Bigfoot / Sasquatch In North America

madmath

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As for the cameras we all carry with us, think back to how often you've seen something, pulled out your mobile phone, found and called up the photo app, aligned it with the subject and shot it. How often did you end up missing the subject, or had a blurry shot, let alone a stable, long lasting video with the subject well centered, in focus, the camera zoomed in? I know I've missed many cute shots of our cats, birds flying by, interesting vehicles or aircraft, astronomical shots.
On a related subject, though, trail cams have become ubiquitous and really should have properly caught something by now.
 

kamalktk

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I imagine everyone in this forum would like to feel able to believe that Bigfoot exists, but the evidence is not there.

All of the various "relict hominids" or "apemen" (Sasquatch, Yeti, etc.) are different. The existence or otherwise of one "species" does not prove or disprove the existence of another. However, they all present the same basic challenges to someone who would like to believe on the basis of evidence.

All or most human and ape species are/were social creatures rather than loners. As individuals and as groups, they need to eat, drink, sleep, defecate, meet, breed, raise their young, and eventually die. Each of these things would create and leave some evidence, particularly as there are people out there actively looking for them, and almost everyone carries a powerful movie/still camera with them these days.

Where are the remains of the food, the sightings and numerous footprints near to water sources, spoor, nests or shelters, meeting places marked by footprints and the like, sightings of them with their young, and their bones, teeth or fossils? There should be some, and there should be some clear photos and reliable video evidence by now. Sadly, I see none. A few blurred photos and shaky films, some of questionable provenance.

We have photos and film of giant squid, and of coelacanths in their natural environment, but little or nothing to compare when it comes to a large species said to live on land.

The absence of evidence that ought to be available is a form of evidence in itself.
I am also of the Bigfoot doesnt exist thinking. But that line of thinking also needs to make sure the arguments for nonexistence are plausible and examined.
 

Naughty_Felid

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von Däniken's principle: If we exclude 90% as misidentification, and 90% of what's left as hoaxes, that still leaves 1% unexplained. Look how reasonable we've been excluding 99% of our cases. But if the 1% left over are genuinely anomalous, then how many of the other 99% are anomalous, after all, and not misidentifications or hoaxes? Mein Gott! They are everywhere!
But dismissing that is a bit of a cop-out too. That's the trouble with modern Forteana these days.

I'm interested in what is going on with the witness rather than proving there's a big apeman running around.

When it clearly not a bear - what are they seeing? Why are they seeing it? What is happening?
 

Mikefule

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But dismissing that is a bit of a cop-out too. That's the trouble with modern Forteana these days.

I'm interested in what is going on with the witness rather than proving there's a big apeman running around.

When it clearly not a bear - what are they seeing? Why are they seeing it? What is happening?
First of all, for the avoidance of doubt, I am neither hostile nor scornful towards those who believe in Bigfoot. I doubt that Bigfoot exists. If it does, then I expect it to be a flesh and blood cryptid rather than either a tulpa ot some sort of interdimensional being.

I absolutely agree that what is going on with the witnesses is interesting — and is Fortean in its own right. Simple "misidentification" and hoaxes happen, but they are not the whole story. Witnesses are strange things.

I did quite a lot of reading on the subject of witness evidence when I was working in a fraud department for an insurance company. I spent 36ish years investigating claims (including motor and workplace accidents) and 10 of those years specialising in fraud management.

There is a compelling amount of evidence that what someone "saw" depends on what they expected to see, and what questions they are asked after the event.

There was a study in which groups of subjects were shown a short video of a car crash. (Loftus & Palmer 1974)

After watching the video, they were asked to estimate the speed of the vehicles.

The groups were asked the same question with one word different. What was the speed when the vehicles [smashed, collided, bumped, hit, or contacted] each other?

Those who were asked with an emotive word (smashed) estimated the speed as substantially higher than those who were asked a more neutral word (bumped).

Later, they were asked whether they had seen glass on the road after the cars had [smashed, collided, bumped, hit, or contacted] each other.

