If you’re planning a road trip along the west coast of America and have a few days to spend in Portland, Oregon, we’re here to make sure you have a good time. There are plenty of places to visit in Oregon so you’re certainly not going to be stuck for things to do, but if you fancy an activity that’s slightly out of the ordinary, we might have just the thing for you.
Bigfoot, Sasquatch – or whatever you want to call the enigmatic man-ape – has been regularly sighted across North America for the last 200 years, although the oldest account of Bigfoot dates all the way back to 986 AD. Despite the frequent sightings, scientists tend to dismiss its existence, claiming it to be merely part folklore, part misidentification and part myth.
If you find yourself in Oregon, the good news is that the region is known for its reported Bigfoot sightings, so much so in fact that Oregon Route 224, which heads south-east from Portland into the Cascades mountain range, has been coined the Oregon Bigfoot Highway. So, buckle up and get your binoculars ready as we go in search of this very shy beast.
That’s a good question, and one we still have no definitive answer to. Scientists believe the significant number of sightings to be the result of misidentification or hoax, but there is no conclusive evidence.
A Texas veterinarian conducted a study of supposed Bigfoot DNA samples a few years ago and claimed she had proof that Bigfoot is a “human relative that arose approximately 15,000 years ago as a hybrid cross between homo sapiens and an unknown primate species”. However, not a single scientific journal would publish the results. In 2013, the team announced that their research had been published, but it was found that the particular journal had been registered online just nine days before the announcement. The Bigfoot research was also the only content on the site.
Systematic genetic analysis of 30 hair samples that were suspected to be from Bigfoot have proven to be from common animals such as bears, dogs, coyotes and horses. Only one of the samples was found to be primate in origin, and that was identified as a human hair.
Serious investigation into the existence of Bigfoot has been dogged by misidentifications and, worse, dozens of hoaxes. The first hoax dates back to 1884, with a newspaper report of an apelike creature being captured in British Colombia.
More recently, in 2005, a long-time Bigfoot enthusiast claimed he had captured Bigfoot and was organising a pay-per-view television event to prove it. However, he was later forced to admit there was no captive Bigfoot and the show was cancelled.
In 2008, two Bigfoot hunters claimed to have discovered the body of a dead Sasquatch, only for it to be discovered that the head was hollow, the hair was fake and the feet were made from rubber.
As for sightings which have not been hoaxes, various creatures have been used to explain away Bigfoot sightings over the years, with many sightings of tracks and animals walking on their hind legs attributed to black bears.
So, have there been any Bigfoot sightings that have not been a misidentification or hoax? The simple answer is that we don’t know. However, about a third of all Bigfoot sightings originate from the Pacific Northwest. So, if Bigfoot is roaming the forests, you’re certainly in the right place to see it.
If you want to stay the night in this Bigfoot sighting hotspot, there are certainly plenty of good hotels in Portland to choose from. Whether you prefer a downtown hotel in the city’s cultural centre, a guesthouse in the leafy streets of the northwest, or something a little more upscale and stylish in the Pearl District, you’re sure to find somewhere to lay your head.
Although there are no direct flights from the UK to Portland, Oregon, there are a whole range of indirect cheap flights to Portland from airports around the UK. These flights will stop somewhere in the US or Canada and you can fly onto your final destination from there.
If you’re planning to travel Oregon’s Bigfoot Highway, the best way to do so is by car. If you rent a car in Portland you’ll be able to tackle the terrain on your own terms, and spend as much time as you like trying to catch a glimpse of the big man himself.