AN ARTICLE BY THE FOREST FLEUR AMBASSADOR, LEVI MACHOVEC
Over the summer, I attended a Bigfoot expedition and was fortunate to meet some great people. I had a fun three-day trip to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in Southwest Wisconsin. The story that I will relay comes from the first of those three nights, which was on Thursday, June 11th. The official expedition was canceled, however, I learned that some of the members were still going out to the same area, albeit with a much smaller group than what would have been there on the official expedition. The area that we searched is an ecologically rich area in Southwest Wisconsin bordering the town of La Farge.
I met up with the group after I finished my shift at work. The group was composed of four individuals who have been members of the organization for many years. It was a unique opportunity for me to meet new people in the middle of a pandemic; most of my spring was spent working on my book so I did not have much time to get out of the house. That meant that I was more than eager than ever to get into the woods for research. Once I met the group, I could tell that the group was full of kind-hearted people, as they accepted me in without hesitation. They were very excited to be out in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. I lived only twenty minutes away from the location whereas the other members lived over three hours away. Needless to say, the group was anxious to get into the woods and look for Sasquatch.
The night started out with us walking up a trail just as darkness descended upon the woods. As we were walking, the forest was full of life; the frogs were croaking, the owls were hooting, and there were many raccoons walking around. About twenty minutes into the walk, we stopped for a while to listen to our surroundings to see if we could pick up on anything in the area. As we stood and waited, we did hear something, although it was very faint. My best guess was that it was an owl in the distance. The other members of the group did not think that an owl was the explanation for the sound that was made: they were convinced that it was a Sasquatch. Later, while in the same location, we heard something walking near us; I used my thermal imager to get a glimpse of it. Once again, they were convinced it was a Sasquatch. However, my thermal imager revealed the identity of the individual to be, not just one, but a family of raccoons walking around.
The night continued with us walking along the same trail for another hour before we headed back to our camp. The rest of the night was uneventful. This night served as an extremely important event for me as I learned something that will stick with me for the rest of my life as I conduct research. That night, I learned that if you want to have a Sasquatch encounter, you will have one. To expand on this point, when your mind is on Sasquatch, you have to be careful not to project Sasquatch into the forest when one is not there. (CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE)
bigfoot may have originated in north america as a completely different species
Although typically associated with the Middle East and Africa, camels actually originated in North America about 45 million years ago. They migrated to the middle east, and also down to South America, where they evolved into llamas and alpacas. Another animal that many do not know originated in North America is the Cheetah. An international team of scientists recently discovered that cheetahs descend from a relative of American pumas. Now how does this relate to Bigfoot? Due to the record of discovered fossils, scientists believe that all hominins and apes originated in Africa and Asia. We typically associate Bigfoot with either Gigantopithecus or Paranthropus. However, perhaps Sasquatch originated in North America as a completely different creature all together. The only reason we associate this species with ape or human is because of their seemingly similar physical attributes and anatomy. Take a look at 2 known animals that look alike. Deer are part of a family known as Cervidae, while Antelope belong to the Bovidae family. These animals look extremely similar, but are not closely related & originate from different parts of the globe. Could this be the case for Bigfoot, a creature seen all over the world, but primarily in North America? Is it possible that this species migrated, evolving into variations like the yeti? Just because it looks like an ape or human, doesn’t mean it is. We cannot underestimate the origin of this species and how different they may be from our own. Dr. Jeff Meldrum and Dr. Henner Fahrenbach examined several hair samples from unknown sources. Dr. Meldrum explains that in non-primate mammals, hair is grouped into 3 types including longer, coarser hairs, a finer undercoat, and whiskers. Out of all the hair types, the coarse hair layer is what yields the most evidence. In order to identify a species, scientists observe overlapping scales, which can be different in color and thickness, diameter of the hair, cross-sectional shape, and length of the hair shaft. Human hair grows differently and longer than other species, therefore showing its own characteristics such as a cut end and distinctive follicle structure. After Fahrenbach gathered nearly a dozen samples that were not linked to any known animal, the two scientists began studying their similarities. Their findings were interesting in that two of the samples had the same structural characteristics, making them the same species, however their hair color and hair length varied, as it does in Homo sapiens as well. Although the samples were ultimately inconclusive, they did point to the probability of an unknown hominin species, with origin that resembles both human and ape. The key word in this equation is, "resembles." Does this mean Bigfoot is a hominin or an undiscovered great ape? Perhaps it is entirely different than humans and apes, much like the antelope and deer. Many Native tribes talk of Bigfoot being the "first people," saying, "they've been here forever." If there is truth to these words, perhaps this species originated in North America much like the camel or cheetah. If it is an entirely different species than human or ape, it wouldn't be unlikely for its origins to stem from North America. After all, scientists do say that we have only scratched the surface of discovering all ape and human species that ever lived. Imagine the creatures that once walked this earth, some of which, we will never know, and some of which...we choose to ignore.
