The Creature Files – Episode Ten: "Finding Bigfoot...Evidence"
Sightings Desk: Bigfoot sighting in Georgia
Creature Feature: Cryptid Evidence
Special Guest: Cliff Barackman
“Manlike Monsters on Trial: Early Records and Modern Evidence”
"The Scientist Looks at the Sasquatch" (Anthropological monographs of the University of Idaho)
"Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science" (NABC shop)
As we know, there has been no definitive proof of creatures like Bigfoot or the Skunk Ape… But yet the search continues. And people all over the world are fascinated by the pursuit to find this irrefutable evidence. But waiting for that perfectly clear piece of footage or actual body often negates the evidence that does exist. And some of it is incredibly credible, as I like to say, and unexplained.
Consider that there have been creatures thought to be mythical, which have suddenly been proven to be real. Creatures like the platypus, the Okapi, giant squid, the frilled shark – all beasts that were at one time figments of folklore. The Bondegezou is another great example. It’s a marsupial that scientists didn’t think existed all the way up to 1995. Even now no live specimen has ever been captured, but it has been spotted by a scientific expedition back in 2009.
So how do we go about proving the existence of these creatures without a live specimen? Evidence, right? So what types of evidence exist for cryptids?
Well, there are obviously the credible sightings by people. Some of these individuals aren’t seeking fame or fortune, in fact, many refuse to even discuss their sightings for fear of sounding crazy. We talked with Lyle Blackburn about the stigma attached to talking about a sighting. “I saw bigfoot!” is often just a punchline. Yet, these sightings occur and frequently – they happen in the same locations. And here’s the thing – and we talked about this with Stacy Brown, Jr. - courts accept eyewitness testimony all the time. It’s often some of the most credible evidence presented. Lawyers attempt to discredit it by challenging the witness – known as impeaching a witness. Attacking their character. But here we are with all of these eyewitness accounts from different people that corroborate the same creature and we discount them or demand additional evidence.
Video and photographic evidence is another big part of proving these creatures’ existence. But it seems we never have enough or it’s not clear enough or long enough. In the age of cellphones, we should be getting great shots – or should we be? These sightings are rare – and often in remote areas. Some of the most famous footage gathered is the Patterson-Gimlin film, but there are also other examples of video out there, as well as photographs. If bigfoot does exist, it may just be a matter of time before we finally see the kind of photographic evidence that will be irrefutable, but it may also be attacked by skeptics with claims of doctored images, etc. Especially now with the kinds of special effects available to anyone with a computer.
In addition to the photos and video, there is also audio. If you’ve never heard of the sierra sounds, please go and take a listen. These are recordings that some believe to be the language of the bigfoot. Of course, we’ve even played some purported bigfoot sounds here on The Creature Files, courtesy of Gayle Beatty.
Then there is the physical evidence. Some have claimed to find bigfoot hair, but many of the studies into hair have so far have failed to be linked to an unknown creature. And then there are the footprints and casts, even handprints. These types of prints have been found for decades and can they all be hoaxes? To what end? All of this brings us to today’s guest.
If you haven’t seen the show "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet – when you’re done listening or watching this episode – go check it out. It is an extraordinary show for anyone who considers themselves a bigfoot enthusiast. It involves four investigators searching for evidence of Bigfoot and other similar creatures all over the world. This past February, Discovery Plus premiered a new two-hour special entitled "Finding Bigfoot: The Search Continues." The special features the return of all four original cast members and focuses on utilizing new, advanced technologies to ultimately prove Bigfoot's existence.
One of the hosts of that show is Cliff Barackman, he has been doing bigfoot field research since 1994. His expeditions have taken him to 46 states and five continents in search of evidence supporting the existence of undiscovered hominoids worldwide.
As the evidence analyst on "Finding Bigfoot," Cliff has applied his skill and expertise to a variety of photographic, video, film, and sound evidence. He has appeared on many other television shows and documentaries as a bigfoot specialist and cryptozoologist. Cliff is especially familiar with the footprint and handprint evidence for sasquatches. Cliff and his wife, Melissa own and curate the North American Bigfoot Center in Boring, Oregon which features the largest public collection of bigfoot evidence in the Pacific Northwest.