Sasquatch Nest eDNA Study

 DNA, Meldrum, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Sasquatch Nest eDNA Study
Jun 232017
 

Big news on the science front is just emerging, and you can be a part of it.  But first, let me give you a little background.  

If you haven’t yet heard, some very peculiar nests which very well might have been made by the local sasquatches in the area have been found on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.  Over twenty nests have now been discovered in an area not larger than one square mile.  The site, which is off-limits to the general public, has been under observation for two years by some of the top researchers from the Olympic Project.  I will leave it to them to eventually publish the findings and results of their study at a future time.  For now, just know that this is going on, and has been for a couple years now.  

I have personally seen the nests, and I am very impressed by them.  I will go on record as saying that I believe sasquatches made them.  They were constructed by twisting and breaking off branches from the surrounding huckleberry bushes which grow up to 8 feet tall in the area.  The branches were brought to the nest locations and seemingly woven in an intentional shape that most resembles the ground nests of gorillas.  The only other contender for possibly having made the nests would be a black bear, but a biologist who saw the nests noted that if this is black bear behavior, it is undocumented black bear behavior.  Nothing like this has been seen before by anyone involved.  

Recently, Dr. Jeff Meldrum was taken to the nest site area and shown a number of the nest structures.  He took core samples from a number of the nests and will now attempt to get an environmental DNA analysis, or eDNA study, done on them.  

Environmental DNA, also known as eDNA, is a way to get DNA from the environment, hence the name.  This means that samples can be taken of dirt from the floor of caves, feeding sites, nests, or other locations where an animal is known to have been and tested for residual DNA, thus proving their presence.  This technique has already been used to obtain DNA from a variety of animal species, including extinct species such as Neanderthals and Denisovans, both extinct hominins (or thought to be extinct) closely related to humans.  Click here to read about these remarkable finds.  

EDNA testing is pretty expensive, though, and that’s where we come in.  Dr. Meldrum has started a crowd-funding effort to raise the money to get the samples tested.  This is something we can all do together as a community to help provide solid, verifiable, scientific evidence for the existence of sasquatches.  No donation is too small, and every dollar counts.  I have donated, and I recommend you do too.  Please share the link widely, post it on your social media accounts, and be loud and proud that you are helping to possibly solve the mystery of bigfoot.  Click this link to participate in the fund raising campaign to prove bigfoot is real by eDNA analysis.  

Sure, there is a chance that these are not nests made by sasquatches.  Perhaps this will be another dead end, like so many efforts that have come before.  But, think about it…  How would you feel if this proves bigfoot is real and you didn’t donate even a dollar?  This is an opportunity to participate in what could be the biggest scientific discovery of the new century.  It’s worth a buck.  Do it.  

Click here to donate.  

 

Sasquatch Field Guide Review

 Biology, Data, Education, Meldrum, Researchers  Comments Off on Sasquatch Field Guide Review
Oct 312016
 

 

Below is my reposted review of Dr. Jeff Meldrum’s Sasquatch Field Guide (Folding Pocket Guide):

 “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 FieldGuide 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.”

To purchase, click here:  Sasquatch Field Guide (Folding Pocket Guide)

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.
Apr 232011
 

Associate professor of Anatomy, and friend of the ‘squatch, Dr. Jeff Meldrum is the preeminent scientist in the field of bigfooting today.  He has boldly put his academic reputation on the line by investigating the sasquatch mystery, but has cautiously supported his claims and findings with an unerring devotion to data and the scientific method.  One of his specializations is bipedal locomotion in hominids, and the evolution that led up to it (check out his pricey, but excellent book, From Biped to Strider).  This, combined with his long-time interest in sasquatches, makes him the perfect candidate to carry the torch that Dr. Grover Krantz lit and carried for so long.

Cliff Barackman and Dr. Jeff Meldrum
April, 2011

Dr. Meldrum is best known in Bigfootland for his analysis of sasquatch footprints, as would be expected by his academic qualifications.  Meldrum inherited the majority of Dr. Krantz’s footprint casts when he passed away in 2002, and the collection has now grown to number over 200 specimens.

