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Bigfoot

The Round Rock Bigfoot footprint

You know, it’s been too long since we had a good Bigfoot story to talk about.

Steve Austin knows the truth

[Last] Saturday, the Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department released photos of foot prints found on various trails and parks in the Austin suburb. Officials have called it an “unexplained phenomena” and are urging anyone who knows about the origins of the footprints to contact them.

Compared to a park ranger’s foot, the mysterious foot print seems quite large. Some have speculated that it may be Bigfoot, the mythical creature that some have said they’ve seen in Texas.

But at least one local Bigfoot hunter was not impressed.

“I’m leaning towards not real at least on the top one,” Russell Miller told Chron.com after checking out the pics posted online. “Too narrow at the instep.”

Any further analysis of the images was difficult without a better view, the Baytown Bigfoot hunter added.

“Would love to see more pics and something for scale.”

Boy, wouldn’t we all? You can see the Facebook post with the pictures here, and I will leave the rest to your judgment. Just know that people can be tricky about this sort of thing. The Statesman has more.

News flash: The Bigfoot exhibition was a fake

I know, I’m as shocked as you are.

Steve Austin knows the truth

After a falling out with his Bigfoot crew, master tracker Rick Dyer, whose new title may be “con artist”, admitted that the 8-foot tall body named “Hank” that wooed crowds last month in Houston is a prop made to look like a Bigfoot.

The crew, including spokesman Andrew Clacy, had an apparent rift in Daytona last week with accusations, lawsuit threats and resignations that led to Dyer announcing “the truth” on Facebook, and Clacy emailing a statement to the San Antonio Express-News on Monday, admitting that the body was a prop.

“From this moment on, I will speak the truth! No more lies, tall tales or wild goose chases to mess with the haters!” Dyer said on his Facebook, which has since been deleted. “I never treated anyone bad, I’m a joker, I play around, that’s just me.”

[…]

Chris Russell, of Twisted Toy Box in Washington, admitted to manufacturing the prop, which Dyer named “Hank”, of latex, foam and camel hair last year at Dyer’s request in an interview with a Bigfoot blogging site Sunday.

It is unclear how much Dyer paid to have the prop made, but a full-body mummy suit on the site is more than $700, although a custom prop the size of the Bigfoot was significantly more expensive.

Dyer’s post said that nationwide tour that charged people $10 to see the fake body pulled in close to $60,000, with Clacy making more than $12,000 in cash, meals and entertainment, or 20 percent.

See here, here, and here for the background. You have to admit, that was a pretty good return on his investment. One wonders what Dyer could do with an honest idea if he put his mind to it. He’s still claiming to have shot a Bigfoot despite this admission of fakery, so don’t hold your breath waiting for him to come up with an honest idea. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do for his next trick. I just know I won’t give him any of my money to see it. Thanks to Hair Balls for the link.

Where to see Bigfoot

And by “Bigfoot”, I mean whatever the huckster Rick Dyer has faked up to look like a “Bigfoot”. Be that as it may, the place to go is the Alamo Drafthouse.

Steve Austin knows the truth

Anyone who doubts a Texas man’s claim that he shot Bigfoot near San Antonio will have a chance, two actually, to check out the carcass at close range.

Rick Dyer, who says he shot the ape-human creature in 2012, is scheduled to make two evening appearances later this month at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24, Dyer will be at the Mason Park location, 531 S. Mason Road in Katy, and at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25, he will be at the Vintage Park site, 114 Vintage Park Blvd., in northwest Houston.

The $20 admission includes a “mystery” Bigfoot movie to be announced and a 30-minute Question-and-Answer session with Dyer, to be moderated by a comedian, said Alamo Drafthouse programming director Robert Saucedo.

“We’re guaranteeing audience members are going to get their money’s worth in entertainment and have an amazing time,” Saucedo said Thursday. “We’re going to go all out to make sure no stone is unturned to offer up a fun event. After that, it’s up to the audience member to make up their own mind, whether Mr. Dyer is (for) real or not.”

