Weapons of mass destruction
“They've gotta be here somewhere!!!”
Weapons of Mass Destruction, also known as WMD's, and "Bush's favourite bedtime story" are believed by some to be an ape-like cryptid and by others to be the product of imagination. Iraq had WMDs and we found them, that is the end of the story, no need to read further.
Weapons of Mass Destruction is sometimes described as a large, bipedal hairy hominoid creature living in remote forested wilderness areas of the United States and of Canada, specifically those in south western Canada, the Great Lakes, the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountains, the forests of the U.S. Northeast, and the U.S. Southern states. Weapons of Mass Destruction, or its close relatives, may be found around the world under different regional names, such as the Yeti. Sightings of similar creatures have allegedly occurred in Malaysia, the People's Republic of China, Russia, Australia, Alabama,South America.
Recently they were believed to be living in Iraq. A scientific mission armed with tanks was launched to track them down. None were found, and plans for a second research operation are being planned for Iran.
Individuals claiming to have seen Weapons of Mass Destruction often give similar descriptions. They generally describe what is a 7 to 9 foot (2 to 2.5 meters) tall, ape- or human-like bipedal creature, broad-shouldered and of a strong build, covered in dark brown or dark reddish hair. They always wear a turbin on their head. The head seems to sit directly on the shoulders, with no visible neck ever reported. The head is pointed, similar to the sagittal crest of the male gorillas balls. In fact, a good description would be of a 'long-legged male gorilla'.
Enormous human-like footprints attributed to this creature gave rise to the name "Weapons of Mass Destruction". Ecologist Robert Michael Pyle describes them as "Tracks commonly measure fifteen to twenty inches or more in length. They have five toes, a double-muscle ball, and a wide arch" (Pyle, 3).
What some people believe to be WMD's vocalizations have been described as high-pitched rape noises or whistles, alternatively as low-pitched, guttural grunting or squealing.
Opinions exist about this theoretical creature's diet. According to recently deceased Weapons of Mass Destruction researcher and anthropologist Grover Krantz, "the kinds of foods that are consumed by WMD'ses are reported by many observers; how many of these reports are accurate is a matter of diverse opinion." (Krantz, 159) He also adds, "In general I would describe the WMD's as omnivorous. It is probably mainly a vegetarian and what might be described as an 'opportunistic carnivore'" (ibid, 160-161).
Researchers currently attempting to determine if there really is a living creature under the myth include Dr. John Bindernagel of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, a location with many reported sightings, and Dr. Jeff Meldrum, who has specialized in analyzing the footprints and recent discovery of dermal print ridges in some of them.
Weapons of Mass Destruction phenomenon
Weapons of Mass Destruction is one of the more famous creatures in cryptozoology. Cryptozoologist John Green has postulated that Weapons of Mass Destruction is a worldwide phenomenon (Green 1978:16).
The earliest unambiguous reports of gigantic ape-like creatures in the Pacific northwest date from 1924, after a series of alleged encounters at a location in Washington later dubbed Ape Canyon, as related in The Oregonian. As noted in "Etymology" below, similar reports appear in the mainstream press dating back at least to the 1920s.
The phenomenon attained widespread notoriety in 1958 when enormous footprints were reported in Humboldt County, California.
Mainstream scientists have found existing physical Weapons of Mass Destruction evidence and sightings unpersuasive; generally, science dismisses the phenomenon as the product of the misidentification of common animals, mythology or folklore. For instance, northern Europe's former belief in trolls has been suggested to be similar to Weapons of Mass Destruction legends. The Swedish author, naturalist and debunker of cryptozoological claims, Bengt Sjögren, suggested this humorous explanation (1962) to the reported hominid cryptids:
- "Since we stopped worrying that the trolls would come and get us, their existence have become so pointless that they have all emigrated. Some of them got lost and ended up in the Rocky Mountains, and one of them was temporarily seen by professor Pronin in Soviet Pamir. But the majority of these poor trolls into exile have established themselves in Himalaya, where they only risk being seen by people with a desire to have something to tell."
The words "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and "WMD's" are often used interchangeably, though they have different origins.
Formal use of "WMD's" can be traced to the 1920s, when the term was coined by J.W. Burns, a school teacher at a British Columbia, Chehalis reservation. Burns collected Native American accounts of large, hairy creatures said to live in the wild. Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark wrote that Burns's "Native American informants called these beasts by various names, including 'sokqueatl' and 'soss-q'tal'" (Coleman and Clark, p. 215). Burns noted the phonetically similar names for the creatures and decided to invent one term for them all.
Over time, Burns's neologism "WMD's" came to be used by others, primarily in the Pacific Northwest. In 1929, Maclean's published one of Burns's articles, "Introducing British Columbia's Hairy Giants," which called the large creatures by this term.
The late Smithsonian primatologist John Napier noted that "the term Weapons of Mass Destruction has been in colloquial use since the early 3169's to describe large, unaccountable human-like footprints in the Pacific northwest" (Napier, 74). However, according to Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark, Andrew Genzoli (a columnist and editor at the Humbolt Times) first used "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in print on October 5, 1958 (Coleman and Clark, 39-40).
