- The Legend of Bigfoot: Leaving His Mark On the World
- by T. S. Mart and Mel Cabre
- Illustrated by Mel Cabre
- Published by Red Lightning Books (Indiana University Press)
- Release Date: September 22, 2020
Bigfoot has captured America’s attention, seeping into the cultural veins of our society. Over the years, the creature has morphed into a phenomenon because he is many things at once: a vulnerable animal, a supernatural wonder, a paranormal entity, a monster, a toy, a superhero, an intriguing creation.
He is a cultural icon.
But what is Bigfoot, really?
Is Bigfoot an animal, created in the same way as other animals, driven by an instinctual need for survival? A warm-blooded creation who potentially migrated across the Bering Strait and then across North America? Or, is Bigfoot a supernatural force, created with abilities far superior to humans? Perhaps, he exists in an unusual manner as a paranormal entity, sent from another place by a means humans haven’t fully come to understand. Maybe the beast is a figment in our mind, a monster born out of a fear living deep within our psyche―a product of our imaginations we hold onto for various reasons.
As we explore each possibility with an open mind and a sense of wonder, the goal is not to prove or disprove Bigfoot’s existence, or to discredit one belief for another, but to enjoy the experience as we examine evidence and apply critical thinking that allows every reader to ask questions and draw conclusions. Everything that is not a fact is an interpretation grounded in biased opinion. And that’s okay, too, as long as we understand our biases and the purpose they serve.
We’ll be referring to Bigfoot as “he” throughout the text. Except where obvious, the pronoun is not meant to imply certain characteristics or traits exclusive to that gender. Frankly, no one knows the distinctions between a male and female Bigfoot.
Bigfoot as an Animal
There is a certain amount of documentation―yet no definitive proof―suggesting Bigfoot is a bipedal primate that lives in the remote areas across North America and other parts of the world. Some call this the Undiscovered Ape Theory.
Investigation confirms people confuse him with bears and other wildlife. Most of the observational evidence belongs to footprints and other casted body parts. Hair and scat samples have been tested and point to a creature that has not been scientifically identified. Do these belong to a Bigfoot? No one knows, but we can speculate.
While referring to Bigfoot as an animal, we’ll keep in mind the major differences between humans and other animals. This will allow us to explore Bigfoot behaviors and apply the typical boundaries that exist.
Humans are capable of complex reasoning with a limitless variety of thoughts and words used in language. We can solve difficult problems using abstract thought, and we have the ability to self-reflect, analyzing data that helps in decision making.
If Bigfoot is an animal, then there are several characteristics and behavioral patterns we can assume based on all other animals.
Animals serve a purpose within the ecosystem
Animals depend on an ecosystem to survive. Since we find Bigfoot all over world, like humans, he would possess the ability to adapt within different biomes or habitats. The most prominent would be the Boreal forests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest and the temperate forest and grasslands of the Northeast, Midwest, Southern Appalachia, and the Deep South since these are the locations one might most likely see a Bigfoot in North America.
With no available data defining Bigfoot’s behavioral patterns within a habitat, we can only speculate at his role in the ecological community based on scattered evidence. If scat (feces) found by researchers belongs to a Bigfoot and not some other animal or human, then evidence suggests he eats plants and berries. Other detailed encounters show that Bigfoot eats fish and livestock (See the Ruby Creek incident in section four). Based on these and other findings, we can assume that like a grizzly bear or cougar, Bigfoot is an apex predator who helps control the population of deer, elk, and other small mammals while also helping to propagate nature by dropping seeds in his scat and embedding them into the ground with his large feet.
Animals act on instinct
Animal instinct is a fixed, unlearned pattern of behavior that occurs in response to a stimulus or motivational need. If Bigfoot is an animal possessing instinct, then his fight-or-flight intuition might account for his adeptness at hiding and running from potential danger.
Instinct also drives communication. Animals use four methods to communicate: visual, auditory, tactile, and chemical.
Visual pertains to an animal’s physical appearance. The dilation of a cat’s eyes, the quirky dance of flamingos, and the grand display of antlers on a moose all send messages to those nearby. While no one has seen a Bigfoot dance, he has shown off a larger-than-life appearance to those who have seen him, and some researchers feel the stick structures and ground glyphs found within the regions of Bigfoot sightings represent a form of communication.
Stick structures are an arrangement of trees and sticks that nature could not have produced. When they occur in areas where other Bigfoot evidence is found, some researchers think they might represent a form of communication. Common structures include: Broken trees, twisted until they expose wood fibers on the inside; asterisks made up of multiple sticks of equal size or length arranged in a pattern; arches and loops of all sizes; and walking sticks where several sticks are strategically placed or propped against a tree. The scientists also believe ground glyphs―sticks made into symbols―could be intended to impress a mate or offer clues to their location, a territorial marker…
If you’d like to read more, please consider purchasing our book. It’s available for preorder now and will release on September 22nd. If you’d like to read the full description of the book you can find it here.