Is there evidence that Bigfoot really exists?

By Patterson-Gimlin film, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=434396

Is there any evidence that suggests that the legend of Bigfoot is real? Since ancient times, people have been reporting sightings and stories of ape-like, half man, half ape creatures that live in remote forests, however there continues to be no agreed upon scientific evidence to conclude their existence. What evidence do we have that Bigfoot might be a real creature?

Sightings of Bigfoot

Hundreds of eye witness sightings of Bigfoot have been recorded since the 1700s. People claimed to have seen big Sasquatches while some claimed to have been kidnapped by them. Many signed oaths and sworn affidavits, and even passed lie detectors tests. Stories of wild hairy men were passed down for hundreds of years across all of the continents other than Antarctica. Two-thirds of all Bigfoot accounts from North America originated in the Pacific Northwest. Native American tribes had different names for Sasquatch but relayed similar accounts. A screeching, screaming sound has often been reported coming from these animals as well as a foul smell, and some claim to have seen Bigfoot up in a tree.

  • 1793 European settlers told of sightings of a “hairy ape man.” A letter to the editor of a paper in South Carolina, the Charleston Gazette reported the presence of ape man creatures that had been causing trouble for people in the Bald Mountains. He wrote that the settlers called the creature, “Yahoo,” and that the ‘Indians’ called the creature, “Chickly-Cudly.” The anonymous letter writer stated,

“This animal is between twelve and fifteen feet high, and in shape resembling a human being, except the head, which is in equal proportion to it’s body, and drawn in somewhat like a tarapin [sic]; it’s feet are like those of a negro, about two feet long, and hairy, which is of a dark dun color; it’s eyes are exceedingly large, and open and shut up and down its face; the hair of its head is about six inches long, stands straight like a negro’s [sic]; its nose is like that of a human species only large…” (Hairr, 2013, p. 11)

  • 1883, Ottawa, Ontario newspaper. According to Gregory L. Reece’s book, Weird Science and Bizarre Beliefs (2018), on August 1, 1883, an Ohio paper, the Daily Advocate, described “The Extraordinary Character Who Is Scaring Canucks.” The article described that townspeople 100 miles north of Ottawa, Ontario became too scared to venture to nearby Prettis Island, where there was reports of a “wild man eight feet high and covered with hair” (p. 11). A couple of raftsmen took weapons and went into the woods to search for the monster.

“He emerged from a thicket having in one hand a tomahawk made of stone and in the other a bludgeon… The giant followed them, uttering demoniacal yells and gesticulating wildly… what Toughey describes as a man who looks like a gorilla wandering about in a perfectly nude condition, and, with the exception of the face, completely covered with a thick growth of black hair. ” (Reece, 2018, p. 11)

  • Chad Arment’s book, The Historical Bigfoot, tracked down a newspaper article from Santa Monica in November 1908 titled “Wild Man of the Mountain Robs Traps of Prey and Commissary of Supplies Peculiar Footprint Left by the Man-Animal as He Flees From His Would-Be Captor”. The article was based on the claims of Bertrand Basey who was working as commissary for construction workers.

“Basey said that there were frequent losses from the improvised store house… He kept a strict lookout and was soon rewarded by the sight of a brown being fashioned after the form of a man, approaching the tent. The thing was on all fours, was devoid of clothing or such covering as might have been provided by the skins of animals, and had a face covered with hair… Suddenly, the thing gave forth a gutteral yell, rose upright on its hind legs and disappeared in the underbrush… The tracks which they photographed were not unlike those that would have been left by the hands and feet of a man were he provided with long claw-like nails for each of his five toes and the four fingers and thumb.” (Reece, 2018, p. 12)

  • Also included in Arment’s book, the Lincoln, Nebraska Star in October of 1922 reported stories of a “wild man, half man, half beast,” in a sparsely populated area of the Colorado Rockies.

“According to the ‘eye witness’ accounts, the strange hairy creature leaps across the waste places on all fours and subsists on the raw flesh of fouls and animals. Its body is gaunt and covered with hair and the eyes gleam ferociously from under shaggy brows… The reported hybrid has invaded barnyards, killed chickens, robbed hens’ nests and fled on the appearance of any person…” (Reece, 2018, p. 12).

