Created 2/7/2001 - Updated 8/1/2004
A witness reported "it was 6.6 ft to 7 ft high, with a wedged head, and it had very dirty matted dark brown dull hair."
As a teenager I heard an unearthly shriek while walking deep in a Northern California forest with my family. I'll never forget that sound. It was hair raising. I've been interested ever since. Evidence includes thousands of eyewitness sightings, tracks, bodily waste, fur samples, photos, video and possibly DNA.
1. Focused Immersion | 2. Theories | 3. Summary | 4. Many Names | 5. Credible Eye Witness Accounts | 6. Thousands of Sighting Reports | 7. Photo Evidence | 8. Expert Testimony on Footprint | 9. First Hand Experience | 10. My bigfoot(?) Photo | 11. Living in Caves? | 12. Bigfoot Habitat | 13. Interview With a Woods woman | 14. Snow Walker Video | 15. Other Video & Film | 16. Our Bigfoot Hoax Video | 17. Dead bigfoot Body? | 18. DNA From Yeti Hair Sample | 19. Fossil Evidence: Gigantopithecus | 20. Sounds | 21. Next Article | 22. References
In the previous chapter of the Reasonable Person's Guide to Strange Ideas we looked at Rods using a step by step method for solving mysteries. Let's take a closer look at Step 3: Collect Different Theories. The trick is Focused Immersion: skim all available information and summarize the different points of view. You won't usually find more than five to ten significantly different viewpoints for any given mystery. Next, add creative ideas of your own. Our minds cannot hold more than a few items at once, so write your ideas down or create a web page.
Focused Immersion regarding the bigfoot mystery:
1. Bigfoot is an as yet undiscovered primate. 2. Bigfoot is a descendant of Neanderthal Man. 3. Bigfoot is Gigantopithecus, a large ancient primate that has survived. 4. Bigfoot is a close relative of the Robust Australopithecines or Paranthropus that migrated out of Africa. 5. Bigfoot sightings are of costumes with human hoaxers inside. 6. Bigfoot is alien to this world. Like the fictional "Wookie" they are big, hairy and smelly, but smart. 7. Some Bigfoot sightings are a type of "scarecrow" projected by intelligent groups of old growth trees to keep humans away. 8. Bigfoot is the future of human evolution. They are coming back in time to watch our progress. 9. Bigfoot is the result of a past (failed?) genetic experiment carried out on earth primates by visitors from another world. 10. All bigfoot reports are hoaxes. Nothing is ever seen. 11. Bigfoot is an alien's space suit. 12. Bigfoots are machines, probes from another world sent to watch us. 13. Bigfoot is a creature from another dimension that coexists with ours. They are temporarily shifted into our dimension ( to maintain balance ) each time our own scientists shift a human into their dimension. 14. There are secret human clubs all around the world that dress up in Bigfoot costumes as part of their rituals.
Want to add one? Write to me. I vote for a very shy long lived species as in #4. A person who wrote recently with theory #4 had an argument against #3:
"Having seen hand prints on my brothers car that was pushed down a hill, I think they cannot be Neanderthals because their thumb is placed too far down the hand, and their foot has special adaptations that I suppose would have shown up in the Neanderthal footprints that were found in Italy. Another interesting point; the Neanderthals were believed to use fire, paint pictures and bury their dead. The creatures near our ranch ... over the twenty years we lived there... didn't seem to use fire, however I did find a sort of blanket woven out of dried plant fibers (whether strips of bark or plant stems, I don't know), once when I was down in the swamp, but then again, apes, beavers, and birds also weave things, so this does not indicate Neanderthal level." - anonymous
The evidence from thousands of sightings over many years indicates that bigfoot is real in a physical sense (they smell bad, and they leave prints, hair and excrement), widespread (several countries, and most states in the USA, but they prefer old growth forests), quite old (Indian legends), and shy (but territorial). The mystery is that no viewable body living or dead has yet been recorded.
Step 2 is to Identify Primary Information Source(s). With Bigfoot, we see from the many names that the sources are extraordinarily diverse.
