Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 23rd, 2006
Happy Thanksgiving to All! Let us surround ourselves with our friends, families, foes, and forest-foraging and fjord-frolicking cryptids.
In the USA, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, in Canada on the second Monday in October, and in the UK, as another name for the Harvest Festival, held in churches across the country on a Sunday marking the end of the nearby rural harvest. Celebrations like it are held worldwide under various names, at different points in the year. All may have unannounced cryptid guests.
Thanksgiving has a way of bringing people together. One famous November Thanksgiving adventure involved Ivan T. Sanderson and a well-known "film" in 1967. The holiday’s events kicked off a famous but little mentioned showing of the Roger Patterson-Bob Gimlin Bigfoot footage of October 20, 1967.
Late in November, Sanderson was attempting to show the P-G footage to a panel of scientists, through contacts and the support of Argosy editor Milt Machlin and publisher Harry Steeger. Near Thanksgiving, after Steeger put Patterson and Gimlin on a plane back home (they were in New York City to show the footage privately and arrange the publication of some frames in a forthcoming issue of Argosy), Sanderson finalized his plans to screen the film in Washington D. C.
Machlin flew from New York City to D. C. to assist and audio record the remarks of the participants in the screening. Besides Machlin and Sanderson, present at that December 2, 1967 showing were N. 0. Wood, Jr., Director of Management Operations for the U.S. Department of Interior, representing the Secretary of that Department Stewart Udall on his written request, A. Joseph Wraight, Ph.D., Chief Geographer, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, then of the U.S. Department of Commerce (who also was a human ecologist), John R. Napier, D.Sc., Director Primate Biology Program, The Smithsonian Institution, Vladimir Markotic, Ph. D. Associate Professor of Archeology at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and Allan Bryan, Ph.D. Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Representing the National Geographic Society there was Tom Allen, whom Sanderson would later describe as a former editor and writer with the Sunday New York Daily News and former managing editor of Chilton Books. What we have heard about their remarks is that the individuals in the group were generally positive, but mixed. Napier (somewhat negative about the footage) and Markotic (positive) would go on to write books on Sasquatch. Sanderson would pen his famous extremely pro-P-G footage article in Argosy.
Whatever happened to the transcript of the audiotape recording of that meeting?
Needless to say, click on the cartoon art to make it bigger.