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chris dale

"Something very odd is going on in the forests of North America and it's not Bigfoot."

It's about this time of year that we columnists at MetalTalk usually talk about what we think are the best upcoming bands on the scene at the moment and what were the most rocking events of last year.

But if I may digress for a moment, what is going on in the mountains and woods of North America? There is certainly something odd going on there and I don't think it's Bigfoot.

It appears that teams of hoaxers are working day and night to lay evidence all over the countryside to convince a gullible public that an undiscovered indigenous species of large wild ape roams the forests at night.

I'm not happy with this. So let's take a deeper look into the phenomenon with the second episode of a previously unannounced new series of CHRIS DALE INVESTIGATES...

Article continues below...

Bigfoot, Ontario 2009? This photograph is known as the 'Temagami Hoax' alledgedly by Jeane Hiebert. It was proven to be a fake and that Jeane Hiebert is a made up name.

The Bigfoot myth is a unique phenomenon of mass hysteria. It is not unique in it's concept as many mythical beasts have their origins in mass hysteria. Once one person becomes panicked and hysterical by a false sighting of a monster, others soon come forward to say they've seen the same thing often adding details to their story from their imaginations. That is all part of what makes us human beings such a creative species but the Bigfoot myth in North America is unique in its scale.

In Delhi, India in 2001 a monkey-man was reported as rampaging through the crowded city, attacking at will. Fifteen people reported injuries and yet no monkey-man was ever found. It has been suggested that this was a classic example of mass hysteria spreading like wildfire through a community. It didn't reappear though and once people were reassured that no such monkey-man existed it was never seen again.

The Chupacabra in South America is another example of a monster created by mass hysteria. The first sighting of the ferocious beast which sucked the blood of goats was in Puerto Rico in 1995. Sightings of the monster soon spread throughout the Spanish speaking world, to mainland South America, Mexico, the Southern United Sates and across the Atlantic to Spain. As it spread it became more fearsome with sharp teeth, spikes on its back and glowing red eyes.

It only spread through Spanish speaking countries because news of it was passed by word of mouth and local press, hence it was able to cross the Atlantic to Spain but was not able to spread into North America as the English language media gave it very little coverage.

The Loch Ness Monster is another example of mass hysteria on a small scale. The legend of the monster was set back in the dark ages when in AD 565 St. Columba fought off a water beast in the River Ness by holding up the sign of the cross.

I'm not wanting to cast doubt on the Christian faith in general but legends of saints defeating monsters and dragons are not to be taken seriously as evidence of unidentified species. Nevertheless sightings of a monster in nearby Loch Ness began in the 1870s and although not numbering more than a few dozen still continue to this day. All this is based on ripples in the water, proven hoaxed photos and the legend of a saint.

Hoaxed Loch Ness Monster Photo by Dr Kenneth Wilson, 1934

Several sonar studies of the loch have found no monsters and a recent twenty-five year vigil by one man recently ended with his similar conclusion that there was no Loch Ness Monster. It is truly amazing what the human mind can convince itself of when given some small encouragement.

The legend of Bigfoot is different however. Like the Loch Ness Monster, its reports go back into the mists of time but unlike the Scottish beast the number of Bigfoot reports go into their thousands.

Like the Chupacabra it has spread across a continent but unlike the Chupacabra has remained constant in its description. Like the beast of Delhi, it could possibly be mistaken for a man or other known animal but unlike the Monkey-Man, Loch Ness Monster or Chupacabra it is consistently described as being similar to known extant animals, namely humans and apes, and also to our immediate ancestors.

Bigfoot believers describe a very consistent creature. It is a large, muscular, hairy ape. The hair varies from dark reddish brown to black. It usually stands upright, has long arms and relatively short legs. It has roughly human shaped hands and feet but of course much bigger than ours, hence the name 'Bigfoot'. They are described as having a conical head and a face between that of a human and an ape with a flattened nose and eyes which reflect in the dark.

The creature is allegedly intelligent, nocturnal and extremely wary of contact with humans. Despite its size, it can move quickly and hide effortlessly in the forest. Reports say that like other apes it is an omnivore that eats pine cones, nuts and fruit as well as fish and animals that it can catch. Some people believe they also hunt deer, wild pigs and possibly even stray human children in the forest.

They are also supposed to make rough constructions out of trees and branches that they break down and sometimes strip the bark from. Having opposable thumbs they are able to grasp, tear and thrown things such as rocks or branches when they feel threatened.

An alleged Bigfoot tree construction in Tennessee, note the trees are pushed from different sides and the bark is stripped back.

The Bigfoot is reported to make a variety of noises, howls, screams, chattering and ape-like whoops. Another advantage of having opposable thumbs means they can supposedly knock sticks or stones together to communicate.

