Born: c. 1811
Birthplace: North America
Best known as: Big, elusive humanoid beast of North America
Sightings of Bigfoot, also called Sasquatch, were first reported in parts of the United States and Canada in the early 1800s. Since then there have been hundreds of reports of a large, hairy hominid or ape, with the distinguishing characteristic of a 16"-20" footprint. There have also been many obvious forgeries and hoaxes, wild guesses about UFOs or supernatural connections. Some suggest the beast is a relative of Gigantopithecus, an extinct primate of China, but no hard, factual evidence of a Bigfoot has ever been produced. A famous grainy home movie from 1967 by Roger Patterson still stands as one of the most significant -- and controversial -- pieces of visual evidence. In 2008 two men, Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer, held a press conference to claim they had found a Bigfoot body in the forests of Georgia. The "body" was later revealed to be a rubber gorilla suit.
Extra credit: Similar stories from around the world about giant and elusive ape-like humans include the Yeren of China, the Yeti of the Himalaya mountains, the Yowie of Australia and the Mapinguari of South America... In December 2002 Ray Wallace of Centralia, Washington died and his family claimed that Ray started Bigfoot frenzy in 1958 when he left behind giant footprints (made with special shoes carved from alder wood) near a logging site as a practical joke.
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