  • In 1924, a group of miners detailed an attack on their cabin in a gorge of Mount Saint Helens, Washington by a group of ape-men. They said the group of creatures hit their cabin with rocks while trying to break in and that they shot one of them. Later in 1966, one of the miners, Fred Beck, told Roger Patterson for his book, Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist? that the ape-men’s foot size was 19 inches, the height was to eight feet, and weight was six or eight hundred pounds (“Ape Canyon”, n.d.).
  • In British Columbia in 1924, Albert Ostman said he was kidnapped for six days by four hairy apelike people (three adults and one child), and he eventually escaped. He said one was eight feet tall. He said they fed him grass and did not harm him and that the female washed and stacked leaves. He mentioned that the penis of the male Sasquatch was around 2 inches and looked like an inverted funnel, and interestingly, gorillas actually have penises that size (Coleman, 2003). Ostman didn’t report his story until 1957 reportedly because he thought people would think he was crazy (“Albert Ostman”, n.d.).

  • In 1928 in British Columbia, Muchalat Harry said he was carried off by a Sasquatch for miles and brought to a group of twenty Sasquatches of varying ages. He escaped when they wandered off to gather food. Harry is said to have never fully recovered from his experience as he never went back into the forest again, his hair turned white from stress, and it took awhile for him to open up about the incident (Coleman, 2003).
  • In 1941, in Ruby Creek, British Columbia, Jennie Chapman and her oldest son saw what they believed was a Bigfoot right outside their home, and they ran inside to safety. The video below shows an interview with one of the original investigators of the case, John Green, who saw 18 inch footprints that were said to have been left behind by the creature.

  • In Alberta, Canada in 1955, William Roe claimed to have seen what he supposed was a female Sasquatch. He signed an oath that his affadavit was true.

“EXHIBIT A.

Ever since I was a small boy back in the forest of Michigan, I have studied the lives and habits of wild animals. Later, when I supported my family in Northern Alberta by hunting and trapping, I spent many hours just observing the wild things. They fascinated me. But the most incredible experience I ever had with a wild creature occurred near a little town called Tete Jaune Cache, British Columbia, about eighty miles west of Jasper, Alberta.

I had been working on the highway near Tete Jaune Cache for about two years. In October, 1955, I decided to climb five miles up Mica Mountain to an old deserted mine, just for something to do. I came in sight of the mine about three o’clock in the afternoon after an easy climb. I had just come out of a patch of low brush into a clearing when I saw what I thought was a grizzly bear, in the bush on the other side. I had shot a grizzly near that spot the year before. This one was only about 75 yards away, but I didn’t want to shoot it, for I had no way of getting it out. So I sat down on a small rock and watched, my rifle in my hands.

I could see part of the animal’s head and the top of one shoulder. A moment later it raised up and stepped out into the opening. Then I saw it was not a bear.

This, to the best of my recollection, is what the creature looked like and how it acted as it came across the clearing directly toward me. My first impression was of a huge man, about six feet tall, almost three feet wide, and probably weighing somewhere near three hundred pounds. It was covered from head to foot with dark brown silver-tipped hair. But as it came closer I saw by its breasts that it was female.

And yet, its torso was not curved like a female’s. Its broad frame was straight from shoulder to hip. Its arms were much thicker than a man’s arms, and longer, reaching almost to its knees. Its feet were broader proportionately than a man’s, about five inches wide at the front and tapering  to much thinner heels. When it walked it placed the heel of its foot down first, and I could see the grey-brown skin or hide on the soles of its feet.

It came to the edge of the bush I was hiding in, within twenty feet of me, and squatted down on its haunches. Reaching out its hands it pulled the branches of bushes toward it and stripped the leaves with its teeth. Its lips curled flexibly around the leaves as it ate. I was close enough to see that its teeth were white and even.