The many eyewitness reports, blurred photos and film, footprints, recordings and other evidence all point to the same type of creature with very similar descriptions but they all fail in one simple way.

Bigfoot does not exist.

No clear photograph or film of a Bigfoot has ever been authenticated by the scientific community as a whole. No proven live or dead body, bones or fossils have ever been brought in for scientific examination.

There is no evidence at all of apes having lived in North America until the first humans arrived across the Bearing Strait between ten to forty thousand years ago. Furthermore there are no reports of large apes on the loose from zoos or private collections in North America.

This means that humans are and have always been the only animals with opposable thumbs in North America and thus the only animals capable of effectively grasping, throwing, pulling, carrying and knocking things.

These are all basic facts accepted by science, the academic community at large and by the majority of sane people around the world.


The myth of Bigfoot started among the first nation tribes of Canada and America. Many tribes have legends of large, hairy beast-men that lived in the mountains and forests. Some describe them as fearsome, others as peaceful, either way they were warned away from and best left alone. These legends have their roots in antiquity and can probably be put down to mistaken identities elaborated on by generations by word of mouth.

Bigfoot Mask made by the Sts'iles First Nation People, British Columbia

The different tribes had different names for this mythical creature. Some called it the Hairy Man, the Stick Thrower or the Wood Devil. In their languages it was called Tsiatko, Ste-ye-hah' mah, Yeahoh, Seatco or Sasquatch, which is where the modern alternative name for Bigfoot comes from.

In these legends the creature is often described as large and hairy, fast and strong, a good runner, a deadly hunter and an expert in hiding in the woods. It is nocturnal and lives in the mountains and forests, usually avoiding human contact. When it does make contact it plays tricks, makes confusing whistles and whoops, throw sticks and stones and sometimes steals children.

These are some descriptions of the mythical beast from various local legends across North America collected by the BFRO (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organisation) website.

"The form of a man but larger, quick and stealthy. He inhabits the dark recesses of the woods, he sleeps by day but sallies forth at dusk. He robs traps, steals food and waylays the belated traveller. He steals children and is an object of fear and terror to all."

"Nocturnal in habit, they sleep or remain in seclusion during the day and consequently are seen only on very rare occasions. The traveller who is delayed or lost from the trail is very apt to receive their attention. He may hear a signal, perhaps a whistle, ahead of him. should he follow the sound, it will be repeated for a time. Then he will hear it in the opposite direction, along the path he has just passed. If he turns back, it will only be to detect the mysterious noises elsewhere, leading to utter confusion and bewilderment."

"When a person walked through the woods he nearly walked into one before he spotted it. They hide by standing upright and still against a tree. As a person approaches it it will stand against the opposite side of the tree. As the person passes it will move so that the tree is always between the person and the tree. If it cannot hide it will still stay perfectly still until it knows the person sees it."

Although some tribal legends had variations this basic description of a large, hairy, bipedal, nocturnal hunter that screams, whistles, shakes trees, throws sticks and is skilled in hiding from humans has made the basis of the modern Bigfoot myth and has remained pretty much unchanged since European settlers arrived.

The early European settlers took these local legends, intertwined them with their own and soon added new stories. This is the origin of the story of the Bogeyman coming to get naughty or stray children. From the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries hunters and frontiersmen sporadically reported sightings, contact with and even shootings of wild hairy men in the forests.


The roots of the modern Bigfoot Hysteria began in 1951 when a logger named Jerry Crew reported finding large footprints at a remote work site in Bluff Creek, California. He took plaster casts of them and made it into the local and national press though his construction business made a loss financial loss from the event. This was shortly after Eric Shipton's famous Himalayan yeti footprint photo had made worldwide news.

It seems reasonable to see how the yeti news at the time (whether real or not) coupled with local legend inspired a hoaxer (whether is was Crew himself or an unknown third party) to make up some fake big feet and stamp around the countryside to gain some fame. Large humanoid footprints had been reported in the Americas as back as far as 1811 by David Thompson in Japser, Alberta. The 1950s Bluff Creek footprints simply continued the story.

Soon dozens more people reported seeing big footprints all across the country and into Canada. Since the 1950s hundreds of these footprints have been reported, photographed or cast. They are all similar in design to those originally casts at Bluff Creek: five toed, roughly human shaped but broader and longer often with a lesser instep arch than on humans feet. Some reports are mistaken bear or human prints but many are deliberate hoaxes.

A Bigfootprint found in the wild

These prints range in difficulty from single rough smudges in a back yard to detailed imprints stamped deeply into the ground with some weight, with a wide gait, some made in parts of the countryside that are difficult to access. The longest set of tracks followed three slightly differently sized footprints for over seven miles.