Some subjects in each group reported seeing glass. However, those who were asked "smashed" were significantly more likely to report seeing glass. In fact, there was no glass on the road, so no one had actually seen it.

There is no reason to suspect that the subjects of this study attached any importance to their answers, or that they knew what they were being tested for, so we can assume that they were answering truthfully. Nevertheless, their answers were demonstrably inaccurate, and the inaccuracy was statistically linked to the way that they were asked.

This is how human witnesses behave when they are seeing something fairly routine in a calm and structured environment. Take these same witnesses into a forest and show them a fleeting glimpse of something that might just be an amazing anomaly and a once in a lifetime experience, and you could reasonably expect the effect to be amplified.

Who wants to concede, "Yes, it was probably a bear"? Also, most witnesses want to please the person asking them questions, rather than answering "I can't say" or "I don't know".

A trained and honest investigator knows to ask neutral and open questions: "How would you describe it?" "What did you see?"
A bad investigator asks leading questions: "Would you say it was nearer six feet or seven feet tall?" "Did you feel threatened?"
A poorly trained or amateur investigator acting in good faith may allow emotive words and lines of questioning to influence what the witness "recalls". "How tall was it?" invites an answer that suggests it was quite tall, for example.

Because witness evidence, especially filtered through interviews by amateur enthusiasts, is so unreliable, I am firmly in the camp of "I would love to find that Bigfoot really exists, but I need reliable evidence rather than reports. After all these years of searching, where are the clear and unequivocal photos and videos? Where are the spoors, DNA samples, etc.? We have more physical evidence of countless species from over 200 million years ago than we have for this species that is said to exist today.

Change of subject: Bigfoot is conventionally described as bipedal. The only truly bipedal mammals are humans. By being bipedal, we sacrifice speed across the ground for the ability to manipulate, carry, and throw things with our hands. You can't outrun a wolf, tiger, or a bear, but they can't build a shelter, tend a fire or make a spear.

Take a human shape and add 10% to its height and you add 33% to its weight, but only 21% to the cross section of the bones and muscles. The bigger it gets, the more disadvantageous being bipedal becomes. A species would only evolve to be bipedal if there were a gain somewhere else, such as tool use, building shelters, throwing hunting spears, carrying possessions, etc. Although we have found very few bones of prehistoric human species, we have quite a lot of their tools, art, fire places, middens and so on. We have none of this for Bigfoot.
 

Kondoru

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BF isnt a tool user beyond a stick.

One thing they can do which apes cannot is throw a stone overarm.
 

stu neville

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BF isnt a tool user beyond a stick.
Again, there's more and more evidence of great apes using tools in increasingly sophisticated ways: have you seen the footage of the orangutan using a saw? - he's obviously seen humans using it but has made the connection and has applied the learning for his own use. Taking it for a moment that Sasquatches are living apes, and curious ones at that, it's no stretch to see them learning from us. Given their interest in farms, logging camps, workshops etc they could easily acquire basic tools. Just because we haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
"How tall was it?" invites an answer that suggests it was quite tall, for example.
I made the point some time ago that in Finding Bigfoot the usual comparison for height was with Bobo Fay with his hand up, and in 90% of cases it was the size of Bobo Fay with his hand up.
Take a human shape and add 10% to its height and you add 33% to its weight, but only 21% to the cross section of the bones and muscles. The bigger it gets, the more disadvantageous being bipedal becomes.
There are lots of outliers but the reported mode is seven to nine feet, which Napier said was about the maximum before the biomechanics as you mention become (at least conventionally) problematic.
I doubt that Bigfoot exists. If it does, then I expect it to be a flesh and blood cryptid rather than either a tulpa ot some sort of interdimensional being.

I absolutely agree that what is going on with the witnesses is interesting — and is Fortean in its own right. Simple "misidentification" and hoaxes happen, but they are not the whole story. Witnesses are strange things.
Yes, again I've been working up a theory for a while which I hope to get in the mag at the end of the year, but I'll restate my caution that it's very important to avoid blanket explanations. Eight different sightings could be eight different things, and satisfactory explanation of one doesn't automatically invalidate others. However, the metric from the explained cases needs to be factored into the overall picture when investigating similar reports. Personally I think it's a whole lots of things that all manifest similarly. This thread however is purely about N American hominids so I'll save that for another day (and the article :) .)
 