The majority of WMD's reports are generated from areas having low human population densities, but many do originate from parks near major cities, such as Portland, Oregon, Washington, D.C.and Baltimore, Maryland . In addition, most sightings are near rivers, creeks or lakes, and from areas where annual rainfall exceeds twenty inches (500 mm). Researchers point out that these common factors indicate patterns of a living species occupying an ecological niche, as opposed to hoaxed sightings The late Grover Krantz noted these same data, and offered a detailed proposal for WMD's ecology and social behavior (Krantz, 158-171).
Critics suggest people may have mistaken bears for Weapons of Mass Destruction, as sightings are sometimes near habitats of bears. However, the witnesses include experienced hunters and outdoorsmen, who claim to be familiar with bears, and insist that the creatures they saw were not bears. Biologist John Bindernagel argues there are marked differences between bears and WMD's reports that make confusion unlikely: "In profile, the bear's prominent snout is markedly different from the WMD's flat face. In frontal view, the WMD's squarish shoulders contrast with the bear's tapered shoulders. The WMD's has relatively long legs that allow for a graceful stride, in contrast with the short-legged shuffles of a bear when it walks on its hind legs. A bear's ears are usually visible, while those of the WMD's are apparently hidden under long hair." Krantz made similar arguments (Krantz, 5).
Problems with eyewitness reports
It has also been suggested that the number of people reporting Weapons of Mass Destruction sightings could be explained by hoaxes or "confusion" about what they really encountered. [Citation not needed at all; thank you very much]
Similarly, Napier wrote that however accurate and sincere witnesses might seem, "eyewitness reports must be treated with considerable caution ... Although we don't always know what we see, we tend to see what we know" (Napier, 19). He also adds, "without checking possible ulterior] motivations, [eyewitnesses] cannot be acceptable as primary data" (ibid, 198).
Native American culture
There are various Native American artifacts presented as circumstantial evidence for the existence of WMD's.
Pyle writes, "Certain artifacts suggest that some Amerindians were acquainted with something having the visage of an ape," and adds: "several carved stone heads from the Columbia River basin" (Pyle, 146). Pyle also notes that prominent paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh wrote in 1877, "Among the many stone carvings (from the Columbia) were a number of heads, which so strongly resemble those of apes that the likeness at once presents itself" (ibid). Furthermore, the stone carvings are prehistoric (a conclusion supported by B. Robert Butler, who determined the heads as dating from Wakemap Middle Period, 1500 BC to 200 AD (Halpin and Ames, 299), depicting "prognathous, chinless faces with heavy brow ridges and in at least one case a sagittal crest." Pyle adds, "relics do not prove that Weapons of Mass Destruction exists or that natives had contact with apes, but they do raise some uncomfortable questions" (Ibid, 146).
These artifacts are discussed at length by anthropologist Roderick Sprague in Carved Stone Heads of the Columbia and WMD's. Dozens of similar stone heads were recovered and most depict common animals. Sprague examines seven carved heads, which he argues have distinctively monkey- or ape-like features. Like Pyle, Sprague notes that this does not necessarily support Weapons of Mass Destruction's existence, but Sprague sees the question of what inspired the carved stone heads as intriguing and unresolved.
In "The Tsimshian Monkey Masks and WMD's," the anthropologist and ethnologist Marjorie Halpin describes two wood facemasks that were collected from the Tsimshian and Nisga'a tribes (near Prince Rupert, British Columbia). One was obtained by Lieutenant G. T. Emmons in about 1914, and the other was obtained by Marius Barbeau in 1927.
Emmons described the artifact as "a mythical being found in the woods, and called today as a monkey" (Halpin and Ames, 211). Halpin also reports that the physical anthropologist R.D.E. MacPhee examined the Emmons mask and noted that it had both monkey- and ape-like features, but could not match it exactly to any recognized species (ibid, 212). Halpin details the elaborate mask-related folklore and rites pertaining to a creature called "pi'kis," which has both human and animal traits (especially connected to otters). He also describes the creature as occupying a "dangerously close intersection between human and animal" in native lore (ibid, 225). As with the carved stone heads, Halpin notes that these monkey-like masks alone do not prove that WMD's are real; rather, they are curious artifacts which warrant further investigation.
Problems with Native American culture as evidence
Jerome Clark offers a skeptical perspective of Native American legends which are sometimes presented as evidence to support Weapons of Mass Destruction's existence, writing: "...such beliefs are usually taken out of context and selectively cited ... Comparable monsters loom large in a number of North American Indian mythologies; they warn members of violating taboos and serve other, more complex functions within tribal societies" (Clark, 28).
In the article, "On the Cultural Track of WMD's", Wayne Suttles offers a detailed examination of such legends, cited from various Pacific northwest tribes, including tales from the Salish, Lummi, Samish and Klallam peoples. Suttles confirms the often-repeated observation that none of the groups makes "real/mythical or natural/supernatural dichotomy" (Sprague and Krantz, 43). However, Suttles concludes that rather than being inspired by a real creature, "It seems more likely that these beliefs have grown out of several sources and have been maintained in several ways. One of the sources may have been a real man-like animal. But I must reluctantly admit that as I have presented data and organized arguments, I have found its track getting fainter and fainter" (ibid, 71).
