Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » Paranormal » Cryptozoology » Bigfoot

Bigfoot is perhaps the largest cryptid reported in North America, but similar creatures have been reported elsewhere around the world, and it is not a new phenomenon.

The Canadian version of Bigfoot is Sasquatch, with a longer history than Bigfoot. A part of Native American legend, its name appears to have been coined by J.W. Burns, a teacher who combined similar Native names for the creates to form the word "Sasquatch." Today, cryptozoologists in the Pacific Northwest have taken to using "Sasquatch" rather than "Bigfoot" because the name has more of a serious note, but most Americans still know the creatures as Bigfoot.

In the 1950s, Bigfoot got its name when a foot cast was made of the large tracks found in the California mud. Newspaper editor, Andrew Genzoli, introduced the word "Bigfoot" when he published a column about the tracks.

Bigfoot is most often seen in the Pacific Northwestern region of northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, while Sasquatch inhabits the far western Canadian region of British Columbia and Alberta, with some reports coming from as far north as Alaska.

In the late 1960s, Roger Patterson, a Bigfoot hunter, proposed the existence of a hominid even larger than Sasquatch, leaving 22-inch tracks. He referred to this cryptid as Giant Hairy Ape. Other researchers reported tracks that were nearly two feet long. Mark Hall gave this group of creatures the name True Giants, who were believed to be from ten to twenty feet tall.

Bigfoot or related creatures are not limited to the northwestern American continent, however. Known as the Skunk Ape, a similar hominid cryptid has been reported in Florida, North Carolina, and Arkansas, and the Ohio Grassman is described as a Bigfoot-like creature. Also known as the Southern Sasquatch, the Fouke Monster was reported near the town of Fouke, Arkansas. The Northwest Territories of Canada has the Nuk-luk, which is described similarly, although somewhat smaller than Sasquatch.

The folklore of Nepal speaks of a similar creature known as Yeti, or the Abominable Snowman, which is supposed to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. Locally, the creature might also be known as Meh-Teh. Central Asia has Almas, the Philippines has Amomongo, Bangladesh has Ban-manush, South America has Mapinguari, Australia has the Yowie, and Russia has Menk. There are others, as well.

As cryptids, not much is known about these creatures, particularly even their existence is disputed by zoologists. Thus, it is uncertain whether the Abominable Snowman, Almas, Amomongo, Ban-manush, Bigfoot, Fouke Monster, Mapinguari, Meh-Teh, Menk, Nuk-luk, Ohio Grassman, Sasquatch, Skunk Ape, Southern Sasquatch, True Giant, Yeti, Yowie, or the others are of the same species of animal, of related species, or completely unrelated animals.

Given that skeptics discount eyewitness evidence as a matter of course, and such evidence as footprints left behind by the creatures are believed to be too easily faked, proof for the existence of Bigfoot-like creatures would have to depend on physical evidence, such as bodies, bones, hair samples, scatology, audio recordings, and photographic evidence.

Despite several reports of unclassified hominids being killed or captured, few traces of the bodies remain, and the few that have been brought forward as evidence have been either dismissed as hoaxes or they have gone missing.

Between the 1800s and the 1960s, the skeletal remains of giants as tall as nine feet have been discovered, but few were preserved long enough to undergo DNA testing. However, in 1965, a massive skull was found in the wilderness of California. A pathologist deemed it "a rather interesting specimen" whose "unusual length" and "unusual development of the nuchal ridge in the occipital zone" suggested "some anthropoid species other than human." Nevertheless, a UCLA analyst concluded that the partial skull belonged to a "young, ancient Indian male," and then lost the specimen. Other bones were also misplaced after being submitted to various research facilities for scientific testing.

With the easy availability of cameras that can be attached to trees, and activated by body heat or motion sensors, one might expect that photographic and video evidence of Bigfoot would be numerous, yet there have been no clear photos of the large cryptids that weren't summarily dismissed as being fraudulent.

