It's Bigfoot! Or is it? A 911 call in the Altoona, Penn. reported "proof" of Bigfoot.
A group of Bigfoot enthusiasts promptly investigated the claim, and the police released this partial transcript to them:
Person 1: “[an individual] called 911 advising that he contacted the Game Commission to call him back; wants a police officer to come to his residence. Apparently he has proof there of Bigfoot.”
Officer: “Bigfoot, right?”
Person 1: “That’s affirmative, he has evidence, uh … proving Bigfoot. He would like a police officer to come there."
An officer responded to the 911 call and found John T. Winesickle, who told him he'd found Bigfoot tracks when out for a walk. The officer accompanied Mr. Winesickle to the tracks, and took pictures of them.
His conclusion: The large tracks were made by a big-footed creature, all right: a bear.
Winesickle remains convinced that it was Bigfoot, a creature he has believed in since childhood.
Winesickle, a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, said has seen Bigfoot – and its female companion – a few times, describing them as skittish creatures who occasionally emerge from the mountain laurel in the woods behind his home.
Winesickle has encountered black bears on his walks before, but not grizzlies. He'd first thought that this was a grizzly, he said, but became convinced it was a Bigfoot because of the foot-like shape of the print, the upright gait, and the ability to climb steep inclines on two feet.
"This year I got Bigfoot's tracks," Winesickle told a local radio station. "And later on, I got the female's foot." He said that the male Bigfoot had six toes, but the female's track was more human in scale – "like my foot" – and had only five toes.
Bigfoot routinely makes "six-foot steps when he walks," Winesickle said, but he measured one longer stride at 9 feet.
Winesickle also heard Bigfoot speak, he said, in a voice so deep it would put a bear to shame, let alone a bass singer. The female's voice was higher, he added.
Bigfoot sightings have been reported many times, but sightings have never been accompanied by enough proof to convince biologists. Most reports come from the Pacific Northwest. Yeti sightings, of a Bigfoot-like creature covered in white fur, have emerged from the Himalayas.
Scientists and Bigfoot enthusiasts agree that most reported sightings are either hoaxes or animal misidentifications.
Some enthusiasts argue that Bigfoots are descended from Gigantopithecus blacki, an enormous creature whose fossil remains have been found in China. Most researchers dismiss those theories as speculative, since Gigantopithecus was a quadruped whose fossils have never been found in North America.
Others have argued that Bigfoots are remnant Neanderthals, despite Neanderthals' small stature and the fact that no Neanderthal fossils have been found in the Western Hemisphere.