Bigfoot and his ongoing legend

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Photo credit: Grace Wride

Jerry Crew was a bulldozer operator for a logging company in Northern California. On Aug. 27, 1958, he made a shocking discovery while clearing away stumps and brush. He stumbled upon enormous man-like footprints. Taking this straight to the news, the story of “Bigfoot” was born.

Sixty years later, this controversial story has grown into the belief in the existence of a creature that some find true and others find completely make-believe.

Who is Bigfoot? Bigfoot is a purported ape-like creature that is known to inhabit the forests of North America. According to britannica.com, he is said to “represent the North American counterpart of the Himalayan region’s mythical monster, the Abominable Snowman, or Yeti.”

Some firmly believe that Bigfoot is out there and has yet to be captured. Others feel as though it is a myth that has gone on for years and is completely false. When it comes to Jerry Crew’s story from the ’50s, was this sighting just a publicity stunt, or is there truly a sasquatch out there?

There have been a number of different “sightings” that have influenced more and more people to suspect his existence. Some of the most common things found to back up the presence are footprints that have allegedly been made by Bigfoot. Reports have been made regarding his footprints measuring up to 24 inches in length and 8 inches wide. He is predicted to stand anywhere from 6 to 15 feet tall.

One apparent sighting was told by Dean Smith, a former resident of Shelley, Idaho. Growing up in Shelley, he regularly went out and camped near and on the lava rock fields with his brother and friends. In the late ’80s, he recalls the first and only time he believes to have seen Bigfoot.

“I was in a tent out on the rock fields and I heard a noise so I looked out of my tent,” Smith said. “I saw a large monkey-looking figure about 100 yards away and I could clearly see the silhouette in the moonlight.”

He was with his brother and a friend at the time, and they all testified to seeing the same thing that night. Thirty years later, they still hold true to what they witnessed that night they camped in the lava rock fields.

As the popularity of Bigfoot’s existence grew, so did films about him. In the 1970s, documentaries started to arise painting the creature as a sexual predator. Later, in the ’80s a film titled “Harry and the Henderson’s” came out making him appear friendlier and misunderstood. With these documentaries, the public began to assume his gender to be male.

With this myth being around for so long, different theories have arisen as to why there is a Bigfoot and if he, in fact, is real. One theory among some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that Bigfoot is Cain. This relates to the Biblical lore where Cain, the son of Adam, murdered his brother Abel and is thus condemned by God to aimlessly wander the Earth for eternity.

An instance that really makes members lean towards this idea is from the brother of Joseph Fielding Smith and his encounter with the hairy creature.

“As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange person walking beside me . … His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. … I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and from. He said he was a very miserable creature, … and his mission was to destroy the souls of men.” -David W. Pattern

In this account, he makes the claim that the creature that approached him introduced himself as Cain. Thus, influencing the idea that Bigfoot is Cain.

A more recent sighting occurred to Kennedy Tatro, a senior studying sociology. As a firm believer in the existence of Bigfoot, she described a time when she was 13 living in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

“My family was watching a movie one night and I fell asleep on the couch,” Tatro said. “I woke up to tapping on the window.”

She further explained that the window was 7-8 feet high and that there’s no way someone could have touched the window without a ladder. The next morning she went and investigated to see what might’ve happened outside the night before.

“I grew up watching the show ‘Finding Bigfoot,'” Tatro said. “And I found things that they had described in the show.”

That morning, she found a small teepee that had been made out of tiny sticks. From the show, this is told to be made to “mark territory.” Kennedy also claimed to have seen a large footprint near the teepee. To this day, her family doesn’t believe her, but she still recounts the situation and holds firm to what she found.

While there is no evidence to be found, scientists, as well as bible scholars, have come out to say that there isn’t anything that proves or disproves the existence of Bigfoot.

Sightings still occur across the United States. There are individuals who hold their stance that this is no myth, and many others are not swayed, believing that this is just some folklore that has gone on for decades.