Why Can’t We Find Bigfoot?

Posted by Henry Paterson | December 28, 2013 15

This is a common question among the skeptics, and should perhaps be one among the believers. Often this question is used as a piece of evidence to question the existence of the creature, but as such it is as much a piece of non-evidence as a believer saying you cannot prove it doesn’t exist.

The Vicar’s Lamp has a few ideas about why Bigfoot has yet to be discovered.

1.) We aren’t looking hard enough.

Very little effort has actually been put into the development of an organized plan for identification, verification and possibly even capture. Killing such a creature might raise a host of issues variously discussed elsewhere and for many years. The legal status of a variant hominid is not established, and only a fool would want to be part of such a test case, particularly when the case would also inevitably involve matters of jurisdiction, Federal laws for the protection of endangered species, and media rights. Scientific institutions tend to laugh evidence for this creature and its proponents out of the room, so grant money is not exactly flowing into a verification effort.

It is no longer true there has been no large scale organized attempt at identification. In China, in 2012 a year long research and cataloging expedition was sent into remote mountains of Hubei, the Shennongjia Nature Reserve, where the Yeren is believed to make its home. As yet no results have been reported on discovery. There are rare if any places over the planet people have not made their presence known over the course of history, and not taken specimens of animals for food, research or trophies.

2.) Bigfoot is smarter than we are.

The term, “smarter” is perhaps a bit of a misnomer. I doubt that Bigfoot and his cousins are very good at using information technology or building architectural masterpieces. But this creature, in its natural environment, moving effortlessly (as is almost always reported) through its range, can likely outmaneuver and outpace any homo sapiens with a will to discovery. Odds are good that the species can smell us coming for miles, hear us over a similar distance, and hide from us with great effectiveness. It appears not to use tools or weapons with any regularity, which would imply that it does not need them. Evolution is very much a function of needs and corresponding reactions to said needs. The absence of Bigfoot clothing, fires, spears and structures suggests a creature perfectly wedded to an environment that would kill most humans in short order due to the effects of starvation, exposure and predation – were we to occupy those areas as Bigfoot seems to, minus clothes, shelter and gear.

This starts off with just a reiteration of the idea of the Noble Savage.

The term noble savage (French, bon sauvage) is a literary stock character that expresses the concept of an idealized indigene, outsider, or “other” who has not been “corrupted” by civilization, and therefore symbolizes humanity’s innate goodness.

In English, the phrase Noble Savage first appeared in poet Dryden’s heroic play, The Conquest of Granada (1672):

I am as free as nature first made man,
Ere the base laws of servitude began,
When wild in woods the noble savage ran.

And in the case of bigfoot simply means that being “closer to nature” is somehow superior, or advantageous. Yet there are few zoos or animal parks that allow big game hunting, and many a wall adorned by a trophy taken of an animal firmly within its natural environment. That bigfoot is more agile and generally in better physical condition than your average human is likely, but a rifle scope is a heck of an advantage over agility.

If Bigfoot has an advantage on senses is a debate that can only be settled by study of a specimen (Catch 22) but by superficial analysis I find it unlikely they are significantly different from humans as this picture of Patty:

…Does not show a nasal cavity significantly outside of the range of human norm, though certainly scaled up due to difference in size, and the ears are barely even visible in this image.
Neither case indicates an animal with significantly better olfactory or auditory senses. At which point the argument becomes one of being better attuned to its environment and we revisit the Noble Savage argument. There are certainly hunters who attune themselves to the environment in which they hunt, either for trophy or necessity. And then the idea of Noble Savage has also been frequently applied to early indigenous peoples in a variety of settings where the various cousins of the Bigfoot family roam.

3.) Bigfoot is more evolved than we are.

