Science - If bigfoot is there, it could be a bear.

The earliest example of Bigfoot / Sasquatch in a UFO that I am aware of, was an "airship" sighting (1897?), where the pilot was seen sitting next to some sort of hairy creature. The idea remains popular today; I attended an Oregon MUFON meeting where the theory was brought up.
It interests me that I often hear bigfoot aficionados make that claim, but I have never seen a case of a UFO report that included bigfoot. Only the claim that such reports exist. Maybe I need to try a different search engine...
 
There are thousands of eyewitnesses who clearly state that they did not recognize a bear in their sighting.

Saying something is "is not a bear" doesn't make something a Bigfoot. Even if "thousands of eyewitnesses" supposedly said this, a claim for which no evidence is offered.

As has been noted before, the idea that there is a population of bipedal hominids sufficiently large enough to maintain healthy genetic diversity inhabiting large rural areas of North America without EVER leaving ANY physical evidence of their existence is untenable.

No one has ever produced reliable or testable evidence such as bones, carcasses, hair, scat or DNA from a Bigfoot. Additionally, no one has ever produced any form of fossil records for either Bigfoot, or it's antecedents. It's all just witness testimony, SOME of which is mistaken. Taken with the total lack of physical evidence and the known instances of hoaxing, the logical conclusion is that the witness testimony is mistaken or deliberately misleading.

That's for an actual physical creature. If one wants to argue Alian/Paranormal Bigfoot, then I suppose anything is possible. If Bigfoot is being dropped off by cloaked UFOs or can wink in and out dimensions at will or is a clairvoyant that can cloud the mind of the observers or as one guy suggested in another Bigfoot thread it's a comical "glitch in the matrix" inserted by the master programmer when it seems fun, no amount of logic or evidence is needed.

One needs no evidence of a "real" Bigfoot, if Bigfoot just pops in and out of reality by whatever means necessary, and likewise, no amount of counter evidence or lack of evidence can ever refute this.
 
Saying something is "is not a bear" doesn't make something a Bigfoot.
Doesn't even necessarily mean it was not a bear. The regularity with which assert that "the balloon was DEFINITELY not a balloon, that much is for sure," makes me suspect there may be a defensive mechanism which strongly defends against the most likely explanation as early as possible in the myth-making process.
 
There are thousands of eyewitnesses who clearly state that they did not recognize a bear in their sighting.

Maybe, but eyewitnesses can be mistaken (discussed, with indisputable examples given, in other threads here).

We also know that some people believe they see things, sometimes in detail, that aren't there (e.g. due to sleep disorders, epileptic-type episodes, sometimes physical isolation and stress).

There are instances where people's accounts of strange sightings are believed by many to have been made in good faith, only to be exposed as hoaxes years, sometimes decades later (e.g. "the surgeon's photograph", 1934, of the Loch Ness Monster, see Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loch_Ness_Monster).
Although perhaps not widely believed, the accounts of George Adamski and Billy Meier's encounters with UFO occupants (the "contactee" phenomenon) might fall into this class; very few people now- even among UFO "believers"- doubt that both men were serial hoaxers.

And a lot of people just like a good story or like having something of interest to say in some circumstances- round a campfire or down the pub...

As a species, we're pretty good at finding things when we look for them, and lots of people have looked for Bigfoot.
No one has ever produced reliable or testable evidence such as bones, carcasses, hair, scat or DNA from a Bigfoot. Additionally, no one has ever produced any form of fossil records for either Bigfoot, or it's antecedents.

Our DNA sequencing abilities now are really good, relatively quick and affordable (certainly within the budget of any reputable university zoology department, and I'd guess groups of Bigfoot enthusiasts).
A single Bigfoot tuft of hair, tooth or lump of excrement (scat) would provide strong DNA evidence for his existence; a single bone would be almost conclusive.

DNA has been successfully extracted from the very few, small and fragmentary remains we have of Denisovans / Denisova hominims, providing sufficient evidence that they constituted a formerly unknown human species or subspecies.
Initially DNA from a single finger bone, maybe over 51,000 years old, was enough to demonstrate that it was from a female who was genetically distinct from modern humans and Neanderthals (both of which also existed at that time).
(Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denisovan.)
And the team who made this finding weren't looking for Denisovans- they didn't know they existed until they studied the one finger bone!

