Without doubt, one of the most bizarre aspects of the Bigfoot phenomenon is that relative to nothing less than clothed Bigfoot! It's one thing to encounter such a creature. It's quite another, however, to see it fashionably attired in pants and shirts - well, kind of. Incredibly, such strange and controversial claims do exist. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman says: "In the 1960s and 1970s, reports from the American West would occasionally surface of hairy bipedal Bigfoot being seen with tattered plaid shirts and ragged shorts on their bodies. In some research, there were intriguing attempts to relate these to files of paranormal encounters with sightings of upright entities said to be wearing 'checkered shirts.' (Within parapsychology, there is a subfield of study regarding 'checkered shirted ghosts.') Investigators generally did not know what to make of these Sasquatch wearing plaid shirts, but dutifully catalogued and filed them away, nevertheless."
One of the most fascinating of all such encounters occurred in California at the turn of the 1950s. The story came from a woman who, at the time of the incident, was a young girl. Her story was told by cryptozoologist and Bigfoot authority, Ivan T. Sanderson:
"I entered the meadow and proceeded to cross it in order to reach a small knoll at the other side. When I approached the foot of the knoll I heard a sound. It was the sound of someone walking and I thought perhaps my little brother had followed me and was going to jump out and try to scare me. I hollered, 'All right, stinker, I know you’re there.' Needless to say it was not my brother that appeared. Instead it was a creature that I will never forget as long as I live. He stepped out of the bushes and I froze like a statue. He or 'it' was about 7 ½ to 8 feet tall...However, there was one thing that I have not mentioned, the strangest and most frightening thing of all. He had on clothes! Yes, that’s right. They were tattered and torn and barely covered him but they were still there. He made a horrible growling sound that I don't think could be imitated by any living being. Believe me I turned and ran as fast as I could. I reached camp winded and stayed scared all while we were there."
Janet and Colin Bord, noted Bigfoot experts, say of this downright weird affair: "If Bigfoot – and the creature in this report really does sound like a Bigfoot – is as well adapted to living in the wild as most reports suggest, why does he need to don tattered clothes?"
It's a very good question, one for which the Bord's have what may be a reasonable and viable answer: "The only explanation that occurs to us is that this was a 'freak' sighting: that the Bigfoot had found the old clothes somewhere and, having seen humans dressed in clothes, decided to copy them. The fact that the clothes 'barely covered him' does suggest that they once had a smaller, human, owner."
What next? Bigfoot on the catwalk? Let's hope not; that's more than any of us could stomach!