Given the myriad of claims of evidence for the existence of a “Bigfoot” type creature, it is often difficult to make sense of it all.
In order to make sense, it is necessary to frame the argument or question. There is little to no debate that a Bigfoot type creature did live on earth at one time. Gigantipithicus lived in Asia thousands of years ago and it is likely that it crossed over a land or ice bridge (like other animals did) from Asia to North America. “Bigfoot” did exist in Asia and probably in N. America. What is debated is if it died out or not. It is this author’s belief that the “evidence” points to an ape-like creature currently inhabiting the rural areas of N. America.
Sound. There are sound recordings that people have put forth as being from a Sasquatch. Some of the recordings are accompanied by an eye witness(es) that saw the creature make the sound; most are not. There are numerous recordings such as these and they are of no known animal specie. Probably the best, or at least best known, example is a series of recordings called The Sierra Sounds. The Sierra Sounds were recorded in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the early 1970’s. Many known animals can be heard on the recording. The centerpiece of the recordings is what sounds almost like a dialogue between two separate creatures presumably of the Bigfoot variety.
The problem with auditory evidence is that when it is not accompanied by video evidence (even then sometimes) it is hard to say exactly what “it” is. It could be anything including a hoax. While it would be difficult to fake sounds from the 70’s and before, it was far from impossible. With digital audio technology so readily available to the general public, it is much easier today. Taken by itself, these sound recordings would be compelling but far from convincing .
Prints. Hand and foot prints found in mud, snow, grass, and on glass have been found all over N. America and are supposedly of Bigfoot origin. Some have been documented with photographs while others (where possible) have been preserved through casting. What informs the debate are prints that could not be human based on size or shape. Authentic human footprints do not count so the preserved prints must either be made from a Sasquatch or are hoaxes.
Some of the best prints, in terms of detail, contain dermal ridges a.k.a. fingerprints.
Some of the best of the best prints in terms of detail contain what appears to be dermal scarring. These would be areas where the creature received a cut across dermal ridge lines and the cut subsequently healed leaving a scar. Dermal ridges and scarring can be intentionally faked but with great difficult. Some contend that these dermal details are merely inadvertent features left by the casting process. Whatever the case may be, the better casts show a level of detail, that while possible to be faked, is unlikely.
Eye Witnesses. Eye witnesses have seen Bigfoot since there have been eye witnesses. Native American stories and drawings that purport the existence of Bigfoot predate European discovery. Since the Age of Exploration, numerous people from all walks of life have claimed to have seen Bigfoot. Witnesses that are as reliable as it gets like clergy, police, judges, etc. claimed to have encountered a Sasquatch.
Pictures. Numerous videos (videos are just a series of pictures) over the years have supposedly captured a Bigfoot. The quality of many is too poor to amount to anything; others are clear fakes. Others still are harder to discount.
Numerous pictures exist that clearly enough show an unknown creature. If authentic, they would be smoking guns that Bigfoot (currently) exists. The problem is the technology to manufacture a convincing fake, whether in front of the camera or as a product of post- production techniques, has existed for quite sometime. However, that was not the case back in 1967.
1967 was the year that the now infamous/famous Patterson-Gimlin film was shot in California. There is debate over the authenticity of the footage but there are several points of agreement. First, it was indeed shot in Bluff Creek in Humboldt county around the time it was reported to be taken. Film industry post-production techniques of the time could not have produced those images; whatever “it” is, “it” is front of the camera. It is not a bear, a man in a ghillie suit, a man with hypertrihosis (“werewolf syndrome”) , and while it looks very ape-like it is not a gorilla. It is a person in a Bigfoot suit or it is a Bigfoot. It cannot be a person in a suit.
With modern technology, a team (and it would take a team) could fabricate a suit where the person could see and move yet be anywhere in the suit. In 1967 this could not be done. Certain points on the suit and the person had to line up for the person to be able to walk in the suit in a convincing matter. These would be the joints and eye sockets. Scale analysis has been done on the creature in the video and the arms are too long for the elbows of any person to line up. If the broad shoulders were the result of pads then there is no way the eyes would come up high enough to see out of. Furthermore, hand and calf flexion can be seen in the video. Hand movement means the elbows must line up. The calf muscles moving means either the muscles are really muscles or they are showing through the suit. Again, possible today (though not cheap or easy) not possible in 1967.
Consider, that if a hoax, that means that two broke cowboys did better than the best Hollywood producers.
Hollywood wished it could have produced a suit that good back in 1967. An unknown team built the best suit to date, for the greatest hoax to date, and never took credit for it? No one who has come forward to claim responsibility for the hoax has ever produced the suit. Robert Patterson died professing that he did not fake the footage. Bob Gimlin has steadfastly stated for the last 40 years that it was not a hoax.
Taken as a whole, the evidence seems undeniable that an ape-like creature still roams the countryside of N. America. No, humanity does not possess the physical remains of a Bigfoot. If it did there would be no debate. However, the preponderance of evidence standard suggests that it is unlikely that an unending stream of hoaxes is responsible for the evidence put forth and that a Bigfoot like creature best explains the evidence. In short, Bigfoot still exists.