Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Big Foot is actually a myth!

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.

Sumira Phatak


  1. It is funny how much people will try to make everyone believe that some character from a myth such as Big Foot actually exists, and to what exuberant lengths they will go. This is a myth I have heard talked about a lot and most of society knows about the myth of Big Foot. It seems pretty ridiculous that someone in a professional positon such as Dr. Sykes would even be testing thirty hairs that are reputed to have been from the so-called Big Foot. Everyone knows this is a myth and for something like this to even get funding is hard to believe.
    -Jason Phelps

  2. It is an interesting story. I like the pictures posted here and the last one is my most favorite picture. This picture vividly showed me how big the "big foot" may be. Besides the pictures, it is interesting to learn scientists worked on Bigfoot to prove it was a myth and got paid by others. Even though, people may think it is ridiculous to test the myth, there were people are working on these topics.
    Actually, myth is one way people making up to discover the nature. When they have something can't explained by facts or science at their time, they make up a theory to "guess" what happened. From dictionary website, myth is defined as: “A traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature." Big foot is a myth because people from their time cannot explain the big foot phenomenon. And nowadays, technology can explain or test what happened at that time. Dr.Sykes’s work proved that the big foot is a myth. Even though there are still some believers due to this or that reason still believe big foot true exist, most of the people can get educated from Dr.Sykes’s study. They will be more confortable to tell others that the big foot is a myth and there was a study testing the evidences.

  3. I think is this just for pure entertainment for public. It is unbelievable when you see a scientist trying to explain and develop a theory to prove or disprove a MYTH. I do not know if that is a good or bad thing but I feel that the science is not being represented seriously enough in general media. Sometimes in media science is either too simplified or too magical and can explain everything !