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Dr. Meldrum answers a skeptic (2012)

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**Sorry** a bit of reading required, but I felt worth posting. I haven't finished reading it all yet

Skeptical inquiry:

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/301229_280674422036728_756275392_n.jpg

Dr. Meldrum's response:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=325811156749&story_fbid=378784738857857

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Book review and some book titles fyi

http://isu.edu/rhi/pdf/Eggheads%20and%20Crackpots.pdf

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The problem with Meldrum's analysis is that he bases it all on the idea of a "rare and widely dispersed" creature. To make this claim, one must discount all of the mountains of sightings and "evidence" so loved by Bigfooters.

So, once again, we have an expert cherry picking bits and pieces of Bigfoot lore to fit his argument.

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Heutfle (source listed above OP):

"The use of the null hypothesis is typically used to avoid the possible existing prejudice (pre-conclusion) or bias of the investigator(s).

And, more likely, it is a human condition (bias) where the investigator is personally being influenced by some motive other than that of accepting the scientific evidence of no such existence."

Meldrum (source listed above OP):

--"I have never advocated the acceptance of the existence of sasquatch in the absence of that conclusive evidence [a type specimen]."

Searching for Sasquatch by Brian Regal (source listed above OP):

--"Is science, specifically zoology, a theoretical or empirical endeavor?"

--"According to Heuvelmans, sometime in the nineteenth century science became entrenched in a theoretic/dogmatic stance not unlike a religion’s, and beholden to its own theories and truths (what Sanderson called “the whole gamut of orthodoxies”), it remained deaf to alternative possibilities… …amateur Bigfoot hunters are thus confronted with a monolithic, unyielding intellectual community (what Heuvelmans called “the dictators of science”) that regards the subject of their pursuit as absurd… One of the major and ongoing difficulties for the maverick scientists confronting the monolithic scientific community lay in trying to get work published in respectable venues"

--“The Race for Our Souls” (which Regal characterizes as “apocalyptic vision and shaky logic”) Sanderson argues that the Soviets are way ahead of the West in the search for Bigfoot/Yeti – “they appear to be a lot more pragmatic and a lot less squeamish than we are” – and that it is imperative for Western scientists, and the West in general, to stop being close-minded about the subject. The Soviet scientists were backed by their government and had much more funding for their effort than did the brave Western individual scientists, who had to find their own backing."

--"Krantz, Regal argues, “stood at the crossroads of monster hunting, where the interested public, elite amateur naturalists, and scientists come together.”

The picture of Krantz that gradually emerges is that of an uncompromisingly pragmatic man steeled by a righteous sense of the correctness of both his thesis and his interpretation of the data he had collected through the years. He saw his work as a calling “that has to be done” (as he remarks in the documentary Sasquatch Odyssey) and felt a high degree of contempt for those of his colleagues who ignored or dismissed his conclusions (in one paper he submitted for publication, he wrote, “Just because others don’t think clearly doesn’t give me an excuse not to”).

…But all, apparently, was for naught, as his [Krant] work received scant attention from the academic scientists, and rejected by mainstream science, he was forced into an often contentious alliance with what he sometimes referred to as “the lunatic fringe” – amateur Bigfoot hunters and naturalists, Sasquatch enthusiasts, and marginal types attracted to the mystery – which left him quite uneasy."

There is a lot more to the articles to put what I’ve posted in context!

Edited by QuiteContrary

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I think Meldrum is just play it safe, so to speak. Keep in mind that it's only been in recent years that an academic like Meldrum could come out as being "pro Bigfoot" and not be scorned by his colleges however he probably doesn't want rock that boat too hard without proof positive. Yeah, he's got a pile of footprint casts, but then so does old Matt Moneymaker. Footcasts can be faked and faked well and easily. Not too long ago one guy was on "Monsterrquest" and was giving detailed instructions on how to fake a cadt with dermal ridges. Wasn't that hard to do really.

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**Sorry** a bit of reading required, but I felt worth posting. I haven't finished reading it all yet

Skeptical inquiry:

http://sphotos-b.xx....756275392_n.jpg

The guy makes all the usual good points. Including the Hound Dog arguement.

And the usual answers. Including the part about the dogs.

I've used the example of people getting lost in the Oregon woods, who obviously were not covering their trails, who could not be found by several teams of dogs... over days. And then the lost people end up being found or walking out. Dogs are not infallible.

