“My goal is not to convince, my goal is to open minds,”said Jeff Meldrum, professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University. Meldrum has been researching the specimen of Sasquatch for more than 15 years and has received national attention for his work, both positive and negative.
His research examines various evidences which suggest that the mythical creature Sasquatch may in fact be real. In particular, he hypothesizes there may be not only one creature living today, but as many as 500-750 of the Sasquatch species.
“People have been so conditioned that this isn’t possible that when they finally see it, it upsets their whole equilibrium,” he said.
Meldrum said many people, both inside and outside of academia, don’t believe that Sasquatch could be real.
“Some of the naysayers adapt that position because such a creature, such a species could not exist under our noses and not have been discovered,” he said.
Others, he said, don’t accept the possibility out of stubbornness.
“There’s a certain chic to being critical these days,” he said, “and skepticism is worn as a bright red arm band by some individuals.”
Dr. Robert Schmidt, USU professor of wildlife policy and human dimensions in the College of Natural Resources, invited Meldrum to come and speak.
“I met Dr. Meldrum a number of years ago and it was just interesting about how he, as a person with a credentials in science, how he uses that process to look at Sasquatch, which is a very different way than the other Sasquatch fans,” he said. “He has this logical process by which he sorta says ‘I can include this information.’”
Ryan Carlisle, an international studies major who attended the lecture, said the presentation didn’t affect his belief in Sasquatch.
“It’s a possibility,” he said. “I didn’t totally discount it. It could be.”
Halley Kartchner, a graduate student in human dimensions of ecosystems science and management who considers herself an amateur Bigfoot enthusiast said, “I thought it was really refreshing take on the legend of Sasquatch. My other exposure to it has been kinda crazy people I guess.”
She said that while she’s not completely convinced that Sasquatch is real, Meldrum’s lecture made her more inclined to believe he could be.
“It was really good to hear someone with a Ph.D and all this background knowledge giving his take on it,” she said.
Sara Preece, a graduate in marine biology from BYU, said, “I had never seen evidence presented the way he had. I feel like he presented it very factually, very evidence-based. He wasn’t trying to change anyone’s mind or convince anybody, he was just presenting objective evidence for people.”
She said she doesn’t necessarily believe or disbelieve that Sasquatch is real because belief connotes a religious type of conviction, but said Meldrum’s presentation did make her think that Sasquatch could be real.
Meldrum said he himself is not positive that Sasquatch is real, but that the evidence compels him to continue researching.