‘Expedition Bigfoot’ Searching Oregon Woods for Signs of the Mystery Beast

By Doug Williams
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Don't look back....
 
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The tale of Bigfoot is just such a story, and while sightings of Bigfoot have been recorded around the world, there is something uniquely American about him.

 

Many countries have a mythical creature attached to their national lore, like the Loch Ness monster in Scotland, a story that has been around for centuries in spite of ever increasing evidence that there is no giant sea creature in the Scottish lake.

And there is the Abominable Snowman, or Yeti, said to live high in the snowy mountains of the Himalayas.

 
Photo shows what former rodeo rider Roger Patterson said is the American version of the Abominable Snowman. He said pictures of the creature, estimated at 7 1/2 feet tall, were taken northeast of Eureka, California.
Photo shows what former rodeo rider Roger Patterson said is the American version of the Abominable Snowman. He said pictures of the creature, estimated at 7 1/2 feet tall, were taken northeast of Eureka, California.

These stories are part art, part oral history, and part myth, and speak to people’s desire to believe it something that sets their nation apart, something that flies in the face of modern science and logic.

The tale of Bigfoot is just such a story, and while sightings of Bigfoot have been recorded around the world, there is something uniquely American about him.

He is said to roam many of the United States’ forests, often in Washington and Oregon. Over the decades, more than 10,000 people around the globe claim to have encountered him, a creature that is part man, part ape, and all oddity.

For years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) kept a dossier on Bigfoot, and on the folks who reported seeing him.

Looks legit!
Looks legit!

Now, a team from Travel Channel has invested three weeks into field work in central Oregon, trying to deduce, perhaps once and for all, whether Bigfoot truly exists.

The experts used the latest modern technology to help in their search, and recorded hours of video as support material. The project is called “Expedition Bigfoot,” and one of the hunters is primatologist Mireya Mayor, who is also director of the Exploration & Sciences Communication Initiative, at Florida International University.

The team has put together a documentary, also called “Expedition: Bigfoot,” that aired in mid-December on Travel Channel, narrated by author and explorer Russell Cord, who worked with Mayor in Oregon.

She recently said that the existence of Bigfoot is “totally within the realm of possibility.”

She is convinced that even if Bigfoot is as large as reports claim — 10 feet tall and weighing several hundred pounds — he could adapt to the forest environment and become skilled at camouflaging himself.

“We’ve seen that throughout history with other apes,” she noted. Thick forests and vegetation would allow Bigfoot to hide from prying eyes, she insisted.

Man Beast, lobbycard, Rock Madison, 1956. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)
Man Beast, lobbycard, Rock Madison, 1956. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)

Mayor did not limit her search to video taken in the field. She poured over reports detailing Bigfoot sightings, looking for consistencies, and inconsistencies, to support or disprove his existence.

And what struck her about these reports, was the similarity among all the descriptions of Bigfoot. “And when we were in the field, we were able to capture something on video that fits this description: very big, and moving in an ape-like — if not bipedal — fashion.

That, to me, is probably the most compelling piece of evidence so far.”

Mayor showed it to a colleague, also a primatologist, and said, “when he saw the footage, he was completely blown away and agreed with me that something ape-like was far from its home.”

But in this day and age, video footage is not enough; scientists want DNA evidence, and so far that has eluded Mayor and her team.

In 2014, numerous hair strands were examined that were supposedly from Bigfoot. Most were identified as belonging to recognized species, like deer and raccoons, but there were two that no one recognized, though the researchers suspected they belonged to some kind of bear.

But those two strands of hair are part of the persistent Bigfoot legend; could they, in fact, be from the creature so many claim to have seen?

It was just this past June that the FBI made public its dossier on Bigfoot, including details of sightings and test results it ran on hairs submitted to its lab in the 1970s.

No conclusions were drawn by the agency, and Bigfoot remains as much of a mystery today as he was decades ago.

There have been plenty of grainy photos taken and shaky video shot, but all seem at the very least dubious, and at worst obviously fake. Yet some have gone so far as to claim they’ve seen Bigfoot with cubs in

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So far, however, Bigfoot remains steadfastly in the realm of myth, and even this most recent study in Oregon has been unable to conclusively prove he exists.

 
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