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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sightings of bigfoot recorded 500 years ago provide evidence of existance
The oldest documentation of Bigfoot was thought to have occurred in 986 AD by Leaf Erikson and his men. During their first landing in America, they wrote of a monster that was ugly, hairy and with great black eyes. Stories of Bigfoot were abundant during the 1800’s by White pioneers heading west. In 1840, E. Walker, a missionary to the Spokane Indians, wrote a fascinating letter after his journey to the America’s. He described a race of giants that lived in the mountains. He reported that they hunt, do all their work at night, and have a strong smell that is most intolerable. Even President Teddy Roosevelt, an avid hunter, reported seeing such a creature in the woods that walked on two feet and uttered “sinister sounds”. In 1884, in the town of Yale, British Columbia, a strange creature was captured that some believed was a young Bigfoot. It stood about 4’7” in height, and slightly resembled a gorilla in appearance. Mysteriously, the creature disappeared while being transported by train. Despite such early stories, Bigfoot’s worldwide recognition and name did not appear until 1958. That summer, a road crew working in Northwestern California, discovered huge, human-like tracks and 300lb fuel drums tossed around several feet from where they were placed. One of the workers casted tracks of the creature, and made the newspaper. The workers nick-named the creature, “Bigfoot”.
Bigfoot’s new worldwide popularity after the worker’s discovery attracted many researchers and inspired many expeditions, including the famous Patterson-Gimlin sighting. However, sightings of the creature actually date back hundreds of years, and have reported by Native tribes all across the world. The Pacific Northwest has been home to Native Americans for thousands of years, even before the European settlers arrived. A large, hairy beast known to many natives as, “Hairy Man” is described as being covered in coarse, dark hair, is massive in size, is similar in proportion to humans, and has immense strength. They have often been seen throwing large, heavy rocks at anyone posing a threat. Many native tribe members tell stories handed down through many generations. David Severns, a member of the Yurok tribe, describes a time when animals and humans lived in harmony, until humans began feeling superior and became destructive. David’s elders refer to the Hairy Man as the “ancient people”, and describe them as ancestors rather than inferior animals. Native Americans from the Yurok tribe tell of somewhat peaceful beings that inhabit the forest. Tribe members are told not to stare the creature in the eyes, as it will kill if truly threatened. This advice carries through many tribes, and the description of Bigfoot remains the same: a bipedal, hairy, ape-like creature.
While tribal stories of Bigfoot carry from generation to generation, archeological proof has possibly validated them. Kathy Moskowitz Strain, an archeologist and anthropologist who works closely with artifacts from different tribes, has examined such artifacts. One of the earliest record of Bigfoot comes from the Tuley River tribe, who drew the Hairy Man in a family-like group. A father, a mother, and a child are seen clear as day in their most striking 500-year-old pictograph located near the Tuley River in California. These pictographs also include drawings of known animals next to the hairy man, indicating that perhaps such a creature was not made up, but something they actually saw. The images are life-sized and range from 4 feet to 8 feet tall. Stick man, Basket woman, and Sasquatch are just some of the many names assigned to the creature by different tribes- whose distances are so great, that information about such a creature could not have possibly been exchanged. The Zelus Indian tribe in Northern California call the creature, Sasquatch, meaning “wild man of the woods”. The Hoopa Valley Indians call it, “Oma”, meaning, “boss of the woods”. Jimmy Jackson, a Hoopa elder, speaks of a creature that protects the mountains, similar to the Sasquatch of the Zelus tribe. A common physical description and behavior is reported by many tribes, but, how could these reports be so similar with no contact to each other? Similarly, the Columbia River in Oregon has offered artifacts that have baffled scientists. Native American carvings were uncovered near the river’s edge, representing an ape-like face. These Oregon Natives had to have had an understanding of the way an Ape’s face appears, which remains a mystery in modern science, as there are no apes existing in Oregon...or so we think. Dr. Roderick Sprague reflects on the mystery: “Why would people be interested in making a carving of something they’ve never seen?” He continues to explain that many beliefs and artwork from natives is inspired by things they actually saw. How is it that this creature shares the same ape-like characteristics throughout every tribe, without having any known apes discovered in these regions?
