For decades, humans have pondered whether a towering, hairy, bipedal creature roams our forests. Some call him Bigfoot. Some refer to him as sasquatch. Normally, his existence is debated only among paranormal enthusiasts. But thanks to some newly uncovered government files, we now know the Federal Bureau of Investigation once performed some forensic testing to see if Bigfoot was living among us.

According to the Seattle Times, the agency was contacted by a Bigfoot investigator named Peter C. Byrne in 1976 with a request to test a hair sample Byrne had collected in Oregon. The 15 hairs were attached to a small piece of skin, which Byrne and his colleagues at the Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition were unable to identify. The hairs came from a search of a site where two U.S. Forest Service employees claimed to have seen the creature. In addition to the hair, there were 14-inch footprints.

Incredibly, the FBI was amenable to the request. Jay Cochran Jr., assistant director for the FBI’s scientific and technical services division, wrote Byrne and said that although the agency is interested primarily in criminal matters, he would make an exception. Though their office may have doubted the existence of Bigfoot, it had been asked to make inquiries in the past. It was possible they wanted to settle the matter once and for all.

If Byrne held out hope his sample might produce a definitive answer as to Bigfoot's existence, he was disappointed. Cochran revealed to him that the hairs came from a deer, although the correspondence was lost in transit and Byrne never actually read the reply until this past week. Speaking with The Washington Post, the 93-year-old expressed slight disappointment. "If the FBI says it's deer hair, I guess that's it," he said. "For now."

[h/t Seattle Times]