Illustrated by EEK.
What started as a sensationalized and somewhat silly news story in the 1950s has become stuff of legends. Bigfoot has become an American institution and has generated speculation, entertainment and lots of money for decades now.
Is he real? Well, that is up for debate. But the idea that something is wandering the forests of Northern California isn’t that hard to believe. There are very bizarre animals that roam this planet, many of which we didn’t know of for eons. So the idea that maybe we missed one and allowed it to live its life free from our view doesn’t sound too crazy. Earth is pretty huge.
It was 1958. The Humboldt Times, a small newspaper nestled in the cozy redwood region of California, published some reports that a massive footprint was found in the vast woods surrounding the area. The newspaper laughed off the idea for the most part, thinking it was just some silly story that would maybe create a few laughs and letters from readers. But people were more interested than the Times expected and soon locals were talking about this Bigfoot, who was already spoken about in hushed tones by loggers who had all sworn to have seen something out in the endless forest. Soon, people from all over the world were speaking about Bigfoot and The Humboldt Times realized that they might have uncovered a story for the ages.
While the first written content about Bigfoot comes from The Humboldt Times in the 1950s, people had been talking about the creature - or a creature like it anyway - for generations. The idea of a Bigfoot-like animal isn’t new. Just like ghosts, the Loch Ness monster, aliens and so many more, this urban legend had naturally and organically spread like all good rumors do. Locals had stories of Bigfoot wandering around in the trees, rarely causing a disturbance but always making his presence known. Some people swear that he is real, some think he is complete fiction. There has been footage of the supposed beast, some of which has been seen by nearly everyone in America at one point or another. But even that footage can be debated. Maybe it’s a man in a suit, maybe it’s early special effects. There are a lot of maybes floating around Bigfoot and the reality of the situation may never be known.
The ambiguity around the beast is one of the reasons why he remains so popular all these years later. The fact of the matter is that we will never see good evidence of Bigfoot...or of ghosts or the Loch Ness Monster for that matter. That is how these titans of folklore remain so strong for so long, they always exist in a realm that isn’t quite reality and isn’t quite fiction either. That somehow just makes the idea of Bigfoot even more intriguing for some. The fact that he has never been truly proven only makes some people believe in him more.
What about you? Do you think Bigfoot is real? Is he wandering the hills of Northern California, living a life of solitude away from a society that debates his existence? Or was he just some prank that grew into an international legend? In the end, does it really matter? Either way, the legend of Bigfoot lives on.
Bigfoot is chatting with a ghost in a forest, lamenting "But do you really know what it feels like for nobody to believe in you?" As is with tradition, Bigfoot is eating a doughnut.
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