Saucedo said he hadn’t yet seen the Bigfoot carcass, which Dyer described as being in a glass coffin.

“He’s talked about how he has some kind of refrigerated trailer,” Saucedo said. “I still need to work out the details about how we’re going to display it in our theater. I know the audience will have a change to get up close and take a look at this creature.”

See here and here for the background, and here for the Alamo Theater’s take. They’re selling this as entertainment, and I can’t argue with that. If anyone reading this does go, by all means tell us about it afterward.

So you want to see Bigfoot?

He’s coming to your town, Houston and San Antonio. Or at least, whatever the huckster Rick Dyer is trying to pass off as a Bigfoot carcass is coming to your town.

Steve Austin knows the truth

Dyer, 36, says he killed an 8-foot-tall Bigfoot in San Antonio in 2012 with a 30-06 rifle after he lured “the beast” near his tent with a set of Wal-Mart ribs he rubbed with a secret ingredient.

“I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true,” said Dyer, who is coming back to the Alamo City and Houston in February to showcase his catch.

He tows the corpse behind a 40-foot coach in a trailer across the country to show folks just how real Bigfoot is.

“A lot of times they don’t believe it,” he said. “You can show someone something that is real, but they won’t, or can’t, believe it because they think it doesn’t exist.”

Dyer killed the mysterious creature in a wooded area near Texas 151 and Loop 1604, he said Sept. 6, 2012.

After getting “leads” from homeless locals, Dyer set up a tent in the woods and booby trapped trees around his tent with ribs he purchased from Wal-Mart, who in fact does have the best ribs for Bigfoot-huntin’, as well as the best return policy.

“I woke up to the sound of bones crushing,” Dyer said. “I knew it was a Bigfoot eating the ribs I hung, so I grabbed my cell phone and filmed it.”

Snopes helpfully reminds us that Dyer made a similar claim in 2008, and his “Bigfoot” turned out to be a rubber ape costume. But don’t worry, even though he won’t give any tissue samples for testing Dyer assures us that some university he can’t name because of “nondisclosure” is doing some testing for him, so we can totally trust him this time.

OK, we all know this guy is a carny barker, and he’s doing this to scam a few bucks off of the gullible. I’m sure he’ll succeed at that. What’s more, I’m feeling strongly tempted to see his “carcass” for myself, so I can get a good laugh out of it. I’ll probably hate myself afterward, but I’m still feeling the pull. Someone please talk me out of this.

To their credit, Texas wildlife officials have the right idea here.

“We don’t acknowledge that one exists, but if you wanted to shoot and kill a Bigfoot in the state of Texas you would just need a hunting license,” Major Larry Young, game warden with Texas Parks and Wildlife, joked Tuesday.

Young said that although it’s legal, he doesn’t exactly think it is moral.

“It’s kind of like shooting a person,” he said.

“We can’t prohibit anyone from hunting fictional characters, including Sasquatch, Chupacabra and other urban myths,” said Steve Lightfoot with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

And just in case this story isn’t weird enough for you:

The folks at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals don’t think that Bigfoot is real, but do feel strongly about those that would shoot something exotic for sport.

“The bottom line is, when someone sees a rare, exotic animal their first instinct shouldn’t be to shoot and kill it,” said PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt. “Just because you see something pretty, that doesn’t mean it should be mounted on your wall.”

If anything the hunting and killing of a fictional animal teaches a lesson about hunting culture in general. According to Rajt, the popularity of hunting for sport is in decline, and has been since the late 1970s.

“Wildlife watching is gaining popularity over hunting,” she said.

“As an organization we do oppose hunting of any kind. It’s cruel and unnecessary and can damage populations and ecosystems,” Rajt said.

Yeah, we wouldn’t want to have to put Bigfoot on the endangered species list, right? I got nothing.

Who shot Bigfoot?

The correct answer is “no one”, since Bigfoot doesn’t exist and all that, but this guy claims to have done it.

Yeah, that’s not Bigfoot

Nearly a year ago a self-described professional Bigfoot hunter claimed to have shot and killed one of the creatures in San Antonio.

