In Response To "Bigfoot Believers"
Dear Theo Stein,
I was a speaker at the International Bigfoot Symposium in Willow
Creek, California, in September 2003, during my first, very pleasant
and enjoyable visit to America. Among fine gifts I received
from Richard Noll of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization
(BFRO) was a copy of The Sunday Denver Post, January 05, 2003,
with your article "Bigfoot Believers." In this
connection, I'd like to share some thoughts with you.
all, many thanks for the article—for its very positive
and serious contents. Verbal support
for Bigfoot researchers from some leading primatologists is refreshing
news indeed. I only wish it wouldn't remain just sort of
lip-service, but turn into concrete and tangible action. Back
in 1973, I wrote the following to a leading primatologist, Dr.
John Napier of the Smithsonian Institution: "The living missing
link is 'unknown' to science because there is no science
to know it." Today there is such a science, the science
of living nonhuman hominids, called hominology. This discipline
is a new branch of primatology (like paleoanthropology was once
a new branch of paleontology).
All researchers versed in this science
do know that Bigfoot is a mammal, not myth, because of the females'
conspicuous mammae. All know that Bigfoot is a primate because
of the dermal ridges on its soles, a diagnostic characteristic
of primates. All hominologists, respectful of logic and the current
classification of primates, know that Bigfoot is a non-sapiens
hominid because of its nonhuman way of life and bipedalism.
are scientific knowledge contained in numerous books and articles.
What remains still hypothetical is the exact relationship of
the species with the fossil hominids, on the one hand, and
Homo sapiens, on the other. So in regard
to hominology there is knowledge and there is ignorance, and it
is on the basis of ignorance and reluctance to know that the reality
of Bigfoot is denied. There are also scientists who know
the truth, but dare not admit it out of fear for their reputations,
which is a shameful situation for science.
There is nothing
uncommon for a newborn science to be in a sorry plight. The
history of primatology itself is a telling example (the Order
of Primates was established by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, discarded
after his death and re-established a hundred years later). It
is only in the 19th century that this part of zoology acquired
a scientific basis. The very term "primatology" began
to be used as late as the 1940s. Or take paleoanthropology,
its birth was also long and difficult, and it was by no means
immediately that the first fossils of Neandertal, Homo erectus
and Australopithecus ware recognized as such.
There are special
ideological and methodological reasons why primatology, paleoanthropology,
and now hominology, initially came up against strong opposition,
but that's a long story to tell. What is relevant here is that
in the cases of primatology and paleoanthropology the resistance
of conservative circles in science was broken with the help of
progressive and open-minded scientists of other disciplines.
And this is what hominology needs today.
In this connection, I paid attention to these words
in your article: "The key, Schaller said, will be finding
dedicated amateurs willing to spend months or years in the
field with cameras. So far, no one has done that." This
reminded me of the two dedicated amateurs who had become the
most fruitful contributors to the science of primates: Jane
Goodall and Dian Fossey. Besides dedication, talent and courage
there was another indispensable ingredient to their success—money.
It was the famous paleoanthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey who
obtained funds to launch the long-term field study of chimpanzees
by Goodall and mountain gorillas by Fossey.
Now, there is no lack of dedicated hominologists
willing to spend months or years in the field, but where is
the money? Where is the famous primatologist or anthropologist
who, like the late Dr. Leakey, would obtain funds for the dire
needs of hominology?
I also noted with approbation the word "cameras" in
your reference to George Schaller's advice. To prove the
creature's existence with the help of a rifle is not worthy of
Homo sapiens. To all aspiring to kill a Bigfoot I advise
to read and remember the words of Dian Fossey in the Acknowledgments
of her book Gorillas in the Mist: "Lastly, I wish to express
my deepest gratitude to the gorillas of the mountains, for having
permitted me to come to know them as the uniquely noble individuals
that they are." Dian was killed by those who kill
Lastly, may I draw your attention to the concluding
part of my presentation at the International Bigfoot Symposium
in Willow Creek.
