Oct 192009

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Wallace’s Wooden Feet

In November 2002, Ray Wallace, a logger and road construction worker, died. Wallace had long been on the fringes of the Bigfoot subculture. Upon his death, his surviving family members claimed that Ray had created fake trackways in Northern California, and had essentially “invented” Bigfoot, by hoaxing tracks! As evidence of this, two photos of Ray’s nephew Dale were circulated showing a pair of wooden prosthetics allegedly used to create trackways. The shape of the prosthetics seen in the photos strongly matched the shape of tracks from the Blue Creek Mountain – Onion Mountain trackway which Green investigated in 1967. Controversy erupted in the Bigfoot community as to whether Wallace and/or other family members actually made the tracks.

Here is an in depth treatment of the Wallace legacy.

Here we get to a serious issue; what do tracks made by Wallace-style prosthetics look like? In all the controversy that followed the death of Ray Wallace, I was surprised to find that no one had really answered this question! It should be noted, however, that Green himself had conducted tests on sandy beaches that demonstrated quite well the so called “snow shoe effect” in which an over sized prosthetic fails to deeply impress the substrate, at least if the substrate is relatively solid. But we can clearly see in Green’s and Hooker’s own photographs that the putative Sasquatch tracks on Blue Creek Mountain – Onion Mountain are not much more deeply impressed than the men’s own shoe prints! Green’s own testimony, plus the obviousness of the dusty conditions seen in the published photographs, shows that the substrate was fine and easily impressed.

Photo by Doreen Hooker:

Look carefully at the putative Sasquatch track in the Hooker photo above. It represents a right foot. Note that there appears to be a very straight, light colored ridge very close to the lateral (outside) margin of the track in the heel area. Now take another look at the wooden right-footed Wallace prosthetic, and you will see a corresponding crack or furrow in the same area.

Another clear photo taken by Rene’ Dahinden shows a similar longitudinal feature in the heel area. This photo is a high resolution version of the track photo on the front and back cover of John Green’s original On the Track of the Sasquatch:

This photo originally appeared at the top of page 77 of John Green’s Apes Among Us. Four photographs are included on the page, and the caption reads “Don Abbott and Blue Creek Mountain tracks”:

The “page 77” track is a left footed track, and exhibits much more exaggerated “double ball” medial bulges than the right footed mate. The tracks are not bilaterally symmetrical, but closely match the shapes of the known Wallace prosthetics.

 Posted by on 10/19/2009 Bigfoot, Hoaxes

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