Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Bigfoot Legend

Bigfoot is an ape-like creature apparently inhabiting the Pacific Northwest forests of North America. Frequently described as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid and popularly referred as Sasquatch. The scientific community abdicates the existence of Bigfoot and considers it to be a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoaxes. Despite the negative scientific consensus, yet Bigfoot is the most famous example of a cryptid within crypto-zoology.

Tales of untamed man exist amongst the indigenous population of the Pacific Northwest. Their description varies both regionally and locally. Similar stories are spun across the globe except Antarctica. Some regional versions contain more nefarious creatures. Paul Kane in 1847, reported stories by the native people about skoocooms - a race of cannibalistic wild men living on the peak of Mount St. Helens and were regarded as supernatural. While, others gave them names like stiyaha or kwi-kwiyai who were a nocturnal race and would entrap a person for a kill.

Reverend Elkanah Walker, a Protestant missionary in 1840 recorded stories of giants amongst the Native Americans living in Spokane. The Indians claimed that these giants lived around the nearby mountain peaks and stole salmon from their nets.

With Eric Shipton's photograph of Yeti footprint in 1951, the story of the Yeti entered into popular consciousness. It
generated considerable attention and a funded organized search for Yeti In Himalayas began. About one-third of Bigfoot sightings are concentrated in the North America, while Bigfoot advocates, postulate that Bigfoot is a worldwide phenomenon:

Bigfoot researchers and critics agree that approximately 80% sightings are misidentification, as the reported size of Bigfoot approximates that of a bear standing on its hind legs, and bears have a high prevalence in regions said to be inhabited by Bigfoot.

Bigfoot sightings or footprints are often demonstrably hoaxes as seen through this contemporary example. On July 9, 2008, Rick Dyer and Matthew Whitton posted a video on YouTube claiming that they had discovered the body of a deceased Sasquatch in northern Georgia forest. They received $50,000 from Tom Biscardi; Searching for Bigfoot, Inc. Popular news networks covered the story of the men's claims across the globe. The alleged Bigfoot body arrived in a block of ice in a freezer with the Searching for Bigfoot team. When the contents were thawed, it was discovered that the hair was fake, the head was hollow, and the feet were rubber. Subsequently, the discoverers admitted the whole scenario being a hoax after being confronted by Steve Kulls -Ex. Dir.;

Bigfoot advocates believe that the legend could be a relict population of Gigantopithecus. Most of Gigantopithecus fossils are found in China, and as many species of animals migrated across the Bering land bridge, it is not unreasonable to assume that Gigantopithecus might have as well. However, the scientific community intensely subjugates the existence of Bigfoot, as there is little or no evidence supporting the survival of such a large, prehistoric ape-like creature

Anthropologist David Daegling echoes, "remarkably limited amount of Sasquatch data that are amenable to scientific scrutiny, to offer an alternative explanation. We have to explain why we see Bigfoot when there is no such animal."

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