- Education and Science»
- Sociology & Anthropology»
- Folklore & Mythology
Is There Any Real Bigfoot Evidence?
Is There Enough Evidence For Me to Believe in Bigfoot?
There have been reported sightings of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, the alleged large, elusive primate, throughout wooded areas across North America. The Sasquatch is a part of ancient Native North American folklore, especially in the Pacific Northwest.
Years ago I had come to the conclusion that these sightings were all tall tales, hoaxes, or mis-identifications of other large mammals, or even of human "mountain men" wrapped in furs to stay warm.
Really, how could there be another large primate besides humans living in North America when there has been no "real" evidence, such as in clear videos or photos, or a real body found somewhere?
Recently, though, I've decided that there might be something to all these sightings. Sure, many of the Sasquatch sightings are probably incidences of "mistaken identity" or downright hoaxes, but other sightings are more difficult to explain away.
While there's no Bigfoot body to examine yet (at least none that has been publicly shown) to scientifically prove that it exists, there's still plenty of physical evidence that's worth looking into.
Have You Seen a Bigfoot? - Or seen any other physical evidence of Bigfoot?
Have you seen this elusive creature? Or come across physical evidence that you believe comes from Bigfoot?
After you vote, you can tell me more if you'd like to in the comment section at the end (comments are held for my approval -- so no spam, no swearing, no really mean stuff. You know the drill!).
I'd love to hear more if you have seen one (or think you've seen one)!
Tell me -- have you seen a Bigfoot / Sasquatch or any other physical evidence?
Why Do I Entertain the Possibility That Bigfoot Exists?
I want to believe, but I still need more convincing
First of all, I'm still mostly a skeptic. I know that many people are very suggestible, and may jump to conclusions about what they see or hear or read.
But not too long ago, there was a news article in our local paper that reported Bigfoot sightings in Michigan, including our county. Holy cow!
I started laughing because of the sheer implausibility of it all! Up until that article I assumed Sasquatch sightings were all in the Pacific Northwest area -- in heavily forested rugged mountainous areas far away from any major human habitation. But after some research, I discovered that there have been Bigfoot sightings (or Sasquatch, or Skunk Ape, or Wild Man of the Woods, or the Boggy Creek Monster, among many other names) in large wooded areas across the US and Canada.
You'll note from the map that most sightings take place in the Pacific Northwest, but there are also many sightings in Texas, Florida, and Ohio. My state, Michigan (north of Ohio) also has some sightings. Very cool! What are these people seeing?
Image of Bigfoot Sightings Map by Fiziker, and in the public domain.
Evidence For Sasquatch / Bigfoot
"Physical evidence" vs "Physical Remains"
Very likely most skeptics won't believe that Bigfoot exists until there's a dead body or physical remains to examine. Until then they'll say that there's no scientific evidence that Bigfoot is real.
I understand how these skeptics feel. But even though there is no body to examine, there's other physical evidence to look at. Much of it is inconclusive, but some of it is pretty darn convincing to me!
Possible physical evidence that has been collected and examined includes:
- Hair samples - including DNA samples
- Scat (yup, Bigfoot poops too)
- Footprint casts
- Audio evidence
Other clues that might point to Bigfoot / Sasquatch in a particular area (besides visually spotting one) include:
- Foul odor, kind of like a skunk
- Knockings on trees and vocalizations
- Broken branches arranged in shelter-like arrangements
And those who say they had a very good look at a Sasquatch say:
- It's BIG
- It's HAIRY (often auburn hair color)
- It's FAST
- It walks with a compliant gait (bent knee gait)
Image above from screenshot of 1967 view of Bigfoot by Patterson and Gimlin, on Wikipedia, and cited as fair use.
Physical Evidence of Bigfoot
Let's take a short look at the three forms of physical evidence that I mentioned above.
People have come across and collected hair samples that they think may be from a Bigfoot / Sasquatch. Unfortunately hair analysis is an inexact science, and a KNOWN sample is needed to compare other hair samples to it. There's no KNOWN Bigfoot hair sample yet. But there have been some interesting results from what little hair analysts could determine from some of the samples.
In the 1960s a few strands of "Sasquatch hair" were examined that had human and animal characteristics, but didn't match any other known animal.
But in another Sasquatch hair analysis, from the Yukon in 2005, the hairs were determined unequivocally to be....bison hair. How disappointing!
Soon there'll be more testing, at Oxford University of England. In May 2012, Oxford put out a request for Sasquatch and Yeti hair samples for DNA testing . A negative result wouldn't automatically mean that this elusive primate doesn't exist, although it would certainly be disappointing. But a positive result would be mind-boggling!
Update - July 2014
Earlier I wrote that Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes had samples of purported Bigfoot and Yeti hair and tissue submitted to his lab to be analyzed. The results are back, and alas, most of the samples are from known animals including black bears, cows, a porcupine, a raccoon...you get the picture.
