Okay, yesterday I said I'd make the best case for the existence of Bigfoot/Sasquatch that I can.
It is a matter of record that throughout much of the previous century, there was a long history of sightings and footprints in the Pacific Northwest. These were assiduously chronicled by B.C. journalist John Green.I tend to give much more credence to reports that occurred before Bigfoot was boffo, I'll mention: If an Indian in B.C. said in 1940 he saw a Sasquatch...well, maybe. If a guy in 2012 says he saw a Bigfoot in western Maryland, I don't believe it. Yes, some of the early reports were fraudulent or implausible. For example, "Jacko," an ape-creature captured near a railway in British Columbia in 1887 and much beloved of Bigfootists, has been proved to be a journalistic hoax. Some of the other stories--Fred Beck's accountof being besieged in a cabin by a troop of enraged "apes" or Albert Ostman's account of being kidnapped by a family of Sasquatches--seem inherently improbable. Some of the others are harder to brush off. For example, William Roe's account of meeting a female Sasquatch on Mica Mountain in B.C. in 1955 is not sensationalistic and contains a wealth of detail. If Roe was liar, he was a damn good liar! All these sightings describe a similar creature--an apelike humanoid or a manlike ape, in most cases appreciably larger than all but the most gigantic humans.
Then there are the tracks. Many of these are undoubtedly the work of hoaxers, the most notorious of these being the huge tracks "discovered" at a construction site by Jerry Crew in Bluff Creek in 1958 that really put the Bigfoot/Sasquatch in the limelight. However, others seem more anatomically correct, so much so that they have stymied some trained forensic investigators in discerning fakery. Many BF trails are found in out of the way places where discovery by a human would be most unlikely and cover terrain so rugged that it would be difficult or outright dangerous for a hoaxer to negotiate wearing oversize fake feet.
I have a friend who actually investigated a Sasquatch trail. In the course of my work, I have dealt with many seasoned outdoorsmen and veteran big game hunters, many of them with extensive experience in hunting the Pacific Northwest. With a solitary exception, they were all dismissive when the subject of the existence the Sasquatch/Bigfoot came up. The one exception is a Washington based outdoor journalist (a former NRA Board member) who in the course of his previous journalistic gig got to know just about all of the "Bigfoot Pantheon," as he put it, and he is the one who investigated the Sasquatch trail. As to the existence of Bigfoot, he told me he thought "there might well be something to it."
The eminent primatologist John Napier investigated this matter and published a book Bigfoot: The Yeti and Sasquatch in Myth and Reality. In concluding this book, he writes:
"I am convinced that the Sasquatch exists, but whether it is all that it is cracked up to be is another matter altogether. There must be something in north-west America that needs explaining, and that something leaves man-like footprints."
However, forty years have elapsed since Napier wrote those words. There are a hundred million more people in the United States than there were then, and many of them engage in outdoor recreational pursuits that take them into Bigfoot country. However, we are no further along in solving this mystery, and that is why I am now in the ranks of the skeptics. Still, I wouldn't say a man is a fool for believing in the reality of the Sasquatch, at least in the Northwest, and wouldn't be entirely dumbfounded if one actually did turn up someday.
I might mention that some large mammals have been discovered in my lifetime--two species of peccary in South America and strange animal intermediate between an ox and an antelope in northern Vietnam. However, none of the cryptozoological "superstars" of my young manhood have ever been verified: The Yeti, Sasquatch, Almas, Kaptars and the other man-apes; the Nandi Bear or the Mngwa (a mystery big cat in Africa); the Mokele-Mbembe (a dinosaur-like critter in central Africa); the Queensland Marsupial Tiger; the sundry lake monsters--none of them!