Most of these big prints are in earth, sand and mud. Some barefoot prints are made in the snow, recorded as low as -19c in Canada. Great pain and effort has been gone to in many cases to hoax these prints and fuel the myth.


Naturally along with the publicity of the footprints, sightings of the beast increased. The BFRO website logs reports of Bigfoot. There are currently almost 50,000 on their database. While that figure may seem a a lot, in a continent as large as North America with a population of about 355 million that is actually a very small percentage.

As with the Monkey-Man of Dehli, once one person has seen it the next person jumps at every shadow in the dark. Here are two recent reports, the first is a report from a driver who saw a dark shadow across the road at night and assumed it was a Bigfoot:

"As I was travelling South Bound on US 33 near Plattsburg, MO on Friday July 11th 2014 at 11:48 pm, I witnessed a sizable creature cross the roadway from West to East jump the fence in pass into the corn. My initial reaction to this was 'Oh, a deer, there are probably more,' so I hit the brakes a slowed slightly.

"As the distance between us closed and more of the light from the headlights illuminated the shadow. I was able to get a better view of what I was dealing with. What I had thought was a deer was in fact much larger, and upright. As the light caught the side of the creature it made an extremely agile motion which consisted of two steps from the edge of the ditch to the fence line. In the same motion the creature placed its left hand on the top wire of the fence, jumped and cleared the fence with both feet and disappeared into the corn."

What the driver most likely saw here was in fact the shadow of a deer as he first thought but with the added mass hysteria of the Bigfoot myth his brain reports a Bigfoot sighting and fills in the missing details itself. There are literally hundreds of very similar reports.

Here's another report from a holiday camper in Ohio from September 2015. The witness had gone to bed at 1.30am and around 3.00am "had to leave the van to relieve myself. I opened the van's side door. Out of the corner of my eyes I detected a slight movement on the road but everything was bathed in shadow from the trees. I felt I was seeing a shadow of something. All I could see was its silhouette. It was upright and moving on two feet. It stood at least 8ft high. I knew at once it was a Bigfoot."

Note the phrases "corner of my eye" and "bathed in shadow", suggesting the witness did not get a clear view, yet because of the power of the existing mass hysteria, his brain suggests that it's a Bigfoot.

As well as sightings such as these we get the even more vague category of audible evidence, hearing a Bigfoot. Many holiday makers report any curious noise in the forest as a Sasquatch. Here is one such report:

"My wife and I were camping at Yellow-Wood State Park this past Saturday night. About 1:00am we both were asleep and were woken by a loud hollering noise. It was a very deep howling noise but it wasn't a dog or coyote. The howling noise was very long and very close to our camper."

Are they sure it wasn't a dog or coyote? Dogs, coyotes, wolves and owls all howl and scream in the woods at night in North America, not just Bigfoot. Do these campers know the difference for certain? None of these vague reports and anecdotes are serious evidence of an undiscovered species yet many Americans think they are.


Along with the fleeting sightings and hearings come dozens of distant and blurred photos. Even Bigfoot enthusiasts often refer to most of these as Blobsquatches because of their lack of clarity. Sadly, very few of them come close to being conclusive of the existence of a Sasquatch. Here's a close up one.

Bigfoot in Pennsylvania 2013?

Is this a Bigfoot striding away from the camera into the forested sunset? What else could it be? Quite frankly it could be any number of things, a bear, a guy in a costume or a trick of the light. On further examination of the photo and the area in which it was taken, this one proved to be nothing more than a shadowed tree stump.

What about this next photo taken in Alberta, Canada? Surely that's a Sasquatch sitting in the long grass with its arm outstretched and his back to the camera?

Bigfoot in Alberta 2012?

On closer examination this photo was proven to show two bear cubs wrestling at an awkward angle. It seems that just about anything can be reported as a Bigfoot sighting in the woods these days. Many people in the North American woods are quite literally jumping at shadows.

Some photos are more convincing than others, this one posted by Mark Anders on his YouTube channel is one of the better ones.

Bigfoot in Rogers County, Oklahoma 2013?

Somebody's gone to a lot of effort there to make a full musculature costume there. I feel I should congratulate them on their work because most of what they get for posting this kind of nonsense is abuse and ridicule. If the guy who made this costume is reading this article then I have to say well done you mate, that's one of the best so far.


The next logical step for Bigfoot enthusiasts was a video of the creature in the wild. The first and most famous film to be shown to the public was the Patterson-Gimlin Film of October 1967. This took the Bigfoot craze into a new league entirely. This was no longer mistaken identities and tall tales around the campfire. This was people making planned and deliberate attempts to hoax the public.