Zoologists/ palaeontologists aren't close-minded killjoys; through their studies of often fragmented and incomplete remains we know of many extraordinary extinct species never seen by humans.
Primatologists like Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall have slowly won the confidence of groups of large primates and studied them at close quarters, in the wild, for years. Goodall hasn't ruled out the existence of Bigfoot,
External Quote:
In 2012, when the Huffington Post asked her about it, Goodall replied: "I'm fascinated and would actually love them to exist," adding, "Of course, it's strange that there has never been a single authentic hide or hair of the Bigfoot, but I've read all the accounts."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Goodall

But as NorCal Dave points out, no tuft of hair, not a single tooth or bone, not a solitary turd has been studied by scientists, nor any fossils of large primates found in the Americas.
There is no evidence of apes ever existing in the Americas (until captive individuals were transported by European / American colonist seafarers in the past few centuries),
see Wikipedia, "Evolution of Primates" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_primates.

No fossils, tools or other evidence of genus Homo, before anatomically modern Homo sapiens, has ever been found in the Americas (similar to Australia; contrast with the many finds across Africa, Asia and Europe).
Wikipedia, "Homo" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo.

The only primate of any sort found interred in the La Brea Tar Pits was a woman from around 10,000 years ago

Capture.JPG

The Wikipedia article "La Brea Woman", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Brea_Woman, gives her age at death as 18-25 years, and cites older dating than the card in the photo.
The amount and diversity of specimens retrieved at La Brea is astonishing- thousands of sabre-toothed cats and dire wolves,
hundreds of large herbivores including 36+ mammoths- if this is your sort of thing, this Wikipedia article's worth a quick look
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleobiota_of_the_La_Brea_Tar_Pits

So, there is no evidence of apes, australopithecines, early Homo or archaic Homo sapiens ever having lived in the Americas.
It's hard to see where a Bigfoot could come from, if she's a primate.

Although the dates are much debated, it's broadly accepted that modern Homo sapiens first arrived in the Americas between 25,000 and 15,000 years ago, crossing from Asia at a time when sea levels were much lower due to glaciation:
Map_of_gene_flow_in_and_out_of_Beringia.jpg


External Quote:
Schematic illustration of the Beringia migration based on matrilineal genetics: Arrival of Central Asian populations to the Beringian Mammoth steppe c. 25,000 years ago, followed by a "swift peopling of the Americas" c. 15,000 years ago.
From Wikipedia, "Early human migrations", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_human_migrations, minor editing by me.

In fairness, if the Yeti or Yeti-like creatures exist, maybe their ancestors could have crossed from Asia to North America around the same time as humans- but this just vastly extends the area where we would have to assume these creatures existed but left no trace whatsoever. Again, not a single testable trace from the Himalayas or from across China, eastern Siberia, Alaska or Canada.

It would be great if Bigfoot / Sasquatch existed, but the lack of evidence other than eyewitness accounts (and some famously dodgy film) is a huge problem. Sadly, I suspect he's folklore.

Some Gary Larson cartoons:

eb1b535803d49c32ca43b15cdaa17079.jpg
 
NOT recognizing a bear, of course, is a far different thing from recognizing "bigfoot".
This is actually a field where people can develop expertise: I would expect bear hunters or rangers to develop skill in recognizing bears even at a distance or in poor lighting. However, I would also expect that expertise to express itself by stating which species of bears was (not) being recognized.
 
This is actually a field where people can develop expertise: I would expect bear hunters or rangers to develop skill in recognizing bears even at a distance or in poor lighting. However, I would also expect that expertise to express itself by stating which species of bears was (not) being recognized.
I don't think so. I would expect most hunters to be familiar with their own area, and use the word "bear" to mean "the kind of bear we have around here", with the unspoken corollary "behaving the way bears usually behave". It's that latter phrase that I suspect is at the heart of misinterpretation of a sighting.

As for those who think they've seen Bigfoot, that reminds me of the adage "If you hear hoofbeats, you think of horses, not zebras", but these people are the ones who "think of zebras".
 
There are thousands of eyewitnesses who clearly state that they did not recognize a bear in their sighting.
Way back in the '90's when West Nile virus was new I had to go out and collect dead birds for testing. One time I went out on a call and spent about ten minutes looking for a dead crow when the caller came up to me and asked what my problem was. I told her I couldn't find the carcass and she took me to it - except it was a squirrel. I told her that it wasn't a crow and she replied, "What's the difference?"

