Bigfoot is entrenched in American popular culture and its icon status had been compared to Michael Jordan.
There’s an annual Bigfoot festival in Oklahoma, Oregon, and California.
A celebration for the hairy large-footed one is happening today in New Mexico.
Another Bigfoot festival is planned for North Carolina in 2018.
The name “Bigfoot” for the creature was first recorded by European Americans in the late 19th century.
Spotted Elk, also called Chief Big Foot, was a well-known Lakota leader.
Famous in his time, he may have been the namesake for two notorious bears in the West.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were at least two enormous marauding grizzly bears nicknamed “Bigfoot”.
The Idaho Bigfoot was attributed with nearly supernatural powers.
He was credited with killing 1,000 cattle in his lifetime.
Was this man mistaken for Bigfoot?
The same group who claimed to have spotted a bigfoot in the McDowell County woods spawned The Marion, NC Bigfoot festival.
Joe E. Bruner reported the sighting the first week in August, claiming he and his Bigfoot 911 group saw the creature just before 11 p.m. in the forest.
(Bigfoot 911 is a more than 7,000 member strong Facebook group devoted to discussing sightings of the gigantic creature.)
No injuries, though the group reports something threw rocks at them as they left.
After seeing a story about the sighting, a Minnesota tourist claimed responsibility.
In an interview, Gawain McGregor said he donned his furry suit in McDowell County to perform a shamanistic ritual.
McGregor isn’t one of many Bigfoot hoaxers.
He was taking part in a “sacrament” of “wearing of hair-covered animal skins and wandering in the forest.”
MacGregor said he’s had encounters with Sasquatch, an “angel of the forest” rather than a flesh-and-blood animal, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
Brunner disputed MacGregor’s retelling of events.
“The creature that I saw was 8′ tall with stringy matted hair,” Bruner posted on Facebook. “The gentleman in the picture [doesn’t] appear [to be] tall and is in a suit that appears to have short brown fur.”
Brunner also said it “moved with speed unmatched by any human.”
Also, “The eyes were farther apart than human eyes,” Bruner wrote on the group’s page, says the Charlotte Observer.
The Bigfoot Festival is still planned for 2018, despite the Greenville police’s tongue-in-cheek warning on Facebook:
“If you see Bigfoot, please do not shoot at him/her, as you’ll most likely be wounding a fun-loving and well-intentioned person, sweating in a gorilla costume.”
Bigfoot goes Nuclear
Jemez Springs is hosting the Bigfoot BBQ & Blues Fest today to celebrate rumors that Bigfoot hangs around the forests near one of the nation’s premier nuclear labs.
Festival organizers say Bigfoot expert Christopher Dyer will present hair, photographs and a map pinpointing sightings around the state.
All suggesting that Bigfoot has taken up residence in New Mexico.
The most interesting part of this story (for me) is the idea that Bigfoot has been hanging around a nuclear lab.
What could go wrong?
We want to believe
Even Jane Goodall was fascinated by Bigfoot.
When asked about Bigfoot in a 2002 interview, Jane Goodall said “I’m sure they exist”, and later said, chuckling, “Well, I’m a romantic, so I always wanted them to exist”.
Finally: “You know, why isn’t there a body? I can’t answer that, and maybe they don’t exist, but I want them to.”
Even when people like Rick Dyer (a self-styled “master tracker” of Bigfoot) commit multiple hoaxes, it doesn’t seem to matter.
No matter what, we want to believe.
Bigfoot exists, in whatever way he exists, because we want him to.
Siobhan is a freelance writer, research addict and lover of twisted history. If you like horrible but amazing history, check out her website www.interesly.com or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/interesly. Or you can reach her through www.siobhanoshea.com.