Curtis Meyer reporter
Before you read this I want to post both a disclaimer and ask a favor. First of all, I want to say that I do not believe in any of these multiple conspiracy theories, I’m from Missouri and it’s called the Show Me State for a reason. I just think they are funny. Second, if you think a weekly column or article that would showcase a different conspiracy every week or so is something you want, then please let the Collegio know.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the words Bigfoot I have two reactions. The first is to smile and laugh, then I start looking around cause you never know when you might see him.
The history of Bigfoot goes back a long ways, with many different Native American cultures across North America having their own version. In some versions of the story he or she is a friendly or neutral beast, but in many, Bigfoot is seen as a monster or ogre. Even today, when things go wrong many tribes blame Bigfoot.
Even when America had formed, there were many sightings of bear men, wild men, or monkey men by prospectors and other frontiersmen. These accounts were often discredited at the time, as these reports came with no proof and from heavy drinkers and boasters.
In fact, it wasn’t until 1958 that the term Bigfoot actually came to mean Sasquatch. Prior to this, it was often used to refer to large, overly aggressive grizzly bears that attacked people and livestock. Supposedly a tractor operator in California named Jerry Crew found a large set of muddy footprints, and naturally the name Bigfoot stuck.
Bigfoot like creatures are not exclusive to North America either. The most famous example is of course the Yeti, which is said to haunt the Himalayas. Prior to the local people becoming Buddhist, they believed in a glacier being, who was god of the hunt.
They kept the Yeti after their conversion, sometimes viewing them as helpers. However, Yetis often carry out the will of Dharma, and seeing one is often considered an ill omen.
Then in Malaysia there are Orang Mawas, a 10 foot tall bipedal covered in black fur. Known to raid gardens, the earliest recorded sighting was in 1871. It’s been said that it could be a family of Gigantopithecus, an ancient relative of the present day orangutan that was massive.
If you go to Pakistan, there are tales about an Barmanuo, extremely similar to North Americas Bigfoot. Depending on where the tale is told, it could be a ape or just a wild man. This animal has not been researched as well as the other ones, due to its remoteness and the political issues surrounding the area.
The list goes on, but the point is simple. Ape men are a recurring theme, across many cultures and timelines. This begs the question. Why are there so many sightings of a monkey like creature? One cannot tie it just to popularity, seeing as many of these sightings and traditions are older than even the term Bigfoot.
Perhaps, if one believes the theory of evolution, we are simply remembering our very deep roots. Maybe the idea of a wild man attracts the attention of mankind, wishing to return to Monkey. Though there seems little room in today’s world for a large, hairy, simple monster, one can simply turn to the X-Files episode, ‘The Jersey Devil’ for inspiration that there might still be some sort of wild man on the loose.
Whether you believe in Bigfoot or not, no one can dispute it’s affect on our society and culture today. So next time someone mentions Bigfoot, think twice, and make sure to keep an eye out.