Bigfoot: I want to believe



“Bigfoot is real” is a phrase that is repeated to me all day at work. I can’t walk through the exhibit without stopping at the life size model of the gigantopithecus blacki, a extinct and distant relative of humans from Asia. The Frazier History museum in Louisville featured a menagerie of mythical creatures that intrigued visitors from all over the country.

Upon returning to school, I encountered the creation of the UK Squatchin’ Club. A club dedicated to exploring the great state of Kentucky for any proof of Bigfoot/Sasquatch.

Finding myself unable to escape the Bigfoot craze, I realized how prevalent Sasquatch has become in the American mindset. To some, this may seem like a completely idiotic idea. There’s no way a creature of that size could be hiding in the forest without us finding it. Little do they realize, it’s feasible that this creature could be living in our forests.

All of these explanations have been made without truly analyzing the evidence. However, this is impossible to blame. The possibility that a large, human-like creature is living in our forests without our knowledge is a chilling thought.

For Native Americans, Bigfoot has been a frightening thing for generations. Tales of Bigfoot-like creatures are common among many different tribes. If you are a child and misbehave in any way, Bigfoot will steal you away. Skunk-ape-like creatures have also been blamed for stealing women away in the middle of the night, only returning them once they have become impregnated. Culturally, this utilization of folklore is very common. Creating a strange and intimidating creature to control behavior, or to be used as a scapegoat, is the source of the popular folklore we see across many cultures. For example, in American culture we utilize the prospect of Santa coming to entice children to go to bed on Christmas Eve.

Without properly analyzing the evidence, it’s very easy to dismiss the idea that Bigfoot exists in today’s world. The sheer size of the creature and the expansion of human populations have been used to explain why Bigfoot couldn’t possibly exist. They point to photos of animals in the wild and comment that Bigfoot should have been photographed years ago. The most prevalent excuse is that the famous Patterson-Gimlin film was a hoax – the creator came forward and admitted it to the world.

Those who have thoroughly, and scientifically, examined the evidence from all aspects typically conclude that there is some unexplained phenomena that could be attributed to Bigfoot.

Photos that have been taken of most animals “in the wild” have actually been taken in nature reserves or pens. There has been very little documentation of most animals in the wild. For example, the wolverine (unrelated to X-Men) has only been documented in the wild a handful of times.

Most people who have heard of Bigfoot have seen the Patterson-Gimlin film. Once hailed as definitive evidence for the existence of Bigfoot, the film depicts a large ape-like creature skulking away from the camera. Halfway through the film, it turns to make eye contact with the audience.

One of the northern pacific’s greatest pranksters was Ray Wallace. After Wallace’s death, his family stated that Wallace was involved in creating the Patterson-Gimlin film. Wallace’s family claims that he began the Bigfoot phenomena by using wooden feet to create hundreds of tracks in the forest. Scientists attempted to duplicate the tracks “made” by Wallace, but to no avail. The scientists found no way that Wallace could have created the tracks using wooden feet overnight.

Over the past few years, alleged Bigfoot DNA has been given to various different institutions with the hope of finding out if the creature exists or not. Reportedly, the DNA has come back inconclusive, but it contains elements of both human and ape DNA. These results have been denied peer review for a multitude of reasons, but have still been published through a scientific journal. Without peer review, it is important to take these with a grain of salt.

Disregarding the contemporary cultural implications of belief in Bigfoot, it is important to keep an open mind. While there’s no conclusive evidence that Bigfoot exists, there’s also no evidence that Bigfoot does not exist. With hypotheses ranging from interdimensional traveler, gigantopithecus blacki, and alien cohort, regardless of what you believe, Bigfoot is a fun topic to debate.

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