Forensic expert Jimmy Chilcutt, of the Conroe Police Department in Texas, says he has strong evidence that Bigfoot exists. Scientific debate about whether or not he's real hasn't stopped Bigfoot from being spotted in Argentina.
Chilcutt, who specializes in finger and footprints, says the 6 Bigfoot footprints that have been found are genuine, especially the 18-inch print found in Washington in 1987. "The unique thing about this cast is that it has dermal ridges?and the flow and texture matches the ridge flow texture of one from California," he says. "The ridges are about twice as thick as in a human being."
For an earlier project, Chilcutt collected a large number of ape and monkey prints, which he compared to the Bigfoot prints. He says their ridge flow pattern proves they were not been made by a large-footed human or other primate. "The ridges run down the side of the foot," he says. "In humans, the ridges run across the width of the foot. That's what makes it unique. The only other animal I've seen this in is a howler monkey in Costa Rica.
"As a crime scene investigator, I don't deal in what I believe or what I think. I examine physical evidence and make a determination...I know there's an animal out there, because I've seen the physical evidence."
"There have been reported sightings in every state of the United States, other than Hawaii and Rhode Island," says Craig Woolheater, of the Texas Bigfoot Research Center. "It's not the missing link, it's not an extra-terrestrial, it's just an animal?a flesh-and-blood primate that has learned to be elusive around man and avoids man where possible."
Besides footprints, researchers have recorded strange sounds and found "limb twists," where branches of trees have been twisted by an animal with massive strength.
"Every now and again big things turn up," says zoologist Colin Tudge. "The acarpi?a horse-sized relative of the giraffe?turned up only in the early 20th Century. A few years ago somebody discovered an absolutely enormous shark in the ocean. The most recent?and I think the most spectacular?is an animal that people think is a goat-antelope, some kind of relative of the shamuar, which has turned up in the forests of Vietnam. This is an animal about the size of a Shetland pony with long horns, that nobody even suspected was there until just a few years ago?it was finally identified in about 1994." Phenomena Magazine reports there have been over 20 Bigfoot sightings in Argentina since 2001, and recently, two athletes training for a biathlon on forest trails spotted the creature. Humberto Sosa says, "We were training with Susana Romano. At around 17:00 hours, upon reaching a curve we heard the crashing of branches from the hill. We stopped to see what it could be, and amid the foliage, we saw it briefly. It was a large animal, some kind of ape, moving with great agility.
"Susana and I exchanged glances as though to confirm if what we'd just seen was a product of our imaginations or real. We remained still, with our eyes riveted to the place where we'd seen it jump and become lost in the vegetation. We tried to listen, but everything remained silent. Suddenly, all of the birds flew away, as though fleeing from something. And once again, with the same speed as before, it jumped."
"It was like a giant ape. We were scared and decided to run as quickly as possible toward the unforested area. However, that "thing" seemed to follow us, running parallel to us some 10 meters down the slope, through the wilderness, which is impossible for a human to do given the thickness of the vegetation. Through the leaves and branches we could see its enormous silhouette and every so often could hear how timber was violently shattered, which led us to believe that the creature's weight was tremendous.
"It was evident that this critter was following us and I therefore feared it would attack us. I felt fear for my companion and asked her to run as fast as she could. I told myself that if the situation reached the brink, I'd give my life for her. We ran and ran, always feeling that the animal was running beside us among the dense woods. In an area where the vegetation isn't quite so dense and the possibility of observing was greater, we stopped to look around us. But the noise stopped and the jumping shadow that had followed us had vanished. In the distance, we could see that birds flocked together, as if frightened by something. In my 30 years of covering these trails, I'd never seen anything like it."
A man riding his horse in the same area that day also saw the creature. He says it was almost 7 feet tall, covered in hair and had long arms ending in sharp claws. It also had an enormous, oval-shaped mouth with menacing fangs.
Could Bigfoot really be roaming the backwoods of America?
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