The Patterson Film is the best known of such evidence, and Roger Patterson died in 1972, swearing to the authenticity of his film. His companion, Bob Gimlin, has also stuck to the story. Yet, the Patterson Film, like photos and videos, are dismissed as fraudulent by skeptics.

Bigfoot-like cryptids, by whatever name, are the focus of topics in this category, including those that are skeptical of their existence.



Feature Article

Why Are Sasquatch Photos Always Blurry?


Have you noticed that whenever a photo or video of a Sasquatch is released, it's so blurry that you can't really tell what it is that you're looking at? I will admit, up front, that I'm a skeptic, but the absence of a clear picture of a Sasquatch doesn't help.

They are known by several different names, depending, I believe, on which part of the world they are reportedly residing. In the Pacific Northwest region of North America, where they are most commonly reported, they are known as Sasquatch or Bigfoot, although sightings have been reported throughout the United States, wherever large areas of wilderness exist. When seen in the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet, they are known as Yeti or Abominable Snowmen.

However, one thing that is common of Sasquatch, wherever they are seen, is that they are not very photogenic. Other than some that appear to be obvious fakes, every photograph or video recording of a Sasquatch is out of focus. It is often necessary for someone to draw an outline of the creature on the photograph in order for anyone to even be able to determine where it is supposed to be. Even when the creature is shown standing still, the photo is blurry or out of focus.

Skeptics refer to such photos as blobsquatches. They make fun of such photos, pointing to them as evidence, not of the existence of such creatures, but to the contrary. With all of the Bigfoot hunters roaming the woods with cameras and video equipment, it would seem that someone would be able to produce a clear picture.

However, only a few years ago, I was at Baxter State Park, not far from my home in Millinocket, Maine, with my nephew. We came across a very large bull moose standing along the banks of a pond. I took a few pictures of the moose from our position on the other side of the pond, then we decided to cross the pond on a beaver dam, to see if we could get some closer photos of the moose.

As we were working our way across on the beaver dam, I could see the moose, not moving away from us but coming closer to us, as if to meet us through some trees. When we were about three-fourths of the way across the pond, I could see the moose standing in some trees watching us. I decided not to go any further. Since he was obviously not afraid of us, I thought that perhaps we should be afraid of him.

Besides, I could clearly see him in a small stand of trees, standing still, watching us. I snapped several more pictures of the moose before we made our way back the way we had come.

Later, when I uploaded the photos to my computer, I found that, while the photos I had taken across the pond were clear, the ones that I took of the moose while he was standing amongst the trees were not. It wasn't blurry, but neither could the moose be clearly seen in the photographs, as this huge animal blended in with the trees so well that I had to point him out to people, showing them where the antlers were, and so on.

Although I could see the moose clearly with my eyes, no one could find him in the photo without my interpretation, and it wasn't very convincing.

In a blog post on North American Great Ape, the author acknowledges that blobsquatches dominate the world of Bigfoot pictures, but goes on the explain the difficulties in photographing effectively in the forest environments of North America, particularly the dense forests of the Pacific Northwest.

He shows a photo of a forest that isn't particularly dense, nor is there much in the way of underbrush. Yet a six-foot person in a bright green shirt cannot be seen, although he is in the center of the photo, only eighty feet from the photographer. In a closeup photo, he can be seen, but the image is blurry, much like the blobsquatches, and not entirely unlike the bull moose that I photographed in the woods of Maine.

Still, with all of the wildlife cameras that are available, activated by motion and body heat, it seems reasonable to believe that at least one clear photo of a Sasquatch would have emerged from all of the cameras that are in the woods today.

Perhaps, as another writer suggests, the problem is that Bigfoot is blurry. It's not the photographer's fault. "Bigfoot is blurry," he writes. "And that's extra scary to me, because there's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run! He's fuzzy. Get outa here!"

Recommended Resources

Search for Bigfoot on Google or Bing