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What to Do If You See Bigfoot

Updated on August 21, 2017
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With interests in science, nature, and the paranormal, cryptid explores fringe topics from a unique and sometimes controversial perspective.

Many people are looking for Bigfoot, but what do you do if you see him?
Many people are looking for Bigfoot, but what do you do if you see him?

Bigfoot Found!

If you've just had an encounter with Bigfoot you might be a little rattled. That's understandable. After all, this is a creature that many people say doesn't exist. However, each year in North America many others claim to have Bigfoot sightings, and countless people may never report what they saw.

Something is out there in the woods, and people are seeing it, so don't be surprised if you are one of them!

There are organizations and independent researchers that dedicate their time and efforts to unraveling the Bigfoot mystery. They get out there in the woods themselves and do their best to collect evidence, but without the stories and evidence from normal folks like you and me they are missing a lot of the pieces that can help them solve the puzzle.

I decided to write this article after having some conversations, both online and off, that led me to think about the process someone should go through if they encounter Bigfoot.

I think it's important to make sure the information is relayed to researchers who can do something significant with it, but equally important to protect your own privacy, as well as the safety and security of what may be the rarest animal on the planet.

So, what should you do if you find Bigfoot? Here are some thoughts.

Document your encounter.

Initially, the most important thing is to put together an accurate account of what you saw, heard or experienced, and gather what evidence, if any, you can glean from the encounter.

Collect Evidence

During and immediately after the encounter is the time to collect evidence. The minutes and hours following the encounter are key. Events are still fresh in your mind, and any evidence is unadulterated.

You might still be stunned from your encounter, but jump into action and do what you can.Ultimately, it is this evidence that will convince the mainstream scientific community that the Bigfoot hypothesis has merit. Sasquatch researchers depend on it, and any person who can add to the meager but compelling cache of Bigfoot evidence helps their cause tremendously.

So, what types of evidence should you be thinking about?

  • Photos and Video: In a day and age where just about everyone has a Smartphone with photo and video capability, it is astonishing that more Bigfoot encounters aren't backed up by visual proof. We can assume the shock of the encounter makes people a bit slow on the draw, but then again nobody seems to hesitate when it come to catching their friends doing outlandish and idiotic things. If you can muster the wherewithal to grab your phone and snap some pictures or video during your sighting, it may end up being the proof necessary to show Bigfoot really exists.
  • Hair Samples: Immediately following a Bigfoot sighting, and only if it is safe to do so, examine the area where the creature was spotted. Look for hair on twigs and branches, or man-made objects like barbed-wire fences. When collecting a hair sample, try not to touch it. Then, store it in a dry place in a small paper bag. While not fool-proof, this lessens the chance of cross-contamination if researchers attempt to do a DNA analysis.
  • Footprints: Did Bigfoot leave some footprints behind? Or, perhaps you've found some interesting footprints even though you didn't see the creature who left them. At the very least take some photos of the prints with an easily verifiable item next to them for reference. Use a pen, a soda can, or anything else that's easily measurable. Better yet, take some time to cast the prints. For the average person, mixing up some plaster, filling the print, waiting for it to cure and carefully lifting it out may be more effort than you're able or willing to put in. But, if you can do it, this evidence is very helpful for Bigfoot researchers.
  • Bigfoot Scat: Unless you catch Bigfoot in a very embarrassing situation it is not likely that you'll find scat directly related to your sightings. However, you may stumble over something that doesn't look quite right while out in the woods, which you don't think would come from any animal in the area. If you're brave enough to collect it, follow the same procedure as when collecting a hair sample.
  • Sounds and Calls: If you are hearing strange sounds at night, and you have reason to think Sasquatch could be the culprit, do what you can to get a recording of the vocals. A digital audio recorder would make it easiest for researchers to examine the sounds using computer software, but use whatever you have. Audio evidence attributed to Bigfoot is as important as anything else, and can help researchers to understand how the creatures communicate.

Do not shoot at Bigfoot!

It should go without saying, but if you see Bigfoot do not shoot him with anything but a camera. There is always the possibility it's some bozo in a gorilla suit playing a prank. Plus, you don't really want to kill a rare animal, do you?

Write a Witness Statement

Along with collecting evidence, the most important thing you can do after a Bigfoot encounter is write a witness statement. This isn't your official account of the story. Not at first, anyway. Think of it as a way to organize your thoughts.

It's important to do this as soon as possible after the encounter, while the event is fresh in your mind. Include as many details as you can, described in your own words.

Remember, you are the only one who will see this version, so it doesn't matter if it sounds silly. The point is to collect your thoughts, so use terminology that makes sense to you.

Here are 12 questions to answer, but include every detail you can:

  1. On what date did the encounter occur?
  2. Where did the encounter take place, exactly?
  3. What time of day/night was it?
  4. What were the surroundings like?
  5. What was the weather like?
  6. What were you doing when you had your encounter?
  7. What was Bigfoot doing?
  8. What did Bigfoot look like? (Include facial details, color of fur, approximate height and anything else that stood out to you.)
  9. If Bigfoot saw you, how did he react?
  10. How did you react?
  11. How long did the encounter last?
  12. Did you hear or smell anything strange before, during or after the encounter?

It's important to write down facts, not opinions. Record details now, because they tend to fade from your mind as time passes. There is plenty of room for speculation later, but for now you need to be very literal in documenting the encounter.

Once you have your facts together in a rough draft, you can write up a better narrative that you can share with others. But you're not going to share it with just anyone!

