When Western Bigfoot Casts Are Just Older Western Casts
by Loren Coleman ©2013
Within biology, ecology, and wildlife studies, tracks are a good indicator that a possible animal passed by a specific location. An analysis, collection of examples known to be from the animals represented, and a good database of enough prints gives one a selected and important source of information on the animal that made the prints. But what happens when the database has corrupted data, mistakes, and mischief in the collection?
Casts are merely copies in plaster, resin, and other materials of the tracks and prints of animals and cryptids, including what we are discussing here, Bigfoot/Sasquatch. As such, it must be remembered that casts do not exactly duplicate the foot being cast, let alone the track itself. Casts can expand or shrink from the size of the original. Each cast made from another cast (called “first,” “second,” “third,” and other multiple generation copies) also change the details and appearance of the cast.
I discussed previously (“When Southern Bigfoot Casts Are Really Western“) some examples of Southern Bigfoot tracks/casts, which apparently are misidentified Pacific Northwest Bigfoot casts. Some appear to be related to hoaxing. Some may be simplistic mistakes.
In Part Two of this series, I continue with some Western tracks/casts that reflect the probable use of older Pacific Northwest casts.
(1) “Bend, OR 1971″
Ray Crowe started his Western Bigfoot Society (WBS) in Portland, Oregon, in 1991. Crowe had been around for much longer than that. I visited his Bigfoot collection that he kept in the basement of his Portland, Oregon, bookstore, and it reflected decades of gathering items. Crowe began holding the Bigfoot Daze in the mid-1990s, originally in Carson, Washington State, soon after his monthly meetings began. His gatherings blossomed into a marketplace for books and casts that members wished to add to their own personal Bigfoot mélange.
One supplier of casts was Larry Lund of Vancouver, Washington (which is right across the river from Portland, Oregon), who says he began collecting Bigfoot material in 1963. Lund is also a close associate of Peter Byrne. Soon, besides the WBS meetings, Lund was showing up in Washington, Oregon, Ohio and other states, selling casts at Bigfoot conferences, coast to coast.
One cast Lund began selling was labeled “Bend, OR 1971.”
Here is one of those casts, which I purchased from a table assigned to Lund/Crowe. The marker label was placed there, reportedly by the same individual who labeled another cast we shall deal with in the near future.
Update: Larry Lund wrote on May 17, 2013,
I got my original one from Grover Krantz and he later explained thatit actually was the Laird Meadow cast, as Cliff Barackman also believes. Imade several casts of foot prints in those days and many, some of usconsidered to be unproven. Yet people lined up to purchase them.
The problem with this cast is the complete lack of attribution, absence of a chain of custody, and void of details on the who, what, and really where of this cast. Both of the casts above are said to be “Bend OR 1971,” in my collection, at the International Cryptozoology Museum. Or are they? Below is another “Bend OR 1971″ cast examined by Cliff Barackman.
Barackman addressed this cast’s troubles in 2009, and this week we exchanged new emails about it. Barackman writes, “That’s a Laird Meadow cast, I believe. However, it is the same individual Bigfoot as the Crew cast. It’s ‘Bigfoot’ the individual.”
This is the Laird Meadow print, reportedly found by Pat Graves, and cast by Roger Patterson on October 21, 1963, in Laird Meadow, Trinity County, California. It is a mirror match with the “Bend OR 1971″ cast.
Why the Laird Meadow cast should have erroneously drifted into the database as “Bend OR 1971″ is difficult to explain. We may never know.
(2) “Kettle Falls 1969″
Another example of a Laird Meadow cast being sold as something else exists in another database. At Taylor Made casts, a replica allegedly from Kettle Falls, Washington, attributed to Vaughn Bryant for 1969, is a direct Laird Meadow match.
But the reality is something more obvious. Here is Texas A&M anthropology professor Vaughn Bryant, Ph. D, as shown in the January 26, 2003 issue of The Bryan-College Station Eagle, holding “one of several plaster casts he has collected from other researchers.” The cast is a Laird Meadow lookalike.
Remarkably, on the same site that is selling the “Kettle Falls cast,” there you can see the Laird Meadow cast is being sold too.
