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Bigfoot and I: Reflections on Forty Years of Skepticism

I needed a work-study job, and the new physical anthropologist reportedly was coming to the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee with a large skeletal collection of monkeys, which with luck would need a handy work-study student to clean and organize.

It was the fall of 1965, and I was a junior in college, majoring in physical anthropology. I got the job; there weren’t many workstudy students willing to wash, sort, and label slightly smelly and somewhat greasy monkey bones fifteen hours a week. Prof. Neil Tappen not only hired me and, over time, taught me a whole lot of science, he gave me my first lesson in skeptical thinking.

Did I mention I was a physical anthropologist? Did I mention that every physical anthropologist secretly wishes that Yeti and Bigfoot were real? Of course we do!

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