Sixty-two years ago word of the Abominable Snowman first made the headlines (1951). The world at large was suddenly aware of the legendary hairy bipeds said to frequent high latitude, high altitude snowfields of the Himalayas and other mountain ranges across Asia. Prior to Shipton’s photos, only a handful of eyewitness — accounts from montaineers and Sherpas were told and retold; most receiving a sceptical ear among the intelligencia. At this point only the eyewitnesses were true believers.
In Northern CA in 1958 giant naked footprints were discovered at a construction site; the maker of the tracks was referred to as “Bigfoot” and a sudden awareness of their presence in Pacific Northwest was established. Prior to then they were mostly talked about in Canada under the name Sasquatch; in 1961 Ivan Sanderson (one of the founders of “crytozoology”) wrote a book entitled “Abominable Snowman, Legend Come to Life” which made it clear this was a global phenomenon that has been with us since the beginning of recorded history. By this time just a handful of non-skeptical researchers were on the track as much as their personal resources allowed. Then millionaire Tom Slick, who had already funded expeditions in the Himalayas seeking the yeti, put up some funding for an expedition in the Pacific Northwest.
In 1967 Roger Patterson, accompanied by Bob Gimlin, got that great film of a female Sasquatch. Over the last decade two independent film analysts–with no preconceived notion as to its veracity–set out to apply their skill sets utilizing modern technology to show whether the the subject in the film is a “guy in a suit” or not. Having rescanned the film to high definition video it is now posible to observe details previously unavailble to researchers, making it possible to judge the film on its own merits rather than by utilyzing ad hominum tactics attempting to remove the credibilty of the film makers. Over the next thirty years more and more wtnesses and dedicated researchers and hobbyists joined in the search, along with more and more scientisis who largely kept their interest on the down-low. Around 1995 BFRO started the first online sighting database and the stories continued to pour in.
February 13, 2013, after 5 years of research utlizying three separate forensics labs a group of DNA scientists and bigfoot researchers (now labelled The Sasquatch Genome Project) headed up by Melba Ketchum finally self-published a research paper announcing the discovery of a novel hominin that mixed his Y chromosomal material with human (homo sapiens) X chromosomes 16,000 ya to formulate a bloodline known in North America as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Prior to this only Mitochondrial DNA tests had been done with supposed Sasquatch samples. (These typically tested out to be “human,” but this was always rejected as “contamination of the sample” by the human collector until Melba tested the Y hromosome.) I wasn’t surprised to see Melba go ahead after two years of knee-jerk rejection and “break the rules” of the peer review protocol. By doing so she has at least let the public have access to her claims and the science that backs it up. Peer review can now take place based on the facts rather than pure rumor as more and more of her supportive data is made public. Many critics had alredy condemned the paper for 2 yrs prior to anyone having access to read it.
In May 2012 The Oxford-Lausanne Collaterol Hominid Project was announced. Now the most influential DNA scientist in the world (Bryan Sykes) is looking into the possibilty of bigfoot DNA, promising to publish his results as well. . The point here is that the real science is now taking place for the first time in the history of Bigfoot Studies with both unknown and highly thought of scientists who are no longer afraid to take a look at the evidence. Thanks also needs to go to a few contemporary rich men who contributed funds to pay the bill for all this such as Adrian Erickson and Wally Hersom. Thanks, guys.