A still from the Patterson-Gimlin Film, Bluff Creek, California 1967

The story was that Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin went up to the mountains around Bluff Creek with the aim of filming a Bigfoot after the famous footprints had been been found over a decade before and many more reported in the region since. After a few days trekking Patterson managed to film his famous short clip of a figure walking away from the camera and looking over its shoulder.

Despite the bad camera work and poor resolution, the subject is clearly not a mistaken bear or tree stump. It is either a real Bigfoot or it is a hoaxer in monkey suit - to be fair it's a good suit (it looks better then most cinema apes of the 1960s and bulkier than Chewbacca ten years later) but it is still easily a guy in a costume at first glance.

One of the benefits of hoaxing an upright ape is that we humans are already the shape of an upright ape, all you need is a big tall guy in a bulky costume to pull it off.

Perhaps because of that whole aspect of similarity to humans, the Patterson-Gimlin film spawned a generation of video hoaxers. Having seen the blueprint of how a Bigfoot should look on the 1967 film, hoaxers since then have followed the example with the same conical head, long swinging arms, hunched walk, big build, high gait and sometimes the female breasts as seen in the Patterson-Gimlin footage.

New video makers even sometimes take that a step further and add babies in monkey costumes. I really am in admiration of the lengths some people go to for a bit of blurred footage to get some YouTube hits and impress their mates with. There is work an effort gone into here and that should always be acknowledged

Here's a compilation I made of my favourite ten Bigfoot videos. There are many more to choose from but these are my ten personal favourites. I'm awarding points here not just for the quality of the costume but also for the stunts they're performing while dressed up. Walking or running in long grass or dense forest is hard enough when equipped for the task, half blinded by a silly monkey costume it's even harder.

Please be aware also that all the films are blurred, distant and of poor quality as that's the nature of filming a a non-existent creature at a distance. The videos are in no particular order of preference but I'll start with the classic Patterson-Gimlin film.

Well done all you funny hoaxers!

Probably the most admirable one for me is that last one of the barely visible guy running down a mountainside in Canada dressed in a onesie. It's the most distant and least provable footage in the compilation (it may even take a few views to spot the guy) but boy did he work hard and literally risk his neck for that bit of poor footage.

So there we go, that's what Americans and Canadians do with their spare time in the countryside. Then hundreds more of them go searching for the elusive creature up mountains at all times of the night. They make wood knocks to encourage Bigfoots to do the same back, then other teams of Bigfoot hunters make a stick knock in return and thus the hysteria perpetuates itself.

There's a regular TV show (starting its eighth season as we speak) on the Animal Planet Channel called 'Finding Bigfoot' with extremely good ratings. The obvious irony being that in each episode they never actually find a Bigfoot because they don't exist.

There's restaurants, theme bars and tourist shops named after Bigfoot in areas where sightings have been reported. There's online merchandisers selling T-shirts, bumper stickers and coffee mugs along with DVDs of blurred footage. Then researchers hire venues to hold annual meetings to discuss the latest lack of clear evidence of such a creature.

A Bigfoot Themed Restaurant, Oregon

All this provides a revenue for small businesses but nobody makes a fortune from the Bigfoot industry. Mainly the hoaxers go about their hoaxing and the believers go about their believing purely for the fun of it. After all a walk in the woods is good for your cardio-vascular system.

I still think that believing in mythical beasts is an odd way for folk to behave in the modern day though.


While writing this article I read and watched a lot on the subject and most of it was clearly laughable. You watched my ten best videos above, right? You should have seen the ten worst videos. They literally included children in cheap hired gorilla costumes jumping around at the end of the garden. In fact most of my reading was like that. I was wondering how anyone could be taken into this at all.

In all my readings there were only three short moments when I doubted my sanity and thought for a minute that there might really be something to this. Each time I had to grab myself back to reality but these moments slightly spooked me.


The first cause of concern about the reality of this whole idea was while I was trawling through loads of eyewitness accounts on the BFRO website. Most as exampled above were vague descriptions or distant memories by holiday makers, speeding motorists and sleep-walkers. The few that interested me were more detailed descriptions by forestry professionals. I assumed that these people could recognise bears and hikers from Bigfoot and would have little to gain and everything to lose from reporting seeing a Sasquatch.

There were a number of these from hunters to law enforcement officers. Here's two accounts that I read, the first is from a Dan Patino, a US Forestry Service Law Enforcement Ranger's report from a remote area in Oregon in 1995.

From a distance he and his girlfriend saw what they first assumed to be a large person dressed from head to toe in black moving away from him. This made the officer curious and he went to follow. He saw footprints that he estimated were 16" long and was examining them when the figure turned back and came towards him.

