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News › Dem Bones
Dem Bones

Evidence by Roger Knights

(A shorter version was published in Bigfoot Co-op June/August 2004)

I wish someone knowledgeable in the BF community would write a rebuttal to the skeptics’ routine charge that “No bones have ever been found” and that “There’s nary a trace of bones.” It should mention briefly all the cases where bones that might have come from a BF have been found, but have been misplaced or reburied. Come B-Day, science’s mishandling of possible BF remains will be a big embarrassment to it.

What follows are a few of the missing-bones cases;

I recently heard a guest on the artistfirst Internet BF radio show (www.artistfirst.com) mention three additional cases (beyond the ones discussed below) where bones had been sent to museums and lost. The odds are strong against the validity of any one case. But the odds are lower that all the cases are invalid. Thus the disbelievers’ implication that the cupboard has always been bare is an overstatement.

Here are a couple of old quotations that indicate why it would have been quite possible, in the days before widespread Bigfoot reports, for supposed bones of “giants” or “big Indians” to get discarded upon arrival at a museum, or tossed out in the spring cleaning. Museums receive much unworthy material, including a fair number of hoaxes, so curators have developed a dismissive attitude toward items donated by amateurs, especially those items lacking scientific-type, site-specific information. I hadn’t been aware until I stumbled across these articles of the negative context in which such material would have been viewed.

Furnace clinkers, pieces of bottle glass, samples of iron slag, chunks of clay and roadside stones of every description, bones of sheep and rabbits, specimens of cockroaches and cabbage butterflies—they all clutter the mail arriving at my office. In almost every delivery they come, sometimes ten or twenty packages a day when some publicity has stirred the senders to action. …

Every museum gets a vast amount of such worthless material … year after year ….
—Frank Clay Cross, “John Doe, Explorer,” in Coronet magazine, March 1938
Every year scores of perfectly sincere farmers, students, building contractors, cowboys, hunters and mine superintendents hopefully lug sacks, boxes, and automobile loads of old rocks and bones to scientific authorities for appraisal. … Nine times out of ten the finders are honestly and earnestly under the impression they have something of scientific value. The other time they are just trying to make a little money out of some worthless bones they have unearthed in the back pasture where Nellie, the old grey mare, died twenty years ago. …

To be of value in scientific work fossils—which look and feel pretty much like ordinary stones to the layman—must be “authenticated.” That is, they must be accompanied by a minute description of the locality and strata in which they were found. A “funny-looking stone” passing from hand to hand may travel thousands of miles before it reaches anyone curious enough to submit it to scientific examination. So very often amateur finds are worthless by the time they reach a museum.
—Creighton Peet, “Any Old Bones Today?”, in Coronet magazine, Sept. 1937
In light of the above, it’s understandable how it might have seemed like standard operating procedure to an anthropologist examining, say, the famous Minaret Skull to trashcan it. He’d thereby spare a museum from wasting its time and space on material of no scientific interest. In other cases, curators might have done the same.

BTW, this well-established practice of dumping (and also the little-known practice of “de-accessioning”) adds credibility in my mind to accusations that the Smithsonian (and possibly other museums) has used that means to dispose of artifacts relating to other anomalies that were doctrinally discomfiting.

Track Record editor Ray Crowe commented:
When somebody does find a Sasquatch skeleton isn’t it likely to be misidentified as a human skeleton? … Many museums have crates and crates of stuff nobody’s looked at in generations and which may not even be catalogued.

On the other hand, most of the tantalizing cases listed below have probably been checked out and found to be dead ends, in light of the following rueful observation:
I have spent a good deal of time trying to chase down stories of enormous jaws and other bones, only to find either that the specimen was quite normal or else it could not be located. Other investigators with whom I have compared notes have had similar experiences. Any time one hears of such a specimen … it is almost certainly a normal bone of a human or some other animal. I say “almost” because there is always a small chance that some day it will be the right thing. So I still chase down such stories no matter how slim the odds may seem.
—Grover Krantz, Bigfoot Sasqautch Evidence, p. 130

Case of Bones from the Pyrenees

Caledonian mystery writer Miguel Aracil … suggests that the entire region of the Pyrenees … was the home of true giants who may still endure to this day, becoming the source of numerous Bigfoot accounts. A considerable number of giant skeletons, he argues, have been unearthed [and] turned over to the Barcelona Museum of Anthropology, where they vanished … in order to preserve the anthropological and paleonthological status quo.
—Scott Corrales, “Giants: Fact or Fiction?”, Fate, May 2006, p. 29

Cases from Track Record

In the Bigfoot Co-Op for April 1994, p. 9, Ray Crowe wrote, “The B.C. museum is supposed to have a huge jawbone … but no one at the museum knows where it is, except that it is crated and in storage (Bigfoot, Guenette, 1989). Even Ivan Sanderson (Abominable Snowmen) reported bones [of an 8-footer] that had been shipped to Wrexham Museum, North Wales, England. They must have evaporated, as no trace of them was ever found.” A couple more cases are then mentioned.

Track Record #28, p. 6: “Bernie Cross, from letter of July 23, 1976: Concerns find of a giant humanoid skull twice as large as a normal human’s. … returned to the mound & covered …”

Track Record #78, p. 13, col. 2, quotes a newsclip about Rex Gilroy of New South Wales who has what he thinks is a Yowie skull, which scientists won’t look at.