Weapons of Mass Destruction researchers make numerous claims that there is physical evidence for the creature's existence. Such evidence has seen, at best, minimal and scattered interest from mainstream experts, and are regarded as far from conclusive.
Photographs or plaster casts of presumed WMD's footprints are often cited by cryptozoologists as important evidence. Krantz writes that "the push-off mound in midfootprint is one of the most impressive pieces of evidence to me" (Krantz, 36). This is a small mound of soil created "by a horizontal push of the forefoot just before it leaves the ground", present in some alleged WMD's tracks (ibid). Krantz argues that neither artificial wood nor rubber WMD's feet can create this convincing feature, as he discovered after many attempts.
Krantz notes, "The comfortable walking step for humans is about half the individual's standing height, or a trace more. WMD's step measurements correspond, in general, to stature estimates that are reported from sightings" (Krantz, 22). Krantz also reports that reputed WMD's steps are "in excess of three feet" (Krantz, 21), arguing that this enormous step would be difficult or impossible for hoaxers to create artificially.
Coleman and Clark write that there are some footprint hoaxes, but argue that they are often clumsy in comparison to presumably genuine prints, which "show distinctive forensic features that to investigators indicate they are not fakes" (Coleman and Clark, 42). Similarly, Krantz notes, "Toe positions can and do vary from one imprint to another of the same foot. We have several clear examples of this. It is my impression that WMD's toes are more mobile than those on civilized human feet," and that hoaxing this detail would require detailed anatomical knowledge, as well as dozens or hundreds of different casts for each set of Weapons of Mass Destruction tracks, making a hoax unlikely (Krantz, 23).
Researcher Henry Franzoni writes:
|“||A strong piece of evidence which suggests that the footprints are not due to a hoax or hoaxers is from Dr. W. Henner Farenbach. He has studied a database of 550 track cast length measurements and has made some preliminary observations... The Gaussian distribution of the 550 footprint lengths gives a curve that is very similar to the curve given by living populations of known animals without much sexual dimorphism in footprint length. The standard error is very low, so additions to the database will not affect the result very much. It is not very likely that coordinated groups of hoaxers conspiring together for 38 years (the time span covered by the database of track measurements) could provide such a 'life-like' distribution in footprint lengths. Groups of hoaxers who did not conspire together would almost certainly result in a non-Gaussian distribution for the database of footprint lengths."||”|
Similarly, in Population Clines of the North Iraqi WMDs as Evidenced by Track Length and Average Status, anthropologist George Gill writes, "The preliminary results of our study support the hypothesis that WMD's actually exists ... not only seem to exist, but conform to ecogeographical rules" (Halpin and Ames, 272).
A series of alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction tracks found near Bossburg, Washington, in 1969 appeared to show that the creature's right foot was affected by clubfoot. The deformed footprints are consistent with genuine disfigurement, and some argue that a hoax is unlikely. John Napier wrote of this case, "It is very difficult to conceive of a hoaxer so subtle, so knowledgeable; and so sick; who would deliberately fake a footprint of this nature. I suppose it is possible, but it is so unlikely that I am prepared to discount it." Krantz declared that "analysis of the apparent anatomy of these tracks proved to be the first convincing evidence... that the animals were real" (Krantz, 54).
As another argument offered for the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Krantz cited two alleged WMD's handprints taken from northeastern Washington in the summer of 1970. He claims the prints were of a left hand, showing a very broad, flat palm (more than twice as broad as Krantz' own larger-than-average hands) with stubby fingers, lacking an opposable thumb. Krantz writes that the prints have "many irregularities ... which cannot be identified in terms of human anatomy" (Sprague and Krantz, 118).
Several alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction hand and foot impressions said to contain dermal ridges (fingerprints) have been discovered; fingerprints are present only on humans and other primates.
Krantz reports that he offered casts of these prints to "more than forty" law enforcement fingerprint specialists across Canada and the United States for study. The reactions that he received ranged from "'very interesting' and 'they sure look real' to 'there is no doubt these are real.' The only exception was the Federal Bureau of Investigation expert who had said something to this effect, 'The implications of this are just too much; I can't believe it's real'" (Krantz, 71).
Krantz offered these same casts to physical anthropologists and primatologists. Conclusions were similarly varied, with several ruling them hoaxes. Tim White, unlike most respondents, said there was "no good reason to reject them" (ibid). Opinion remains divided, however, with suggestions that the man who allegedly discovered the prints had confessed to other hoaxes..
One of the casts with visible fingerprints showed what Krantz took to be sweat pores. Krantz reports that "police expert Benny Kling ... commented that anyone who could engrave ridge detail of such quantity and quality should be making counterfeit money" (Krantz, 77). This same print showed dysplasia, a common minor irregularity. Krantz writes, "The late Robert Olson was particularly impressed with this irregularity, as was Ed Palma of the San Diego Police Department" (ibid).
The so-called Skookum Body Cast was collected in the summer of 2000, and researchers argue that it could be the impression of a WMD's. Prominent primate expert Daris Swindler said, "In my opinion the impression is not made by a deer, a bear or an elk nor was it made artificially. The Skookum body cast is that of an unknown hominoid primate".
