps him or her reduce the possibility of misidentifying signs of other animals for those of sasquatches. Also included in the Field Guide are easy-to-understand directions on how to gather and store data in the field in preparation for future analysis. The Guide uses colors and diagrams making it easy to read and understand, which could be the difference between successfully gathering data and blowing it when under the pressure of dealing with the real thing out in the field.
Sections in the Sasquatch Field Guide include information on visual identification, footprint identification, track casting, gathering footprint metrics, hair samples, scat samples, tree breaks, nests, cultural signs, stacked rocks, habitat and distribution, diet, vocalizations, possible origins, and taphonomy. This hefty brochure-style guide is densely-packed with valuable information that all field researchers should be intimately acquainted with.