Bigfoot

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Photo by Roger Patterson, Outside Online

What is Bigfoot?

According to Wikipedia, Bigfoot is “a hairy, upright-walking, ape-like being who leaves behind large footprints and reportedly dwells in the wilderness.” (Wikipedia)

Origins

I think a majority of people have heard of the legend of Bigfoot. The story of a hairy beast who walks like a man, has been around for centuries. The only continent that doesn’t have stories like this is Antarctica. The Himalayans call it a Yeti. The Canadians call it a Sasquatch. Americans, call it Bigfoot. All of these creatures are described pretty similar. Believers describe Bigfoot as being around eight feet tall. Bigfoot is described as much like an ape with a large forehead, pronounced brow, and a rounded head. He is covered in brownish/reddish hair and obviously has very large feet. The largest estimate his feet have ever been made, is a length of two feet and a width of eight inches. Some believers say they have seen claw marks in foot prints they believed to be Bigfoot’s. Others say it has five toes on each foot just like you and me. (Today I Found Out)

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Photo from Geek.com

“Three in 10 Americans believe Bigfoot is real, and every year hundreds or thousands of people search for the legendary humanoid in remote woodland areas.” –Live Science

The legend of Bigfoot started long before white colonists came to America. The Bigfoot legend started among the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest. There have been multiple versions of Bigfoot, ranging from a harmless, fuzzy giant who stole fish from fishermen to a cannibalistic monster. Stories varied from tribe to tribe. Even from family to family. This meant that Bigfoot meant something different to everyone. He even has many different names. (Today I Found Out)

In the 1920’s J.W. Burns brought together the local legends of the creature for a Canadian newspaper and branded it “Sasquatch.” This became the name used for the creature in this area. The Bigfoot legend in the United States didn’t become popular until about 1958 when a guy named Gerald Crew, said he found large footprints on his construction site in California. This was printed in a newspaper and got a lot of people’s attention. It was later found out to be a hoax but that didn’t stop people from becoming interested in this legend. Many people went to California in search of Bigfoot. Some even called themselves Bigfoot hunters. (Today I Found Out)

Sightings

“Most researchers who study the bigfoot subject will point to the abundance of witnesses as the factor they found most compelling about the mystery when first becoming acquainted with it.” -Animal Planet

 

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Photo from The Week

One of the most credible sightings and strongest pieces of evidence suggesting Bigfoot’s existence was a film taken by two men, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin. They made this film in a mountainous area in northern California in 1967. They wanted to make a documentary about the Bigfoot legend so they rented a movie camera and headed to Cali. They ended up filming what looked like some kind of ape-looking creature walking on it’s hind-legs much like a man. Many believe this is a hoax. Many people have come forward claiming to be the creature they got on video while they were wearing a costume. So far none of these claims have been proven. According to Animal Planet, the film has been analyzed by scientists since and none of them can prove it was a hoax. They say the figure in the film has weird limb ratios making it unlikely that it is just an ordinary person. (Animal Planet)

“Researchers eventually come to realize that if there are indeed so many credible eyewitnesses across the land, then the species they so consistently and emphatically describe probably exists also.” -Animal Planet

There have been Bigfoot sightings in every state. This link (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization) will bring you to a map of the U.S. and it shows how many sightings have been made in each state and their most popular cities.

There are so many sightings reported each year. Here are the most active Bigfoot sites from 1995-2012:

Pennsylvania 98

New York 101

Colorado 110

Michigan 141

Illinois 176

Florida 207

Ohio 224

Oregon 227

California 425

Washington 528

(Live Science)

Bigfoot is a popular legend in the United States. This legend has inspired lots of books and movies. There are people that spend time searching for the creature in different parts of the United States. There are scientists studying the legend, trying to prove it’s factual or trying to prove it’s a hoax once and for all. I’m not sure what I believe but I think a lot of this information is really interesting. It definitely made me think more about this legend. But what do you think? Do you believe in Bigfoot?

 

Sources

Live Science

April, 2012

 

Animal Planet

 

Today I Found Out

Emily Upton

May, 2013

 

Wikipedia

February, 2018

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