A creature of North American folklore, Bigfoot, otherwise referred to as Sasquatch, is a bipedal ape-like being who apparently roams the wooded wilderness of North America. These creatures have been the subject of countless hoaxes and supposed sightings, with an established community of firm believers. Of course, the legend of Bigfoot is not unique to North America. Cultures across the globe have their own version of Bigfoot, such as the Yeti of Tibet and Nepal and the Yowie of Australia. Now, grab your camping gear and binoculars to catch a glimpse of these bizarre theories and myths about Bigfoot.
There Are Supposedly Several Types In The United States Alone
Although other cultures have their own interpretation of the Bigfoot myth, the United States is said to be home to more than just one species. In fact, some claim that there are at least 12 different kinds of Bigfoot creatures residing in the forests of the United States.
According to Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings (AIMS), these various species inhabit the Appalachian region of the United States and range from the more human-looking Ohio Grassman to the aggressive, eight-foot-tall Midnight Whistler.
The Legend Can Be Traced Back Thousands Of Years
Legends of Bigfoot stalking through the dense woods of North America can be traced back thousands of years. Before the arrival of the Europeans, Native Americans had their own stories and myths about the elusive creature, many of which were popular among the Iroquois and Shawnee tribes.
In Cherokee mythology, there is the Tsul ‘Kalu, or slant-eyed or sloping giant, who is considered to be the “great lord of the game.” The creature was often invoked during hunting rites and rituals.
They Could Have Psychic Abilities
According to Cherokee legend, the Tsul ‘Kalu had the ability to read other beings’ minds. Some present-day witnesses who claim to have encountered Bigfoot have reported losing time or blacking out after their interaction, a similar sensation to those who have said to have been abducted by aliens.
Apparently, hours can pass by feeling like mere seconds and they come to in a daze, unsure of where they are or what happened. Some have even said seeing Bigfoot caused them to strip naked and run through the forest.
They Might Bury Their Dead
When one skeptical group asked about the lack of remains from Bigfoot creatures that have died, believers had a simple explanation. They claim that the reason we haven’t found any convincing evidence of Bigfoot bones or remains is that they bury their dead.
They’re believed to be an intelligent species, so they most likely bury their dead like humans, which is why we can’t find remains on the forest floor. Some people have even said they stumbled upon Bigfoot burial grounds while out in the bush.
Steam Engine Vocals
One type of North American Bigfoot, known as the Midnight Whistler, is assumed to be the first group of Bigfoot to leave their cave systems and begin walking around in the open. Although originally hiding from humans, they decided to to use the waterways to spread throughout the Appalachian mountains, evolving into what we imagine them as today.
Supposedly, the Midnight Whistlers communicate with a noise that resembles a steam engine, earning them their name. While little physical evidence has been found, many people claim to have heard this particular sound in the woods.
The Most Well-Known “Evidence”
By far, the most famous image of a Bigfoot is from the short film taken in 1967 by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin. Captured in Bluff Creek, California, the footage shows an ape-like figure walking through a clearing. Although assumed to be a hoax, it is widely considered to be the clearest image of a Bigfoot ever.
Since the film was first shot, people have argued why nobody has taken better pictures of the creature if technology has improved drastically and everyone has a camera in their pocket. The Bigfoot community has no response.
The Endangered Species List
Unbelievably, in 1965, Bigfoot was added to the endangered species list in Russia. Just two years later, Germany and France followed in suit. Then, in 1969, in Skamania County, Washington, a law was passed in order to protect a Bigfoot if they existed.
The law stated that “any willful, wanton slaying of such creatures shall be deemed a felony and subject to fine or imprisonment.” Although the bill was passed on April 1, commissioner Conrad Lundy clarified that “This is not an April’s Fools Day joke… there is a reason to believe such an animal exists.” The bill was later amended in 1984.
The Australian Yowie Is Astoundingly Similar
Hailing from Australian folklore, the Yowie is one of the many names used to describe the Bigfoot-like creature that roams the Outback of Australia. Yowies are described to be hairy and ape-like standing anywhere between 7 and 12 feet tall.
With a nose said to be wide and flat, its feet are larger than a human’s although its tracks are inconsistent in shape and toe number. Although some have claimed Yowies to be shy and timid, others have said that they can be aggressive when provoked.
A Significant Amount Of Americans Are Believers
No matter what part of the country you live in or how old you are, chances are that you’re familiar with the legend of Bigfoot. However, it’s proven to be an extremely polarizing concept split between believers and skeptics.
While believers consider evidence of Bigfoot as concrete and infallible, others see nothing more than an elaborate hoax that has continued throughout the years. No matter which side you’re on, it’s hard to ignore that according to The Washington Post, about as many Americans believe in Bigfoot as do those who believe in the Big Bang theory.
Monster Or Friend?
For the most part, a lot of people agree that the idea of Bigfoot is an uneasy one, mostly because of the mystery. That, and because it’s described as being freakishly big, hairy, and much more powerful than any human. Furthermore, many Native American tales portray Bigfoot as a guardian of the forest and willing to harm those who mean to do it harm.
