Welcome to Bigfoot-lives.com
Site Search

Click here to go to the Home page
Patterson bigfoot
Bigfoot FAQ
Bigfoot History
Classic cases
Historic Cases
Recent Cases
Bigfoot Evidence
Skeptical Views about Bigfoot

Video and Audio
News Stories
Articles and Papers
The 'Giants'
The Next Generation
Bigfoot Origins
bigfoot-lives forums
Bigfoot Resources
About me
About me


Footprint evidence

“...footprints are the only available form of evidence on which objective judgments can be made. The reality of Bigfoot, in theory at any rate, stands or falls on the impressions that in its passage it has left on the skin of the earth. ”

( John Napier. The yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality. 1973 )

Bob Titmuss and Syl McCoy With three different
footprint casts, 17, 16, and 15 inches long, taken
60 miles south of Bluff Creek.

The whole basis of the reality of the Bigfoot legend rests largely on the hundreds of footprint casts that have been made and collected. It would be foolish to assume that every footprint is genuine as the Bigfoot mystery is contaminated more than any other, by hoaxers. However it would be equally foolish to assume that every footprint is a hoax. As John Napia puts it, the hoax argument would require “the existence of a conspiracy of mafia like ramifications with cells in practically every major township from San francisco to Vancouver.”1

Although sightings of Large manlike creatures in North America pre-date the arrival of Europeans, reports of footprints however are more recent and there is a mention of large tracks in the early 19th Century. An early settler by the name of David Thompson, crossed the rockies near the present site of Jasper, Alberta in the winter of 1811. He mentions coming across the tracks of a large animal. The entry in his journal reads..


“Continuing our journey in the afternoon we came on the track of a large animal, the snow about six inches deep on the ice; I measured it; four large toes of four inches in length to each a short claw; the ball of the foot sunk three inches lower than the toes, the hinder part of the foot did not mark well, the length fourteen inches, by eight inches in breadth, walking from north to south, and having passed about six hours. We were in no humour to follow him.... its great size was not that of a bear.”

The footprint cast that gave the 
world 'Bigfoot'

Footprints as significant evidence for the existence of Bigfoot really came to the fore during the 1950’s in the Bluff Creek area.

As soon as the area was opened up for logging, footprints were seen on a regular basis and it was a plaster cast made by logging forman Jerry Crew of one of these prints that led to the

A photograph of a track taken near Eureka, CA in 1947. One of the 
first photographs taken of a Bigfoot footprint.

phrase ‘Bigfoot’ being used for the first time (left). 

John Green has said that as of 1980 he had over 200 track reports from Northern California alone, going back as far as 1870. The oldest was a picture of a track taken in 1947.

There is also a great divergence in sizes of the tracks with lengths ranging from 7 to 22 inches. Based on his collection John Green works out an average of 16 inches.

One of the first scientists to take footprints seriously was the the late Smithsonian primatologist John Napier. Based on the lengths of the footprints, he tried to determine the stature of the creature making them. He used the following formula which he says gives a reasonablly accurate method of calculating the relationship in man, and which he says would also hold good in a bipedal hominoid such as the Bigfoot.

stature = greatest foot length X 6.6

Using this formula, he shows an inconsistency in the Patterson film. Namely that the footprint length of 14 - 15 inches indicates a stature of between 7 ft. 8 in. and 8 ft. 3 in. rather than the 6ft. 9 in. as suggested by John Greens reconstruction. The problem with this type of analysis is that Napier is in effect applying a known relationship (formula) to an unknown animal. There is no evidence that the above formula can be applied to Bigfoot.

However, Napier must be commended for having the courage to take the footprints seriously. Of all the footprints casts taken, he argued that there were two distinct types “..and the differences between them appear to go beyond the range of normal variation expected within a single species of mammal.” He says that this difference is unacceptable, “In any other animal group, such differences would indicate that the creatures concerned belonged to two different genera-if not two different zoological families...It is unthinkable that the Sasquatch of north-western America, if it exists at all, should consist of such two distinct families or even genera.”2

The two types of foorprint tracks that Napier refers to is the ‘hourglass’ type found in Northern California and the the ‘Human’ variety found in washington state.