The alleged incident was featured in a documentary released last year that left more questions than answers.

[Last] Thursday Rick Dyer finally released pictures of the alleged beast’s body (see below).

“Bigfoot is 100 percent real — there’s no question about that,” Dyer said.

Dyer claims he shot and killed the mythical creature in a wooded area on the northwest side near Loop 1604 and Highway 151 in early September 2012.

Until Thursday Dyer never provided any proof beyond a grainy video clip he shot of the big beast outside his tent. More video was included in the documentary “Shooting Bigfoot,” but it failed to impress skeptics.

[…]

Despite a history of past Bigfoot hoaxes, Dyer insists he’s not fooling around this time.

“Bigfoot is not a tooth fairy — Bigfoot is real,” Dyer said. “The most important thing to me is being vindicated, letting people know that I am the best Bigfoot tracker in the world and it’s not just me saying it.”

Dyer plans to hold a news conference in the coming days, where he will show the full body and release the test results.

I’m sure he’ll allow an independent DNA analysis on his find. As the Bigfoot Evidence blog (the World’s Only 24/7 Bigfoot News Blog, because of course such a thing is needed) notes, Dyer most recently claimed to have shot a Bigfoot in Georgia in 2008, which he later admitted was a hoax. But this time he totally means it, y’all, even if his Bigfoot picture kind of resembles a dwarf from “Lord of the Rings”. Hey, you go to the media with the Bigfoot you have, not the Bigfoot you wish you had, am I right? Just show me the DNA test and we can settle this amicably.

Yeah, that’s still not Bigfoot

You can’t fool the SciGuy, y’all.

Steve Austin knows the truth

Bigfoot is smarter than humans. Bigfoot roams from the Arctic to the equator. Bigfoot has a sixth sense.

And most importantly, Bigfoot is very, very, very, very real.

That was the message Tuesday from group of lay researchers who made the rather audacious claims at a sparsely attended news conference at a Dallas recreation center.

“This is a serious business,” said a straight-faced Adrian Erickson, an investigator who spent five years tracking Bigfoot across the land and collecting evidence. “We don’t have a mountain of evidence, we have a mountain range of evidence.”

Billed as offering never-before-seen “Hi-def Bigfoot video,” the event drew a few local TV stations from Dallas as well as the Houston Chronicle’s science reporter, who has spent the last year probing the Bigfoot issue.

The video, alas, proved a disappointment.

The story mentions a character and some alleged Bigfoot DNA that we’ve encountered before. Needless to say, the evidence hasn’t gotten any better with subsequent retellings, and the video evidence is, well, less than overwhelming. Read the story, and the accompanying SciGuy blog post and see for yourself.

Once again, voter ID is a non-solution to a non-problem

Greg Abbott’s record is all the proof you need of this.

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Attorney General Greg Abbott champions a requirement for voters to show photo identification to prevent ballot fraud. But such a rule would have deterred just a few of the cases his office has prosecuted in the last eight years.

Abbott, who’s making his defense of the state’s voter ID law a centerpiece of his campaign for governor, has pursued 66 people on charges of voting irregularities since 2004. Only four cases involved someone illegally casting a ballot at a polling place where a picture ID would have prevented it.

In most cases, voter-fraud violations in Texas have involved mail-in ballots. A few involved felons who aren’t allowed to vote. Some involved an election official engaged in illegal behavior. But none of those would have been stopped by the photo ID requirement.

Nevertheless, Abbott defends voter ID and says the fact that he hasn’t found many cases of in-person voter fraud doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

In his most extensive interview on the issue as attorney general, Abbott cited a Supreme Court opinion upholding photo ID in an Indiana case. The high court suggested the presence of absentee-vote fraud likely means voter-impersonation is happening as well.

“Anyone who thinks there isn’t cheating going on at the ballot box is wrong,” Abbott said. “It doesn’t matter that the cheating is in-person voter impersonation or absentee ballot. The Supreme Court says it doesn’t matter. What matters more is the integrity of the election system.”