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Sharon Hill

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The absence of evidence that ought to be available is a form of evidence in itself.
Agree. IMO, Bigfoot is "para"normal in that it does not behave like a natural animal. It leaves only random, questionable, inconsistent traces; we can't seem to predict where it should exist or not; can't get a photo, body part, or DNA documentation where we can do that with very low populations of animals; and the more people who search for it over a longer period of time has not resulted in better evidence collected. It does not fit with natural models of evolution, migration, ecology, biology, zoology, etc. Altogether, that's a damning scenario from a scientific perspective and is why the scientific community finds it a dead end. There's nothing promising to use to move forward.
 

DougalLongfoot

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As for the cameras we all carry with us, think back to how often you've seen something, pulled out your mobile phone, found and called up the photo app, aligned it with the subject and shot it. How often did you end up missing the subject, or had a blurry shot, let alone a stable, long lasting video with the subject well centered, in focus, the camera zoomed in? I know I've missed many cute shots of our cats, birds flying by, interesting vehicles or aircraft, astronomical shots.
On a related subject, though, trail cams have become ubiquitous and really should have properly caught something by now.
This has happened to me twice, once at Loch Ness and once in my local supermarket.

On my visit to Loch Ness I was determined to have my camera ready and switched on, just in case Nessie appeared (I knew it was unlikely but I live in hope). While there was no sign of the monster, while I was was Urquhart Castle two USAF F-15 jets came screaming up the loch at low level. I completely missed getting a photo.

In my local supermarket two men decided to have an argument and a punch up in the middle of the fruit and veg section, again I was so surprised that I missed hitting the button on the phone.

As for Sasquatch not turning up on trail cams, Tony Healy and Paul Cropper discuss this in their book on Yowies. Their theory is that maybe the Yowies can see in the infra-red range and therefore avoid triggering trail cams.
 

feinman

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Tim's chips are great and I to eat a lot of 'em; I've gone over to Kettle Chips now. Wonder what the "surprise" is, in this flavor!
 

Naughty_Felid

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Agree. IMO, Bigfoot is "para"normal in that it does not behave like a natural animal. It leaves only random, questionable, inconsistent traces; we can't seem to predict where it should exist or not; can't get a photo, body part, or DNA documentation where we can do that with very low populations of animals; and the more people who search for it over a longer period of time has not resulted in better evidence collected. It does not fit with natural models of evolution, migration, ecology, biology, zoology, etc. Altogether, that's a damning scenario from a scientific perspective and is why the scientific community finds it a dead end. There's nothing promising to use to move forward.
Agreed and good point.

The one thing that gets me about modern skepticism all the above you've said may be true but people are still seeing them and other bipedal cryptids.

The sightings aren't all men in monkey suits or misidentified bears. So what are people seeing or what is happening to these people? People aren't just seeing them they are also hearing them and smelling them. What's with the foul rotting odor that accompanies some sightings? I don't know much about bears but I don't think they smell of rotten eggs.

So lets put aside the guys dressed in monkey suits who have smeared themselves with rotten eggs, (I wish this lot would pack it in running around the woods), and misidentified bears. Someone who isn't actually psychotic at the time has an experience that could be classed as a visual hallucination often following with olfactory hallucinations as well. Why? What is it about the woods, swamps, roads that cause this extremely brief episode of perceptual abnormality?

Also if you see a 7-foot tall biped on your own in the woods are you going to calmly stop, put down your gun, (a lot of folks are hunters), and take out your phone to take some snaps? I don't know if you've ever experienced a truly terrifying moment but people generally don't act rationally or calmly.

It's the fundamental laziness of modern skepticism which annoys me. It's not the application of critical thinking it's just dismissive. It's made it harder for the scientific community to examine anything because skepticism has made it professional suicide to do so.
 
