Thanks to gifts from Bobbie Short and Roger Knights, the International Center of Hominology now has two copies of Bigfoot Exposed -- An Anthropologist Examines America's Enduring Legend (AltaMira Press, 2004) by Dr. David J. Daegling; University of Florida, Dept of Anthropology.
As indicated by the subtitle, the purpose of the
book is to assure the public that Bigfoot is only a legend. The
educational bottom line is this: Bigfoot "is a human invention, and it
is reinvented constantly"(p.248). In this respect, it's a repeat of John
Napier's message in his BIGFOOT (1972), and to the question, which book
is better or worse, I have to repeat Stalin's phrase "both are worse".
Still, Napier's has certain merit over Daegling's, for Napier openly
avowed the real reason why he "will happily settle for the myth":
otherwise anthropologists "shall have to re-write the story of human
Daegling is a spokesman of a Knowledge Monopoly, and has written his
book accordingly. (See Henry Bauer's article "Science in the 21st Century: Knowledge Monopolies and Research Cartels",
in The Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol.18, # 4). Still, we
should be thankful to him and all other monopoly authors, for the more
they engage in explaining Bigfoot away the more they expose their
prejudice, bringing closer the day of Bigfoot recognition.
Daegling exposes Bigfoot from the position of
associate professor at the University of Florida. I am exposing Daegling
from the position of science director at the International Center of
Hominology in Moscow, Russia. Hominology is a branch of primatology,
founded in the middle of the 20th century in science's "no-man's land"
between zoology and anthropology. An immediate impulse for its emergence
was the Yeti problem, while an underlying historical and scientific
reason was the discovery that "wild men" have been known throughout
history all over the world. The self-laudatory term Homo sapiens was
introduced by Linnaeus in the middle of the 18th century in contrast to
what he termed Homo troglodytes and Homo sylvestris.
Hominology is the science of living non-sapiens hominids
(homins, for short), so of necessity it could only come into being
after the emergence of the theory of evolution and
paleoanthropology. Homins were unknown to modern science because there
was no modern natural science to know them. Hominology means a
scientific revolution in a number of disciplines, first and foremost in
the theory of man's origin (anthropogenesis), as Napier rightly feared.
Without considering this crucial factor, it is impossible to understand
the attitude of mainstream scientists to the subject of Bigfoot or any
other relict hominids.(Let us note that gorillas, chimpanzees and
orangutans are also relict species today). Hominology's evidence comes
from natural history, mythology, folklore, ancient and medieval art,
eyewitness accounts, footprints, vocalizations, and photography.
as yet no living or dead specimen or a part of its body? The shortest
answer is that too little time has passed since the birth of hominology.
It is a newborn science, devoid of recognition and funding. Even with
the greatest funding in the world it takes time to apprehend certain
bipeds not wanting to be apprehended, as, for example, Osama bin Laden.
There is little doubt that Bigfoot and other homins are not willing to
be apprehended and have every capacity to stay at large. The rare cases
of their capture are marked in history as special events. On the other
hand, the accidental capture of a specimen by apple orchard guards in
Russian in 1989 ended in the release of the creature because it
threatened to ruin the car in which it was imprisoned. Had the car owner
been promised a tiny fraction of the reward for the capture of Osama
bin Laden, the situation in hominology would now be different.
In his book The Locals,
Thom Powell presents the case of a Bigfoot reportedly captured in 1999
in Nevada during a forest fire. The creature was said to have been taken
away by the authorities and disappeared without a trace. I take the
story seriously because of its many realistic details and because we
have had similar reports in Russia. Now that the name of the wealthy
Hollywood owner of the so-called Iceman has been indicated, I am
convinced that Ivan Sanderson and Bernard Heuvelmans were not mistaken
when they said that what they saw was an object of biology, not fakery.
The corpse was both exhibited and withdrawn for religious reasons.