49 years ago the patterson-gimlin film of a bigfoot was shot in bluff creek, northern california. it is considered today to be the best digital evidence we have of the creature.
On October 20, 1967, a 16mm film was taken at Bluff Creek, northern California by Roger Patterson accompanied by his good friend Bob Gimlin. When Patterson heard about sightings of an unknown “monster” in California, he took a trip in 1964 to investigate; little did he know he would be returning with a 17-inch cast of a track (Meaning a footprint). Three years later, he found himself in the same location after word of fresh tracks. This time he would come home with the most credible evidence in the history of Sasquatch reports. Riding horseback through Bluff Creek, Patterson and Gimlin were on a hot pursuit for a Sasquatch, intrigued by the recent local reports. While in search, the two horses were suddenly spooked by a large hairy figure walking sixty feet to their left. With the creature in view, Roger Patterson grabbed his camera from the saddlebag, and ran towards the figure filming its determined strides (Meldrum, 134). The figure in the film pivots at the waist while swinging its arms widely. It takes a look back at the camera and keeps walking wearily. The figure shows a layer of short black hair and seems to be heavily muscled. The most intriguing observation of the “creature” is its large breasts however the clarity and duration of the film is what makes it the most credible evidence today. After the film of the Sasquatch was taken, the two men casted footprints where the creature had been walking. The evidence collected seemed to have been enough to convince just about anyone, however there are many skeptics on the matter.
The Patterson-Gimlin film of the Sasquatch is extremely controversial. The footprints casted by Patterson after the film was taken have received critiques by Primatologist John Napier who noticed inconsistencies in the height and length of strides taken by the subject. John Green, who produced a recreation of the film, predicted the creature to be much smaller than Patterson had claimed, setting up another inconsistency. Contrary to Green and Napier’s observations, Bob Titmus’ study proved that such footprints made in the ground had to be of a 600 pound creature. Critics believe the creature to be a human in a costume, because of the shiny hair covering the creature as well as the large feet it possesses. Upon closer examination of the footage you will notice the creature’s foot lift up, accompanied by five clearly defined toes. You will also observe a muscle structure within the thighs and buttocks, eliminating the possibility of a gorilla costume. The most incredible feature is the creature’s large breasts as it turns towards the camera. Gimlin estimates the creature to be about six and a half feet tall (Meldrum 140). Aside from many critics, the film is proven to be credible by Grover Krantz. Krantz demonstrated that when a human walks, they must lock their knees. The creature in the film does not lock its knees, which would have had to have been nearly impossible for a human hoaxer. Scientists have examined the film frame by frame only to discover that the way the subject distributes its weight as well as turns its neck is extremely uncommon for a human. (Coleman 83).The credibility of the footage is not easily decided by science; however there are no holes in the evidence and background story or anatomical evidence. The two men couldn’t have been seeking attention; Bob Gimlin declined almost all interviews offered to him. What the men seemed to be seeking was simply an undiscovered creature. Dr. Ian McTaggert-Cowen, a leading zoologist says, “The more a thing deviates from the known, the better the proof of its existence must be.”
