Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Social Implications of Bigfoot's Existence

I wrote a past fictional post about what it might go down like when Bigfoot is found. It's something worth contemplating.

In writing a SciFi book about the social implications of talking to the dead, I wondered to myself about the Patterson-Gimlin film. Whether it's real or not, it does make us have to face the reality that if it were real, that would mean we have a creature out there waiting to be discovered, named, categorized.

How would we go about such a task?

The first step would likely be to tranquilize and transport him where we could get blood and hair samples, study him a bit, and then tag and release him into the wild again to hopefully meet up with his social grouping.

Not only would CNN and other news outlets be carrying this ongoing scientific find, but others would want to find BF for themselves. Laws would have to quickly be passed to make him an endangered species, but they wouldn't really be able to do that until they released him again and found out what sort of breeding population he's a part of.

So, for a time, he would be vulnerable to us and to crazy hunters who want publicity and fame. His DNA would provide some insights into just where on the tree of man this upright creature resides, but it will not answer for us that age old question:

What makes us human?

We could divide ourselves from apes because we exclusively walked erect. But, now another creature proves to be bipedal for quite some time on the time line beside man.

So, perhaps we see observe he seems to be trainable or has a conscious awareness as man does. After all, this huge creature has kept himself well hidden from us. That couldn't have been easy all of these centuries. Perhaps he is intelligent enough to know to hide, but not so intelligent that he has technology. Still, even apes use crude tools and one thing we know about man is that the moment he became upright, he had freed his hands to build tools to help make his job easier. He could not walk and carry a weapon or tool for the collecting of food or even for warring. When you are dexterous, your tool box grows rapidly. If this upright creature has been upright a long time, he must have an arsenal of tools he's designed along the way. Those tools should be the tell-tale signs that lead us to where BF is living and breeding, eating and sleeping.

We need to take him out of the category of "dumb ape" because he can hide from us and because he has been upright for many millennium which means his hands have been his tools and extension of those tool-like hands would be the obvious progression, in designing sharp things to kill and saw, heavy rocks to break open up trees for honey and termites.

This kind of investigation would involve keeping a Bigfoot and studying his habits. Would he do like apes and figure out which button to press to get the peanuts? Would this be too much like the scenes with Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes" when they lock him in the cage with the primitive human? Would we lock BF in a cage with a gorilla or orangutan?

Until we found another BF, we could never really study their use of language and how they might handle tools that we give them to work with. We would have to have more than one to know just how intelligent they are because they certainly could be vocal with us but unintelligible. If he were with another BF, would they "speak?" Would they utilize sticks and tools we give them to gather their own food in their caged environment? What would this tell us of their intelligence level?

Would we put them in zoos? Would we autopsy one? Would we release them into the wild and then go and sit amongst them like Jane Goodall and study their habits? Would the area of his "tribe" be considered a protected park? Would folks pile the kids up in cars to go to Sasquatch Canyon and camp and hope to see BF inside the chain linked area where they could take pictures of the elusive hermit like something out of "Jurassic Park"?

None of this is even considering what rights Bigfoot would have. Rights as an animal or as a human?

Nearly any scenario is a grave one. Can we as ego-driven human beings simply believe in something without "proving" its existence? Can we just back off and say "he's there," without pulling him out of his homeland to be "right." Perhaps we could relegate him once again to the murky categories of Loch Ness Monster and Mothman and enjoy just contemplating "what if?"


  1. I think half of the fun in researching such things are the 'what ifs' that go along with them. Because even if there is no Bigoot or Lock Ness Monster, it's an interesting theoretical exercise to ponder how and why they might exist.

  2. As awesome as he would be to find, he would be much better off as he is now...away from us!

  3. Seriously. I always say, stay frostie, BF, and keep hidden. I wouldn't mind catching a glimpse of him just to make that human to other human-type connection for a moment, but I no more want to capture him and take him home as I would a raccoon.

  4. Great post.
    I think half of the excitement in pondering Bigfoot's existence is rooting for him for eluding our grip for so long.

  5. Rot;
    Seriously--he's proven a very equally intelligent being to manage to control his population enough and stay hidden enough that we don't find him. I think if we want to understand him better, we might look at some of the feral children of the past. That's another post coming up....

  6. The most significant social change would be the resurgence of long hair on men. Back hair would probably be considered sexy for a time.

  7. We will have fun trying to proof the big guys existence next month.

  8. Leo;
    Seriously, all those idiots who got laser hair removal will feel like chumps.

    This is true, sis. If we find him, we must not bring him home with us, no matter how adorable he may be and how much he wants more brownies...

  9. The darker thought would have some shady government organization secretly exterminating the BF, his family, and BF's dog so that they don't have to face public outcries to stop destroying their habitat. Meanwhile those slimy so-and-so's would engage in ongoing psyops to discredit any claims that the initial discovery was actually 'Foot.

  10. Haha. I love the way your mind works, Pangs. I do hope you cloned yourself, dear. Future generations need a Pangs. So, men in black could be at work on the BF front? I wouldn't be surprised. I think they've been diverting out attention from some potholes in the road so the city doesn't have to pay to fix them, just tell citizens their cars are out of alignment and that's why it goes clunk at the corner of Chestnut and Elm Streets. :-)

  11. It's such a double-edged sword. To prove the existence of these creatures means you experience the wonder of the extraordinary amidst the ordinary... but, with the mystery gone, do they just become the ordinary amidst the ordinary?

  12. I wonder about that sometimes. Like the gorillas that villagers spoke of but they didn't find until the early 20th century, did finding them ruin the gorilla? Did it help them since their country was growing and taking up habitat and might have made them extinct like the Tasmanian Tiger? Are they better for us having found them? Does a group of creatures have their chance and if they die off, it's nature's way of saying they didn't have the right stuff? Well, should BF die from disease or drought, I might believe that, but if he dies off because of man's interference, then that was not by nature, but by intervention, like it was with the Tasmanian Tiger when they shot them all to death. BF could go for centuries more here in the US without our interference and be no worse off, but eventually, with population the way it is, even man might go extinct.