The Credibility Conundrum of Bigfoot Research, in Ohio and beyond
July 24, 2019 7:27 AM   Subscribe

I found Bigfoot ... maybe -- I spent a weekend with the Bigfoot Field Research Organization searching for the large primate. We didn’t find the elusive creature. Or did we? Matt Blitz writes for Popular Mechanics, documenting his experiences, and recapping the research efforts of others, to find Bigfoot in Ohio, home to Bigfoot enthusiasts (Cincinnati Refined), if not the sasquatches themselves. Ohio is "teeming" with sightings (Travel Channel), from amateurs and the Sasquatch Research Team at Bigfoot Ohio.
posted by filthy light thief (27 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
As hobbies go this one is harmless and promotes outdoor activity, but they're never going to find Bigfoot because as soon as it feels threatened with discovery it slips into the Hollow Earth.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:43 AM on July 24, 2019 [8 favorites]

I thought Elvis killed Bigfoot.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:49 AM on July 24, 2019

Elvis? Steve Austin conclusively proved that Bigfoot is an alien cyborg.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:12 AM on July 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

Gee, imagine the coincidence that an expedition with a reporter on it had lots of howls, wood taps, and even a thermal camera sighting, the most active sighting in a long time... and none of which the reporter actually heard or saw.

You don't have to be a conservation biologist to realize that trudging through the woods in groups is the worst way to capture evidence of any forest animal. In that light the BRFO website on their "expeditions" is a hoot. This reporter didn't mention that expeditions cost $300-$500 dollars per person! That doesn't include anything except perhaps a use permit - No food, no gear, no water.
posted by muddgirl at 8:14 AM on July 24, 2019 [5 favorites]

It’s obvious that to prove the existence of Bigfoot you really will need a body. The question is, what’s the best way to get that corpse. Clearly, sending out random knuckleheads armed with rifles is just going to end up with a bunch of dead bears and dead random knuckleheads.

The researchers who are using trail cameras are on to the right track. Really what you need though is aerial surveillance low, overhead, with a loiter time measured in months and years. What you need are airships. Blimps. Dirigibles.

Float them overhead, with neural network artificial intelligence and machine learning guided camera targeting. You’ll find your bigfoot, eventually. All you need to add to this equation, the final little piece, is weaponry. Autonomous floating self directing long loiter time weaponry.

Clearly this is going to take a lot of resources time and money. So, you’re not some ordinary schmo with a job. You’re a billionaire. A billionaire with a continent crisscrossed by floating death platforms looking for Bigfoot. (Please use your powers wisely, you great billionaires, you titans of the skies, as you float among us this day.)
posted by bigbigdog at 8:39 AM on July 24, 2019 [12 favorites]

You'd also need a body retrieval system since they clearly bury or otherwise dispose of their dead. A skyhook won't work in dense forested areas - need to invent some kind of matter-to-energy phase transporter.
posted by muddgirl at 8:45 AM on July 24, 2019 [4 favorites]

I'm clearly a bit sasquatch-obsessed (I made another bigfoot post less than a month ago), but in this instance, I'm fascinated by the idea that sasquatch might reside in Ohio.

I feel that this is something of a snipe hunt, but now with extra science to validate the belief that there's something out there. But I also own a "I Want To Believe" poster, so I'm also leaning towards a(n unfounded) hope that there's more out there than what we've been able to actually document -- see smokysunday's prior comment on recently (re)discovered large animals (and insects).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:28 AM on July 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

The only time I've ever done a spit take in real life was when we were flipping through the cable channels and alighted on what I assume is this guy's Bigfoot show. Just as I took a sip of water, the host looks out over a landscape of rolling forested hills before him and solemnly says, "Yeah, it's lookin' real squatchy in all directions."
posted by Rock Steady at 9:36 AM on July 24, 2019 [20 favorites]

What you need are airships. Blimps. Dirigibles.

Google has a project called Loon Ballons that are going to be used for cellular phone coverage in areas effected by natural disasters. Perhaps they could rented while no disaster is occurring and be deployed to find Bigfoot.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:47 AM on July 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

When I was a kid of 12 or so - my family used go camping alot in the woods of British Columbia (which was, in hindsight, a real feat for my Hong Kong urbanite parents). One night, my younger brother and I were in a tent, when my Uncle pretending to be Big Foot shook it loudly. I laughed cause I could hear my Uncle snickering - but for my brother, it was a life defining moment of pure animal fear (not helped by the fact his older brother promptly fell asleep after the Sasquatch Attack).