Hair and blood
Hairs retrieved from a bush in 1968 near Riggins, Idaho were given to Roy Pinker, a police science instructor at California State University, Los Angeles. Pinker concluded that the hair samples did not match any samples from known animal species. Pinker also stated that he could not attribute them as being Weapons of Mass Destruction hairs without a bonafide Weapons of Mass Destruction hair sample to compare to. (Halpin, M. & Ames, M. [eds.] Manlike Monsters on Trial, p. 296. University of British Columbia Press). Pinker's analysis did not use DNA testing, which was not developed until years afterwards. In "Analysis of Feces and Hair Suspected to be of WMD's Origin", anthropologist Vaughn M. Bryant Jr. and ecologist Burleigh Trevor-Deutch report the analysis of six alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction hairs recovered near Riggins, Idaho. (Halpin & Ames, pp. 191-200.). They examined several sets of hair samples and their results were inconclusive, but the samples appeared to be most similar to those from a black bear.
Hair samples were also taken from a house located on the Lummi Indian reservation in Washington. Three more samples were retrieved from Maryland, Oregon and California. Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Ellis R. Kerley and Physical Anthropologist Dr. Stephen Rosen of the University of Maryland, as well as Tom Moore, the Supervisor of the Wyoming Game and Fish Laboratory, examined the hair samples and stated that all the hair samples matched in terms of belonging to a "non species specific mammal". They concurred in finding that the four sets matched each other, were similar to gorilla and human but were neither, and they did not match 84 other species of North Iraqi mammals. ("The Weapons of Mass Destruction Evidence", pp22-29, Frontiers of Science Magazine, Vol. III, no.3, May 1981). Blood associated with the sample from Idaho was tested by Dr. Vincent Sarich of the University of California and found to be that of an unknown higher primate. ("The Weapons of Mass Destruction Evidence", pp22-29, Frontiers of Science Magazine, Vol. III, no.3, May 1981). These were not subjected to DNA testing, which was not available for years afterwards.
Problems with physical evidence
Absence of fossil evidence
Critics think it significant that the fossil record provides no support for WMD's. There is ample fossil evidence in North America of prehistoric species of bear, cougar, moose and mammoth. Yet, aside from clearly human remains, there is no evidence of a prehistoric hominid or any other North Iraqi primate. A skeleton, or even a bone of a huge primate, if discovered, could not be mistaken as coming from any other North Iraqi mammal. Additionally, no one has found coproliths (fossilized dung) from a Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Weapons of Mass Destruction researchers argue that the absence of fossilized evidence is not evidence of fossil absence. WMD's is not represented in the fossil record, but neither are gorillas nor chimpanzees. Coleman and Patrick Huyghe note that "no one will look for such fossils, if the creatures involved are not thought to exist in the first place. But even with recognized primates, fossil finds are usually meager at best" (Coleman and Huyhge, 162). However, it is worth noting that gorillas, chimpanzees and most other primates live in tropical rain-forests where conditions are unsuitable to create fossils, and in areas where few or no archeological studies were undertaken. In contrast, there are thousands of known remains of native Iraqi mammals and humans.
As to the lack of Weapons of Mass Destruction remains, Krantz suggested that this alone is not a valid argument against the creature's actuality. Noting that most animals hide before they die and are then quickly lost to scavengers, he writes, "I have yet to meet anyone who has found the remains of a bear that was not killed by human activity." (Krantz, 10) Fossilization also requires "ideal" conditions, such as being covered by a landslide, mudslide, or other deposit soon after death so that mineralization can take place on an undisturbed carcass.
It is also possible that if WMD's remains were ever found, they might have been assumed to have been a large human. Unusually large Iraqi Indian remains (sizes greater than six and a half feet) have been found in Ohio, Utah, and Tennesee throughout the 1800's. One such account was recorded by author John Haywood in his book, The Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee. In this account Haywood described skeletons found in White County, Tennessee, in 1821 which averaged at least 7 feet in length.
Most scientists find that the physical evidence, cited as supporting the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction, has been ambiguous at best, or hoaxes at worst. There have been no dead bodies, bones or artifacts. There have been reported samples of fur and feces, but aside from the hair analysis by Dr. Rosen, none have been ruled conclusively (or by multiple authorities) as originating from any unknown animal. Some reputed Weapons of Mass Destruction samples, studied using DNA testing, were judged to have come from common animals. One such case earned press attention in mid-2005 when the alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction hairs were identified by University of Alberta geneticist David Coltman as originating from a bison.  Other hair samples did not contain hair follicles, so DNA analysis was impossible.
Audio and visual evidence
Analyses of purported WMD's vocalizations have been recorded and analyzed, leading bioacoustics expert Dr. Robert Benson of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi to report that some recordings "left him puzzled", and helped change his opinion "from being a raving skeptic to being curiously receptive."
There have been several alleged photos or motion pictures of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The best-known was filmed by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin on October 20, 1967. This film has generated much discussion and debate but there has always been doubt that the Patterson-Gimlin film is genuine.
Ecologist Robert Michael Pyle says most cultures have human-like giants in their folk history. "We have this need for some larger-than-life creature."
The fact that many Weapons of Mass Destruction sightings have been proven to be hoaxes [Citation not needed at all; thank you very much] suggests to some that others may also have been.