The shape of this creature’s head somewhat resembled a Negro’s. The head was higher at the back than at the front. The nose was broad and flat. The lips and chin protruded farther than its nose. But the hair that covered it, leaving bare only the parts of its face around the mouth, nose and ears, made it resemble an animal as much as a human. None of this hair, even on the back of its head, was longer than an inch, and that on its face was much shorter. Its ears were shaped like a human’s ears. But its eyes were small and black like a bear’s. And its neck was unhuman. Thicker and shorter than any man’s I had ever seen.

As I watched this creature, I wondered if some movie company was making a film at this place and that what I saw was an actor, made up to look partly human and partly animal. But as I observed it more, I decided it would be impossible to fake such a speciman. Anyway, I learned later there was no such company near that area. Nor, in fact, did anyone live up Mica Mountain, according to the people who lived in Tete Jaune Cache.

Finally the wild thing must have got my scent, for it looked directly at me through an opening in the brush. A look of amazement crossed its face. It looked so comical at the moment I had to grin. Still in a crouched position, it backed up three or four short steps, then straightened up to its full height and started to walk rapidly back the way it had come. For a moment it watched me over its shoulder as it went, not exactly afraid, but as though it wanted no contact with anything strange.

The thought came to me that if I shot it, I would possibly have a specimen of great interest to scientists the world over. I had heard stories of the Sasquatch, the giant hairy Indians that live in the legends of British Columbia Indians, and also many claim, are still in fact alive today. Maybe this was a Sasquatch, I told myself.

I levelled my rifle. The creature was still walking rapidly away, again turning its head to look in my direction. I lowered the rifle. Although I have called the creature “it”, I felt now that it was a human being and I knew I would never forgive myself if I killed it.

Just as it came to the other patch of brush it threw its head back and made a peculiar noise that seemed to be half laugh and half language, and which I can only describe as a kind of a whinny. Then it walked from the small brush into a stand of lodgepole pine.

I stepped out into the opening and looked across a small ridge just beyond the pine to see if I could see it again. It came out on the ridge a couple of hundred yards away from me, tipped its head back again, and again emitted the only sound I had heard it make, but what this half-laugh, half-language was meant to convey, I do not know. It disappeared then, and I never saw it again.

I wanted to find out if it lived on vegetation entirely or ate meat as well, so I went down and looked for signs. I found it in five different places, and although I examined it thoroughly, could find no hair or shells of bugs or insects. So I believe it was strictly vegetarian.

I found one place where it had slept for a couple of nights under a tree. Now, the nights were cool up the mountain, at this time of year especially, and yet it had not used a fire. I found no sign that it possessed even the simplest of tools. Nor a single companion while in this place.

Whether this was a Sasquatch I do not know. It will always remain a mystery to me, unless another one is found.

I hereby declare the above statement to be in every part true, to the best of my powers of observation and recollection.

(Signed) William Roe” (Sanderson, 1961, p. 76-78)

  • Hundreds of sightings in Oregon, Washington, Canada, and Alaska have been claimed. In 2000 Psychologist Matthew Johnson and his family while hiking on a trail in Oregon said they encountered a Bigfoot. Possible Bigfoot footprints and casts of footprints are examined in the second video.

Native American Stories of Sasquatch

For centuries, Native Americans have told stories of Sasquatch living in the remote forest. Also, peoples across all of the continents other than Antarctica have reported similar ape-like creatures in the past.

  • Micmac call it Chenoo
  • Penobscot call it Kiwakwe
  • Cherokee call it Chickly Cudly

Bigfoot Footprints

Thousands of large human-like tracks have been identified, and people have claimed they come from a Bigfoot. Some of the tracks have been as long as twenty-four inches and eight inches wide (“Bigfoot”, n.d.). A countless number of footprints have been examined and discussed. Casts of footprints have been made, complete with dermal ridges and padding and plenty of detail to confound scientists and skeptics.

Bigfoot on Film

  • In October of 1967, in Bluff Creek in northern California, Bigfoot enthusiast Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin claim they shot their now famous footage of what they claimed was Bigfoot. The film has faced scrutiny but to this day has not been debunked. Although some say the Bigfoot creature looks like a man in a costume, the creature has an extended heel that experts say would be required for a creature that large to walk upright, and much of the analysis of the film seems to find that it couldn’t have been a man in costume. To this day, there is no evidence that the film was a fake.