I think that one of the great scientific results
of the 20th century was the discovery of relict hominids
(homins, for short), popularly known as Abominable Snowman, Yeti,
Yeren, Almas, Almasty, Bigfoot, Sasquatch, etc. Actually, it
was a re-discovery by hominologists of what had been known to
western naturalists from antiquity to the middle of the 18th
century, when wild bipedal primates were classified by Carl Linnaeus
as Homo troglodytes (i.e., caveman) or Homo sylvestris (i.e.,
woodman, forestman). As for eastern scholars and rural population
in many parts of the world, they have always been aware of
wild hairy bipeds, known under diverse popular names.
For science in the West the re-discovery occurred
thanks to the influence of two major factors: The Himalayan
expeditions in search of the Yeti and the exceptional theories
of the Russian Professor Boris Porshnev, who, after a gap of
200 years had restored and validated the Linnaean idea of Homo
It is necessary to distinguish between a scientific
discovery and its general recognition by scientists: the
time gap between them may last from weeks and months to centuries
and millennia (the idea of the earth's flight in space took
two thousand years to be generally recognized. It was
first put forward by ancient Greeks in the 3rd Century B.C.).
is true that the existence of relict hominids is not yet officially
recognized by the scientific community, which results in two
kinds of illusions: most scientists believe that relict hominids
do not exist, while most investigators, who admit the creatures'
existence, work under the illusion that the discovery has not
been made, and many dream to make it. Both opinions
are illusory: wild hairy hominids do exist on earth today,
and on the agenda is not their discovery but general recognition
of their re-discovery in the 20th century.
is expected to make a tremendous impact on science, affecting
its overall strategy and methodology. But
the event will not come about by itself, it has to be diligently
worked for by widely disseminating the already existing knowledge
and seeking new tangible evidence. We have tons of good
we need now is the straw that breaks the camel's back. I
mean the back of the establishment's resistance.
Chairman, Smolin Seminar on Questions of Hominology,
Darwin Museum, Moscow, Russia
Dear Dr. Mittermeier,
I address you, President of Conservation International, because
you were quoted in the article "Bigfoot Believers" (The
Sunday Denver Post, January 5, 2003), whose anniversary is to
be marked on Monday. The reason Bigfoot and other relict hominids
are officially believed to be mythical is the absence of verdict
by a reputable scientific body to the effect that they are real.
The history of attempts to create such a body is as follows.
one was the Commission to study the question of "Snowman",
set up by the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1958 at the initiative
of professor Boris Porshnev. The action was stimulated by the
Himalayan Yeti expeditions and Boris Porshnev's unorthodox ideas
regarding anthropogenesis and the nature of pre-sapiens hominids.
The commission was abolished after the premature Pamirs expedition
and the backlash against Porshnev and his rare followers by most
anthropologists and zoologists.
Anthropologists were against
revision of views on anthropogenesis; zoologists charged that
the slander, still current in the West, that the Soviet Union's
fauna is explored today no better than the fauna of America a century
Though the Commission's official verdict was negative,
its unpublicized work and consequences were very positive. It
started to collect ancient and modern evidence of the existence
and this work was continued by members of a special permanent
seminar, set up in 1960 at the Darwin Museum in Moscow by its
curator Pyotr Smolin, a colleague of Porshnev. The "wildmen" were
known to ancient and medieval naturalists—Lucretius (1st
century B.C.) even described them as precursors of modern man.
There is little doubt that thanks to them Linnaeus came up in
1758 with the Order of Primates, which included Homo sapiens
on one side, apes on the other, with Homo troglodytes, alias
Homo sylvestris, in between. It is also clear that modern man
was termed by him Homo sapiens in contrast to Homo troglodytes.
What is remarkable and instructive is that Linnaeus introduced
these radical and amazing innovations without having ever seen
apes or Homo troglodytes (or Homo ferus—the term he used
for wild children and men reared by animals—actually, there
must have been non-sapiens hominids among his Homo ferus). Like
a virtual cryptozoologist, he based his Primate Classification
on the descriptions of ancient authors and evidence of contemporary
But it was Porshnev
with colleagues who began first to study such evidence at the
level of modern evolutionary theory, thus giving birth to hominology
as a new specific branch of primatology. All active participants
of what is now The Smolin Seminar on Questions of Hominology
know that relict hominids are real, but our verdict is ignored
by the scientific community because a seminar is not a sufficiently
authoritative scientific body.
number two was Comite International pour l'etude des humanoides
velus (the latter strange term was proposed and insisted on by
Dr.Bernard Heuvelmans), organized in 1962 in Rome, Italy, by
Dr.Corrado Gini, Professore Emerito of the University of Rome.