My brother was completely obsessed with Big Foot following us home to Vancouver, and making his way to our house. We would watch every single special and TV show on Big Foot we could find. And even now - as middle aged men, Big Foot still holds a special lore between us. He has a cabin in the middle of the woods - where he has conquered his fear. Me? On the rare occasions I go and visit the cabin, I sleep with the lights fully on (for safety reasons of course) and I don't poop all weekend cause my body refuses to use the outhouse.
posted by helmutdog at 9:49 AM on July 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have spent a lot of time wandering around open and forested spaces in Ohio. I have seen no evidence of Bigfoot. My apologies!
posted by ChuraChura at 9:57 AM on July 24, 2019

just going to end up with a bunch of dead bears and dead random knuckleheads

Oh no, dead bears.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:12 AM on July 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't think it's regional since there are guys with lawn chairs and coolers just about everywhere. For example we have this from MN Public Radio:
Four miles into a former game reserve, the trail runs out in a small clearing. Hexum gets some camp chairs from his truck and Del Rio breaks out the bug repellent. With an hour of daylight left, Del Rio cups his hands and lets out a long high-pitched whoop. Then he lifts a short baseball bat from his belt and swings it into a white pine.

"If there's a sasquatch around he knows we're here," he says. Now it's a waiting game."

He lights a cigarette, and listens to the mosquitoes, and the wind in the trees.

When searching for Bigfoot, whoops and wood knocks are pretty common techniques. Hexum believes roaming Bigfoot communicate over long distances with ape-like calls, or by hitting trees with fallen limbs. Imitating those sounds, he says can sometimes get a reply, or draw one into camp.

"Abe uses that special bat," Hexum says. "I'd rather use a stick — the same tools Sasquatch has. I think they can hear the difference."
posted by Cris E at 12:08 PM on July 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

One time I met a guy at a pirate festival who claimed to have filmed Bigfoot. Of course he says you can't see Bigfoot on the video AND he didn't have it on him at the time. Hmmmmmmmmm.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:19 PM on July 24, 2019

In certain parts of the Appalachian mountains Bigfoot is known as the Woods Booger and the tales were used to frighten children.
posted by nofundy at 1:15 PM on July 24, 2019

One of the big reasons Bigfoot is so hard to find, is that they have a native ability to slip between parallel universes. The only spend a short amount of time in any given parallel universe before switching to another. This is why they are all world all time hide and seek champions.
posted by bigbigdog at 1:19 PM on July 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

My dad has a classic Bigfoot story (although I don't know if he thinks of it that way) - cabin-camping with his boy scout troop in the Northern California woods, wakes up in the middle of the night to hear someone banging and rattling on the cabin door. Sleepily he thinks it's his older brother Sam who got up to piss, shouts "Just open the door Sam it's not locked!" Sam who is still in his sleeping bag rolls over and asks "what the hell are you talking about?"

All campers present and accounted for, so who the heck was banging on that door?

A lot of weird stuff can happen in the woods, but I don't think it's paranormal or cryptozoological. Our minds are good at narrating and spinning tales so that a distant dog howl sounds like a Bigfoot whoop.
posted by muddgirl at 1:23 PM on July 24, 2019

I never saw bigfoot, but I did smell one at a gas station restroom outside of Amarillo once.
posted by metagnathous at 2:22 PM on July 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is interesting. As are the comments.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 3:27 PM on July 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

In the unlikely event that Bigfoots (Bigs-foot?) exist, they would be living in a place with a lot more wilderness than Ohio.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:47 PM on July 24, 2019

Bought a FLIR for the camper last winter. Gonna get me some Rocky Mountain Bigfoot this winter.
posted by Afghan Stan at 8:53 PM on July 24, 2019

robocop is bleeding: Yeah, they caught some Bigfoots in the 60s, but them dang Bigfeet went all ethereal and ran around the lab causing all sorts of cheeky havoc.

I love weirdweb and cryptolore. Thanks for that link!
posted by filthy light thief at 9:42 PM on July 24, 2019

I have spent a lot of time wandering around open and forested spaces in Ohio. I have seen no evidence of Bigfoot. My apologies!

I'm not saying you are, and I'm not saying you aren't - but that's exactly the kind of thing Bigfoot would say...
posted by smoke at 4:09 AM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I spent a lot of time in Youngstown in the late seventies. Things got hairy.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:21 AM on July 25, 2019

For me the surprise with this was that it was in Ohio. I used to live upstairs from the International Cryptozoology Museum and the guy who runs it, Loren Coleman, was telling me and a friend about Bigfoot and the evidence he had for Bigfoot.

He said there are something like ten North American Bigfoot sightings every week, and they're concentrated in the pacific northwest - US and Canada, since Bigfoot doesn't really care about national boundaries. He then went on to talk about the most commonly spotted cryptids in other regions. So - I was really not expecting this to be in Ohio, though I don't recall what the most commonly spotted cryptids are for that region.
posted by bile and syntax at 12:16 PM on July 25, 2019

"I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run, he's fuzzy, get out of here." - Mitch Hedberg
posted by Dokterrock at 11:43 PM on July 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

« Older Beth Ditto was there all along, I just wasn’t...   |   Benny and Jenny, they were called, when they were... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments