There is probably no cryptid out there that is as sighted, talked about, and as well-known as Bigfoot. It is the rock star of cryptids, the one that even people with no interest at all in cryptozoology have heard of, perhaps only second to the Loch Ness Monster. Ask most people what they think these creatures are and you will more likely than not get the answer that they are some sort of massive undiscovered ape-like animal that lurks in remote areas of the world. Yet, what if Bigfoot is, at least in some cases, no animal at all, or at least not like any known by us? What if these creatures are something from not only beyond our understanding, but from beyond our very reality?

The traditional assumption concerning hairy hominids such as Bigfoot is of course that they are biological entities, flesh and blood creatures of a species that has simply not been discovered and properly described by science yet. In this paradigm these are living, breathing animals, hiding out in the remote wilds of our planet, skulking about in the shadows and skirting about out just beyond our ability to find them, constantly evading and confounding us. In many ways this seems to make sense, after all there are many examples of such robust ape-like creatures and early versions of homo sapiens in the fossil record of some areas of the world that could provide a link to an explanation for what has been seen. There are also many fairly large animals throughout history that have managed to remain hidden and which long inhabited the same realm as cryptids before their eventual discoveries, such as those I have covered here before.

On the surface it all seems at least possible that relic populations of hairy bipeds could be out there tucked away in the remote wildernesses of our planet away from our prying eyes and rampant exploration, yet, in recent years the age-old entrenched idea that Bigfoot and other creatures like it could only be biological animals has experienced more and more criticism from both skeptics and a few cryptozoologists alike. The most commonly stated problem is a lack of any fossil evidence in many of the areas where some of these these entities have been seen, such as North America, Australia, and bizarrely, England. This is actually not a major setback in and of itself, as fossils tend to be very rare in the first place, with a rather incomplete record, and we are constantly finding whole new prehistoric species through newly found fossils.

The problem is that there has been no reliable fossil evidence of anything even remotely like Bigfoot in many of the places where they are routinely seen. These creatures would not exist in a vaccuum, there should be at least transitional species or something like a primate that could be somewhat connected to Bigfoot, yet there is nothing. In this sense, the problem is not necessarily that there are no fossils of Bigfoot, but rather that there is a complete void of anything in the record of North America and some other locations that could even be tentatively associated with something like it. With the rather sketchy nature of fossils to begin with, it is not necessarily the nail in the coffin for a flesh-and-blood Bigfoot, but it is a rather glaring anomaly to contend with.

Another thing that seems to be a strike against the notion of a biological Bigfoot is simply that these creatures have been seen absolutely everywhere, and by scores of people from all walks of life in increasingly urbanized areas. Look through sightings reports archives from organizations such as the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO), and you will find that there are hundreds and hundreds of sightings of these creatures from all over. At times it seems as if Bigfoot is spotted even more than some actual known animals such as moose, cougars, bears, wolverines, and so on. Taking the sheer number of sightings reports into account, it is increasingly difficult to hold onto the notion that these are elusive and rarely seen creatures relegated to isolated, remote places where they can hide from mankind, for if they are hiding they are doing a very bad job at it, as they are spotted all of the time. If even half of these reports are genuine, then this is actually a rather well-witnessed large animal, not some barely glimpsed specter.

Bigfoot is apparently widespread as well, as then you have the fact that these reports come in from pretty much everywhere, including places where they have no right to be at all. Every single state of the Union has Bigfoot reports, yes, including Hawaii. Bigfoot-like creatures have also been spotted in other unlikely places as well, including, as I mentioned, England and Australia, neither of which have anything whatsoever in their natural history at all to suggest an animal such as this should be there. Yet there they are. Why should this be?

If you put together the vast number of sightings and the widespread nature of these reports, if any of it is to be remotely believed then it is not difficult to get the impression that Bigfoot cannot really be classified as a super-rare beast that lives in only the most remote, uninhabited locales, and it subsequently gets more and more difficult to defend how they could have possibly gone without being discovered in any sense, especially in this modern age. Indeed, there has not ever been any definitive physical evidence of these creatures, despite all of these sightings. Sure there are footprints and other signs of their activity, such as rock piles, shelters, and so on, but as for blood, reliable hairs, a carcass, or even a fragment of a bone there is none. Remember that these are creatures seen all throughout the United States and other places, often near highways and roads, yet there has never been a single trace of a body. It does seem rather odd that this should be the case with such a widely seen beast.

Of course, if one is to ask a hardcore skeptic why any of this should be, you will get a rather simple reply; that Bigfoot simply does not exist, and never has. Here is another notion, that it is all a nation-spanning urban legend that sprawls across cultures, and a that it is all a tapestry of misidentifications, misinformation, hoaxes, and downright lies. Ask a skeptic and they will say that the reason there is no solid physical evidence or fossils is that Bigfoot has never existed in any form in the first place.

