While urban legends are based in falsehood, there is truth behind every myth with eye witness accounts. Take a step back in time. Imagine the year is 1792. A year with no modern communication devices such as cell phones, TV, radio and internet. The current knowledge of the outside world comes from a rarely written and obtainable news paper. Imagine now that there are no paved roads, automobiles, planes or trains for mobility. In an extreme emergency the only method of transportation is a horse if a person could afford one or foot power. The nearest help can be a day or so away if not longer. Now imagine and visualize being the first person to document a personal, face-to-face encounter with a phenomenon that will continue for 216 years. An enormous, dark haired, fowl smelling, deep-breathing creature just crossed a foot path. Modern man just came in contact with Bigfoot. There was not a physical assault by the creature, just an accidental meeting. By writing down this experience for prosperity sake in a personal journal helps launch several thousand eye witness accounts for generations. Let us begin our walk into the legend that is Bigfoot. There are reports of a “wild man” being reported for over 4000 years in literature. Within this literature there seems to be some debate in the reliability of the written record. This debate starts with the fact that old wives tales can be embellished or completely changed throughout history. Many early people may have misdiagnosed an encounter with a normal creature as our famous legend, Bigfoot. There is no doubt that across the world the reports of hairy, wild people have been documented in all walks of life. So with all the reports over the last 200 years, how can everyone turning in reports been mistaken?
A more recent written record is from Mariano Mozino a late 18th century adventurer. On one of Mozino’s expeditions to the United States, the adventurer came across a startling find. Mozino’s actual Journal entry states“I do not know what to say about the matlox (Sasquatch), inhabitant of the mountainous districts, of whom all have an unbelievable fear. They imagine his body as very monstrous, all covered with stiff black bristle; a head similar to a human one but with much greater, sharper and stronger fangs than those of the bear; extremely long arms; and toes and fingers armed with long curved claws. His shouts alone (they say) force those who hear them to the ground, and any unfortunate body he slaps is broken in to a thousand pieces.”Mozino’s account of this Native American story was documented in his book Noticia de Nutka in 1792. (Bigfoot-lives.com 2006). The next two written accounts of the Bigfoot were recorded by David Thompson and Paul Kane. These men were daring explorers in a land of uncharted territory. David Thompson was an early settler that once crossing the Rocky Mountains came across an extremely large foot print. Thompson found this foot print in 1811 in what is today Jasper, Alberta Canada. Thompson’s written Journal entry states“Continuing our journey in the afternoon we came on the track of a large animal, the snow about six inches deep on the ice; I measured it; four large toes of four inches in length to each a short claw; the ball of the foot sunk three inches lower than the toes, the hinder part of the foot did not mark well, the length fourteen inches, by eight inches in breadth, walking from north to south, and having passed about six hours. We were in no humor to follow him; its great size was not that of a bear.” Paul Kane, another explorer writes in a Journal “When we arrived at the mouth of the Kattlepoutal River, twenty-six miles from Vancouver, I stopped to make a sketch of the volcano, Mount Saint Helens, distant I suppose, about thirty or forty miles. This mountain has never been visited by either whites or Indians; the latter assert that it is inhabited by a race of beings of a different species, who are cannibals, and who they hold in great dread ... these superstitions are taken from a man they say went in to the mountains with another, and escaped the fate of his companion, who was eaten by the “skookums”, or “evil genii.” I offered a considerable bribe to any Indian who would accompany me in its exploration but could not find one hardy enough to venture there.” (Bigfoot-lives.com, 2006).
Many more reports have spread over the last several hundred years concerning Bigfoot encounters. The pie chart below shows the increase in Bigfoot sightings within this period. There appears to be a rise in the Bigfoot species reproductive rate.
pie chart created by founder of ORBS
Possibly more people are looking for Bigfoot. There may be better documentation of Bigfoot encounters over the recent years also.(Clara.net, 2008).
