Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In the News....

Yesterday my friend over at Three Good Rats emailed me. The subject line was "Important News!" In the milliseconds before I opened the message a couple of possibilities of what the news could be passed through my mind. At first I wondered if another former associate of Sarah Palin's had written a book. Then I wondered if Keith Olbermann had finally spontaneously combusted (admit it, you've been expecting it to happen for years).

But no, this was much better. When I opened the email, what to my wondering eyes did appear?


Well, not exactly. It was a link to an AOL News story about some Bigfoot investigators who were in the Sierra National Forest over Memorial Day weekend. Snow forced them to abandon the campsite. Strangely, they left their vehicles behind (I mean, if you were leaving a place of inclement weather, wouldn't you try to drive away?)' When they returned for them two days later, they found strange markings and hair on their truck windows. So they're sending the hair off for DNA analysis hoping it will confirm the existence of Bigfoot, a.k.a. Sasquatch.

Makes sense to me. You find some stray hair out in the woods, what else could it be but something left behind by a hitherto unknown species? And they found something else that makes them think they've cryptozoological gold: the oily imprint of a strange face on one of the truck windows. Fortunately for science, one of them took a picture. "I've shown people -- non-believers -- this photograph and this totally freaked them out," said Jeffrey Gonzalez, one of the investigators.

Unfortunately for the curious, none of the news stories reporting this included the picture. However, I found a reproduction on the blog Ghost News. Sadly, this doesn't convince me. My friend at Three Good Rats thinks it looks like an ultrasound. I myself think it looks like a Mexican pro wrestler's mask. Seriously, Gonzalez: this is the best you've got?

I'll confess to being an agnostic on the subject of Bigfoot. I think it's quite possible there's an unknown species of hominid out there. No less a primatologist than Jane Goodall said she thought the existence of something like a Yeti or Sasquatch likely. What I do find staggeringly unlikely is that all the people who claim to have seen evidence of a Sasquatch have all been incredibly bad photographers. And yet here we are with ultrasound of an in utero Mexican pro wrestler.

And apparently no one else has done any better.

Here's a still from what is supposedly 1977 film footage of a Bigfoot:

Frankly, I think it's much more likely that it's Johnny Cash. The build's about right. And the man did like to wear black.

Then there's this March 2011 snapshot taken on Golden Valley Church Road in Rutherford County, CA:

If this photo had been taken in Massachusetts instead of California, I would say it's likely that this is a picture of me. I am kind of careless about crossing the street.

And there's this gem:

This could almost be a dog. But seriously, why are all people who think they've encountered Bigfoot such bad photographers? If I ever take a photo this bad, no one is ever seeing it. It will be deleted immediately.

Whatever we think of these or other Bigfoot photos, Gonzalez and company have high hopes for the DNA testing. But as Loren Coleman, owner of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine said, "If you take a DNA sample and it comes out near-human or primate, it could be Bigfoot. Or a homeless person."

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