See above, but also consider this: Can we know with any certainty that such a creature would not have a superior mode of operation to our own? If these types of creatures exist, it is noteworthy that their way of life would not involve pollution or radical change of the environment. Instead, they may in the long run be Earth’s preferred inhabitants, and it may just be that they aggressively avoid us in order to prevent direct conflict. If this is an animal of our sort, it communicates and it processes information with an eye toward understanding. There may well be Bigfoot philosophy, poetry and art which we regularly observe without ever recognizing what it is that we are seeing. But more importantly, Bigfoot may have none of these things because he does not need them. It is possible that a version of homo evolved at some point in the past to resolve survival issues in a way different than we are familiar with. In place of weapon and tool use, this version emerged with greater size, speed, strength and resilience. Intelligence as we know it might not be so much reduced as it is focused upon other things – namely hiding from us. How difficult would it be to find a kind of human being utterly wedded to nature and evolved specifically to avoid us at all costs? Given our own limitations, the Vicar imagines it would run something like this: Every so often we’d hear a report or see a fuzzy image or choppy video, but we’d almost never get hard, physical evidence…

First, define “more evolved” as this term is typically used to justify human abuse, neglect or mistreatment of other forms of life. Then demonstrate levels of evolution, because the counter to this argument is expressed in your previous argument. While Bigfoot may be “perfectly wedded to an environment that would kill most humans,” so have Humans been over the course of most of their existence, or we would not have gotten where we are today. So too are the archeituthis, and we have more evidence that they exist from the deepest pat of the ocean than we do for Bigfoot.

4.) Bigfoot is not entirely a physical entity.

This one gives materialists and other such mundane thinkers fits. It really makes some people angry. This is a delightful thing, since it reveals more about the limitations of our own understanding than it does anything at all about the nature of this universe. The cosmos is quite large, and the permutations of form that can potentially or actually inhabit it are uncountable. Could there be “spirit beings”? In the esoteric traditions and occult teachings, the existence of such things is a matter of absolute certainty. A rationalist view reveals that this is an absolutely logical possibility; it is not at all hard to imagine that a species or other category of life form could exist that defies general biological theory.

You just surrendered credibility. This entirely fanciful argument does nothing for the cause of seeking bigfoot, and does considerable harm. It is exactly this sort of statement that causes legitimate researchers to turn as far as possible from wanting to be associated with the search. Show me a creature, any creature known with such ability if you want to make a case like this. Claims of the infinite possibilities of the Universe aside every form of life on Earth is related, sharing significant genetic material, even between the plant and animal kingdoms. If there is one form of life with this ability, then it exists as a potential for others. There is little if any ability actually unique to any specific creature on Earth. Why not just propose that they are aliens with cloaking technology? Or inter-dimensional visitors? Both have been said before now.

5.) We’re doing way too many things wrong when we look for Bigfoot.

The Vicar has spent some time in the woods. He was raised with a firm foundation in hunting, fishing and camping, as well as the requisite wild-craft skills involved in what is nowadays “extreme survival” of the sort popularized by Les Stroud. For the record, this was normal behavior in the America of the Vicar’s boyhood, before the Boy Scouts of America became an organization vilified by certain forces within the media for accusations of homophobia, pedophilia and a tendency toward a certain paramilitarism. Living in a remote area of the Midwest meant having the opportunity to learn from hardened old hunters and woodsmen as well as an extensive involvement with Native American lore – sometimes even taught by real Native Americans – and certain representatives of the survivalist community (now called Doomsday Preppers and essentially satirized at length). What the Vicar sees in those who are presented in the media as Bigfoot researchers is nothing like the set of skills that we should expect to see if we are to have a shot at making contact with this creature.
A good guy, perhaps, but can he really find Bigfoot?
Why would anyone think that a camera crew would not run off a Bigfoot at the first sign of approach? Moreover, why would we believe that people yelling or beating on trees with sticks in the dark woods would result in a genuine response from Sasquatch? And when expeditions are filmed, we often get these sweeping overhead shots – evidence that a helicopter was brought in to get footage, meaning that anything canny in the forest below is likely to head for quieter and more complete cover.

Undoubtedly true. But what is your actual thinking? In the very first argument you state that Bigfoot has not been discovered for lack of a large scale organized search, and here you would seem to suggest that a single skilled seeker on a small scale is the answer to finding the creature. Which is it? And you are really only making a (rehashed) case against reality shows, none of which are even intended to learn anything, rather to be entertaining through the interaction of the proposed researchers. They are little, if anything more than soap operas.

