Interview with The Ohio / Pennsylvania Bigfoot Research Group, March 2001, by an interested Ohio student working on a report.
Interview Questions for a Bigfoot Researcher
1) Do you agree with Grover Krantz in his theory that Sasquatch are descendants of Gigantopithecus Blacki a long extinct Asian Gorilla, that he believes migrated to North America by way of the Bering Straight? Why or why not?
Krantzís hypothesis of a Gigantopithecus descendant is a good one, but more emphasis needs to be put on proving this. From reports and indications from footprints, I think if the creature exists, it probably is an ape descendant. The history of man and the apes are still not completely known today, and further speculation is more or less futile.
2) What do you think a Sasquatch social life is like? Lives in groups? Lives alone? Migrates?
Few reports mention more that one creature, indicating minimal social
grouping. There are some hypotheses that these creatures move about in social
groups, with the individuals separated by a hundred yards or more, keeping in
contact with whistles, tree knocks, grunts, and so forth. There are also
hypotheses of migration, where the creatures travel hundreds of miles from
season to season. There is little proof of any of these hypotheses. I think it
is more likely that the creatures would live in small groups and travel within a
50X50 mile area, where they could remain intimately familiar with the territory.
Such familiarity with the environment is the only way they could escape
detection by man; migration would only expose them further. Migration, outside
of elevation changes, in the lower 48 states is only typical of birds.
Furthermore, the range of the creature may decrease as the area becomes more
remote, such as in the Pacific Northwest. These creatures would seek the most
remote, difficult to reach regions to inhabit, thereby making them extremely
difficult to find.
The Patterson film is the best representation of what a Bigfoot creature looks like as described by many witnesses. Whether or not it is fake is a question investigated by many. I havenít investigated the film itself, and can only rely on what I read to reach any conclusions. I am not convinced that it is either real or fake at this time. I await further film footage of equal or greater quality in order to verify assumptions about the creature made from the Patterson film. The bigger question might be, why, with so many people with cameras actively trying to capture the creature on film, has no one been able to obtain footage equivalent to Patterson in 33 years. Repeatability means a lot to science and myself in order to prove something. If something canít be repeated, one should begin to think that the event may not have been real. Todayís researchers have quite an arsenal of video cameras, night vision, thermal vision, remote activated cameras, and more to aid them in capturing an image of the creature, but all that equipment has yet to provide further proof. During the next ten years, if the creature is real, more evidence has to be found.
4) Do you believe Bigfoot is the missing link, or an undiscovered species?
I would prefer to answer these questions once we have a better idea of what
the creature is from DNA sampling. It could easily be both. Finding the missing
link has serious implications in religion and science, and requires undeniable
Finding a body in the fossil record is very difficult, as the conditions need
to be perfect and someone has to dig up the right spot. New fossils are still
being discovered today, and we are still just scratching the surface of just a
few areas that have provided results in the past. What if the creatures never
lived where we are digging? Finding a dead body on the ground is also very
difficult. During fieldwork, I occasionally find a dead deer or bones of smaller
mammals; always very common animals that have been killed by predation or
accident. Most animals that are near death have a behavior habit of secluding
themselves before death as a protective instinct against attack vulnerability.
Maybe someone has already found a body or skeleton, but from the limited remains
didnít know what it was or know what to do with it and traveled on. Another
possibility is that they feared the public exposure that would come from finding
such a thing. Of course, Bigfoot may also not be real. Hopefully, if someone
finds a body or bones they will know where to take it so that it doesnít get
lost to science.
Intelligence is a relative issue. Intelligence can many times be confused
with instinctive behavior. Common animals may appear to outwit human hunters,
but they may just be relying on instinctive reactions. Currently, we have no way
of rating the intelligence of the creature other than from stories. The
reliability of the stories is often questionable, and the researcherís own
ideas may sway the results. Reports havenít indicated the creature using or
making tools or having a complex language. The only possible implement use is
throwing stones and branches. If one could make a comparison from the more
reliable reports, the creature could be of comparable intelligence to present
day apes. These creatures may have escaped capture due to rarity, elusive
nocturnal behavior, and because Bigfoot research is an amateur study consisting
of individuals with limited time and budgets. At no time has there been a funded
scientific effort with serious intentions of capturing the creature.
I am not sure Bigfoot /Sasquatch exists. I am, however, intrigued by the
number of reports and number of footprints found. However, caution is required,
research in our area has revealed considerable false information.
No, I have never had a personal experience or found definite evidence, even
though I have researched and visited areas with reported activity many times.