Bigfoot prints of two different sizes, also from the Bluff 
     Creek area
An 'Hourglass' type footprint
from the Bluff Creek area, CA

Taking a scientific approach, Napier further says that “The evolutionary ‘distance’ implied by placing two species of Sasquatch in seperate families would be as great as the evolutionary distance between apes and man, or cats and dogs. It is unthinkable that the Sasquatch of north-westerm America, if it exists at all, should consist of two such distinct families or evwn gendera. The only alternative to such a traversty of evolutionary principles is that one of the two Sasquatch footprint types are man-made artifacts.”3

This is interesting, particularly due to the fact that recently, the family of Ray Wallace, who had been a construction worker in Bluff Creek at the height of the footprint finds, had admitted that he had hoaxed the footprints.

This leads to the sixty four thousand dollar question, are all supposed Bigfoot prints fake? or are they are misidentified bear tracks. Perhaps even, they may be real tracks but belong to human individuals with large feet. Its unlikely but do happen. One basket ball player had a size 20 running shoe displayed in a shop. It was 15 inches long and larger than some Bigfoot tracks found.

Enlarged Human tracks

A Bigfoot and Human prints. Note the width.
( Click to Enlarge )

John Bindernagel, writing in his excellent book, North Americas Great Ape: the Sasquatch, makes the important point that “ a sasquatch track is not merely the track of an enlarged human foot. A closer look reveals that they are considerably wider than human feet of the same length.”4

The late Grover Krants, one of the four hoursemen of sasquatchery, noted in his book Big footprints, that Bigfoot tracks are approximately 30% wider than human footprints. One would have assumed that if someone wanted to perpetrate a Footprint hoax, they would have merely used a template of an enlarged human foot.

Bear Tracks

I’m pretty satisfied that the Bigfoot footprints are not those of a race of humans with large feet. The other possiblity is far more plausible and that is that the footprints are in fact mistaken bear tracks. The rear footprint of a bear do resemble those of a Bigfoot print and many people

have confused the two. But, a more thorough observation reveals 2 major differences between bear tracks and those of the Bigfoot. The first is the actual shape.

Bindernagel, a wildlife Biologist with over 30 years field experience says that “A Sasquatch track is elongated with a pronounced heel, whereas a bear has a broad hind foot which tapers to a slightly pointed heel. (The track of a bear’s front foot is completely different from that of the hind foot, being broad and short.) The presence of both fore and hind foot tracks is a characteristic of a bear trail; all tracks of a sasquatch trail are “hind” feet, just as with a human trail.”5


This may seem obvious, but it is an important difference. The second difference is that unlike Bigfoot tracks, bear tracks show claws, and unlike other animals, bear claws are not retractable. Bigfoot tracks however, only show toes. Bear prints also has a pointed heel.

Perhaps then, going back to the Journal entry of David Thompson when he came across large tracks in the winter of 1811, he may well have encountered the tracks of an unusually large bear. The most telling part of his entry describes the feet as having short claws protruding from the long toes. The toes being four inches long.

However, it can be seen that bear toes are more oval in shape than Bigfoot prints in which the toes are more elongated. Exactly what David Thompson saw, i think the jury is still out. Some features are more bearlike while other features seem to push towards the Sasquatch hypotheses.

Sometimes, according to Jeff Meldrum, in a few Bigfoot tracks, only the round or oval toe tips register, and he says that this will happen when the toes are tightly curled. In extreme cases

only the tip of the big toe registers in the soil alongside the others and its impression is no larger than that of the adjacent smaller toes. As a result such toes show a row of five apparently even-sized small toes. Often there is a ridge of soil pushed up behind the curled toes and a second ridge of soil way across the ball of the foot.6