So a more involved answer to the question why definitive biological
evidence in hominology is not available is this. The number of people
interested in obtaining such evidence is an infinitesimal fraction of
those who are indifferent to the task or are against it for one reason
or another. Further, the number of those among the interested who may
have a chance to find and recognize such evidence is also an
infinitesimal fraction. The negative impact of indifference on one side,
and hidden or open hostility on the other, leaves the tiny number of
hominologists little chance to quickly obtain traditionally acceptable
biological proof. For this reason hominology still finds itself in a
cryptozoological phase of development.
And yet of all cryptids in the world Bigfoot is
the best documented biologically. We have for it eyewitness accounts,
footprints, handprints, a body print, hair samples, scat, recorded
vocalizations, and a film footage. The progress in obtaining and
analyzing so many different kinds of evidence by unfunded volunteers is
amazing (see Christopher Murphy, Meet the Sasquatch, 2004 ,
Hancock House). For hominologists this is more than enough to take
Bigfoot for a reality, but it is not yet enough for mainstream
scientists, and this is not only because Bigfoot is not an
ordinary primate, but because it is the harbinger of a scientific
Many hominologists agree with me that it is impermissible for moral
reasons to seek the solution of the problem by means of a rifle. We pin
hopes on the method proposed by our teacher, the founder of hominology,
Boris Porshnev, who wrote:
proceeding most cautiously we succeed in conditioning the creature to
come and take food in a definite place, that would be a real scientific
victory. There is a basis for such prospects, namely, the
above-mentioned cases in different geographical areas of local people
habituating and even befriending relict hominoids. Scientific work could
be launched in such a case even without direct contact of researchers
with the specimen, for modern zoology boasts of an excellent means of
taking color films with a telephoto lens at a great distance. A relict
hominoid would then appear on the screen showing its usual movements and
habits against a background of its natural environment. So step by step
relict hominoids on earth could find themselves under man's protection
and permanent scientific surveillance. At a certain moment it would be
possible, of course, to observe the death of this creature. Then the
anatomist would get a corpse for autopsy. Thus the perspective of
studying Homo troglodytes looks as the reverse of zoology's canon: not
from dissection to biology but from biology to dissection" (Porshnev
1963, in Dmitri Bayanov, pp.13,14). Bigfoot: To Kill or To Film? The Problem of Proof, 2001,
Thanks in part to the Internet, the secrets of habituation are
beginning to open up, turning Boris Porshnev's vision into a reality,
as indicated by the book 50 Years with Bigfoot: Tennessee Chronicles of Co-Existence, 2002, by Mary Green and Janice Carter Coy, and by Igor Bourtsev's article "Russian Hominologist in Tennessee" ( Bigfoot Co-op, December 2004).
Finally, why is hominology scientific rather than pseudoscientific, as alleged by some critics? According to Henry Bauer's Science or Pseudoscience, 2001,
the main criterion of a scientific pursuit is "connectedness", i.e.
"crucial links with the mainstream"(p.158). "All natural scientists
accept and draw on the same laws, facts, and methods"(p.11). I
understand this as follows. The unknown can only be studied and
understood by proceeding from and connecting with the known. Magnetism
has been known to science since antiquity, while electricity was much of
an unknown two centuries ago. Faraday and Maxwell connected electric
phenomena with magnetism and thus ushered in the era of electricity. So
their work was very scientific.
By this criterion, UFOlogy is not yet a science
because so far specific UFO observation reports cannot be connected with
or explained by the existing scientific knowledge. Hominology, on the
contrary, by the criterion of connectedness seems to be the most
scientific of sciences for it provides "crucial links" with and between
the theory of evolution, paleoanthropology, mythology, demonology,
folkloristics, the history of religion, and the history of art.
addition, hominology gives a natural answer to the natural question why
apes are still with us while brainier apemen or pre-sapiens hominids
died out. The answer is they didn't. Their wholesale extinction is the
illusion of Paleoanthropologists who are as adequate experts on relict
hominids as paleontologists were on living coelacanths. Relict hominids
are hidden in natural forests and mountains, but above all they are
hidden in "the forests of the mind". The task of hominology is to drive
them out of those "forests" into the open vistas of science.
Such is the necessary prelude to taking Dr. Daegling on in earnest.