The attorney general’s role defending the law and his record prosecuting voter fraud cases, mostly against Democrats and racial minorities, could become an issue in next year’s elections, when Abbott is seeking the GOP nomination for governor.

And in the meantime, the law is one of the frontiers in the escalating national battle over voting rights. The U.S. Justice Department and Texas Democrats are challenging the 2011 Texas law requiring ID in court. The law requires state-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or a concealed handgun permit. It has yet to be used in a major election.

Supporters say photo ID is an effective way to prevent ballot fraud. Opponents say there’s no evidence of widespread fraud in Texas and the law’s real intent is to suppress the votes of people who tend to vote Democrat, particularly lower-income people, blacks and Hispanics.

“If you really wanted to go after all the voter irregularities, you’d be looking at mail ballots,” said state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, the San Antonio Democrat who chairs the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. “You’d be looking at poll worker activity and electioneering. You’d be looking at the aggressive groups that are out there intimidating voters when they stand in line at a polling place.”

Fischer said Abbott’s own record prosecuting few cases in which photo ID would have been effective suggests the requirement is about putting obstacles in the way of Democratic voters, not stopping illegal voting.

Abbott’s justification for his relentless voter fraud hunting is pretty much the same as the justification Bigfoot hunters give. His pursuit is only marginally less irrational.

Look, it’s not just that if you really cared about the integrity of the vote you’d ask the Legislature to do something about the cases that have made up almost 95% of your prosecutions, instead of obsessively focusing on that tiny minority of them. There’s also the ridiculously and selectively restrictive nature of the voter ID law, in which a concealed handgun license is valid ID but a student ID isn’t. There’s the pathetically non-existent effort to provide IDs for those that don’t have them, such as making people who don’t have drivers licenses travel up to 200 miles to get a valid alternative ID. And of course there’s the separate but equally problematic legislation to crack down on voter registration. (See this otherwise amenable to voter ID editorial from the Star Telegram for a list of things the Lege could have done but chose not to do to make the law somewhat less onerous.) Putting it all together puts the lie to the claims about protecting the integrity of the vote. It’s always been about making it harder for certain people to cast a ballot. If the claim that voter ID was really about “protecting the integrity of the vote” was one of Abbott’s prosecutions, the charge would have been dismissed by now. Trail Blazers and EoW have more.

What’s the difference between a rock and a fossilized Bigfoot skull?

Less than you might think, apparently.

Steve Austin knows the truth

Todd May, of Ogden, dropped by the offices of the Standard-Examiner to see if someone would be interested in a story about a fairly impressive fossil find. After showing off a couple of digital photos, May offered six even more compelling words — “Do you want to see it?” — followed by the motherlode of sentences: “It’s out in the trunk of my car.”

In the trunk of your car? Do I want to see it? Does Bigfoot make in the woods?

May proceeded out to his car, where he popped the hatchback on his Nissan 300 ZX. Peeling back an American flag draped across the cargo area of the vehicle, he hefted a black piece of luggage that resembled an oversized bowling-ball bag, lowering it to the asphalt of the parking lot with a clunk. He struggled to pull a noggin-sized, seemingly ordinary rock out of the bag, held it up and turned it over.

A face.

The rock looks vaguely like a smaller version of one of those Easter Island heads. Pronounced forehead. Large, flattened nose. What could only be described as a chiseled chin and jaw line.

It’s been about six weeks since May found the rock near the mouth of Ogden Canyon.

“I was looking for some fossils,” the 49-year-old “semi-retired” private investigator explains, “and I was kind of drawn to something in the ground.”

It was a rock, sticking up out of the dirt.

“So I went and dug it out, and you couldn’t tell what it was ’cause the head was face down; all you could see was the back of it,” he said. “But when I dug it out you could see the face, perfect.”

May believes his weighty prize — it tips the scales at 70 pounds — is a fossilized Bigfoot skull. What compels him to make such a claim? Because he says he has seen a couple of the non-fossilized, live skulls — attached to their monstrous, hairy bodies — in recent years.