Another time I went out on a complaint about rats and couldn't find any evidence. The caller insisted they were there so after I left he called an exterminator. A few days later he called me back to come out and see the rat and prove I was wrong. It wasn't a rat, it was a squirrel and I told him so. He replied, "I paid to have a rat killed so its a rat."

Don't tell me people know their local wildlife.
 
To the people talking about UFO and Bigfoot connection, just going from memory. From what I can best remember people were looking at Bigfoot sightings and UFO sightings on maps and noticing they were in similar clusters which to anybody else wouldn't be that unusual but to people who don't know much that is proof enough.
Of course there has been some sightings of people seeing both UFOs and Bigfoot at the same time, but from my memory it was more people saying "why is it there are so many Bigfoot and UFO sightings at the same places?". In addition to that, I believe there is more to their thinking, meaning the "why", in the sense of "Bigfoots are the muscle, the guardians of the aliens whilst they visit Earth".
Something that fueled this combining of topics is a man named David Paulides, who did (or still does) a series called Missing 411, but before that he was doing a lot of work on Bigfoot as you can see on his wiki.
In his pursuit of Bigfoot, Paulides has self-published two Bigfoot-related books and founded the group North America Bigfoot Search,[6][7] for which he serves as director.[8]

Paulides has said North America Bigfoot Search was instrumental in the genesis of a paper published in 2013, which claimed that Bigfoot was real: "The world needs to understand that North America Bigfoot Search was the organizer of the study. We orchestrated the search that led to picking Melba S. Ketchum to conduct a study of bigfoot DNA."[9] The resulting paper documented the analysis of 111 samples of hypothesized Bigfoot DNA and was written by 11 different authors.[8] On November 24, 2012, DNA Diagnostics, a veterinary laboratory headed by Ketchum, issued a press release prior to peer review claiming that their DNA sequencing study confirmed the existence of a hominin hybrid cross between modern humans with an unknown primate.[8] Two months later, in the inaugural issue of DeNovo: Journal of Science,[8] the paper was analyzed by Sharon Hill of Doubtful News for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Hill's report concluded that the paper was of poor quality, stating that "The few experienced geneticists who viewed the paper reported a dismal opinion of it, noting it made little sense."[8]

The Scientist magazine also analyzed the paper, reporting that the analyses and data fail to support the claims of existence of a human-primate hybrid, but rather, "analyses either come back as 100 percent human, or fail in ways that suggest technical artifacts."[10] The website for the DeNovo Journal of Science was set up on February 4, and there is no indication that Ketchum's work, the only study it has published, was peer reviewed.[10]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Paulides
After Bigfoot, David moved to Missing 411, investigating a series of unrelated disappearances in national parks that do seem and often are real mysteries, but he twists details and facts to make them sound more mysterious or just less tragic, like a parent didnt just lose their kid, he "disappeared". He also refrained from speaking about Bigfoot, and would often completely reject any supernatural explanation of any kind which is strange in retrospect.
So Bigfoot, then mysterious disappearances Missing 411 but nothing all that unusual, and then these 2 documentaries.
I have not seen the second one, but the first documentary at the very end David presents a case where a UFO sighting occurred at a school, and at the same time a hunter in a blind believes she saw a "predator" type creature, camouflaged like that movie the Predator. This was very unusual for David as he always stuck well clear of any kind of supernatural topic when it came to Missing 411.
Missing 411: The Hunted - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10524262/
Missing 411: The U.F.O. Connection - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt22080556/
You may not have heard of him before but David Paulides is a big figure in this topic and most people that consume his content believe he is a pillar of credibility. I believe it was David who really fueled the connection between UFO and Bigfoot. He never said it directly, but I think he did that because it sells better if you pretend to be the ultimate skeptic.
Edited to add this, criticism of David at the bottom of his wiki
Kyle Polich, a data scientist and host of the Data Skeptic podcast, documented his analysis of Paulides' claims in the article "Missing411"[21] and presented his analysis to a SkeptiCamp held in 2017 by the Monterey County Skeptics.[22][1] He concluded that the allegedly unusual disappearances represent nothing unusual at all, and are instead best explained by non-mysterious causes such as falling or sudden health crises leading to a lone person becoming immobilized off-trail, drowning,[23] bear (or other animal) attack, environmental exposure, or even deliberate disappearance. After analyzing the missing person data, Polich concluded that these cases are not "outside the frequency that one would expect, or that there is anything unexplainable that I was able to identify."[24] This presentation was discussed in a February 2017 article in Skeptical Inquirer, a publication of the CSI. In the article, Susan Gerbic reported "Paulides ... gave no reason for these disappearances but finds odd correlations for them. For example, two women missing in different years both had names starting with an 'A' with three-letters, Amy and Ann."[1] Polich concluded in his analysis: "I've exhausted my exploration for anything genuinely unusual. After careful review, to me, not a single case stands out nor do the frequencies involved seem outside of expectations."[2]
 
