On Friday, September 27, 2002, during National Public Radio’s (NPR) Talk of the Nation: Science Friday with Ira Flatow, Dr. Jane Goodall made a striking comment on her strong beliefs that large “undiscovered” primates, such as the Yeti or Sasquatch, do indeed exist.
The following is a transcript of the relevant portion of the program:
Dr. Goodall: As for the other, you’re talking about a yeti or bigfoot or sasquatch.
Ira Flatow: Is that what he’s talking about?
Dr. Goodall: Yes, it is and …
Ira Flatow: Is that the message I’m missing here?
Dr. Goodall: I think that’s the message you’re missing and …
Ira Flatow: (To the caller) Is that right?
Caller: Pretty much.
Ira Flatow: (Laughing) I’m out of the loop. Go ahead.
Dr. Goodall: Well now, you’ll be amazed when I tell you that I’m sure that they exist.
Ira Flatow: You are?
Dr. Goodall: Yeah. I’ve talked to so many Native Americans who all describe the same sounds, two who have seen them. I’ve probably got about, oh, thirty books that have come from different parts of the world, from China from, from all over the place, and there was a little tiny snippet in the newspaper just last week which says that British scientists have found what they believed to be a yeti hair and that the scientists in the Natural History Museum in London couldn’t identify it as any known animal.
Ira Flatow: Wow.
Dr. Goodall: That was just a wee bit in the newspaper and, obviously, we have to hear a little bit more about that.
Ira Flatow: Well, in this age of DNA, if you find a hair there might be some cells on it.
Dr. Goodall: Well, there will be and I’m sure that’s what they’ve examined and they don’t match up. That’s what my little tiny snippet says. They don’t match up with DNA cells from known animals, so — apes.
Ira Flatow: Did you always have this belief that there., that they, that they existed?
Dr. Goodall: Well, I’m a romantic, so I always wanted them to exist. (Chuckles.)
Ira Flatow: (To the caller) Alright?
Caller: Thank you.
Ira Flatow: Thanks for calling. (To Goodall) Well, how do you go looking for them? I mean, people have been looking, right? It’s not like, or has this just been, since we don’t really believe they can exist, we really haven’t really made a serious search.
Dr. Goodall: Well, there are people looking. There are very ardent groups in Russia, and they have published a whole lot of stuff about what they’ve seen. 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.