New documentary on the big smelly guy on Discovery in January:
- For decades, a small but loyal legion of Bigfoot hunters has spent countless weekends prowling forests in nearly every state, piling up evidence such as alleged footprints and hair samples that now has a handful of animal experts willing to at least entertain the possibility of his existence.
”I’ve gone from being a raving skeptic to being curiously receptive,” says Robert Benson, director of the Center for Bioacoustics at Texas A&M. He appears in a new documentary, Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, critiquing taped Bigfoot calls. Though many of those recordings ”could be human” (i.e. hoaxes), others left him puzzled.
In Sasquatch, which airs in January on Discovery, a small cadre of scientists pore over audio, video and the Holy Grail of molds called the Skookum Cast, a plaster impression taken in 2000 from a muddy Mount St. Helens meadow that purports to capture a Bigfoot sitting on his oversized derriere.
Sasquatch producer Doug Hajicek is mum on the film’s ”important revelations” but is confident viewers will tune in. ”I’ll tell you why this fascinates people,” he says. ”We’re the only bipeds (animals who walk on two feet) here. Imagine the primordial fear a competing biped species produces.”
….”He’s out there,” says Johnson, a clinical psychologist in Grants Pass, a town about an hour northeast of his Bigfoot stomping grounds.
Johnson had no interest in finding the beast until the beast found him. He spied his personal Moby Dick while on a family hike two summers ago and was reduced to tears by its size — impressive considering that Johnson is 6-foot-9, weighs 250 pounds and wears size 16 shoes. Now he’s leader of the Southern Oregon Bigfoot Society, a ragtag but dedicated assemblage of sleuths who typify the breed.
”Once you hear him scream at you, you’re hooked,” he says. ”Some people play sports or fish. Others, well, we go Bigfootin’.”
Bigfoot’s legend dates back to the earliest campfire gatherings.
Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest had stories about encounters with sesqec, from which the term Sasquatch emerged, and the pioneers had their own run-ins with the woolly misfit.
But what really launched Bigfoot into a Loch Ness Monster orbit was the amateur film shot in northern California by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin. The upright beast with gorilla looks and human gait — dubbed Patty — loped past and then suddenly glared at their lens.
The hunt was on.
A Bigfoot-like creature seems reasonable to me, although I am troubled by the fact that nothing physical has ever been found other than the footprints.