It is a more and more frequent occurrence. You go to a Bigfoot conference, and there’s a friendly face at a vendor table. You want a souvenir, or some kind of artifact for your research. At the vendor’s table, behold, you see casts. Wow, a replica of a Sasquatch foot.
“Why not pick up one or two,” you say to yourself. You wish to carry home something that seems only once removed from the foot of a Bigfoot, don’t you? You look at them more closely.
These icons of Bigfootery are staring at you. They seem to be asking to join your personal cryptozoology collection, don’t they?
But do you know what and where the tracks are from? Are they labeled? Is there information on each one? Are you buying a different one than what’s at home, or a bad 7th generation reproduction of one that looks like what you might already own?
Buyer beware, right? Or just be educated? For example, can you id the provenance of each of the casts shown below?
So what casts are from where and tied to what date seen in this selection?
Casts are being sold far and wide, but do people know what they are getting?
Grover Krantz attempted to give some clarification between various tracks casts.
The overall Bigfoot cast database is flawed. First there are casts that are certainly Wallace fakes (see here). Also, I’ve shown that some casts said to be one thing might be another (“When Western Bigfoot Casts Are Just Older Western Casts” and “When Southern Bigfoot Casts Are Really Western“).
But some efforts have been made to create identification sites for the Bigfoot casts that are most commonly available.
Cliff Barackman has one (see here, although some of the images were not loading today).
Jeff Meldrum looks at various tracks here.
(Don’t forget, if you learn how to cast your own tracks that you find, it will give you a better appreciation of the casts you collect. The BFRO’s “Tips for Casting Impressions and Tracks” is a good place to begin your learning.)
I realize vendors are here to stay, and many people in the field do look forward to collecting casts. I merely hope people obtain casts that are clearly identified so they will be an educational experience for you. Visit the databases, read a few good books (Christopher Murphy’s tomes have great visuals of casts), and buy casts with known histories.
Pictured at top is Joedy Cook’s vendor table and Marc DeWerth’s vendor table, via Google Image/Facebook. Coincidentally, both of these researchers are based in Ohio, where you will find many Bigfoot conferences.