Professor Going After Legendary CreatureDOUG ESSER , Associated Press
Feb. 22, 1988 4:11 PM ET
SEATTLE (AP) _ An anthropology professor plans to take to the air this summer to hunt for Sasquatch, the legendary ape-like creature also known as Bigfoot that some believe inhabits wilderness areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Grover Krantz, of Washington State University, has built an ultralight kit helicopter and equipped it with an infrared device that can detect the body heat from a big animal.
''If at all possible we will kill it and bring back as much of it as we can,'' Krantz said in a telephone interview last week. ''This will establish their existence, and then they can be protected.''
Many consider Sasquatch a matter of tall tales.
Nonetheless, Krantz said in a telephone interview from Pullman that he believes the animal exists because of footprints he has seen in more than 20 years of research.
Casts from prints found last year and in 1982 include fine dermal ridges like fingerprints from the bottom of feet. This detail convinced him the prints were not a hoax.
''It's a species of animal that doesn't normally exist in the records,'' Krantz said. ''My guess is that a male stands 8 feet tall and weigh 800 pounds and female 7 feet tall and 500 pounds, stands upright, walks like a human being, very heavily built, covered with hair and face like a gorilla.
''It's a very rare animal. It is a nocturnal animal. It's rarely moving around by day. It's an extraordinarily large animal. It takes an awful lot of gunfire to bring one of these things down.''
At first, he says, he came up with the idea of using a heat detector from a helicopter to find the decomposing body of a Sasquatch that died naturally.
''I will attempt to do this,'' he said.
The chance of success is extremely remote, however, ''so killing a specimen is the overwhelming probable way we're going to get one,'' Krantz said.
He won't say where he will hunt because he doesn't want any unwelcome company. He only says it could be in Washington, Idaho or Oregon and there probably will be dozens of trips.
''I would be in radio contact with one or two people on the ground, people with vehicles, and maybe we could flush it in their direction and I could inform them where it's coming and they would have the heavy rifles,'' he said.
Krantz, who teaches and conducts research in evolution, says acceptance of his work is growing.
''The university is supporting my investigations by not firing me,'' he said.