Skookum cast

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The Skookum cast is a plaster cast showing the imprint of what appears to be a large animal’s left forearm, hip, thigh and buttocks. It was discovered in a muddy wallow near Mt. Adams in southern Washington state and is argued to be a bigfoot.

Description[edit]

The cast was taken on September 22, 2000, during a Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) expedition to the Skookum Meadows area of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington state,[1] during filming of the now-cancelled Animal-X television show. There was also evidence of 17-inch human-like footprints found in the area.[2]

The cast, which measures 3.5 by 5 feet (1.1 m × 1.5 m) and weighs approximately 400 pounds (180 kg), is of a partial body imprint left in roadside mud. The body dimensions of the cast are reportedly 40 to 50 percent larger than that of a six-foot tall human. While the cast was being made, and during the cleaning process, hairs were collected for study. They were sent to Dr. Henner Fahrenbach, a retired biomedical researcher from Beaverton, Oregon, who analyzed some of the hairs. Most were elk and bear hair, but he identified a single specimen as belonging to a Sasquatch.[1] [1].

Several analysts agree that the cast shows the imprint of the forearm, hip, thigh, heel and ankle, and Achilles tendon of a large reclining hominoid.

Finer cast details include extensive impressions of hair on the buttock and thigh surfaces, and what appears to be much longer fringes of hair on the forearm region[1]. Dermal ridges with characteristics consistently found on other alleged bigfoot print samples were observed on the heel, but these could also be the result of the plaster settling as it dried or hair impressions from the wrist of an elk. A number of elk hoof imprints and coyote paw prints are also present on the cast. Co-founder of the BFRO, Ron Schaffner suggested there were several anatomical features made by a resting elk.

The team of analysts, Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, Dr. Grover Krantz, retired physical anthropologist from Washington State University; Dr. John Bindernagel, Canadian wildlife biologist; John Green, retired Canadian journalist and author; and Dr. Ron Brown, exotic animal handler all examined the cast and agreed that it could not be attributed to any commonly known Northwest animal and may represent an unknown primate. Meldrum, whose research includes comparative primate anatomy and the emergence of human walking, said, “While not definitively proving the existence of a species of North American ape, the cast constitutes significant and compelling new evidence that will hopefully stimulate further serious research and investigation into the presence of these primates in the Northwest mountains and elsewhere. ”Later, in Dr. Meldrum's 2006 book Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, he discussed the analysis of the cast and described the findings of the group of scientists: "The unanimous consensus was that this could very well be a body imprint of a Sasquatch." Dr. Meldrum concludes by adding that the Skookum Cast was examined by Dr. Daris Swindler, a retired professor of anatomy from the University of Washington who had been skeptical of the possible existence of Bigfoot. The evidence from this huge chunk of plaster "...ultimately convinced him of the probable existence of a bipedal North American ape."

Skepticism[edit]

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry have put forward the suggestion that the initial identification was premature and created bias among subsequent team members. The casting was made by wildlife ecologist Dr. LeRoy Fish, tracker Richard Noll, and animal tracker Derek Randles. While working with this team to find evidence of bigfoot, Richard Noll saw the impression and suggested to his team that it was left by a bigfoot. These team members may have been influenced by the suggestion, motivating them to co-validate the original identification. [3]

Conclusion[edit]

There are multiple interpretations as to what the cast represents.[4] Impressions of the elk's wrists were studied by anthropologist Jeffrey Meldrum of Idaho State University, and his interpretation of their anatomy matches his hypothetical models of a Sasquatch foot.[1] Others [4] note a much stronger similarity between the imprints and an elk's wrist and metacarpal impression.

Journalist John Willison Green, and scientists John Bindernagel, believe the cast to be authentic, and solid evidence of the existence of Sasquatch. Anthropologist Grover Krantz has gone on record as saying that he had no idea what the cast represented.[5] Primatologist and Bigfoot researcher Dr. Esteban Sarmiento has endorsed the casting. Ron Schaffner, the co-founder of the BFRO, and others within the group, recognized several unique characteristics of an ungulate, indicating to them the imprint was made by an elk.

Members of the Bigfoot Community, notably Daniel Perez and Bobbie Short ("Sierra4"),[6] were strongly skeptical about the cast's authenticity.[7]

On March 3, 2001, Marc Hume wrote an article for the National Post of Canada in which he recognized the clear tracks of an elk and described: "imprints left that would match perfectly with an elk's legs." In his opinion, the cast was "if anything, a cast of the impression made by the hindquarters of an elk.[8]

The BFRO retain the cast.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Glenn Alford (200-10-23). "Idaho State University Researcher Coordinates Analysis of Body Imprint That May Belong to a Sasquatch". Retrieved 2008-06-23.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ Alford, Glenn. "Idaho State University Researcher Coordinates Analysis of Body Imprint That May Belong to a Sasquatch". Retrieved 11/9/2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ Ben, Radford (March–April 2002). "Bigfoot at 50: Evaluating a Half-Century of Bigfoot Evidence". Skeptical Inquirer. 26.2 (1). Retrieved 27 September 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Perez, Daniel (December 2000). "Skookum Hokum?". Bigfoot Times. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  5. ^ Barcott, Bruce (August 2002). "Sasquatch Is Real! Forest Love Slave Tells All!". Outside. Mariah Media Inc.: 1–8. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2009. 
  6. ^ http://bigfootforums.com/index.php/topic/9285-is-the-skookum-cast-still-considered-to-be-a-potential-bigfoot-lay/page-18
  7. ^ "Skookum Hokum?" by Daniel Perez, at http://www.bigfootencounters.com/articles/skookum_hokum.htm
  8. ^ Marc Hume (2001-03-03). "Controversy Surrounds Skookum Sasquatch Cast". Retrieved 2008-06-23. 

Further reading[edit]