‘Bigfoot,’ also known by the Native American name of Sasquatch, is a large, hairy man-ape believed to roam parts of North America, especially the Pacific Northwest. The creature got its name from the large footprint tracks found by road builders in Humboldt County, California, in 1958; before long the footprints became associated with the Sasquatch legend and a new American monster was born.
The most famous evidence for the existence of Bigfoot, outside the plaster casts made of its footprints, is a short, jerky piece of 8mm film shot by rancher Roger Patterson in October 1967, near Eureka, California. In the film a barrel-chested, black-fur-covered man-ape (or woman-ape – pendulous breasts are apparent from stills) can be seen striding nonchalantly across a clearing, swinging its arms and even looking over toward the camera for a moment, completely unhurried. (See photo at right.)
Naturally, the existence of such a creature within the American heartland is widely doubted. Hundreds of sightings have been reported, however, and numerous photographs and film clips (some, admittedly, of rather dubious validity) circulate among proponents. Some believers argue that it is simply a survivingGigantopithecus, a prehistoric ape that stood up to 13 feet tall, and walked upright; but most of those have been found in China, which could place them as being closer in kin perhaps to that other, very Bigfoot-like monster, the Yeti. Many set up CCTV cameras to see what evidence they can come up with.
Still, the existence of Bigfoot is considered false by many, mainly due to the lack of evidence. It is believed that, in the 21st century, no seven-foot-tall, hairy monster could still be undiscovered in our country, even in the vast expanses of the Northwestern territories. Alas, no skeleton, hair, or fecal matter have been brought in for any positive identification.
Bigfoot still enjoys a wide popularity, however, and is certainly the best-known of all cryptozoological creatures.