ARE WE plaguing their population to the point where they may JUST remain a mystery?
Sasquatch researchers are dedicated individuals, yearning to solve the world’s greatest mystery. Many techniques to lure these creatures are often debated and well-researched. However, some tactics like leaving offerings of food and household items may just be a detriment to this species’ survival. Let’s take a look through history to determine how safe it really is to be contacting these creatures and roaming through their environment.
Christopher Columbus, a seemingly brave and heroic explorer, encountered many native groups during his voyages to unknown land. Imagine his excitement when his ship arrived on an island inhabited by a community of people he had never seen before. Upon arriving in San Salvador, Columbus and his crew met the Taino tribe. Within minutes, the groups were exchanging greetings and forming a friendship. A year later, Columbus built his first town on the island of Hispaniola, where the Taino population was estimated at 60,000 individuals. By 1548, this number had dropped to less than 500. Why did this Native group disappear so quickly? Both the Natives and the Europeans could not wrap their head around it. They will soon find out that the answer lies in the diseases brought over by the Europeans. Pathogens like Smallpox, Influenza and other viruses were sweeping through indigenous communities, caused by direct contact with Europeans or trading within their own group. The Taino tribe was not the only to suffer, in fact, in April of 1520, Spanish forces arrived in Veracruz, Mexico, bringing along with them various diseases like Smallpox. Within 2 months, Spanish troops entered the Capitol of the Aztec population estimated at 50,000-300,000. By October of that same year, the virus had killed nearly half the population.
Nothing hits home like the story of disease in the Americas. In 1492, Columbus landed in the Americas, where Native populations were around 2-18 million, spread out across the land. By the end of the 19th century, 530,000 were left. Native American Indians may have been living in North America for 50,000 years. They migrated from Asia and spread out across the continent. (CLICK READ MORE)
how we know bigfoot is real
WEIGHT CONCENTRATED ON BALL OF THE FOOT
ENTIRE FOOT IS INCORPORATED INTO LEVER
TOES PROVIDE TRACTION, NOT GRASPING ABILITY
BACK FOOT BARELY LIFTS TO CLEAR TOES ON FLAT SURFACE
LESS MUSCLE EFFORT IS USED DUE TO ADAPTATION OF FLAT SURFACES
BALL OF THE FOOT SINKS IN DEEP
WEIGHT CONCENTRATED ON THE MIDFOOT
BODY WEIGHT TRANSFERS FROM REAR TO FOREFRONT
MID TARSAL BREAK WILL CREATE A MOUND OF SAND CAUSING INDENT IN FOOTPRINT CASTS
HIGH STEPPING GAIT FOR ROUGH ENVIRONMENT
ANATOMICAL FEATURES PRESENT IN APES
ENTIRE MIDFOOT & TOES SINK IN DEEP
Bigfoot is characterized as a large, bipedal creature covered in hair with long arms, toned muscles, and an appearance representing a combination of man and ape. The question of how such a species could exist alongside ours without having been discovered by our scientific community is baffling to many; individuals tend to boast that if this creature ever did exist, it must be extinct by now, otherwise we would have discovered it. However, we are not lending this creature’s intelligence, and possible origins enough credit. Today we take a walk back through time; we will dissect the evolution of apes and man to discover clues about how a man-like species might survive as long as us, without directly competing and remaining elusive. How did it get here, and how intelligent could it be? We will piece together the characteristics of Ardipithecus, Paranthropus, and Australopithecus to determine which branch of bipedal man and ape-like creatures Bigfoot may have descended from. Ardipithecus was the very first ape species to walk bipedally. They are the closest link we have to primates. This species was rather small and primitive, so Bigfoot stemming off of this branch is unlikely.