[…]

The Standard-Examiner sent a photo of the rock to several paleontologists for an initial opinion on May’s find.

In an email interview, paleontologist Kenneth Carpenter said what May found is interesting, but it definitely is not a fossilized skull.

“I’ll admit that it is the most head-like rock I have seen,” said Carpenter, director and curator of paleontology at Utah State University Eastern’s Prehistoric Museum in Price. “However, there is no doubt that the object is a natural phenomenon. Basically, it is just the odd way the rock has weathered.”

Carpenter said there are several key features of a real skull that are missing — eye socket, nose opening, and teeth among them.

“The object looks more like a head than a skull,” Carpenter wrote. “When a human head starts to decompose, the first areas to go are those soft tissue high in water, namely the eyes. Thus, even if the eyelids are closed, the eye socket is seen as a collapse of the eyelid into the socket. Scavengers, including coyotes, rodents, insects, etc., feed on tissue. For them it is an easy meal. That is why murder corpses in the outdoors are little more than bones.”

Carpenter also said the structure of the material suggests it’s a rock.

“If a piece is knocked off, you’ll find that it is rock all the way through,” he said. “Bone when it fossilizes still retains its structure, even at the microscopic level. … IF this were a fossilized skull, then knocking a chip off should reveal bone structure inside.”

Brooks B. Britt, paleontologist at Brigham Young University in Provo, says he gets these sorts of calls regularly.

“This happens all the time,” he said in a telephone interview. Rarely, however, do such leads result in an actual fossil.

“I’ve been doing this since I first started at BYU, and only once did something turn out to be worthwhile,” he said.

Most of the time, Britt says, it’s just a rock that looks like something interesting. He has seen people bring in rocks shaped like hearts, kidneys, fingers, eggs — all sorts of anatomical parts.

“It’s just the way the rock weathered naturally,” he said.

Britt says despite explaining this to the finders, he can never convince them otherwise.

“They just won’t listen to anybody,” Britt said. “He’s always going to believe it.”

Yes, I suppose he is. All I know is that you can’t get DNA from a rock. And speaking of DNA, SciGuy updates us on that geneticist from Nacogdoches who claimed to have Bigfoot DNA:

I agreed to be an intermediary between [geneticist and purported Bigfoot DNA owner Melba] Ketchum and a highly reputable geneticist in Texas, whom I trusted and knew personally. I also knew that this geneticist was first and foremost a scientist, and if there was even a 1 percent chance the Bigfoot evidence was real, he’d want check out the story. I asked, and he was willing to approach the evidence with an open mind.

(Why am I maintaining my source’s anonymity? Because some of his peers would question his engagement on such a topic, believing it unworthy of valuable research time. But make no mistake, he is a top-notch scientist at the top of his field.)

The deal was this: I would hold off writing anything until this geneticist had his lab test the DNA samples obtained by Ketchum that were purportedly a novel and non-human species. If the evidence backed up Ketchum’s claims, I had a blockbuster story. My geneticist source would have a hand in making the scientific discovery of the decade, or perhaps the century. Ketchum would be vindicated.

In short, we would all have been winners.

Alas, I met my geneticist friend this past week and I asked about the Bigfoot DNA. It was, he told me, a mix of opossum and other species. No find of the century.

Alas indeed. Apparently, Dr. Ketcham didn’t care for this result, but that’s the way it goes when you use actual science. Better luck next time, Doc.

Bigfoot DNA update

I apologize for being so remiss in reporting on this.

Steve Austin knows the truth

As you may recall last November there was a bit of a to-do about a Texas geneticist from Nacogdoches, Melba Ketchum, who claimed to have sequenced DNA from a Bigfoot. That’s quite a feat considering this a creature that does not exist in the real world.

At the time I reported on a number of significant issues with the claims Ketchum was making.

Now she has finally found a scientific journal to publish her manuscript — a journal, DeNovo, that happened to not exist until this week.

