BIGFOOT A layman’s viewpoint on the phenomenon By Vincent Spada

Science, especially in the last 100 years, has solved a great many mysteries. Health, technology, nature. In short, questions have been answered. Smallpox is now a memory from the past, and human cloning seems likely. One day a woolly mammoth may lumber past your door, brought back from extinction through its DNA. Whether or not these events actually occur, one thing is absolutely certain: The world is learning more. Finding out about things.

However, intelligent as we are, we cannot know everything. To even hint at such an accomplishment is beyond arrogance. For every single fact we cement, there are a thousand that slip through our fingers. Knowledge, like water, is not always easy to grasp. That being said, there has been, for the past six decades or so, a subject which has raised much debate amongst the people of North America. I am of course talking about Bigfoot, or Sasquatch if you prefer. The legendary ape/ape man that dwells in the darker regions of the continent. That term, first coined in 1958, has set off a firestorm of controversy. Is it real or not? That is the question…

The following paper is a brief example of my take on the whole business. I am but an amateur on the matter, so please ingest it with a grain of salt. I do not pretend to know the truth, but am I willing to share my opinions. You may find them useless in the end, but then again, perhaps not…

Part 1: History

There is, as far as I can tell, no known archaeological record of any native primates living or having lived in North America at any time (Except for humans, of course, and even we are a transplant from other areas of the globe). That is, the fossil evidence shows that Bigfoot was not present on this landscape, and that the entire region itself has only been occupied by humans for about 14,000 years (The Clovis People being generally accepted as the first Americans). Therefore, one might assume from this very simple fact that the whole question has been put to rest, and that we should stop searching for something that has never been there in the first place. However, the lack of bones or other physical material does not necessarily mean the creature was or is not present. It just says that we have yet to find such specimens for ourselves. As I shall attempt to explain in the pages to follow, there may be many reasons why we find no ancient Bigfoot bones. A lack of evidence does not mean a lack of existence. Let us make that clear now.

It is a fact, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that stories of Bigfoot-like beings have been passed down from generation to generation by cultures all around the world. There is a memory within the human brain of a “wild man of the woods,” someone or something that was not quite human but not quite animal either. Now this in and of itself, while interesting, does not prove anything, but it does make clear the notion that this is not a new phenomenon. That in truth we may have been living side-by-side with these creatures for thousands of years now, and that the oral traditions and folklore regarding them did not just appear from thin air. There are Native American drawings on cave walls all across the United States which show large bipedal characters, either engaging with humans or even attacking them. While it’s possible that this artwork could have been an example of pure imagination, it is more likely that it is based on an actual event. This is because prehistoric man, while likely capable of deeper thought, tended to draw what they saw, rather than creating images from their own mind. Once more, this is not proof, but it does give weight to the hypothesis that ancient man and Bigfoot did in fact meet once upon a time.

But besides the pictorial evidence from the past, there have been credible reports from more recent times, especially since Europeans started colonizing North America in the early 16th and 17th centuries. In the past 200 years there have been Bigfoot sightings in all 50 states, including Hawaii, where the Aikanaka has been seen on the island of Oahu (The term means “the man-eater of Oahu”). The Skunk Ape has been spotted in Florida, as well as The Grassman in Ohio. All tend to speak of a similar being. Large, hairy, apelike. Yet, the main bulk of these reports tends to come from the Pacific Northwest, a region vast in size and distance and to this day largely unexplored. It is here one will find the greatest number of sightings related to the elusive beast: California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington. This is Sasquatch country.
Now there are two reports which tend to stand out from all the rest, due to the unusual nature of the first and the alarming evidence of the second. The first involved a man named Albert Ostman from British Columbia, who swore that in 1924 he had been abducted and held by a family of Bigfoot for nearly a week. There were four of them in number, three adults and one juvenile, and they fed him grass which tasted somewhat “sweet.” Ostman managed to escape but did not relate his story to anyone for over 20 years. To this day it is one of the more extraordinary tales attached to the phenomenon.

The second, however, might be the grand-daddy of them all, as it may have produced visual proof of the creatures themselves. It pertains to Roger Patterson and his now legendary footage, known to this day as the Patterson-Gimlin film. Patterson, an adventurer, along with his friend Bob Gimlin, were out looking for the creatures along the Klamath River in California one day in October of 1967. After a spell they approached an area known as Bluff Creek sometime in the early afternoon, and when they did Patterson’s horse reared up in fear, nearly knocking him to the ground. As both men looked they saw a Bigfoot-like creature “crouching beside the creek,” and when it noticed them it rose and began to walk away. Patterson, grabbing his camera, told Gimlin to “cover him” with his rifle, and for the next minute or so filmed the creature walking off into the woods. An attempt was made to track the animal, although the men lost it in heavier brush. To this day the film that encounter produced is still being studied and debated.

