Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Walla Walla County > Article # 271
Media Article # 271
Article submitted by Richard Noll
Thursday, August 4, 1983
The Freeman Tracks in Walla Walla
Alleged Sasquatch Footprints are fakes, says Dahinden
"An amateur and an academic are arguing over the authenticity of some alleged Sasquatch footprints"
The plaster cast prints were obtained last year shortly after a U.S. forest service employee, Paul Freeman, claimed he saw an ape-like creature in a mountainous forest area near Walla Walla, Washington.
The academic, Dr. Grover Krantz, associate professor of anthropology at Washington State University, says the prints show skin patterns known as dermal ridges that belong to a higher primate but not an ape or a human. Krantz told a press conference here at the University of B.C. in Vancouver that at the time, the plaster casts "may be the best set of prints of a Sasquatch ever obtained."
However, the amateur, Vancouver's veteran Sasquatch hunter Rene Dahinden, believed the prints to be faked. "I've talked to everyone involved in this damn thing and I write it off I00 per cent. I'm damn mad about it," Dahinden said in an interview Wednesday. Dahinden went to Walla Walla earlier this year and interviewed Krantz, Freeman, a forestry service officials, a game biologist and an experienced tracker with the United States Border Patrol named Joel Hardin, known to be able to track a mouse across a concrete floor. They looked at the reports and the photographic evidence. Dahinden said he believes the prints are fakes because: pine needles had been brushed away from inside the tracks; the prints of the forestry staff at the scene sunk more deeply into the mud than the alleged sasquatch print did; and a dog and horse brought to the area soon after the alleged sighting showed no reaction to smell. "You can fool people but you can't fool animals," said the sensible veteran Rene Dahinden. "I don't have a PhD, I just use horse sense when I investigate these things."
He was also surprised that Krantz had not interviewed Joel Hardin, who analyzed the prints and pronounced them clear fakes.
But Krantz, in a telephone interview last week said he didn't talk to Hardin because he found some inaccuracies in the tracker's report. And he insisted that he believed the Freeman Walla Walla tracks were genuine. Dr. Krantz went on to say "The top fingerprint experts in the United States have looked at them and say they are not faked and they are definitely from a higher primate."