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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Tracking Bigfoot

"Much of what is learned about mammals in the wild comes from the stories that can be read from their tracks and other sign." -- Dr. Jim Halfpenny, renowned wildlife tracker.
Being able to tell a human footprint from a bigfoot print from a hoax, is an important skill to gain or perfect for any researcher. When examing a track or a cast, Dr. Jeff Meldrum looks at three major points: Toe movement, midfoot flexibility, and pressure ridges.

According to Dr. Meldrum, the resemblance of a sasquatch footprint to a human footprint ends mostly at the inner big toe being aligned with the remaining toes. The sasquatch prints are usually flat with no consistent indication of a fixed longitudinal arch. That feature is the true hallmark of the human foot. He adds that you will also see little indication of differential weight bearing under a specialized "ball" at the base of the big toe.

The sasquatch foot is broader and the sole pad appears to be thicker, in comparison to the human foot. The heel and toe segments are disproportionately longer.

There is usually an exceptionally long stride shown in a trail of sasquatch prints, often with each print directly in front of the other. Most modern Euro-Americans leave lines of alternating right and left footprints, separated by some distance which is referred to as a "straddle, or step width".

A sasquatch print tends to be uniform in the depth of the print as opposed to a human print that displays pressure indentation beneath the heel and ball because of the arch.

In some instances, the sasquatch print will indicate more ape-like midfoot flexibility. Dr. Meldrum goes on to say the sasquatch print is not an enlarged human print but "appears to represent a uniquely adapted primate foot associated with a distinctive mode of bipedalism, one that may well have evolved independently although roughly in parallel to hominid bipedalism".

A study of alleged sasquatch tracks has more value than you might think at first. Dr. Meldrum presented 5 questions that when answered can help show how important this can be.

1) Can the repeated appearance of recognizable individuals be demonstrated by the presence of their footprints in a particular region?

2) Are there documented series of footprints that exhibit animation through variation in toe position and/or foot rotation as the living foot supports body weight during a step?

3) Do the footprints exhibit signs of the dynamic interaction of the foot with the soil, such as pressure ridges and tension cracks?

4) Are the footprints simply enlarged human footprints, or are distinctions present in the inferred anatomy that make sense considering the sasquatch's large size and habitat preferences?

5) What can be learned about any underlying consistency and variation from this truly unique sample of footprints?

Let's look at three examples of tracks. Example A is a Jerry Crew cast from Bluff Creek, California, in 1958. These tracks appear to have been made by the same individual bigfoot that had been seen a number of times in the area.

There is also Example B, which is a series of casts by Bob Titmus and Syl McCoy near Hyampom in 1963. We are talking of a 15" track from Blue Creek Mountain Road in 1967 and the casts from the Patterson-Gimlin film site.

And we have Example C, a pair of tracks cast by Roger Patterson in 1964 at Laird Meadow above  Novice Creek. Dr. Meldrum has a cast from this same individual from the Blue Mountains foothills (southeast Washington) in  1996. Another track was also cast and was in Dr. Krantz's collection from Oregon, 20 miles from Dr. Meldrum's site.

Another aspect to keep in mind is hoaxed prints. A line of footprints made with artificial feet appears unnaturally monotonous and with minimal variation. The toe position is unvaried and mud cannot squeeze through joined carved toes. Also, look for a lack of tension cracks or pressure ridges in the footprints. Slide-ins and drag-outs are an indication along with looking for varying depths of the impressions.

Sasquatch toes are relatively longer and more mobile than human toes, although in some cases the long toes could be curved in a flexed position. This will leave an undisturbed ridge of soil behind the toe pads. This could perhaps contribute to the squarish appearance of the toes. When only the tips of the toes are in contact with the ground, you will see the "peas in a pod" effect of some tracks.

The sasquatch foot is made to fit the terrain he travels.  It gives him an advantage in climbing the steep and uneven mountain and forest landscapes of North America.  It should perhaps be harder to hoax prints going up a sharply rising bank.

The age of the tracks will also contribute to what they may look like. Ridge details last for only a couple of hours, depending on the soil and weather. Gravity, wind, and how dry or how wet it is will act to help level out the details of any skin pattern. The presence of ridge detail may also vary depending on the age and health of the creature making it. Skin will thicken with age and that combined with abrasion that comes from walking barefoot may also wear down the ridge detail.

This is only a tip of the toe (sorry for the bad pun) into the value of knowing tracks and keeping a good record and/or casting of the tracks in your research area.  There are volumes of information that can be gained.

There are many fine track guides and materials on sasquatch prints. Go, read, and learn more. And have fun. For it will be fun as you realize just how much you have found out about "your" bigfoot.

"For me, as a wildlife biologist, it's the tracks that we depend upon for the existence of an animal in a study area.  We don't usually see the mammals, but we do see their tracks. In the case of the sasquatch, this is the most compelling evidence we have." -- Dr. John Bindernagel

[Video version - Click Here]


"I'll spark the thought; what you do with it is up to you."
"Those that know, need no further proof. Those that don't, should not demand it from others, but seek it for themselves."

This Post By TCC Team Member Nancy Marietta. Nancy has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal and cryptids. Nancy is also a published author and her book, The Price of war, has been met with great reviews.

[Please Note: Sadly Nancy passed away at the first of January, 2022. We will continue to honor her and her research by sharing her work. RIP Nancy. -Thomas]

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1 comment:

  1. tracking sasquatches here on vancouver island bc canada over fourty years in the village of Gold River ive had too learn about bear tracks we have both grizzley bears and black bears keeping me on my toes ive had a sighting hear them and a picture of a island sasquatch this 2023 so far been a great year peace dudes


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