KRANTZ , Grover S.

Author of Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence (Hancock House).

[BCBW 2003] "Sasquatch"

Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence (Hancock $24.95)

Unless you are already a staunch believer in unidentified shambling monsters, Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence (Hancock $24.95) by Dr. Grover S. Krantz will make you laugh or cry, but it is unlikely to change your views by force of persuasion.

Krantz leaves no stone unturned in his quest to prove the existence of a population of giant apes inhabiting the Pacific Northwest and drags the reader on an eccentric ramble through the dark and impenetrable forest of his mind. The book might serve as a text in a course on logic or rhetoric, filled as it is with spurious assumptions, false dichotomies, straw men, and frequent dependence on authority by assertion (for example: “legitimate beyond any question;” “simply cannot be doubted;” “cannot be challenged on any reasonable grounds;” “the only alternative is....” etc.). Oh yeah?

I was fascinated to discover that these seven-foot, 500-pound creatures are not as rare as I supposed, but that there are perhaps thousands of them in our neighbourhood. The reasoning is elegantly simple: “Judging from the relative numbers of footprints that are encountered, it is safe to say that there are at least a hundred bears for every one sasquatch.... The Pacific Northwest contains at least two hundred thousand bears; there could easily be two thousand sasquatches in the same area.” Following this happy speculation, Krantz meanders off to discuss what the big beasts eat and how they survive the winter, as though saying something makes it so. Why, you may ask, are there no remains of a sasquatch in a museum, only strange footprints and a shaky movie? It turns out that members of this species are shy, nocturnal, and solitary, and “can move very rapidly when they choose to.” Which they apparently do whenever there is a chance of them being spotted. Of course, Krantz is obliged to take on the scientific criticisms of his work. He is upset when skeptical scientists appear hostile to eyewitnesses of sasquatches. By contrast, Krantz declares: “My own practice is to make it immediately clear that I think the sasquatch is real, and that I am approaching this particular story with an open mind.” He seems characteristically unaware of the inherent contradiction in his statement.

Despite his academic credentials and the claim of a “calm, scientific view,” Krantz is a classic true believer. He reminded me of those people during the Victorian era who passionately believed in the spirit world, and sought evidence of an afterlife through studies of mediums and séances. One account tells of a medium who was consulted by family members on the fate of a young soldier missing abroad during the war. She rashly claimed that, yes, she had contacted him in the spirit world. When he later turned up in the land of the living, neither the medium nor her clients were fazed. This was good evidence, they concluded, for the existence of mischievous spirits that play practical jokes. 0-88839-447-0

[Eric Grace / BCBW 2000]