Whether or not you believe in Bigfoot, chances are you live pretty close to somebody who does: Sasquatch sightings have been reported in every state but Hawaii over the course of several centuries. (The no. 1 state, according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, is Washington, with more than 700 sightings deemed credible.) In the process, a number of bizarre theories have been put forth to explain how the mysterious beasts came to be, reproduce, and constantly evade us.
1. A DNA Test Proved That Bigfoot is a Part-Human Hybrid
In November 2012, Texas veterinarian Melba S. Ketchum claimed to have proved via a supposed sasquatch DNA sample that the legendary apes are partially human: According to a statement put out by DNA Diagnostics, “Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens.” She even went so far as to insist that the U.S. government recognize sasquatches as “an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights.” Recently, Ketchum launched a GoFundMe to finance her work, which she claims includes “Samples [from] Bigfoot, Dogman, giants, and others.”
2. The Government Secretly Removed Burnt Sasquatch Corpses from Mount St. Helens after the 1980 Eruption
Following the disaster, a few witnesses reported seeing federal helicopters carrying off the charred remains of several sasquatches from the area. Prior to the eruption, Mount St. Helens had already been a hot spot for supposed “ape-men” sightings (and even a reported attack) since the 1920s, with a nearby gorge was eventually being named “Ape Canyon.”
3. Bigfoot Is Really a Caveman
In 2007, Vancouver Island resident Robert Wilson claimed to have seen “what I thought was a bear. I drove down and saw what I could only describe as a large, hairy man who looked cave man-like … with sort of Neanderthal features. As big as a bear, easily.” Expanding on his claim, a 2011 History Channel documentary proposed that “[the] sasquatch might not be a giant ape at all, but could be a species of prehistoric human.”
4. Bigfoot Is Really an Alien
Two conspiracies for the price of one! In 1973, Pennsylvania UFO researcher Stan Gordon noticed an increase in sightings of sasquatches entering and exiting the extraterrestrial vessels. Fascinated by the possibility that the mysterious primates may actually hail from another planet, Gordon quickly set up a “UFO-Bigfoot Hotline.”
5. Bigfoot Is Really a Giant Ground Sloth
6. Sasquatches Appear in the Bible
Some have argued that the giants briefly mentioned in the book of Genesis were actually early sasquatches; others say that the animals are descended from Esau or Cain.
7. Sasquatches Bury Their Dead
One of the most jarring questions for cryptozoologists is “If sasquatches are real, why don’t we ever find their bodies?” Many believers argue that, not unlike modern elephants, the elusive apes actually bury their dead. A Kentucky-based Bigfoot researcher named Thomas Marcum has wondered if giant mounds in the woods of Bell and Harlan counties in the state might be Bigfoot graves. “This is in an area where I have had several Bigfoot encounters and found many tracks,” Marcum told The Daily Yonder. “Now of course, I have no idea if these are really graves or just odd humps of dirt on the ground. It could be nothing more than a natural formation or something a person did a long time ago. I have not and would not dig into them. But I am confident that Bigfoot does bury their dead.”
8. The Government Captured a Live Sasquatch in 1999
In 1999, a number of simultaneous fires ravaged Battle Mountain, Nevada. An injured Bigfoot was supposedly spotted in the carnage before being whisked away by government officials for treatment. The animal was supposedly fixed up and released, and then a government cover-up commenced. That’s probably not true, but it is true that the FBI tested supposed sasquach hair in the 1970s. (Analysis revealed it came from a deer.)
9. Bigfoot Calls Have Been Documented—and Can be Easily Mimicked
Believers feel that Bigfoot calls are diverse and distinctive, as evidenced in Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot series—you can hear an explanation (and demonstrations) of the calls in the clip of the show above.
According to the late Grover Krantz, anthropologist and Bigfoot believer, “One ... tape [of alleged Bigfoot vocalizations] was analyzed by some university sound specialists who determined that a human voice could not have made them; they required a much longer vocal tract. A sasquatch investigator later asked one of these experts if a human could imitate the sound characteristics by simply cupping his hands around his mouth. The answer was yes."
10. Bigfoot Might Swear
Calls aren’t the only vocalizations in the sasquatch repetoire: According to a linguist quoted in the liner notes for the CD The Bigfoot Recordings: The Edge of Discovery, the cryptids probably have language that likely includes a few curse words.
A version of this story ran in 2013; it has been updated for 2024.