Bigfoot appears in many different locations and there are many names for bigfoot like creatures. Try these Google searches for: Abominable Snowman, Abonesi, Albawitches, Almas, Alux, Amajungi, Bekk-bok, Biabin-guli, Big Grey Man, Bigfoot, Bombala Yowie, Brenin Llwyd, Chimanimani, Chiye-tanka, Chuchunaa , Duendi, Dzu-teh, Fei-fei, Ferla Mohr, Forest People, Forrest Monster, Giant Elder Brother, Gin-sung, Golub-Yavan, Guli-avan, Hsing-hsing, Ijime're', Isnashi, Jimbra, Kakundaka'ri, Kappas, Kaptar, Kikomba, Koyoreowen, Kra-dhan, Ksi-kiik, Lizard Man, Lo-an, Mapinguary, Mecheny, Meh-teh, Metoh-kangmi, Migyur, Mirygdy, Muhalu, Mulen, Ngoloko, Nguoi rung, Niaka-Ambuguza, Nuk-luk, Nakani, Nu'numic, Nyalmo, Old Yellow Top, Orang-Pendek, Pitt Lake Monster, Pu'wihi, Pyar-Them, Salvaje, Sangui, Sasquatch, Sedapa, Se'hite', Se'ir, Sisemite, Skunk Ape, Stone Giants, Tano Giant, Teh-lma, Thetis Lake Monster, Thloh-Mung, Tjangara, Tokoleshe, Tree Eater, Tse'nahaha, Turramulli, Ucamar, Wudewasa, Yahoo, Yay-ho, Yeahoh, Yeren, Yeti, Yowie
Big and small wild hairy men have been reported for at least the last 400 years in legends and stories.
On local talk radio, I heard a first hand story from Dr. Matthew Johnson, a respectable psychologist who saw, heard and smelled a bigfoot. In July 2002 I visited the site (photos below) of his bigfoot experience and interviewed some local rangers. Interestingly, the sighting took place in an area with massive natural underground caves. There were plenty of places to hide. Dr. Johnson is just one of many credible witnesses including some police officers who claim to have seen, heard and smelled bigfoot.
Click the map to see eye witness accounts from
the bigfoot Research Organization, BFRO
Available bigfoot reports --- including one sighting after the recent death of the supposed bigfoot hoaxer --- number in the THOUSANDS.
Here are a few examples from the BFRO site:
694 : Family sees stooped-over creature walking along forest line
"Me and my family were having a picnic at a spot off of the old hwy near 84 called Deadmans Pass. We had just started to eat when one of the kids saw what at first we thought was a black bear across a ravine in small meadow about a 1/2 mile or so away by the forest line. It was just sitting there swaying back and forth. We watched this thing for about four or five min. when it stood up that's when we found out that it was no bear. It was very big at least 7 ft or more tall and it walked kind of stooped over. And it went into the woods which was at least 15 yards to its right in three or four big steps. No bear can do that! ... it was a clear summer day and we saw it very well. I was born in Washington and had heard of Sasquatch before. I've seen the P/G film and what I saw looked and moved very much the same." Umatilla county Oregon, July 1991. Submitted by witness Robert D. on Friday, January 01, 1999.
I certainly would rather see bigfoot in that way than in the following manner...
7436 : "Ape-like" Face Appears in Window, Startles Woman at Computer
"I felt something watching me -- glanced up -- and just outside the window was this horribly ugly face. Dark eyes, flat wide nose, crinkled skin. Heavy brow. Creases around the nose and eyes. Looked like a very dark ape. I got chills all over my skin and the hair on my arms kind of stood up. I got up from my desk chair and immediately headed to the light switch. It could see what I was doing -- when I flipped the switch there was no one there."
Photos from BFRO web site. Used by permission from Matt Moneymaker. These photos are stills taken from some grainy 16 mm footage shot in 1967 by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin. (Also see blown up head shot at top of this page with Xeno's interpretation to the right.) Patterson (who died in 1972) and Gimlin were on a horseback search for bigfoot in the Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California. According to the BFRO, these may be the only authentic photos of bigfoot. One Associated Press story indicates that lawyer Barry Woodard represents a Yakima man who claims to have worn the fur in this hoax. However, the BFRO site indicates that this man later said he was joking. Read the FULL STORY on BFRO
I made this animated gif using the two photos from lorencoleman.com, a great site for cryptozoology. As the camera zooms in, the creature stands up and moves some foliage.
"Two remarkable new photographs of what may be a Florida Skunk Ape have been discovered through an interesting chain of events by Sarasota resident and animal welfare specialist David Barkasy. Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America overviews how these photographs were taken, how this find surfaced, the first reactions and analyses, and some tentative conclusions."
"Loren Coleman is one of the world's leading cryptozoologists and Bigfoot researchers."
