When I was a child, I often retreated to the woods near our house in rural southern Indiana. While playing near a hollowed out oak tree one day, something caught my eye. I froze where I stood and stared through the brush of trees, trying to figure out what it was.
It was tall and gangly, covered from head to toe in long reddish brown fur that reminded me of the color of an Irish Setter dog. It shuffled sideways across the hill, its movements reminiscent of an ape. The only thing that separated me from the creature was fifty yards of woodland, but I managed to watch it for a solid fifteen seconds before the urge to flee sent me flying out of the woods. I would spend the next forty years wondering what I saw that day.
Recent Bigfoot sightings all across the globe have brought it to the forefront of my mind. Now that people carry cell phones with video capabilities wherever they go, footage is certain to increase, providing there truly is something out there for them to film. In the past several months, three new videos have been released, providing images that resemble the legendary creature. Will technology solve the age old question: does Bigfoot really exist?
The first documented sighting of the mammoth bipedal creature came in 1811, when a trader named David Thompson found large fourteen inch footprints in the snow near Alberta Canada. According to Josh Stevens, who is a cartographer, GIScientist, and senior visualizer for NASA’s Earth Observatory, Bigfoot has been seen 3,313 times in the past 92 years with reportings increasing with the planet’s human population growth. So, why hasn’t anyone caught one or found a carcass?
I asked Bigfoot researcher and founder of the Sawtooth National Forest Bigfoot Organization, Anthony Moffett, his opinion. He said, “I know from my own research that I try to keep it real when I’m searching. I’m looking for something real, a solid animal, but I do keep my mind open to other theories, as you know there are many. I will say they have the ability to blend into their surroundings better than anything we know. I think it has a lot to do with their coloration.”
He also feels they communicate using infrasound, a sound wave that is beyond the human scope of hearing.
When I asked him why he thinks no one has found a body, he told me something I’ve heard other researchers say. Bodies decompose quickly in the woods. Within days of the death, scavengers, bacteria, and insects virtually erase all traces of the body. Others speculate that the bipedal creatures bury their dead or have some other method of hiding the body.
According to Anthony, who has spent years in the field, “If we knew where to find their dead, we would know where to find them.”
The search for Bigfoot continues with recent sightings come in from Yellowstone National Park, all the way to Brooklyn, New York. If it’s out there, we’ll one day find it. As for me, I probably would probably find myself in the skeptics camp if I hadn’t seen one with my own eyes.