The next two groups of evolved human-like species were Australopithecus and Paranthropus. These groups both walked upright but differed in some characteristics. For example, Paranthropus aethiopicus had large megadont teeth and a very strong jaw. Perhaps the most important feature to note on this species was a developed sagittal crest (slightly pointed head at the top of the skull) which allowed for huge chewing muscles. Since the muscles that connected toward the back of the crest were so strong, these creatures were able to chew very well with their front teeth. Unfortunately, very few remains of this species have been found. Just like other creatures from the Paranthropus genus, Paranthropus boisei had adaptations for strong chewing. A prominent sagittal crest on the midline of the top of the skull connected large chewing muscles from the top and side of the braincase to the lower jaw. This anatomy moved the species’ jaw up and down very mechanically. This creature had huge cheek teeth four-times the size of a modern human’s and the thickest dental enamel of any known early human. Because of their sagittal crest and larger cranial capacity, this species had a fast-growing brain. Remember, food equals intelligence in the equation of evolution.
The Australopithecine group was known for land and tree-dwelling, with adaptations for both walking and climbing. These creatures had traits of both humans and apes. For example, Australopithecus anamensis has a shin bone showing a human-like placement of the ankle joint, which points to frequent bipedalism. However, their long arms and strong wrist bones indicate their climbing abilities which likely lasted close to 1 million years. These multi-functional limbs supporting walking and climbing were also found in Australopithecus africanus, whose round cranium housed a large brain, and Australopithecus afarensis, whose children matured quickly after birth. Australopithecus afarensis is one of the longest-lived and best-known early human species, surviving for more than 900,000 years (four times as long as our own species has been around.) Perhaps their land and tree adaptations allowed them to excel and sustain as a species for so long. After Australopithecus and alongside the Paranthropus group came Homo.
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Legends of a hairy man are present in a very unusual way within Mayan and Spanish culture. Translating to something like “an old man Goblin,” The Tata Duende is characterized as an ugly man with long hair, and is a very mischievous trickster. Legend has it, Duende has no thumbs and his feet face backwards, making him impossible to track. An important feature to note is that his backward feet are very large and his toes are splayed out. This goblin is associated with rainy climates and is only active at night. Sound familiar? The North American Sasquatch is known to be difficult to track, with footprints ending without rhyme or reason, and revealing anatomy very different from our own. Many footprint casts of Sasquatches contain a mid-tarsal break and in many cases, splayed out toes.
Perhaps Tata Duende has been classified as a goblin to make sense of strange nightly behavior from another creature. Tata Duende exhibits behavior similar to what the U.S. knows as Sasquatch. Many Spanish natives (CLICK READ MORE BUTTON)
Bigfoot DNA evidence is far and few between, and most specimens are inconclusive or only suggestive. However, a story of an ape-woman named Zana seems to support the existence of the creature Bigfoot. Zana was a mysterious woman discovered in 1850 in the Ochamchir region of Georgia, Russia by local hunters. Zana’s appearance was extremely unusual and uncharacteristic of modern human. Her body was massive at 6’6”, she was covered in hair, and was slightly different in anatomy than the humans of the time. After being captured from the dense forest, she was brought to an isolated mountain village called T'khina, fifty miles from Sukhumi Russia. She became extremely violent, and exercised non-human strength and speed. Zana would outrun horses and effortlessly climb trees. Zana’s incredible strength, unmatchable speed, and physical appearance is exactly what witnesses report in North American Bigfoot sightings. Zana was determined to be a relic hominin. During her time in the village, Zana conceived children from two men in the community. Her youngest son, Khwit’s tooth along with the saliva of several of Zana’s living descendants were submitted to Oxford professor Bryan Sykes for DNA examination. The skull of Zana’s son was also submitted, and appeared extremely peculiar, exhibiting characteristics of both modern and ancient human. Zana’s son and descendants were determined to have ancient Sub-Saharan African DNA, which is not present in modern humans. This points to the fact that Zana was not a Homo Sapien, but rather part of a relic population of human that had left Africa some 100,000 years prior to settle in the Russian Caucuses Mountains.
