Is Bigfoot Real?by DAVID GREGG
The Pros and Cons of Bigfoot. YOU decide
Bigfoot, the hairy bipedal ape (or early hominid) that lurks in the isolated regions of the Pacific Northwest, has been the subject of countless books, magazine articles, documentaries, and TV shows. The publics fascination with the elusive creature has captivated the imagination of millions and served as a growing industry throughout the media. A glance at cable shows, episodes on Netflix, and other entertainment providers draws one obvious conclusion: Bigfoot sells.
Is Bigfoot Real?
This is the answer that an estimated 135,000 people search for on Google each month. There have been sightings, footprints, photos, film footage, yet indisputable proof has been sorely lacking. Finding Bigfoot has been like searching for a needle in a haystack and throwing away the haystack. Is Bigfoot an undiscovered primate related to the great apes? Is Bigfoot, where other variants of early man died out (such as the Neanderthals), an ancient hominid that managed to survive undetected? These questions have intrigued the public and researchers for over fifty years, and there's no sign that the question will find an answer anytime soon.
Here's a list of the top ten states in the US that reported the highest number of Bigfoot sightings. Texas seemed like a surprising number, but then it was learned that the black bear has begun to migrate back into that state. Bear sightings are frequently mistaken with Bigfoot.
10) Colorado - 121
9) Georgia - 128
8) Michigan - 206
7) Texas - 213
6) Oregon - 243
5) Ohio - 266
4) Illinois - 274
3) Florida - 307
2) California - 432
1) Washington - 620
In the image map, the darker shades indicate higher numbers of Bigfoot sightings, with the lightest indicating less than 10 reported sightings. Eyewitness reports, of course, vary each year. And even Bigfoot researchers contend that a number of the sightings are mistakes or hoaxes.
Apparently Bigfoot has relatives.
In the Pacific Northwest he was coined the Sasquatch, a derivative of the word "Sésquac", which is based on Native American folklore about wild men. The terms Bigfoot and Sasquatch are essentially interchangeable. In 1958, the name Bigfoot was invented after a series of 16-inch tracks were discovered in Bluff Creek, California. The Humboldt Times ran a story about the discovery and called the creature, Bigfoot. The name has stuck ever since.
In the Himalayans he is the Yeti (or abominable snowman). Originating in the folklore of Nepal, the Yeti came into prominence during the early 20th century when mountain climbers attempting to scale Mt Everest reported seeing large footprints in the snow.
A large, foul-smelling ape reported to inhabit the swampy areas of Florida. The likelihood of hoax is high, and available photos may indicate it could be an escaped orangutan.
A bipedal creature that lurks in the grasslands of Ohio. Numerous sightings have been reported over the years.
Australia's version of the American Bigfoot. Primarily an Aboriginal legend, the Yowie has been recently spotted in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, and Queensland.
Hiding in the southern mountains of Mongolia, the Almas is the Mongolian name for "wild man."
The alleged ape man on the island of Sumatra, the Orang Pendak is a considerably shorter version of Bigfoot and might possibly be a new and undocumented primate. Sightings have been reported for around a hundred years. Some speculation it could be a surviving hominid, like the Homo floresiensis (or Hobbit) found in the caves of Flores. The dense jungles of Sumatra, however, offer endless places for concealment.
Since the Bigfoot saga began in 1958, there has been plenty of evidence acquired over the years: eyewitness reports, plaster casts of footprints, photos and film footage, and even audio recordings.
Bigfoot supporters believe that the number of eyewitness accounts of Bigfoot is conclusive evidence that there is more to this phenomenon than just an over-active imagination. Some of the sightings have involved multiple witnesses.
Casts of footprints can certainly be faked but a couple scientists are convinced that the intricate design of distinct dermal ridges found in some of the prints indicates authentic anatomical features.
Photos and Film
Although often grainy or out of focus, a number of photos of Bigfoot have been captured over the years. The most famous example of film footage is the Patterson/Gimlin film. Armed with a 16mm Movie camera, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin rode on horseback into the forested area of Bluff Creek, CA, after learning of mysterious tracks being reported there. A large, hairy primate was caught on the film walking along a sandbar. Some people scoff at the footage and consider it an obvious hoax, but others cite that the unusual proportions of the figure, with short legs and long arms, are what would be expected of in primates such as great apes, not a man in a gorilla suit.
Hair Samples, DNA
Various hair samples have been tested for DNA over the years with mixed results, but Bigfoot supporters are confident that this line of research will finally prove the existence of the primate.