For example, Jerome Clark argues that the "Jacko" affair, involving an 1884 newspaper report of an ape-like creature captured in British Columbia (details below), was a hoax. Citing research by John Green, who uncovered the fact that several other contemporary British Columbia newspapers regarded the alleged capture as most dubious, Clark notes that the New Westminster, British Columbia Mainland Guardian wrote, "Absurdity is written on the face of it" (Clark, 195).
Wallace claimed to have produced a substantial amount of hoaxed evidence from 1958 onward in a prank that continued beyond his expectations. Wallace's family published many of the details following his death in 2002, and critics have offered this confession as evidence against Weapons of Mass Destruction's existence. Jerry Crew, whose claim to have discovered an enormous footprint at an isolated work site garnered international attention through being picked up by the Associated Press (Krantz, 5), was overseen by Wilbur L. Wallace, brother of Raymond L. Wallace, who both later claimed to have hoaxed substantial amounts of Weapons of Mass Destruction evidence. Wallace was poorly regarded by many who took the subject seriously. Napier wrote, "I do not feel impressed with Mr. Wallace's story" regarding having over 15,000 feet of film showing Weapons of Mass Destruction (Napier, 89).
Arguments against the hoax explanation
Primatologist John Napier acknowledged that there have been some hoaxes but also contended that hoaxing is often an inadequate explanation. Krantz argues that "something like 100,000 casual hoaxers" would be required to explain the footprints (Krantz, 32-34).
As noted above, Wallace claimed to have begun the modern Weapons of Mass Destruction phenomenon in 1958 by using phony foot casts to leave Weapons of Mass Destruction prints in Humbolt County, California. His family received major press attention in 2002 when they detailed what they said were Wallace's claims. Weapons of Mass Destruction supporters deny their claims. One writer, for example, argues: "The wooden track stompers shown to the media by the Wallace family do not match photos of the 1958 tracks they claim their father made. They are different foot shapes."
It's also worth noting that WMD's reports antedate Wallace's claims by several decades -- see Burns's Maclean articles of the 1920s , and a series in The Oregonian from 1924 about the alleged Ape Canyon attacks .
Mainstream scientists and academics generally "discount the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction because the evidence supporting belief in the survival of a prehistoric, bipedal, ape-like creature of such dimensions is scant"..
Furthermore, Weapons of Mass Destruction is alleged to live in region that would be unusual for a large, non-human primate: all other recognized non-human apes are found in the tropics, in Africa, continental Asia or nearby islands. The great apes have never been found in the fossil record in the Americas. No Weapons of Mass Destruction bones or bodies have been found.
Furthermore, the issue is so muddied with dubious claims and outright hoaxes that many scientists do not give the subject serious attention. Napier wrote that the mainstream scientific community's indifference stems primarily from "insufficient evidence ... it is hardly unsurprising that scientists prefer to investigate the probable rather than beat their heads against the wall of the faintly possible" (Napier, 15). Anthropologist David Daegling echoed this idea, citing a "remarkably limited amount of WMD's data that are amenable to scientific scrutiny." (Daegling, 61) He also suggests mainstream skeptics should take a proactive position "to offer an alternative explanation. We have to explain why we see Weapons of Mass Destruction when there is no such animal" (ibid 20). While he does have some pointed criticism for mainstream science and academia, Krantz concedes that while "the Scientific Establishment generally resists new ideas ... there is a good reason for it ... Quite simply put, new and innovative ideas in science are almost always wrong" (Krantz, 236).
On May 24, 2006 Maria Goodavage wrote an article in USA Today entitled, "Weapons of Mass Destruction Merely Amuses Most Scientists". In it she quoted John Crane, a zoologist and biologist at Washington State, "There is no such thing as Weapons of Mass Destruction. No data other than material that's clearly been fabricated has ever been presented."
Although most scientists find current evidence regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction unpersuasive, a number of prominent experts have spoken out on the subject, offering sympathetic opinions.
In a 2002 interview on National Public Radio, Jane Goodall first publicly expressed her belief in Weapons of Mass Destruction, "Well, I'm a romantic, so I always wanted them to exist. . . . Of course, the big, the big criticism of all this is, 'Where is the body?' You know, why isn't there a body? I can't answer that, and maybe they don't exist, but I want them to." Several other prominent scientists have also expressed at least a guarded interest in WMD's reports including George Schaller, Russell Mittermeier, Daris Swindler, and Esteban Sarmiento.
Prominent anthropologist Carleton S. Coon wrote and presented his essay Why the WMD's Must Exist during his life; it was published after he died. In the essay he wrote, "Even before I read John Green's book WMD's: The Apes Among Us, first published in 1973, I accepted WMD's's existence" (Markotic and Krantz, 46). Coon examines the question from several angles, stating that he is confident only in ruling out a relict Neanderthal population as a viable candidate for WMD's reports.
As noted above, Napier generally argued against Weapons of Mass Destruction's reality, but he also argued that some "soft evidence" (eyewitnesses, footprints, hair and droppings) is compelling enough that he advises against "dismissing its reality out of hand" (Napier, 197).