He reported that his girlfriend yelled "'It's coming back!' I just stared as it approached us at a fast rate. From the south, at 100 yards, at a fast clip.

"She pulled my arm and tried to drag me back up to camp. I told her I was staying and wanted to find out what it was. She became frantic, screaming, 'Come on!' as she headed to camp. I stood there and I was stunned. At a far distance of 80 yards or so, this thing was taller then me at a level field.

"As it got closer I started yelling 'You better stop! I am going to shoot!'. It kept coming, directly at me, like I didn't exist. Its shoulders seemed to be at least 4-5 ft wide, with no neck. I started to notice hair all over, and started to make out the face.

"At that point I realized and I said out loud, 'Oh My God, it's not a human!' I couldn't move for a moment. When I got control again I ran like hell, toward my girlfriend, who was screaming, 'Run!' I ran fast, thinking it was coming for me."

Was that a hoaxer running at an officer threatening to shoot? A forestry professional cannot have mistaken it for a bear on two legs or a charging deer can he? It's difficult to imagine the motive for a forestry law enforcement officer to make up a story like that. It creeps me out a little, that one.

Dan Patino's snapshot of some big footprints next to his own after the incident

Similarly here's a professional hunter's supposed eyewitness account from Texas in 2004. At the time he was hunting wild hogs when he saw something else also hunting the hogs.

"It was dark, hair covered and slowly moving its head around looking in the direction of the hogs. At this time it quickly moved to another tree. I could see most of its body, it was huge, standing on two legs, slowly looking around the tree at the hogs... The hogs were still feeding... and the animal was working towards the hogs. It moved quickly and disappeared. It quickly reappeared moving to another tree, still looking at the hogs.

"I could again study its features. Its movement from tree to tree was a quick leap, landing at the base of next tree on two feet. Standing behind tree and slowly looking around at the hogs. This continued for several minutes until they were about 30 yards apart and almost directly in front of me at about 40 yards.

"The animal dropped to all fours, bunched up its rear legs and leaped. It took two leaps to reach the hogs and it screamed during the second leap causing the hogs to panic for a split second. The second leap ended with it slapping one hog in its side, knocking it through the air into side of a tree. As the squealing hog bounced off the tree, it pounced on it, beating it with its fist like a person pounding on a desk. I could hear bones crunching with each hit. All this happened very fast. About four seconds from first leap to dead hog. The quickness of attack was very unnerving."

That wasn't a brief sighting of a hoaxer by an amateur in the dark, that was a woodsman closely observing an animal in detail. Or was it a hallucination? Or an oddly made-up story? I don't know the guy but both of those conclusions seemed unlikely.

These weren't the only sober eyewitness accounts from professionals, here's a compilation of reports from US policemen who claim to have seen Bigfoots while on duty:

OK, so now we know that many US police officers have difficulty telling fact from fiction in front of their eyes and that all of them carry firearms. That's a reassuring thought isn't it? I told you that something odd was going on the forest, but it's not Bigfoot.


I had as good a laugh as you at the top ten videos when I first saw them. I mean really, what kind of idiot does this stuff? Sorry, not an idiot but what kind of oversized fitness freak does this kind of stuff in the woods, halfway up a mountain?

Then I read a few people online talking about arm to leg ratios in humans and apes. Basically humans arms are about 20% shorter than our legs, that's a fact for all of us regular adult Homo Sapiens. In gorillas and chimpanzees, the arms are longer than the legs. This is one of many reasons why human actors don't look convincing as chimpanzees in the original Planet of the Apes films.

In the Patterson-Gimlin film (and some others in my top ten compilation above) the subjects have arms that are relatively longer than ours and are only about 5% shorter than their legs. Suddenly we're talking maths and percentages instead of campfire tales.

Extending arm to leg ratio lengths monkey-style is easy with forearm extensions but you can't extend the elbow too. The human elbow is halfway down our arm and so the Patterson-Gimlin film with its extended arm and elbow in the middle of the arm would seem not to show a human.

Here's a picture of a human actor playing Chewbacca from the Star Wars films. As you can see, he has forearms extensions, meaning that his elbows are no longer in the middle of his arm length. The forearms and fake paws with no fingers are much longer than the upper arms.

Chewbacca, an honest photo of a human in an ape costume!

Having watched a fair bit of Star Wars with this in mind, I think they had at least two different arms for Chewy. Some shots where he has to grip something with his fingers, such as a laser blaster show his with shorter arms, elbows in the middle and active fingers. Other longer shots show him as above with the forearm extensions and no finger definition or individual movement. But I'm digressing into Star Wars now...