Someone declaring nowadays that stones falling from heaven are nothing
but a myth would have to refute the science of meteoritics. Similarly,
anyone publishing a book declaring that Bigfoot is a myth has to take on
the science of hominology in its theoretical, historical and
geographical aspects. As this task proved Herculean for Dr. Daegling, he
opted for the simple job of declaring all the sightings mistaken, all
the footprints faked, and the Bigfoot documentary hoaxed. The whole tome
of 276 pages consists of nothing but endlessly repeated naysayings.
John Green has already challenged Daegling's expertise on Bigfoot
"People who have never seen any tracks but claim to know more about
them than those who did see them are not a rare breed, their number is
legion, but for someone to join their ranks waving the flag of
"scientific verification" is bald-faced hypocrisy. What the tracks were
like may be "anecdotal" to Dr. Daegling, but it is first-hand knowledge
to those of us who studied them, photographed them and cast them, and
because of our efforts there is plenty of solid evidence available to
any scientist who will take the trouble to see if it can be verified or
not. Dr. Daegling is not among those who have been prepared to take that
trouble. Instead he stayed home and wrote a book" (John Green's email Bigfoot Exposed, Jan.3, 2005).
As for eyewitness accounts, they, according to Daegling, cannot be
trusted for the following reason: "Unfortunately, we have been asking
the wrong question through the years. "What did you see? we ask the
eyewitness. If we take the answer at face value, we miss the meaning of
the phenomenon. It may be more important to ask the one question the
eyewitness may be in no position to answer: "Why did you see
it?"(p.259). What a useful piece of advice, especially for detectives
seeking information from witnesses, or for zoologists interviewing
eyewitnesses with the aim of determining habitats of rare animals, or
for physicists collecting sightings of ball lightning.
The major part of the author's naysayings are devoted to the
Patterson-Gimlin film. This part of the book is of special concern to me
and my Russian colleagues because the film was for the first time
systematically studied and validated to our own satisfaction in Moscow
back in the 1970s. So let us see what the author says about the Russian
research and researchers.
It is untrue that "the Moscow Academy of Sciences
boasted its own Institute of Hominology"(p.111). The Institute is even
today nothing more than a dream of mine.
It is untrue that Porshnev's first name is Victor (p.111). It is Boris.
It is untrue that Dmitri Bayanov is schooled in biomechanics(.p111).
It is untrue that Donskoy's "report ... is thoroughly
subjective and devoid of any particulars of argument"(p.111).
It is untrue that "Up until 1992, (...) there had been no scientific
efforts directed at the film that took up the issue from a purely
quantitative (and ostensibly objective) standpoint"(p.119). Daegling's
References include our paper, published in 1984, "Analysis of Patterson-Gimlin Film: Why We Find It Authentic." It is based both on quantitative and qualitative analysis and presents quantitative findings.
It is untrue that the film speed "is
unknown"(p.128). Igor Bourtsev did find it in 1973. His method and
result stand in black and white in the above mentioned paper, listed in
It is untrue that Perez "threw down the gauntlet" (to the mainstream)
in the matter of the Bigfoot film (p.119). This was done by Russian
hominologists in their report presented in 1978 at the Vancouver
is untrue that "The gait of the film subject (...) is easily duplicated
by human beings"(p.147). Mimicked, yes, but not duplicated. Human
beings can mimic the walk of different animals, such as bears, camels,
elephants, as well as of the film subject. But they cannot imitate it in
a natural, uncontrived manner characterizing Bigfoot's gait.
