Bigfoot On Tour

It’s winter and as we all know, birds migrate south to avoid the harsh winter months. Which, as a complete aside, has always left me wondering if people in those more southern climes tend to believe that birds migrate north for summer, to avoid the harsh summer months. But that’s not really important right now. Back to skepticism. Well, it seems birds aren’t the only creatures migrating, or at least holidaying, at the moment – apparently Bigfoot is also having something of a jaunt, having been recorded in the woods of Minnesota, far from his alleged home Pacific Northwest.

The image in question was shot by Minnesota hunter Tim Kedrowski, who claims he was ‘super skeptical’ of the Sasquatch before he accidentally caught the mythical creature on his motion-activated camera. Interesting that Tim was ‘super skeptical’ – regular skeptical would have been enough for me. But then again I’ve never taken photographs of mythical creatures. Neither, I’d wager, has Tim… who’s image of a 7-foot-tall, black creature is eerily reminiscent of a man in a suit pretending to be Bigfoot. Go figure.

As the Minnesota Star Tribune reports:

Kedrowski’s two adult sons set up the camera on the family’s hunting land near Remer, Minn., and Leech Lake to see what animals might trigger it – never expecting a black creature about 7 feet tall to stride through a stand of trees in late October.

The report, bafflingly, continues:

Scientists, no doubt, will scoff as they always do, but Kedrowski’s photo of the big lug, more formally known as Sasquatch, has given believers renewed hope that the creature might exist.

Well it’s good to see the local media taking a responsible stance. Still, at least the Minnesota Star Tribune is up front about it’s anti-science  agenda, which puts it one ahead of the Daily Express in my book. Tim said of the encounter:

“I can’t sit here and tell you I’m a 100 percent believer, but I’m a little less skeptical than I was before. You don’t go deer hunting looking for this kind of thing.”

I think that’s fair to say – you don’t go deer hunting looking for Bigfoot. You go deer hunting for deer, and Bigfoot hoaxing for Bigfoot. Still, can Tim rule out a hoax? Apparently not:

“We were sure it wasn’t a bear and wasn’t someone pulling a scam on us. We thought it might be a bow hunter out looking for a wounded deer — that’s the only reason anyone would be out there in the dark that time of night.”

Although it remains possible that it was someone in an animal suit, “that’d have to be a hell of a big person,” Kedrowski said.

The Tribune, which seems to have a pretty laxidasiacal approach to what constitutes evidence and what makes a real story, clearly did their digging to ensure this wasn’t a simple hoax, reporting:

Kedrowski remained skeptical of the photo’s veracity, until he contacted Don Sherman and Bob Olson, who style themselves as the Northern Minnesota Bigfoot Research Team. They compared the image to one of an alleged Bigfoot photo taken years ago in California “and the features were identical,” Kedrowski said.

That clears things up then – if you’re not sure whether the mythical creature you’ve photographed is real, compare it to another equally dubious photograph of another mythical creature. Because enough blurry, unrpoven photographs, when looked at as a whole, constitute solid proof.

Not all bigfoot enthusiasts are as sold on the tape as the Northern Minnesota Bigfoot Research Team, though – in fact with declaring:

The photo itself is unconvincing and displays many of the attributes associated with previous “man in an ape suit” photos and YouTube videos. Note the lack of articulation on the back of the legs where the thigh meets the knee and continues to the calf. The “fur” has the draped appearance of a pant leg – not the musculature of a wild animal. The hands have the rubbery look of an ape from a 1930s Bela Lugosi B-movie. Notably, the face of the “creature” is blocked by a small tree, conveniently obscuring any facial details, the most difficult part of a costume to fake effectively.

All of which seems to be a very logical and fare analysis of the photo – which to me does indeed look like an unconvincing hoax, along with the other photos and videos we’ve seen of Bigfoot. In fact, given that there has never been a reliable source of evidence for the existence of Bigfoot, it’s fair at this point to believe the creature is little more than a local legend. Although, inevitably, others take a different view of the complete absence of evidence:

Of course, one fake photo does not mean that there are no Sasquatch in Minnesota any more than 2008’s “dead Bigfoot in a freezer hoax” by two idiots in Georgia negated hundreds of years of sightings and native American legends. Bigfoot may indeed roam the forests of Minnesota but it’s unlikely he has posed for his portrait just yet.

This is a lovely twist of logic – the ‘just because every piece of evidence has turned out to be a fake or a mistake, doesn’t mean it’s not real’ argument. I wonder what logical fallacy that one is…

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