Anyway, here’s the paper’s abstract:

One hundred eleven samples of blood, tissue, hair, and other types of specimens were studied, characterized and hypothesized to be obtained from elusive hominins in North America commonly referred to as Sasquatch. DNA was extracted and purified from a subset of these samples that survived rigorous screening for wildlife species identification. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing, specific genetic loci sequencing, forensic short tandem repeat (STR) testing, whole genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) bead array analysis, and next generation whole genome sequencing were conducted on purported Sasquatch DNA samples gathered from various locations in North America. Additionally, histopathologic and electron microscopic examination were performed on a large tissue sample. vel non-human DNA.

And here’s the news release announcing the paper’s publication. It all sounds science-y and stuff, doesn’t it?

Too bad it’s almost certainly Bigfoot scat. The big question is why Ketchum would pick this journal to publish findings that if true would be monumental. It would be the scientific discovery of the decade, at least.

And she picks a brand-new journal? Smells a little fishy, no?

Eric “SciGuy” Berger subsequently received a copy of the paper and solicited some feedback from geneticists, who reacted about as you’d expect they would. At this point it’s just a matter of a credible person testing the samples and letting us know what they’re really from. But until then, now you know where things stand.

So you say you have Bigfoot DNA

I have one thing to say about this.

Steve Austin knows the truth

A team of scientists can verify that their 5-year long DNA study, currently under peer-review, confirms the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species, commonly called “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch,” living in North America. Researchers’ extensive DNA sequencing suggests that the legendary Sasquatch is a human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an unknown primate species.

The study was conducted by a team of experts in genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology, led by Dr. Melba S. Ketchum of Nacogdoches, TX. In response to recent interest in the study, Dr. Ketchum can confirm that her team has sequenced 3 complete Sasquatch nuclear genomes and determined the species is a human hybrid:

“Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples. The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species. 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.

Hominins are members of the taxonomic grouping Hominini, which includes all members of the genus Homo. Genetic testing has already ruled out Homo neanderthalis and the Denisova hominin as contributors to Sasquatch mtDNA or nuDNA. “The male progenitor that contributed the unknown sequence to this hybrid is unique as its DNA is more distantly removed from humans than other recently discovered hominins like the Denisovan individual,” explains Ketchum.

“Sasquatch nuclear DNA is incredibly novel and not at all what we had expected. While it has human nuclear DNA within its genome, there are also distinctly non-human, non-archaic hominin, and non-ape sequences. We describe it as a mosaic of human and novel non-human sequence. Further study is needed and is ongoing to better characterize and understand Sasquatch nuclear DNA.”

If they really have Bigfoot DNA – and if you read the whole press release, at the bottom it says “Full details of the study will be presented in the near future when the study manuscript publishes”, so we’re just taking their word for it, as if there were any doubt about that – then send it to Oxford and let the boffins over there have a go at it. If you’ve really got what you say you’ve got, then a Nobel prize is surely in your future. If not, well, no one should be surprised. Via SciGuy, who treats the announcement with all due respect. For more on why we already do know the truth about Bigfoot, see this Slate article, and for more on the reactions to this particular claim, see TM Daily Post.

Got any Bigfoot DNA?

Please send it to Oxford if you do.

Steve Austin knows the truth

In a project announced this week, Oxford University and Lausanne Museum of Zoology scientists appealed to museums, scientists and Yeti aficionados to share hair samples thought to be from the mythical ape-like creature.

New genetic tests will be done on just a few strands of hair and should be completed within weeks. Even if the sample is judged to come from an unknown species, scientists should be able to tell how closely it is related to other species, including apes or humans.

Bryan Sykes of Oxford University said the group had already received many offers of samples to test, including blood, hair, and items supposedly chewed by Bigfoot. Sykes and colleagues plan to sift through the samples for the next few months before deciding which specimens to test. They will then publish their results in a peer-reviewed journal.

Other experts agreed recent advances made in DNA testing could theoretically solve the Bigfoot question.