Here is an analysis of the footage:

Check out the original complete film taken by Patterson:

Here is a more recent interview with Gimlin who maintains that the film documents a true encounter with a real animal:

  • Bigfoot enthusiast Paul Freeman became interested after reportedly seeing a Bigfoot in Washington in 1982. He made plaster casts of footprints he believed to belong to Sasquatch, complete with dermal ridges which was fairly well-received by anthropologists. His famous footage was recorded in Washington state in 1994.

Watch and listen to Paul Freeman’s footage from 1994 in Blue Mountain, Washington:

Here is an analysis of the film and clip of an interview with Freeman worth a watch:

  • The Redwoods footage was filmed in northern California in 1995 by a camera crew who initially seemed to think they had seen a bear.

  • In 2000, near Fort Jones, California, Jim Mills, a youth group leader, shot this footage known as the Marble Mountain footage during a camping trip with a group of kids. It seems extremely unlikely that the recorders were involved in any hoax, and it certainly would have been exciting to be one of those kids on the camping trip that day.

  • In 2005, footage taken in Manitoba, Canada shows a figure on the banks of the Nelson River.

  • Photos of a possible Bigfoot were taken by a backpacker on November 17, 2005 in Vancouver, Washington.

Has Bigfoot DNA Been Found?

Skeptics of Bigfoot argue that we would have found DNA belonging to him which would provide conclusive proof that he exists, and since there is no Bigfoot DNA, there is no Bigfoot. In 2013, University of Oxford conducted analyses of possible Bigfoot and Yeti samples submitted from the U.S., Russia, Nepal, India, Indonesia, and Bhutan, and the samples turned out to be from a variety of known animals including wolves, a cow, a human, raccoons, and others (Kluger, 2014). Interestingly, geneticist Bryan Sykes maintained that one examined DNA sample was from something similar to an ancient, extinct polar bear, that it could have been from a polar bear or ursine hybrid. Sykes said to BBC in 2013, “I think this bear, which nobody has seen alive… may still be there and may have a lot of polar bear in it (Guarino, 2017).” Other groups of scientists have since come forward claiming to have found Bigfoot DNA.

In scientist John Napier’s book which scientifically examined all of the available evidence, Bigfoot: The Yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality, from 1973, he concluded, “I am convinced that Sasquatch exists, but whether it is all it is cracked up to be is another matter altogether. There must be something in north-west America that needs explaining, and that something leaves man-like footprints (“Bigfoot”, n.d.).”

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think, is Bigfoot real? Were the creatures that were described by various Native American tribes before the European settlers came to the Americas the same as those claimed to be still encountered into modern day?  If Sasquatches are real, are they intelligent? Can they use tools? If they are real, how have they managed to evade capture for so long? How have they managed to stay hidden from people? How do they maintain their population? Were all of the many different people who thought they were seeing Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Chickly Cudly, Chenoo, Yahoo, or Kikakwe actually mistaking some more common animal like bears?

See also:

References

Albert Ostman. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Ostman

Ape Canyon. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ape_Canyon

Bigfoot. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigfoot

Coleman, L. (2003). Bigfoot!: The true story of apes in America. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Doyle, O. (2012). Strange mysteries of the unexplained. London: Arcturus Publishing Limited.

Guarino, B. (2017, Nov. 28). Scientists DNA tested nine ‘yeti’ samples. They didn’t find Bigfoot. Retrieved from https://washingtonpost.com

Hairr, J. (2013). Monsters of North Carolina: Mysterious creatures in the tar heel state. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.

Kluger, J. (2014, July 2). Bigfoot: DNA proves bigfoot never existed. Retrieved from time.com

Reece, G. L. (2018). Weird science and bizarre beliefs. Retrieved from http://issuu.com

Sanderson, I.T. (1961). Abominable snowmen, legend come to life. Retrieved from https://books.google.com

 

 

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