Also on the Star Wars topic, notice that despite Hollywood's multi-million dollar effects, the end onscreen result for Chewbacca is a tall slim guy in a monkey costume, there is no muscle definition in Chewbacca's lanky costume while the headpiece is clearly of different origin to the rest of the suit. These things aren't easy to fake, the hoaxers have done well to avoid the pitfalls that Hollywood fell for and have usually hidden their tracks by filming in appalling quality.

Of all the people discussing this topic of the arm to leg rations online, I think a guy called Thinker Thunker explains the arm to leg ratio theory best in this short video.


OK, so now I'm living with the knowledge that many US law enforcement officials are mad and that there's something fundamental that I don't understand about the human and ape anatomy. That's OK too, I can live with those doubts. I'm not an expert on either topic to be fair.

Then there was more science to deal with. I find science a tricky one to doubt. Educated people in lab coats doing numbers and stuff. It is very impressive isn't it?

There have been several attempts to scientifically acknowledge Sasquatch over the years, all of them hindered by the undeniable fact that no such animal has so far been found to exist.

Dr Melda Ketchum examined over one hundred samples of alleged Bigfoot DNA, sent them off for laboratory testing and concluded in 2015 that although some of the tested samples were known animals others were from an unknown species and possibly a human hybrid. The majority of the scientific community ignored her testimony and some claimed that the tests were seriously flawed.

But remember those footprints and casts they made up in the 1950s and since? There's a professor of anthropology at Idaho University called Dr Jeff Meldrum who spends his time collecting and and examining them. Being a professor of anthropology, you would hope he could tell a fake wood or plastic foot pressed in the ground from a real animal with body-weight, motion, flexibility, muscles and bones. Despite this he has spent literally years collecting and studying the things.

Some of the Bigfoot prints from Dr Jeff Medrum's Collection

His conclusion in short is that while some of the casts in his collection are made by wooden carvings pressed into mud, some were made by real unidentified creatures of flesh and bone. That's all well and good but again we can't define a species based on someone's opinion of a footprint or two (or many hundreds more). For every pro opinion there is a counter opinion. So what is going on? We really need a single undeniable fact that we can grasp onto in all this mess.

A breakthrough came for Jeff Meldrum when a fingerprint specialist of the Texas police force called Jimmy Chilcutt contacted him and asked to see the footprints. Jimmy had police experience with both human and ape finger and toe prints. He examined some hundreds of alleged Bigfoot casts in Dr Meldrum's collection and found that some had clear dermal ridges.

Dermal Ridges as compared from a Bigfoot Cast and Human Fingertips

That's hard to fake. If faking dermal ridges and fingerprints was easy criminals would do it and the police wouldn't still use finger print identification to solve crimes.

What's more odd is that the dermal ridges on these casts do not conform to human standards according to Jimmy Chilcott. The ridges on human feet run mainly horizontally, the ridges on other primates run diagonally but the ridges on the Bigfoot casts run vertically.

Is that the conclusive answer to the mystery then? Bigfoot as an undiscovered species in North America is proven by fingerprint science beyond all doubt?

Well no, later researchers casted (excuse the pun) some further doubts on Chilcutt's results and suggested that some of the ridges may have been caused by dry brushstrokes while cleaning the casts.

Hang on a second. Dermal ridges on several prints, that criminal master minds can't clone and that were good enough to fool a Professor of Anthropology and a Police Fingerprint Expert, were made accidentally by brush strokes on a plaster cast?

That's not sounding plausible now. Suddenly, the non-believers are clinging onto a theory that seems less likely than the one the believers propose.


So there you have it.

Either a large number of Americans and Canadians believe in and cleverly hoax a purely mythical beast or such an animal actually exists undiscovered by mainstream science in the mountainous forests of North America.

Neither is entirely plausible and yet one and possibly both are true. I'll leave that for you to think over...

But what's this got to do with metal and what were we on about anyway? Oh yes, before we started all this silly sasquatch stuff I was going to tell you that my prediction for the best upcoming UK metal band for 2016 are called Bigfoot. They're from Wigan, they rocked the Bloodstock Festival last year and I think they're ace!

Have a Happy and Metal 2016 all!