Dr.F. Martin Duncan, the man in charge of the hair collection at the London Zoo, analyzed samples sent to him by Ivan Sanderson, found at Bluff Creek, CA. Duncan concluded that such samples could not be linked to any known animal, but did demonstrate the same characteristics and features of a large primate. Almost 10 years later, in 1968, hairs collected in central Idaho were sent to an instructor of police science at the California State College in LA. Ray Pinker determined that the hair samples did not match any known animal, and in fact demonstrated characteristics from both human and nonhuman primates. The hairs showed many characteristics of apes like the changing of thickness and tint along their length however their scale pattern was eerily similar to humans. In 1993, another analysis of suspected Bigfoot hair (this time found in northern California) was done by Dr.Sterling Bunnell, M.D, of the California Academy of Sciences. He examined the hairs of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutan, and pygathrix to compare and contrast the specimen. He concluded that the assumed Bigfoot hair sample was closely related to the human-chimpanzee-gorilla group, but was also clearly different than each of these apes in its pigmentation. These other apes show medullary streaks while the possible Bigfoot sample showed no observable medullary structure. In most all studies, the DNA from the hairs was not able to be sequenced due to damage, however structural differences rule out any known species. Bunnell placed the sample side-by-side with human, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan and Pygathrix monkey hairs, and revealed that although similar to all, the specimen was noticeably different than these known species. He compared the surface and general appearance to human and gorilla, and left his study there. However, Dr.Jeff Meldrum and Dr. Henner Fahrenbach further examined the reports from many labs including Dr.Bunnell’s, to determine if the unknown samples (CLICK READ MORE)
In 1928, a miraculous discovery of a sub-species of human took place in the desert peninsula of Peru. Peruvian archeologist Julio Tello uncovered an intricate 3,000 year old graveyard of 300 skulls belonging to the Paracas people. There was something very unique about these remains; the skulls were 25% larger and 60% heavier than modern human skulls, and the differences don’t stop there. After DNA analysis of hair, skin, teeth, and fragments of cranial bones, scientists determined that the mitochondrial DNA, inherited from the mother, showed mutations that were unknown to any man or animal found on Earth. Scientists set out to discover the origins of these Natives, and ended up concluding that they weren’t actually Native Americans at all. In order to be 100% Native American, the Paracas people would have had to have a blood type O, which turned out to account for the lowest percentage of skulls found. Most skulls contained B and A-B blood types, with a mix of geographic heritage, making it hard for scientists to pinpoint their initial geographic origin. The skulls also had a different jaw structure. The mutations present in the samples along with the varying blood types lead researchers to conclude that they were facing a completely new ‘human-like being,’ possessing extremely different characteristics and DNA from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals or Denisovans.
Many researchers debate whether Bigfoot is an ape or a human, however we must be more open-minded. We, as humans, tend to classify things into categories that we are comfortable with in order to make sense of the world. Perhaps we must change our views and see things differently. Bigfoot may not be ape or human at all, but a human-like species (similar to the Paracas people) that evolved separately from our own, and developed into a completely new group of individuals with a higher intelligence and skillset than ours. Interestingly, the craniums of Bigfoot are described by witnesses to be slightly pointed, creating a dome-like shape at the top of the head. This characteristic sounds strangely similar to the Paracas people of Peru. Perhaps this trait is an adaptation of some sort, in order to communicate with frequencies or even house a more complex brain. We may never know the answer to why the Paracas’ skulls are shaped the way they are, and we may never discover their origins either. However, as researchers, we can conclude that their unique characteristics and unusual DNA classify them as a different species than Homo Sapien. Today, science continues to uncover physical evidence that suggests that we were not the only intelligent, bipedal individuals that (CLICK READ MORE BUTTON)
Deep in the Amazon rainforest, a small tribe of 35 individuals called “Tsapanawas” have been living in complete isolation from the outside world. During a hunt, the men of the tribe use arrows to kill their prey, however interestingly, they communicate with one another using whistles, and keep direction by snapping and placing branches along their route. If this tribe can communicate and hunt effectively using these methods, why couldn’t Bigfoot? Many Bigfoot eye-witnesses have reported hearing unusual whistles, tree knocks, and inaudible chatter throughout the night when their encounter takes place; some have even witnessed the creatures doing such things.
