This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
PROVO — An alleged Bigfoot sighting in Provo Canyon last week has renewed the debate about Bigfoot's existence and has people questioning whether the creature is on the loose in our own backyard.
YouTube user "Beard Card," who did not want his name made public, said he and some friends were camping in Provo Canyon near Squaw Peak and Little Rock Canyon Overlook when the group saw some deer up on a hill that they wanted to get a closer look at.
"On our way up, we thought we saw a bear, until this giant creature stood up and looked right at us," he said. "We ran straight to the car after that, leaving our tent and most everything behind."
The video has sparked debate about whether it is a hoax and whether the creature even exists, with some saying it is a hoax, but Bigfoot enthusiasts calling it "one of the most realistic Bigfoot escapades of all time."
Bigfoot is often described as a large, hairy creature, between 6 and 10 feet tall and weighing at least 500 pounds. Footprints alleged to be Bigfoot's have been as large as 24 inches long and 8 inches wide.
Although stories about a Bigfoot-like creature were around before the mid-20th century, it was in the 1950s that the legend entered into popular consciousness.
In 1951, Eric Shipton photographed what he described as a Yeti footprint. The photograph allowed the idea of a Yeti to enter popular consciousness.
In 1958, Gerald Crew found large footprints in California and eventually had the prints cast in plaster to help his credibility. The story gained international attention upon being picked up by the Associated Press.
Since that time, numerous Bigfoot sightings have been reported, although none have been proven. Scientists largely discount Bigfoot as a myth.
Video analysis and CGI expert Mitch Phillips told Ringside Report he has ruled out a costume due to the muscle tone and appearance of real fur. He said the creature is not another animal, and that there was no video trickery, on top of the hikers' reactions seeming genuine.
"My conclusion: It's real," he said. "This is a huge piece of evidence supporting the existence of Bigfoot. I'm impressed."
Other analyses of the video came up less certain. The blog "Bigfoot Evidence" said the video is one of the better ones they have seen and asked Phil Poling at ParaBreakdown to determine its authenticity. He said a big point in favor of its authenticity is the reaction of the group.
"Usually when we see young people involved in some kind of a hoax video, what we get is a lot of overacting, a lot of ‘What is it?", a lot of them talking over each other, pointing and performing in front of the camera," he said. "In this case, however, what we have are individuals who are relatively quiet. They're not performing; they're not hamming it up for the camera."
Of course, genuine reactions do not prove anything about the beast itself — it just points to the fear of the group being real, according to Poling.
"On the downside, what we have is a blobsquatch," he said. "I'm sorry, but I just don't know what this is. It could be a bear. I don't know. there's not enough detail. It could be a friend of theirs in a suit, playing a prank on them that they're unaware of. We don't know what's going on here."