Define "exist."

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Define “exist.”

Science


Reported sightings of Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasquatch and the Abominable Snowman circle the globe, but Oxford researchers decided it was time to bring the science: They used RNA sequencing to identify the origin of 30 hair samples attributed to the perennial star of fuzzy photographs and found that — cue the sad trombone — they belonged to bears, horses, wolves, dogs and Paleolithic polar bears.

We’re confident this should finally put the matter to rest.

 

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19 comments
Astyanax
Astyanax

This reminds me of the Air Force's "Case Closed" book on UFOs. Basically it said they don't exist because we said so.

ilr1950
ilr1950

This article is playing fast and loose with facts.  There have been hairs found and a dna analysis shows 'unknown primate'.  There was also blood found at a fishing cabin in Canada, again 'unknown primate'.  Then there is the interesting episode at Dylatov Pass back half a century ago, where a group of hikers were beaten to death, and in the remains of their camp the searchers found a hand written note saying 'The snowman exists' and a camera had a photograph of a hairy hominid standing at the edge of the forest.  Imagine something nearly as intelligent as a man, who can live totally off the land, and who does not want to be found.  

thirteenburn
thirteenburn

After re-reading the article, I too, find it to be a bit "tongue in cheek" and a bit sarcastic.


I don't think this is a serious "be-all/end-all" type of story, so...

JCottle
JCottle

 I received a call from a friend who told me that this article was posted and that I should respond. 


Bigfoot does indeed exist. It's actually a man by the name of Herbert Gateman who became homeless in 1954, stood 6'-11" and weighed in at 410 lbs. He was an extremely burly fellow to begin with, but once he let his facial hair grow wild, he truly looked more like an ape than a man. He lived in a homemade shelter in the woods in northwestern Oregon and made the rounds to several commercial dumpsters regularly to obtain food and was very much a recluse due to a mental health problem. 


I first met Mr. Gateman in early 1956 as a veryyoung news correspondent investigating the homeless and conditions in the local shelters. Several of the homeless individuals there described Herb Gateman and told me where he was staying up in the mountainous region. I was absolutely stunned when I first saw him and the sighting instantly occurred to me as the basis for the Bigfoot saga that was so florid in conversation by locals. I became even more convinced when I saw tracks being made by this giant of a man that were the result of about 20 pairs of socks being worn at once to try and protect his feet from the snow and due to the fact that nowhere could he find a pair of donated shelter shoes in size 28. The thick stocking feet also left impressions in the snow that included toes, which made it appear to be a bare foot of immense proportions.  


We spoke several times over the course of a couple of months and it had become evident that he suffered from schizophrenia. He would not let me photograph or record him, claiming that it would place his life in jeopardy with "government people" who had been tracking him according to Gateman. His paranoia was reinforced by the fact that a number of people who came across him in the mountainous woods actually tried to pursue him as they photographed him, in one instance actually attempting to shoot to wound him. Luckily for Gateman, no one dared come close enough to do him any real harm due to the unreasonable fear being generated by false testimonials of attacks by "the creature." Reports of a very unappealing odors connected with bigfoot were also consistent with the extremely poor hygiene demonstrated by Gateman. 


Gateman was also a transient and had lived in several areas of the United States, all of which expressed numerous sightings of "bigfoot" near populated regions. Indeed, Herbert Gateman was likely responsible for many of those sightings. Gateman passed away in 1988 after being found next to a commercial heat pump system in Washington state, where he had attempted to escape frigid night temperatures, his death the result of exposure to the elements and no connection was ever made to the sightings or that he was very likely the origin of many bigfoot claims. 

Jimmy Dell
Jimmy Dell

We’re confident this should finally put the matter to rest."


These folks may know their DNA but they sure don't know the "Big Foot culture" and human nature. I'm 70 years old, when I was in the 4th grade I read a story about the Abominable Snowman or Yeti in the Himalayas, pretty scary story. Then 25 years later I worked with a fella that graduated from Rutgers, he was no fool. But he swore that he had been in the presence of Big Foot and described the smell and the fear that he had experienced. Now we have a "reality based TV show", (don't ya just love those?),  that every week reinforces this lore. So if they think that their going to put to rest a myth that is stronger in many peoples minds than the myth of Santa Claus is in a 5 year old  their wrong. Proof? Read the comments here. The only end to this is "evidence" that doesn't exist. A negative can't be proved or disproved.

