Conspiracy theorists have been looking for Bigfoot since the 1950s, but now at last the police are involved.
But they’re not hunting just any American yeti. Michigan State Police troopers are investigating the loss of a seven-foot-tall sasquatch lawn ornament that had been stolen from Park Township, on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The sheet metal ornament is rusty brown in colour, and has sharp jagged edges to mimic the shaggy fur of the legendary forest creature.
Witnesses told police that a white van with tinted passenger windows had been spotted in the area prior to the incident.
The van turned around in the victim's driveway before driving off to the north.
While reports of hairy ape-like creatures date back into prehistory, the Bigfoot legend really got started in 1958, when journalist Andrew Genzoli of the Humboldt Times reported that a reader had sent the paper a letter about logger Jerry Crew who had seen giant footprints in the forests of northern California.
“Maybe we have a relative of the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas,” Genzoli wrote.
Bigfoot expert Joshua Blu Buhs, author of Bigfoot: The Life and Times of a Legend, says that while there were scattered reports of a man-like forest creature before, Genzoli’s article was the trigger.
“People later go back and dig through old newspapers and stuff and find scattered reports of a wild man here, a wild man there,” he says. “But it doesn’t coalesce into a general discussion until the 50s.”
The next big turning point in the Bigfoot story was the The Patterson–Gimlin film.
The short video clip, which emerged in 1967, is alleged to show a female Bigfoot strolling though northern California woodland.
According to Live Science, there have been over 10,000 reported Bigfoot sightings in the continental United States. Most of them, even Bigfoot believers accept, are hoaxes.
A few seem to have been ordinary people walking in the woods that were misidentified. At least three people have been shot dead by hunters who thought they were on the trail of the legendary Bigfoot.
If you spot what seems to be a Bigfoot, please don’t shoot at it. Contact the Michigan State Police Troopers who will be very happy to hear from you.
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