The arrival of Pete Wilson in Billings opens a new branch of an old anthropological discipline: Cryptozoology.
Wilson, a member of Virginia Bigfoot Watch, lost no time when his company transferred him to Montana. His website, Montana Sasquatch Watch, is up and running. Stay tuned for reports of Sasquatch sightings.
As a semi-professional cynic, my best guess is that the Bigfoot’s existence is not improbable. For a variety of reasons, it’s impossible.
With apologies to Noah, a species with a population of fewer than 50 individuals cannot continue to stock a particular patch of woods or mountain range.
If the Sasquatch population totals fewer than half a hundred, then it must have been plentiful sometime in the near past. If someone traveled back a century or so in a time machine, he/she could expect to find a few hundred, or more likely a few thousand, Bigfoots.
Does Sasquatch bury his dead or does it leave bones of the deceased lying around for guys like Wilson to find?
Besides bones, what else does it leave behind? Coprolites? Weighing 900 pounds or so, Bigfoot could no doubt eat a whole aspen copse or a buck mule deer a day. Anything consuming that amount of grub would leave plenty of coprolites behind.
Hair? As wooly as he is big, Sasquatch would certainly leave patches or single strands behind as he moves through brush and timber. Bears do. Horses and cows do.
Hair is easy to harvest. Biologists studying grizzly bears drop a tangle of barbed wire in the woods, add 10 pound of garbage and return the next day to collect wads of bear hair. The guys in the labs extract DNA and report what ol’ griz had for breakfast, the creek where he was born and his favorite grub or rodent. A few hairs and the boys in the white coats can discern age, sex, diet and other embarrassing statistics.
A small gob of DNA would settle the question of Bigfoot’s existence. Or would it?
Those who subscribe to wacky notions always have answers for the most obvious questions. In this case, Bigfoot “researchers” say humans and Sasquatch are so closely related that their DNA are identical.
Never mind that DNA experts can tell a Swede from a Norwegian from their examination of two blonde hairs.
Here are some commonly asked Sasquatch questions.
Q. Why are no fossils found?
A. Because Sasquatch hunters (and there are beaucoup Bigfoot trackers) are not looking for fossils. Cryptozoologists spend their time in the woods, looking through night vision glasses, taking fuzzy pictures and spooning plaster of Paris into footprints.
Q. The country is full of expert photographers with expensive equipment. Why not hire some to take pictures that aren’t fuzzy?
A. The pictures seen online or in tabloids are taken by pros using top of the line gear. They turn out fuzzy because Bigfoot IS fuzzy.
Q. Why are there no road kills?
A. Sasquatch experts say Bigfoot females are rather dimwitted but make excellent mothers. They teach their kids to look both ways before crossing the road.
Q. Would it be a good idea to shoot one?
A. Big time Bigfoot chasers are divided on this question. Some believe the creature is a species of human and killing one would be murder. More practical researchers say killing just one Bigfoot would prove the critter’s existence and prompt the passage of laws that would save the rest of the population.
Q. Doesn’t a record of tens of thousands of sightings suggest that Sasquatch must really be roaming our woods?
A. No. In the past there have been tens of thousands of sightings of fairies, angels and unicorns. Chupacabras, a vicious but mythical creature haunting Mexican lore, began cropping up in the United States. A number of carcasses were found. All turned out to be raccoons or dogs with mange.
Big, hairy wild men have been reported in Australia, India, China, the forests of Alaska, Canada and the American Northwest. The only creatures to be found this widespread are humans, their parasites and their livestock and pets.
But, now that Wilson has arrived, the chances of finding Bigfoot in our vicinity have quadrupled.