In chapter 24, Mo and Finchy meet Albert and his family who are (there’s no other way to say this nicely)… hairy and scary-looking creatures who call themselves Sasquatch or Bigfoot. Likewise, in chapter 29, they learn about Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. She has a small head atop a long neck that sticks out of the lake where she lives, which is in a country called Scotland.
Have you ever heard of these animals? Many people are afraid of them. Are they real? Did someone make them up? Let’s take a closer look.
Animals called Sasquatch or Bigfoot are supposedly large primates that range between six and 15 feet tall and give off a foul smell. (In other words, they stink!) Supposedly, they walk or stand erect on two feet as they roam the forests throughout the US and Canada.
While hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people have taken photographs and videos of them and their footprints over the years, there’s still no hard evidence that Bigfoot even exists.
What do you think? Here are some facts to help you decide:
- The first person to discover evidence of Bigfoot was David Thompson, a British explorer. He was considered a great pathfinder and surveyor who traveled over 62,000 miles by canoe, horse or foot through western North America between1785 and 1812. He is credited with finding the first set of Sasquatch footprints.
- During the late 1800s and early 1900s, people who settled in the Northwest began reporting sightings of a large, upright ape or hairy human that stood more than eight feet tall. Some had grainy photographs. Others found very large footprints.
- After all of these years, no one has ever proven that Bigfoot is real. All we know is that its footprints measure up to two feet long and eight inches wide and that its entire body is covered in dark brown hair.
- Since Thompson’s discovery, thousands of people have reported seeing and photographing Bigfoot. The states with the most sightings include Washington, California, Florida, Ohio and Illinois.
- Have you heard of the famous film footage of Bigfoot that was taken in 1967 by Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson? They were playing with a rented camera near Bluff Creek, California when they spotted this mysterious creature. Click here to watch the short film.
- Reportings of a similar creature have also happened in other parts of the world. In the Himalayas, or mountains in Asia, they call this animal “Yeti” or the Abominable Snowman.
- Native American tribes also have legends about these creatures. They reportedly spotted them in the Pacific Northwest, which consists of the following states: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
In 1974, the former North American Wildlife Research Team actually built a Sasquatch trap in the Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon. But the only thing it trapped was an angry bear and a confused hunter!
Bigfoot: Forever Famous
In many ways, Bigfoot does exist. Take a look at who’s using its name:
- A 360-mile hiking trail is named after this mysterious creature (The Bigfoot Trail). It winds through the Klamath Mountains of northwest California and for a short distance, through southwest Oregon.
- Different foods bear the creature’s name like Sasquatch Sammies, which are served at Bigfoot theme parties.
- The Sasquatch Museum in Blueridge, Georgia is also called Expedition: Bigfoot!
- Our country’s neighbor to the north, Canada, named a park in British Columbia Sasquatch Provincial Park.
- The Western Air Defense Sector, Washington Air National Guard, defends or protects the western skies of this country. It adopted Bigfoot as its mascot.
Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster
Nessie, as she is lovingly called, may not be as popular as Bigfoot, but is just as interesting. She has been described as a “marine creature” with a large, long-neck and at least one hump on her back that sticks out of the water. She lives in a loch or lake in Loch Ness, Scotland.
Historians claim that an Irish priest named Columba who was visiting the area more than 1,000 years ago was the first one to report Nessie. As the story is told, Nessie bit a swimmer and was getting ready to attack another man, but Columba ordered her to “go back”. Nessie obeyed.
Hmmm… we don’t know of any monsters that do as they’re told. More importantly, can anyone or anything live more than 1,000 years? What do you think?
Since that reporting, there have only been a few sightings of Nessie. In the 1930s, a Scottish newspaper reported that a couple saw an enormous animal that looked like a dragon. It crossed the road and disappeared into the water.
Not long after, a British newspaper called the Daily Mail published a photograph of Nessie taken by Robert Wilson, an English doctor. Some believed Nessie was a plesiosaur, a marine reptile that has a very long neck. But plesiosaurs have been extinct for at least 66 million years. Others believed the photo was fake, that the image in the water could have only been a few feet long– at the most – and was probably a seabird or otter. Nearly 60 years later, it was revealed that this photo was, indeed, a hoax.
But that didn’t stop some people from hunting for Nessie and proving that she was real. In the 1960s, Sir Peter Scott led a search for Nessie and even contacted Buckingham Palace (where the late Queen Elizabeth lived) for permission to name the monster “Elizabethia Nessiae”, if found, and to register it as an endangered species. But Palace officials wanted hard proof that Nessie existed. Perhaps more importantly, they didn’t think it was right to name a monster after the beloved Queen.
Would you like a monster named after you?
Nessie was famous enough to have a movie made about her. In 1996, “Loch Ness” was about an anthropologist (someone who studies past and present societies and cultures) who visits Loch Ness to figure out if Nessie is real or not. (We won’t spoil the ending. You’ll have to watch the movie!)
We want to know: If you ever meet Bigfoot or Nessie:
- What would you say to them?
- What would you want to know about them?
- What would you tell them about yourself?
Now that you know a little bit more about Bigfoot and Nessie, tell us if you think they exist or not, and let us know why. Include your name, age and state where you live and we’ll post your comment on Mo’s social media pages!