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Canadian Monsters: Bigfoot

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

Today we are looking at a "monster" that while in Canada is known around the world.

 

Bigfoot, also commonly referred to as Sasquatch, is a purported ape-like creature said to inhabit the forests of North America.


Many dubious articles have been offered in attempts to prove the existence of Bigfoot, including anecdotal claims of visual observations as well as alleged video and audio recordings, photographs, and casts of large footprints. Some are known or admitted hoaxes. Tales of wild, hairy humanoids exist throughout the world, and such creatures appear in the folklore of North America, including the mythologies of indigenous people. Bigfoot is an icon within the fringe subculture of cryptozoology, and an enduring element of popular culture.


The majority of mainstream scientists have historically discounted the existence of Bigfoot, considering it to be the result of a combination of folklore, misidentification, and hoax, rather than a living animal. Folklorists trace the phenomenon of Bigfoot to a combination of factors and sources including indigenous cultures, the European wild-man figure, and folk tales. Wishful thinking, a cultural increase in environmental concerns, and overall societal awareness of the subject have been cited as additional factors.


Other creatures of relatively similar descriptions are alleged to inhabit various regions throughout the world, such as the Skunk ape of the southeastern United States; the Almas, Yeren, and Yeti in Asia; and the Australian Yowie; of which, like Bigfoot, are ingrained in the cultures of their regions.

 

Description


Bigfoot is most often described as a large, muscular, and bipedal ape-like creature covered in black, dark brown, or dark reddish hair. Anecdotal descriptions estimate a height of roughly 6-9 ft, with some descriptions having the creatures standing as tall as 10-15 ft. Some alleged observations describe Bigfoot as more "man-like" with reports of a human-like face.


Common descriptions also include broad shoulders, no visible neck, and long arms, which skeptics describe as likely misidentification of a bear standing upright. Some alleged nighttime sightings have stated the creature's eyes "glowed" yellow or red. However eye shine is not present in humans or any other known apes and so proposed explainations for observable eyeshine off of the ground in the forest include owls, raccoons, or oppossums perched in foliage.


The enormous footprints for which the creature is named are claimed to be as large as 24 inches long and 8 inches wide. Some footprint casts have also contained clawmarks, making it likely that they came from known animals such as bears, which have five toes and claws.

 

History


Many of the indigenous cultures across the North American continent include tales of mysterious hair-covered creatures living in forests. These stories differed in their details both regionally and between families in the same community.


On the Tule River Indian Reservation in Central California, petroglyphs created by a tribe of Yokuts at a site called Painted Rock are alleged by some to depict a group of Bigfoot called "the Family" The local tribespeople call the largest of the glyphs "Hairy Man" and they are estimated to be between 500 and 1000 years old.


16th century Spanish explorers and Mexican settlers in California told tales of the los Vigilantes Oscuros, or "Dark Watchers", large creatures alleged to stalk their camps at night. In the region that is now Mississippi, a French Jesuit priest was living with the Natchez in 1721 and reported stories of hairy creatures in the forest known to scream loudly and steal livestock.


The Sts'ailes people tell stories about sasq'ets, a shapeshifting creature that protects the forest. The name "Sasquatch" is the anglicized version of "sasq'ets" (sas-kets), roughly translating to "hairy man" in the Halq'emeylem language.


Members of the Lummi tell tales about creatures known as Ts'emekwes. The stories are similar to each other in the general descriptions of Ts'emekwes, but details differed among various family accounts concerning the creature's diet and activities. Some regional versions tell of more threatening creatures: the stiyaha or kwi-kwiyai were a nocturnal race, and children were warned against saying the names so that the "monsters" would not come and carry them off to be killed. The Iroquois tell of an aggressive, hair covered giant with rock-hard skin known as the Ot ne yar heh or "Stone Giant", more commonly referred to as the Genoskwa. In 1847, Paul Kane reported stories by the natives about skoocooms, a race of cannibalistic wild men living on the peak of Mount St. Helens in southern Washington. Also related to this area was an alleged incident in 1924 in which a violent encounter between a group of gold prospectors and a group of "ape-men" occurred.


These allegations were reported in the July 16, 1924, issue of The Oregonian and have become a popular piece of Bigfoot lore, with the area now being referred to as Ape Canyon. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, in his 1893 book, The Wilderness Hunter, writes of a story he was told by an elderly mountain man named Bauman in which a foul smelling, bipedal creature ransacked his beaver trapping camp, stalked him, and later became hostile when it fatally broke his companion's neck in the wilderness near the Idaho-Montana border. Roosevelt notes that Bauman appeared fearful while telling the story, but attributed the trapper's folkloric German ancestry to have potentially influenced him.


Less-menacing versions have also been recorded, such as one by Reverend Elkanah Walker from 1840. Walker was a Protestant missionary who recorded stories of giants among the natives living near Spokane, Washington. These giants were said to live on and around the peaks of the nearby mountains, stealing salmon from the fishermen's nets.

 

There are many explainations as to what Bigfoot is. Most scientists say that is it simply a case of misidentification. Black Bears, Escaped Apes, Humans etc, are just a few of the proposed explainations.

 

I am not going to go into the hoaxes but they are easily found on the internet.


Personally I believe that there is something out there that isn't easily explained. There is always that sceptasizem in the back of your mind when it comes to things like this but I think that there is indeed something in the forests of North America that scientists just don't want to acknowledge.

 
 

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