Frame 352 of the Patterson-Gimlin Film

In the News

Bigfoot Takes a Seat

Trackers find body imprint of alleged Sasquatch.

by Keith McCafferty -- Field & Stream -- February 2001

Bigfoot researchers in the Pacific Northwest believe they have discovered the first clear body imprint of a Sasquatch, the elusive--and some say illusory--great ape. The imprint was found on September 22, 2000, in the remote Dark Divide area between Washington's Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens, near the Indian Heaven Wilderness Area.

"The angle I'm most excited about," says Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, an anatomy and anthropology professor at Idaho State University, "is that, while I'll not say this is conclusive evidence, the find may be interesting enough to pique the curiosity of skeptical colleagues and make them a little more open-minded." Meldrum, whose college laboratory houses dozens of castings of suspected Bigfoot tracks, supervised the cleaning of the mud-caked, 31/2x5-foot, 200-pound plaster body cast made at the scene.

The imprint was found in a muddy wallow by tracker Derrick Randalls and two companions, who had accompanied members of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization and a Discovery Channel film crew on the expedition. Randalls said that they had pitched a bait of apples and other fruit into a wallow, because the mud would be a good medium to hold footprints. Early the following morning, the men discovered the imprint of a massive forearm, buttock, thigh, and heel where an animal had apparently lain on its side, eating the fruit. Randalls said the depression, which showed details of a hair-covered body, were roughly 50 percent larger than mat or a 6-foot-tall man and deep enough to suggest that the animal weighed several hundred pounds.

One fragment of hair, analyzed by a biomedical research scientist, matched unidentified primate hairs collected near other Sasquatch sightings. Meldrum also says the ridge detail (fingerprint pattern) from the indentation where the animal dug in its heel are similar to those found on two other casts of Bigfoot tracks taken 17 years apart from distant regions. Police officer Jimmy Chilcutt, the forensic investigator from Conroe, Texas, and authority on primate fingerprints who studied those castings, believes the patterns could not have been faked and that they belong to an unknown primate (see UpFront, January 2000).

Meldrum plans to speak about the discovery at the annual convention of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists this spring in Lawrence, Kansas.