I used to love the legend of Sasquatch. The idea that a big hairy bastard was running around the woods made me excited to go into the outdoors.
My interests piqued at about 15 years old when I was tearing through everything Sasquatch that I could get my hands on. There really is a lot of information about Sasquatch out there if you are looking for it.
Sadly, today is a different story. Because somewhere along the way, I stopped believing. It wasn’t like when someone loses their religion, but it was still difficult as a thing to discard.
This is the story of why I stopped believing in Sasquatch.
Supposedly, every year there are many sightings of Sasquatch
In a lot of different places the locals tell of a mythical creature from the wilderness that resembles a giant man covered in hair. In Canada, we call it the Sasquatch. BigFoot is it’s American name. The Yowie, Yeti, Yeren, or snowman it is also sometimes called depending on the region that it is ‘spotted’.
The legend seems to be as old as time, as well as widespread. This is what really got my interest in my youth. How could so many cultures all independently come up with the same legend? There had to be some common source of it all.
If you know anything about Sasquatch then you know he’s not about lots of people. Supposedly, they are a solitary animal that occupies massive territories usually very far off and isolated from humanity.
The places where the ‘Sasquatch legend’ persists are usually surrounded by remote wilderness. So I kinda felt this went hand in hand with a creature that valued it’s privacy.
Coupled with the fact that we have yet to discover all the species currently occupying Earth, I figured that this one large mammal had just slipped through our fingers due to it’s elusiveness.
But continually, all over the globe, people claim they have seen a Sasquatch. The numbers are staggering.
Perhaps the most famous Sasquatch sighting of all time just happened to be caught on camera. Known as the Patterson–Gimlin film (1967), the footage shows a female Sasquatch walking at the base of a creek, take a glance at the camera man, and then keep strolling through the woods.
The whole thing lasts about a minute, but it is fucking enthralling. I’ve watched the footage over and over and what I’ve concluded is that it is a tremendously well-done fake.
But that wasn’t always my position. I used to think it was definitive proof.
Now I know that the shooter of the film was being less than genuine about his incentives. You see, he had published a book about Sasquatch roughly one year earlier, which is criticized as not really being a book, but anyway he set out to get footage of a Sasquatch and low and behold he got it.
If Sasquatch is real, the chances of seeing one with your camera are astronomical. People who set out to get footage of more common things, like bears and cougars, often don’t have luck.
Some people who report Sasquatch contact say they could hear a high pitch howling off in the distance. This could easily be something else, like wolves.
Another hallmark of a Sasquatch sighting is a particular smell that resembles that of a incredibly dirty and wet dog with notes of skunk. That is partially why in some places Sasquatch is known as the skunk ape.
Anyway, a lot of people claim to have seen a Sasquatch. They might have been mistaken, drunk or on drugs. Either way trusting in the perceptions of another person is tricky at best.
Additionally, there a lot of things making smells and sounds in the woods.
The history of apes
Nature has produced a large number of apes in it’s history and back when I believed in Sasquatch I thought it was clearly just a member of our genus that has avoided being catalogued.
As far as scientists (real scientists) are concerned there are 4 categories of great ape that currently inhabit the Earth. They are the Orangutang, Gorilla, Chimpanzee and Bonobo, and humans. For all of them except humans there are subspecies that differentiated for different locations.
But it wasn’t always this way. There have been many, many species of ape inhabiting Earth at certain times.
One in particular is of note to this argument. That is the Gigantopithecus (9 million to 100,000 years ago).
This species somewhat resembled the modern day Orangutang, but with the exception that some skeletal remains indicate it was almost 10 feet tall. So we know our genus can produce very large tall apes.
Further checking the records of evolution I found that roughly 20 species closely related to humans, who could stand upright, also existed at various times.
Me from the past took this as a sign that nature could produce both, incredibly large apes, and apes that could stand like us….or like Sasquatch.
It’s not inconceivable that nature could coordinate both characteristics within a genus, and since Gigantopithecus lived so recently, and we live so recently, these characteristics could in theory be up and running around the woods of British Columbia.
Believers say that at some point there was an ancestor of Gigantopithecus that evolution gave upright mobility, and it just happened to make it’s way across the Bering strait (because Gigantopithecus was from Asia) and dispersed throughout North America.
Here’s where the argument falls apart. Scientists and archeologists have found bones of Gigantopithecus many times. It’s teeth and jaw bones are displayed in many museums around the world.
All I have to say is, no one has ever found the skeletal remains of a Sasquatch….ever. And this is supposed to be an animal that exists presently.
Hunters and hikers should have by now stumbled across a body or something that remains of a Sasquatch when it has met it’s end. But they haven’t.
And other than that questionable video filmed in 1967, all we have are plaster casts of foot prints that have in the past been linked to hoaxers.
As a final nail in the coffin to the Gigantopithecus theory, Gigantopithecus had a very specific diet, and that’s exactly why it went extinct. When a period of climate change altered the ecosystem it called home, it no longer had fruits and grasses to eat so it died out.
Gigantopithecus never made it as far north as Russia and to the Bering Strait. If it had, the fossil records would indicate that. Not that it could have strayed too far from the tropics of Asia anyway.
Desperation is a stinky cologne
When I was looking up Sasquatch claims or scientific studies into the matter, what turned up was just sad. The people involved usually had something to gain by proving Sasquatch’s existence. Or they were so entrenched in their beliefs they were willing to risk it all to get confirmation.
One such instance, is the publication of a 5-year study of purported Sasquatch DNA samples. Even before the study had a chance to be peer reviewed by a reputable scientific journal, the head veterinarian issued a press release. This is what it said.
Sasquatch “is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo Sapiens with an unknown primate species.” “Government at all levels must recognize them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights against those who would see in their physical and cultural differences a ‘license’ to hunt, trap, or kill them.”
Noble thought, but as it turned out upon review, their research did not match scientific standards and no journals would publish the study.
Eventually it was published in a journal that the researchers started themselves and when it was reviewed scientists had this to say.
“The few experienced geneticists who viewed the paper reported a dismal opinion of it noting it made little sense.”
There has yet to be any confirmation of the existence of the animal known as Sasquatch. I admit I really want it to be true. But wanting it won’t make it happen.
If you believe in Sasquatch, I’m not calling you crazy because I’ve been there. You’ve just been taken in by a captivating story. The Story of Sasquatch.