“If the Yeti is real and somebody has found bits of their hair, you should be able to tell from the DNA in the hair if this is actually a Yeti,” said Mark Thomas, a professor of evolutionary genetics at University College London. He is not connected to the Bigfoot project.

But Thomas was unsure how likely it was anyone might have actual Yeti hairs. Some scientists theorize Yetis are either a distinct hominid species, or a mix between homo sapiens and Neanderthals or other species. There is already evidence of interbreeding between homo sapiens and Neanderthals.

“If Yetis have survived for the last 30,000 years, they have probably had a pretty miserable existence and are a small population vulnerable to extinction,” Thomas said. “It’s not as insane an idea as many might think, but the chances are pretty small.”

Yeah, I’m one of those who thinks it’s insane, but at least this will be an objective result. Obviously, I don’t think it will amount to anything, but how cool would it be if it does? LiveScience and Slate have more.

It’s (almost) 2012, and Bigfoot still does not exist

Which will not stop stories about Bigfoot and the fools who keep looking for him from being written.

The Finding Bigfoot crew has not visited Texas yet, but something is out there deep in the Big Thicket, say members of Texas groups dedicated to hunting the beast.

Ken Gerhard of the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization has never seen one, but he thinks technology will help solve the mystery.

“I have been immersed in Sasquatch research for a number of years, and I can tell you in my mind a mountain of evidence supports the existence of these creatures,” Gerhard said. When hunting season ends, he will return to the woods to look for tracks, hair and habitations and to listen for vocalizations at night.

There have been sightings along the Trinity River corridor, and a cast of a suspected Bigfoot track was made in Sam Houston National Forest, said Gerhard, a San Antonio cryptozoologist who co-wrote Monsters of Texas (CFZ, $16.99) with Nick Redfern.

Texas is in the top 10 states for Bigfoot sightings, Gerhard said, outranked only by Washington, California, Oregon, Ohio and Florida.

“Eventually someone is going to come up with some evidence, although it is very frustrating that we have not found a body yet,” he said. “And it is a very good argument against Bigfoot’s existence.”

Exactly, said Mike Cox, a spokesman for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which discounts the idea of Bigfoot running around the woods. Someone would have found some verifiable piece of evidence by now, TPWD biologists contend.

“The theory is that with as much traffic as there is in East Texas that sooner or later a Bigfoot would not stop, look and listen and make the mistake of walking out into traffic and become the victim of a hit-and-run,” Cox said. Or a hunter would mistakenly shoot one.

I’ve written about Bigfoot several times. In that last link there’s a guy claiming there are as many as 7,000 of the beasties tramping about across the country, apparently in complete isolation from the human population. I’m going to save myself some typing and just quote myself from one of my earlier posts:

You don’t have to catch an actual Bigfoot to make me believe. Just find a body. Or a bone. Or hell, a DNA sample. All over North America, there’s evidence of animals that lived thousands and millions of years ago, and you expect me to believe we can’t find one Bigfoot skeleton? Please.

It’s interesting. With the relentless expansion of human development into the traditional habitat of various animals, we see story after story of unfortunate encounters between people and alligators, people and bears, people and mountain lions, all taking place in what was once the exclusive domain of those animals. Where are the stories of human encroachment on Bigfoot territory? Why has no one been forced to kill a Bigfoot to defend family, property, or self? Is their domain so wild and so remote that no exurban real estate speculator has ever set sight on it? Or is there perhaps a more prosaic explanation?

I said that five and a half years ago, and I don’t think I can say it any better today. I will note, however, that this story points out one more aspect of Bigfoot-hunting that I hadn’t previously considered:

[Vaughn M. Bryant, professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University]’s specialty is paleo nutrition and the study of coprolites, or fossilized feces.

“Quite frankly, I have tried to get out of the Bigfoot-poop business because it is very time consuming and didn’t really lead anywhere productive,” Bryant said. At A&M he is studying excrement found in the Paisley Caves of Oregon that is 12,000 years or older.

If you can’t even find Bigfoot poop, what does that tell you?