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... around the world, they call it Sasquatch, Forest Man, Yeti, Bigfoot, Matdngdng ...

Bruce G. Marcot

Does some non-human anthropoid really stalk the dark woods and hinterlands of the world?

Evidence includes strings of hair, nest beds on the forest floor, foul odors, visual encounters and fuzzy photos, taped calls, and ... footprints.

I'm a professional wildlife biologist.  I've worked in the field in many parts of the world, especially the conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest U.S., the supposed heart of Bigfoot country.  I've worked with Native Americans whose legends of Sasquatch are told alongside those of bald eagles, wolves, owls, and other animals we know well.  I've heard legends of Bigfoot-like creatures in far corners of the globe told by other indigenous peoples.

What might this be?  From a wildlife biology perspective, it seems incredible that so wide-ranging, so large a creature would remain undiscovered by science and escape scientific scrutiny.  Stories of only recently-discovered species of ungulate in the deep jungles of Vietnam, or cryptic oceanic life forms such as the coelacanth and giant squid, are often raised as supposed evidence that Bigfoot exists or could exist.  In one sense, this is so; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  No one would be more excited, more delighted than would I, if this were the case ... and, at least in the wildlife management profession, we truly don't yet know.  As we must take care not to let possibilities be taken as evidence of probabilities, we should approach the available evidence with some scientific care.

What About The Footprints?

But as for those tracks ... of "big feet" that started it all ... I can hazard an explanation.

Here is a critical examination and explanation of Bigfoot tracks.

Evidence of tracks takes three main forms:  recounted direct sightings, photos of tracks, and plaster casts.  Remember, though, that most of the evidence that you can really weigh is what someone wrote of their or another's sightings, or someone's photographs of supposed tracks or of supposed plaster casts.  So remember to keep on the "skeptical glasses" and not believe everything you read or see in photos ... including here, fair enough!

I'll break this little treatise into several chewable sections.  Please take these in sequence, or they may not make much sense:

Part 1.  Here Comes "Bigfoot"

Part 2.  What Tracks Are These?

Part 3.  So Who Made These, After All?

Part 4.  Conclusions: Is There Proof?  and Addenda  

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