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Friday, March 10, 2017

Evidence for Bigfoot - An Essay

For our freshman project in school last year, a friend and I decided to do an examination of evidence that points to the existence of the Sasquatch in North America. Part of the project was writing an essay on whatever subject we chose, so of course mine was on evidence for Bigfoot. Now I've decided to post my essay on here, so others with an interest in Bigfoot can read it. So feel free to comment what you think about it below!


 (Originally written in April 2016)

Evidence for Bigfoot
By Tyler Houck


For hundreds of years, there have been claims that a giant creature, thought to be some sort of ape, has been seen throughout North America. There are those who believe that "Bigfoot" or "Sasquatch" is a real creature and those who believe that the whole thing's a hoax. Most people would probably side with the latter category, but there is a large amount of evidence that points to an unknown animal living in North America.
The main reason most people will say that the creatures do not exist is because there is no scientific evidence. The truth, though, is actually the opposite. There is evidence that can prove that something unknown is roaming the forests of North America and other parts of the world, but most scientists refuse to even look at it. The few who have looked at it have ended up having different opinions than the rest of the scientific world.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence for Bigfoot´s existence, but the main reason many people do not take it seriously is because scientists refuse to do so as well, which is actually very unscientific. Granted, anecdotal evidence cannot prove that something is real, but evidence the creature leaves behind, like footprints, hair, etc. can, as well as clear photos and videos.
The few scientists who have looked into the Bigfoot mystery have come to the opposite conclusion of the rest of the scientific community - that there is something out there. Wildlife biologist John Bindernagel once stated that "There is so much more evidence for the existence of sasquatch than most people realize. In addition to eyewitness descriptions and drawings, we have hundreds of descriptions photographs, and plaster casts of tracks. For me as a wildlife biologist, it's the tracks that we depend upon for the existence of an animal in a study area. We don't usually see the mammals, but we do see their tracks. In the case of sasquatch, this is the most compelling evidence we have" (Meldrum, 222-223).
While there are some that are made by hoaxers, other footprints show details that could not be from anything but a living being. Jeff Meldrum stated:
"These footprints average between 15 and 16 inches in length, with a reported range of 4-27 inches. Their superficially humanlike appearance is larger the consequence of the inner big toe being aligned with the remaining toes, whereas an ape's inner toe diverges much like a thumb. The resemblance to human footprints largely stops there, however. In fact, the sasquatch footprints lack the principle distinctive features that set the human foot apart from that of its hominoid cousins. Sasquatch footprints are typically flat with no consistent indication of the true hallmark of the human foot - a fixed longitudinal arch. Additionally, there is little indication of differential weight bearing under a specialized 'ball' at the base of the big toe. The sasquatch foot is relatively broader and the sole pad apparently thicker, by comparison to human feet. The heel and toe segments are disproportionately longer" (Meldrum, 223).
Scientists have also found dermal ridges on the bottom of footprints said to be made by Bigfoot. Dermal ridges are the equivalent to human fingerprints. Scientists who have examined these ridges say they are from a primate, but they are different than those of a known primate. Instead of running horizontal like a human's, or slanted like a known ape's, the ridges of supposed Sasquatch footprints run vertically along the foot (Rice, 1).
In 2000, a Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) expedition in the Cascade Mountains in Washington found better evidence than just footprints - what could be the impression of an entire Bigfoot body.
The ten people on the expedition managed to make a cast of the entire impression, which they could tell was from some large animal. The investigators ruled out that the impression could have been made by a deer, elk, bear, or other known animal. The impressions "appeared to include that of a left forearm, buttocks, thigh, and heels" (Meldrum, 113). After the impression was casted, scientists who examined it felt that it had been made by some large hominoid.
Those who have looked into the Sasquatch mystery have found consistencies in witnesses' descriptions not only from North America, but from throughout the world. Reports of creatures that sound like what is called a "Sasquatch" or "Bigfoot" in North America come from every continent on Earth except Antarctica. Other examples include the Yeti (or Abominable Snowman) in the Himalayan Mountains, the Yeren in China, Mapinguari in South America, "Man-Monkey," "Big Grey Man," and others in Europe, the Hibagon in Japan, and Yowie (or Yahoo) of Australia, among others.
In his book Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us (considered by many Bigfoot researchers to be the best written on the subject) John Green notes many consistencies in reports of Sasquatch in North America. He says that "Comparing the build of the creature to an average man, most called it very heavy (37), or heavy (22). Only two were thing or very thin" (Green, 446).
