This week, I'll be revisiting my discussion of the Bigfoot community, Bigfoot in general, and the show "Finding Bigfoot". I will admit my previous post was rather sub-par but I do have a defense, namely physical pain combined with minor case of insomnia. But I feel that I owe it to anyone that enjoys the blog to make the article as thorough and enjoyable as I can. The other reason I am re-visiting this topic is that the "Finding Bigfoot" crew was only a few miles from my house doing an investigation ( and yes, I do use the term loosely) in a place that I know very well. No, I didn't interfere with them, though it would have been tempting to do so. It is a longer than usual article, so I would suggest not trying to read it at work or while watching small children. I would also recommend having food and water nearby.
Before I really jump into the topic, let me just say that while I find it highly improbable that Bigfoot does exist, I am open to the possibility If someone actually produces a body or living creature, then I'll be there saying "Damn, they're real." Given the fact that you can not disprove a negative, then it will remain an open debate until either one walks into a Starbucks and orders a half caff double hazelnut espresso, or until there are no hiding places on the continent, whichever comes first.
Some of you may be saying "How is this guy any different from all the other skeptics out there that have given lectures and written books about Bigfoot and other mysterious monsters?" The major way I differ from many of the others that discuss unknown creatures in forums such as this, is that I have spent a large part of my life in the woods and countryside stalking everything from small birds and herbivorous mammals to the large predators. I have tracked wolves and coyotes through mud, snow, grass, open fields, and woodland. I have tracked animals from kill sites back to their hiding areas or dens. In my current occupations, I have had to determine what animal has made what track, what occurred and deduce why. I have even had to track emus that had been running loose long enough to have raised a clutch of chicks.(Not a fun day.) I have also had to investigate a Bigfoot running through a trailer park. (It was actually a large naked man on some illicit substance. Try seeing that and not needing brain bleach.) I am not, and I will emphasize this several times, a wildlife biologist, ecologist, botanist or any other "ist". I am simply a man with well over 20 years experience tracking and finding, and identifying animals and an ability to think logically.
Big foot is...?
|Sorry, wrong picture :)|
|From the Patterson-Gimlin film|
|Not quite a Bigfoot.|
The Bigfoot has quite a few alias's that it goes by. Some of the ones in North America are :Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Skunk-Ape, Boggy Monster, Hairy Man, and about a hundred other names. Part of the reason for all these names, and this is just my hypothesis, is that cryptozoologists go through the local native stories, and any that mention a wild man, or a large hairy creature get added to the plethora of names in an attempt to demonstrate that the creatures have been around for centuries, not just since the Patterson-Gimlin film.
The history of the Bigfoot is a little unclear. There are numerous legends from Native American tribes that describe wild men or hairy men, but they also have stories that have talking foxes, ravens, and bears. There is some similarities to Bigfoot, but the same similarities could also be applied to other known creatures. Some of the languages that the stories originated in are no longer spoken, so it is unknown if there may be additions or omissions made in the translation that were made to make it easier for the English speaking audience to understand. Remember, these were oral traditions passed down from one generation to the next, so there may have been additions made with every telling, similar to the game "telephone". According to monstrous.com , one of the earliest reported sightings of Bigfoot was in 986 C.E. by Lief Erikson (yes, the Viking) and the first printed was in a California newspaper in 1870. According to Wikipedia, in the 1920's, a Canadian newspaperman named J.W. Burns compiled a bunch of legends from the local native tribes that described what he believed was a single type of animal. He was also the one that coined the phrase Sasquatch. There have been reported sightings of Bigfoot over the years, starting in the early 1920's. And yes, to the international readers, I know I'm not addressing the stories of the Yeti or other humanoid creatures in other countries. Mostly due to the fact that I am trying to keep my posts on a more singular topic and if I were to discuss all the humanoid stories, it would be too long to read comfortably in a single sitting. Back to the matter at hand. In 1924, there was a reported Bigfoot attack on a mining camp in Washington state at a place called Ape Canyon. The sightings were few and far between until about 1958 at Bluff Creek, California. The gist of the story is that they were building a road through the area, and they discovered some large foot prints. The story grew from there and began the entire cottage industry of "Bigfooting" In fact, this incident is the one that gave the creature the name Bigfoot. One problem with this episode is that the crew chief, Ray Wallace, was known to play practical jokes, and after his death in 2002, his family produced a pair of wooden "stompers" that may have been used to create the tracks. These are essentially large wooden bottom shoes with a mold of a footprint on the bottom, instead of shoe treads. I say may have, because unless the the person actually comes forward and admits and demonstrates that they did do it, then it is all supposition. (While doing the research for this piece of information, I ran into a very interesting problem. The pro-Bigfoot sites state that the stompers couldn't make the tracks and that the family is trying to discredit Mr. Wallace and even offer their own proof as to why. Cryptomundo claims to have a letter from the nephew of someone that was involved in the case, and that they had info that the public hadn't read. I did look through Cryptomundo for research. I think I should get some kind of award for that alone. The sites that mention this fact that are not crypto sites, simply mention it, state it appears it was a hoax, and that's the end of it.) After the Bluff Creek incident, there are a few quiet years and then it happened. Yep, the Patterson-Gimlin film. I'm not going to write much about it, mostly because there have been t.v. specials, books, and podcasts about just this topic alone. In the off chance that you don't know what it is, I have no idea where you've been for the last 40 years. You may not know the name of it, but odds are you've seen it. It is a shaky 8mm film of ...something walking along a river bank. You can watch it on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Us6jo8bl2lk . Granted, it's a typical Youtube video, but finding a copy of the original proved to be rather problematic, with a lot of dead links, or video has been removed messages. People have been trying to debunk it pretty much since it was first shown. This one film has had almost as much analysis done as the J.F.K. assassination video. Since then, the number of Bigfoot sightings have been on an increase. I imagine that since "Finding Bigfoot" began airing, the number of sightings have increased even more.
I do have some graphics and maps, but after 2 months of digging through the interwebs, either my Google-Fu has failed me, or the map I was wanting really doesn't exist. I was able to find one that does come close, though. If you would look at the following map,it shows the general territories of the 5 North American Bear species, The Grizzly, Brown, Black, Kodiak, and Polar, (and remember the colors given that Bigfoots come in) as well as other bear species across the world.
|General Bear Territory|
|Matt Moneymaker James "Bobo " Fay Cliff Barackman Ranae Holland|