I also agree with Meldrums words on the scat. Q: Who goes around scooping up bear poop, and hobo crap, and sending it in for analysis for possibly being from a bigfoot? A: Almost no one. Sure some researchers looking for bear poop will pick it up to gage feeding and populations patterns, but they're going to know what they are looking at and leave "hobo" poop alone.

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The guy makes all the usual good points. Including the Hound Dog arguement.

And the usual answers. Including the part about the dogs.

I've used the example of people getting lost in the Oregon woods, who obviously were not covering their trails, who could not be found by several teams of dogs... over days. And then the lost people end up being found or walking out. Dogs are not infallible.

I also agree with Meldrums words on the scat. Q: Who goes around scooping up bear poop, and hobo crap, and sending it in for analysis for possibly being from a bigfoot? A: Almost no one. Sure some researchers looking for bear poop will pick it up to gage feeding and populations patterns, but they're going to know what they are looking at and leave "hobo" poop alone.

Ah, but how many thousands of folks are hitting the woods in "known" Bigfoot areas actively looking for him?

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The problem with Meldrum's analysis is that he bases it all on the idea of a "rare and widely dispersed" creature. To make this claim, one must discount all of the mountains of sightings and "evidence" so loved by Bigfooters.

So, once again, we have an expert cherry picking bits and pieces of Bigfoot lore to fit his argument.

And if he touted every single reported sighting as "real evidence", you would then accuse him of being 'indiscriminate and unscientific'. To people who are already closed-minded, there can be no reasonable investigation, or conjecture.

Edited by Leonardo

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My feeling is that Hueftle asks some reasonable questions which Meldrum addresses in a direct manner, although he adds some flippant commentary that was not needed. One of the things Meldrum does stray on is the comment about " and not be mistaken for bear scat by the casual observer?" Why drag casual observers into this issue? Another is "Why no tracks of the Bigfoot? Really!?" What is the point with the use of bad punctuation and the flippant nature of adding "really"?

So Meldrum is put out that people question his work. That happens all of the time in science. He should be used to it. It wasn't even a peer that made the statements. It was someone else from his own state.

Basically, Meldrum admits there is no evidence for BF. On the other hand he suggests there is tantalizing poor quality evidence for BF.

I think Meldrum got hooked on the idea of finding BF and thinks he has a chance of completing the task. Clearly, he is getting some sort of good funding because he claims thermal imaging is expensive and he plans to put into a helium craft. He has the interest and the cash so he plans to investigate.

I wonder if his footprint data has allowed him to determine any pattern to the tracks? Do they suggest preferred paths? Do they suggest preferred locals? Do they suggest size and weight of the print maker? Probably in his book.

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Ah, but how many thousands of folks are hitting the woods in "known" Bigfoot areas actively looking for him?

I'm sure I don't know, but I doubt they are moving with the stealth of an Indian scout.

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From review of the book: Searching for Sasquatch: Crackpots, Eggheads and Cryptozoology by Brian Regal, by William Potter

--“…so pervasive was the belief that a large dinosaur species still existed in remote areas of Africa (the so-called Mokele-mbembe – reports of sightings persevere to this day) that “the governor general of the Congo put out an edict during World War I requiring any dinosaurs traveling at night to carry warning lights” to ensure public safety”

--“(And isn’t it strange that although there are hundreds of Bigfoot sightings every year, there are no reported sightings of hoaxers perpetuating their pranks.)” William Potter

--“At the end of all the Sasquatch mystery – when all else is pared away – we are left only with the physical evidence and two equally improbable scenarios to account for it: the presence of apparently subhuman relic apes that have survived in sufficient numbers to remain a living species, and the absolutely superhuman capabilities requisite for hoaxers to have created so much physical evidence through the years

There is no third.”

William Potter

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From review of the book: Searching for Sasquatch: Crackpots, Eggheads and Cryptozoology by Brian Regal, by William Potter

--“…so pervasive was the belief that a large dinosaur species still existed in remote areas of Africa (the so-called Mokele-mbembe – reports of sightings persevere to this day) that “the governor general of the Congo put out an edict during World War I requiring any dinosaurs traveling at night to carry warning lights” to ensure public safety”

That's a joke, right? Does the reviewer not recognise tongue-in-cheek expressions?