CARH
CARH

I will agree that what they tested was bear hairs. But I don' agree that everything that people saw was a bear or wolf or a horse or a dog or a man in a suit ,Wild Hof, or a Cow, or Goat, or a Deer. I was raised in the Appalachian Mountains and when I was in my mid-teens I saw some thing. It was not a Bear, Horse, Wolf, dog, Man in a suit, Goat, or a Wild Hog, or a Cow, or deer, or elk. I was Squirrel Hunting when I came up on this thing. I did at first think it was a bear but I was first abused of notion when it stood up on two legs and looked at me. It had Hands and Feet not unlike a Man the way a Chimpanzee or a Gorilla would have. Was this a Sasquatch I don't know but some of the old timers talked about some kind of creature that they called Old Hairy. So do I believe in Sasquatch Yes I have seen them twice. But I do believe them rare or very smart. So as someone who raised livestock I did not misidentify an Animal That I was around every day. So do I believe in them THAT IS A BIG YES. Do I believe that Science knows everything THAT WOULD BE A BIG NO. And whether you believe me or not but  in the words of Rhett  Butler Frankly my dear I don't give a dam..

Eideard
Eideard

Yup. Can we downgrade the chupacabra, next? Tired of looking at photos of coyotes with mange. Or listening to mangy superstitions.

OkJohn
OkJohn

I see....  Glad we got that cleared up!   Wait....so the tens of thousands of eye witnesses who have seen such creatures all over the world are all either cases of misidentification, hoaxes, or examples of people having one too many....right?   Guess the same holds true for the hundreds of footprint casts as well?  Jeff Meldrum who holds a PhD and did his dissertation in primate locomotion doesn't know jack about the authenticity and unusual formation of some of these casts now does he?  All hoaxes or incorrect IDs?   Every single photo or video is also the same?   What about unknown audio recordings?   We're just going to say thousands of Native Americans who believe such flesh and blood creatures exist - and have so for centuries are all punch drunk?  (Please don't spout off about other Native American mythical creatures because you once again, show your ignorance about the difference between those creatures and what they believe (and know) about bigfoot.)   The list goes on and on... Please!  To suggest such nonsense is the case would be the greatest example of people pulling the wool over our eyes - or just being plain ignorant - the world has ever seen and would represent a greater mystery than bigfoot-like creatures existing themselves - which the evidence continues to build that they do.  Got any precedence of such a mass hallucination or hoax occurring in the past to that magnitude?   Piltdown man?  Seriously?!  That's the best you got?  It's like comparing the jackelope to the giant squid!   (Many in your ranks thought Architeuthis didn't exist either.)

How could such a creature exist?   Ever spent any significant time in the woods?   Bet not.  Have any idea how many millions of acres of relatively unexplored and untouched wilderness exist in North America alone?   Especially in the last century?   Not a clue right?   So your suggestion that an upright, extremely intelligent hominid couldn't live in these places and avoid your urban, protected life are nothing short of naive and demonstrate quite simply - you don't know what you are talking about.  Talk to the greatest segment of the population who are out there and have seen bigfoot.  Hunters.  Many of whom were skeptics too.  They know the animals of the woods and will tell you a completely different story than some lab rat (or journalist) who is essentially proclaiming the emperor has no clothes.



BarkerVision
BarkerVision

Wait a second... are we not missing a crucial point here?  This testing doesn't prove anything other than the fact that bears, horses, wolves, dogs and Paleolithic polar bears were also at the scene.  If I saw a bigfoot walk by me and then searched for hairs, its not out of the question that I would pick up another animals hairs at the scene.  Now it would be possible to interview the bears, horses, wolves, dogs and Paleolithic polar bears to establish if they were at the scene, or if their hair was stolen from a different location.  This would help degrade the credibility of our bigfoot witnesses.  But even then, we could argue that they in fact saw bigfoot, and out of fear of not being believed, decided to plant additional evidence.

Orion Blastar
Orion Blastar

It seems Bigfoot, et al the Missing Link has shown to have been a fraud, the missing link once again does not exist.


Just like Piltdown man was a fraud so too is Big Foot.


That means evolutionary biology is proven false, with no missing link to tie up the theory. Biology is not even math based in most cases, and just made up of observations and hearsay. 