According to the BBC, Jimmy Chilcutt of the Conroe Texas Police Department, a forensics expert who specializes in finger and footprints, is certain around six found footprints claimed to have been made by Bigfoot are genuine.
Before becoming involved in bigfoot studies, Mr Chilcutt had amassed a huge collection of ape and monkey prints as part of a police research project. ... "The (dermal) ridges are about twice as thick as in a human being. The ridges run down the side of the foot - in humans, the ridges run across the width of the foot ... That's what makes it unique. The only other animal I've seen this in is a howler monkey in Costa Rica. As a crime scene investigator, I don't deal in what I believe or what I think. I examine physical evidence and make a determination ... I know there's an animal out there, because I've seen the physical evidence."
According to Idaho State University anatomy professor Jeff Meldrum, an expert on primate anatomy, "These tracks display anatomical details that a would-be hoaxer would be unlikely to have a knowledge of. These tracks are not simply enlargements of human feet. Rather, they exhibit distinctions in proportion and anatomy that are consistent with the size and purported gait of the Sasquatch." 18
Reasonable persons seek first hand experience if possible when investigating the unknown. In my case, I purchased an Epson PhotoPC 3000Z 3.3 mega pixel digital camera and a digital recorder for conducting interviews, then I took some vacation time to see what could be seen.
This is probably just a tree branch but it looked a bit like a face, so here it is for fun.
This was taken about July 18th, 2002 in the vicinity of Oregon Caves where a bigfoot sighting previously was reported in July of 2000.
I was walking alone for about 10 minutes making bigfoot noises "whooa, whooa, whooa" right before I took this picture.
I sensed something when I took the picture. I did, but I couldn't see anything unusual and I decided it was my imagination. Is this a bigfoot peeking out of a cave at me? Probably not, but it's an interesting thought.
Here are some examples of large cave openings in the area. A local cave tour makes it clear that there are miles of caves in this inaccessible wooded area. According to one cave guide it is probable that there are hundreds of undiscovered caves here in the vicinity.
Interview with a Woods Woman
The guide on the right in this photo had heard accounts from visitors to different areas she'd worked over the years. Officially, the Oregon Caves has no opinion about bigfoot, so she was speaking about her personal experience in working elsewhere.
Xeno: You've talked to a lot of people who've seen it?
Guide: I was working at a resort up in Southwestern Washington and, oh yeah, when I was at the resort I had several people come in and tell me stories, whether it was in our area or other areas.
Xeno: Did any report stand out the most for you?
Guide: They were two separate groups, didn't know each other. They were all fishing people. They'd gone WAY out on a long hike out on this one river area known for bigfoot sightings. First group comes in and tells me they saw two sets of foot prints, one really large and the other much smaller so it could have been an adult and a young one and then three hours later two more guys came in and said "Wow! We just saw these bigfoot prints along the river!' and they only saw one adult large size almost in the same area. ... This species is may be something that used to be around. They really know how to stay out of everybody's way....
Xeno: Well, there's a lot of caves here that might not have been discovered, do you think?
Guide: Are you kidding me, there's got to be thousands, literally.
The Snow Walker Video In 1996, 2 hikers in the mountains of Nepal took an amazing video of an ape like creature walking upright along the slopes.
Could this be the evidence that the world has been waiting for? Above are 2 stills from that video.
I spoke with Matt Moneymaker from BFRO on 2/7/2001. Recent formatting updates to the BFRO site will make eye witness accounts much more readable. The BFRO site is actively maintained and constantly growing. It continues to be the best and largest database of eyewitness accounts on the web.
Matt and others from the BFRO expedition were on the show Animal X at on Animal Planet. (Click for times).
"... bigfoot is legendary. For the first time Animal X mounts an expedition to go look for bigfoot. The results are astounding. We find the most important evidence ever to the existence of an North American ape." - animalplanet.com
"The DVD version of the critically acclaimed documentary "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science" has become a best-seller, partly because the unique features in the Extras section. The Extras section of the DVD contains the entire Patterson footage, the entire Freeman footage, and the entire Memorial Day footage. It is by far the clearest version of the Patterson footage ever released, and the only version of the Freeman and Memorial Day footage ever released." - Order here. Sounds like fun. The DVD is $30. I might get it.
