What is Bigfoot?
What is bigfoot, or Sasquatch? For hundreds of years, people have reported seeing hairy, man-like creatures that walk on two legs and live in the forests and mountainous areas of North America and around the world.
The term "bigfoot" was coined in 1958, when bulldozer operator Jerry Crew found and cast large tracks at Bluff Creek, California, near the site where Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin later filmed the Patterson-Gimlin film in 1967. The story, and the wprd "bigfoot" hit the Associate Press and it has been a common colloquialism for all things big, hairy and manlike ever since.
The word "Sasquatch" is a contemporary spelling of the Salish Indian term ""Sésquac", which means "wild man".
There are many theories about what bigfoot is. We'll explore some of the more popular ideas below.
What is Bigfoot - ELUSIVE PRIMATE?
The belief that bigfoot is simply an "ape" similar to a two-legged Gorilla has been status quo in the bigfoot research community for decades. One popular theory is that Bigfoot may be Gigantopithecus Blacki, a large primate whose teeth and jawbones have been discovered in parts of China. Researchers have looked to the behavior of other non-human primates for clues to Bigfoot behavior and have approached field research, somewhat unsuccessfully, with this is mind. While Sasquatches appear to have many physical characteristics that most certainly put them in the order of higher primates, such as hands with an opposable thumb, a flattened face and a large brain, there are details in eyewitness testimony, especially that of long-term witnesses, that indicate that Bigfoot may possess language and some sort of primative culture, leading some researchers to believe that Bigfoot or Sasquatch may actually be some sort of primative human.
WHAT IS BIGFOOT - Prehistoric human?
Some have looked to early human ancestors as potential candidates to explain what Bigfoot is. Paranthropus robustus had a crested skull and was bipedal, but only stood 4' tall. Homo Erectus might be a better candidate, standing on average 5' 10". There are indications that Homo Erectus used stone tools, which Sasquatches may, but they also may have used fire, which Bigfoot does not. Neither of these candidates has been found fossilized in North America; however, the areas where Sasquatches are presumed to live, mainly forested regions, are areas which do not produce many fossils.
what is bigfoot - Spiritual being?
Many early Native American tribes across the US and Canada have stories about Bigfoot, carved their visages into totem poles and even had names in their own language for the creatures, including Dsonoskwa, Steatco, and Bukwus. These stories and physical representations of the creatures are fascinating asthey often depict a hairy, man-like creature with wild eyes and pursed, whistling lips, similar to what eyewitnesses have described. Native American beliefs often contain a spiritual element - that Sasquatch is our "brother" or the "boss of the woods", charged with protecting nature from the damage humans would do - and focus less on Sasquatch as a physical being and more as a spiritual harbinger.
WHAT is bigfoot - alien translplant?
There have been a few documented UFO sightings in conjunction with Bigfoot sightings, lending a much stranger explanation to the question, "What is Bigfoot?" Some suggest that Sasquatch is linked in some way to beings from another world: either planted here intentionally or brought to earth to serve some sort of purpose. While sightings of Bigfoot and UFOs are occasionally reported together, it is unclear whether these reports are credible.
WHAT is bigfoot - SHAPESHIFTER?
On the fringes of bigfoot research, paranormal theories abound. Some witnesses believe they have documented trackways that simply stop, leading some to wonder if bigfoot may be "interdimensional" - whatever that means - or have the ability to "shapeshift" into another form. Some witnesses have indicated that bigfoot can "turn into" a rock or a stump or become invisible. It is unclear whether these reports are simply misidentifications of the creature's ability to camoflauge themselves in their surroundings and hold very still. Native American stories of "skinwalkers", which were shape-shifters, have been attributed to Sasquatch.
WHAT is bigfoot - attention ploy?
The mass media often ridicules people eyewitnesses who claim to have seen Sasquatch. Witnesses are accused of making up stories to gain attention, of being drunk or on drugs, or of perpetrating hoaxes or lying. The mainstream media often addresses the subject with tongue-in-cheek seriousness or outright sensationalism, making it uncomfortable for witnesses to come forward. While many hoaxes have been uncovered over the years, there are many more earnest, serious and credible eyewitnesses whose stories cannot be so easily discounted.