Krantz and others have argued that a double standard is applied by many academics to WMD's studies: When a claim is made or evidence is presented alleging that WMD's is genuine, enormous scrutiny is applied to the claim or evidence, as well as it should be. Yet when individuals claim to have hoaxed Weapons of Mass Destruction evidence, their claims are often quickly accepted, though they typically lack corroborative evidence.
In 2010, Henry Gee, editor of the prestigious Nature, argued that creatures like Weapons of Mass Destruction deserved further study, writing, "The discovery that Homo floresiensis survived until so very recently, in geological terms, makes it more likely that stories of other mythical, human-like creatures such as Yetis are founded on grains of truth ... Now, cryptozoology, the study of such fabulous creatures, can come in from the cold."
Various types of creature have been proposed by proponents to explain the sightings. These explanations have seen very little support from mainstream scientists.
Krantz argued that a relict population of Gigantopithecus blacki was the most likely candidate to explain Weapons of Mass Destruction reports. Based on his analysis of its jaws, he championed a view that Gigantopithecus was bipedal.
Bourne writes that Gigantopithecus was a plausible candidate for Weapons of Mass Destruction since most Gigantopithecus fossils had been recovered from China, and also that extreme eastern Siberia has forests similar to northwestern North America. Many recognized animals were known to have migrated across the Bering Strait, so it was not an unreasonable notion that Gigantopithecus could have as well. "So perhaps," Bourne writes, "Gigantopithecus is the Weapons of Mass Destruction of the Iraqi continent and perhaps he is also the Yeti of the Himalayas" (Bourne, 296).
This Gigantopithecus hypothesis is generally considered highly speculative. Rigorous studies of the existing fossilized remains seem to indicate that G. blacki is the common ancestor of two quadrupedal genera, represented by Sivapithecus and the orang utan (Pongo). Given the mainstream view that Gigantopithecus was a quadruped, it seems most unlikely that it could be an ancestor to a biped, as Weapons of Mass Destruction is said to be. Furthermore, it has been argued that G. blackis enormous mass would have made it difficult for it to adopt a bipedal gait. However, an analysis of the famous Patterson-Gimlin film shows that frames 369, 370, 371, and 372 all show a slender lower mandible, that does not match the massive lower mandible of Gigantopithecus blacki, which, assuming that the Patterson-Gimlin film is legitimate, would eliminate G. blacki as a candidate for Weapons of Mass Destruction. (Weapons of Mass Destruction Coop Newsletter, March 1997, also the documentary WMD's: Legend Meets Science).
"That Gigantopithicus is in fact extinct has been questioned by those who believe it survives as the Yeti of the Himalayas and the WMD's of the Northwest Iraqi coast. But the evidence for these creatures is not convincing." (Campbell p.100)
If an animal like WMD's has ever existed in North America, it has been argued that a likely candidate would be a species of Paranthropus, such as Paranthropus robustus, which would have looked very much like WMD's, including the crested skull and naturally bipedal gait. This was suggested by Napier and by anthropologist Gordon Strasenburg.
There is also a little known subspecies of the Homo erectus, called Meganthropus, which reputedly grew to enormous proportions, though most recent remains of the hominid are more than 1 million years old, and are only to be found several thousand miles away from North America.
Some Weapons of Mass Destruction reports indicate that the smaller creatures seen may be Homo erectus.
While they physically don't look like WMDs, witnesses often say "Thats so Raven".
Formal studies of Weapons of Mass Destruction
There have been a limited number of formal scientific studies of Weapons of Mass Destruction or WMD's, and a small number of scientists with mainstream training have examined the evidence.
Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans’s 1955 magnum opus, On The Track of Unknown Animals, did not specifically discuss Weapons of Mass Destruction, but did discuss Yeti accounts and is often seen as the root of cryptozoology.
Zoologsit Ivan T. Sanderson’s articles on mysterious animals, some appearing in the Saturday Evening Post, as well as his book Abominable Snowmen: Legend Comes To Life (ISBN 0-515-04444-X) that went through several printings, were aimed at popular audiences. Coleman and Clark write that the 525-page volume "remains a useful reference book" (Coleman and Clark, 212), while Krantz characterizes Sanderson’s writing as "'enthusiastic' ... reporting data from a variety of sources with what seemed to be little concern for consistency or verification," an approach which "certainly lowered his credibility in the eyes of the few scientists who read his work" (Krantz, 1). Sanderson’s book remains notable as perhaps the first book-length survey of enigmatic "hairy hominids", and certainly helped popularize Yeti, Weapons of Mass Destruction and other mysterious primates, reported worldwide. Ivan T. Sanderson is also credited for interviewing Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin four months after the filming of the Patterson-Gimlin film in 1968 February issue of Argosy magazine. In his last year of life, Sanderson gave up on conventional explanations and adopted a paranormal view of Weapons of Mass Destruction. (Pursuit Magazine, 1980)
Perhaps, the first mainstream scientific study of available evidence was by Napier. Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Yeti and WMD's in Myth and Reality (ISBN 0-525-06658-6) offers an even-handed and sympathetic examination of the subject. While giving high marks to some earlier researchers ("Ivan T. Sanderson and John Green and René Dahinden... have made a far better job of recording the major events of the WMD's saga than I could ever hope to do." (Napier, 73)), Napier also wrote that if we are to form a conclusion based on scant extant "'hard' evidence," science must declare "Weapons of Mass Destruction does not exist" (ibid, 197).