For several years, Dr. Meldrum has been working on a project called the Virtual Footprint Archive (VFA).  The VFA is an online collection of over 100 digital scans of footprint casts that can be turned and manipulated in virtual space by any user.  The public database is of lower resolution than a private archive that will eventually be available by invitation only, but it is still intensely interesting to cast nerds like myself.

The following three scans are screen grabs from the VFA.  Each depicts the same cast, but from a different angle.  The cast shown is from the Freeman collection and was collected in 1984 from Table Springs deep in the Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington.  The individual is commonly known as “Wrinkle Foot,” a name coined by the late Dr. Grover Krantz.

Table Springs, 1984
“Wrinkle Foot,”
Front view.
The same cast viewed from
the heel area.
The same cast from the toes.  Note
the “mushroom effect” on the small digit
nearest the bottom of the scan.

The VFA is a little hard to navigate at this point.  There are no thumbnails of the casts, and they are only listed by a number.  Also, the version of Flash that is used seems to be an older version than the one my computer is running.  This means that to view a cast, I have to grant permission to run the older Flash for each new page I open up.  It’s a little clumsy, but well worth it to see this project finally come to some level of fruition.  Dr. Meldrum gave permission for me to share the VFA with my readers, so please drop by and enjoy.

Oct 062010
 

The Bengal, the Idaho State University newspaper, recently posted an article featuring Dr. Meldrum.  I always appreciate Dr. Meldrum’s focus on the data supporting the bigfoot hypothesis.  Read on, and enjoy.


In search of Bigfoot
By Aaron Dean
Staff Writer

Dr. Jeffery Meldrum said he doesn’t take on faith that Sasquatch is real but based on the body of evidence he has examined, he does think the creature exists.

Meldrum is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology in the biology department at Idaho State University.

Meldrum said he started researching Sasquatch 14 years ago when he found a fresh footprint in southeastern Washington. “That was what set the hook as far as embarking on a more systematic and focused consideration of the question from a research perspective.”

He has been featured on the History Channel, the SyFy Channel andNational Public Radio.

Meldrum also said the case of Sasquatch is particularly interesting to him because his background is in the evolution of human locomotion.

He said, “The proposition of another biped – perhaps an early hominid or an ape – that had evolved the same bipedal adaptation as humans is an intriguing question.

“I was already familiar with footprint evidence for early humans walking, so I recognized
features and possibilities attributed to Sasquatch.

“I thought I could make a significant contribution to the resolution to this issue from the perspective of systematic evaluation of footprint evidence because I’m very familiar with that type of data.

“So I started collecting as many examples of the footprints as I could.”

Meldrum said his collection currently has over 200 footprint casts and they are working with the Idaho Virtualization Laboratory to create 3D models so other researchers will have access to them.

Meldrum also said he’s traveled around the world to study Sasquatch.

He said one of his more interesting travels was for a documentary for the History Channel to the Hubei province in China.

He said China has legends of a creature called the Yerin, which translates into “wild man” and has a similar description to Sasquatch.

He said they met with a park ranger who claimed to have seen a Yerin.

Meldrum said, “The ranger was patrolling the park and spied at several hundred yards, a reddish brown hair covered figure sprawled on a boulder in the sun in the morning hours.

“The ranger called out to it, it sat up, looked at him and instead of it being a long snouted bear it was a flat faced man-like figure that got up and walked into the forest.

“The ranger went after it and tracked it some distance to a stream where it left nice tracks in the mud.

“He went to get the materials and returned to make a cast of the feet.”

Meldrum said, “One of the objectives of the trip was to examine these casts.

He said the ranger opened up a suitcase and unwrapped the casts.

“I was stunned,” Meldrum stated, “because these footprints were virtually identical to the examples I have here in my laboratory.”

Meldrum also said the park ranger had no frame of reference as to what these footprints would look like making a hoax unlikely.

Meldrum said he is submitting an abstract to the American Association of Physical Anthropology meeting in the Spring about the trip.

