bigfoot from patterson filmPossibly the most famous of all hairy cryptids, Bigfoot is a large, smelly man-ape who is said to roam areas of the U.S as well as Canada, where it seems to holiday under the name “Sasquatch.”

Standing 6 to 10 feet in height and estimated as weighing in at around 500 pounds, the creature is covered in fur described as dark brown or dark and reddish and has a pointed head, large eyes and a Neanderthal-like brow — not unlike a hairy version of an NBA player, then. As suggested by its nickname, not to mention its great height, it also has very large feet measuring up to 24 x 8 inches. Again, not unlike a professional basketball player, which makes me wonder if this isn’t all a joke played on the rest of us by some big hairy jocks…

The “hairy jock” theory aside, in my opinion Bigfoot is one of the more credible of cryptids. It is not difficult to imagine that there may be a tiny, surviving colony of some sort of early hominid lurking in the American forests, especially not when you keep in mind that at least one cryptid (the giant squid) turned out to be as real as its smaller cousins. Though accounts of the creature go as far back as Native American folk tales and include Daniel Boone claiming to have shot one, sightings really took off after 1958 when a California bulldozer operator named Gerald Crew found some outsized prints around the construction site where he was working. Annoyed that his co workers didn’t at first believe him, he had a plaster cast made of one of the prints and it wasn’t long before the locals were referring to the unseen creature as Big Foot, later changed by a newspaper columnist to Bigfoot, presumably because it saved him the effort of typing an extra space. After putting his workmates in their place, Crew took the cast to a local newspaper which in turn ran a story on the large-footed interloper. The story was picked up by the Associated Press and soon the whole world had heard of Bigfoot. It was around this time that mysterious outbreaks of laughter were noticed in NBA locker rooms, but this was put down to some ribald jokes making the rounds at the time.

In October of 1967 the interest in Bigfoot hit another high when Roger Patterson claimed to have filmed the creature loping off into the woods. A famous piece of footage which has been seen at least once by everyone not living under a rock ( or a cave in the wilds of the U.S ) this footage is the subject of great controversy. Some experts claim that it is clearly fake, with some going so far as to claim they can actually see a zipper on the creature’s back and a copy of Readers Digest sticking out of its back pocket. But others claim that the creature’s stride isn’t quite right for a human being and that due to the mechanics of human movement it would be virtually impossible for a man to fake such a stride. It is true that a man named Bob Heironimus claimed many years later that he was the monkey in the suit, but can we really take the word of a man who, no matter how you look at it, is not only a proven liar but also has a ridiculous name? I think not. Not being an expert in human motion and anatomy I cannot say whether the footage is genuine, but here it is so you can make up your own mind…

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