The majority of the footprints attributed to the Sasquatch are found in mud, dust or river silt. A few prints in snow have been recorded in recent years, as a consequence of the growing popularity of snowmobiling and skiing which take more people than ever before into the mountainous regions during the winter. One might expect that in any natural population of animals a good deal of variation in size and shape occurs; so it is with Sasquatch tracks.
The following excerpt is from "Startling Evidence of Another Form of Life on Earth Now: Bigfoot" by John Napier. You can buy it here.
However, there seem to be two distinct types of Sasquatch track, and the differences between them appear to go beyond the range of normal variation expected within a single species of mammal. This in itself is bound to make one rather suspicious. The business of moving about is so basic to an animal's survival that locomotion is almost the last function of the body which one would expect to show major differences within a species. Hair color, eye color, ear length, stature etc. are the sort of characteristics which one might expect to vary because they have little or no effect on the survival of the individual; but differences in the fundamental anatomy of the foot occurring within a species are quite unacceptable. In any other animal group, such differences would indicate that the creatures concerned belonged to two different genera-if not to two different zoological families.
The evolutionary 'distance' implied by placing two species of Sasquatch in separate 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-western America, if it exists at all, should consist of such two distinct families or even genera. The only alternative to such a travesty of evolutionary principles is that one of the two Sasquatch foot-print types are man-made artifacts.
The two types of footprints are illustrated in plates 11 to 16. The first, which I call the 'hourglass' by reason of its wasted appearance, has been seen in the Bluff Creek-Blue Creek areas of Northern California. The second 'human' variety has been seen and photographed in 'Washington State. The hourglass type can be recognized by six distinctive characteristics:
1. The impressions of the five toes are separated from the ball of the foot by a substantial ridge of soil or sand.
2, The toe impressions and the ridge that separates them from the ball of the foot are arranged obliquely with a forward slant from the outer to the inner border of the foot.
3. The big toe is approximately the same size as the little toes.
4. A well-marked ridge divides the ball of the foot, the fleshy pad immediately behind the big toe, into two separate elements.
5. The shank of the foot is hourglass shaped.
6. The impression of the heel is deeper on the inner rather than the outer side (contrary to the human type which is deeper on the outer side).
The fundamental interpretation of these footprint characteristics is fairly straightforward. The well-marked ridge between the toes and the rest of the foot is a sure indication that the Sasquatch's toes (if this is indeed a real footprint and not a fake) are much longer, more ape-like, than in man. The prominence of the ridge, which extends behind the big toe as well as the small toes, is a clear indication that all the toes are sharply bent during walking. The obliquity of the ridge tells us exactly how the foot is moved during the final phase of striding. Homo sapiens take off from the inner side of his foot, from the big toe in fact; the hourglass footprints indicate that the Sasquatch takes off from the outer side of his foot. The smallness of the big-toe impression of the hourglass tracks is further confirmation that the Sasquatch does not propel himself forward at the end of each step by the powerful leverage of the big toe. All in all, the hourglass footprints indicate a totally different style of bipedal walking to that used by Homo sapiens, modern man.
The gait of the Sasquatch, judged on the basis of the hourglass footprints, is `pigeon-toed'. Start human beings walk with their feet turned out-the so-called V. `angle of gait'. The Sasquatch apparently walks with its feet turned in. There is a curious and persuasive consistency about the hourglass footprints. They present an aberrant but, nevertheless, uniform pattern. This is hard to reconcile with fakery. One might pose the question: who other than God or natural selection is sufficiently conversant with the subtleties of the human foot and the human walking style to `design' an artificial foot which is so perfectly harmonious in terms of structure and function? These arguments can be equally well applied, and with greater force, to the `human' print from Bossburg, as we shall see.
Another factor that might be adduced in favor of the hourglass tracks is their variability. If they were all the same they could automatically be written off as a hoax, because precise uniformity within a species is not a characteristic of nature, whereas variety is.
The hourglass tracks sometimes show the five toes looking for all the world like peas in a pod, and sometimes the big toe is slightly larger than the others, but never so large as in the human type of track, where the toes steadily increase in size from the outer to the inner border. Another difference is that in the hourglass the ridge behind the toes is ruler-straight while in the human type the ridge is curved with its convexity directed forwards.
The human-type track from Bossburg, Washington State, was first seen in October 1969 by a butcher of the name of Joe Rhodes. The sighting was reported to Ivan Marx, whose interest in the Sasquatch was well known. Marx made casts of the footprints. Subsequently in the same area Marx and Rene Dahinden discovered a set of tracks and followed them for half a mile. Rene Dahinden has told me that he counted 1,089 prints in all. The remarkable feature of the Bossburg tracks is the evidence that the Sasquatch concerned is a cripple.
