Have you ever been out hiking and caught a glimpse of something you just can’t explain? While hiking in the majestic Pacific Northwest I’ve seen lots of interesting things, but I’ve never caught a glimpse of the elusive Sasquatch. The misty woods of the Pacific Northwest with the hanging mosses and deep fern foliage would make a good home for this bi-pedal beast, yet The existence of Sasquatch has never been definitively proven.
To be honest the closest I’ve gotten to Sasquatch is the Espresso Chalet a coffee stand on Highway Two near Index. They have a couple of wood carved statues inspired by the local filming of the movie Harry and the Henderson’s in 1987. I do have friends and family who have said they have glimpsed this magnificent beast, but me being pragmatic I need to take a scientific approach.
Does Sasquatch exist? Let’s take an objective approach to this question. You can find claims of sightings going back to before the Europeans ever found their way to the continent. Native Americans had many stories of large ape like beings living in the wilderness. Tribes had many names for these furry humanoids. The Spokane tribe referred to Sasquatch as the “night people” and the Collville tribe called them “stick Indians.” There are also legends of Indian maidens being kidnapped by a hairy humanoid creature matching the Sasquatch description.
The existence of homo sapiens cognatus or better known as Sasquatch or Bigfoot has never been scientifically proven, but over the years many sightings have been reported, much evidence has been collected, and several scientist have investigated the matter. The science of cryptozoology is the study of animals whose existence has yet to be proven. Cryptids include yetis, lochness, mermaids, and many others. Throughout history many animals have started out as cryptids and were later recategorized once their existence was proven. These species are often shy animals. The European scientific community did not prove the existence of the gorilla until 1902. Up until that point it was considered a cryptid.
After reading about cryptozoology I started thinking about the Rubber Boa. I grew up in rural Western Washington exploring the woods, yet I’ve never seen a Rubber Boa Constrictor. As a child I’ve chased countless garter snakes through the brush, but I’ve never even caught a glimpse of the Rubber Boa Constrictor. Does the snake truly exist in Western Washington forests? Yes it does, just because I have never seen one doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Some researchers believe that homo sapiens cognatus is related to Gigantopithecus. Fossils from Gigantophithecus have been found in Asia. This apelike being stood six feet tall and was thought to be primarily a vegetarian. One theory is that some Gigantopithecus migrated to North America while the remaining species died out in Asia 100,000 years ago.
Over the years a multitude of casts and photos of footprints have been presented. Also, several unidentifiable hair samples. There is a DNA project that exists to study these hair samples and other evidence. It’s called the Sasquatch Genome Project. This is an open access study, so you can view their samples and findings on their website. It’s an interesting site to visit. They have a lot of information on sightings and research.
You may wonder if Sasquatch were to exist why haven’t we seen any skeletal remains. Many researchers believe that Sasquatch being a humanoid, they may take care of their dead. This could be done in a variety of ways that would make finding remains difficult. Both burying and burning leave little to find.
In recent years there has also been several photos and video taken of sightings. Some of these having been revealed to be hoaxes while others have left unanswered questions. They are said to be a shy species and that this is why they are so elusive.
Do I believe in the existence of Homo Sapiens Cognatus? I’m a pragmatic being and my findings were inconclusive. Perhaps one of these days I will meet one of these magnificent beings out on the trail, but until then I’m a skeptic. That’s not to say I won’t still be on the lookout. I’m always on the lookout for critters big and small. Maybe some day I’ll catch a glimpse of the Rubber Boa Constrictor.
If you are interested in learning more about Sasquatch join David George Gordon at the Everett Public Library for a talk on April 28th.