@Haliate2854 Here's Sharon Hill (at researchgate) on her report of the questionable work done by Melba Ketchum:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272352125_The_Ketchum_Project_What_to_Believe_about_Bigfoot_DNA_'Science'
External Quote:

The Ketchum DNA project spans more than five years. Drama, propelled by
occasional leaks that fueled speculation and hype, played out on the Internet via
social media and blogs. Many inside Bigfootery had been following Dr. Ketchum’s
progress closely for more than a year prior to the official announcement. Hints of
the findings were long discussed in Internet forums and on websites. It is
extremely difficult to parse what is factual and what is unfounded, and
sometimes ludicrous, speculation. I have attempted to chronicle the story with
the help of those who have been watching it more closely than I and, on
occasion, Dr. Ketchum herself has spoken on it. Here I document the chronology
and claims as best as I can, but many of the sources are secondhand. You can
make up anything on the Internet and obviously some people do. However,
rumor and wild speculation are a major part of this story primarily because the
public was not given solid information but rather an intriguing tale.
I don't know if she coined the word "Bigfootery", but I love it! :D
 
To the people talking about UFO and Bigfoot connection, just going from memory. From what I can best remember people were looking at Bigfoot sightings and UFO sightings on maps and noticing they were in similar clusters which to anybody else wouldn't be that unusual but to people who don't know much that is proof enough.
Well, the first thing I'd check here is a population density map: if the sightings cluster where the people do, that explains it. (This is also the reason why a Covid heatmap looks like a 5G heatmap looks like a McDonalds heatmap—they're all basically population density maps.)

The second thought is that the groups of people who believe in UFO and Bigfoot overlap somewhat, and that causes the report clusters to be similar.

After Bigfoot, David moved to Missing 411, investigating a series of unrelated disappearances in national parks
See https://www.metabunk.org/threads/missing-411-the-ufo-connection.12874/ .

His fallacy there is that if you map the "missing persons in national parks" data, you get a good match to maps of mountains, maps of caves, and maps of national parks—but that's really not mysterious at all.
 
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I don't know if she coined the word "Bigfootery", but I love it! :D
That is the greatest word I have read in a while, and I also love it, that was a great find!!!
Well, the first thing I'd check here is a population density map: if the sightings cluster where the people do, that explains it. (This is also the reason why a Covid heatmap looks like a 5G heatmap looks like a McDonalds heatmap—they're all basically population density maps.)
A second yep from me here, and this is exactly what I meant, with nothing missed out. To anybody who knows what they are looking at they will see Bigfoot and UFO sightings clustered on a map and think "I guess a lot of people visit this area, anyways lets move on" instead of asking "why are so many UFOs hanging out with Bigfoot?".
 
With regards to DNA evidence, you don't even need anything you would recognize as physical evidence (such as scat or hair) anymore. At my company we sometimes use Environmental DNA (colloquially known as eDNA) to look for certain species (usually amphibians for us, but it can be used for basically any living organism). It's not that expensive anymore either, the bigfoot hunters that can afford a bloody TV show could very well do eDNA sampling of any tracks they find or even air, soil or water at their "hotspots" to see if an unknown hominid pops up. From the wikipedia article:

Environmental DNA or eDNA is DNA that is collected from a variety of environmental samples such as soil, seawater, snow or air, rather than directly sampled from an individual organism. As various organisms interact with the environment, DNA is expelled and accumulates in their surroundings from various sources.[2] Such eDNA can be sequenced by environmental omics to reveal facts about the species that are present in an ecosystem — even microscopic ones not otherwise apparent or detectable.


And it has been used in cryptozoological endeavours! In 2019 a bunch of people led by professor Neil Gemmell at the University of Otago used it to disprove any theory of "Nessie" except for that some sightings might be large eels:
“With over a thousand reported sightings dating back to the 6th century, of all the ideas for what people have seen in the water, one of the more common, and outrageous, is there might be a Jurassic-age reptile or population of Jurassic-age reptiles such as a plesiosaur present in Loch Ness.”


