Why Not Sasquatch? | Samuel Webb Sentell

Bigfoot/Sasquatch continues to be an area of great interest in our culture while science steadfastly resists examination of the anecdotal data in any comprehensive way. This paper uses the term Sasquatch to represent the purported biological species and Bigfoot to represent the cultural phenomena. Bigfoot phenomena are sometimes hoaxed but hoaxing can be studied within social psychology. Nevertheless, Bigfoot phenomena are not all hoaxes. Bigfoot is also an archetype of the human collective unconscious and can be studied within psychoanalytic, neuroethological and phenomenological disciplines. Phenomenological or psychoanalytic research is historically discounted by zoology which also rejects Sasquatch as a species. Yet, Sasquatch is now considered a “de facto” species by a small but increasing number of scientists.

I propose that the problem with Bigfoot/Sasquatch phenomena is lack of orthogonality within one discipline. The blurred boundaries between the social psychology of hoaxing, and the archetypal and biological areas of inquiry leave scholars feeling vulnerable or confused. As such, academics often refuse to peruse the existing anecdotal data and furthermore make irresponsible public statements that are verifiably false in assessing this area of scientific inquiry.

This paper reviews one such example of a false irresponsible public statement made by a scientist reporting on the status of current research on Sasquatch. This scientist stated unequivocally that no scientist to date has ever discovered scat or hair that might be from a Sasquatch. This paper seeks to use this erroneous public statement to reject the implied hypothesis that no scientist to date has ever found scat or hair that might be from a Sasquatch.

This writer is one such scientist, who has indeed found anomalous scat and hair as well as other anecdotal evidence supporting the possibility of Sasquatch. This paper presents photographic evidence of possible Sasquatch scat and hair previously submitted for lab examination that has not been found thus far to be another known species. I discuss submission of my hair samples to the newly developing Sasquatch DNA database and implications. Additionally, I provide other additional anecdotal photographic evidence in support of the possibility of Sasquatch and discuss other currently promising related research methodologies.

Sasquatch because of their similarity with humans, pose new and novel problems for research methodology and ethics. Sasquatch research may influence humans to consider new approaches in ecology and ethology. What are our implied human obligations about protection of the niche occupied by this purported species ? Can Sasquatch ethically refuse to participate in Sasquatch research? Certainly, science needs to reconsider the traditional appropriateness of harvesting a specimen if they appear to be hominid. Bigfoot/Sasquatch research may ultimately contribute to the shifting of some old paradigms of research, ethics and ways of knowing in the academic world.

Recorded at the 31st annual SSE Conference in 2012 at the Millennium Hotel in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

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Published on November 14, 2018