There are cities that hold annual Bigfoot festivals and are proud to claim the local Sasquatch as one of their own. There are congressional areas that are pushing to legalize Bigfoot hunting to boost the local economy with licenses, fees, revenue from hunters lodging and dining and more. Then there’s Eureka, California, which has issued a statement telling the public that, despite rumors and alleged photos to the contrary, it has no Bigfoot and it would appreciate if people stay away until its new Sky Walk is competed. Unfortunately, that’s the same sky walk where the alleged Bigfoot was photographed. Who will win this war over Bigfoot in Eureka?
“It's a pretty big place, but none of our staff has reported anything.”
Miles Slattery, city manager for the City of Eureka, thinks that’s enough to keep Bigfoot fans out of his city and Sequoia Park, the 70-acre public preserve where the Bigfoot photo was taken back in September 2020. (See it here.) Something blurry enough to be unidentifiable was on a platform over 50 feet off the ground that was part of the Sky Walk construction. The witness sent his account, photo and theory to the King Bigfoot blog and word spread quickly throughout both the paranormal and mainstream media, with skepticism the prevailing conclusion due to the lack of clarity of the photo.
While the case for that particular Bigfoot sighting is weak, Eureka and Humboldt county where it’s located are not. Bigfoot historians will point out that a reporter for the Humboldt Times popularized the term “Bigfoot” in coverage of a 1958 report by Ray Wallace of huge footprints around Bluff Creek that were eventually admitted to be a hoax. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization has 43 reports from Humboldt – the most in California – including another one in 1958 in Eureka. The King Bigfoot article also refers to a Eureka sighting in the 1940s and the infamous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film from 1967 near Willow Creek, just an hour east of Eureka.
“It’s ambiguous enough to be interpreted as such. It seems to have a form and the shape of a body. It’s fairly solid and not just a shadow. But I still have a lot of questions.”
Back to the Eureka plea for Bigfoot fans to stay away. After the September sighting, cryptozoology expert Steven Streufert, who owns Bigfoot Books in Willow Creek, noted to King Bigfoot the ambiguity of the photo. Dr. Richard Stepp, a former professor of physical sciences at Humboldt State University and lifelong researcher on paranormal topics, thinks the area offers a perfect cover for a large creature.
So, why isn’t Eureka taking advantage of the sighting and raking in Bigfoot tourist dollars? Safety could be a factor.
“Safety is always a top concern for the Sequoia Park Zoo. Accordingly, the new Redwood Sky Walk attraction was built to the highest possible construction standards. The new structure meets state and local safety and building codes and accounts for ADA accessibility, high winds, and even the threat of potential earthquakes. As we prepare to open the new attraction in 2021, we are working with several professional advisors, including the local department of health, to define detailed operational protocols that will further support safety, comfort, and maximum enjoyment for each of our visitors.”
The Redwood Sky Walk, located in the Sequoia Park Zoo, is a quarter-mile-long network of suspended bridges 100 feet above the forest floor, with a special “adventure leg” with square open mesh decking that will move while people walk across and allow them to feel “more exposed to the natural surroundings and more aware of their height.” Construction is nearly complete for an early 2021 opening. With the pandemic adding to the safety issues, it’s understandable that the park and the city would be concerned about visitors looking for the platform where the alleged Bigfoot was seen in a park that currently closed to the public.
So, why didn’t they just say that? Unless … that’s not the reason. Is there really a Bigfoot they’re keeping under wraps until the grand opening for a true “Eureka!” moment?