"Bigfoot" is an alleged species of ape/man-like creatures which have been seen by credible witnesses in the wilds of the North American continent, and all over the world, often leaving huge footprints and hair samples behind.
Bigfoot has been spotted in every state of the Union, except Delaware and Hawaii. There are organizations all over the country that keep track of information gathered on Big foot sightings and personal experiences with this creature. There have been so many sightings of this elusive creature, including castings of footprints, that more than a few people consider the evidence of its existence to be very strong.
Also known as "Sasquatch" by the Indians of British Columbia, "Oh-mah-ah" by the northern California Hupa tribe, "Skunk Apes or Napes" in the southern United States, as "Seeahtiks" in the Cascades, "Memegwico" by other American Indians, Yetis in Alaska/ Asia, and Almas in Russia, these creatures have been described as standing between six and nine feet in height, walking gracefully in an upright position, in smooth strides with knees bent. Their weight has been estimated to be between 300 to 600 pounds. They have muscular bodies, massive shoulders, and are covered with hair of varying length, depending on the account. Their facial features are humanoid, with the skin on their faces, hands and feet, dark and leathery. Their heads are peaked at the back. In some sightings they have jutted chins, heavy brow ridges, a receding forehead, and large, square white teeth. The female of the species has large breasts.
Family groups and individuals have been sighted and described so often in the Oregon-Washington area that both states have Bigfoot Informational Centers.
There are several theories as to how they should be categorized. Some think Bigfoot is a hominid variant.
"One thing we know for sure is that all known apes (Pongids) have a divergent large toe while Bigfoot does not," says investigator George Karras. "Bigfoot's tracks indicate that its feet more closely resemble the feet of Hominids such as Homo erectus or Homo sapiens (modern man) and hair samples that can not be positively identified more closely resemble human hair than the hair of apes or any other known animal. It is my opinion that bigfoot is not human but it is closer to human than any animal alive today."
Dr. Myra Shackley, a professor of archaeology at Leicester University, is convinced that bigfoot is a pre-hominid Neanderthal man, a predecessor of modern man, who supposedly was exterminated by Cro-Magnon man.
In the Altai Mountains of Mongolia, wild men known as Almas have been seen and known about by the area people for time immemorial. When modern people first settled the region, it is told how they drove the Almas out. Shackley visited the Altai Mountains and gathered evidence relating to their existence.
Dr. Boris Fyodorovich Porshnev, a Soviet historian who studied prehistory relating to the origin of man, investigated the case of a female Alma, described as having ape-like features and covered in hair, who was captured by the Altai Mountain people in the mid-nineteenth century. Called Zana, she eventually was domesticated and could perform simple tasks such as grinding corn. She loved grapes and wine, and after drinking heavily, would crash out for hours, which explains how she became pregnant several times. Her children, being half modern man, could talk and hold simple conversational exchanges with their human companions. The last of them died in 1954. Professor Porshnev interviewed her grandson, who had dark skin and Negroid features. His jaw was so strong that he could pick up a chair with a man sitting on it with his mouth.
Other theories have also been proposed.
One theory is that these are actually apes that escaped from captivity, chimpanzees or gorillas that once were the property of slave traders, and that they now inhabit the bottomlands of the United States.
Another theory, put forward by Loren Coleman, claims they are Apes from the "supposedly prehistoric family of the pongids, the Dryopithecinae," a species that was highly successful in living in both "temperate and subtropical areas." They could have come from Asia during the Pleistocene era over the now-submerged land bridge that once joined Russia and Alaska.
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