I want to believe…but first, a little due diligence.
A little while back we ran an article about the reasons why the legend of Bigfoot will never die. I did neglect to mention one reason why hunters and outdoorsmen still whisper about Sasquatch over their campfires: Because hunters and outdoorsmen still see Sasquatch. Fairly frequently, in fact. Today, we have a new report from Pennsylvania that details the latest credible sighting…but what was it, really?
First, here’s what the outdoorsman reported having seen and heard:
At approximately 50 yards he watched a huge dark haired hominid walking towards Pine Creek. RA stated that he literally heard each footfall as the massive creature moved through the forest. He continued to watch as the Bigfoot stepped over the small creek and continued trekking away from him. RA states that he watched the Bigfoot for about 20 seconds.
RA describes the Bigfoot as at least 8 foot in height with massive wide shoulders. It was covered in dark brown hair. The face was hard to make out, but he compared it as more human than ape with a conical head and prominent brow ridge. It never altered it’s [SIC] pace.
That evening, RA said that he heard a series of wood knocks and ‘whoops’ in and around 1:00 AM that were emanating from all directions. This is the first time he has ever heard anything similar to this in all the years he has come to the cabin.
1. Was it a bear walking upright?
Any outdoorsman who has encountered the skeleton of a bear in the wild can tell you that the architecture of a bear is eerily similar to that of a human. It’s similar enough, in fact, that law enforcement personnel are frequently fooled by the remains. Furthermore, bears are absolutely capable of walking upright and of doing so for remarkable distances.
However, in this instance, the witness insists that this is not the case. Back to the report:
The area has a lot of wildlife, including large black bears. RA states that this was not a black bear, which he is very familiar with seeing in the area.
I personally am willing to believe that an experienced outdoorsman is able to tell the gait of an upright bear from that of a hominid. That brings us to Option #2 for what this could have been.
2. Was it a moron in a suit?
Cryptozoologists and lovers of mystery still must admit that hoaxers abound. From that very famous short video of Bigfoot loping away, to the Cardiff giant, to crop circles, people love a prank and they will go to extensive lengths to pull off a good one. Furthermore, it’s that time of year; you can find a nice Bigfoot costume at pretty much any strip mall. It’s a simple solution, and according to Occam’s Razor, that means it’s the right one. But…
Although most people aren’t very good at judging size at a distance, our Pennsylvania witness insists he was only 150 feet away. At that range, it’s less likely that tricks of perspective could make a 6-foot moron in a suit look like an 8-foot cryptid. Furthermore, the “whoops” our outdoorsman reported hearing probably didn’t sound like they could have come from a human throat, or he wouldn’t have mentioned it.
So, if it wasn’t a bear and it wasn’t a hoaxer, what could it have been (besides a real Bigfoot)?
3. Was it some other cryptid?
There’s a legend among the Native Americans of the desert Southwest about a different kind of cryptid. The Navajo word is “naagloshii,” but the English translation is “skinwalker.” Unlike “regular” cryptids, skinwalkers used to be human before they gave up their souls in exchange for the ability to change form at will. Also unlike “regular” cryptids, skinwalkers don’t avoid people–they hunt us.
According to the Navajo legends, the way the naagloshii hunts you varies, but its primary weapon is that it’s a shapeshifter. It may attempt to lure you away from your group or campfire by imitating a person you know, or by imitating a game animal you want to hunt. Maybe, even, a cryptid that you’re not terribly afraid of.
I want to believe…
Mystery and legend are part of the human condition, and that will never change. We outdoorsmen are also very aware of the fact that Nature is so vast and complicated that we will never understand every corner of it. And what fun would a campfire be if you couldn’t whisper tales around it about the mysteries that caper just beyond its light?