by Lissa Marie Redmond
This blog usually handles some very serious issues in regards to police work and writing. Today I’d like to stray away from that tradition a little. I am easily distracted, as a lot of writers are. Internet search engines are both a blessing and a curse when researching a new book. The other day I was doing some serious research into national parks, scouring the Internet (every writer knows what happens next, right?) when I came across an interesting article about a man in Texas who claimed to have hunted down and killed a Bigfoot and was now taking the body on tour. He was putting the corpse on display for all the world to see. Curious people would come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the giant corpse, for a small fee, of course.
It got my writer’s mind to thinking: what if Bigfoot was real? Is it possible in the 21st century for a seven-foot-tall hominid creature to co-exist among us, virtually unseen?
Most scientists say no. In modern North America it would be virtually impossible for such a creature to exist, without leaving any scientific physical evidence of its existence. But then again, I’ve never seen a squirrel skeleton and those little scavengers are all over my backyard bird feeder.
The BFRO (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization) claims there have been over thirty five hundred credible sightings in 49 states since the 1960’s. Can anyone guess which state has never had a Bigfoot sighting? Hawaii, that’s right. Apparently, Bigfoot doesn’t swim.
So what if Bigfoots (the accepted plural of Bigfoot is Bigfoots) are real? Should Bigfoots be granted protected species status without physical proof of their existence? I say yes, and here’s why:
The BFRO puts the estimated North American Bigfoot population at 2,000 to 6,000 individuals. This means at the high end there could be only 122 Bigfoots per state. Imagine if there were only 122 black bears left in New York State. Or only 122 Starbucks? Would you agree they needed to be protected? (If my calculations are wrong, I apologize. No one said there would be math on this test.)
Currently, it is perfectly legal in 49 states to hunt, kill, harass, or trap a Bigfoot.
As an animal lover, I find this unacceptable.
Believe it or not, there are only two places in the entire country where Bigfoots are protected. In Washington State there are laws in place against harming a Sasquatch in Skamania and Whatcom Counties. Whatcom County has also declared itself a Sasquatch refuge and protection area.
Bigfoots have always been part of Native American Lore. The word sasquatch itself comes from the Halcom Indian word sasquets, meaning wild or hairy man. In Australia, local aboriginals have sighted Yowies for centuries. The Pendek Tribe of Indonesia talks of the Orang, and of course there is the Yeti of the Himalayas.
Once again, my curious writer’s brain asks: What if these hominids were real?
Should camera crews be allowed to tramp through the woods with “field researchers” knocking on trees and howling? Should so-called Bigfoot hunters be allowed to shoot them dead and display their carcasses? (The Texas Bigfoot corpse was exposed as a hoax, by the way. Everyone should demand their fifteen dollars and dignity back). Is this any way to treat an endangered species?
I ask you to consider for a moment the Komodo Dragon. It was thought to be a mythical creature until 1912. And so too, the Mountain Gorilla, whose existence was not confirmed until 1913.
But that was a hundred years ago, you say, a large mammal couldn’t remain undiscovered in the 21st century, right? Not with Millennials running around Snapchatting and FaceTiming and Tweeting every second of every day of their lives. Surely, one would have been captured in the background of a selfie at some point.
In 2007, a researcher looking at photos of a recent trip to the Congo noticed a picture of a strange looking monkey with a human-like face that was being kept as the pet of a 13-year-old villager. Though widely known by locals, the Lesula Monkey was finally identified as a new species in 2012.
With these facts in mind, I believe we should air on the side of caution. We have to ask ourselves, what if the sasquatches are real and trying to squeak out an existence alongside of us? There has never been one report of a human fatality caused by a Bigfoot. Not one. Lawn Jarts have killed more people. Yet it is perfectly legal to hunt them. Shouldn’t they be given endangered species protection?
If you want to protect our Sasquatch brethren, there are several online petitions calling for protected status for Bigfoots. The time is now to protect our Bigfooted friends. And for me to get back to work on my manuscript and stop being distracted by my Internet searches. Because I think I have an idea for a new story.