About the Book
In The Discovery of the Sasquatch, biologist John Bindernagel reconsiders much of the prevailing knowledge regarding the sasquatch. Illustrating evidence which contradicts the widely held perception of the sasquatch as merely a cultural phenomenon—a myth, hallucination, imaginary being, misidentified bear, or hoax—he explains why criteria such as testability, consistency, predictive power, and simplicity actually support an alternative hypothesis: the sasquatch as an extant mammal.
This is a book about the sasquatch, but it is more specifically about the discovery process. It examines scientific and social factors that can prevent discoveries from being recognized, particularly when a discovery claim is perceived as unlikely, premature, or without a theoretical basis. Bindernagel examines how these factors have affected our perceptions of the sasquatch, and how they may have influenced scientific attitudes toward this controversial subject. By reconciling the social and scientific components of discovery, he shows how the various forms of evidence for the sasquatch can be viewed in the context of a prolonged discovery process. In doing so, he provides a bold new perspective explaining the need to reconsider—and perhaps challenge—long-standing prevailing knowledge about the sasquatch.
The Discovery of the Sasquatch offers important insights not only about a potentially uncataloged species, but also about the humans who have thus far declined to investigate it. Bindernagel's scholarship unlocks a door to discovery that was carelessly shut long ago, but now stands wide open, waiting for us to walk through.
— from the Foreword by Leila Hadj-Chikh, PhD
John Bindernagel has given us a closely argued, cogent, convincing explanation why the evidence has not brought widespread acknowledgment that sasquatches are extant. In doing so he underscores how impressive that evidence actually is. This ingenious, insightful approach has increased drastically my personal estimate of the probability that sasquatch is an extant North American ape…. But the book’s value goes beyond the topic of sasquatch. Bindernagel illustrates the need to compare hypotheses, a salutary lesson. Most of us have or spare little time to look in depth at every interesting and controversial subject, so it’s easy to succumb to a lazy skepticism that accepts hoaxing, say, as an adequate explanation. But lazy skepticism is just laziness, not skepticism, and Bindernagel demonstrates just how farfetched the hoaxing hypothesis is in this instance…. People who like to think will love this book.
— Henry Bauer, PhD, Dean Emeritus of Arts & Sciences, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & Science Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
...one of the most brilliant pieces of work I have ever read. What a fabulous reminder of what science is and how science should be examining this issue... simply brilliant."
— Kathy Strain, Forest Archaeologist, U.S. Forest Service
A very engaging read, especially the combination of detailed compelling descriptions of recent encounters with something very strange and apparently inexplicable, and the rules we use for constructing knowledge using the scientific method….[The] book suggests we have a need to think again about the historical encounters with unexpected beings in the bush. I very much appreciate [the author’s] presentation of the challenges [for science] at many different levels – including social and collegial. These are very important reminders of the social realities behind how science is conducted and, significantly, how it is presented."
— Martin Weinstein, Ph.D, Adjunct Professor, School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University
For a work of epistemology, the presentation is lively and engaging; I read it all with pleasure in two days and found my appreciation of the Sasquatch phenomenon clarified and broadened….. [T]he level of the discussion makes it a valuable case study in the history of science, and I recommend it to all who might appreciate a serious discussion of the subject."
— Paul LeBlond, Ph.D, former chair, Department of Oceanography, University of British Columbia
This engrossing book explores two questions: (i) What is the evidence for a rare, large, secretive species of primate (or “great ape”) living in North America at present? (ii) Why do so many people who know of it disbelieve in it, ascribing reported sightings as tales by hoaxers or people who they think must have been hoaxed or deluded?…. Dr. Bindernagel presents opinions on these matters from a wide range of biologists, paleontologists, psychologists, sociologists, and others. A really good read, and an eye-opener for mindless believers and mindless disbelievers alike.
— Chris Pielou, PhD, ecologist and author of After the Ice Age: the Return of Life to Glaciated North America, The Energy of Nature, and The World of Northern Evergreens
Journalist, author, and long-term investigator, John Green, adds:
More than 50 years ago I encountered compelling evidence that huge bipeds with humanlike feet exist in North America, and, as such evidence continued to accumulate, I have spent a half century attempting, with little success, to persuade scientists in relevant disciplines to cease relying on ‘it can’t be’ beliefs and to subject the matter to serious study.
Now Dr. John Bindernagel is challenging the scientific establishment on its own turf, contending that the rigours of the scientific method must be applied not just to the evidence that such creatures exist, but also to alternative hypotheses now generally accepted without scrutiny. In the face of daunting prejudice he has done a great job of presenting his case. Anyone with an open mind will find the book fascinating reading."
— John Green, author of On the Track of the Sasquatch, Year of the Sasquatch, The Sasquatch File, and Sasquatch: the Apes Among Us.