However, not all the legends surrounding Bigfoot make it out to be dangerous. In the Coast Salish and Wenatchee legends, Bigfoot is a friend of man and is uninterested in harming anyone.
The FBI Once Helped Look For Bigfoot
Since 1976, the FBI has kept a file on Bigfoot. That same year, Director Peter Bryne of the Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition sent the FBI around 15 hairs still attached to a piece of skin. Bryne noted that he couldn’t tell what kind of animal it was from and was hoping the FBI might be able to lend a hand.
Although the FBI doesn’t deal with such matters, Jay Cochran Jr., assistant director of the FBI’s scientific and technical services division, stepped in. He wrote back “in the interest of research and scientific inquiry,” and made an exception. In the end, the hair didn’t belong to Bigfoot, but that of a deer.
Most Cultures Agree On Its Physical Description
Although it is not the case for the Orang Pendek, the Sumatran version of Bigfoot that’s only a few feet tall, almost all cultures characterize the creature the same. For the most part, they are described as around 9-feet tall, extremely large, hairy, and they walk on two feet.
On top of that, many cultures claim they can run up to 35 miles per hour, faster than any other primate in existence. The staple characteristic of all these creatures is, without a doubt, the hair. It’s one of the main physical attributes that connect all the different legends together.
A Scientific Approach To Its Existence
While most of Bigfoot’s biggest skeptics come from the scientific community, there are those who use science as the basis for their belief in the creature. Instead of viewing Bigfoot as a supernatural force or a missing link in the evolutionary chain, some propose that Bigfoot is simply an animal that we are yet to discover.
Some argue that Bigfoot could be a long-dormant population of Gigantopithecus, a large prehistoric ape that would have crossed the Bering Strait from Asia. Another argument is that they are a close relative to humans such as the Paranthropus Robustus or the Meganthropus.
The Myth Of The Yeti
Very similar to Bigfoot in North America, the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, is an Asian folkloric creature said to live in the Himalayan mountains. A myth of the indigenous people, the Yeti became popular in Western culture in the 19th century after Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury published his book, Mount Everest The Reconnaissance, 1921.
Much like other cultures’ legends, the Yeti is abnormally large, fast, and is covered in hair, except that it’s white. Although it is regarded as a legend, hair samples found in the Himalaya had a DNA match with a prehistoric bear from the Pleistocene epoch.
Bigfoot And Chupacabras May Hunt As A Team
In Appalachia, Chupacabras are known as West Virginia Vampires and are believed to be creatures that suck the blood from their prey in the forest. Some members of the Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings group assume that Bigfoot may use Chupacabras to assist them, much like a hunter would use a bloodhound.
The Chupacabras’ job is to seek out and capture the prey and Bigfoot comes in to retrieve the body. In turn, Bigfoot protects the Chupacabra from humans and their traps. Unsurprisingly, there’s no evidence to back up this hypothesis.
Don’t Mess With The Wildman
Although there have been few to no reports of people being attacked by Bigfoot, that might not have been the case for the Shawnee tribe’s legend. Known as the most aggressive Bigfoot in Appalachia, the Wildman is described as eight feet tall, 500 pounds, covered in dark black hair, and is violent toward humans.
It is also considered to be a relative of the Midnight Whistler, although far more aggressive. Back in the 1700s, a Shawnee tribe claimed that a Wildman killed seven of its members.
They Might Communicate By Knocking On Trees
While there has been limited physical evidence of Bigfoot, most of the cases people report have to do with unusual sounds they hear in the woods. One noise that is often reported is the sound of something knocking against the trees.
Some believe this is the work of Bigfoot creatures communicating with each another as a type of warning system, or even trying to reach out to humans. It is assumed that they use their hands or sticks to do make the noise, which is not unusual behavior as evidenced from gorillas who clap their hands as a type of alarm.
They Emmit A Foul Stench
Assuming that a Bigfoot doesn’t take baths or groom itself like a human, it’s not surprising to hear that people who claim to have seen the creature all describe a horrible scent that follows it.
Some claim that the stench lingers for long after the creature has disappeared and that it’s a scent that stays with you forever. According to some believers, it’s one of the main ways you can know if Bigfoot is in the area because the smell will reach you long before it does.
They Like Apples
While the exact diet of a Bigfoot is not widely known, it appears that one group of them has a taste for apples. As described by the Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings, one Bigfoot-type referred to as a Yahoo has made its way into the orchards of West Virginia.
There, Golden Delicious are in abundance, and it has been assumed that the Yahoos have been eating them more and more frequently. According to sources, Yahoos are ten feet tall and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. It must take a lot of apples to fuel that thing!
Some Believe Bigfoot Corpses Were Flown From Mount St. Helens After The Eruption
During the 1920s, the Mount St. Helen area in Washington had been a hot-spot for Bigfoot sightings. Numerous people claimed to have seen the creature and believed they resided on the side of the volcano.
However, after the cataclysmic eruption in 1980, some witnesses reported federal helicopters airlifting the charred corpses of multiple Bigfoot remains out of the disaster area. Of course, this is just going by the claim of a few people. Since then, a nearby gorge has been named “Ape Canyon.”