- Education and Science»
- Sociology & Anthropology»
- Folklore & Mythology
Bigfoot Was a Hoax
In the Himalayas it’s called the Abominable Snowman, in Australia, Sasquatch and in Asia they call it a Yeti. It’s known by many different names, but people in northern California people call it “Bigfoot.”
This apelike creature has reportedly been spotted untold times around the globe. Most descriptions put it at 7 to ten feet tall, but its’ actual size has been the focus of much debate because of distance and surrounding objects. It’s also said to weigh over 500 lbs and has feet measuring 17 inches or longer.
The majority of researchers give little credence to there being an actual creature behind the public hysteria. Much of it can be blamed on the mass media’s eagerness to sell it.
It’s a fact Bigfoot is big business, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Along well worn tourist routes travelers will find countless souvenir shops and stores selling Bigfoot paraphernalia. Many will have a huge eye catching chainsaw-carved Bigfoot out in front to catch tourist trade.
However, Bigfoot continues to perk the public’s imagination regardless of the lack of evidence. One individual who devoted most of his professional life to the subject was Grover S. Krantz, an anthropologist at Washington State University. Although Krantz argued the creature’s existence for nearly 40 years he had little success in convincing the rest of the scientific community.
Who could blame them? Most evidence consists mainly of testimony from Bigfoot enthusiasts, footprints of questionable origin and grainy, blurry pictures which could easily have been an ape or somebody wearing an ape costume.
There have been many sightings, but little proof. There are no bones, no dead bodies, no fur or anything else to suggest they actually exist. In fact, the evidence points towards the opposite. The bulk of evidence for its existence is mainly of plaster casts of footprints and questionable photographs. Of the many plaster casts, the differences in size, shape and configuration strongly indicate a hoax rather than fact.
But, Bigfoot has some real diehard fans having explanations to counter any criticism contrary to what they believe. Some are quite amusing, such as Bigfoot exists in another dimension and travels to and from via astral projection.
Probably the best documented evidence comes from a film shot by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin on Oct 20, 1967. The film shows a walking apelike creature at Bluff Creek in northern California. But to show the differences in descriptions that can occur between eyewitnesses, believers and nonbelievers, consider this.
Believers estimate its height at between 6' 5'' and 7' 5'' and its weight almost one ton. Nonbelievers say it’s the size of a normal human. Since 1967 no other evidence, except for one alleged footprint, has been found in the area. To further debunk the film, the North American Science Institute claimed to have spent in excess of $100,000 trying to prove the film was legitimate…with little results.
However, noted Hollywood director John Landis said “That famous piece of film of Bigfoot walking in the woods was just a suit made by John Chambers.” Chambers helped create the ape costumes in the 1968 film Planet of the Apes. Other top names in the industry have either sworn this was true, while others maintain no such claim was ever made.
Michael Wallace says, Bigfoot was a hoax perpetrated by his father Ray L. Wallace in 1958. This wasn’t revealed until after his death in 2002. Michael explained how his father, an incorrigible prankster, had a friend carve him a pair of 16-inch-long feet that could be strapped on and make giant footprints with.
But, before his death Ray was said to have made audio recordings, films, and photographs of Bigfoot, which he meted out to the media. At one time, he even offered a $1 million reward for anyone who could produce a baby Bigfoot.
When news of the 1958 hoax hit the front page it did little to persuade staunch believers such Idaho State University anatomy professor Dr. Jeff Meldrum who has a collection of about 50 footprint casts. Meldrum believes such a large number of casts couldn’t all be hoaxes.
Hmmm…wasn’t the same thing said about crop circles?