Everybody knows about Bigfoot, the legendary ape-like beast that is said to lurk in the mountains and forests of North America. While the existence of Bigfoot is probably one of the the most famous modern day mysteries around today, there are still some tantalising aspects of the case that not many people are aware of. Here are 5 surprising facts about Bigfoot.
5Native American Tribes
Those who believe that Bigfoot is a real creature often mention the fact Native Americans, who have lived in North America much longer than any settlers, feature Bigfoot prominently in their culture and mythology.
What’s remarkable however is that at least 24 of the recognised Native American tribes all tell stories of Bigfoot, each tribe having their own unique name for the beast. Some have even erected totem poles with what clearly look like ape faces on them, and others still have decorated cave walls with pictographs of huge, hairy men.
The incredible thing though is that many of these tribes lived in completely different parts of the country and had no contact with each other what so ever, and yet they all report encountering the same beast. The tribes differ on their beliefs of the creature’s nature to, for example, the Sioux tribe of Dakota say that Bigfoot is a peaceful creature, while the Chinuk-Wawa tribe of Oregon say that they are vicious man-eaters.
All of us are aware of what the typical Bigfoot encounter entails; a person being interviewed on the news with a tale that is sometimes backed up with a blurry video, photo or plaster cast of a footprint, there’s a lot of excitement at first then everything dies down.
But, when Christopher Markuson, director of economic development at Pueblo County took a closer look at the Bigfoot sightings that his team were receiving in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, he discovered something shocking.
Not only were certain places sighting hotspots, but most of the sightings took place in lower elevations during winter months, while during summer most sightings were reported in higher elevations.
This is surprising for two reasons; firstly known animals in the region alternated between lower and higher elevations during the summer and winter months to find food, and the fact that the sightings followed this trend implied that Bigfoot was displaying typical animal behaviour, not the erratic distribution you would expect of hoax sightings. Secondly, many believe that the identity of Bigfoot is no more than sightings of misidentified bears, however, bears in the region hibernate during the winter months, ruling them out as the culprit.
The findings were corroborated by wildlife biologist Bill Given, who also noted that it's hard to track and monitor even species proven to be in the area, such as grizzly bears and wolverines.
3The Most Extraordinary Evidence Of All
In the early morning of the 20th of October, 1967, two Cowboys made history. They announced to the world that they had encountered a Bigfoot in the wilderness of Bluff Creek, California, and they had the evidence to prove it.
Bob Gimmlin and Roger Patterson set out that day to try and find proof of a Bigfoot, as sightings had been reported in the area. The two men thought at best they would find footprints, but, to their astonishment when they were exploring the area near a previous sighting, they claim they crossed paths with a Bigfoot and managed to film it on a 16-mm camera.
The media frenzy was immediate, with the story and footage being featured on news outlets all over the world. Many believed it to be a hoax, but, to this very day, nobody has been able to debunk it. Later analysis of the film seemed to reveal that the creature blinks its eyes, something almost impossible to recreate with prosthetics or special effects.
Other enthusiasts have pointed out the creature’s unusual gait, not like a human, and others have questioned how a person in such a large costume can move so quickly. Both men maintain that the film is genuine, Roger Patterson right up until his death in 1972, and it remains the single most controversial and compelling piece of Bigfoot evidence to date.
Several esteemed individuals have come forward to express their belief in the Bigfoot legend. The most vocal has been Dr Jeff Meldrum, a professor of human anatomy at Idaho state University. He has appeared in many documentaries stating that, in his professional opinion, after studying the anatomy of plaster Bigfoot casts as well as analysing the Patterson-Gimmlin footage that he believes the creature is real.
Dr John Bindernagal is a long serving wildlife biologist who has spent years researching sightings in British Columbia and has come to believe the creature exists, claiming that he even heard a Bigfoot vocalising in 1992.
Jimmy Chillicut is a police officer and fingerprint analyst who works for the Conroe Police Department and has also been part of FBI investigations. After analysing several alleged Bigfoot plaster casts, he concluded that the prints were genuine since he determined they had dermal ridges, or fingerprints, which are virtually impossible to fake.
Bigfoot sceptics have pointed out that, despite the thousands of reported sightings nobody has ever stumbled upon a Bigfoot carcas. Well, according to these sightings there may be a sinister reason for this.
In 2013 an anonymous man contacted researchers at the Crypto Crew website to report that in 1993 in Virginia while hunting, he encountered a Bigfoot. Terrified, he shot it and it fled. He reported his sighting to the local wildlife department, who told him somebody else would soon be in touch. A week later two men arrived unannounced at the man’s home, wanting to discuss the incident. They remarked that “nobody would ever believe him” and menacingly told the man to “never tell another soul” about what happened, which scared him so much that he kept it secret for 13 years.
This is not the only report of this kind, several others have reported that, following close calls with the creatures they had been approached by mysterious agents who gave them no credentials and who threatened them into silence. Some even report that Bigfoot body parts they had in their possession have been confiscated by these agents.
So, why would the government want to keep the existence of Bigfoot a secret? Some have theorised that if the creature’s existence were to be revealed logging operations would halt, costing timber companies millions, while others think that it is because the government would have to pay out compensation to farmers who have lost livestock to the creatures like they do with other predators.