The Committee consisted of 36 members, representing 16 countries,
and included Professor Porshnev (USSR), Dr. Heuvelmans (Belgium),
Dr. Osman Hill (USA), Dr. John Napier (Britain), Dr. Tobias (South
Africa), Dr. Rinchen (Mongolia), as well as researchers John
Green, Rene Dahinden, and Peter Byrne, of North America. Explaining
the purpose of the Committee, its founder wrote that "L'homme
des neiges et les autres bipedes velus constituent une matiere
digne d'une etude scientifique approfondie. (...) C'est la un
sujet de la plus grande importance pour la connaissance de l'origine
de l'homme et des premieres etapes de la societe humaine." The
Committee intended "non seulement de publier des documents
et temoignages qui sont portes en faveur de l'existence des dits
bipedes velus, mais aussi de les soumettre a une critique scientifique
rigoureuse." The Committee functioned for a couple of years,
publishing interesting materials, and stopped operating with
the death of its creator. Had it continued to exist, the status
of hominology today would be quite different.
Number three was
The International Society of Cryptozoology, created in the U.S.
in 1982. As hominology was and still is in a cryptozoological
phase of development, hominologists pinned great hopes on that
organization. Unfortunately, the subject of relict hominids became
much "diluted" there by numerous other
cryptids and was never sufficiently focused on. To counteract
that negative tendency, being a Board member, I proposed creation
within the ISC of a Hominology Committee to concentrate specifically
on our problem. Creation of such specific committees was envisaged
by the ISC Constitution. But Board members, including the chief
Bigfoot authority—the late Dr. Grover Krantz—voted down
my proposal. I still don't know for sure why Grover was against
it. I guess he was afraid the Committee would be against shooting
a Bigfoot, while Krantz pinned his hopes on such action as the
quickest and surest way to solve the problem. In analyzing Sasquatch
evidence he was a brave and keen researcher, but in his practical
approach to the problem he was more of an adventurer. Anyway,
attempt number three was the case of a golden opportunity that
Number four was The North American Science Institute,
created in 1998, whose staff included Dr. Henner Fahrenbach.
The Institute undertook a $75,000 study of the Patterson film,
found no sign of hoaxing in it, but did not broadcast the finding
to the world. The organization petered out for lack of funding,
Number five. In January 1996, I wrote the following: "Speaking
elliptically, the situation can be described like this: those
who can, don't care; those who do care, can't. To interest the
first and enable the second, it is necessary to bring about a
psychological change, a change of awareness, both in the scientific
community and the public at large. We need to make people 'snowman
conscious' in a proper way, especially in the countries, regions
and continents where the creatures still exist and are being
sought, such as Russia, China and North America. To achieve recognition
of relict hominoids by science is necessary not only for the
growth of knowledge, but for their very protection and conservation.
the numbers and influence of those who 'do care' are too small
in each country, the logic demands that hominologists unite their
voices and efforts in a single international organization. It
may be called the International Institute of Hominology. May
this book help its formation" (In the Footsteps of the Russian
An International Institute can't be founded without
appropriate funding, which we lack. We have knowledge, we have
information, but lack money and internationally recognized
scientists among our group of diplomaed researchers. That is
why we seek cooperation with mainstream scientists of international
repute, with hopes of creating at last a viable scientific body
specifically devoted to the business of hominology. We know that
fear for one's reputation is a major problem with scientists
turning to our subject, but what is looked upon as repute and
disrepute today may be completely reversed tomorrow. Nothing
is bound to cost so little and bring mankind so much self-knowledge
With best New Year wishes,
cordially Dmitri Bayanov
this article on the Bigfoot Forums >
This essay was originally published on the Bigfoot Information
Project website (bigfootproject.org), August 8, 2004. It has not been revised.