If there is a B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ or Sasquatch, it is hiding extremely well.
B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳, also known as Sasquatch, is a giant ape-like cryptid (or species rumored to exist) that some people believe roams North America. There is scant physical evidence that any such creatures exist, but B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ buffs are convinced they do, and that science will prove it.
Most sightings of B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ occur in the Northwest and the creatures can be linked to Indigenous myths and legends of wild men. The word Sasquatch is derived from Sasq’ets, a word from the Halq’emeylem language used by some Salish First Nations peoples in southwestern British Columbia.
As early as 1884, the British Colonist newspaper in Victoria, BC published an account of a “gorilla type” creature captured in the area. Other accounts, largely decried as hoaxes.
In 1958, the Humboldt Times, a local newspaper in Northern California, published a story about the discovery of giant, mysterious footprints near Bluff Creek, California, and referred to the creature that made them as “B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳”. Interest in B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ grew rapidly during the second half of the 20th century, after an article in True magazine, published in December 1959, described the 1958 discovery.
By far the most common evidence presented for the existence of B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ is eyewitness reports. There have been more than 10,000 eyewitness accounts of the creature in the continental U.S. in the last 50 years, Live Science reported in 2019. In these accounts, B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ is usually described as being about 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 meters) tall and covered in hair.
Unfortunately, B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ sightings are also by far the weakest type of evidence. Eyewitness accounts are based on memories, and memories are not reliable, Live Science previously reported. Crime witnesses, for example, can be influenced by their emotions and may miss important details in what they are seeing. In the same vein, people also often overestimate their ability to remember things. When it comes to cryptids like B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳, the human brain is capable of making up explanations for events it can’t immediately interpret, and many people simply want to believe they exist.
Some people claim to have heard B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ vocalizations, including howls, growls and screams. The creatures are also associated with other noises, such as wood-knocking. Recordings of these noises occasionally attract media attention but can usually be attributed to known animals, such as foxes or coyotes.
The most famous B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ video is a short film taken in 1967 by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin. S̳h̳o̳t̳ in Bluff Creek, it shows a large, dark, human-size and human-shape figure striding through a clearing. Widely considered a hoax, it remains to this day the best evidence for the existence of B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳. With the rise of high-quality cameras in smartphones, photographs of people, cars, mountains, flowers, sunsets, deer and more have gotten sharper and clearer over the years; B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ is a notable exception.
Video Find B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳:
The logical explanation for this discrepancy is that the creatures don’t exist, and that photographs of them are merely hoaxes or misidentifications.
In his book “Big Footprints” (Johnson Books, 1992), veteran researcher Grover Krantz discussed alleged B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ hair, feces, skin scrapings and blood. “The usual fate of these items is that they either receive no scientific study, or else the documentation of that study is either lost or unobtainable. In most cases where competent analyses have been made, the material turned out to be bogus or else no determination could be made,”.
When a definite conclusion has been reached through scientific analysis, the samples have typically turned out to have ordinary sources. For example, in 2014, a team of researchers led by geneticist Bryan Sykes from the University of Oxford in England, conducted genetic analysis on 36 hair samples claimed to belong to B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ or the Yeti — a similar ape-like creature said to exist in the Himalayas. Almost all of the hairs turned out to be from known animals such as cows, raccoons, deer and humans. However, two of the samples closely matched an extinct Paleolithic polar bear. These samples may have come from an unknown bear species or a hybrid of modern bears, but they were from a bear, not a primate.
Genetics provide another reason to doubt the existence of B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳. The science suggests that there can’t just be one elusive, unique creature. Many individuals would have to exist to provide enough genetic diversity to maintain a population. This increases the chances that one would be killed by a hunter or hit by a motorist on a highway, or even found dead (by accident, disease, or old age) by a hiker or farmer at some point, yet no bodies have ever been found. People do occasionally claim to find bones or other large body parts. For example, a man in Utah discovered what he thought was a fossilized B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ skull in 2013. A paleontologist confirmed that the “skull” was simply an oddly weathered rock.
B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ hoaxers have further complicated the problem of Sasquatch fact and fiction. Dozens of people have admitted faking B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ prints, photographs, and nearly every other type of B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ evidence. A man named Rant Mullens revealed in 1982 that he and friends had carved giant B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ feet and used them to fake footprints for decades.
In 2008, two men from Georgia claimed to have a complete, frozen B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ specimen that they found on a hike. Their B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ turned out to be a gorilla costume. Until better evidence comes along, old evidence will be rehashed and re-examined — and unless B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ is proven to be alive, the search will continue.
Michigan B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ Video Crossing Cass River:
Justin Humphrey, an Oklahoma lawmaker, proposed creating a B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ hunting season in January, 2021. Humphrey suggested that the hunting season could coincide with an annual B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ festival that takes place in Honobia, Oklahoma, and would help to bring more tourists to the area. Oklahoma tourism officials later announced a $2.1 million bounty in March for the capture of a live B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳.
Scientific evidence for the existence of a modern-day B̳i̳g̳f̳o̳o̳t̳ may be proving elusive, but a giant, bipedal ape did once walk the Earth. A species named Gigantopithecus blacki was about 10 feet (3 m.) tall and weighed up to 595 lbs. (270 kilograms), based on fossil evidence. However, Gigantopithecus lived in Southeast Asia, not North America, and went extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago. The extinct ape is also more closely related to modern orangutans than to humans or our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos.