What’s going on in Missouri? A new map that plots Bigfoot sightings over the last 90 years shows that the legendary (alleged?) man-ape has been spotted three times as many times in Missouri than Kansas.
By LISA GUTIERREZ
The Kansas City Star
Pennsylvania State University doctoral candidate Josh Stevens mapped and graphed every Bigfoot sighting from 1921 to 2012 – 3,313 of them – compiled by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.
This is apparently the first time anyone has ever placed the sightings on a map.
“Every now and then a data set comes along that just has to be mapped. This is one of those times,” Stevens writes on his website, Joshuastevens.net.
According to the map, Sasquatch’s favorite haunts in the United States appear to the Ohio River Valley, Mississippi River Valley, the Sierra Nevada mountains, central Florida and the Pacific Northwest.
(Which would make him a fan of Disney World and Starbucks coffee?)
"Right away, you can see that sightings are not evenly distributed," Stevens writes. "There are distinct regions where sightings are incredibly common, despite a very sparse population.
“On the other hand, in some of the most densely populated areas, Sasquatch sightings are exceedingly rare ... The terrain and habitat likely play a major role in the distribution of reports (note: reports, not Sasquatch themselves!)”
The interesting part of the map for those of us in the middle of the country is how many more times he’s been reported roaming Missouri than Kansas – 38 sightings came from Kansas, 112 from Missouri.
The most recent sighting in Missouri happened about 5 a.m. on Oct. 24, 2012 in Vernon County, just east of Fort Scott, Kan.
The report from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization investigator says that a man was on his way to work, westbound on Highway 54, when he “crossed under the railroad and started up a hill towards the Kansas state line.
“On the left is a small field of oil derricks. As he was driving he saw a figure standing on the left side of the road in the area of these derricks.
“In his headlights he could only see from the knees up but was struck by the appearance of a large very stocky upright body from the thighs to the chest. He could see an arm and dimly make out the head. The hair on it was very black and had a sheen in the lights. It immediately moved off of the highway to the left. The encounter was brief, only a second or two, but the witness is sure about what he had seen.”
The man told the investigator that he was “very hesitant to discuss this with anyone for fear of being ridiculed.”
He was probably wise to keep his mouth shut.
Map-maker Stevens, like most folks, is skeptical that Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Skookum, Yahoo, whatever you call the giant hairball, really exists.
"Ultimately, I'm not convinced there's a descendant of (giant ape) Gigantopithecus playing hide-and-seek in the Pacific Northwest," he says.
"But if respectable folks like … primatologist Jane Goodall believe there's something more to the myth, I think it's at least worth putting on the map."