As far as research here in the U.S., Meldrum said they are working on training search and recovery dogs to track Sasquatch.

He said one of the biggest criticisms of Sasquatch is there is no body, and the only way to get a body would be to track one down and kill it or for someone to stumble upon a body.

“Given their intelligence, this is probably going to be a very unlikely scenario,” Meldrum said.

“The next best thing would be to have a trace of that organism with DNA, and that would come from hair or feces,” he continued.

Meldrum said the dogs are generally used to identify humans and human remains, but can be trained to identify almost anything.

He said they had one of these dogs check what was suspected being Sasquatch feces, based on circumstantial evidence.

Meldrum said, “They get wind of this feces which would either be from bear or Sasquatch, because it was filled with black ants, and the dogs had a fear response to it.

“This is a very unusual response because those same dogs would walk by bear feces with no response.”

“This enthused one of the handlers, and she has agreed to train a dog to great ape hair and tissue with the presumption that Sasquatch falls close to the variation of gorillas, chimps and apes,” Meldrum continued.

“Once we have a dog that is at hand, if fresh footprints are found within about 12 hours, we can take the dogs to the site and imprint them with the scent, presuming the tracks are authentic.”

Meldrum said, “I’m not just about collecting footprints; we’re also approaching this as a question of wildlife biology. What is this creature’s role in the biological community?”

Jun 182010
 

OREGON SASQUATCH SYMPOSIUM 2010 SPEAKER ROSTER

MORNING JUNE 19TH

Breakfast 7:00-8:45

Autumn Williams 9:00-10:45

Break 10:45-11:15

Sali Sheppard-Wolford 11:15-12:00

AFTERNOON

Lunch 12:00-1:45

Expected- Bob Gimlin & Lenny Green music

David Rodriguez 1:45-2:30

Cliff Barackman 2:30-3:15

Break 3:30- 4:00

Thom Powell 4:00-4:45

Kathy Moskowitz Strain 4:45-5:30

EVENING

Dinner 5:30-6:45

Esther Stutzman 6:45-7:30

Q&A/close 7:30-8:30

MORNING JUNE 20TH

Breakfast 7:00-8:45

Jaime Avalos 9:00-9:45

Ron Morehead 9:45-10:45

Break 10:45-11:00

Scott Nelson 11:00-12:15

AFTERNOON

Lunch 12:15-1:45

Lenny Green music

Dr. Jeff Meldrum 1:45-3:15

Q&A 3:15-close

Jun 152010
 





The first annual Oregon Sasquatch Symposium will be occurring in Eugene, OR this coming weekend.  I have been invited to speak, and am currently scheduled for Saturday afternoon.  Also speaking at this event will be Dr. Jeff MeldrumAutumn WilliamsKathy Moskowitz-StrainThom PowellRonMooreheadScott Nelson, and more! For a full list of participants and speakers, check out the official website.


In addition to the scheduled lectures, there will be ample opportunity to shoot the breeze with various bigfooters, many of whom you will recognize. (The bigfooters you don’t recognize are equally intriguing, some of whom bring excellent opportunities for partnering up with on field research expeditions.) Bring copies of your favorite bigfoot books for the authors to sign. Take photographs with friends new and old. Listen to conversations about new research and projects. If you’ve never been to one of these social/informational gatherings, do yourself a favor and come! These are rare opportunities to talk ‘squatch with aficionados from all over the country, if not the world. The networking is unparalleled, and nearly everyone is a lot of fun to hang out with.


Tickets are still available.  Click this link to buy a couple.  Be sure to say hello to me when you’re there.  Any friend of the ‘squatch is a friend of mine!



May 252010
 

Dr. Jeff Meldrum speaking of Bob Gimlin.
James “Bobo” Fay looks on.



The following is a press release from the Washington State History Museum:


Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum and Robert Gimlin at the Washington State History Museum June 5

What: Sasquatch: The Sightings, the Science, the Stories
When: June 5 @ 10:30 a.m.
Where: Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave. Tacoma, WA
Cost: $18 includes museum admission and program. Museum member price $10.