What Bigfoot Supporters Say
Bigfoot supporters maintain that Sasquatch is out there and will eventually be found. That, or substantial evidence (most likely DNA samples) will be collected to indisputably prove the existence of the primate.
Theories abound according to the identity of the creature, with one anthropologist stating that Bigfoot might be related to an extinct great ape known as Gigantopithecus, and another researcher believing that Bigfoot could be an early hominid, a cross between a homo sapien and an unidentified primate.
Bigfoot As A Multi-Dimensional Being
A more fringe explanation about Bigfoot comes from the psychic community. Some channels have claimed that Bigfoot is a multi-dimensional creature that can read the intentions of humans invading his space and take evasive actions, such as becoming invisible. Bigfoot is said to be an alien race from the Sirius star system (depending on the psychic you consult) that has watched over mankind for thousands of years.
Associations with Bigfoot and UFOs first appeared in books around the late 60s, so this information has been in circulation for some time and the particular details have certainly morphed over the years. Gauging the veracity of the claims comes with the usual difficulties.
The number of Bigfoot sightings and eyewitness testimonies are too numerous to ignore.
The Patterson-Gimlin film remains the crown jewel of Bigfoot research. The authenticity of the footage has been hotly debated and arguments in favor and against have not stalled the intense scrutiny and excitement the film first generated when it was released to the public in 1967.
Stories of hairy "wild men" can be found in mythologies around the world and in every myth there is an element of truth. Native American legends also describe a creature similar in proportions to Bigfoot.
Some researchers are convinced the anatomical detail present in some Bigfoot tracks, such as the existence of dermal ridges (the fingerprints of the foot) could not be faked.
The mountain gorilla was not discovered until 1902. Given that rumors of the gorilla circulated for years and were thought unreliably anecdotal, Bigfoot could be the great next discovery.
Science has been unable to prove that Bigfoot doesn't exist.
What Bigfoot Skeptics Say
Bigfoot is a very large primate, estimated at 10-12 ft and possibly 800 pounds, yet other than dubious footprints and sketchy eyewitness accounts, he's somehow remained undiscovered. Undisputed evidence, such as a pelt, skeleton, or even DNA, have never been found. Now perhaps Bigfoot is just smarter than the average bear (or telepathic) and hides better than most animals -- maybe he's even learned to bury his dead, which might partly explain the lack of physical evidence.
But here's the catch...
We can assume Bigfoot didn't first appear during the 1950's when the craze initially started about him, so like most mammals, he's probably been here tens of thousands of years. What's the minimum population needed to keep Bigfoot living for that long? We know that if the population number gets too low, the genetic variation isn't high enough to adapt to changing environments, and the species winks out. That means Bigfoot represents a fairly large group that's existed for thousands of years (or if compared to a gorilla, millions), and even if they bury their dead, a group that size would have surely left some physical remains. We don't even have fossil records. Nothing.
Another puzzlement is what do these primates eat? Big-bodied primates need a lot of food. A 5-6 foot, 4-500 pound gorilla, for example, consumes around 9000 calories a day. A 10 foot, 8-900 pound Bigfoot would easily double that expenditure. Where does a Yeti find 18,000 calories to eat on the snowy Himalayan mountains? Even if he bags a couple yaks, the food supply in the area wouldn't support him. The science doesn't work.
The Pacific Northwest might provide a better harvest for Bigfoot, but where's the evidence? If Bigfoot is a herbivore, samples of that activity should be apparent. If he's a scavenger or predator, there would be kill patterns, like we see with bears, wolves, cougars, etc. And there should be noticeable depletions in the food chain, but no evidence of an 800-pound creature subsisting off the Eco-system exists. We haven't even found Bigfoot's poop. We can locate the feces of every other mammal on the planet, but apparently Bigfoot shit doesn't stink.
As mentioned earlier, a large primate would need to sustain a breeding population to survive for thousands of years, but where are the mating calls, the offspring, the nesting areas, or the caves they use? Evidence like this is widely apparent with other mammals but non-existent with Bigfoot. It's not enough just to say Bigfoot is elusive. His very existence for thousands of years would have created an environmental footprint that couldn't be concealed, but he's largely invisible.
Bigfoot As a Multi-Dimensional Being
Bigfoot can become invisible at will.
If that were true we could justify the existence of Santa Claus, as well. Perhaps a better question is how far should we stretch the borders of rational thinking before we are willing to acknowledge that such postulations are absurd? Since all attempts to prove Bigfoot from a zoological perspective have panned out, perhaps the last desperate cry is to link Bigfoot to the supernatural realms.
