Ever since childhood, I have been obsessed with the creature known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. This is all part of my love for all things paranormal and cryptozoological! I have made it my hobby in my adult-life to discover the answer to the question, does Bigfoot exist?
The Legend of Bigfoot – A Brief History
What makes the legend of Bigfoot so much more fascinating and more credible than many other cryptozoological sightings? It’s is the longevity and geographical scope of the reports.
Most cultures have a hairy man legend. In North America, there is the Sasquatch which has also been spotted in England and Scotland. Florida has its own variety of Sasquatch called the ‘Skunk Ape’. In the Himalayas, it’s the Yeti or the Abominable Snowman. Over in Australia, the ‘Yowie’ is a hairy ape-man-like creature said to haunt the outback. The Orang-Pendek, a smaller hairy man-like creature roams the jungles of Indonesia.
Some Scientists and anthropologists including Brian Regal believe the sightings are related to the human psyche. That humans are pre-disposed to create fantastical hairy creatures which closely resemble ourselves. Or misidentify known animals for the hairy man-like creatures.
Most Scientists have dismissed Sasquatch reports out-right. The sightings are usually attributed to misidentification. They claim that the existence of a giant hairy human-like creature remaining undetected for centuries is an impossibility. However, these creatures have not remained undetected. These creatures have been spotted the world over.
The Native Americans and the Sasquatch
When we consider the question does bigfoot exist, we must first look to the Native Americans.
The word Sasquatch is derived from the language of the Halkomelem (a native American tribe). The word Sesquac means hairy man. The Native American tribes have over 60 different names for the Sasquatch. This creature was known to them. Tales of this animal have been handed down through the generations.
The Native Americans quite often interpreted the Sasquatch as a spiritual animal. A shape-shifter in some cultures. Nevertheless, in every lore, it is a physical, living breathing creature. A tall hairy man standing between 6 and 10 feet tall. They roam the forests, woodlands and mountainous regions. For the most part, it was an animal to be feared and respected and if left alone will leave humans unmolested. Yet some tribes describe the animal as stealing children and kidnapping those who ventured too far into the forest. For some, it was a guardian of the land who exacted revenge upon those who despoiled the woods and mountains.
For the sake of ease, this post will focus on the North American Sasquatch. I intend in later posts to explore the legends and sightings of the hairy man in other parts of the world.
What is a Sasquatch?
A Sasquatch is said to be a primate. And it walks on two legs. It looks like a man except it is much hairier – the hair covers the whole of its body. The hair is often reported as black, brown or even red in colour. Its eyes are often said to be green or red. Its arms are reportedly longer than humans and the Sasquatch is often said to have no neck or a very small neck. Bigfoots are notably tall, measuring between 6 and 10 feet tall.
Essentially, the Sasquatch is a hairy man. This has led many to conclude that the Bigfoot is a primate. This would mean that these creatures are related to humans in some way.
Some Scientists and researchers have produced their own theories on what the Sasquatch actually is. They have also tried to explore how it fits into our understanding of the evolution of humans and their relatives. If we are to answer the question does Bigfoot exist, we must consider some of these possible theories.
It has been suggested that Bigfoot may, in fact, be an animal known to us through the fossil records. Gigantopithecus is the tallest primate ever known to have lived. It stood at over 9 feet tall and weighed up to 1,320 lb.
This animal likely walked on all fours and probably resembled a gorilla or perhaps an orangutang. It is also generally believed to have been a herbivore.
Gigantopithecus is generally believed to have gone into extinction around 100,000 years ago.
It is the contention of some researchers that a population of Gigantopithecus evaded extinction. Certainly, the description of this creature matches some of the eye-witness descriptions of the Sasquatch. Could an animal of this size have evaded scientific notice?
Some Sasquatch researchers have put forward once thought extinct hominines as possible identities for the Sasquatch. Neanderthals, Homo erectus or even Homo heidelbergensis are possible explanations. Perhaps one of these human ancestors bred with another primate and the result was the Sasquatch?
A Missing Link
Others have suggested that Bigfoot may be a missing evolutionary link. A creature not yet known to science that was part of the human evolutionary process.
An Unknown Primate
I fall into this category. Personally, I like to think there is some mystery left in the world. I also know that science doesn’t hold all the answers. There are so many more discoveries to be made. Is it not just possible that the Sasquatch is a creature as yet unknown to science?
Does Bigfoot Exist – The Evidence for Sasquatch
In order to catalogue an animal, scientists require evidence. To date, no Sasquatch corpse, nor a live Sasquatch has been recorded by the scientific community. We have plenty of evidence for these creatures, it’s just not the right sort of evidence!
In 1958, photos emerged of huge footprints and the name ‘Bigfoot’ was coined. Ray L. Wallace reportedly found the huge footprints in a Northern California logging camp. Wallace later revealed that the whole thing was a hoax.
However, tracks measuring up to 20 inches are found all over North America. These prints are considered proof of the existence of the creature. Some scientists offer a more rational explanation for the footprints – that they are in fact bear tracks. Yet proponents of the existence of the Sasquatch claim there is a marked difference between the prints these two animals leave behind.
There have been many photos and videos taken which reportedly offer proof of the existence of the Sasquatch. These images are often blurry and difficult to discern. Many Bigfoot sceptics claim that these unclear images are either hoaxes or misidentifications of known animals. Furthermore, they offer little evidence of the existence of the Sasquatch. However, the Sasquatch is reportedly a shy, elusive creature. Quite often sightings are from a distance. Perhaps with the advancement of technology in the future, these images won’t be so blurry.
However, there are exceptions to this ‘blurry’ rule. The most famous Bigfoot footage of all is undoubtedly the Patterson film.
Captured on film in 1967, this piece of footage shows a bipedal, hairy human-like creature walking upright. And thankfully the footage is clear! Muscles and other discernible features can be made out on the creature.
The biggest form of evidence is eye-witness reports. Thousands of people have claimed to see the legendary Sasquatch. Every year, more sightings are reported. Some come forward anonymously for fear of ridicule. This, therefore, begs the question, how many more sightings go unreported?
Returning to the question does Bigfoot exist. I hope I have presented some information for you to ponder. I personally believe in the existence of the big guy. There are too many credible witnesses. Also, there is too much evidence to be dismissed.
What do you think? Do you think that Bigfoot exists?