When I was a kid, I was wholeheartedly convinced that Bigfoot was a real creature. I spent hours researching all of the evidence I could get my hands on. Reading books, examining all those blurry photographs and sketchy videos, and of course, watching every History Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel special on the subject.
Surely, there was too much evidence for this all to be false! Why would so many people come forward with eyewitness accounts? While they’re always dismissed as people looking for their fifteen minutes of fame, all that eyewitnesses really experience is ridicule. And who wants all that?
Plus, what about all the footprints found randomly in the middle of the woods? Why would a hoaxer bother to plant them there, with absolutely no guarantee anyone would ever find them?
What about the audio recordings, wood knocks, primate like howls people reported? What about the fact that so many different Native American tribes had stories and legends of creatures matching Bigfoot’s description?
And most convincing of all, there were the forests themselves. Have you ever really taken the time to look at a clump of trees? Even in well populated areas, it can be difficult to see more than fifteen feet into the tree-line. If that were true where I lived, imagine how true it was in the mythical Pacific Northwest!?
No, you see, Bigfoot simply had to be real. The only reason that most people couldn’t see that was that they were cynical. They refused to believe that anything outside of what was presently known was possible. They were scared to live in a world where things remained mysterious to us.
Yes, I thought I had all the answers.
But, sadly, as I’ve grown older, I too have grown more skeptical on the subject of Bigfoot.
Part of this newfound skepticism no doubt stems from increased life experience. I’ve simply seen, and learned more things than I knew before.
For instance, after taking a number of Psychology and Criminal Justice courses during my college career, I learned all about just how fallible the human memory truly is, and just how unreliable eyewitness testimony can be.
This is particularly true when people are recalling a traumatic event. Adrenaline and other hormones flood the brain when we experience a traumatic event, making it difficult for us to recall what really happened.
I also saw videos of bears walking around on two feet, it is a lot more natural, and a lot more human-like than you would think.
Perhaps most damning of all, I saw for the first time, what the bottom of a bear’s foot looks like, and realized that it looks a lot like all those Bigfoot tracks randomly found deep in the woods.
So yes, part of my skepticism in Bigfoot is evidence based, which is comforting. But I wonder if part of it speaks to growing up.
After all, at one point in my life, I was wholeheartedly convinced that Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny were real. Surely growing out of a belief in Bigfoot isn’t anymore distressing than that.
Still, I can’t help but feel that losing that steadfast confidence that Bigfoot is real speaks to the loss of the best part of childhood. The belief that anything is possible.
Maybe, becoming more realistic is good. But it certainly doesn’t feel like it. Actually, it sucks.
I’d rather believe in a world where anything is possible, a world where Bigfoot maybe exists. After all, if that’s true, maybe the world isn’t doomed. Maybe just maybe we’ll find the answers in time to stop climate change and everything else.
I don’t know, but I definitely can’t rule it out. I mean have you ever really looked at the woods in summer? Those trees go awfully deep.