Sasquatch is considered an anomaly. "Anomaly" is used to describe events that are "impossible" in the cultural framework of the person who experiences them. An anomaly is an event that is not supposed to happen. Accordingly, the person who experiences such an event is likely to see it as problematical. they may actually have difficulty recognizing its anomalous character in the first place. Even if they do recognize it as an anomaly, they may try to check their own perceptions in various ways.
The event can fall into one of three categories. It may be a rare event, which is known to science, an event, which is unknown to science, or an event which is unknown to science and which does not conform to current scientific theory. Events of the first type are to be considered anomalies only because the witness does not believe they are scientifically acceptable. Some examples of the first type would be meteorite (1) and ball lightning (2) sightings by persons who did not realize that these events are known to science.
Anomalies of the second type might include Sasquatch, sea serpents, and in fact the whole area that Bernard Heuvelmans has referred to as "Cryptozoology." (3)
The appearance of a number of reports in the press is almost certain to awaken another reaction: the desire to demonstrate the gullibility of the public. For this reason, a number of hoaxes are likely to be mounted. These take essentially three forms: false witness that an anomaly has been observed; fabricated evidence (such as photographs or physical traces); and the attempt to make others believe that they are witnessing an anomalous event. For instance, in regard to Sasquatch reports, we find persons making up stories that they have seen "Bigfoot," making false tracks, and occasionally running around in costumes that will fool an observer. Doubtless a study of the persons who thus fabricate anomalous events would be interesting from a variety of perspectives. In the first place, it is evident that many hoaxes are likely to be exposed.
In contemporary society we have given to scientists an important task which in previous times was frequently given to the clergy: the management of our "sense of reality." It is science that decides what is real and what is not, what exists and what does not exist. When the reality of creatures like the Sasquatch is put to the question, science has the final say. Even Sasquatch advocates who have nothing good to say about science would be delighted if science would admit these hypothetical creatures are worth studying. Perhaps, therefore, we ought to consider for a minute just how science might go about making such an admission.
In the eighteenth century, it was common for savants to poke fun at the "absurd" belief that stones could fail from the air. After such a fall of stones at Julliac in France was witnessed by three hundred persons in 1790 and attested in a legal affidavit, the witnesses were ridiculed in the scientific press. An "obviously wrong fact....a phenomenon p
hysically impossible," said one editor who felt nothing but pity for the witnesses. However, by 1803 the scientific men of the time had done a complete turnabout and decided that the falling stones were real after all.
When they will finally reach scientific
acceptance depends in part upon the intellectual inventiveness of Sasquatch
advocates in devising a theory. But it also depends on an observation, which
cannot be ignored; in other words, it also depends upon a lucky break.
1 . See H. H. Nininger, 'Find A Falling Star' (New York: Paul Eriksson, 1972), p. 30.
2 . Stanley Singer, 'The Nature of Ball Lightning' (New York: Plenum Press, 1971).
3 . See for instance, Bernard Heuvelmans 'On the Track of Unknonwn Animals' (New York: Hilland Wang, 1959).
The origional and unedited version of the above document can be found at http://www.n2.net/prey/bigfoot/biology/scientists.htm
Comparison of human and Sasquatch footprints
Footprints are one of the few pieces of 'hard' evidence supporting the existence of Sasquatch. They have been photographed, cast in plaster, and even dug up wholesale on a few occasions. Sasquatch footprints are typically 14 to 18 inches long, 5 to 9 inches wide; and are always deeper than a man's walking right next to them in the same material. While roughly human in shape the foot is very broad, one-third wider than a human footprint of the same length (NB: very few humans have feet 16 inches long), with toes of nearly equal size that line up almost straight across its end. Sasquatch tracks are flat bottomed (there is no indication of the longitudal arch found in human footprints) and often show signs of a double-ball; length of stride varies from four to six feet (Krantz 1992).
Tracks in the snow
In 1970 a trail of 1,089 consecutive footprints was discovered in snow near Bossburg, Washington. The 17-inch-long tracks were unusual in that the right foot was deformed — the forepart of the foot was twisted inwards and the third toe missing or displaced upward — causing the footprint-maker to be nicknamed "Cripple Foot".
Right footprint of the Bossburg Sasquatch (Hunter 1993).
The origional and unedited version of the above document
can be found at