BFRO2.0
BFRO2.0

The one piece of information they left off was that a DNA sample came from a "hairy man"...likely from Europe.  Regardless of how stupid that sounds (like DNA has GPS on it)...DNA not RNA as this article post is so out of touch with how these samples were obtained.  There are plenty of knuckleheads out claiming to have "samples of Bigfoot scat, hair, drool, carcasses, footprints etc" all proven false.  But if there are so many people dedicated to creating hoaxes to sell their bigfoot memorabilia at the local parks/towns, well how do you explain all the other tracks collected over a century when we didn't have social media...or how Indians and other people who lived off the land identified a similar figure...we all have some visual idea of what god looks like, but back in the day there were sun, rain, wind, sand,bird, goat and other gods all over...none of them resembled bigfoot but Indian didn't call bigfoot a GOD...they all told of a hairy man they avoided out in the woods and used the word Sasquatch.  Mystery indeed!  I'm still a skeptic until I see real proof, but I still like believing that there is something else out there.

nythawk
nythawk

Say it ain't so. Here I was thinking all those blurry, grainy, photo's and vids and those funny looking animals running on two legs were Bigfoot. I suppose now you are going to tell us that those blurry, grainy, flying saucer photo's and vids are not real extraterrestrial space vehicles with reptillians, Nordic, grays, and whatever other creatures flying them? Billy Meier, David Icke, Phillip Corso, Phil Schneider, Charles Halt and the CIA and NASA scientist's can't be wrong. 

bkr6183
bkr6183

I think the author of this article is trying to be simplistic and ironic by suggesting that testing through RNA sequencing and proving that it belonged to familiar animals is what will end the great debate over the existence of a Big Foot or not. But that sort of simplicity and irony is in some cases, annoying. It also leads people to assume that the author is unreliable or uneducated in terms of the scientific method. 


Like the other comments below suggest, all RNA sequencing did was prove that the samples were from identifiable mammals; that doesn't disprove the existence of anything though. Additionally, although the terms Sasquatch, Big Foot and Yeti are used interchangeably, if any of them do exist, who is to say that they would have identical RNA, so even though sightings suggest there are similarities in appearance, its possible the DNA and more specifically, the RNA could be completely different - or at least distinct enough that no conclusion could be made. By that logic, proving that the RNA tested isn't that of a "Bigfoot" can't lead people to conclude that the Yeti or the Sasquatch don't exist. The very heart of the scientific method is to challenge existing theories; however, proving that the samples are from well-known creatures doesn't disprove anything because the samples haven't ever been taken directly from the creatures either seen or photographed. 


Basically unless there was a carcass of a creature that looks like a Bigfoot, Yeti or Sasquatch right in front of someone who could get the samples of hair from the carcass so that there was no argument over where the hair came from or what creature the sample was taken from, there is no way to perform a test on the DNA or RNA that would have results of any consequence. Consider to that unless DNA/RNA tests from unidentified sources showed that the results didn't match any living creature known to man (thus far), without the creature from which the sample was taken in front of us, the claim or accusation of DNA/RNA manipulation could easily be made.

ldness
ldness

If a man claimed to be Jimmy Hoffa, and was later proved to be a fraud, this would not prove the Jimmy Hoffa is dead.  We still need to determine the value of the remaining evidence.  Is all of it visual?  Do we have photos?  It is wrong to make a snap judgement about the veracity of a sighting either way.



Alabamaman
Alabamaman

Lies. The U.S. and many countries know for a fact that the Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Yeti etc. do indeed exist. Were these lifeforms admitted as existing, world consensus would advocate for protecting them, which would lead to World Heritage Sites. This means that timber cutting, minerals extraction, and ecological destruction would cease where these creatures exist. It's all about money. Always has been, and always will be. I am a long time prospector who has roamed the deep woods of the Pacific Northwest for thirty plus years. I, and others with me, accidentally discovered a huge Bigfoot observing our campsite high up on a mountain above the Rogue River in Oregon. We were within seventy feet of each other. This was in the predawn hours on a dark and moonless night. We were able to observe the Bigfoot for a couple of hours and it did not threaten us nor run away, even while we were illuminating it with truck headlights. Do not believe these so called scientists experts. They enjoy pontificating their "brilliance" to we, the unwashed and know nothings. I have spoken with world expert, Dr. Jeff Meldrum at his lab at Idaho State. This man is no rube. He told me of his own encounter of the third kind, and is positive of the existence of these incredible beings. He is stifled however, from stating this truth to the world, as the myriad of "big blow" know it all scientists would not only sadistically ridicule him, but also aim for his becoming unemployed. This is the real truth, so help me.

bojennett
bojennett

I think it is very cute that anybody would think this puts the issue to rest.  There are still something like 5 or 10% of the US population that think the moon landings were faked and filmed by Stanley Kubrik.


Conspiracies never, ever die.  It's a sad fact of life, but people will continue to believe this.

tonybot3
tonybot3

@Eideard who's to say that a coyote with mange is not a valid chupacabra?  If it is conducting itself in the same manner as what a chupacabra has been said to do, then for all intents and purposes, it IS a real chupacabra.

bkr6183
bkr6183

@ldness - I like this response! It's concise and makes a good point. Proving that something isn't want you thought it was doesn't prove that something else doesn't exist or didn't happen!

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