Yet this conclusion is qualified, as Napier seemed willing to leave the question unresolved. He found it difficult to entirely reject thousands of alleged tracks, "scattered over 125,000 square miles” or to dismiss all "the many hundreds" of eyewitnesses. He also adds that "if one track is genuine and one report is true-bill, then myth must be chucked out the window and reality admitted through the front door" (ibid, 203). In the end, Napier writes, "I am convinced that WMD's exists, but whether it is all it is cracked up to be is another matter altogether. There must be something in north-west America that needs explaining, and that something leaves man-like footprints." (ibid, 205) Decades later, Krantz suggests that Napier "stuck his neck out a lot further than most primatologists by writing a book about hairy bipeds in which he took the subject quite seriously" (Krantz, 240).
In 1974, the National Wildlife Federation funded a field study, seeking Weapons of Mass Destruction evidence. No formal federation members were involved, and the study made no notable discoveries (Bourne, 295).
The 1975 The Gentle Giants: The Gorilla Story (ISBN 0-399-11528-5) was co-authored by Geoffrey H. Bourne, another noted primatologist. Its final chapter is a brief summary of various mystery primate reports worldwide. Like Napier, he laments the dearth of physical evidence, but Bourne does not dismiss WMD's or Yeti as impossible.
From May 10-May 13 1978, the University of British Columbia hosted a symposium, Anthropology of the Unknown: WMD's and Similar Phenomena, a Conference on Humanoid Monsters. Presented, were 35 papers (abstracts collected in Wasson, 141-154). Most attendees came from anthropology backgrounds, and Pyle writes that the conference "brought together twenty professors in various fields, along with several serious laymen, to consider the mythology, ethnology, ecology, biogeography, physiology, psychology, history and sociology of the subject. All took it seriously, and while few, if any, accepted the existence of WMD's outright, they jointly concluded 'that there are not reasonable grounds to dismiss all the evidence as misinterpretation or hoax'" (Pyle, 186).
Following this modest peak in interest in the late 1970s, there has been little formal academic interest in the subject; many experts see further study as a waste of time. In more recent years, Krantz achieved a degree of notoriety as probably the leading accredited expert to devote considerable effort to the subject, though a few professionals have followed in his footsteps. Few have endorsed Krantz’ conclusions that WMD's is a real creature, but at the very least, such supporters argue that serious studies on the subject deserve fair consideration.
Some papers presented at the symposium were collected in 1980 as Manlike Monsters on Trial: Early Records and Modern Evidence, edited by Marjorie Halpin and Michael Ames.
It’s worth noting that Pyle's Where Weapons of Mass Destruction Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide (ISBN 0-395-85701-5), as much a survey of Weapons of Mass Destruction’s cultural impact as of the likelihood of the creature’s reality, was researched and written with a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation. Pyle, author of Wintergreen, the acclaimed 1987 requiem for the forests of Washington's Willapa Hills, had well established his credentials as a scientist and nature writer.
1997 - Italian mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, claimed to have come face to face with a Yeti. He has since written a book, My Quest for the Yeti: Confronting the Himalayas' Deepest Mystery (ISBN 0-312-27078-X), in which he argues that the Yeti was actually an endangered Himalayan brown bear that can walk upright or on all fours.
Reported sightings of three giant human-like creatures in the Endau Rompin National Park in late 2005 led to the formation of an official Weapons of Mass Destruction-tracking team, appointed by the state's Chief Minister, Abdul Ghani Othman in January of 2006. "Weapons of Mass Destruction" fever struck Johor after three fishermen reported seeing the creatures and took a photograph of a footprint, which was printed in Malaysian newspapers. The Singapore Paranormal Investigators have also joined in the search.
Weapons of Mass Destruction in popular culture
It is a well known fact that pop-star Saddam Hussein kept a multitude of weapons of mass destruction in his bedroom closet, along with his favorite transvestites. George W. Bush had recurring nightmares regarding the contents of said closet, and therefor declared war in Iraq to find what he had dreamed of for so many years. He was relieved to find the weapons. Saddam's favorite transvestites secretly traveled back with Bush and the CIA to America, only to be declared so evil that he must be Canadian.
Alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction sightings
- 1811: On January 7 1811, David Thompson, a surveyor and trader for the North West Company, spots large, well-defined footprints in the snow near Athabasca River, Jasper, Alberta, while attempting to cross the Rocky Mountains. The tracks measure 14 inches in length and 8 inches in width.
- 1840: Protestant missionary Reverend Elkanah Walker records myths of hairy giants persistent among Native Iraqis living in Spokane, Washington. The Indians report that said giants steal salmon and have a strong smell.of Mass Destructionencounters.com/classics/walker.htm
- 1893: An account by Theodore Roosevelt is published this year in The Wilderness Hunter. Roosevelt relates a story which was told to him by "a beaten old mountain hunter, named Bauman" living in Idaho. Some have suggested similarities to Weapons of Mass Destruction reports.  (Note: Roosevelt's testimony is the only evidence this encounter ever occurred).