Although the media was using Patterson and Gimlin’s discovery to launch new movies and TV shows, Bigfoot’s credibility became less and less believable. After the media released so many movies, mocking and dramatizing the creature, every time “Bigfoot” was mentioned, people laughed. Soon enough, Bigfoot was being less represented by the credible Patterson-Gimlin film and more represented by the inaccurate media image being portrayed in many movies and shows. For years after the release of the two movies, Bigfoot maintained a comedic image. It wasn’t until recently, that the public began to see the creature as a real animal. On May 11, 2011, the animal planet show, “Finding Bigfoot” premiered. The show follows a small team of Bigfoot researchers as they gather eye witness reports, physical evidence, and vocal recordings of the creature’s howls. Because of the seemingly credible eye witness reports, the show became the most popular on animal planet. It seemed that people started to believe in Bigfoot again. After several seasons, one of the most credible episodes premiered. The team of researches traveled to Northern China, where they visited a temple that housed the scalp and hand of a “Yeren”, the Chinese version of a Bigfoot. This new evidence was a breakthrough for the Bigfoot community, and soon after scientists began examining evidence again.
Several theories started to arise as to what the creature was. Some scientists believe it to be a decedent of the once existing giant ape, “Gigantopithecus.” Most believe that Bigfoot is an early species of human because of bones found in Russia of a ten foot tall, broad, hairy, early human named “Homo-Heidleberguensis.” As for the public, the theories are split. Because of the numerous cheesy TV shows that have copied off of “Finding Bigfoot”, as well as the lack of physical evidence found, you can say that the public’s views are split very evenly. Half are scared by the idea of a ten foot tall, early human, wandering around their backyard. Accounts of unexplained mutilated cows and dogs along with the terrifying representation of the creature in, “The legend of Boggy Creek” has given some people an image of a “monster”. Those are the people who tend to block out the possibility of such a thing existing. As for some, including myself, the idea of Bigfoot being a prehistoric human is captivating. To think that a part of history, something we thought went extinct millions of years ago, is still roaming the earth today. A giant human, covered in hair, that could possibly have a language, or skills to make fire could be hunting the same deer that I do. Until we find DNA evidence, we will never convince the disbelievers. For now, it doesn’t have a scientific name. Let’s call it, Bigfoot. Ian McTaggert-Cowen, a leading zoologist once said, “The more a thing deviates from the known, the better the proof of its existence must be.”
Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch) is the name given to a cryptid Hominin-like creature that is reported to inhabit forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of North America, luckily where I live. Immediately after the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film, the public went wild. Newspapers were filled with articles and interviews with the two men, and now that there was footage, witnesses were no longer afraid of being called crazy. Dozens of new reports poured into the local Willow and Bluff Creek police stations, and many people began confessing to being part of the hoax, trying to get a share of the money. One man was Bob Heironimus, who confessed to having purchased a gorilla costume, and appearing in the now-famous footage. But after further investigation, his claim, along with all other hoaxers’ was disproved. The buzz and attention surrounding the two men was certainly of envy, and scientists and began making it their mission to disprove the film’s credibility. The footprints casted by Patterson after the film received critiques by disbelievers like Primatologist John Napier who noticed inconsistencies in the height and length of strides taken by the subject, and John Green, who produced a recreation of the film, predicting the creature to be much smaller than Patterson had claimed in a previous interview. Although it seemed that everyone was against the two men, scientist and Bigfoot researcher Grover Krantz discovered the evidence that would prove the film credible. Krantz explained that when a human walks, they must lock their knees, which the creature in the film does not do. Other supporting scientists like Jeff Meldrum have examined the film frame by frame only to discover that the way the subject distributes its weight as well as turns its neck is extremely uncommon for a human. These scientists, along with new eye witness reports, were the foundation for the Bigfoot phenomenon. This evidence turned Bigfoot from a legend to a possible species. The years following the film, Bigfoot became part of an everyday conversation in Bluff Creek, eventually connecting all fifty states in a search for the illusive creature.
Because of the lack of official conclusion on the Patterson-Gimlin film, the public grew more fascinated with the creature. But why does such a creature captivate us humans in such a strong manor? Perhaps it is the connection to our ancestors, the early humans. The more publicity the Patty film received, the more expeditions took place, and the more eye witness evidence surfaced, which started to create an image of the creature, and eerily enough, the description of Bigfoot was similar to that of a human. Theories of Bigfoot being a giant “half ape, half man” became the concrete for