Every now and again I’m lucky to find some gems while researching, and today, after an early morning adventure, followed by a good long swim to beat the heat, I began my research and found this recorded interview of Carleton Coon by David Masters at his home in Gloucester Massachusetts. This interview took place in 1978 just four short years before his passing.
What I would have given to be at his home doing this interview myself, seeing all his many collections of books, bones, etc. You could tell from the interview he was also showing David Masters some of his collections.
For those who don’t know who Carleton Coon was, he was an American Anthropologist, He received his degree from Harvard University and was president of the American Association of Physical Medicine, he used Typology to determine the basis of racial and ethnic differences. He is most known for his race theories and book , The Races of Europe. (As well as others) A reviewer of this book particular book wrote,;
“One of the most important anthropological overviews of European racial types ever published. Contains the full set of original photographic plates. Once a college standard, this book has been suppressed for 50 years.”
Carleton had another belief as well, he believed Sasquatch was real. He’s quoted as saying…
“To my mind, a reasonable person who has studied the evidence carefully, like John Green, Rene Dahinden, and Grover Kranz, may be expected to have confidence that the animal exists, but they may not hold him dear or like him very much, because his existence surprises or frightens them. Even before I read John Green’s book, “Sasquatch. The Apes Among us”, I accepted the Sasquatch’s existence.”
This is just a small part of the interview but if you have any free time on your hands you should listen to it in its entirety.
Carleton Steven Coon died in June 1981, the following is an obituary from the NYT and more about his books from https://archive.org/details/racesofeurope031695mbp
“At the time of his passing, June 1981, Carleton Stevens Coon, age 76, was lauded in a New York Times obituary “as one of the last great general anthropologists….” This tribute was remarkable as it came well after the star of this 20th century Renaissance man had lost much of its luster, as had a comprehensive anthropology rooted in careful analysis of skeletal structure supplemented with a thorough knowledge of archaeology, linguistics, and history–for at no point did he neglect culture. Carleton (or “Carl”) Coon had lived a full life of scholarship in the groves of academe, but ventured far beyond, having completed extensive field work in North Africa, Ethiopia, and the Balkans. During the Second World War, he actively supported American and Allied forces in North Africa, running guns as an agent of the Office of Strategic Services to members of the French resistance in Morocco in connection with Anglo-American campaign of 1942-1943 against Axis forces. He returned to the field postwar, exploring sites in the Middle East. Shortly thereafter, he appeared frequently on the early television science series “What in the World?” and became president of the American Anthropological Association in 1962.”
Here is the excerpt from the interview about his thoughts on Sasquatch and details from an investigation he did of a Sasquatch encounter in New Hampshire, the really interesting part was him discussing how the creature mesmerized or maybe hypnotized the witness, causing the man to go “all wonky”.
Video art by Steve Baxter