Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 5th, 2010
In Darren Naish’s Tetrapod Zoology posting, “Pouches, pockets and sacs in the heads, necks and chests of mammals, part 1: primates,” (whew, I’m exhausted by the title already), he takes on Sasquatch breasts, a bit. (Being an academic, I understand that “Bigfoot, Boobs, and Bulges” won’t do for him but still…he does address the issue. I’m responsible for adding the illustrative material here, to spotlight his treatment, however. Cryptomundians have come to expect a high standard of visual accoutrements.)
Anyway, Naish says:
“The possible presence of hypertrophied laryngeal pouches has also been discussed a few times in the literature on Sasquatch (Krantz 1999, Meldrum 2006). If Sasquatch is a non-human ape, the presence of enlarged air sacs would be expected. Furthermore, it’s been suggested that the loud vocalisations inferred by some to be created by Sasquatches indicate the presence of giant, orangutan-like air sacs in this animal. Grover Krantz even considered the idea that the large, human-like breasts of ‘Patty’ – the subject of the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film – might be partially inflated air sacs, but noted that this was more unlikely than the idea that they really are breasts (Krantz 1999).”
The specific quotation Naish is referring to from Krantz, in essence, is this one:
“Many years ago I suggested another possible explanation for those prominent bulges; they might be laryngeal air sacs of enormous size, and about half inflated in this film….If the Sasquatch had an exaggerated version of these pouches, they just might extend anteriorly and some distance down the chest. These could be inflated, then abruptly deflated (perhaps by pressing down on it with the hands) while exhaling a lungfull of air at the same time. Such a volume of air passing the vocal cords could help account for the extremely loud sounds they are reported to make. Actually I do not find this to be as likely an explanation as that they are breasts. I just think it is a good practice to look at every reasonable possibility – with this and any other phenomena.” – page 119 in Grover S. Krantz’s Big Footprints (Boulder: Johnson Books, 1992) and Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence (Surrey, BC/Blaine, WA: Hancock House, 1999).
Krantz took quite a battering from the hominological debunkers about this suggestion, and it is clear he changed his tune about his theory, down through the years. Still, I often wondered if Krantz wasn’t influenced a little by Ivan T. Sanderson’s early thoughts on air sacs showing up in some ethnoknown, but unverified primates, and then retreated from the notion in the 1990s.
The booming calls tied to some of the great unknown apes, especially those which turn out to be relatives of the orangutans or the orangutans actually re-inhabiting their ancestral ranges, might still have something to do with laryngeal air sacs.
But Grover Krantz’s early attempts to explain away the breasts of the P-G Bigfoot as laryngeal air sacs probably belong in the dustbin of cryptozoological history. You know, it is the one containing Jon Erik Beckjord’s weird insights that the breasts of the Patty Bigfoot were really her holding an infant Sasquatch, and the recent theory about the Bigfoot in the film being a cradle-boarded California native Homo sapiens adult with a digging stick.
Regarding the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot’s breasts, it just may be a case of breasts merely being breasts.
Darren Naish’s sources:
Krantz, G. S. 1999. Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence. Hancock House (Surrey, B.C. & Blaine, WA.)
Meldrum, J. 2006. Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. Tom Doherty Associates (New York).