Here we are now in the 21st century, and the reports continue to pile up. Again and again people are seeing Bigfoot, and sometimes even more than that. An alleged incident in 2010 had a man actually shoot and kill a baby Sasquatch, although no body was ever produced and therefore the
story is in doubt. Regardless of hoaxes or tall tales, odds are these sightings will continue. Hundreds of reports across North America, with more to follow in their wake…

Part 2: Evidence and Speculation

This has always been a problem area when it comes to Bigfoot. Skeptics will always say “If they’re out there, where are the bodies?” It’s a valid point for sure, but please dwell upon this fact: Experienced hunters say it’s virtually impossible to find the carcass of a dead bear. For some reason they never come across them. Very odd…
Now, regarding evidence, there is of course the numerous sightings, coupled with multiple pictures or video footage, many of them from reliable witnesses. However, I do realize that this in itself does not constitute literal proof, at least not when it comes to a subject like Bigfoot. Extraordinary claims, after all, demand extraordinary evidence, and pictures, while intriguing, do not tell enough of the story. Yet. besides the visual aids, we do have some physical artifacts. Things which the Sasquatch leaves behind that cannot be denied. They are:

Footprints – On the surface this may not seem like much, as footprints can easily be faked, but several casts have been collected which show dermal ridges (In other words the same as fingerprints on the toes. Not something a typical hoaxer would think of). Injuries as well, including cuts and signs of healing, have been present in some casts (Again, your typical trickster doesn’t usually include these details).

Unknown hairs – These have been found on more than one occasion, in both North America and Asia (The Yeti is said to inhabit the valleys below the Himalayan Mountains). While some results remain inconclusive, other tests show them as being from an unknown primate, similar to man in certain ways but definitely not human.

Droppings – While rare, there have been samples of scat found which contained unusual or unknown parasites. Although not proven, the fecal matter may have come from Sasquatch.

Blood – There was an incident in the past 10 years where a cabin in Canada was supposedly being visited by a Bigfoot, and a nail board used to stop the intruder led to blood samples soaked into the wood. Tests did not yield conclusive proof, as enough DNA could not be gathered, but further examination in the future may produce better results.

Forest beds – Mountain gorillas have been known to make beds, gathering up leaves and sticks to make a sleeping quarter. These same beds have been found in various locations throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Screams or Calls – Researchers have captured odd howls, screams and calls from the forest which zoologists cannot identify. Tree knocking or wood knocking has also been heard (Chimpanzees do use tools which sometimes include sticks).

Rock throwing – Primates can and have thrown rocks, and this has also happened to Bigfoot researchers. This typically occurs alongside the howls and tree knocking (Warning to stay away?).
I know, I know. Individually, these physical calling cards may not add up to much, but put them all together and they appear much more convincing…

Now, we’ve touched upon some of the evidence, as well as the history of sightings, but let us move toward a bit of speculation on the creature itself. Of course, no one can say exactly what a Bigfoot looks like, but from eyewitness accounts they tend to be:
Hairy or covered with hair, often black or dark brown in color.
Very tall, often 6-8 feet in height (Bigfoot sightings in the American South tend to be of a smaller animal, some 5-6 feet in height and occasionally featuring only 3 toes).
300-400 pounds in weight, estimated by the muscle mass and depression of footprints in the soil.
Other physical or mental characteristics include:
Chattering, sometimes almost vocalizing, although certainly not human speech.
Long arms and limbs, with an unusual gait.
A strong smell, like that of rotten eggs.
Inquisitive nature, investigating campsites or campgrounds.

Again, please let me remind you that this is only speculation. The exact measurements or physical attributes are unknown. However, if we are to take the reports seriously, this is what people are seeing. Exactly what it is or what it may be? Let’s discuss that now:

Some individuals may jump to a supernatural conclusion. That Bigfoot is in fact the ghosts of cavemen or creatures who died long ago. There are also those who say that it may be a being from another world, either from outer space, inner space or another dimension. While I cannot disprove these theories, I do not personally share that conviction. That is, I believe Bigfoot to be an actual flesh and blood animal, from and of this planet Earth. If that’s true, then we may begin to assume certain things regarding its nature. Namely, it must eat, sleep, move, etc., the same as any other beast of the air or field. In that case, we can begin to form a basis for its actions. The following is an outline which may or may not be accurate:
Sasquatch may:
Have crossed into North America from an ancient land bridge which once connected the continent with Asia. They may have also crossed over on glaciers present in the region thousands of years ago.

