Oct 192009

Go back to the Bigfoot Compendium.

Sadly for Sasquatch advocacy, what we have here is a case presented by the advocates that exhibits fundamental failures of evidence collection procedure, chain of custody, nomenclature, and analysis. As with many situations that seem exotic and enigmatic on the surface, the ridge texture of CA-19 almost certainly has a prosaic explanation.

Being that I am an amateur investigator, it was reassuring to read a JREF post by Dr. Wroblewski confirming the desiccation ridge hypothesis;

I’ve made them in dry sand, on moist sand, on dry silt, and even dry mud. All it takes is some sort of dessicant in the matrix. This can be elevated salinity, or mineralogical composition as is the case when certain clay minerals like illite or kaolinite or smectite are present, or simply degree of dry-ness of the matrix. Very repeatable and very open-and-shut. The Onion Mtn. and other casts listed above show dessication, not dermals…case closed.

Interestingly, Dr. Wroblewski now suggests that other casts besides CA-19 and CA-20 may have surface textures that exhibit this process:

1) the original Mill Creek casts from Freeman (human fingerprints even Chillcut could i.d.).
2) the Onion Mtn. cast from 1967 (dessication ridges formed by plaster on a dry substrate).
3) the Walla Walla or Table Springs or Wrinkle Foot from Freeman (dessication and/or fluid flow over wet surface).
4) Hyampom from 1963-4 (indeterminate, isolated on portions of toes).
5) Bossburg “Cripple Foot” (seen by no one but Grover Krantz and Ed Palma).
6) Bossburg handprint (faint, transverse striations, but no whorls, loops, or evidence of being dermatoglyphics).
7) Elkins Creek (acknowledged human fingerprints introduced into cast, also possible dessication artifacts).
8) Skookum Elk Cast (hairs from an elk’s metacarpal block).
9) Indiana Cast (recognized fake)

The more I investigated what real tracks look like and what Wallace style tracks look like, the more obvious it became how fake the tracks were in the first place. That the core advocates still maintain that this trackway was made by a Sasquatch absolutely boggles my mind, as it suggests that they either do not understand the simple physics and biomechanics of track making or are simply so bound up in defending the status quo that they can’t admit being hoaxed.

I grew up reading Green’s books, so I find it kind of a sad loss to now look at the track photos and perceive how obviously fake they are. If there really is a Sasquatch out there, the core Bigfooters appear to have a long way to go to get to the point where they can recognize fake tracks.

On a positive note, I think that the discovery of the desiccation ridge process holds interesting parallels to other sorts of processes, whether it be the development of genuine dermal ridges in utero, wind blown sand dunes, or spontaneous wave and tide driven textures on tidal mud flats. Why do they all have a familial resemblance? Frankly I see it as a deeper question, and obviously one that goes beyond the issue of a simple misidentification of desiccation ridges as “Bigfoot’s dermal ridges”. Simple modifications of the slurry can yield surprising results.

But you know, Bigfootery is a difficult mindset to simply walk away from, and I still think of Bigfoot and his dermal ridges, especially when walking on the beach:

 Posted by on 10/19/2009 Bigfoot, Hoaxes

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