Attention to Detail

If you spot Bigfoot you're probably going to be pretty freaked out. It is important to keep cool and try to notice as many details as possible!

The Bigfoot Evidence Poll

What kind of Bigfoot encounter have you experienced?

See results

Don't Tell Everyone About Your Bigfoot Experience!

When you're done writing up the final draft of your Bigfoot Witness Statement you should have an accurate and detailed account of exactly what happened. If you've collected some evidence you'll have that to back up your story too. So, now is the time to alert the media, right?

Not so fast.

There are few good reasons you should keep your Bigfoot encounter under your hat, at least for now. Of course there is the ever-present danger of being ridiculed in the community, or even at Holiday dinners with your own family. For your own privacy, be careful who you talk to.

Beyond this, if you let word of your Bigfoot experience get out you might ignite a local firestorm where every bumbling knucklehead within a hundred miles decides to get out there and bag a Sasquatch.

Where I live this means the possibility of some nerve-wracking gunplay. At the very least it means any remaining evidence will be trampled or contaminated, or the hope of any future sightings extinguished once Bigfoot's peaceful domain is intruded upon by dozens of interlopers.

Tell a few trusted friends if you want, but otherwise keep it quiet. To do this the right way, you have to get the right people involved.

Find a Trustworthy Sasquatch Expert

People sometimes report their Bigfoot sightings to me, in the comments sections of my articles. I am always grateful, and appreciate it immensely when they share their stories. If you wish to share your Bigfoot story in the Comments section below go ahead, but please don't add links, and please leave out any personally identifying details.

I consider myself trustworthy, and I probably know more about Bigfoot than most people, but I am by no means an expert when compared to many of the serious researchers around the country. These people know their stuff, and they are the ones doing the hard work when it comes to Sasquatch research.

If you wish to share your evidence and experience with the world, these are the people you need to find. Start by doing an internet search for your state, and see if there are any Bigfoot research organizations nearby.

When you find someone, do some background research on them and make sure they have a good reputation. You want someone who will handle your story and evidence with respect, and not take advantage of it.

If you can't find anyone you trust locally, you can always turn to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization website. The BFRO is the leading Bigfoot research group in the world, and they maintain a vast database of sightings from around the continent.

On the BFRO website you can find a Sightings Report Form as well as an email address and phone number for contact.

Who can you trust?

You have to use your best judgement here. Find experts who have a track record of putting science first, and their egos in their back pockets.

What if You Actually Catch Bigfoot?

What if you somehow come into possession of a specimen, live or dead? Well, things just got a whole lot more complicated, didn't they? I don't know if there is anyone in the world qualified to tell you what's best in this case.

Some people assume that whoever comes up with a captured Bigfoot, or a legitimate Bigfoot body, will be able to cash in on some massive financial windfall. I don't know if that's true or not, but something about it doesn't sit right with me.

If you've literally found Bigfoot, you have the evidence needed to change modern science. That's a lot of power in your hands, and if you find yourself in this situation I hope you choose to act responsibly.

I think there are two groups of people I would want to get in contact with, and I would make it clear to each that I am sharing information with the other.

The first group would be university-level primatologists and anthropologists. These people have the resources and the scientific clout to make sure the discovery is put in the proper context.

The second group is serious Bigfoot researchers. After all they've done to keep up their work the Bigfoot research community deserves to be at the forefront of such a discovery. I also think they'd be strong advocates of making sure the animals are treated with respect.

Should You Keep Your Bigfoot Encounter to Yourself?

If you really want to make sure Bigfoot remains undisturbed, isn't it better to keep your experience to yourself? It's a tough question and, in light of what we humans have done to other parts of the natural world, sometimes I think Sasquatch is better off remaining a mystery.

If there really is a rare species of primate running around the woods of North America, is it better to expose it, or let it be?

That's a question you'll have to answer for yourself.

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    • cryptid profile image
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      cryptid 3 years ago from Earth

      The Yowie is interesting, Susanna. I have an article about that guy somewhere here. Of all the Bigfoot-like creatures around the world, I find the Yowie most perplexing.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 3 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      In Australia we have the Yowie - a sort of Southern Sasquatch

    • cryptid profile image
      Author

      cryptid 3 years ago from Earth

      Don't give up hope, Barb!

    • profile image

      Barb 3 years ago

      Funny nobody has found him yet!!!!!!

      I don't believe !!!! Going on for years,

    • cryptid profile image
      Author

      cryptid 3 years ago from Earth

      @CMHypno: Don't run from Bigfoot! Grab your cell phone and take a picture! :-)

      @Shelia: I suppose it is sort of like CSI! That's where Bigfoot experts would probably notice a lot of things average people would miss.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      All of this sounds like processing a crime scene and talking to witnesses (and the witness happens to be you if you're lucky). I'm not a professional CSI, but I'd definitely try collecting as much evidence as I could - after I first ran away screaming like a lunatic. I'd really love to see a Bigfoot; however, if I ever did, I think I'd be frightened out of the area until I could get my thoughts together. I like your advice about contacting the experts. IF I did collect any hair or something, I'd want someone who new where to send it for testing and really get that done and not someone who's going to add it to their collection where it won't help the scientists.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 3 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Lol if I stumbled into a Bigfoot my first reaction would probably be to run! But very good tips on what to do if you did have such an encounter. We don't have a Bigfoot tradition in the UK unfortunately, we have to make do with sightings of big cats and phantom hounds