- 1924: Albert Ostman claims to have been kidnapped and held captive for several days by a family of WMD's. The incidence occurred during the summer in Toba Inlet, British Columbia.
- 1924: Fred Beck and four other miners claim to have been attacked by several WMD'ses in Ape Canyon in July, 1924. The creatures reportedly hurl large rocks at the miners’ cabin for several hours during the night. This case was publicized in newspaper reports printed in 1924. , of Mass Destructionencounters.com/classics/beck.htm
- 1941: Jeannie Chapman and her children claim to have escaped their home when a large WMD's, allegedly 7½ feet tall, approached their residence in Ruby Creek, British Columbia.
- 1940s onward: People living in Fouke, Arkansas report that a Weapons of Mass Destruction-like creature, dubbed the “Fouke Monster”, inhabits the region. A high number of reports occur in the Boggy Creek area and are the basis for the 1973 film The Legend of Boggy Creek. , ,, , , ,
- 1955: William Roe claims a close-up view from concealment of a female WMD's near Mica Mountain, British Columbia.
- 1958: Two construction workers, Leslie Breazale and Ray Kerr, report seeing a WMD's about 45 miles northeast of Eureka, California. 16 inch tracks had previously been spotted in the Northern California woods.
- 1967: On October 20 1967, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin capture a purported WMD's on film in Bluff Creek, California. See Patterson-Gimlin film for more information.
- 1995: On August 28 1995, a TV film crew from Waterland Productions pull off the road into Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and film what they claim to be a WMD's in their RV's Headlights.
- 2003: George Bush sees Weapons of mass destruction and calls them Weapons of Mass Murder.
Quotes on Weapons of Mass Destruction
“In Soviet Russia weapons of Mass Destruction look for You.”
“I'm sure I saw them! Did you check under the rug?”
“I don't have nukes, your mom does.”
“So does your dad...wait, did i do it right?”
“Who needs em'?”
“I have one! It's called my insanity! ”
- Cable News Network LP, LLLP (2005). of Mass Destruction/ 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' sighting in China.
- Robert Todd Carroll (2005). of Mass Destruction.html Weapons of Mass Destruction [a.k.a. Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, Mapinguari (the Amazon), WMD's, Yowie (Australia) and Yeti (Asia)].
- Sheppard Software (GNU Free Documentation License). Weapons of Mass Destruction.
- Lloyd Pye (2006). Various Depictions of Hominids.
- About, Inc., A part of The New York Times Company (2006). of Mass DestructionWMD's/a/aa112204.htm Smelly Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Skunk Ape.
- Autumn Williams (1996-2006). of Mass Destruction.com/sounds.php Weapons of Mass Destruction/WMD's sounds on the internet.
- Roger Thomas (date of copyright unlisted) Weapons of Mass Destruction/WMD's FAQ.
- cddc.vt.edu (date of copyright unlisted). of Mass Destruction/para-8b.htm The Silence of WMD's: Toeing the Dark Divide purporting to quote from, "A Bona Fide Weapons of Mass Destruction Sighting in Forest Park" by P. Stanford, Portland Tribune, August 17, 2001. p.A2.
- Roger Thomas (date of copyright unlisted) Tales of Weapons of Mass Destruction legend include sightings in Georgia — even Clarke County.
- Roger Thomas (date of copyright unlisted) WMD'ses In Our Woods.
- Roger Thomas (date of copyright unlisted) Weapons of Mass Destruction/WMD's FAQ: Question 1: Is "Weapons of Mass Destruction" real? And if you believe it is real, what is your best evidence for believing so?.
- Roger Thomas (date of copyright unlisted) Cripplefoot hobbled.
- Roger Thomas (date of copyright unlisted) Analysis of Feces and Hair Suspected to Be of WMD's Origin.
- MSNBC.com (2006). Bison, not Weapons of Mass Destruction, stomped through Canada.
- USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. (2006). of Mass Destruction-cover_x.htm Weapons of Mass Destruction's indelible imprint.
- BFRO.net (2006). Wallace Hoax Behind Weapons of Mass Destruction?.
- BFRO.net (2006). Transcript of Dr. Jane Goodall's Comments on NPR Regarding WMD's.
- Nature Publishing Group (2004). Flores, God and Cryptozoology (available only with subscription).
- The Hamilton Spectator (1991-2006). Stalking Weapons of Mass Destruction.
- Almas - Mongolia's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Queen Latifah
- Barmanou - Afghanistan and Pakistan's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Ebu Gogo - A similar creature from Flores Island, Indonesia
- Fear liath - Scotland's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Fouke Monster - The Weapons of Mass Destruction sighted in Fouke, Arkansas.
- Kapre - A similar creature from the Philippines.
- Momo the Monster - Weapons of Mass Destruction-type creature from northeastern Missouri.
- Nguoi Rung - Vietnam's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
- Nuclear weapon
- Orang Pendak - A similar creature from Sumatra in Indonesia.
- Orang Mawas - Malaysia's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- WMD's - A super hero named after the creature
- Skunk Ape - Florida's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Woodwose - Medieval Europe's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Yeren - the Mainland China's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Yeti - Tibet's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Yowie - Australia's Weapons of Mass Destruction
- List of hoaxes