Here are the illustrations from the Taylor Made webpage:
Additionally, Taylor Made repeats the mistake found throughout the literature, namely that the Laird Meadow cast was made in 1964. In reality, Roger Patterson scratched the date into the original cast, and it clearly says October 21, 1963, as the date of the casting.
(3) Laird Meadow R 1963
If we are going to look at the Laird Meadow cast (1963) being incorrectly used as a probable fictional casts in other locations, perhaps we should look at whether “Laird Meadow Right 1963,” itself, too closely matches the Jerry Crew Bluff Creek cast 1958.
This is the Meadow Laird Right 1963 cast.
There is a general agreement the Meadow Laird casts “look like” the Jerry Crew 1958 cast from Bluff Creek. Cliff Barackman writes, “these prints were probably made by the same individual Bigfoot that made the famous prints cast by Jerry Crew in October of 1958. The dimensions match well, as does the shape and orientation of the toes. “
The 1958 published photo of Jerry Crew and the cast from Bluff Creek shows the original copy.
Below is an Al Hodgson cast he says he cast from the Crew trackway at Bluff Creek, 1958. Hodgson’s cast appears to have been a cleaned copy, more than an original.
The appearance of a multiple generation copy of the Jerry Crew 1958 Bluff Creek blurbs the toes and broadens the cast. Could the Laird Meadow cast be a 1958 Bluff Creek cast?
Cliff Barackman and others, of course, see the overlap in the similar appearances between the Crew Bluff Creek 1958 cast and the Laird Meadow, WA 1963 casts as reflective of one Bigfoot having made both trackways. That is a reasonable assumption. But what if there is another explanation, in line with the practice being revealed through the “Bend OR” and “Kettle Falls” creations coming from the Laird Meadow casts?
These are hard questions to ponder.
Are the Laird Meadow 1963 casts of the tracks actually of the same individual, the type specimen of “Bigfoot,” from Bluff Creek 1958? Or have Crew’s cast copies merely been passed off as new tracks found in Laird Meadow and elsewhere?
Bob Titmus was selling copies of the Crew 1958 casts almost immediately after they were made. He sometimes would “scrub” them, sometimes not. Titmus sold copies of the Crew 1958 casts at $3.50 apiece. We cannot know how far afield they were distributed. Roger Patterson certainly had the Crew copy in his collection.
For now, I feel it is an open question as to whether or not the Laird Meadow tracks and casts from 1963 were originals, or some kind of operation involving the Jerry Crew 1958 Bluff Creek cast.
(4) Too Many Patterson-Gimlin Filmsite Casts?
The cast selling sites demonstrate an unfortunate situation that has developed in the overproduction of multiple generations of copying and loose documentation of plaster Bigfoot casts being sold.
For example, Taylor Made is selling two copies of the most famous Patterson-Gimlin Filmsite track replica as two separate casts. One is labeled the “Patterson/Gimlin Film ‘Bluff Creek’ or ‘Patty’ Bigfoot cast/ Patterson Bigfoot print replica 1967″ and, on the same page, separately priced, is another cast named “Bigfoot Gimlin/Titmus cast 10/29/1967.”
These two casts appear to be different merely due to copying processes. Or as Cliff Barackman stated it simply to me in an email, “These two are the same, just different generations of the same cast.”
Taylor Made’s ”Patterson/Gimlin Film ‘Bluff Creek’ or ‘Patty’ Bigfoot cast/ Patterson Bigfoot print replica 1967″
Taylor Made’s “Bigfoot Gimlin/Titmus cast 10/29/1967.”
I want to be perfectly clear. This is not a “Taylor Made” problem alone. Indeed, I appreciate this company’s willingness to allow me the freedom to discuss their collection to point to a broader problem that haunts the commercial Bigfoot cast business. Misidentifications, multiple generations, and mistakes in the Bigfoot copying and exchange process, with no standardizing of the collections, has created a sad situation.
(5) Different Colors, Same Cast
Even different colors in different generations of copying can confuse people into thinking that two casts are separate, even though they are the same cast.
Two casts being sold separately are from Grays Harbor, Washington State 1982; they do look dissimilar but they are the same item.
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.
I’m an artist in East Texas, and I could recreate any of those casts in less than hour, including drying time. I make mine in a wooden tray filled with damp sand and form the print by compacting the sand with my my hands. I use them in sculpture and installations, though, and never pass them off as authentic, but i guarantee that i could.
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