Over the years, numerous Bigfoot sightings have been recorded in the Pacific Northwest and countless first-hand accounts from further afield too. The majority of mainstream scientists have discounted the existence and any testimonies given, considering it to be a combination of misidentification and hoaxes. However, conspiracy theorists were handed a glimmer of hope this week when 22 pages of declassified documents showed the FBI had investigated samples said to have come from a mystery creature.
The papers, from the Seventies, revealed the correspondence between the US federal agency and the Bigfoot Information Centre and Exhibition in Oregon.
They also discuss samples supplied to the FBI by Oregon Bigfoot-enthusiast Peter Byrne.
Mr Byrne sent government scientists 15 hairs attached to a piece of skin, that he said came from Bigfoot and begged for them to take a closer look.
In one letter, assistant FBI director Jay Cochran agreed to test the sample in the “interest of research and scientific enquiry”.
Mr Cochran wrote: “We do not often come across hair which we are unable to identify and the hair that we now have, about 15 hairs attached to a tiny piece of skin, is the first that we have obtained in six years which we feel may be of importance.”
The sample was not from Bigfoot though, but a much more surprising animal instead.
According to the documents, the hairs instead were “determined to be from a member of the deer family”.
The samples were returned to Byrne and the FBI’s brief investigation was closed in 1977.
However, according to Mr Byme, who is now 93 years old, the surprising results did not crush his mission to prove the existence of the mythical creature.
He told CNBC it was “a great challenge,” but he is still actively looking for the creature even now.
Various explanations have been suggested for the sightings of Bigfoot over the years.
Some scientists typically attribute them to be misidentifications of large animals such as black bears.
In 2007, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organisation shocked the world when they put forward some photos which they claimed showed a juvenile Bigfoot.
The images caused a storm online, but the Pennsylvania Game Commission were quick to claim that the photos were of a bear with as skin disease.
The photo caused arguments among scientists, with some claiming the limb proportion of the creature was not bear-like.
However, both Bigfoot believers and sceptics agree that many of the reported sightings are hoaxes.