“We can’t find any evidence of a creature that’s remotely related to that in our eDNA sequence data. So, sorry, I don’t think the plesiosaur idea holds up based on the data that we have obtained.

The scientists tested other predominant theories of various giant fish: whether it be a giant catfish or a giant sturgeon, an eel, or even a shark such as a Greenland shark.

“So there’s no shark DNA in Loch Ness based on our sampling. There is also no catfish DNA in Loch Ness based on our sampling. We can’t find any evidence of sturgeon either,” Professor Gemmell said.

Gemmell et al found a very significant amount of eel DNA in Loch Ness. Image credit: University of Otago.

The remaining theory that the team cannot refute based on the eDNA data obtained is that what people are seeing is a very large eel.

“There is a very significant amount of eel DNA,” Professor Gemmell said.


It has also been used by the bigfoot hunters, but I can't find that anyone published any actual data, instead you just get videos like this one

External Quote:
where they discuss the results they get as follows, regarding the first sample:
External Quote:
Dr. Mireya Mayor: "First up are the eDNA results from the most recent samples we collected at those odd-looking nests in Norhtern California. We got small hits of Sumatran Orang DNA"

Russel Acord: "Wow!"

Bryce Johnson: "Wait. Are you saying orang as in orangutan?"

Mayor: "Exactly, which are just as surprising as our chimp findings. However, I will qualify it by saying that the hits were not nearly as many as we did with the chimpanzee DNA initially. I do think that it is interesting that it would be orangutan, because I've read about Gigantopithecus which orangs are a direct descendant of."
Now, even though she for some reason chooses to chase bigfoots on TV, Dr. Mayor is a primatologist with a PhD and much better credentials than I have, but characterizing modern orangutans as the direct descendants of Gigantopithecus is absolutely not a mainstream position (the mainstream position is that it is a sister clade to Pongo that diverged from a common ancestor about 10-12 Mya (see Welker et al 2019).

Also, saying that there were "few hits" without any data or other context than the earlier find of presumed chimpanzee DNA at another site gives us absolutely nothing to compare it to, but given the absolutely improbable results of an orangutan, I find it likely to be erronous. eDNA is not exact and understanding what it is you actually found is impossible when you won't publish your findings.

Not to mention, you said you found chimp dna earlier? So, is bigfoot related to chimps or orangutans? Are you saying there are two different species of unknown large hominids, from two different evolutionary lines with no other known representation of extant species or even anything in the fossil records from the entire continent running around in North America?

The second sample discussed in the video comes back as human (no big surprise there, even though they refuse to believe it because Acord who purportedly saw and chased "the thing" the sample is supposed to come from says: "I can't think of any human on the planet that could have done what that thing was doing".

To their credit, they don't discuss it further than that in the video, refraining from claims of it being a close human relative.

The third sample is a doozy (from 3:43 in the movie):

External Quote:
text on screen: THE LAST REMAINING TEST RESULTS HAVE COME IN.

A HAIR FOUND NEAR POSSIBLE NESTS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA HAS YIELDED UNEXPECTED RESULTS.

[some more exposition and talk cut here]

Johnson: "Well, the lab results are back and they're somewhat shocking. So, although the DNA was kind of degraded they were able to make a determination of species. And get this: that species is wolf!"

Acord: "Oh, wow!"

Mayor: "What?"

Johnson: "Listen, that's not even the amazing part. They were actually able to determine that it was a subspecies of wolf known as the Alexander Archipelago wolf, which only lives in one place: south-eastern Alaska."

Everyone else: "Wow!"

Mayor: "Huh."

Johnson: "It begs the question, y'know, how did that hair get from Alaska to Northern California? Mireya, do we know anything about these animals, do they migrate?"

Mayor: "They don't. And I know this animal. There's only a few hundreds of these left in the wild, so if this test result is accurate and that's the animal that we're talking about there is zero chance that it would make its way to California."

Okay, so, ignoring that the Alexander Archipelago wolf, Canis lupus ligoni is, together with the British Columbia wolf, C. lupus columbianus considered to be subsumed into the Vancouver Island wolf, C. lupus crassodon due to them having a complete overlap in genetic diversity (see Weckworth et al 2011) which already casts doubt on the analysis being able to distinguish between those subspecices, do wolves migrate?

