News Column

Is Bigfoot on Moscow Mountain?

July 23, 2014

By Terri Harber, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho

July 23--Representatives of a production company involved with the TV series "Finding Bigfoot" recently sought approval from Troy officials to shoot footage in the area of Moscow Mountain.

The crew is expected to shoot twice overnight and wrap up by the end of the month, said Rhonda Case, Troy city clerk.

"Finding Bigfoot" is in its fifth season on Animal Planet. Its premise is "investigating compelling evidence that may prove the existence of the elusive creature," according to promotional material created by its producers.

The crew coming to the area is led by Robert "Sean" Mantooth, a 1995 graduate of Washington State University. He is listed as a producer for the cable television program.

Jeff Meldrum, a professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University in Pocatello, is an affiliate curator at the Idaho Museum of Natural History and author of "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science." While Meldrum is not involved with the shooting planned at Moscow Mountain, he said it's a viable location because the site has had alleged Bigfoot sightings.

"The challenge with any animal that is rare, solitary, nocturnal and far-ranging in habitat is to find them and observe them in the wild," he said.

Meldrum said reports suggest an animal fitting the description of a Sasquatch would require "a diverse diet" that resembles that of black bears -- which are described as omnivorous. Such an animal also would need to live in a large forest that receives a substantial amount of precipitation, Meldrum said.

A website operated by a group called the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization includes written reports about alleged Bigfoot sightings on Moscow Mountain during summer 1963 and fall 2005.

According to one report, a man, now around 50 years old, claimed he saw the creature when he was 8 years old on the south side of the mountain while with his father. The report was submitted in 2003 and the parent he was accompanying had died before the claim was made.

A more recent report stated two people saw two furry figures, one small with light-colored fur and the other larger and darker. The small one was "frolicking" like a "rambunctious child," the report stated.

"There's no evidence to indicate Bigfoot exists that's scientifically credible," said Charlie Powell, a senior public information officer at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine who writes a weekly column for the Daily News.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Powell is quick to point out WSU has never had samples or other physical evidence linked to Bigfoot or any other creature remotely similar. One reason the rumor persists, Powell said, is because people might be remembering the late WSU associate professor Grover Krantz, who was considered a Bigfoot expert. Powell, though, blames a documentarian for spreading rumors about WSU having -- and withholding -- evidence of Bigfoot's purported existence.

Powell said he received the latest telephone inquiry on Bigfoot just weeks ago from someone wanting to know about the material. The person "wouldn't believe me when I said the university had no such thing," Powell said.

"We respect any production company's right to shoot television," but for one of these animals to actually exist, one would have to be "hanging on someone's wall by now. People shoot at road signs, so if it were out there, they'd have shot it," Powell said.

Messages left for the Los Angeles-based Ping Pong Productions to obtain details about its filming plans in Latah County weren't returned.

Terri Harber can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to


(c)2014 the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho)

Visit the Moscow-Pullman Daily News (Moscow, Idaho) at

Distributed by MCT Information Services

For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel

Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News (ID)

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters