Junk Science

Beware Of Bigfoot! Sightings Spike This Time of Year

Keep your eyes open: Most Bigfoot sightings happen in October

Junk Science
Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. Via Getty Images — Toronto Star via Getty Images
Oct 30, 2015 at 9:00 PM ET

Around 100 people wearing buttons saying “I believe” swarmed in on YMCA Camp Onyahsa, on the shores of Chautauqua Lake, NY—where Bigfoot was first sighted in 1975.

It was the fourth Bigfoot Expo, held on October 24th and organized by believer Peter Weimer. Disappointingly, Sasquatch did not show up for the retreat, and visitors had to be satisfied with a picture of a wooden-carved model. Weimer and his fellow Expo attendees are hardly alone in their belief in Bigfoot: Nearly 30 percent of Americans believe Bigfoot is either “definitely” or “probably” real, according to a study by Argus Reid Public Opinion.

The first documented sighting of Bigfoot in the US was in a newspaper article in Sackets Harbor, New York in 1818 of a large, hairy wild man seen in the area. Since then, over 4,000 sightings have been reported in the country, with evidence for these claims as hard to find as Bigfoot. Lack of evidence, however, does not stop nearly one-third of Americans from believing in Bigfoot.

To explore the reported sightings of this mythical creature, Vocativ analyzed the data from The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization,  which claims itself as “the only scientific research organization exploring the Bigfoot mystery.” The results revealed that: Bigfoots have settled across America but they particularly enjoy being seen on the West Coast. And most Bigfoots sightings occur during October – the month of Halloween.

As for Wiemer, he is currently raising signatures for his petition to include Bigfoots on the list of endangered species in the U.S., after the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied his original request in 2012 because “This mythical animal does not exist in nature or otherwise…No program or action in relation to mythical animals is warranted.” The U.S. government was not always so skeptical, in 1959 the American Embassy in Kathmandu issued a memo outlining the local regulations applicable to expeditions searching for the Yeti in Nepal.

Americans are hardly alone in their belief in Bigfoot: In 1958, the Soviet Union organized a “snowman commission” to the Pamir Mountains, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, led nowhere. In 2011, a group of scientists from Canada, Estonia, Sweden and the US met in the town of Tashtagol, Russia, where locals had reported an increase in sightings. After two days of expeditions and collecting “evidence” in this Siberian town they were “95 percent” sure that Russia’s wintry expanse is home to the mythical Yeti.

We do not know if Bigfoots are roaming the earth today, or if they settled in Washington State or the Himalayas, or if the reported sightings were humans wearing monster costumes. All we know is that the myth is global, shared across cultures, with the stories probably originating from Neanderthal fossils, and fear of things that go boop in the night. Our recommendation? Dress up as Bigfoot this Halloween, maybe you will be a reported sighting!