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Episode Notes for
First Impressions

detail of DVD cover

retired investigator and latent fingerprint examiner, Jimmy Chilcutt (video still)

detail of DVD cover

Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science
(detail of DVD cover)

This week on MonsterTalk we talk with fingerprint expert and self-described Bigfoot research “cheerleader” Jimmy Chilcutt. Chilcutt, a retired Texas lawman and crime-scene investigator, came to prominence in the Bigfoot community when he joined Dr. Jeff Meldrum in the documentary Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science making the pronouncement that his research had found evidence that some Bigfoot track-castings showed signs of dermal ridges — the equivalent of primate fingerprints. This is the first time we have interviewed someone on the “believer” side of the fence in cryptozoology, though you’ll hear in the interview that what Chilcutt is willing to attest to is somewhat different than the impression you’d get from his TV appearances.

In this episode

Topics in this episode include:

  • How did Chilcutt get involved with Bigfoot?
  • Did he identify any hoaxed tracks in the casts he examined?
  • What are “dermal ridges?”
  • Has he examined any latent Bigfoot prints?
  • How many casts showed the ridges?
  • Has anyone replicated his findings?

We also discuss Matt Crowley’s research which shows that it is possible to mimic dermal ridges during the casting process. Crowley’s excellent research is detailed on his website in a series of essays and articles. His work on casting artifacts and the track hoaxing of Ray Wallace should be required reading for Bigfoot researchers.

Resources of Interest


The views expressed on this program are not necessarily the views of the Skeptics Society or Skeptic magazine.


Richard Dawkins has been added to an already outstanding lineup of speakers for the May 29–31 Skeptics Society Conference!

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