Have crossed over from Europe on an ancient glacier bridge across the upper North Atlantic. Evidence suggests this may have occurred over 15,000 years ago with ancient man.

Be nocturnal, as so many sightings occur at night. It may also have adapted this trait to avoid human beings.

Be an omnivore, as an animal (warm-blooded?) that large must eat constantly. Their diet might include fish, nuts, berries, mosses and various plants or small animals.

Bury their dead in secluded locations, or live in caves where they might expire. This would explain a lack of bones, both now and in the fossil record.

Have excellent vision, as well as hearing and sense of smell. If they hunt at night it would be needed to increase their chances of success.

Have excellent stamina, as some have been seen running at a good pace. Exceptional physical strength is also probable if upper muscle mass is as described.

Breed rarely, as their numbers have been estimated at no more than 2,000-3,000 over all of North America. They may also be territorial, thus lessening their chances for encounters with breeding partners. The female may also only give birth to a single offspring at a time, and even then the gestation period may be up to a year, as larger animals are known for this (A female elephant can be pregnant for nearly two years).

Scent mark, to establish their area or to attract mates. They may also hunt and eat skunk, which would explain their foul body odor, or intentionally rub their fur with the skunk’s scent gland to ward off predators or humans.
Not be able to swim, as apes lack this ability. Their mere size alone may cause them to sink helplessly when entering deep water.

Have no fear of horses, as mustangs are common throughout the western U.S. This may explain why Patterson and Gimlin were able to get so close at Bluff Creek, as both were riding horses and it may have masked their scent.

Fear humans, as they tend to flee when seen or discovered suddenly. However, if they are mammals, they would of course be curious, which would explain certain encounters which were initiated by the Sasquatch themselves.

Now, if this is what they look like and what their natural traits are, we may begin to speculate exactly what they are:
An unknown species of primate, simply undetected by modern man. The mountain gorilla was itself not discovered by western science until the 20th century.
A higher evolved species of primate, on the level of a chimpanzee, or perhaps even more advanced, just below humans as far as mental capacity.
A branch of the human family tree, which did not die off in the last great extinction 12-20,000 years ago. Either a Neanderthal Man or other early ancestor of mankind.
A cross between a human being and an early ancestor of mankind. Such an individual was rumored to have existed in Russia back in the 19th century.
A medical experiment, either of a human or an animal (This is highly unlikely, as it does not explain sightings which took place hundreds of years before significant medical advancement).
Wild human beings, who cannot or will not succumb to the modern world (Again, very unlikely, as their size and natural appearance does not coincide with this).
Misidentification. Simply bears or apes which have escaped zoos or private collections (May explain a few sightings, but not all of them).

These are but a few ideas pertaining to Bigfoot. It may be none of these at all. But let me ask, if it does exist, what do you think it is?…

Part 3: Conclusion

Having studied many eyewitness accounts, as well as video and photographic evidence, I would like to now share my conclusion with you if I may. If you’ll recall, I mentioned previously that extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, and while what we’ve discussed here is very compelling, it is not extraordinary. My conclusion, therefore, is that there is no undeniable physical proof that the creature exists. That is, science cannot say without a doubt that it is an actual, living, breathing animal. Science must operate within certain guidelines, or cease to be science at all. Unless a body is supplied, the matter remains in question…


Based upon the circumstantial evidence, the time line, the depth and consistency of the sightings, it is also my parallel conclusion that it is fairly likely that the creature known as Sasquatch or Bigfoot does exist. To say otherwise would be to ignore hundreds of years of testimony, and any respectable court of law in any country would tell you that’s ridiculous. I’m not saying I’m certain that it exists, I’m just saying that there is enough evidence to say that it might. I certainly hope it does. Would be a true wonder for the world…
In closing, please allow me to thank you for reading along. Again, I don’t know if any of this was useful, but if so, I’m glad. Please remember, there are things in this universe that we will
probably never understand or explain. I hope that’s not the case with Bigfoot. I think it’s time he came out of hiding…
With gratitude, hope and understanding,
Vincent Spada

