Be it the Loch Ness monster, Yeti or Bigfoot, folklore and mythology is full of fiction, but what if these creatures actually existed? This mystery is what has led people to hunt for real traces of these creatures. So is Bigfoot real? Let's find out
Fiction, Folklore and Cryptozoology
In a world full of fiction movies and folklore, it is difficult to distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. Our minds like to make stuff up quite often and this made-up stuff can sometimes feel very real. Like when you are in a deep sleep and dream of falling, you sometimes do end up falling in real life. If you look into the mirror for an extended period of time, your mind makes up images that make it seem like there is someone behind us. That’s the power of our mind.
We were told so many stories as kids that it sometimes made us wish that the stories came true. For all those who live in a dreamland and still wish that the stories we were told as kids came true, there is a field of science that aims to prove the existence of creatures from folklores like, the Loch Ness Monster, the Chupacabra, and even Bigfoot. This science is a pseudoscience known as Cryptozoology.
Proving that Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch exists, is iconic for Cryptozoology and an enduring element of pop culture. Bigfoot has been a part of Canadian and American folklore. They are said to be ape-like creatures that live in the forests of North America. The evidence of their existence is based on the videos and audio recording, photos, fingerprints, footprints, etc. and these aren’t always the most reliable pieces of evidence.
For centuries this creature has been known by several different names like Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yowie, Skunk Ape, and Yayali. The word Sasquatch comes from the word Sasq’ets, which is a Halq’emeylem word. This language was used by some of the Salish First Nations people who lived in Southwestern British Columbia. People have claimed that they have seen a Bigfoot or even a family of Bigfoot. They describe these creatures as sometimes more human-like and sometimes more ape-like.
In 1884, the British Colonist newspaper in Victoria, BC published the first known “gorilla type” sighting in the area. Since then, many people have claimed that they saw a creature resembling a Bigfoot but most of the claims were just hoaxes. John Green had written a book named Canadian Encyclopaedia: Sasquatch which compiled a list of 1,340 sightings all throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
A local newspaper in Northern California named the Humboldt Times published a story in 1958. According to that article, giant, mysterious footprints were found near Bluff Creek, California and the creature which left the footprints was said to be “Bigfoot”. The True magazine published an article in December 1959, describing the 1958 discovery and since then, the interest in Bigfoot grew rapidly even in the second half of the 20th century.
Most Accurate Evidence
In October of 1967, a video was filmed by Robert Patterson and Bob Gimlin on a camera they rented which was a 16mm Cine Kodak camera. Bob Gimlin filmed a three-and-a-half-minute video of him and his friends riding horses. About two minutes into the video the camera catches a strange creature. Gimlin said “We were just riding out alongside the creek, riding along enjoying the warm sunshine day. Then, across the creek, there was one standing. Everything happened so fast.”
This video became the most analyzed video of film in American history. It was used in every documentary based on Bigfoot. This video became proof for some people that Bigfoot is real. For some people, it is just a hoax like the videos that show ghosts and aliens.“It walked upright and for quite a long way. It didn’t look like a bear. I’ve been in the woods my whole life. There’s no doubt in my mind at all what it was.” Said Gimlin, in an interview with Popular Mechanics.
Eyewitnesses Aren't Always Reliable
There have been over 10,000 eyewitnesses who came forward, saying they have seen the creature in the continental U.S. in the last 52 years. According to the witnesses, Bigfoot is described to be about 8 to 10 feet tall and covered in hair. Much like a bear don’t you think? While eyewitnesses are the most crucial pieces of evidence in legal proceedings, they cannot always be relied upon.
Eyewitnesses are based on memories, and memories cannot be very trustworthy. For example, when an eyewitness comes forward for a crime, their statements can be influenced by their emotions and many a time can miss minute but important details. Therefore, it is not surprising that when it comes to cryptids like Bigfoot, the brain makes up explanations that may not be true. It should also be noted that many people do want to believe the folklores and want to believe that a lot of myths and extra-terrestrial entities are real.
Definitely Not Bigfoot
In 2014, Bryan Sykes, a geneticist from the University of Oxford in England, along with a team of researchers, decided to conduct genetic analysis on 36 samples of hair that allegedly belonged to Bigfoot or the Yeti. While almost all of the hair turned out to be of animals like cows, raccoons, deer, and humans, two of the samples resembled an extinct Palaeolithic Polar bear. Although the samples were of an unknown bear species or a hybrid bear, they definitely weren’t from Bigfoot.
According to CNN, Justin Humphrey, an Oklahoma lawmaker even proposed creating a Bigfoot hunting season in January 2021. It would coincide with the annual Bigfoot festival that takes place in Honobia, Oklahoma. Oklahoma tourism even announced a $2.1 million bounty in March to anyone who would capture a live Bigfoot. While Bigfoot may not be real, it certainly boosts curiosity and tourism in some areas.