Toe Flexibility


Inititially it was thought that the creature suffered from talipes equinoverus (clubfoot), but Jeff muldrum says that the condition was far more likely to be metatarsus adductus or Skewfoot. “Its unilateral manifestation makes it more likely that the individual was suffering from a lesion on the spinal cord rather than a congenital deformity. Regardless of the epidemiology, the pathology highlights the evident distinctions of skeletal anatomy. The prominent bunnionettes on the lateral margin of the foot mark the positions of the calcaneocuboid and cuboideometatarsal joints, which are positioned more distal than in a human foot. This accords with the inferred position of the transverse tarsal joint and confirms the elongation of the heel segment. Furthermore, deformities and malalignments of the digits permit inferences about the positions of interphalangeal joints and relative toe lengths”8

Photographs showing foot deformaties of the creature known as 'Cripple Foot'.

The question ultimately arises, can the Bossburg footprints be hoaxes. Both Prof. Grover Krantz of Washington State University and John Napier, a British primatologist, have studied these tracks and have come to the conclusion that they could not have been faked. The tracks crossed railroad tracks, a highway, up a steep hill, and stepped over a 43 inch fence.

Why would anyone go to so much trouble to create over a 1000 tracks over uneven terrain and create an anatomically correct foot deformity. As Napier puts it “It is very difficult to conceive of a hoaxer so subtle, so knowledgeable-and so sick-who would deliberately fake a footprint of this nature. I suppose it is possible, but it is so unlikely that I am prepared to discount it.“9

Dermal Ridges

Click to Enlarge

In 1982, a us forrestry serviceman saw a Sasquatch on a logging spur road. Footprints were found and a closer inspection of the footprint casts, produced a remarkable discovery. They contained whats known as Dermal Ridges - The foots equivalant of finger prints.

Various specialists including experts from the smithsonian Institute, Scotland Yard and even the top fingerprinting guy from a Texas Police Department analysed the casts and the majority of them concluded that the prints were not the results of a hoax.

Unfortunately, a lot of mainstream scientists refused to give it any serious attention. As Grover Krantz commented that when he showed the cast to his scientific collegues, “they were very eager to pass it back to him as if the cast was infected with some contagious disease”10

The fingerprint expert mentioned above is Jimmy Chilcutt, a latent fingerprint examiner from the Conroe Police Department. He watched Jeff Muldrum on television discussing a footprint cast he had which showed dermal ridges. Jimmy Chilcutt was a Bigfoot sceptic and felt that his fingerprint experience could be utilised to show the cast was a hoax.

He contacted meldrum who duly agreed for chilcutt to examine the cast. The cast in question was made by Deputy James P. Akin of the Pike County Sheriff's Office Pike County, Georgia in 1997 from an impression found in the Elkins Creek flood plain. The cast was 17.5" long and 8.5" wide. Known as the Elkins Creek casting, chilcott examined it for several months and in particular, the areas where dermal ridges appeared.

He concluded his examination saying that that the dermal ridges are that of a non human primate. This conclusion he says is based on the fact that humans have creases running perpendicular to the lateral ridges on the first joint of the toes where the toe meets the foot.

In the Elkin Creek cast the dermal ridges flow lengthwise along the side of the foot. This deos not occurr in the Human or the known non-human primate.11

Chilcutt quickly turned from a sceptic to a believer and says that the 1967 blue creek mountain road cast and the 1984 Walla Walla, Table spring cast also show this type of ridge pattern.

elkins creek
The Elkins Creek Cast ( Click to Enlarge )


1. John Napier - The yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality. (1973). E.P Dutton & Co., Inc. P117

2. IBID p.113

3. IBID p.113

4. John Bindernagel - North Americas Great Ape: the SASQUATCH.(1998). Beachcomber Books. P.52

5. IBID p.52


7. IBID.

8. IBID.

9. John Napier - The yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality. (1973). E.P Dutton & Co., Inc. P117

10. J.H Chilcutt - Dermal Ridge Examination Report: Georgia Casting

Further Reading.


The material in this website is covered under the Fair Use Doctrine of International Copyright Law
as educational material without benefit of financial gain.
This proviso is applicable throughout the entire bigfoot-lives.com Website.