Is it A Man? A Myth? A Legend? Or Just Bigfoot?

Luiza Decenzi, Managing Editor

The afternoon of January 22nd, Twitter experienced a sudden influx of Bigfoot posts stemming from a trending tweet by the Washington State Department of Education.

The announcement featured three photos from a traffic camera directed at State Route 20 on Sherman Path, a mountain path which crosses the Colville National Forest in Ferris County.

The first picture featured a snowy trail with an indiscernible tall and dark figure circled in red. The following attachments were the same picture, one without the drawn red circle and the other, zoomed in.

In the announcement, WSDOT East’s account posted “Sasquatch spotted!!! I’m not superstitious… just a little stitious. Have you noticed something strange on our Sherman Pass/SR 20 webcam before?

If you look closely by the tree on the left there looks to be something… might be Sasquatch… We will leave that up to you!”As news spread of the most recent Bigfoot sighting, many Twitter accounts asked for more pictures and a search party to investigate the event. On the following day, WSDOT East’s account delivered to the growing demands.

At 12:12pm on the 23rd, WSDOT’s official account for the Snoqualmie Pass tweeted, “I think Bigfoot is making the rounds across our mountain passes.

@wsdot_east showed him on Sherman Pass the other day and now he is on the wildlife overcrossing on I-90 just east of Snoqualmie Pass. #doyoubelieve” The tweet then showed a 30 second black and white video footage of the figure walking through a snowy hill, that has now reached more than 70 thousand views.

After retweeting the video, WSDOT East sent crews to the Sherman Path for further proof, only to come up empty handed. They then tweeted pictures of the hill along with their winter service vehicle with the description, “We made it back from Sherman Pass! Made several passes and even stopped at the top of the summit near the camera to see if we could find Sasquatch… no such luck… was still a beautiful drive with crews as they cleared snow.”

This newest bigfoot sighting reflects the timeless existence of this popular urban legend. The legend predates many of the popularized names such as Sasquatch or Bigfoot, although most languages created names relating to “wild man” or “hairy man”.

The accounts of this creature date back to Pre-Columbian times in America and 1800s Europe. During the 1800s, American Bigfoot sightings often tied to Native American tribes, where some claim they were regarded with respect, while others viewed them as threatening creatures.

The 1970s sightings were popularized, spurring a heavy debate about the  reliability of legend and its effect on American culture. Most current sightings are located in the Pacific Northwest, near Washington and Oregon, although regions such as the Great Lakes and Southeast of the United States have also experienced a surge of reports.

“I lived in Vancouver, Washington, and we lived near the edge of a forest,” Andrea Franson, a Bigfoot believer, explained. “I was walking along the trees and I saw something probably 7 or 8 feet tall on the edge of where the forest started, and as I got closer,” she disclosed, “this whole big tree started shaking really violently…it was very scary.”

Whether you chose to believe in Bigfoot or not, this legend has continually been embraced by new generations. As of 2014, the Associated Press reported that Americans were more inclined to believe in the Bigfoot legend than the Big Bang.

This community of Bigfoot believers and non-believers may be a small aspect of American culture, but it is one that will likely continue for generations to come.