Bigfoot Field Researchers Organisation

Most of the eyewitness and ancient reports from this article are quoted from the BFRO website
Hog hunter's report
Dan Patino's account
"As I was travelling South Bound..."
"I noticed I had earlier walked..."
"It was dark, hair covered..."
"my wife and I were campngf"
Ancient Local Legends of the Bigfoot

Bigfoot Encounters

Wood Ape Conservancy

Bigfoot Hub

Thinker Thunker's Channel

Bigfoot Evidence Channel


Patterson-Gimlin film

MK Davis discusses the Patterson film

Memorial Day film

Turkey Hunter film

Prine Edward Island film

Mount St Helens film

Harley Hoffman video, British Columbia 2001

Drone Sights a Bigfoot

Game Camera Attacked by a hoaxer or an animal with hands

Sqwamish Mountain 2014 Sighting

Snow Walker film

Rogers County photo-

Independence Day Film

Timber Giant film

Prints in snow -19c

A group in Ontario claim to converse with Bigfoots in the dark.


Man or Beast? (1970s)

'Finding Bigfoot' discusses an odd video of a juvenille ape in a tree in New York near Poughkeepsie 1997

Monsterquest Aggresive Sasquatch sightings

World of Mysteries

The Hunt For Bigfoot

Dr Jeff Meldrum and Jimmy Chilcott looking into finger prints


Missing 411 documentary of missing people and the possible Sasquatch connection


Evaluation of alleged Sasquatch Footprints by Dr Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University

Sasquatch DNA Results by Dr Melba Ketchum

Examination of unusual teeth marks found on bones by Professor Mitchel Townsend of the Lower Columbia College

A list of evidence with links

More on the Patterson film

Virginia Cam Trail 2013

Alberta cam trail photo

Debunking the Hiebert photos

Indian Sasquatch Mask

Economic Impact of Bigfoot

Biblical Explanation of Sasquatch

Several bigfoot hoaxes

Dead Hoaxer, LA Times

...and of course the band...



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July 2017

Lets have a quick look through that big history book called the internet...

June 2017

"I never realised how amazing it was in real life..."

June 2017

"Hopefully I will make another one a bit quicker the next time."

April 2017

Doctors will (probably) tell you that Lead Singers Disease, or LSD, is a psychological condition commonly contracted by lead vocalists...

March 2017

It really took me a lot of Googling to find a people somewhere that didn't like Iron Maiden but I think I've found them...

January 2017

"They had a song called 'Open My Eyes', it's basically the same intro, we kind of copied them."

December 2016

"They had actually taken aim at the vehicle, taken their safety's off..."

December 2016

We're going to sit back and listen to the original versions of all the songs that Kiss have covered on their records

September 2016

These invaders that King Arthur and his brave Knights of the Round Table fought against were the Anglo-Saxons - yes, the English!

September 2016

In case you hadn't guessed from some of my previous articles, I'm a massive life-long Kiss fan...

March 2016

For some bands the UK will, like Switzerland, simply not be worth the hassle in future...

March 2016

...more juicy tales and a plethora of brand new information.

March 2016

...and the mystery of who actually played guitar on the Creatures Of The Night album.

January 2016

"Something very odd is going on in the forests of North America and it's not Bigfoot."

January 2016

In which our scribe reviews a book where he has more knowledge than most about the subject matter...

December 2015

He said in one diary he had a singer named as "Bruce" noted down, a phone number and next to it he'd written "Too heavy!"

September 2015

The Full Story Of Vinnie Vincent's Awesome Pre-Kiss Band

March 2015

How many and which drummers auditioned for KISS when Peter Criss departed the band in 1980?

March 2015

Another look at the strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx.

March 2015

In depth review of the re-issue of the classic Kiss album, Love Gun with bonus live tracks and studio outtakes.

November 2014

chris dale MR BIG – KOKO, LONODON
Live review of the opening night of Mr. Big's 2014/15 World Tour.

October 2014

Review of the new album from Mr. Big.

September 2014

Your humble narrator goes on tour with the legendary Mr. Big / David Lee Roth bassist and picks up some handy tips along the way.

September 2013

Why your favourite band aren't playing in your home town this year and who would win in a hyothetical fight between a promoter and a booking agent.

August 2013

Your MetalTalk columnist hosts a regular pub quiz on our two favourite topics: rock and metal!

July 2013

How to learn a foreign language in a single evening with a film, a phrasebook and a few beers!

June 2013

chris dale Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
A tribute to the artist and visionary genius behind the album covers of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Rainbow, Thunder, Dream Theater and Helloween and his work on Bruce Dickinson's 'Skunworks' album.

May 2013

chris dale Daily Mail Columnist Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
A response to Richard Littlejohn's Attack on Goths, Punks and Heavy Metal fans.

April 2013

chris dale The Future Of Classic Rock Bands
What will happen to bands like Kiss, Rainbow and Van Halen in the next decade? Do you want tickets for AC/DC's 50th Anniversary of the 'Back In Black' Tour?