3/17/03 for fun: BIGFOOT HOAX VIDEO shot near Sacramento 3/16/03 by Xeno and horror film maker Bob. We wanted to see how 'bigfoot-like' two guys in gorilla suits could look. Warning: not recommended for kids ( due to strong language and large hairy shapes. )
I, Xeno, was inside one of the suits. Unlike my friend, I was attempting to walk in an obviously ridiculous and humorous way to see what that would look like on camera. My friend's walk was much more convincing.
We know that 70,000 to 100,000 years ago Neanderthal man buried his dead. "At least two dozen unambiguous examples of Neanderthal burial are known dating from after about 70,000 years ago." - britarch A timid and/or rare species with a long life span and/or strong burial instincts would leave no physical remains. This might explain the lack of a dead bigfoot specimen.
According to the book Still Living: Yeti, Sasquatch and the Neanderthal Enigma, however, in 1980 "A worker at an experimental agricultural station, operated by the Mongolian Academy of Sciences at Bulgan, encountered the dead body of a wild man: 'I approached and saw a hairy corpse of a robust humanlike creature dried and half-buried by sand. I had never seen such a humanlike being before covered by camel-color brownish-yellow short hairs and I recoiled, although in my native land in Sinkiang I had seen many dead men killed in battle. ... The dead thing was not a bear or ape and at the same time it was not a man like Mongol or Kazakh or Chinese and Russian. The hairs of its head were longer than on its body' (p. 107)
A German newspaper, BILD, has claimed that the Yeti does exist (below). This newspaper quotes zoologist Rob McCall as saying that the best evidence yet of the existence of the mythical Himalayan creature was found in the hollow of a cedar tree in eastern Bhutan. Story originally published by - The Times, London / England | By Mark Henderson - April 2 2001. Strange Cosmos has the same article. The Times article has been taken down, but if you want an official site, the same article is on the Discovery Channel web site (here).
6-26-2001 LONDON (dpa) - British scientists on the trail of the Yeti have found some of the best evidence yet for the existence of the mythical Himalayan creature a sample of hair that has proved impossible to identify, according to a published report Monday.
Genetic tests on the hair, which was gathered from a tree in Bhutan, have failed to match its DNA to that of another animal, said the report in The Times. The findings, which have surprised skeptical researchers, raise the strong possibility that the sample belongs to an as yet undiscovered species. In Bhutan, an expedition team was led by an official Yeti-hunter" to a forest in the eastern part of the country, where he was convinced that an animal was at large.
He told us that he had found evidence of the Yeti in the hollow of a cedar tree," Rob McCall, a zoologist who was part of the expedition, was quoted as saying. Dr. McCall's team removed strands of hair from the tree and returned to Britain to have them analyzed.
Bryan Sykes, (link) professor of Human Genetics at the Oxford Institute of Molecular Medicine, one of the world's leading experts on DNA analysis, who examined the hair, told The Times: "We found some DNA in it, but we don't know what it is. It's not a human, not a bear nor anything else we have so far been able to identify. It's a mystery and I never thought this would end in a mystery. We have never encountered DNA that we couldn't recognise (sic) before." 1.
Professor Sykes did not respond to a 3/15/02 e-mail request for new info. Is any data on the DNA available?
Gigantopithecus may be the largest known fossil primate, although its size is estimated only from surviving fragments of its teeth and jaws. Some estimate that it was over 3 m (9.8 feet) in height and 300 kg (661 lb.) in weight. At least two species are known: Gigantopithecus blacki and G. giganteus (formerly called G. bilaspurensis). The former is known from Pleistocene deposits in China and Vietnam, as recent as 500,000 years old; the latter from Miocene deposits in the Siwalik hills of India from some eight million years earlier. The remains of Sivapithecus have also been found in the Siwalik deposits, and it is likely that the two genera were related, forming a distinct Asian hominid clade ( A clade is a branch, phylogenetic group or line of organisms, defined as any species and all of it's descendants. ) with the orangutan which was not destroyed or lost. The large teeth of Gigantopithecus indicate that like the gorilla it ate large quantities of lower quality foodstuffs. - rutgers.edu (page now removed).
Most of the following sounds were discovered at oregonbigfoot.com which also has details about the circumstances surounding each sound. You'll have to decide for yourself if any are authentic.
The bigfoot mystery is UNSOLVED. Despite eyewitnesses and physical evidence, no specimen living or dead has yet been recovered. Check this site and/or Google from time to time for new developments. The Reasonable Person's Guide is not only about strange creatures, but while we are on the subject, check out Chapter 3 about a creature much less famous than bigfoot. Yes, next we'll examine the Chupacabra!
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