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Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014

Boldly Going Nowhere

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Bigfoot

In October of 1967, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin were riding horses through the wilderness along Bluff Creek in the Six Rivers National Forest in northern California. Patterson's horse suddenly reared in alarm as they encountered a creature on a gravel sandbar.

Patterson grabbed his movie camera and ran toward the creature, shooting the now famous film footage of what many consider to be a genuine Bigfoot. The creature continued walking away, seemingly unafraid, looking back once at the two men as it made its way into the distant woods and out of sight. The two men chose not to pursue it into the dense woods. A wise decision.

A Bigfoot is a large creature, part human and part ape, that lives in remote seclusion in various parts of the world. In America, it has predominately been reported to have been seen in the rugged mountain areas of Washington, Oregon and northern California. It's called by many names, such as Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Mountain Devil and Omaha Bushman. In Asia, they're called Yeti, Gin-Sung, Mirygdy, Mecheny and Nguoi Rung.

Some scientists who consider the Patterson film to be authentic believe the Bigfoot is Gagantopithecus Blacki, an extinct primate that lived in Asia 300,000 years ago and possibly crossed the land bridge into North America before Asia broke off the mainland.

Extensive analysis of the Patterson film reveals that the Bigfoot was a female, 7 feet 4 inches in height and approximately 700 pounds. Footprints left in the soil of the sandbar were 14.5 by 6 inches in size. Patterson also took photographs of the Bigfoot tracks. In relation to the men's tracks, the creature was clearly several times heavier than human beings. Plaster casts of the tracks showed a vast difference in each footprint, such as toe placement, toe gripping force, pressure ridges and breaks, weight shifts, weight distribution, depth, etc. Under these circumstances, the tracks could not have been faked.

Bob Titmus, an experienced outdoor tracker, arrived at the scene at Bluff Creek shortly after the Patterson encounter and followed the Bigfoot tracks into the forest. He found evidence the Bigfoot had sat down at a high vantage point where it could watch the men below.

Whether or not Bigfoot truly exists is subject to debate. In an attempt to resolve the issue, Thomas Biscardi, a Bigfoot explorer from northern California, is attempting to put together a major expedition in the spring or early summer of 2004. Biscardi has lengthy credentials when it comes to searching for Bigfoot, which may be similar to having lengthy credentials when it comes to obsessive neurotic behavior. His search for Bigfoot began in 1973. In 1981, he produced a documentary film titled "In the Shadow of Bigfoot."

According to Biscardi, the American Bigfoot Expedition will be both commercial and scientific in nature, seeking corporate sponsorship to participate in equipping the event and accepting bids for broadcasting or merchandising rights. Sponsors will be eligible to send a qualified representative on the expedition. In other words, come up with lots of cash and we'll let you go camping with us.

Expedition organizers claim they will make detailed observations of their findings for scientific publication. This will include "natural and environmental studies, anthropological, botanical and zoological reports, as well as sociological studies of the participants in the expedition as the expedition progresses." With this sort of thoroughness, there will probably also be a scientific study of the human response when a 7-foot 700-pound Gagantopithecus Blacki in a bad mood has its hands around the neck of one of the members of the expedition.

I once encountered a Bigfoot in northern Arkansas. It was a gigantic, hairy, ugly creature that smelled like old jock straps and made huge footprints in the ground. It turned out to be a goat farmer from Sturkie named Merle.