Proposing various reasons why we have not found a creature like Bigfoot, is pretty much the same as asking anyone to prove it does not exist, and of course that cannot be done short of stripping the entire planet bare and cataloging every speck of matter on the surface. Even then you make an excuse fro not finding it with “Bigfoot is not entirely a physical entity.” Considering the season, I propose that you also cannot prove that Santa exists. There has been no concerted professional expedition to prove one way or the other. He is clearly smarter than we are as he knows who has been naughty and nice, which certainly implies a higher evolution and sensory apparatus. For a jolly fat man to slip down the billions of chimneys he serves in a 24 hour period, he must be more than entirely a physical entity. Finally, we have sought only circumstantial and anecdotal evidence, placing cookies out as bait and only observing the absence of said cookies at a later time without interim observation.

As arguments go for the existence of bigfoot, these really offer nothing of substance. As arguments for why we have not yet found any such creature go, they do nothing to abate the possibility that it merely does not exist.

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Henry Paterson

Editor at GhostTheory
I would like nothing more than the proof of various cryptids, alien civilizations, even alien visitors to be found. But that proof will come only through rigorous science and objective analysis, and by holding evidence to the highest standards of scrutiny. Born in south eastern Pennsylvania, i have found myself at one time or another living in Chicago, Cleveland, Raleigh-Durham, on the island of Kaua'i and finally landed on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. I have turned my hand to various professions from early work in 3d graphics to historic building restoration, carpentry and log home building to working in a bronze art foundry on the WWII Veterans Memorial. Currently I am a writer, script writer and working for a non profit organization called Empowerment Through Connection which is involved in equine assisted therapy for veterans, at risk teens and women.

Latest posts by Henry Paterson (see all)

  • Bigfoot Gifts & Toys

    Until now, there is no evidence on the existence of the Bigfoot.

  • mustangmorris


  • http://GhostTheory.com/ Henry

    Really? Absolutely none?
    The Patterson/Gimlin film?

  • Sean A. Elliott

    Thanks for an interesting read, Henry!

    It’s an important question to ask when we discuss Bigfoot. Why haven’t we made the discovery? In my estimation, every piece of promising evidence has one insoluble problem: none of it can be verified as genuine. I was a proponent of Bigfoot for years. What made me reconsider was the Paul Freeman evidence. When I first read about dermal ridge evidence in Grover Krantz’s book, I thought it sealed the deal. Krantz did not name Freeman as the source. I got suspicious when I learned that almost all of the dermal prints were discovered by Freeman. Wouldn’t others be finding it too? Why has no one been as successful since? Not to mention the work of Matt Crowley…

    As far as the Patterson film is concerned, ultimately it has little evidentiary value. There is no specimen for comparison, different parties arrive at different results when analyzed, and there are valid reasons to be suspicious. It seems positively incredible considering the proliferation of camera and video that nothing comparable has been recorded.

    I would love for Bigfoot to be proven a reality, but frankly I have serious doubts.

  • http://GhostTheory.com/ Henry

    I feel pretty much as you do about it. And agree with all the points you make, except, that what you are pointing out is the difference between evidence and proof. The Patterson/Gimlin film, dermal prints, Scott Nelson’s work on the Sierra Sounds, footprint analysis, DNA studies, even Justin Smeja’s story all serve as evidence. But evidence exists on a spectrum, not to be confused with proof which is restricted to a simple yes or no. Valid or invalid.

    I too would love for Bigfoot to be found, as I would UFOs and alien life, Our fight is to cull the valid evidence from the unfounded beliefs which too often pose as evidence and only serve to muddy the waters.

  • Skeptic

    We can’t find bigfoot for the same reason we can’t find griffins, dragons, unicorns or any other mythological creature. They don’t exist.

  • Kevin L

    I think there is correlating evidence to suggest bigfoot and UFO’s are a part of the same phenomena. There are a number of cases where people have seen aliens and bigfoot together. In the book “The Hunt for the Skinwalker”, it describes a big harry man-like creature that made a “ticking” sound as it moved. This goes along with the other high strangeness at this ranch in Utah – including UFO’s and poltergeist activity. Perhaps bigfoot is an advanced drone for a being who wants to remain in the shadows?

