It's a great thing when Jeff Meldrum is able to make time and give lectures about bigfoot in small settings. Twice in the last few weeks he has given talks in both Idaho and Indiana. Here's the promotional article with some nice background on Dr. Meldrum for yesterday's Sun Valley, Idaho appearance. Below is an article published this week in the student newspaper at Indiana University Southeast where Jeff Meldrum gave a presentation in January. I can't think of anyone better suited to explain this subject. Enjoy the articles.(Dr. Jeff Meldrum with Gray's Harbor footprint cast. photo by Rachel Anne Seymour)Does Bigfoot exist?
Bigfoot expert Jeffery Meldrum to talk about Sasquatch
by Sabina Dana Plasse
Express Staff Writer, Idaho Mountain Express
When Jeffrey Meldrum was 11 years old, he saw Roger Patterson's famous 60 seconds of jumpy footage of an unidentified, giant, ape-like creature.
"The larger-than-life image of a Bigfoot deliberately striding across the screen made a lasting impression on a young and adventurous mind and served to reinforce my fascination with the primates and primitive humans," Meldrum writes in the introduction to his book, "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science."
Thirty years later, with bachelor's and master's degrees in zoology from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in anatomical sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Meldrum found himself examining mysterious 14-inch footprints in Washington state.
Meldrum was using his expertise in foot morphology and locomotion of monkeys, apes and hominids to bring a new level of scientific inquiry to the search for Bigfoot.
In his 2006 book, Meldrum doesn't argue for the existence of Sasquatch, but rather states that "the evidence that exists fully justifies the investigation and the pursuit of this question."
Even that is going too far for some of his skeptical colleagues in academia and science, a few of whom have publicly disparaged Meldrum's work. Those with positive things to say about him include primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, who said his book "brings a much-needed level of scientific analysis" to the debate about Sasquatch. Zoologist Dr. George Shaller said that "by offering a critical scrutiny, [his book] does more for this field of investigation than all the past arguments and polemics of contesting experts."
Meldrum is an associate professor of anatomy and anthropology and adjunct associate professor of the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University. He is also adjunct professor of occupational and physical therapy and affiliate curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. He joined the ISU faculty in 1993 after a short time at Northwestern University.
Meldrum will give a free presentation at Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 6:30 p.m. The lecture is in conjunction with The Center's ongoing multidisciplinary project "Creatures: From Bigfoot to the Yeti Crab," which explores fantastical creatures, real, imaginary and status undetermined, through the eyes of visual artists, scientists, filmmakers and writers. Link to the article at the Idaho Mountain Express
----------------------------------------------(Dr. Meldrum during lecture at Indiana University Southeast, January 2011. photo by Jerod Clapp)Professor Takes a Stand for Bigfoot
by Jennifer Schonschack
Staff Writer, Indiana University Southeast Horizon student newspaper
When the Bigfoot movie “Harry and the Hendersons” came out in 1987, Jeffrey Meldrum, associate professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University, was more than five years through his college education. He was well on his way to learning all he could to prove Bigfoot’s existence through scientific evidence.
Throughout the 20th century, thousands of eyewitnesses have reported sightings of giant, bipedal apes commonly referred to as Bigfoot or Sasquatch — an animal thought to have similar human-like characteristics.
“Opinions vary to the nature,” Meldrum said. “Some suggest that it is a nearly human like creature. Others have suggested that it is a large ape — a distance relative of the ape or orangutan. I tend to be more in the latter. I see behaviors and anatomy that reflects its ape-like quality.”
On Jan. 27, Meldrum spoke to a crowd of more than 100 students, faculty and citizens from the community who gathered in the Hoosier Room to get the facts about the existence of this animal.
Meldrum got his doctorate in physical anthropology from Stony Brook State University in New York in 1989.
Meldrum began with a short introduction about his discussion, and then jumped in on what he and others have found in their studies of the biological evidence of Bigfoot. The evidence ranges from trace elements like footprints to the physical elements including animal feces and hair. “There is photographic evidence, as well,” he said. “It can be controversial, but the other evidence we measure and look at objectively.”
Meldrum showed pictures of casts of what is believed to be a footprint of a Bigfoot-type animal made by him and other professional biologists in this area from the past three decades.
“They are casts of footprints that are attributed to Sasquatch,” he said. “It’s up to me to ascertain if they are hoaxed — misidentified as other animals.”
A presentation by Roger Patterson convinced Meldrum of Bigfoot’s existence. Patterson, a rodeo rider, developed a curiosity about Bigfoot in the 1960s and captured a famous 60-second clip of the creature. Patterson came to speak in the town Meldrum grew up in, and he and his brother convinced their father to take them.
Meldrum got to meet the filmmaker after the presentation, and it was at this young age he realized his fascination with this creature.
“That certainly was the turning point for me,” Meldrum said. “We had talked about in school. I was only in fifth grade but was already fascinated.”
One of the first things Meldrum discussed was the importance of myths in history, as well as in certain celebrations, including a Middle Eastern tradition of keeping track of specific animals whose meat, when ingested, aids in relieving jaundice. “No history is without myth, and no myth is without history,” Meldrum said. He also talked about “Zerleg Knoon,” another man-like creature better known as the Abominable Snowman.
Meldrum’s study about fossils or sightings of such creatures included a discussion about bipedal human ancestors like the 1959 discovery of “Zinj” by Mary Leakey. The importance of this fossil was the almost complete cranium of an adult male. It was her husband, Louis Leakey, who suggested that “Zinj” was a distinctive sort of early human ancestor.
Cory Dixon and Marc Lewis, chemistry freshmen, attended the lecture and said they both agreed it was worth the time to hear about it.
“Sasquatch just sounds cool,” Dixon said.(Jeff Meldrum poses for photographs with attendees; here with Alan Walters of Jeffersonville, IN. photo credit: IU Southeast Horizon)
Although Meldrum was supposed to have completed a project in Nepal, India, before his discussion, politics kept him from staying to finish the excursion with National Georgraphic.
“National Geographic is producing a documentary with an unfinalized title, questioning the Yeti and the Sasquatch, or the ‘mande burung’ in India,” Meldrum said. “Its description is very similar to the Bigfoot. Since we weren’t able to stay in India, we went instead to my lab and started there. [We] met with some Native Americans, learned about their lore and looked at some of the evidence that has come out of that region, including some footprints that were brought to our attention. They had discovered large 15-inch tracks.”
More recently, Meldrum was involved in a documentary production with other scientists to discuss findings.
“We did some experiments with search-and-rescue dogs with some distinct scat we had found,” Meldrum said. “It elicited an interesting reaction from the dogs. They reacted with a fear response.”
One man in the audience wanted to know why no one has ever come forward with more than one sighting.
Ben Schneider, a 1996 IUS alumnus, asked about how the Bigfoot freezer hoax affected studies where real evidence had been found. Meldrum said it made a mockery of their efforts.
When asked about his personal beliefs, he said if he had doubts, his career would have been different.
“Of course I’m personally convinced,” he said. “I think what were looking at is many branches of hominids. Rather than assuming they all went extinct some persistent branches exist today in remote areas.”Link to article at Indiana University Southeast Horizon student newspaper