When Southern Bigfoot Casts Are Really Western
by Loren Coleman ©2013
The proliferation of easy-to-obtain plaster of Paris and resin copies of well-known tracks of Bigfoot/Sasquatch, we all knew, was going to be a problem. The chickens have come home to roost. The field has to face the consequences of less-than-scientific decisions on how the evidence has been handled.
These are two of the most commonly sold Patterson-Gimlin filmsite footprint copies, which have been easy to find at conferences and online for over 25 years.
The fields of cryptozoology, Bigfootery and hominology, I’m afraid, have matured to the stage of seeing troubles sprout from the widespread exchanging and sharing of Bigfoot casts. The database is contaminated, and continues to be, for instance, due to the discovered Wallace, probable Freeman, and alleged Crook fakes still contained within it. It is time to sort out the other impurities that may be in the mix.
Let’s look at a few examples of fakes, mistakes, and more that I’ve discovered and can be revealed in this arena.
(1) The Tennessee cast.
The easily obtained common P-G filmsite cast copy has become a liability. The classic 1967 Bluff Creek, California filmsite copy (seen on left above) has been used in hoaxes, as investigator Scott McNabb harshly learned in 1998. McNabb found this out when someone left a fake print (cast on right above) for him to come across on his June 11, 1998, Tennessee Bigfoot search trek.
Back in 1998, the Bigfoot communication world was driven by emails, forums, chatrooms, and community Yahoo lists. One of these forums was run by Scott McNabb for years, until he turned it over to Bobbie Short in 1997.
A creation can sometimes kill its maker, it so happens.
McNabb suffered badly online for his initial mistake of saying he’d found a real Bigfoot track in Tennessee. After it became obvious that the track he’d discovered was made from a copy of a print from Bluff Creek, 1967, many online trolls and comment makers jumped all over McNabb – as the hoaxer. He was badly criticized, and felt it was nearly impossible to be heard above the yelling and the inhouse debunkers. In the end, McNabb was, more or less, driven from the Bigfoot world. Where is Scott McNabb? What is he doing today? He appears to have been a direct casualty of Bigfoot track copycat fakery.
(2) The Fouke cast
In a new television program on the cable network Destination America, called Monsters and Mysteries in America, there is an Ozarks/Fouke episode. The reality television broadcast was on the creature immortalized in The Legend of Boggy Creek. The sightings focused on the year 1972 in Arkansas. Strange three-toed footprints were discovered in local bean fields, and casts were allegedly made.
But during the filming of the Destination America program, a very Bigfoot-like cast was shown, in association with the casts that were found in 1972. The production made it appear as if this PNW Bigfoot cast was from Arkansas. (H/T Anthony S).
What they showed was this cast.
In several visits I have made to the Monster Mart in Fouke, Arkansas, I have examined this cast.
Here Scott Norman and I are at the Monster Mart in 2002, with the cast. We knew it was a Western cast, of course. [Scott Norman (left) would die mysteriously in February 2008. ]
In 2012, I examined the cast more closely, with the permission of the new owner (pictured), and took photographs of the label denoting its origin. The cast was copied from one taken in the “High Cascades” in December 1990. The Cascades is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It is not in Arkansas.
(3) The Bandera cast
“It was made from a print in Texas that I investigated back around 1973. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have all these yearsI was in Texas investigating the case back in the 70′s. It was actually made by a Deputy while I was on scene with him. Quite a few witnesses. The location was in a place called Bandera, near Medina Lake Texas. there were several prints but only one survived the rain before we got there. Since a rancher who was a witness had the smarts to cover it with a metal box and protect the sides with waterprof material so water would not ruin it.That’s about itThanks, Phil.”
Of course, the common denominator for all of these examples is their origin being from the West, and yet the apparent copy is said to have been found in the South – Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas.
Could there be something afoot, as well, with casts from Georgia, Texas, and Indiana? Perhaps some comparative analysis with older Western casts should be undertaken with rare instances of giant tracks/casts from the East?
Take, for example, the Elkins, Georgia, cast, measuring 17.5 inches long. The top half “looks” familiar and the bottom half appears to have been artificially shaved and narrowed. There is something “off” about it.
Cliff Barackman’s Bull Mountain casts, also, from Georgia, are both right feet, and might benefit from a screening for matches with other casts. But nothing has been found amiss with them yet.
How about the Paris, Texas cast (above, top), which looks like one of Cliff Crook Hoh track replicas (above, flipped, for analytic purposes, bottom two), recycled?
If you look in Grover Krantz’s book Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence (1999), you will find there is only one Eastern “Bigfoot print cast.” Perhaps we need to revisit what was the actual source of the Indiana cast that Krantz felt was good evidence of a Bigfoot in Indiana. The print turned out to be a hoax. The cast was sent to Krantz by one ”J. W. Parker,” in a plot to trick the anthropologist.
How many Western, ah, Pacific Northwestern Bigfoot track replicas have been utilized as “evidence” for the presence of a Southern or Eastern Bigfoot print that has been said to have been cast?
Part One: ”When Southern Bigfoot Casts Are Really Western.”
Part Two: “When Western Bigfoot Casts Are Just Older Western Casts.”
Part Three: “When A Cryptic Bigfoot Cast Opens A Can of Worms.”
In Part Four, “Cleanse The Bigfoot Database: Cast Out The Hourglass Casts.”
In Part Five, “Fake Footprints Fill Bigfoot Books.”
In Part Six, some proposed systematic approaches to the cast database and changes are put on the table.
Just an observation, but there is something amusingly ironic about copies of objects of questionable provenance having questionable provenance!
This was a really great article, Loren. This is a possibility that probably not many skeptics have even thought to explore. I have always thought that the probability of Sasquatch in the U.S. outside the Pacific Northwest was most likely limited to the Florida Everglades. And that is only because of the vastness of nearly tropical forest and swamp that is similar to habitat of known great apes. This article shows that while all bigfoot reports should be taken with a grain of salt, perhaps two grains should be taken when the report stems from an area outside of “traditional” bigfoot sites. That’s not to say they aren’t true, just to be careful. Of course, come to think of it, that is probably good advice for all bigfoot evidence anywhere. If they are reprinting tracks in the south, there is nothing to say the same isn’t being done in the west as well.
All of that said, I really just commented to say that this was a fascinating read. Thanks for your continued contributions to this field, Loren.
While it is definitely possible and even probable that many Southern casts are hoaxed using these reproductions…..it does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that the Southern US is not prime Bigfoot habitat . They are here.
Nice job and very interesting. Thanks!
The fact that sightings in regions beyond the usual assumed Bigfoot stomping grounds in numbers similar to the Pacific Northwest suggests strongly that they are established all around North America. Nice run-on sentence, huh?
It’s far from unlikely that huge tracts all over the United States and Canada would likewise be Bigfoot habitats. The evidence is very suggestive of a wide distribution of our big, hairy friends. Time will bear this out, and feathers WILL get ruffled, I’m sure.
As a researcher I have noticed this issue before myself. I have seen it in some casts from ohio that looked to be the result of someone enlarging or shrinking molds. That being said, not all southern casts are dubious. I have cast several prints that I call “trophy” tracks, the kind you could display. The first thing I did was look for matches to be sure I wasn’t hoaxed.
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