The Tsapanawas tribe was untouched and uninfluenced by our modern culture for so long, and yet they have survived and thrived for thousands of years in a small group of 35 individuals by hunting and gathering, using handmade tools, shelters, and medicines. They have survived attacks by other, more aggressive tribes by adopting a nomadic lifestyle, and until recently, have remained undetected by our modern society. They have a similar appearance to other tribes, but vary slightly in characteristics. The appearance of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, has also been described slightly differently by witnesses, but still remains consistent in the description of the creature’s main features. Perhaps this points to the possibility of there being several different tribes of indigenous species that have adapted differently, causing variation in appearance like hair color or size. Could these small family groups have adopted a nomadic lifestyle like the Tsapanawas to avoid competition with others? Perhaps this explains why several Bigfoot encounters often take place in one area for a short period of time before dying down and resurfacing during certain times of the year. Regardless of how they remain undetected across the U.S., Bigfoots do a decent job of laying low. Skeptics argue that there simply isn’t enough space here for such a species to thrive, or that such small family groups create an unhealthy gene pool. However, the Tsapanawas tribe only consists of 35 members who still successfully breed and live in isolation. When it comes to the argument of space, consider the environment of the Tsapanawas tribe: a rainforest. Now consider the environment that the North American Bigfoot thrives in: also a rainforest. In fact, regions of the U.S. with the highest rainfall also happen to have the largest number of reported Bigfoot encounters. It seems that indigenous tribes (CLICK READ MORE)
When it comes to Bigfoot, many will argue that the hundreds of recorded eye-witness encounters are simply a man in a monkey suit running in front of a deliberately shaky camera. Fair enough, as most of the videos posted online are just that! However, upon further investigation and intricate analyzation of eye-witness videos, we can better determine the difference between Bigfoot fact and fiction. Here’s your formula to proving fact or fiction.
If you’re not familiar with the Bigfoot Independence day video, it depicts a large creature carrying (what appears to be) a small Bigfoot child. At first glance, the creature in the video almost appears to be a CGI insert, simply created on a computer by a graphic designer. Similarly, the Patterson-Gimlin film has been just about the most controversial piece of footage that has ever existed. Most believe it to be an elaborate hoax, and many have admitted to being involved in its production. However, as scientists, we must not discredit any evidence, as it would be unscientific to assume footage is a hoax without dissecting and analyzing the small details within it. Unless we can prove the evidence to be false, we must not assume that it is. After all, upon further investigation of the Independence Day film and the Patterson-Gimlin film, citizen-scientists have gathered enough information and scientific backup to rule out human involvement in both sets of footage. In order to determine a video or photo’s credibility, it is important to understand the difference between the subjects in the footage, and Homo sapiens (us.) Throughout the dissection of hundreds of credible Bigfoot footprints, scientists and researchers have discovered the difference in anatomy between Homo sapiens and Bigfoot. This differentiation is what can help the average person determine the credibility of footage or photos within seconds. If you understand the difference in anatomy, you will be an evidence expert.
Let’s talk Homo Sapien: A human has a longitudinal arch in their foot, which means the entire foot is incorporated into the lever which propels it off of the ground, and weight is pushed to the ball of the foot while walking. The bending happens at the toes, providing traction while moving. This is why we, as Homo Sapiens, only lift our foot slightly between strides.
Let’s talk Bigfoot: By analyzing the structure and imprint of credible footprints, scientists discovered that a Bigfoot has mid-foot flexibility, like the subject in both films. The weight of the creature is not concentrated on the ball of the foot like Homo Sapiens, but rather the midfoot. A Mid-tarsal break causes weight to transfer from rear to forefront. This anatomy is typical of great apes, and causes these creature’s legs to lift at a higher angle between strides in order to support their midfoot flexibility while walking. In fact, Bigfoots lift their leg 21 degrees higher than a human with each step. Another aspect of anatomy that differentiates Bigfoot from us is the ratio of the arm to the leg, which are approximately the same size. If a human was wearing arm extensions under an ape costume to create a more primitive appearance, their elbow would
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