Green mentions that most witnesses report longer hair on the creature's head, shoulders, arms, midriff, and legs (Green, 446). Most witnesses also report a dark skin color, flat face (usually without hair), a very short neck (or no neck at all), and wide shoulders (Green, 446).
Reports of other Bigfoot-like creatures from around the world match well with the characteristics of the North American creature listed above. For example, Australian researchers Tony Healy and Paul Cropper write in their book The Yowie: In Search of Australia's Bigfoot:
"Having read many books about the creatures, spent many months searching for them and interviewed dozens of American eyewitnesses, we have come to an odd, but inescapable, conclusion: in virtually all aspects of their appearance and behavior, sasquatches are identical to yowies. The reactions they trigger in other animals, in indigenous people, contemporary eyewitnesses, believers and skeptics, are also remarkably similar to those created by their Australian cousins" (Healy and Cropper, 181-182).
Healy and Cropper go on in their book to list more ways in which the North American Sasquatch and Australian Yowie are similar, saying that "size, coloration, stench, vocalizations, - almost every detail is, if not identical, then remarkably similar" (Healy and Cropper, 182). They also note that both Sasquatch and Yowies seem to have the ability to cause and uncontrollable feeling of fear in the minds of those who see them, human or animal. Some researchers believe this is because the creatures can use infrasound. Infrasound is sound waves that have frequencies below the audible human range of 20hz. Scientists already know that other animals (tiger, whales, elephants, and alligators, for example) can use infrasound. Healy and Cropper discuss this possibility in their book: "Is it possible that yowies, like tigers, emit ultra-low sounds, inaudible to humans, to disorientate or paralyze their prey? Might they use the same sounds to frighten away humans and their dogs?" (Healy and Cropper, 185).
They continue: "Some yowie researchers have, in fact, reported hearing extremely low, rumbling growls in yowie hot spots. Researcher Tim Power described the noise as resembling that of several large boulders rolling very slowly over each other. In light of all the above, an August 5, 2000, sasquatch incident near Jarosa Mesa, Colorado, becomes doubly interesting. It began when a woman who was camping along 'felt like I was being watched.' Her dogs became extremely nervous. Then an eight-foot-tall bigfoot walked to within 12 feet of the camp. As she and her dogs froze, terrified, it emitted 'a low rumbling sound'" (Healy and Cropper, 186).
The Native people on continents around the world knew of their resident man-beasts before any settlers arrived. In Australia, Aborigines across the continent knew of the Yowie, and called it by a variety of names, including quinkin, dulagarl, joogabinna, jurrawarra, gulaga, and yahoo, among many others (Healy and Cropper, 6-9).
The same goes for the Native Americans and Sasquatch. Across the continent, tribes know of the creature and have different names for it. Perhaps on of the oldest written accounts about what could be a Sasquatch comes from a naturalist named Jose Mariano Mocino, who lived from 1757 to 1820. Mocino was from New Spain and traveled in the Pacific Northwest of what is now California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
In 1792, Mocino wrote a book called Noticias de Nutka: An Account of Nootka Sound in 1792. In the book, he discusses a creature known to the people of the Pacific Northwest that the called Matlox. He described the creature:
"I do not know what to say about Matlox, inhabitant of the mountainous district, of who all have unbelievable terror. They imagine his body as very monstrous, all covered with stiff black bristles; a head similar to a human one, but with much greater, sharper, and stronger fangs than those of a bear; extremely long arms; and toes and fingers armed with long curved claws. His shouts alone (they say) force those who hear them to the ground, and any unfortunate body he slaps is broken into a thousand pieces" (sasquatchhistory, 1).
Mocino's description of the Matlox is quite similar to modern day descriptions of Sasquatch. Some similarities include the "stiff black bristles" (which would probably mean hair) covering its body; the human-like head and bear-like fangs, but the creature is neither bear nor human; the creature's "extremely long arms" (modern day Bigfoot witnesses usually report that the creature's arms hung down to its knees); Mocino's note that the creature has toes and fingers, probably meaning it has hands and feet like a human; the creature's "very loud shouts" (Sasquatch are reported to howl, grunt, and roar); and the note that "any unfortunate body he slaps is broken into a thousand pieces," meaning Matlox would have great strength. Sasquatch are known to be able to toss around heavy objects, including 500-pound fuel drums and trees.
Perhaps the best evidence for the North American Sasquatch is the Patterson-Gimlin Film, which was shot on October 20, 1967, in Bluff Creek, California.
Roger Patterson was a man who became interested in Bigfoot in the late 1950s and dedicated the rest of his life to searching for the creature. He dreamed of making a movie on the subject and wrote a book called Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist? in 1966. In 1967, he and his friend Bob Gimlin (from Yakima, Washington) traveled down to Bluff Creek to investigate the most recent reports.