Now, to be fair, sure, wolfs do not migrate seasonally or otherwise, but that doesn't mean that they can't move over huge distances, which they often do. That's how that species complex has become so widespread in the first place. The wolf population of middle and south Sweden and Norway is genetically dependent on wolves from Finland and Russia (wolves are not allowed to establish territories in Northern Sweden due to conflicts with traditional Sami reindeer herding) walking there, a trek of at least 800 km, and often much more. The distance from the southern border of the Alaskan panhandle to California's northern border is roughly 1700 km, which sure, it's twice the minimum distance a Russian wolf would have to walk to get to a "safe" area in Sweden, but it is not an unsurmountable distance for a wolf either, like Slavc here, who walked over 2000 km in 2011-2012:

Slavc is a wolf. In 2011, he began an epic 2,000 kilometre migration across Europe from Slovenia to Italy via the Austrian Alps. Several months earlier, he had been fitted with a collar that allowed his movements to be tracked in incredible detail.


Also, if we use the actual, most up-to-date taxonomy and thus define the C. lupus crassodon subspecies as containing the other two subspecies, the distance for walking to California shrinks to the same 800 km as in the case of Sweden.

Though in this case, my assumption is that the more likely and prosaic explanation is simply that the test, because the DNA was degraded, were unable to differentiate between the different subspecies of wolf that actually live in the area*—C. lupus occidentalis—and C. lupus crassodon. And the fact that the lab according to Johnson labeled the hair as C. lupus ligoni doesn't give me much confidence about them being that up-to-date visavi the latest phylogenetic studies of wolves.

I also found a crowdfunding page Jeff Meldrum put up in 2017 to do some eDNA study on "sasquatch ground nesting sites" that failed to reach its target:
Source: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sasquatch-nests-edna-study#/


So they seem to be aware, and to some extent actually using the technology, but they do not seem to share any data and none of their "amazing findings" that I could find have amounted to anything, suggesting that they are deliberately hyping up poor results for ratings or misunderstanding the actual data they find.


*here I at first made an embarassing mistake, further described in my post below. Above it is edited. Also: I'd argue that the coyote is a wolf species, but if they were bold enough to claim a subspecies of grey wolf, I hope that they really know how to differentiate a grey wolf from a coyote.
 
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So they seem to be aware, and to some extent actually using the technology, but they do not seem to share any data and none of their "amazing findings" that I could find have amounted to anything, suggesting that they are deliberately hyping up poor results for ratings or misunderstanding the actual data they find.
I find it interesting that bear DNA wasn't reported. It makes me wonder about the sampling techniques used, and whether fur, bone, or scat was sometimes eliminated because someone said "Never mind that, it's just from a bear".
 
Now, to be fair, sure, wolfs do not migrate seasonally or otherwise, but that doesn't mean that they can't move over huge distances, which they often do. That's how that species complex has become so widespread in the first place.

I don't remember when this silly show aired, but the finding of wolf DNA in Northern California is rare, but hardly unique. The male wolf OR7 wondered into the north sate back in 2011:

External Quote:
The first wolf in nearly a century to make California part of his range was OR-7, a radio-collared wolf from Oregon that entered California in late 2011. OR-7 traveled across seven northeastern counties in California before returning to southwestern Oregon, where he found a mate and settled down. The original breeding male of the Lassen pack was the offspring of OR-7’s first litter and several others of OR-7’s offspring have also come to California, including the breeding female of the Whaleback pack.
https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/n...-confirmed-in-northern-california-2023-05-24/

As of last year, some new packs there were added to several existing ones (same source as above):

External Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO— The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported today that two new groups of wolves have been confirmed in northern California — one in Tehama County and the other in western Lassen County. If the department designates each as a pack, they would become the fifth and sixth confirmed wolf packs in the Golden State in 100 years.

California has three existing families of wolves: the Lassen pack, which was confirmed in 2017 and ranges across parts of Lassen and Plumas Counties; the Whaleback pack, confirmed in late 2020 and early 2021 and ranges across eastern Siskiyou County; and the Beckwourth pack, confirmed in late spring of 2021 and whose territory is in eastern Plumas County.
And from a Guardian report, there is a pack all the way down in Tulare County:

External Quote:
Wolves officially came back to the Golden state in 2011. Since then, about 40 have entered, mostly claiming California’s north-east corner. The new pack is 200 miles south in the Sequoia national forest, a stone’s throw from the reservation, and a perfect hideout.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/nov/13/california-wildfire-wolves-ranchers-cattle

This seems a bit of a stretch as the known packs are in the northern 1/4 or so of the state in the forested portions of the afore mentioned counties of Tehama, Lassen, Plumes and Siskiyou. You know, Bigfoot country:

1714491288074.png


Tulare is not "200 miles from California's North-East corner" as claimed in the article, it's more like 400 miles:

1714491663154.png


Even if they meant "200 miles from the nearest known pack" in the Northern part of the state, it's still closer to 300 miles as the crow flies. A wolf pack in Tulare may be up for debate still, as it's based largely on anecdotal evidence with a bit of CT thinking:

External Quote:
That’s because even locals like McDarment, who have lived in these mountains his whole life, are skeptical about wolves returning. “How did a male and female come 200 miles and meet here,” he asked as we drove on the reservation. “This is darn rough country. Maybe the government flew them in?”

“We didn’t,” replies Traverso. “The wolves walked down looking for mates.”
Maybe it's more likely a Brit cowboy that was breeding wolf-dog hybrids in Tulare County is the culprit here:

External Quote:
“The wild wolves aren’t mine,” says John Waller, who runs Kennedy Meadows Wild Canine Conservation with his wife Natalie just over the mountain from the reservation. When we speak, the heavyset Brit with a cowboy hat and military background admits their animals escaped when snowfall knocked down a fence. But they don’t breed wolves here, they breed wolf-dog hybrids.
In any event, wolf DNA from northern California is not a shocking discovery. Maybe that it was supposedly from a wolf that only lives in Alaska is the big deal. We couldn't find a Bigfoot, but hey we found an Alaskan Wolf!! But it's qualified with "the DNA is degraded". These shows are really lame and embarrassing.

t has also been used by the bigfoot hunters, but I can't find that anyone published any actual data, instead you just get videos like this one

This came up in our thread on the Patterson-Gimlin film, a massive 13 pager. In one case it appears the producers or Mayor herself found a young undergrad that was working with an eDNA project about diversity in the LA river to do the sampling for them. They sent her dirt from a supposed Bigfoot "fort" in Kentucky, very far from classic Bigfoot country. As above with the wolves, they didn't find a Bigfoot, but hey we found chimp DNA! In Kentucky!

There probably never going to find Bigfoot, so they have to find something unusual. As my Anthropologist son said, human and chimp DNA is about 98-99% the same, so it's more likely she is just seeing the common DNA between us, rather than a troop of Chimps is running around on the Bourbon Trail. Here is a copy of post #17 from that thread.

Post #17 from https://www.metabunk.org/threads/patterson-gimlin-bigfoot-film-is-a-hoax.12254/#post-273127 below:

There are samples of hair and scat, but the problem with analysis is that without a type sample to compare it against, all anyone can say is that it doesn't match a known animal.
I'm not aware of any Bigfoot hair and scat samples that have ever held up to scrutiny. Just because a sample may be classified as "unknown" it doesn't make it a Bigfoot. Enthusiasts and reality TV producers like to take the term "unknown", which in this context often means there simply was not enough recoverable DNA to say what the sample came from, and turn it into an "unknown" genome. Unknown genome means "Bigfoot" or "alien/human" hybrid, depending the context.

"But what I found very interesting was that, yes, we have detected human DNA in these areas, but we’re still seeing different primate DNA. There wasn’t just one human primate, there are several different primates, some sort of primate relative that exists in the data. Pan troglodyte is a species of chimpanzee, which you would not see in the areas you’re at. It’s a real head scratcher. It’s important to note that the higher the detection, the more confidence we can say that whatever organism, whatever taxonomy we’re looking at was apparent in the area. And in this case, we’re looking at the Pan genus, or the chimpanzee genus…. there’s 3000 reads."[link]
Speaking of reality TV producers, this quote is pulled from The Travel Channels Expedition Bigfoot blog.
https://www.travelchannel.com/shows/expedition-bigfoot/articles/expedition-bigfoot-exciting-dna-find

Per the Expedition Bigfoot blog, this is in reference to samples from some dirt near, what the "stars" of the show thought was a tree fort built by Bigfoots. It is NOT a sample of hair or scat:

External Quote:
During filming deep in the wilderness of Kentucky’s Appalachian highlands, eDNA collected from soil under a massive tree structure found by Dr. Mayor and LeBlanc produced surprising and exciting results. Environmental DNA (eDNA) is the genetic material naturally left behind by animals in the environment.
Content from External Source
Next, I would like to here from Miroslava Munguia Ramos, the person making these comments. I'm sure she's a wonderful person, but she's not a PhD level geneticist. From her LinkedIn profile she has BS in Environmental Science and Management from UCD.