As Carl Sagan once said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." The danger with preposterous claims that defy all logic is that compelling physical evidence might get ignored due to the growing body of lunacy now clogging serious Bigfoot research. If the field is to maintain any credibility, it must remain grounded in reality.
Other than scant reports of wild men depicted in mythologies throughout the world, the Bigfoot craze mostly began in 1958 after a set of large footprints were discovered around a construction site (the prints later turned out to be a hoax). This unleashed a flurry of more Bigfoot tracks (many of them pranks and copy-cats), which lead up to the famous Patterson-Gimlin film in 1967.
The Patterson-Gimlin film has been a source of vociferous debate since its release to the media. The film showed a large ape-like creature walking across the sandbar of a creek. Bigfoot supporters have long argued for its authenticity, while critics cite that Patterson was an opportunist looking to profit from the film, and years later the man that wore the ape-suit confessed his involvement. Still, the film remains highly polarized and a hot topic of debate.
Skeptic Joe Nickell points out that after studying a published catalog of Sasquatch sightings, he noticed that the widely varying descriptions of Bigfoot (height, color, number of toes) mostly ended after the release of the Patterson film. From that point on the descriptions usually matched the depiction of the creature seen in the film. The implication being that popular images in the public eye greatly influenced later eyewitness accounts. Think of the way UFO and alien images in magazines and films have influenced the cultural mindset about extraterrestrials.
Even if the soil conditions in the Pacific Northwest of the United States are not ideal for fossilization, the lack of fossil evidence altogether is disturbing. A creature like Bigfoot would have followed an evolutionary time-line similar to homo sapiens. Fossil records would surely exist over that amount of time. None have ever been found.
The lack of verifiable hair samples, fecal matter, skin scrapings, or physical remains of any kind presents a weighty indictment against the existence of Bigfoot. Just a single strand of hair would provide conclusive DNA evidence that a previously unidentified species was alive on the planet.
Evidence for Bigfoot, such as eyewitness accounts, photographs, videos, sound recordings, alleged DNA samples, have been collected and compiled for over fifty years, and none of it has scientifically proven that Bigfoot exists. Statistics showing that sightings are higher in areas where bears are present do not help the cause.
The Bigfoot mystery, as fascinating and intriguing as it is to explore, is too easy to hoax.
The famous Patterson/Gimlin footage. Is it the genuine article or a man in a suit? Decide for yourself.
Considering the shy and elusive nature of Bigfoot. the hairy primate has managed to draw an unprecedented amount of attention since first catching the attention of the media in 1958. Books, documentaries and movies have been made and the popularity of the creature continues to stir the imagination of millions of people with yearly eyewitness accounts, photos, and videos. The cable networks alone have practically made a cottage industry out of the Bigfoot phenomenon.
Out of curiosity, I did my own channeling on the existence of Bigfoot, and here's what I got:
Could you share your thoughts about Bigfoot?
MICHAEL ENTITY: In a discussion on Bigfoot we must allude to the nature of mythology and how fanciful tales -- some call them tall-tales -- become prominent fixtures in folklore and the public perception.
Bigfoot, either as a primate or early hominid, does not exist. There once lived an enormous primate that matched the physical attributes associated with Bigfoot, but that species went extinct in your distant past.
Today, the allure of Bigfoot stirs the souls of those who still long for a great adventure, both of the mind and the body. The unsolved mystery is a compelling lure of the human species, a lure that has led to a high number of hoaxes and false testimonies. We do not see the search for Bigfoot to end anytime soon. And this is more than a search for a hairy bi-pedal primate of towering stature. The search is for that elusive part of self that still longs to roam in the wild, living off Nature by wit and brawn. With the current advances in technology and the numerous conveniences of the modern world, there remains a repressed desire to follow the footsteps of those hunter-gatherers that survived in the world through instinct and a respectful knowledge and appreciation of Nature.
About David Gregg
David is the webmaster of MichaelTeachings.com and also moderates the Michael teachings discussion list at Yahoogroups. He has been a Michael student since 1996 and began channeling as a tool for spiritual enrichment. He is also a professional musician and plays the saxophone, clarinet, and flute, with a lifetime love for jazz and classical music. He enjoys literature and book collecting, and writes short stories in his spare time.
He occasionally writes reviews and profiles of jazz musicians at his jazz blog, Jazz Reader.
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