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Kondoru

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Gorillas pong.

And Hallucinations dont leave footprints.
 

Sharon Hill

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Gorillas pong.

And Hallucinations dont leave footprints.
But hoaxers do. This we know. And we also know footprints are regularly misidentified or we can't be certain because the thing that made them has not been directly linked to the track. They are a guess.

Animals leave DNA and distinct evidence. Bigfoot doesn't.
 

lordmongrove

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The terrain isn't especially inimical to preservation of fossils, but the Beringia land bridge region is huge. In other words, it isn't so much a loss of evidence to seek as figuring out where to seek it in the first place.

The bigger problem is deciding which basic speculative storylines are being tested. Is the Sasquatch ancestor assumed to be an early Homo (e.g., Homo erectus), or is it assumed to be some other relict hominin or pongid (e.g., Gigantopithecus)? The choice of ancestor / descent affects possible timeframes, and this in turn affects whether the Beringia land bridge was even available for such a migration.

Here's an illustrative example ... Let's choose Gigantopithecus as the ancestor, and its known regional range (China) as the earliest point of origin. Gigantopithecus evidence is very scarce, and it suggests the species lived from circa 2.0 - 2.5 million years BP up until circa 300,000 years BP. The Beringia land bridge is not believed to have existed to permit crossing to the Americas during this timeframe.
The youngest Gigantopithecus fossils are about 100,000 years old.
 

lordmongrove

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I imagine everyone in this forum would like to feel able to believe that Bigfoot exists, but the evidence is not there.

All of the various "relict hominids" or "apemen" (Sasquatch, Yeti, etc.) are different. The existence or otherwise of one "species" does not prove or disprove the existence of another. However, they all present the same basic challenges to someone who would like to believe on the basis of evidence.

All or most human and ape species are/were social creatures rather than loners. As individuals and as groups, they need to eat, drink, sleep, defecate, meet, breed, raise their young, and eventually die. Each of these things would create and leave some evidence, particularly as there are people out there actively looking for them, and almost everyone carries a powerful movie/still camera with them these days.

Where are the remains of the food, the sightings and numerous footprints near to water sources, spoor, nests or shelters, meeting places marked by footprints and the like, sightings of them with their young, and their bones, teeth or fossils? There should be some, and there should be some clear photos and reliable video evidence by now. Sadly, I see none. A few blurred photos and shaky films, some of questionable provenance.

We have photos and film of giant squid, and of coelacanths in their natural environment, but little or nothing to compare when it comes to a large species said to live on land.

The absence of evidence that ought to be available is a form of evidence in itself.
Orang-utans are solitary.
 

kamalktk

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As for Sasquatch not turning up on trail cams, Tony Healy and Paul Cropper discuss this in their book on Yowies. Their theory is that maybe the Yowies can see in the infra-red range and therefore avoid triggering trail cams.
Do trail cams emit infrared light?
 

Naughty_Felid

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But hoaxers do. This we know. And we also know footprints are regularly misidentified or we can't be certain because the thing that made them has not been directly linked to the track. They are a guess.

Animals leave DNA and distinct evidence. Bigfoot doesn't.
I totally agree about the DNA but the hundreds of sightings can't be put down to misidentification or hoaxers. People have hoaxed but the amount of hoaxers is so tiny compared to sightings that it's irrelevant.

Also people who run around in monkey suits aren't the brightest in the world - A good way to get shot I would think.
 
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ginoide

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People have hoaxed but the amount of hoaxers is so tiny compared to sightings that it's irrelevant.

Also people who run around in monkey suits aren't the brightest in the world - A good way to get shot I would think.
I read just yesterday that over 100,000 people were questioned over Olof Palme's murder, and 133 confessed to doing it. I read it in a pretty well curated magazine, I think I can provide sources tomorrow if needed. anyway, that would make it a 1% or so. I find it impressive.
 

dr wu

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I don't know if this has been talked about here and posted...but thoughts on this Freeman bigfoot film..? Real or fake ?
 
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