The Expadition Bigfoot blog you quoted is dated March of 2021. According to Ms. Ramos' Linkedin, at that time she was a full time Project Director for a program dealing with biodiversity in the LA River and a part-time Project Manager for the CALeDNA project. In both cases she seems to have done some DNA research, but all of it related to California. I'd be curious how she ended up working with the Bigfoot hunters:

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She is currently a guide with the National Park Service:

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If I read her comments correctly, it appears she is saying she found Chimp (pan) and maybe other non-human primates DNA traces in the sample from the dirt in Kentucky. I think before concluding that chimps and other non-human primates are running around rural Kentucky, we would want a little more peer-review of the data and some more confirmation.

It's also very likely that she is simply being miss-quoted by the producers to hype the show. We are talking about the Discovery Networks.
 

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...we sometimes use Environmental DNA (colloquially known as eDNA) to look for certain species ...usually amphibians

New on Discovery: Hunting Bigfrog.
Doctor Skalman leads us on a thrilling odyssey through the Pacific Northwest.
To their astonishment, the Discovery team find incontrovertible evidence of amphibian DNA.
Young hipsters from Vancouver go camping and are terrified by rustling bushes in the night- could it be Bigfrog, a giant Carboniferous creature that has somehow survived into the modern age?

(Editor: No, it couldn't. Run the trailer anyway, this looks great. Ed.)
 
I find it interesting that bear DNA wasn't reported. It makes me wonder about the sampling techniques used, and whether fur, bone, or scat was sometimes eliminated because someone said "Never mind that, it's just from a bear".

Well, if it was eDNA they would normally find DNA from a lot of different species, so I'm assuming they are only mentioning the things that stick out. When it comes to the wolf hair, aside from wolf you would have a chance (depending on how the sample is taken and processed I guess, it's not really my area, I take my "samples" by hand [if we're talking mushrooms, mosses or vascular plants] or with my work knife [if we're talking polypores, hedgehog mushrooms or lichens] if I have to collect anything if I can't positively identify in the field and don't want to rely only on photos) to get DNA from any organisms usually living on a wolf, as well as any stray DNA the wolf might have picked up through the environment on that particular strand of hair, if they were exceptionally lucky.

I don't remember when this silly show aired, but the finding of wolf DNA in Northern California is rare, but hardly unique. The male wolf OR7 wondered into the north sate back in 2011:


In any event, wolf DNA from northern California is not a shocking discovery. Maybe that it was supposedly from a wolf that only lives in Alaska is the big deal. We couldn't find a Bigfoot, but hey we found an Alaskan Wolf!! But it's qualified with "the DNA is degraded". These shows are really lame and embarrassing.

Yes, the "shocking" thing with the find was that it was from a non-local subspecies, but we have absolutely no idea how the lab in question made that distinction (or, for that matter, which species and subspecies they had in their "library" to begin with) since there is no publically available data. As you said, there's nothing shocking about wild wolves in California.

I have to correct myself though, I made the embarassing mistake of partly working off an old distribution map with confusing colours and mistook the historical range of the extinct subspecies C. lupus fuscus for the current range of the East Coast C. rufus. I will correct that part in my original post.
New on Discovery: Hunting Bigfrog.
Doctor Skalman leads us on a thrilling odyssey through the Pacific Northwest.
To their astonishment, the Discovery team find incontrovertible evidence of amphibian DNA.
Young hipsters from Vancouver go camping and are terrified by rustling bushes in the night- could it be Bigfrog, a giant Carboniferous creature that has somehow survived into the modern age?

(Editor: No, it couldn't. Run the trailer anyway, this looks great. Ed.)

Haha! But I'm far from a PhD, so I couldn't call myself a doctor! Just look at the embarrassing mistake I made above. Which such a track record, who am I to question the existence of a giant orangutan sister clade in the North American forests?
 
It interests me that I often hear bigfoot aficionados make that claim, but I have never seen a case of a UFO report that included bigfoot. Only the claim that such reports exist. Maybe I need to try a different search engine...
I found the article describing it in an old newspaper archive, but I did not include it in the articles I gathered here:
https://alienexpanse.com/index.php?threads/old-encounters.4959/ (I created that archive of old articles after I intensively went through newspaper archives looking for information after my 2010 experience. I found that information.
I will see if I can track it down; others had discovered it before I did.
 
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