Yes, you have read correctly. Rest easy, folks! Once and for all, it has finally been determined that Bigfoot is indeed a myth. As an enthusiast of Bigfoot hunters, my only hope is that I can do justice to this topic.
Cryptozoology is the study of animals whose existence is questionable, at best. <http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/c/cryptozoology/> One thing I love about Bigfoot propaganda is that there is plenty of it to go around. There are stories of Big Foot sightings all across the US and in plenty of other countries as well. As somebody who has traveled and moved quite a bit, I can tell you that there is no shortage of these types of stories. Bigfoot, also called a sasquatch in the North or a yeti in the eastern hemisphere, has multiple personas. In the pine barrens of New England, the Jersey Devil is the dominating variety. In the cypress swamps of the south, Bigfoot is known as a skunk ape.
Those of us lucky enough to trek through the ‘glades are all too familiar with this menace. Dave Shealy is a memorable character, hot on the skunk ape trail. He considers himself to be the leading expert on the topic. You can visit his Skunk Ape Research Headquarters and he’ll even take you on a private sighting tour. Well, lots of people are crazy so where’s the science in this? It turns out that an Oxford researcher has completed a three year study on the topic. Better yet, this work has been published!
Collaboration between Bryan Sykes and his colleagues represents six prestigious organizations from five different countries. Dr. Sykes is a professor of human genetics at Oxford University; he has worked on several notable studies and first published in Nature over 25 ago. Their latest endeavor is that they are the first to perform a structured analysis of 30 “Bigfoot” hair samples collected from all over the world. These DNA samples were genetically identified as bear, horse, cow, raccoon, sheep, dog, tapir, porcupine, and human… but none from Bigfoot.
The Proceedings of the Royal Society is a peer reviewed, reputable journal that publishes research related to the biological sciences. This well respected scientific journal has a 2013 impact factor of 5.3 and first quartile ranking in the biology, ecology, and evolution categories. Jeffrey Kluger sarcastically covered this story in a TIME magazine article. Kluger points out that additional coverage of this study in The Guardian and Associate Press doesn’t do much to curtail these unfounded beliefs.
If you are like me, you may be wondering “who paid for this?!” This project was funded by the producers of a UK television show called the Bigfoot Files. Dr. Sykes personally thanks Harry Marshall, creative director of Icon Films, in his manuscript. Sadly, not all Bigfoot enthusiasts are pleased by this “discovery.” Matt Moneymaker, the founder and president of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization and host of a television series called Finding Bigfoot, is challenging the validity of this study. He has described this study as “scientifically meaningless;” many samples were not included in the final analysis as they only contained a few hairs... “like MOST authentic bigfoot hair samples!”
Bryan Sykes includes this disclosures statement in his manuscript: “While it is important to bear in mind that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and this survey cannot refute the existence of anomalous primates, neither has it found any evidence in support.” Bryan Sykes is even quoted as saying “The fact that none of these samples turned out to be [Bigfoot] doesn’t mean the next one won’t." This statement undermines the results of the study and gives new hope to mythical monster seekers around the world. Not only do Oxford and the Royal Society validate this topic, so do top newspapers. These types of affirmation encourage all supernatural beliefs in a way that is damaging to society.