February 10, 2015Permalink

June 27, 2014

After the Ohio Bigfoot Conference, Walter Tippie missed everyone so badly that he wanted us all to get together for a group camp out at Salt Fork State Park.
Twenty six people in all descended upon Lore City from states as far away as Massachusetts and North Carolina!
On Friday, June 27th, I loaded up the Squatchmobile and drove 2 hours south to Pittsburgh International Airport to pick up Dax Rushlow from Massachusetts. We then headed west to SFSP. When we arrived at our destination, we discovered that we were the first ones there. It was incredibly hot and humid and we were drenched with sweat putting up my tent. I kept unloading the car and Dax wandered the perimeter of the camp. I noticed him squat down staring at the ground, so I yelled out to ask him if he found something. He indicated that he did so I ran over to check it out. Lo and behold was one of the most perfect tracks I had ever seen! I haven’t seen a track this good since the two I found at Hogback Ridge in 2007.
The track measured 16 inches long, 5 inches wide at the heel and 6 inches wide at the ball. We looked around some more and found many more tracks. There was a baby footprint alongside the big ones, 6 inches long by 3 inches wide.

16x6 print
16×6 print

We had just been through a week of heavy rain, so we deduced that the prints had to have been made on Wednesday after the rain had stopped and the ground was still soft and wet. OMG! The Bigfoot were there! We also observed the two trails that the creatures had made coming through the brush and lining up exactly where the prints were. The more we looked around the more we found. It was as though the Bigfoot were going from fire ring to fire ring looking for something. I immediately sent a text message to Alan and told him to get his butt here quick!
Within twenty minutes, Walter showed up and we excitedly showed him footprint after footprint. Walter and Dax began casting the prints while I was trying to get a hold of the others.

By 7:30 p.m. almost everyone had their tents set up and were ready to roll! We devised a plan for me to troll the shoreline in my kayak while the group through the woods in an attempt to flush anything to the shore. I left 20 minutes before the rest so I would have time to unload the kayak and paddle to the area we had agreed upon. I had a 2-way radio and only my cell phone for a light. I stayed close to the shoreline because there were other boaters on the lake and I didn’t want to get crashed into since I didn’t have a light (shhhhh) I estimate that I was about 10 feet from the shore, slowly gliding through the darkness, barely making any sound. Suddenly I heard a loud splash about 10 feet behind me and then something huge began RUNNING through the 4 foot deep water! I turned to see what it was but could see nothing in the darkness! Whatever it was did not run back to land so I believe it went under water! Think what you will but if it were a bear or a deer i am sure it would have clamored back to the shore and into the woods. All I know is that it was loud! When I heard the first splash, I assumed it was a fish jumping, but then I realized it was more than that. Have you ever tried running in water? The sound your legs make against the water is something we all are familiar with. It was so dark I couldn’t see anything, but I was very curious! I kept paddling forward and had been out there for about 45 minutes. I kept trying to radio the others to no avail. My arms were getting worn out and since I couldn’t communicate with anyone, I turned around and headed back to the boat ramp. I was finally able to get a hold of them on the phone to tell them I was loading up and heading back.amy and girls
I guess the trail they were taking was longer than we imagined and if I would have held out 15 more minutes they would have met me on the shore.
We all reconvened at the campsite where Robert had kept our fire blazing! We all shared out experiences of the evening. Slowly the groups began to disperse to their tents leaving only Dax, Adrianne and I around the fire. Robert had gone out to do some night hiking. We began hearing something moving around in the brush behind Amy’s tent and she sent me a text message asking if we were walking around her tent. We told her we were still at the fire but could hear something back there. Dax went to the treeline with his FLIR but couldn’t see anything. Adrianne went to bed around 3 a.m. and Dax and I fell asleep around the campfire at about 4 a.m. cot
To Be Continued……

July 1, 2014Permalink

Bigfoot Adventure Weekends! one camper’s experience

The following is submitted by S.F.

Well, I am mostly caught up on my rest from the Bigfoot Adventure Weekend at Salt Fork. It was a lot of fun. The weather was perfect. The organizing crew put a lot of nice activities and souvenirs together for us. We had cool “night ops” hiking trips. We didn’t get any action on either night, but it was still cool. There was another BF group nearby, so it was a little crowded in the park. I met some really great people, and got to hang out with others that I knew.

I wasn’t scared in the least running around the woods until the wee hours of the morning, and I wasn’t scared about sleeping in my tent alone at night, even if we were camped out on Bigfoot Ridge.