On the afternoon of October 20th, Patterson and Gimlin were riding their horses through Bluff Creek. When the rounded a bend in a dried-out riverbed, they immediately spotted a large, humanoid creature crouched down by a nearby creek. Patterson's horse reared and threw his off when it saw the creature, but luckily he was able to grab his camera out of the saddlebag. By that time the creature had started to walk away.
Patterson's footage of the creature is a little less than one minute long, and is somewhat shaky at certain points, but that is because he was running towards the creature. Since it was shot, the film has been considered the best evidence for Bigfoot's existence.
While there will be plenty of people who will say the Patterson-Gimlin Film is a fake, scientists who have looked at it have pointed out a number of things that point toward it being genuine.
Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark discuss the film in their 1999 encyclopedia Cryptozoology A to Z:
"In the unsung three decades, the 952 frames of Patterson's Bigfoot film have been submitted to all manner of examination and analysis by Canadian, Russian, English, French, and American experts. Because of its apparent breasts, the creature has been classified as female, being nicknamed 'Patty' among Bigfoot researchers. These same individuals conclude that this filmed creature could not be a man in a suit due to the detailed muscle movement visible under the hair of the beast. The faking of such a minutiae seem unlikely to those who consider the film a genuine piece of evidence" (Coleman and Clark, 198-199).
Other evidence that points towards the film being includes how the Bigfoot turns when it looks back at the camera. Instead of just turning its head (like a human would), the creature turns its whole upper body. This is significant because it is the same thing something like a gorilla would do. But, why does a Sasquatch do this?
Jeff Meldrum stated:
"Many eyewitnesses describe the sasquatch as having no neck, with the head apparently sitting squarely on the shoulders. Naturally, the sasquatch has a neck consisting of seven cervical vertebrae just like any other primate. What becomes obvious, as seen in the attached perspective, the combination of the attachment of the vertebral column beneath a small braincase with a flat face and massive deep jaws, appears to obscure the neck, especially combined with the pronounced trapezius with relatively high attachment to the skull, while flaring to span very broad shoulders. This in comparison to the large brain case combined with small jaws and trapezius development associated with the human skeleton" (Edwards, 1).
Basically, Patty turns her whole upper body because she doesn't have a neck, at least not like a human's.
It has not been my goal in writing this to try to get you to think that "Bigfoot is this" or "Bigfoot is that," but to show that there is evidence out there that can prove that something that has not been recognized by science is roaming the forests of North America, and even the rest of the world.
The few scientists who have looked into the Sasquatch phenomenon over the years have come to the opposite conclusion than the rest of the scientific community. If you ask any of them who have paid any attention to it, they'll most likely say "There is something out there that many people are seeing, and that's leaving footprints." It's only those who won't even look into the mystery of Sasquatch that say the creature cannot exist.
There are reports of Sasquatch and Sasquatch-like creature from around the world. Not every person who has ever reported a sighting can be mistaken or lying. Even if only 1 report ever made is true, then that would mean the Sasquatch is real. There is plenty of evidence to prove that the Sasquatch exists, no matter what the majority of scientists say. 
Works Cited
Coleman, Loren and Jerome Clark. Cryptozoology A to Z. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Print.
Edwards, Guy. "Dr. Jeff Meldrum Explains How Sasquatch Necks Seem to Disappear." Bigfoot Lunch Club. http://www.bigfootlunchclub.com/2015/12/dr-jeff-meldrum-explains-how-sasquatch.html. 7 Dec. 2015. Web. 
Green, John. Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us. Saanichton, B.C.: Hancock House, 1978. Print.
Healy, Tony and Paul Cropper. The Yowie: In Search of Australia's Bigfoot. TX: Anomalist Books, 2006. Print. 
Houck, Tyler. "Matlox: An 18th Century Bigfoot Report?" Tyler's Cryptozoo. http://tylerscryptozoo.blogspot.com/2016/04/matlox-18th-century-bigfoot-report.html. 2 Apr. 2016. Web. 
 "Matlox was a Bigfoot. https://sasquatchhistory.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/matlox-was-a-bigfoot/. 30 Sept. 2013. Web.
Meldrum, Jeff. Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. New York: Forge, 2006. Print
Redfern, Nick. The Bigfoot Book. Canton, MI: Visible Ink Press, 2015. Print. 
Rice, Harvey. "Fingerprint expert tries to debunk bigfoot - reaches opposite conclusion." http://www.bigfootencounters.com/articles/chilcutt.htm. Web.


So there's my examination of Bigfoot evidence from around the world, which I think points to an unknown species of primate. Leave your thoughts on Bigfoot and the paper below!

5 comments:

  1. Awesome paper!! You have a great overview of the evidence here. I'm curious to know what your teacher thought. :)

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    1. Got a pretty good grade on it, though I got an even better one on the actual presentation we did...

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