Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 27th, 2007
John Hawks, (Ph.D., 1999) an anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, writes a popular blog on all subjects he feels impact on anthropology. His contributions are usually intelligent and look at various sides of anthropological debates.
However, once in a blue moon, usually with tongue-in-cheek, Hawks writes about Bigfoot-related items, such as his take on the 2005 Texas conference. Intriguingly, the way most cryptozoologically-oriented students find their way to Hawks is when they search for information on Gigantopithecus, as he noted in 2006, here.
Now his newest assault on hominology is about how Bigfooters have brought back Grover Krantz from the death, or, at least, if you read his blog uncritically that’s what you might think has happened. But why should we put up with this without a reply? We shouldn’t, so please see below my email response to Hawk’s June 26, 2007 “strawman” ridicule of the BFRO’s over-publicized “expedition” to Michigan.
Regarding your John Hawks Anthropology Weblog on the comments about the Michigan Bigfoot hunt, I understand you are trying to be funny. A sense of humor is important, but as your “raising the dead” comment is directed to the Bigfoot ecotourists or the Bigfoot Field Researcher Organization (BFRO) organizers, it appears to be slightly misdirected.
What you are pointing to is not a quote from any Bigfooter. A closer reading demonstrates it is the reporters, via specifically the Daily Press of Escanaba, Michigan, with enhancements by the Associated Press, who are making the mistake of paraphrasing Grover Krantz as being still alive enough to make a comment on Sasquatch and Gigantopithecus. Anyone that would say Krantz used the words “believes” or “primitive man,” obviously never knew Grover.
The BFRO folks are well-aware that Grover died on Valentine’s Day 2002, as his death was widely reported in the Bigfoot community (see obituary here) and, for example, on National Public Radio on February 18, 2002.
Let me be clear. I don’t support the BFRO and their “Bigfoot expeditions.” They seem little more than charging a large fee for taking people camping. However, one can say these “canned adventures” are not much different than “summer seminars” in archaeology where non-academic “anthropology tourists” are allowed to pay for the experience to go on a “dig.” There’s nothing wrong with either, basically, if we are honest about their ultimate worth, beyond funding sources, to each field of study.
But the folks at the BFRO know that Grover Krantz is dead, and it is merely to make points about what you like to label as “pseudoscience” that you would write your sarcastic blog.
Serious cryptozoology, however, is not about making fun of its critics, but concerned with gathering evidence, searching for unknown animals and clarifying facts misrepresented in blogs and news articles.
An update to this selection can be found here: “The AP and Dr. Hawks Respond.”.