Saturday, April 23, 2011

Virtual Footprint Archive

Associate professor of Anatomy, and friend of the 'squatch, Dr. Jeff Meldrum is the preeminent scientist in the field of bigfooting today.  He has boldly put his academic reputation on the line by investigating the sasquatch mystery, but has cautiously supported his claims and findings with an unerring devotion to data and the scientific method.  One of his specializations is bipedal locomotion in hominids, and the evolution that led up to it (check out his pricey, but excellent book, From Biped to Strider).  This, combined with his long-time interest in sasquatches, makes him the perfect candidate to carry the torch that Dr. Grover Krantz lit and carried for so long.

Cliff Barackman and Dr. Jeff Meldrum
April, 2011

Dr. Meldrum is best known in Bigfootland for his analysis of sasquatch footprints, as would be expected by his academic qualifications.  Meldrum inherited the majority of Dr. Krantz's footprint casts when he passed away in 2002, and the collection has now grown to number over 200 specimens.

For several years, Dr. Meldrum has been working on a project called the Virtual Footprint Archive (VFA).  The VFA is an online collection of over 100 digital scans of footprint casts that can be turned and manipulated in virtual space by any user.  The public database is of lower resolution than a private archive that will eventually be available by invitation only, but it is still intensely interesting to cast nerds like myself.

The following three scans are screen grabs from the VFA.  Each depicts the same cast, but from a different angle.  The cast shown is from the Freeman collection and was collected in 1984 from Table Springs deep in the Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington.  The individual is commonly known as "Wrinkle Foot," a name coined by the late Dr. Grover Krantz.

Table Springs, 1984
"Wrinkle Foot,"
Front view.

The same cast viewed from
the heel area.

The same cast from the toes.  Note
the "mushroom effect" on the small digit
nearest the bottom of the scan.

The VFA is a little hard to navigate at this point.  There are no thumbnails of the casts, and they are only listed by a number.  Also, the version of Flash that is used seems to be an older version than the one my computer is running.  This means that to view a cast, I have to grant permission to run the older Flash for each new page I open up.  It's a little clumsy, but well worth it to see this project finally come to some level of fruition.  Dr. Meldrum gave permission for me to share the VFA with my readers, so please drop by and enjoy.


  1. CLIFF, This is beyond cool. Thanks to Dr Meldrum and you for sharing this. I see some interesting patterns. Seems like many of the impressions have a grasping quality with the toes.
    David W Ellis

  2. Cliff,
    Has Dr. Meldrum looked at the print from Salt Fork Ohio? And if so what did he think of it.