For hundreds of years, tales of Bigfoot (or Sasquatch, as they are also known) have danced around the United States. According to Oregon Wild, "Before the 19th century, when stories about the mysterious 'ape man' began circulating in the American West, most Native American tribes had their own legends surrounding the enigmatic creature." It's safe to say our obsession with Bigfoot is certainly nothing new.
Since 2019, the Travel Channel has been providing the curious and the cautious an outlet for their Sasquatch fixation in the form of Expedition Bigfoot. If you're wondering what it's like to devote your life to searching for this elusive cryptid, then this is the show for you. Of course, if we can't be sure Bigfoot himself is real, how can we be sure Expedition Bigfoot is? Let's uncover that mystery.
Is 'Expedition Bigfoot' real?
In December 2019, Expedition Bigfoot burst onto the scene (OK, it probably gingerly stepped out from behind a tree) on the Travel Channel, with experts to back it. That's right, this show is real and it's spectacular. With specialists like Mireya Mayor, director of the Exploration and Science Communications Initiative in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education at Florida International University, it's hard to deny there is some real science happening on the show.
But just because the show is the real deal, that doesn't mean everyone on it is entirely on board with the existence of Bigfoot. Mireya, who is also a primate researcher, told LiveScience in December 2019 that "to date, there is no fossil evidence showing that large primates other than humans ever inhabited North America," though she doesn't rule out the possibility. After all, she once discovered a new species of lemur.
Despite rumors of their large size, it's entirely possible that Bigfoot is merely hiding. "We've seen that throughout history with other apes," explained Mireya.
While on the lookout for gorillas in the western lowlands, she would often encounter vegetation so dense that Mireya would find herself mere feet from a 450-pound silverback gorilla, and she wouldn't even know it for at least an hour. That's terrifying!
Who are the other hosts of 'Expedition Bigfoot'?
Mireya is joined by self-described Bigfoot experts Bryce Johnson, Ronny LeBlanc, and Russell Acord. While chatting with LRM Online's Emmanuel Gomez at WonderCon 2022, the whole team opened up about their lives as Bigfoot searchers ("hunters" feels like the wrong word). Everyone agreed that show or no show, they would still spend their time trying to prove Bigfoot exists.
"I've been doing it since the '70s," said Russell. He clearly brings the most experience in terms of time spent devoted to locating Bigfoot.
Mireya is not necessarily looking for Bigfoot per se, but rather a new species of primate. "My main goal is, of course, to find irrefutable physical evidence that can be presented to the scientific community, and accepted as an actual species," she said. Isn't that what we all want, to be seen and accepted?
In terms of exploration, whether here on Earth or in space, it's always best to return to the wise words of astronomer Carl Sagan: "If we are alone in the universe, it sure seems like an awful waste of space."
Perhaps it's not what we find, but the desire to find it. Who would want to live in a world where there is nothing left to discover?