I did get some sort of action Saturday night. This nice older gentleman and I went out again on a hike near the campsite after everyone got back from night ops. We had made that plan earlier in the day. There was a ravine and creek that he scoped out the month before about a quarter of a mile from our campsite. We trekked off down a game path and hung a glow stick on a tree so we wouldn’t get lost. Then we marched through until the game path was gone and we were stuck. I was also worrying about this time that we would get lost. My friend realized that we couldn’t get to his spot because in one month’s time, it had become terribly overgrown. So I wasn’t thinking about BF, I was just thinking about not getting lost. Then he asked me if I could whistle, which I can’t very well. Later he told me that he heard a whistle. I didn’t feel creepy or scared, I was just marking the path with land marks. We weren’t that far from camp anyway, but that was my concern.

So we make it back to the road, thanks to my friend’s compass. We sat down in the grass in the turnaround on the road and could hear the rest of the group laughing around the campfire. As we were cooling off and re-grouping looking at the stars, we came up with a plan to go down a beautifully mowed wide path that went to some sort of historic farm house. As we slowly walked down the path with our head lamps lit, it was refreshing to be out of the thick woods, (although there were woods on either side), and I was thankful that I would not be lost. There was another mowed path to the left and I suggested that we plunk down there because it may be a good spot at the intersection of two paths. Everything was cool, we’re just chilling, it was quiet and peaceful, then after about 10-20 minutes, all of the sudden the forest around us came alive. About 1 O’clock from where I was sitting, my friend was next to me and a little behind me, we hear some big sticks breaking in the woods. I looked that direction and saw two green small lights, or eyes, or whatever it was, looking or shining right at me. I asked my friend if he could see them, and he could not. I just kept my eyes looking there trying to figure out what it was. My attention was up, but I wasn’t freaking out or anything. Then we heard large movement behind us. Then we heard more movement in front of us. Now I was at full attention. Still I could see the green lights in the same place. Then we heard two BIG foot falls, and my friend said, “They’re out there!” I said, “Yeah, I know!” Now I am trying to be cool and not panic, just like I was taught. My buddy is a retired naturalist, ex-army and said that he doesn’t get excited about anything. That I could attest to because he was fearless in the woods earlier. Then he says, “turn out your headlamp.” So I did. We were in total darkness with movement happening all around us. I got the feeling we were being watched, I got the feeling that I was small, and I got the feeling that Bigfoots were close, more than one of them at that. Then my friend tells me that in his night scope binoculars, or whatever it was, that he just saw an arm, shoulder and half a head from behind a tree. I’m like, “WHAT?! You just saw WHAT?!!!!!!” Then I flipped my red light headlamp back on. He snapped, turn your light off, and I said, “No, I don’t want to!” He asked me to turn it off again and I said no. The sounds were so close and I was feeling surrounded. It was the only thing I could do to make me feel a little bit safer and the only thing that kept me in that spot and not run out of there. I wanted to stay cool, but I felt like I was almost in over my head there. It was getting deep, thick and black. So that’s when I pulled the phone out of my pocket and text messaged my researchers that were on standby at the campsite should anything happen. It was 0148. They arrived on the scene and investigated the area. He did a thermal sweep of the area and nothing showed up. One of the guys said he heard a knock on the path leading to where we were. Our investigator said that without knowing for sure that the green reflection might be from the foundation of the farm house that was down the path. The green “eyes” were still there and after hanging out for a bit, we packed it in and went back.

The next morning my friend and I went back to check out the spot. I had left my carpet sample pad in the same place where I had been sitting and he walked back into the trees to the approx area where we heard the sticks breaking and the green eyes. He informed me that there was a 100 foot drop off where the eyes were, so there was no way that it was in the line of sight with the farm foundation. That farm was not close or a factor. So maybe it snuck up to the edge to peek over, and that’s why it wouldn’t have been seen by the thermal because the body was below on the ridge.

Anyway, I can’t say for sure what it was, but as there was a tree twist on that path that we saw, and multiple other sightings on that path, and from how I felt, and what I heard, and what I saw, and what my friend saw, and what he heard and what he felt, I think we had a Bigfoot experience at Salt Fork State Park, Saturday May 31st, 2014. I can’t prove it, and maybe it was something else, but it was majorly creepy and scared me so that my hands were shaking and I almost couldn’t type the text to my researcher.

Honestly, I don’t think that I’ll ever “go looking” for a Bigfoot experience like that again. I think I’ve seen and heard enough to satisfy my interest.

I think I need to do a little work on the fear factor aspect of this, but hey, you sit there and think you are surrounded by BF with the old Army guy saying the same thing and tell me what you would do!


June 6, 2014Permalink