But a very cool finding was that two hair samples attributed to the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, were a genetic match to the jawbone of an extinct polar bear from over 40,000 years ago. So this type of polar bear may still exist, and it very well may be the animal that people call a Yeti. So the Yeti is not an ape-like creature, but a type of bear. That makes sense to me!
Ahh, but now an additional update as of December 2014
Even world-renowned scientists make errors, or their lab workers do. Apparently the DNA that was said to be a match to the jawbone of an extinct polar bear is really a match to modern day polar bears.
Yup, Sasquatches poop too. And some people think they've found a few Sasquatch scat samples ("scat" refers to the fecal matter of animals). But since no one has actually seen a Bigfoot leave his pile, just as with the problem of identifying Sasquatch hair, there's no positively identified sample to compare it to.
But purported Sasquatch / Bigfoot scat is LARGE. Supposedly it's sometimes difficult to tell apart from bear or human feces, although it's usually larger than either.
The feces or scat of different species generally contain species-specific parasites. So the parasites of bear scat wouldn't be the same as in human feces. There've been at least a couple of possible Sasquatch scat from North America that have been analyzed in labs, and in one sample, the parasites that were present are found in some species of primates, but not in humans. Another sample showed parasites that are found in Native American tribes, or from humans from certain areas of China. So....maybe that sample was from a human out in the woods.
Bigfoot Footprint Casts
Of the three types of physical evidence that we're looking at on this page, footprint casts seem to give the strongest evidence of the existence of Bigfoot or Sasquatch.
There have been hundreds of Bigfoot footprint casts taken over the years and hundreds of miles apart from each other. Watch the following video to hear what two experts, CSI Officer Jimmy Chilcutt, and Professor of Anthropology, Jeff Meldrum, have to say about their examinations of footprint castings of Bigfoot.
Crime scene investigator and fingerprint expert, Officer Jimmy Chilcutt, has studied the dermal ridges of footprint castings of purported Bigfoots and has compared them with other primates, including humans. He believes that these footprint casts are not hoaxes, but are made by a primate in North America that is not human. He points out that human dermal ridges run across the width of the foot (look at your own feet, or a friend's, and check this for yourself). On other primates, these ridges run more diagonally. On the possible Bigfoot castings, there are ridges that run vertically down the side of the foot. These are not human footprints! Chilcutt firmly believes that these footprints are of an unknown primate in North America.
Jeff Meldrum, Professor of Anthropology at Idaho State University, has examined hundreds of Bigfoot footprint castings, looking at the variation of toe position, including from casts of a series of prints from single trackways. The footprints, including toe position and the spread of toes, vary depending on the substrate where the footprints were taken from. If these were forged, there wouldn't be the variability along the length of the trackway. Meldrum says he'd be more surprised to find out that all of these footprints were shown to be fakes than he would be to learn that Bigfoot is real.
Image of Jeff Meldrum with possible Bigfoot footprint cast, by Rachel Anne Seymour.
Bigfoot Footprints Cannot Be Hoaxed (Video)
This is certainly a clear print, just one of about 120, found in February 2012 on the London Trackway near the Cottage Grove Reservoir in Oregon.
Click on London Bigfoot Track Footprints Slideshow to see a Flickr slideshow of photos of tracks and castings made of these tracks.
Image above from London Trackway History. It's also the first photo of the slideshow.
Sasquatch / Bigfoot vocalizations
There are many recordings of what people think are Sasquatch / Bigfoot howling, screaming, whooping, growing, or even "talking". I'm not at all convinced that most of these are Bigfoot -- there are many other mammals and birds that have weird and unusual sounds -- but some of these recordings are very strange indeed.
Here are a couple of sites with Bigfoot sound samples that you can listen to:
Scott Nelson says he has audio proof of Bigfoot - YouTube video
Scott Nelson, currently a professor at Wentworth College in Missouri, spent 17 years as a cryptolinguist in the U.S. Navy, intercepting and decoding Russian communications.
A few years ago he was helping his son who was writing a school report on Bigfoot, and they came across recordings of purported Bigfoot vocalizations from the early 1970s in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Given his experience in the Navy, and listening to these sounds, Nelson concluded:
- He was hearing language
- The language was not human
- This was not faked
Since then, Scott Nelson has become a Bigfoot believer and researcher.
Is This a Photo of a Baby Bigfoot?
Possible Bigfoot child in northern Ontario
The photo above was taken with an iPod by a young girl when she was vacationing with her family in Wunnumin Lake, Ontario (see map marker A) in August 2012. She had been following her family through a clearing and saw this small hairy creature in the clearing. The girl hid and took her iPod photo, then the creature walked off. She didn't tell her mother until a couple days later.
Wunnumin Lake has had a number of Bigfoot / Sasquatch sightings over the years, and people speculate that there's a family of Bigfoots living in the area.
Of course sightings and somewhat blurry photographs aren't irrefutable evidence for the existence of Bigfoot, but they point to the possibility of its existence. (The people who've seen them believe!)
Read Wunnumin Lake's mysterious Bigfoot family for reports on some of the recent encounters in that area. (The article is also one of the sources for the photo, above.)