When I was very young, I viewed the Patterson film as part of a movie in a theater. That really got me interested in the idea that there may be an unknown creature roaming the Pacific Northwest of the United States. I started to read books on the subject in second grade, which created quite a debate with a few teachers when I got some classmates interested as well. I continued to be interested, but not seriously, until I heard about some Ohio sightings in the local paper during 1978. After searching the area with my brother, we continued to visit areas in Ohio and Pennsylvania that I heard about in the newspapers. Our hope was to verify the reports or maybe see the creature. Around 1994, I started the Ohio/Pennsylvania Bigfoot Research Group in order to obtain my own reports for research instead of relying on the questionable information of others. Why do I research the subject? I need to find out the truth -- if this creature is real or if it is an imaginary creature seen by people who have some underlying psychological problems. After all the years I have spent researching, I am still unsure of the final answer. Certainly, there are many nonsense reports and some problematic individuals, but there are a few good reports that have the potential to be real. I am still looking for the hard evidence required for verification.
10) What do you think is Bigfoot's behavior? Aggressive?
Most reports indicate a docile, shy creature. A few reports indicate
aggression, but most of those reports are very questionable. From indications of
itís reported size, the creature has the potential of being formidable. The
creature most likely has a protective instinct to use aggression when needed.
Any animal should be treated with caution, as they are all unpredictable. The
price of aggression to man is high --all such animals have been historically
sought after for elimination in regions near man.
I am only commenting on the reports received by our research group and the
Bigfoot Research Network, of which we are members. It is hard to follow the
reports of other researchers, as their report details are usually held
confidential, and there are no report rating standardization procedures used.
The Bigfoot Network, which includes our own reports, has received 30 official
reports in the year 2000. We have also received 90 logged phone calls, and more
that were not logged to our 1-800 hotline consisting of: hoaxes, jokes,
derogatory comments, and other nonsense. Of the official reports, at least 9 are
hoaxes, and 3 are most likely misinterpretations, 14 were selected for
follow-up. Report totals for each state are: Ohio, 12; Pennsylvania, 6; West
Virginia, 2; Maryland, 1; 9 others were from states outside our research area.
The reports that were actually followed up on are: Ohio, 10; Pennsylvania, 3;
West Virginia, 1. Nine of these were of recent activity, but no evidence could
be found during field explorations to verify the activity. 4 of the reports have
potential for further research. The other reports were not followed up on due to
the limited time of members and limited membership of the Bigfoot Research
Network or because they were very old sightings. No hard evidence was obtained
during the year 2000.
We are working with sketchy information, since we donít receive every available report of sightings or other creature incidences. Therefore, I cannot say with any certainty that there is some type of year-to-year pattern or where the sightings occur. The information we have may just indicate where we have expended more energy collecting stories. The only general region, that seems to have continued creature occurrences is the Southeast quadrant of Ohio.
13) In Skamania, Washington there is a law against killing a Sasquatch. The fine is $10,000 and 5 years in jail. How do you feel about this law and do you believe it should apply through out America?
The Skamania county ordinance, by its wording, is also protection from mobs of hunters with high powered guns roaming the woods shooting at anything that moves. I wouldnít mind the ordinance being applied across the country for my own protection while walking in the woods as well, since I walk many times in camouflage and at night. The game laws in every state that I know of prohibit killing anything you do not have a valid license to hunt. The judgments for not following those laws are similar in amount to those in the Skamania ordinance, or worse if it involves an endangered species. Therefore, the laws of protection are already in place. It would seem little more is required, but those involved do need to be aware of the current laws.
14) Is a body needed for science to acknowledge Bigfootís existence?
It is my belief that a body is not necessarily needed to acknowledge Bigfootís existence, but it might make it a lot easier. Advances in DNA analysis have transformed wildlife research. Wildlife managers and researchers rarely need to injure an animal to study it. Repeatable photos, video footage, and tissue sampling would be enough to acknowledge the creature. The keyword is repeatable evidence, which hasnít been found yet. Once it can be acknowledged, then the creature can be accurately defined and further researched by funded organizations.
15) Why hasnít Bigfoot become especially common since they are not hunted, are without known predators, and appear to have a sustainable source of food and shelter?
I once heard this very good question asked. I do not have a good answer for
the question nor have I ever heard a good answer for it. If we look at any other
animal, their population explodes without some control, and it is unlikely that
these creatures would be any different. Some believe that these creatures are in
fact more common, but common animals should have been located by now, as has
been the case with all other large animals in North America. Some believe that
the creatures were nearly wiped out by diseases carried by early settlers, and
have never regained their population. This is unlikely, because the creatures
would require close contact with the settlers, and be susceptible to human
diseases. Some believe that the creatures are very solitary or their populations
are so low that there are few occasions to reproduce. That is also unlikely,
because declining populations usually lead directly to rapid extinction. On the
other side of the coin, there are people who even think that these creatures are
not of this world or dimension, and therefore, scientific reasoning does not
apply. Science can also be applied to prove this as well, but all too often,
this theory is used to evade reality.