I found out I was related to the country’s leading academic expert on Bigfoot. Then I left my job at NPR and decided to do a podcast about following in his footsteps. AMA.
TLDR - Listen to the trailer
If you'd asked me a year ago if I believed in Sasquatch, I'd have thought you were crazy. But now, after 18 months working on my podcast, Wild Thing, I'm not so sure. I'm Laura Krantz, a former editor at NPR's Morning Edition, a fellow at the Center for Environmental Journalism, and someone who cringes at being associated with something that spends so much time on the front page of the Weekly World News.
A few years ago I learned that my long-lost cousin Grover Krantz—a preeminent anthropologist at Washington State University—had spent much of his career looking for Sasquatch. And I reasoned that, if someone like him believed, then maybe there was more to this whole Bigfoot thing than I thought.
Grover died before I had the chance to meet him, but I spent a year and a half following in his footsteps, combing the Pacific Northwest on Bigfoot expeditions, talking to eyewitnesses, learning about the evidence, and interviewing scientists. Oh, and I got to see something really weird.
On a hike out on private timberland, one of my sources showed me and my producer these huge, woven ground nests—as large as ten feet across. More complex than any bear nest, they looked like they'd been woven by a (very big) bird. Several scientists remarked on the fact that these looked exactly like the kinds of nests that African gorillas make.
Wild Thing starts with the discovery of those nests, and the efforts to identify what made them with DNA analysis. But this is just one element of the series, in which I explore the world of Bigfoot fascination. Why do people want to believe in this improbable primate that haunts blurry photographs and leaves enormous footprints in the woods? What is it about Bigfoot that has people searching—for decades!—even though the rest of the world thinks they're crazy? And think about all the Sasquatch stuff out there—movies, erotica, festivals, TV shows, books, merchandise—even the non-believers love this stuff.
Science, society...and Sasquatch. I cover all this and more in my podcast, Wild Thing. It’s an entry point for Bigfoot newbies (although hopefully longtime ‘Squatchers will also find it interesting).
Here's my proof