Background: Two giants of Sasquatch research will be at the museum hosting an audience discussion of all things Sasquatch. Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum and Robert Gimlin will be discussing their collected evidence, taking audience questions, and meeting with attendees

Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, of Idaho State University and author of Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, is frequently seen on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and the National Geographic Channel among others. His book is the companion volume to the highly successful Discovery Channel documentary of the same name. A professor of anatomy and anthropology, his work encompasses the evaluation of hominid footprints, including those attributed to Sasquatch, both in the lab and the field. The Giants in the Mountains: The Search for Sasquatch exhibit features casts Dr. Meldrum made in Eastern Washington.

Robert Gimlin and the late Roger Patterson filmed the infamous piece of Sasquatch evidence known as the Patterson-Gimlin film, notably frame 352, made in northern California. This film features a female Bigfoot striding next to a sandy creek. Expedition partner Robert Gimlin will discuss his experience on the Bluff Creek expedition and the famous encounter on the trail, made immortal in the 24 feet of film Patterson recorded.

The Washington State History Museum, flagship of the Washington State Historical Society, is located at 1911 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma, just off 1-5. The museum presents exhibits, programs, and events that bring to life the stories of Washington’s history. For more information, including hours and admission rates, please call 1-888-BE-THERE (1-888-238-4373), or visit our web site, WashingtonHistory.org.

Hours: Wednesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., with extended hours and FREE admission every third Thursday of the month, 2–8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Admission: $25 for families (two adults and up to four children); $8 for adults; $7 for seniors, age 60 and above; $6 for students and military with valid ID; children, age 5 and below, and members are always FREE.

Contact: 1-888-BE THERE; WashingtonHistory.org
MEDIA CONTACT:
Kimberly Adams
public relations coordinator
253-798-5877
kadams@wshs.wa.gov

Feb 122010
 

The Oregon Sasquatch Symposium is scheduled for June 19th and 20th of this year. I am honored to have been invited to speak at this gathering alongside some of my favorite bigfooters in Bigfootland.

Also speaking at this event will be Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Autumn Williams, Kathy Moskowitz-Strain, Thom Powell, Ron Moorehead, Scott Nelson, and more! For a full list of participants and speakers, check out the official website.

For this event, you can buy either a “red” ticket or a “grey” ticket by clicking here. The red variety, which costs $40, gives you two days of preferred seating, a catered lunch, and a raffle ticket. The grey ticket, which costs only $20, bestows upon you two days of general admission and slightly-less preferred seating, though still not bad at all. (You can check out the seating charts here.)

In addition to the scheduled lectures, there will be ample opportunity to shoot the breeze with various bigfooters, many of whom you will recognize. (The bigfooters you don’t recognize are equally intriguing, some of whom bring excellent opportunities for partnering up with on field research expeditions.) Bring copies of your favorite bigfoot books for the authors to sign. Take photographs with friends new and old. Listen to conversations about new research and projects. If you’ve never been to one of these social/informational gatherings, do yourself a favor and come! These are rare opportunities to talk ‘squatch with aficionados from all over the country, if not the world. The networking is unparalleled, and nearly everyone is a lot of fun to hang out with.

Networking the ‘squatch with Monica Rawlings (TBRC), Cliff Barackman,
and Craig Woolheater (TBRC) at last May’s Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up

If you do attend, please come and say hello to me. Any friend of the ‘squatch is a friend of mine.

Jan 102010
 

National Geographic Television (NatGeoTV.com) has produced a short video clip featuring Dr. Meldrum. It’s actually pretty good, and far better than another recent example of media coverage on the subject.

In this short video, they briefly address the “where are the bones?” question, hoaxed footprints, Dr. Meldrum’s background and expertise (the evolution of bipedalism), anatomical adaptations of sasquatch feet, and a few other tidbits. All that and a little more in just 5 minutes.

And most importantly no snickering at, nor belittling of the subject.

The only time I really cringed while watching the video was when they referred to sasquatch as “him” instead of “they”. Ouch! Other than that, not bad.

Enjoy!