Americans have long been fascinated by the idea of Bigfoot, the legendary hairy bipedal creature that has reportedly been spotted roaming through forests from the Pacific Northwest to Florida. Stories about the mysterious muscular beast have been around for centuries. Also called Sasquatch, the non-human creature has been described as “massive” by the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO), which bills itself as the “oldest and largest” organization of its kind. The creatures deviate from humans with a gait that leaves “no doubt in the mind of observers that they have seen a creature different from man or known animals.” The researchers went on to describe them as exhibiting “much individual diversity in looks as do people, ranging from a typical ape appearance to one described as ‘an old Indian.'”
The video below, filmed by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin, allegedly shows a Bigfoot in Northern California in 1967:
The most recent reported sighting happened in Ellington, Mo., where a hunter reported making eye contact with a Bigfoot. He said he saw a “large black figure” walking in the forest. “At first I thought this was a man,” he said, “but as it kept walking I noticed how massive it was, and all of a sudden it stopped and took two steps backwards and turned and looked straight at me.” At that point, he said, he realized that he was encountering a Bigfoot. As it looked at him, the witness said he could see the eyes and nose. “I could see flesh around its eyes and cheeks and also see hair covering its face as well. It stood there looking at me for I guess a good fifteen or twenty seconds, then turned and walked on down the ridge and disappeared into the woods,” he explained.
The Northwest part of the United States seems to be ground zero for Bigfoot sightings, with 642 reported in Washington, 437 in California, and 245 in Oregon, according to a database maintained by the BFRO. The most recent sighting in Washington was in October of last year, with hunters in Pend Oreille County reporting vocalizations, wood knocks, and felled trees over a period of eight days. Hawaii, on the other hand, has no reported Bigfoot sightings.
In 2017 there were a total of 95 sightings nationwide. Washington (12) led the U.S., followed by Illinois (10) and Texas (9).
College of Wooster professor Mark Wilson told a group gathered in Loundenville, Ohio, last year that the existence of Bigfoot is “implausible” according to science. “Scientists don’t think it is likely, yet it is not impossible,” Wilson allowed.
Wilson, a professor of natural science, researches the Bigfoot phenomenon. “I’ll see something that I’m sure is present but is not there,” he said. He explained that he uses the scientific method to prove his hypotheses and said that eyewitness accounts “make good stories but not good science.” He said the “gold standard” would be to find the remains of a Bigfoot. Thus far none have been found, he said.