Crook, Cliff

Cliff Crook is the second half of a trivia question involving the movie Harry and the Hendersons, which features a character based on Crook and played by the late Don Ameche. (See Rene Dahinden for the other half.) Crook served as an uncredited technical consultant when the movie was filmed in 1987. His “Bigfoot Museum,” open since 1982, served as the model for the film's museum, and many of Crook's Bigfoot track casts were used in the movie.

Crook's interest in the subject grew out of an experience in 1956 when he was sixteen years old. Crook was camping in an isolated section of backwoods near Duvall, Washington, with three other boys and a dog when a Bigfoot approached their campfire. Crook says their German shepherd went after the creature but was picked up and thrown at their feet. They heard a deep, horrendous sound, something like “Ee-gor largor.” One of the boys started crying. The giant, hair-covered creature came nearer. The boys ran. They left everything behind. The dog awoke. The boys ran all the way home, barefoot.

From then on, the subject of Bigfoot became something of an obsession to Crook. He has produced a variety of commercially available items for tourists and researchers, including the Bigfoot Totem postcard, Wild Creek Bigfoot postcard, Bigfoot bumper stickers, buttons, ribbons,shirts, caps, Bigfoot Map (1973, 1975), Bigfoot Trailblazer (1980), Bigfoot Trails Newsletter (since 1992), and Bigfoot and the Moon (1995 ).

In 1976, Crook developed a seven-point tracking test to detect hoaxed footprints at Bigfoot reporting sites. As the founder of Bigfoot Central, he established North America's first Bigfoot Reports Headquarters and Research Data Base (the so-called Bigfoot Museum), in 1982. Later, in 1991, Bigfoot Central would be the first Bigfoot research organization officially sanctioned by the state of Washington.

The 1990s, however, have seen Crook as the focus of much criticism and controversy. In October 1995, he purchased and promoted what he calls the “clearest known alleged Bigfoot photos,” the so-called seven Wild Creek Bigfoot photographs. Critics have charged that these photos– of what looks like a neckless computer-enhanced model-are a transparent hoax. Then in 1998, after promoter Chris Murphy (who had helped sell the Patterson Film frames for Dahinden) broke with Dahinden, Murphy and Crook reamed up to debunk the Patterson Film. Crook says he is now working on a book that will expose the Patterson Film as “the Bigfoot Hoax of the Century,” although he still believes in the reality of Bigfoot.



The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters,Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature
Written by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark – Copyright 1999 Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark

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