Tahlequah Daily Press

October 8, 2013

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: A history of Bigfoot and his brethren

By JEAN HAVENS
Special Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Although Bigfoot seems to be a recent phenomenon, as in only a century or two old, his legend goes back thousands of years. The actual name “Bigfoot” came about in the 1950s, but before that he was known as Yeti by the people in the Himalayas, and Sasquatch, meaning wild man of the woods, by North American natives.

The earliest mention in literature of this hairy human-like creature can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh; however, this literary epic has no foundation to reality.

In 500 BCE, Heroditus, a Greek historian spoke of hairy monsters in Northern Africa. And even in medieval times, stories about “wildmen,” half-man, half-beast, appear in numerous pieces of literature.

Tribes in British Columbia had carved totem poles with the likes of a manbeast. This manbeast, although appearance and names vary somewhat, are part of the legends of many North American tribes.

The first known reporting of the Sasquatch creature was in 1811 in Alberta, Canada. European settlers in the 1830s North America reportedly saw large and hairy bipeds in the Pacific Northwest. Numerous articles in Canadian newspapers at the time reported on Sasquatch, the hairy giant of Native American legend, attacks and homicides.

Bigfoot is reported to be docile and vegetarian in nature, but there are some reports of his killing deer in northern parts of the United States.

The first Bigfoot attack was in Washington state in 1924, when prospectors and miners reported stones thrown at their cabins and large footprints were found outside.

Plaster footprint casts of Bigfoot were taken by Jerry Crew in Humboldt, Calif. He found them while operating a bulldozer. The term “Bigfoot” was coined by the U.S. newspapers who covered that story.

The biggest Bigfoot craze began when Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin showed the first video shot capturing the creature. It is the clearest image to date. This is the most famous of Bigfoot videos, and is well-known around the world. This 1967 Bigfoot movie contained only seconds of what appeared to be a female, hairy creature, walking away and turning to look at the camera.

Many people have tried to prove the film as a fraud, but it still stands today as the best evidence of a Bigfoot creature in existence. However, since that time, many have tried to debunk the film as a fraud, but it still stands today as the best evidence of a Bigfoot creature in existence. However, since that time, many Bigfoot videos have proven to be hoaxes.

Today many pursue this elusive creature, trying to capture evidence of his existence. Some want to kill the creature, some merely want to capture its appearance on video.

The best evidence to date has been the many footprints that have been found. When examined these footprints have concluded dermal ridge evidence. The dermal ridges of true Bigfoot tracks contain a pattern and direction of flow unlike any other creature, including man.

Still the sightings of Bigfoot continue.

On Memorial Day in 1996, Lori and Owen Pate filmed a Bigfoot sighting at Chopka Lake in Washington state. It shows Sasquatch running across a field.

Outside of the United States, a Polish man, Piotr Kowlaski spotted what looked like a Yeti in the Tatra Mountains. Kowalski, 27, from Warsaw, says he turned his camera on after he saw a Bigfoot emerging from behind rocks.

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization has an ongoing list of Bigfoot sightings worldwide. In the United States, Washington has spotted 567 Sasquatches, the highest number of reported sightings in any given region. California ranks second with 428 sightings. The most recent was in January where a group of friends spotted footprints in Whiskeytown National Park in California.

The history of Bigfoot’s existence is also full of high-profile hoaxes. There is no category of evidence that has not been widely hoaxed, including video, photographs, tracks, hair samples, blood samples and DNA samples.

These hoaxes frustrate those in the Bigfoot research community who take the subject seriously and try to bring science and good research to the mystery. Faked evidence casts doubt on potentially legitimate evidence.

Those who believe in Bigfoot’s existence believe his existence will be proven using good science that will help eliminate the hoaxes from any real evidence.

The following websites are accredited to the above information: http://www.bigfoot-lives.com/html/bigfoot_history.html, http://www.ourbigfoot.com/bigfoot_history.html, does-bigfoot-exist-what-dna-history-photos-tell-us-about-sasquatch-videos-1286719 and new-bigfoot-sighting-just-latest-in-series-of-hoaxes-131003.