According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization—or the BFRO, as Matt Moneymaker typically refers to it on the Discovery Channel show Finding Bigfoot—the term “sasquatch” is an anglicized derivative of "Sésquac,” a word in the Stó:lõ dialect of the Halkomelem language meaning “wild man.” In Canada, where the team is heading in tonight’s episode of Finding Bigfoot, “sasquatch” is the more common term used as opposed to the popular “bigfoot” in the United States.
In the mid-20th century, the media created the term “bigfoot,” the BFRO indicates, during a rash of sightings in the area of northern California. Since then, the term has become popularized, although Native Americans are reported to have more than 60 different names for the elusive—maybe non-existent—creature. Terms used by pioneers of North America, as well as non-native inhabitants, include “skookums” and “mountain devils,” the BFRO says.
Descriptions given by the BFRO of bigfoot, they explain, are compilations of thousands of sightings of the creatures; the infamous 1967 Patterson movie footage; more recent computer imaging analysis of what the creature could look like; and statistical analysis of a large database of information gathered over the last 50 years, primarily, the BFRO credits, by John Green. The BFRO maintains that there is absolutely a wealth of evidence of the existence of bigfoot, regardless of what skeptics claim:
“The assertion that there is absolutely no physical evidence is absolutely false,” the BFRO website states. “There is more physical evidence than most people realize. Physical evidence is found every month in various areas across the country. Distinct tracks that do not match other animal tracks, hairs that match each other but no known wild animals, and large scats that could not be made by any known species, are all ‘physical evidence.’
“The presence or absence of ‘physical remains’ is a wholly different matter. ‘Physical remains’ means body parts, or fossils of body parts. Though mammals may leave tracks, scats and hairs behind, they do not leave body parts behind very often. Body parts of mammals are only available when they die. Thus availability of physical remains is initially determined by population size and lifespan. A rare species with a long lifespan will leave very little physical remains, collectively, for humans to find. The probability of humans actually finding and collecting and identifying those remains before they are completely reabsorbed into the biomass complicates the ‘physical remains as evidence’ equation dramatically.”
According to the BFRO, there has never been a serious effort made to discover natural remains of any type of ape in areas where they are rumored to live. And, as remains are unlikely to become fossilized, they become completely reabsorbed into the ecosystem over time. “No one should expect remains of such an elusive species to be found, collected and identified without some effort,” the group says.
Some people suggest that there should at least be “roadkill” bigfoot, or bigfoots killed by hunters. However, the BFRO says that there have been no credible reports about a vehicle colliding with a bigfoot. Additionally, they explain, bigfoots seem to be far more intelligent than other species that do get hit on a regular basis, such as deer, that become “dazzled in the headlights” of oncoming cars. Bigfoots, they say, actually make an effort to stay out of the way of vehicles. And, as far as hunters go, not only are there laws in place that could make killing a bigfoot a potential crime, most hunters who have claimed to have had encounters with a bigfoot, the BFRO says, simply said they did not initially know what the creatures were, and they were so human-like, they did not feel comfortable shooting at them.
For more information on bigfoots, visit the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization website.
Finding Bigfoot airs on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on the Discovery Channel.