Track Record#86, pp. 7-8, describes about several cases of possible BF bones, most taken from p. 151 of Dr. Karl Shuker’s book, The Unexplained, 1996. Here are a few stories:
• 1833—skeleton 12 tall found at Lompock Rancho, CA.
• 1856—skeleton 10 feet, 9 inches found in WV.
• 1880s—68 skeletons averaging 7 feet tall (some much taller) found in Indian mound in PA. Some bones sent to the American Investigating Museum, which can’t find them.

Track Record #91, p. 18, Steve High wrote, “I will lay money that people have found and walked right by Bigfoot bones thinking they were bear.”

Track Record #99, p. 18, col. 2, a letter from Andrew Peterson cites an old news clipping describing the discovery in a beach in Grey’s Harbor, WA of an 8-foot tall skeleton.

Track Record #118, p. 5, col. 1-2, “Todd [Neiss] told of a small museum in Sumpter, OR, at the back of the Sumpter Store, next to the Elkhorn Tavern. Todd saw there a femur bone, about 4 foot long, and labeled Bigfoot bone. He tried to buy it from the proprietor without success.”

Track Record #120, p. 10, col. 1, Valentin Sapunov, “There were leg bones of a giant man like a gorilla in the Museum of the University of Prague, but some years ago these bones disappeared….”

There may be more such items in TR, since only a portion has been put online.

Mummified Remains in the Mark Twain Museum

Six screenfuls of material on this topic appeared in the Track Record newsletter #86, April 1999. Online go to www.internationalbigfo....php?id=65; then hit page-down 26 times. There, correspondent Jim Lee wrote:
There are several reports of anomalous “human” remains being found. Though they cause comment at the time, they're eventually determined to be the remains of freakishly proportioned humans. Have Sasquatch remains ever been found? Probably several. Have they been recognized for what they are? Almost certainly not. Some examples from page 151 of Dr. Karl Shuker's book, The Unexplained. …

Several mummified remains of 6 foot 6 inch to 8 foot red-haired humans were found in Lovelock Cave, 70 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada by a guano mining operation [in 1911]. They substantiated the local Paiute's claim of the existence of Si-Te-Cahs. Dr. Shuker reports that most of the bones were lost or destroyed in a fire but that a 12-inch skull with related bones is still preserved in Winnemucca at the Humboldt Museum. Some related artifacts are also held at the Nevada State Historical Society in Reno.
[Jim Lee quoted Dr. Shuker’s book:]
Scientists proved oddly reluctant to investigate these remains and eventually most of the bones were simply discarded by the miners. What was left was salvaged by various local people, only for most of it to be destroyed in a fire. Happily, however, one of the giant Lovelock skulls, almost 30 cm (1 foot) tall, is preserved with some related bones and artifacts at the Humboldt Museum in Winnemucca, Nevada, and various Lovelock artifacts are also held at the Nevada State Historical Society's museum at Reno.

The paragraph is accompanied by a photograph of the Winnemucca skull lying on its left side on grass facing a twelve inch ruler. It doesn't appear to be quite twelve inches tall but about 10 1/2 inches from bottom of lower jaw to top.
Track Record #86, pp. 7-8

Kathy M. Strain commented on the above:
It's the same story as the Lovelock cave one … the story has been changed for the skeletons to have come from Las Vegas, Walker Lake, Wizard Beach, etc, but they are always the same story ... three giant skeletons with red hair. I think what may have happened is that the rumors of the red headed giants got around and the museum created copies of them for display (which is very common from that time period for private museums).

I haven’t seen the skull, but according to my human remains book, 10.5 inches is well within the known human range of skulls!

Ray Crowe contacted the museum’s owner and provided additional information on this in Track Record #67, at www.internationalbigfo....php?id=50.
Had a lead to a Giant Indian in the Mark Twain museum in Virginia City, NV. Drove down to find the museum out of business, but did locate the owner, a Mr. Joe Curtis, now proprietor of the Mark Twain Book Store. Asked if it were possible to get a few photos of the giant skeleton, he told me I was too late. The giant Indian had caused a ruckus among the local Indian population, and they had the State Archeologist bring charges against Mr. Curtis. He thought it was easier to let it go, at about a $10,000 loss he estimated. So the skeleton was repatriated to the Indians in 1992 and he doesn’t know what happened to it then...reburied? He recalls that the skeleton had been found on the west side of Washoe Lake in the early 1950’s, in the hills. It measured 7’4”, and the skull had dark red hairs still adhering...enough that the explanation at the time was that it was a lost Viking or something. Actually the State Archeologist, he said, couldn’t even place the skeleton as Indian! But he also, decided it was in his best interests to release the bones to the Indians.
—“Track Record” #67, Ray Crowe speaking.
Kathy M. Strain commented on the above:
Amy Dansie is the State Archaeologist, and was at the time all this was supposed to have happened. I have already spoken to her, when I asked her about the skeletons in 1997. She said none of it was true. The State Archaeologist can't press charges for human remains in control of someone prior to NAGPRA; plus the State of Nevada has no authority under NAGPRA (it's a federal law). Only the Feds could have threatened him, and we couldn't have anyway since the law is clear that the remains had to have been in our possession for the law to apply anyway! The Archaeological Resource Protection Act prevents folks from looting/stealing artifacts including remains, but again only the Feds could do anything about it. The only law that might apply is a Nevada law on possession of human remains...but it excludes museums. Again, Amy said it was all a lie in the first place ... no remains meeting that description were known to exist.

Posted by Roger.Knights on Saturday, May 06, 2006 (02:59:48) (11707 reads)
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