It is untrue that "Skeptical inquiry into the film
has made significant strides since 1967" (p.205). Actually, it hasn't
moved an inch. On the contrary, all aspiring debunkers of the film over
the past decades have been exposed and defeated, and not a single proof
or argument put forward by us for the film's authenticity has been
Dr. Daegling claims to have found "a glaring anomaly" in the film
subject, namely, "the Achilles tendon appears to attach far forward on
the heel, where the adaptive advantage of having an elongated heel in
the first place is completely lost. (...) A prosthesis explains what is
seen in the film; evolution, by contrast, cannot make sense of
it"(p.144). In our paper published 20 years before Daegling's book and
listed in his References, the matter of Bigfoot's elongated heel and
Achilles tendon is dealt with as follows:
"The heel is actually seen to be sticking out in an inhuman way in some
frames, suggesting an unusually large heel bone (calcaneus) as has been
predicted by Grover Krantz using theoretical considerations and the
evidence of the footprints. That the heel of the filmed subject is
really unusual is testified to by the fact that this feature was
independently discovered in Moscow and Ottawa. In Moscow it was seen by
Bayanov and Bourtsev as "an omen of the creature's reality". (...) It is
worth pointing out also that this peculiarity has never been reported
by eyewitnesses because it appears only for a fleeting moment when the
Achilles tendon is not tight in a certain phase of the stride" ( The
Sasquatch and other Unknown Hominoids, edited by Vladimir Markotic and
Grover Krantz, 1984, p.226).
film records in some of its frames these fleeting moments. In other
words, there is no anomaly with attachment of the Achilles tendon. It is
attached in the usual place at the end of the heel, and the impression
that it is attached in a wrong place appears only when the tendon is
slackened, not tightened. Dr. Daegling hides this fact from the reader
by hiding our analysis of the film, described by Dr. Roderick Sprague as
"by far the best and most thorough discussion of this classic film" (
On p.211, Daegling quotes Dahinden's phrase "lying by omission". Dr.
Daegling's biggest lie by omission is his total silence about my book America's Bigfoot: Fact, Not Fiction.
U.S. Evidence Verified in Russia, 1997, devoted to our validation of
the Patterson-Gimlin film, which is not even listed in his references. A
possible reason for the omission is the strength of the case it makes,
as indicated by this appraisal by Dr. Henry Bauer, Professor Emeritus of
Chemistry & Science Studies:
"Glimpses of the Patterson film in various television shows had left me
incredulous that the creature shown in it could be real. This book has
made me almost equally incredulous that the film could have been faked,
and thus I have become open to the staggering possibility that relict
hominids may still be with us in sufficient numbers that we have the
chance to learn something about them. I recommend this book heartily as a
highly interesting reading adventure"( Journal of Scientific
Exploration, Vol.18, Number 3, 2004, p.533).
On p.211, we read Dr. Daegling's conclusion that "Poor
scholarship is one tell-tale sign of a pseudoscientific approach". This
remark applies in full measure to the author. What's more, his book, by
its intent and quality, is simply anti-scientific. Its contents do
nothing but delude the reader.
Fortunately, with the wide means of exposure provided
by the Internet, Dr Daegling's book, unlike that of Dr. Napier, is not
destined to delay the search for Bigfoot. The process of undeceiving the
public is gathering speed.
Review © Dmitri Bayanov
International Center of Hominology,
After reading his book, it is my opinion that Daegling
was out of his scholastic element writing this book, ...the sole
reviewers heretofore were known skeptics, personal friends and
not seasoned veterans in this field of research. Hundreds of us have
spent what seems like a life time researching detailed evidence in this
field, ...the elementary blunders in Daegling's publication are glaring
testimony to his youthful inexperience in homin research. His expertise
in mandibular biomechanics did not qualify him and I cannot help but
wonder how in hell he got through post grad school. .....truly, one
would expect more from a professor of anthropology; this research has
not been served well by our anthropologists, not since the passing of
Grover S. Krantz, physical anthropologist, WSU....Bobbie Short, 2005
your facts are correct it is another unbelievable example of why this
topic is full of so many misconceptions. Before I produced "Sasquatch: Legend meets Science"
I spent well over 2 years (full time) researching the topic and
interviewing many eyewitnesses, forensically analyzing films, talking
to scientists, studying evidence first hand trying to get answers to
the many questions. My point is: anyone who spends that much time at
least has my mutual respect if they want to dissect and dispose of the
evidence. This author should be ashamed of using his credentials to
skate by with laziness of both action and thinking. ...Doug Hajicek, Discovery Channel Producer, Legend Meets Science