However, here we run into problems as well. To outright dismiss or deny every single piece of evidence we do have out of hand, no matter how circumstantial, as well as the testimony of hundreds, if not thousands of people, is to suggest that this is one of the most complicated, elaborate hoaxes ever pulled off by humankind. While there are surely those who have fabricated sighting accounts or pulled hoaxes, can we say that every single person who has ever reported a Bigfoot is mistaken, a prankster, or worse yet, a liar? Are there so many people, often experienced or reliable witnesses known for their honesty, who would make-up this stuff on such a large scale? What’s more, are so many people out roaming around in the forest faking tracks and other signs of Bigfoot, often with rather compelling results, or cavorting about in gorilla costumes? In some ways, to suggest this is all some giant delusion and hoax is almost harder to accept than that there is a giant ape-like hominid wandering the wilds.

So, if Bigfoot is seen by so many, yet leaves behind so little strong evidence and still has remained undiscovered, and if these people are not all liars and delusional, then perhaps the explanation for Bigfoot lies somewhere else altogether, and this is where things get really weird. One admittedly controversial and outlandish idea that has nevertheless gained more and more momentum and traction in recent years is that, rather than a flesh-and-blood animal that has simply remained undiscovered, we are perhaps dealing with an entity from some other reality or dimension, that instead of Earthbound biological creatures we are encountering interdimensional interlopers that shuffle back and forth across whatever membrane that separates our realms either by accident or design.

This idea in general is not new to the world of the paranormal. Indeed, researcher and author John Keel, most famous for his book The Mothman Prophecies, was well-known for his speculation that some unexplained phenomena could possibly originate with what he termed “ultra-terrestrials,” or beings from a parallel dimension. Keel reasoned that their tentative nature in this reality and ability to shift between domains would help to explain some phenomena in which mysterious entities were widely seen, yet frustratingly unable to be concretely proven or catalogued. This could be applied to ghosts, aliens, demons, or even Bigfoot, and eminent UFO author and researcher Jacques Vallee often cited these ultra-terrestrials as being perhaps behind the UFO phenomenon, rather than nuts and bolts spaceships from some distant planet.

The idea that Bigfoot could be interdimensional in origin would also go a long way towards explaining a variety of other anomalies that have proven to be inconvenient to the notion that we are dealing with a flesh and blood creature. The list of such strangeness connected to the Bigfoot phenomenon is long. Reports of Bigfoot tracks that lead to nowhere, disappear in mid-stride, or end at sheer walls of rock that such a creature could not possibly hope to climb are not uncommon. Many Bigfoot sightings possess a definite feel of the paranormal, such as accounts of the creatures vanishing into thin air or disappearing into flashes of light, or shape changing, as well as invisible, vanishing, or telepathic Bigfoot.

Then there are mysterious orbs of light or sudden inexplicable bright flashes that accompany many reports, details which are often downplayed or even omitted, as well as the numerous technical malfunctions that seem to plague those who would record the creatures, as well as their ability to generally avoid camera traps and other such electronic gear. On top of all of this there are the numerous permutations of the creatures spotted all over the United States and elsewhere, such as Dogmen, Goatmen, Sheepsquatch, Batsquatch, Werewolves, and Lizard Men, which open up a whole world of high strangeness that becomes more and more difficult to reconcile with any sort of flesh and blood animals this world of ours possesses.

The idea that Bigfoot is an interdimensional entity may sound at first to be absurd, but considering all of the boxes this potential explanation ticks, is it really? Is it really so far-fetched if one is to accept that Bigfoot is real in any form? Indeed, such ideas are being pursued more and more to explain a wide variety of what has traditionally been seen as “paranormal phenomena,” and even in mainstream science our understanding of physics and the universe has increasingly opened up the possibility that other universes exist beside our own, even bleeding over into ours. Such an interdimensional link is being seen more and more plausible as both a scientific theory and as a possible thread that runs through it all. One paranormal researcher named William Hall has said of this:

It used to be that the UFO people didn't talk to the ghost people because they were a little weird, and nobody would talk to the Bigfoot people because they were crazy. I found out, we cannot continue to do that. In reality, quantum physics is leading us there.

It is meaningless to postulate at this point as to how or why these entities might do this, we wouldn't even know where to begin at this point. However, considering that this theoretical interdimensional travel by these beings could possibly be explained by science as we know it, none of this would even be technically “paranormal” at all, but rather an effect of natural phenomena that we simply don’t understand yet. In this sense, such inter-dimensional interlopers would not be supernatural in any sense, just utilizing features of laws of the universe that simply lie beyond our understanding at this point. Paranormal researcher Rob Riggs gave his spin on this on the podcast After Dark thus:

We always want to jump right in and say that's extradimensional or paranormal but you know I think we may simply be talking about creatures that have access to physical spaces that humans cannot perceive. That they in fact are three-dimensional physical creatures but they are able to go into spaces that lie outside our perception because they are outside our reality tunnel...that somehow these creatures enter into spaces that we have not mentally tuned into.