--“(And isn’t it strange that although there are hundreds of Bigfoot sightings every year, there are no reported sightings of hoaxers perpetuating their pranks.)” William Potter

Not so strange when you realise the ones reporting Bigfoot sightings are often the ones "perpetuating their pranks" along with those who supposedly investigate them. We see this time and time again - Finding Bigfoot shows how easy and fun and profitable it is...

--“At the end of all the Sasquatch mystery – when all else is pared away – we are left only with the physical evidence and two equally improbable scenarios to account for it: the presence of apparently subhuman relic apes that have survived in sufficient numbers to remain a living species, and the absolutely superhuman capabilities requisite for hoaxers to have created so much physical evidence through the years

There is no third.”

William Potter

That is a false dichotomy that tries to make belief in Bigfoot appear reasonable when example after example demonstrates that it is anything but...

Potter presents "two equally improbable scenarios" to account for the physical evidence of Sasquatch when the stories are pared away: 1 - "the presence of apparently subhuman relic apes that have survived in sufficient numbers to remain a living species" and 2 - "the absolutely superhuman capabilities requisite for hoaxers to have created so much physical evidence through the years"

The first "improbable scenario" does not sound that unreasonable when phrased like that - certainly appears possible that Bigfoot could simply be an undiscovered species of almost-human ape - whereas the second "improbable scenario" of hoaxing is presented as being "absolutely superhuman" or certainly beyond human capability - more impossible rather than improbable. FALSE.

Is that another joke? The obvious question is: WHAT PHYSICAL EVIDENCE? Other than fakes and misidentifications there is none...

William Potter received his doctorate in English from the City University of New York and now teaches English at Santa Fe Community College. [source]

That was an awful review from someone supposedly skilled at the study of literature. While the techniques of literary criticism are applicable and readily adaptable to the folklore, fakelore, and urban legendry of Bigfoot (indeed - much can be learned from such an approach), Potter completely ignores his primary scholarly discipline and instead offers weak literal-interpretations in support for the claims of Bigfoot (and the equally fictitious Mokele-mbeme)...

From a believer point of view it is necessary that Regal's book be criticised because it's a good read (NW recommends :tu:) that helps put this modern wacky belief in Bigfoot into its appropriate context - but is Potter's tepid tirade the best they could do???

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That's a joke, right? Does the reviewer not recognise tongue-in-cheek expressions?

Not so strange when you realise the ones reporting Bigfoot sightings are often the ones "perpetuating their pranks" along with those who supposedly investigate them. We see this time and time again - Finding Bigfoot shows how easy and fun and profitable it is...

That is a false dichotomy that tries to make belief in Bigfoot appear reasonable when example after example demonstrates that it is anything but...

Potter presents "two equally improbable scenarios" to account for the physical evidence of Sasquatch when the stories are pared away: 1 - "the presence of apparently subhuman relic apes that have survived in sufficient numbers to remain a living species" and 2 - "the absolutely superhuman capabilities requisite for hoaxers to have created so much physical evidence through the years"

The first "improbable scenario" does not sound that unreasonable when phrased like that - certainly appears possible that Bigfoot could simply be an undiscovered species of almost-human ape - whereas the second "improbable scenario" of hoaxing is presented as being "absolutely superhuman" or certainly beyond human capability - more impossible rather than improbable. FALSE.

Is that another joke? The obvious question is: WHAT PHYSICAL EVIDENCE? Other than fakes and misidentifications there is none...

William Potter received his doctorate in English from the City University of New York and now teaches English at Santa Fe Community College. [source]

That was an awful review from someone supposedly skilled at the study of literature. While the techniques of literary criticism are applicable and readily adaptable to the folklore, fakelore, and urban legendry of Bigfoot (indeed - much can be learned from such an approach), Potter completely ignores his primary scholarly discipline and instead offers weak literal-interpretations in support for the claims of Bigfoot (and the equally fictitious Mokele-mbeme)...

From a believer point of view it is necessary that Regal's book be criticised because it's a good read (NW recommends :tu:) that helps put this modern wacky belief in Bigfoot into its appropriate context - but is Potter's tepid tirade the best they could do???

This is from Meldrum's website, The Relic Hominid Inquiry (in left corner) I expected the bias. I am a non-believer in bigfoot. I just posted quotes for discussion. The review may, hopefully, pique an interest in the book itself. It is on my book list.

I enjoyed the review as far as his re-telling of Regal's accounts of the history and quirks of well-known (early) bigfoot searchers. And I now want to read the book.

I thought the Mokele-mbembe quote was funny

Edited by QuiteContrary

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