According to OurBigFoot.com, (2007), a consensus from Bigfoot experts, estimate the weight of this creature to be in the range of 600 to 900 pounds. Bigfoot’s height is believed to be seven to nine feet tall with an estimate of 5000 Bigfoot’s roaming the forest of North America. The geographic location closely related to Bigfoot along with its large numbers of sightings is the Pacific Northwest. This includes parts of Washington State and areas of British Columbia. (Watts, 2008). The typical Bigfoot sighting is interestingly common across the board in regard to what Bigfoot looks like. The hair color of Bigfoot is dark and long along with many reports telling of a strong odor according to eye witnesses. Bigfoot has been reported in every state except Hawaii. Reports across the world have been consistent with creatures similar to Bigfoot. These creatures have been called Sasquatch, Yeti, Abominable Snow Man, Skunk Ape, and Wild man. These reports of Bigfoot, as with the ones written in the United States date back hundreds to thousands of years. The first video of Bigfoot was taken in 1967 by Roger Patterson and Bib Gimlin. Roger Patterson was seen as a type of person whom used people to get what he wanted. Patterson was also seen as a hoaxer by many. This is why the famous video of Bigfoot is controversial. Although Patterson’s personality might have been questionable, Patterson did author North America's very first full book on the subject of Bigfoot. Patterson also formed companies to search for Bigfoot before accidentally coming across the famous creature in the Bluff Creek footage. Loxton, (2003). The video shows a tall, hairy female walking in a clearing and turning around to look at the camera man. This video has been attacked by skeptics ever since and remains the best piece of video evidence of the creature’s existence. (OurBigFoot.com, 2007). There have been many hoaxes over the years with video evidence of Bigfoot or like creatures. Many times for fame and money people will create false Bigfoot videos. This contamination within the Bigfoot hunting community can be very disappointing and damaging for continued research. Many of these supposed Bigfoot videos have been put through a series of test. With today’s computer age, the range of human ability of motion is compared with the Bigfoot on the video to determine if there is a similarity. Once a Bigfoot video is determined to be out of a human range of ability, then the video in question will become a stronger piece of evidence. Many other pieces of evidence exist when it comes to Bigfoot research. Bigfoot evidence does not stop with video proof. Bigfoot hunters report strange sounds captured on audio recorders while on Bigfoot hunts. Many audio clips have been studied by experts and the result is inconclusive and/or an unknown source that created the sound is then concluded. These audio clips give a Bigfoot hunter an audible treat. The majority of Bigfoot audio that has been reportedly captured over the years is strange bellows along with other odd sounds. A few examples of Bigfoot hair have been found along with the vocal evidence. The Bigfoot hair has gone through DNA testing for inconclusive results. No real promise is given to researchers when it comes to Bigfoot hair test since many factors can play a part in its result. There may not be enough of the sample for testing, it can become damaged or contaminated by outside influences. There is still hope for the Bigfoot hunter even if hair samples are not very rewarding. This hope comes in the form of tracks left behind by the elusive creature. A large amount of Bigfoot evidence is in the form of a foot print. According to Loxton, (2003) the first recorded Bigfoot imprint was found in 1958. The Bigfoot print was found on the land of the Wallace Construction worksite in Humbolt County, CA. During this period the Himalayan Yeti was already very popular along with gathering international attention. When Bigfoot hit American soil, it was accepted with fanfare, initiating a cryptozoological search that is present today. There seems to be many different sizes, looks and digits within Bigfoot prints. When it comes to digits on the Bigfoot prints, many have reported to find 3 toes, 4 toes, 5 toes and even 6 toes. Why the difference in number of toes? Some researchers believe it is caused by the break down in breed capable partners within the Bigfoot community. The lack of strong genes in the Bigfoot community has possibly caused genetic defects in the population. This genetic break down can be seen in our own society, so it is not hard to imagine in a species such as Bigfoot. Some interesting cast are on record, some of which have been faked but many that have human like qualities which are hard to make into a hoax. With many Bigfoot print cast, they have creases in the skin and scars can often be present. These creases and scars on the tracks are extremely hard to fake but not impossible. According to Dennett, (1994) there was Bigfoot prints examined that indicated that the creature had been crippled. The Bigfoot prints had subtle hints of anatomy design and any hoaxer would have to be an expert in anatomy and a real genius to fake the print. So, what else has been found, to prove the existence of Bigfoot? For over 100 years campers have reported strange activity while being 30, 40, 50 or more miles away from the nearest human. This strange activity includes the throwing of objects towards the camp, people within the camp or at the fire. The only creature that has articulation and opposable thumbs capable of throwing an object is a primate. The only known, free from capture, primate in the United States is a human. So, what is throwing stones and sticks at campers late at night, in remote regions of the United States? Researchers believe it is improbable that any human would know that campers or hikers are in these remote areas, waiting for the right moment to start throwing things at the unsuspecting victims. This allows researchers to believe it can only be one thing; the Legend which is Bigfoot.
Within the written accounts of thousands of eye witnesses immerges a story. The story brings forward a legend that will stand the test of time. A legend that has become more than just a fire side chat of generations but is as real as any person living or dead. With overwhelming evidence both physical and visual concerning Bigfoot one needs to only ask one question, do you believe?
Bigfoot-lives.com, (2008). Big Foot History: Exploring the reality of the Bigfoot-sasquatch mystery. Retrieved October 20th, 2008 from http://www.ericpenz.com/cryptid/archives/cat_the_evidence.html Clara.net, (2008). Bigfoot Fact or Fantasy? Chronological List of Bigfoot Sightings, 1818-1900. Retrieved October 31st, 2008 from http://home.clara.net/rfthomas/cb/1818.html Dennett, Michael R. "Bigfoot evidence: are these tracks real?." Skeptical Inquirer 18.n5 (Fall 1994): 498(11). General OneFile. Gale. Apollo Library. 23 Nov. 2008 . Fig.1. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://atatude.wordpress.com/2007/06/ Fig.2. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from http://www.ericpenz.com/cryptid/archives/cat_the_evidence.html Loxton, Daniel. "Big foot, bigger hoax. (News)." Skeptic (Altadena, CA) 10.1 (Spring 2003): 18(3). General OneFile. Gale. Apollo Library. 20 Nov. 2008 . Ourbigfoot.com, (2007). Bigfoot History: The History of Bigfoot. Retrieved October 15th, 2008 from http://ourbigfoot.com/bigfoot_history.html Watts, Linda S. "Bigfoot." Encylopedia of American Folklore. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. American History Online, Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp? ItemID=WE52&iPin=EAFolk071&SingleRecord=True (accessed November 20, 2008).