  • http://GhostTheory.com/ Henry

    Stories out of Skinwalker Ranch are far from credible.
    What can a bigfoot accomplish as a drone in the deep woods? And why such a large and cumbersome drone?

  • Darby O’ Gill

    We can’t find Big Foot because there is no such thing as Big Foot, why?

  • Paul

    I agree with those that say it is a species from the genus of Homo like us. Just because they have less technology than us does not mean they are not intelligent. We don’t find their bodies because A) very few people are looking B) remains of the deceased are hard to find in the woods and C) They do not want to be found. We are obviously not dealing with mere animals.
    Great article by the way

  • HaywoodZarathustra

    I’ll take Door Number 4, along with John Keel, Nick Redfern, and Jacques Vallee. It’s not a natural animal and seems to have a temporary existence. And if this does harm to the search for Bigfoot, too bad.

  • allstakes1978

    I have a crazy idea. people have also heard tales of shape shifting, people that maybe can change from person to wolf or person to bear. Coincidence: on some sightings of bigfoot there has been pieces of hair left behind, when the hair has been tested it has come back as black bear or the hair from a wild dog/wolf. What if shapeshifting is done not by man but by bigfoot. Coincidence: also how many times have you heard of someone finding the dead body of a bear that has died of natural causes, its as if the have been buried or cremated by there own kind just as we do. Crazy idea yes but prove me wrong?

  • Henry

    I don’t have to prove you wrong, there is no burden of proof on that. If you place the burden of proof on the negative then you are effectively saying that everything we decide to imagine exists until proven otherwise. SO: You are saying that Santa Claus is real, or “prove me wrong.” The Easter Bunny is real, or “prove me wrong.” Every creation myth ever written is true (even the ones that utterly contradict the other ones or “prove me wrong.”

    How many times have you seen a squirrel that died of natural causes? Nature has a wonderful facility to clean up its messes.

  • Michael DB

    I’m A believer; mainly on the basis of (Thousands of) witness accounts – backed up by the significant amounts of footprint evidence (Accepted by reputable people like Prof Jeff Meldrum) and the many videos online, which are not all easily dismissed. Tree breaks and, animal killings (carcasses) are also suggestive of a predator of this capability.

    But, personal witness, has no status with scientists. They call it ‘Anecdotal’ – which in my view is a ‘cop-out’. It’s like saying, that every witness is deluded, or lying. If you can believe that of humans then we are in a poor state of understanding reality. Most – if not all – I know, is from ‘anecdotal’ communication. (From parental teachings through school, to books and scientific statements) We all ‘rely’ on anecdotal descriptions of reality. Not that we shouldn’t question it. We do. But, to dismiss it, counters normal human dealings with the world.

    Skepticism, is an adopted stance, that actively inhibits free scientific inquiry. It says, ‘Don’t bother’, the very idea is ridiculous’. My intelligence says this creature (Animal) is not only real – it is also a challenge to the very nature of scientific inquiry. Where logic and reason act as limitations!.

  • Kenny

    Look…I wouldn’t be opposed to killing one to prove its existence and making all of the speculation irrelevant. However, to capture one, prove its existence, and let it go back into the wilds where it was found is preferable. Oh, and studying it to gauge it’s intelligence, and where it is on its evolutionary path. We cant have a species actively targeting man in its “territory.” Man has never taken kindly to animals attacking them….they are actively tracked and killed. This goes with all animals….bears, sharks, alligators/crocodiles…shoot, even dogs or other “tame” animals. I watch all the bigfoot shows, have seen a lot of the “evidence” and it intrigues me, and I haven’t really seen “hostile” encounters…except rock throwing or other objects. But, how would you know if a “somewhat” intelligent creature did commit a murder and disposed of the body…I guess you wouldn’t know, because unlike a bear or other wild animal, the squatch might not leave the remains out in the open…..Who knows if this creature exists…all I know is proving it does, with any means necessary, will lay waste to the criticisms, and maybe provide some protection in the form of laws for their species….which is obviously limited (population.)