April 2013

chris dale Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
The fun I had working as an extra on the 'Ava Adore' promotional video and why dog mess should always be avoided.
March 2013

chris dale Ten Years On Total Rock
Good times as a Radio DJ playing my favourite tunes, making mistakes and talking to Queensryche, Dokken and Geezer Butler.
February 2013

chris dale UNDISCOVERED KISSTORY I: An Entire Album Full Of Unrelased Songs
How Kiss could make a great record this year by looking back at their old demos. We get to hear them all here.
January 2013

chris dale Kiss Reformation Magick
How Alex Dickson and I unwittingly caused the Kiss 1996 Reformation during our South American Tour with Bruce Dickinson.

December 2012

chris dale Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
Steve Goldby and I get to ask the singer of Queensrÿche all the questions we ever wanted to know the answers to.
November 2012

chris dale Morally Worrying Session
As an occasional bass session musician, at what point does one call the line and say that enough is really enough?
November 2012

chris dale Kiss 'Monster' Review
Thoughts on the lastest Kiss album after hearing it a few times. It is indeed a great album!

October 2012

chris dale The Best Invention Of All Time
Absolute proof that we bass players (including Steve Harris, Billy Sheehan and Bob Daisley) are the best people in the world. Fact!
October 2012

chris dale A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
My son Archie and I get to ask Rudy Sarzo (legendary bass player for Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Queenryche and Dio) everything we ever wanted to know about Kiss Make Up, Steve Vai and Cuban Politics.
September 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
The tale of how back in 1994 Bruce Dickinson and his band of merry men (including myself) found ourselves on our way to the besieged city of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War.
June 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
The second part of the story, telling of the practicalities of playing a heavy metal gig in a besieged city.
July 2012

chris dale Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
Our journey home from war-torn Sarajevo and refelctions on the long term effects of war.
August 2012

chris dale Managers v Producers
Why do bands need managers and producers and more importantly who would win in a hypothecial fight between the two?
May 2012

chris dale Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
Predictions of what the upcoming Kiss album may sound like. I think it's going to be pretty good!
April 2012

chris dale London Venue's Nazi Past?
For years I'd heard rumours of the Kentish Town HMV Forum being a former Fascist or Nazi venue. One day I decided to research it more closely to find its true dark past.
March 2012

chris dale How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
The time that just for a second, I thought I might be the new bass player for Ozzy Osbourne.
Feburary 2012

chris dale Metal Evilution
Theories about the orgins of Heavy Metal from Creationists and Evolutionists put to the test in a study of the recordings of Def Leppard and AC/DC by producer Mutt Lange
January 2012

chris dale Take Your Pick Competition
This was a competition but still have a look at my cool collection of guitar picks from the last century! Can you guess the original owners? Here's a clue, there's some Dokken, Dio and Kiss in there.
December 2011

chris dale The Pandora's Box Of Pop
What do you do if Banarama offer you their backing vocals for a heavy metal session?
November 2011

chris dale Tank Tour Diary
The Tank Tour of Scandinavaia and Poland including our show supportting Judas Priest.
October 2011

chris dale Festival Stage Collapses
What caused the tragedies at 2011's Ottawa Bluesfest, Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis and the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium?
September 2011

chris dale Bruce Air, The Early Days
Recollections of flying across the American Mid West on Bruce Dickinson's ''Balls To Picasso' US Tour in 1994.
August 2011

chris dale European Festival Round-Up
My reviews of the best bands while I was with Mr Big on the European Festival circuit this year, including Twisted Sister, Whitesnake and Judas Priest.
July 2011

chris dale Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
Let's compare live clips of Rhandy, Jake, Zakk and all the other guys who have played lead guitar for the Ozzy Osbourne band. Who do you think is really the best?
June 2011

chris dale Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Gillan guitarist gives his repsonse to our thoughts on Ozzy Osbourne's various guitarists before and since him.
June 2011

chris dale Japanese Tsunami Disaster
How Japan coped in the wake of the earthquake/tsrunami/nuclear disaster of 2011 seen from the view of a roady on the Mr Big Tour shortly after the events.
May 2011

chris dale 10,000 Tank Albums!
How us having ten thousand listeners might well be the end of the music industry as we once knew it.
April 2011

chris dale Death Metal Session
Recording death metal for polite customers with Mikee Goodman from Sikth and Jay Graham from Ravens Creed.
March 2011

chris dale RIP Gary Moore
My happy recollections of the late great Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011). A legend and a good guy to laugh with.
February 2011

chris dale Recording Bass at Steve Harris' House
The tale of how we recorded the bass tracks for the Tank album ' War Machine' at Iron Maiden HQ!
February 2011

chris dale A Column About Columns
How I got asked to write columns for MetalTalk by editor Steve Goldby and how I got it wrong from the very start.
January 2011



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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