Nevertheless, the interdimensional Bigfoot theory is at this point still very controversial amongst cryptozoologists, many of whom cling to the flesh-and-blood explanation tooth and nail, and consider any other explanation “woo woo” and an affront to their field. To even mention such an idea on some Bigfoot forums or at Bigfoot conventions will get you the cold shoulder at best, and laughed out of the room at worst, and it is actually rather shocking at times how close-minded some in the field can be with any theory that doesn’t quite see eye to eye with what they think. In many respects, these cryptozoologists are every bit as dismissive of the interdimensional theory as skeptics are of the idea of Bigfoot to begin with, which could actually be hindering finding out any answers either way, as it forces us into close-minded, preconceived avenues of inquiry and creates divides between different “camps,” who are all at least ostensibly searching for the truth. One cryptozoologist named James R. Harnock has explained of this attitude toward interdimensional explanations within cryptozoology:

While many cryptozoologists and cryptozoology supporters find such theories ridiculous, and often laugh them off, we would all do well to remember that the so-called "mainstream" of science has much the same reaction when presented with the possibility of Sasquatch existing at all. If we hope for mainstream scientists to keep an open mind, we must lead by example and not waste time and energy, that would be better spent searching for evidence, fighting amongst ourselves.

Of course, not all cryptozoologists are so resistant to the idea, and there has even been the idea that flesh and blood cryptids such as Bigfoot can coexist with theories of more interdimensional entities, that they are not mutually exclusive. For instance, there could very well be real biological hairy hominids in some areas of the world, and perhaps even a flesh and blood Bigfoot in some areas, but that these creatures are also joined in their habitat by other more mysterious entities from another reality. There is not necessarily a need to favor one over the other, and famed cryptozoologist Loren Coleman has said of this:

So as not to come off as a hypocrite, I must point out that I have investigated and written about winged humanoids, Dogman/werewolves, Goatman, Lizard Man, mermaids and a myriad of other non-human entities. If they exist, these apparitions are most certainly paranormal in nature – Inter-dimensional, extraterrestrial, demonic (choose your own wording). The difference with Bigfoot/Sasquatch is that it is clearly represented in our fossil history in the form of robust hominids from the Pleistocene. That makes its existence very viable in the natural world. I respect everyone’s right to their opinion and don’t make a habit of questioning anyone’s personal experiences. If you believe you have seen a Bigfoot materialize or vanish, it may very well be that there is a supernatural phenomenon that chooses to take the form of a giant, hairy humanoid… seemingly related to Bigfoot, but only superficially similar.

Maybe this is true, and that we are dealing with a spectrum of disparate phenomena that range from real flesh and blood animals to other more “paranormal” or "woo woo" explanations. Perhaps the answers lie somewhere in between these different ideas, depending on the case, but it seems the full truth will possibly elude us if we are not willing to at least admit that there are certain holes in the theory of these creatures as solely undiscovered animals that have not been satisfactorily proven, and hold firmly to the flesh and blood hypothesis in every single case. I do not mean to particularly endorse the idea of an interdimensional Bigfoot here, nor to even say that a flesh-and-blood Bigfoot is impossible. Yet, this does not cover the full range of the phenomenon at large. I only mean to suggest that in light of the various anomalies and oddities that can be seen across the full spectrum of the Bigfoot phenomenon, which are often inconsistent with a normal animal as we know it, perhaps we need to at least consider other possibilities, no matter how outlandish or even absurd they may seem at first. Maybe we need to think outside of the box, to seek fresh avenues to pursue in order to shine new light into the darkness of the unknown and illuminate beyond the edges of what we can now see.

In the considerable morass of all of the ideas and theories swirling about on Bigfoot, in the end it can be basically distilled into a few choices. We can either believe sightings reports and the evidence so far have merit, and thus accept that Bigfoot perhaps really exists, or we can dismiss it all as a grand, elaborate hoax. If we are to take the former, then we can choose to deal with it as strictly a biological animal as we uncomfortably struggle with the growing improbability of it going undiscovered so long in every state of the Union and places where it should not be without a shred of concrete evidence. In that case, we must also accept all sightings reports as being potentially real, including ones that have uncomfortable paranormal tones, which can be hard to reconcile with an animal as we know it, and so must wrestle with this conundrum. Or we can concede that at least some of it is something perhaps weirder than we’d like to admit, whether that is interdimensional phenomena, or something else. Maybe we have to consider for a moment that the Bigfoot phenomenon might be stranger than we imagine, perhaps even stranger than we can imagine.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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