The left foot appears normal, and in every respect is similar to a modern human foot-similar, that is, until one considers the matter of size. The Bossburg tracks, large even for a Sasquatch, measure 17 1/2 in. by 7 in. Apart from satisfying the criteria established for modern human-type walking, the Bossburg prints have, to my way of thinking, an even greater claim to authenticity. The right foot of the Bossburg Sasquatch is a club-foot, a not uncommon abnormality that labors under the technical name of talipes-eqyina.vartis. The forepart of the foot is twisted inwards, the third toe has been squeezed out of normal alignment, and possibly there has been a dislocation of the bones on the outer border (but this last feature may be due to an imperfection in the casting technique). Club-foot usually occurs as a congenital ab-normality, but it may also develop as the result of severe injury, or of damage to the nerves controlling the muscles of the foot. To me, the deformity strongly suggests that injury during life was responsible. A true, untreated, congenital talipes-equino-varm usually results in a fixed flexion deformity of the ankle in which case only the forepart of the foot and toes touch the ground in normal standing. In these circumstances the heel impression would be absent or poorly defined; but in fact the heel indentation of the Sasquatch is strongly defined. I conclude that the deformity was the result of a crushing injury to the foot in early childhood.
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.
Thus there are three alternatives in the interpretation of Sasquatch footprints. Either both types of footprints are fakes, both are real, or one is real and the other is faked. I have already discussed how unlikely it is that both are real. If both are fakes then we must be prepared to accept the existence of a conspiracy of Mafia-like ramifications with cells in practically every major township from San Francisco to Vancouver. Even if we accept the conspiracy angle there is still another hurdle to be jumped. How could footprints of such realism and functional consistency have been made? Rubber-latex molds bonded to a boot or shoe might explain how the foot-prints are reproduced, but the mechanical problems would be immense, particularly when it is borne in mind that the hoaxer would have to walk considerable distances over difficult terrain wearing such unwieldy contraptions. There is also the problem that footprints are found in conditions where -an ordinary man is too light to make any impression in the substrate. However, it is not impossible that some of the footprints were made in this way.
A footprint machine, a kind of mechanical stamp, has been suggested, but an apparatus capable of delivering a thrust of approximately 800 lb per square foot that can be manhandled over rough and mountainous country puts a strain on one's credulity. Nevertheless, once again, this is a possibility that should be borne in mind. There is no a prior reason why the footprints seen on the dirt roads of the Blue Creek Mountain area in Northern California could not have been faked in this way, although as Dr Maurice Tripp, a geologist, has pointed out, impact ridges, which would be expected from a mechanical stamp, are absent in the footprints he has studied.
There is ample evidence that some footprints have been faked. While researching a B.B.C. T.V. program in 1968, Ron Webster, the producer, met a roadmender who assured him categorically on this point in a filmed interview. A gentleman called Ray Pickens described to a reporter quite recently how he made a pair of 16 in. feet out of wood and nailed them to a pair of boots. He also claimed to have made a middle-sized pair and a small pair for his wife and child. Mr Pickens is a citizen of Colville, near Bossburg, prime Sasquatch country. I have on my files photographs of a further set of tracks which were clearly made by a hinged, wooden contraption which wouldn't fool the village idiot.
Both the Blue Creek-Bluff Creek and the Bossburg footprints are, in different ways, biologically convincing. The hourglass type is intrinsically consistent but, I suspect, functionally inadequate. The 'human' tracks are convincing for different reasons. First because of the crippled right foot, which I find impossible to accept as a hoax; and, secondly, because of the normality in structural and functional terms of the left foot. I am sure that some Sasquatch tracks are fakes, but it is beyond reason to suppose that they all are. Indeed if there was only one real print among 99 fakes it would still be obligatory to explain the one.
In view of the real, biologically unacceptable, differences between the hourglass and the 'human' types, the conclusion is inevitable: one mast be real and the other must be a fake. But which is which? Will the real Sasquatch please stand up! Of the two challengers my money is on the Bossburg tracks, the 'human' type in my classification, for reasons already well aired above.
There is one final consideration: the tracks found and photographed by Roger Patterson at Bluff Creek after he had seen and filmed the so-called female Sasquatch. The footprints are a variant of the hourglass type and as discussed on pp. 92-3 are already under suspicion for the reasons that their dimensions are not in accord with the stature estimated from the film.
You can read more by purchasing Startling Evidence of Another Form of Life on Earth Now: Bigfoot" by John Napier here.