Hypothesizing Bigfoot

Posted by: Rick Noll on October 31st, 2005

(Love & RocketsNo New Tell to Tell)
Why has no one come up with some rules or laws governing Bigfoot’s ecology? Other than dumb luck, I think that would be the quickest and surest way to prove their existence; describing an accurate ecological model of Bigfoot where repeatable results can be had with the least amount of effort.

Back to Ben, who talks about how Daegling states us big footers are no closer to our quary then we were back in 1958. Is that true? I know that in hard science developing laws, principals, theories, hypothesis, models, experiments and ultimately facts are the names in the game, but this is soft science. Physics, Chemistry and Genetics can all have hard and fast rules but when it comes to ecology the only working hypothesis still held in a majority is evolution. Yeah… not to good huh! Not that I don’t hold evolution as close to the best theory of what is going on but boy can it be intricate.

What Bigfoot research is about, or should be about is developing a working hypothesis and then testing for its falsification. Without a body that is really all we can do. We can develop a hypothesis that there is a marked difference in the number of Bigfoot reports between Black bear and Grizzly habitats. Even John Green noted that Bigfoot reports generally appear only in areas of 20” or more of rain. Grover an Titmus had one concerning sightings and pine trees, thinking that the glycerin in the needles would help them not freeze during winter months if ingested. Thom Powell had one that had Bigfoot utilizing remote rural railroad tracks as traveling pathways. How do we take the next step with these? How do we test them?

First off, you should know that two hypotheses are better than one. They can’t be completely different in concern like those above, so back to the bears… Since a Bigfoot report is made by the interaction of a human and a Bigfoot at a given spatial and temporal point and that humans do not frequent Grizzly habitat as much as Black bear habitat, there should be less reports of Bigfoot encounters in grizzly habitat, per capita.


How about another one…Grizzly are larger and less tolerant predators than Black bear opportunists so Bigfoot would avoid interactions with Grizzly and thus less likely to frequent or compete for the same resources (food, water, shelter).

And to let the skeptics feel a little less left out… A standing Black Bear could be mistaken for a large, shy and retiring upright hairy primate in less than ideal viewing circumstances versus a Grizzly who would not be so retiring, getting up close and personal to intimidate a perceived threat so where ever there are more Black Bear than Grizzly we should also see more Bigfoot reports.

All of these cannot be tested or modeled. We can find exceptions to them and note any falsification though. We can note that certain Grizzly habitat does indeed have Bigfoot reports while other Grizzly habitat does not… the same is true for Black Bear. We can also find grizzly that are very tolerant and will vacate as soon as something unknown comes along. We will also note that one of the criteria making up a Bigfoot report is that the hairy subject seen not only is upright but also walks a good distance in that position and has arms that reach down past it’s groin area.

Logic tells us that none of these can become a principal or law. But remember we are working in a soft science where there are no hard and fast rules. Bigfoot should be thought of like many other animals, having a complex brain that makes decisions on current conditions and past experience.

I feel we are quite a bit further along then we were back in 1958. I think we now have narrowed down habitat zones. We have identified peak seasons. We have a pretty good moving picture of one of the creatures. We have even better examples of the tracks this thing leaves. We may even have a representation of not only the lower torso of one of these animals but a story about its possible behavior at the time. We also know that yes there have been people faking Bigfoot evidence.

We have been working on the hypothesis that people have heard and recorded these animals’ vocalizations and are now using them as a feed back loop hoping for a repeatable response. We are getting responses but have yet to determine just what is responding.

We have been working with scent lures developed from human and gorilla vaginal secretions. These have been removed from the locations we have set them in but have yet to determine if another animal, maybe even a human, has done the removal.

We have developed a better reporting method and communications system, though there can never be anything much better than a face to face at the exact location where a reported event occurred, separated by the least amount of time.

We have also brought more interest in the subject to main stream science.

Rick Noll About Rick Noll
Rick Noll has been actively searching for the Sasquatch since 1969 and continues his pursuit with extended field trips into the Pacific Northwest's most remote regions. Rick has worked with Peter Byrne, René Dahinden, Grover Krantz, John Green, Jeff Meldrum and the BFRO during all this. He helped with many documentaries on the subject including Animal X: The Skookum Expedition and Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.

4 Responses to “Hypothesizing Bigfoot”

  1. squatchworks responds:

    I say we are alot closer with nothing to show for it. Bigfoot is still a few steps ahead of us. Question , How much good has the internet done in the search, Has it been for the better or for the worse. For gathering information, maps and such, yes i fell its great but for all the lookey loos that come with it im not sure. They create a market to sell t shirts and books to, they fill the message boards but do we gather anything worth while from that?

  2. Chris. H. responds:

    Good point, squatchworks. Sometimes there’s such a thing as ‘too much information’ even in science.
    When it comes to sightings and testimony, context may be the best indicator of value. Case in point: the Traverspine Apes. This story came out of northern Labrador at the beginning of the last century. The community had no history of Sasquatch sightings and indeed it occurred before any of the subsequent ‘crazes’ from the Pacific Northwest. Yet they (a ‘male’ and ‘female’) appeared several times in a week, were seen at close range and the witnesses were scared almost witless, as what they saw was so clearly out of their experience. Therefore, on the face of it, the context of the sighting argues towards a higher degree of noteworthiness and potential value.
    Fast-forward to this year; the context of the Manitboa video is interesting because outside of hardcore cryptozoologists and some rural residents of Manitoba, it’s an unlikely setting and was recorded at a time/location well outside of accepted or perceived folklore. Yet 3 weeks later there came a similar report from the Yukon of hair samples from a mysterious creature; the timing (context) seemed curious and it was no real surprise that the identification of the Sasquatch hair samples proved ‘erroneous’.
    What I’m trying to say is that while the internet provides us with lots more reports now, the field needs a generally accepted methodology for assessing their value.

  3. squatchworks responds:

    Has anyone ever seen an elk running away in staight view? I have and the elk to could be misidentified as a retreating bigfoot. I had a cametracker photo that showed what looked like a straight on view of a bigfoot in hte back ground. When enhanced it showed a pregnant deer. I think that deer and elk should also be taken into consideration.

  4. Melissa responds:

    Great Article 🙂

    I could be wrong, but with every previously extinct animal(that has been re-discovered), do they not verify the proper habitat, etc., then begin the search when the claim is made someone saw the animal in question?

    Wouldnt one need to have some kind of understanding of the animal in question – before the researchers can even begin to look? Regardless of whether the animal exists – it must have the habitat to support the animal, and so on – or its a waisted effort.

    I agree with what you said here 🙂

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