November 7, 1995 in City

Professor Hopes To Turn Bigfoot Into Big Profit

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Tags:column

To heck with catching Bigfoot.

I’d rather catch the big groans coming from Washington State University academics and administrators when they learn their Professor Sasquatch is making news again.

He is Grover Krantz, instructor of anthropology at WSU.

To the university’s dubious distinction, Krantz also is the nation’s most accredited scientist to openly embrace Bigfoot as something more than a hairy Northwest legend.

Bigfoot and Elvis sightings have been depressingly off lately, but Krantz has embarked on a novel way to put the giant apeman back on top.

Attention Christmas shoppers! Get ready for the ultimate in size 25 triple-E stocking stuffers:

The Bigfoot Collection.

Collaborating with a Kennewick artist, Krantz is peddling genuine mounted reproductions of plaster Bigfoot tracks.

This is basically the same concept as the jackalope - those antlered rabbits hung up in North Idaho bars - only a lot prettier and more expensive.

“The Cripple,” for example, is a beautifully framed set of two tracks allegedly made by a physically challenged Bigfoot. Price - $350.

For $295, you can buy “Patterson 1.” This is from the historic actual cast taken by Bigfoot hunter Roger Patterson. The 16mm movie filmed by the Yakima man is one of the Holy Grails of sasquatchery.

Patterson and a pal supposedly were searching for Bigfoot in Northern California when - surprise, surprise - they stumbled onto one.

Patterson fell off his horse, grabbed his camera and - perhaps after helping his friend climb into a gorilla suit - shot some amazingly incoherent and fuzzy footage. So blurry is the film that the woolly figure could be either Jerry Garcia or an ungroomed mastiff.

The plaster cast was made after the beast had shambled away. Or maybe after the two had caught their breath after laughing about the big hoax they were pulling.

“I think there’s a market for this,” says Lori Morey, the artist who convinced Krantz to hawk his Shaqsized footprints.

Those not flush enough for a wall hanging can get a Bigfoot coffee mug ($7.95) or T-shirt ($12.95-$15.95) or Krantz’s book “Bigfoot Prints” ($14.95).

Weird science for fun and profit.

Since the 1960s, Krantz has tried to legitimize the elusive Bigfoot with the stubborn conviction of Capt. Ahab hunting Moby Dick.

“A belief is an opinion held because it makes you feel good,” says Krantz. “Once I decided (they) were real, I never wavered.”

This stuff seems pretty danged deranged to me.

Krantz claims there are as many as 2,000 7-foot-tall, 800-pound creatures lumbering within the tall timbers of the Pacific Northwest.

Maybe they are great at hiding. But where are the mountainous piles these brutes surely would leave?

Someone should have stepped in some. The forests practically are crawling these days with hunters and hikers and loggers and tree-spiking environmentalist psychopaths.

Most of Richard Clear’s radio talk show listeners live in tunnels deep in the woods.

They always are telephoning Richard to report federal black helicopters and battalions of United Nations soldiers who are training in secret to take us over.

Yet, none of these unwashed hillfolk is yammering about Bigfoot.

I find this significant. By now, a Bigfoot should have been captured, taken to Portland and given a huge shoe deal by Nike.

The sad fact, however, is that even so-called Bigfoot experts disagree on these things.

Canadian Rene Dahinden, who dumped his wife to trail sasquatch, accused Krantz of using his professorship to “promote and glorify himself and his wild, unbalanced ideas.”

Krantz says Dahinden is just plain mean. Besides, he adds, he will cut off this footprint-marketing scheme should publicity become too wild.

Professor Sasquatch has his standards. He is, after all, a man of science.

, DataTimes


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