Infographic shows 3,313 sightings of Bigfoot in 92 years

Gizmodo highlights work from Josh Stevens, a PhD candidate at Penn State, who has mapped sightings of Bigfoot based on Bigfoot Field Research Org data

Sasquatch Sightings Across the US and Canada, Visualized.

Here is Josh’s web site for more: ‘Squatch Watch: 92 Years of Bigfoot Sightings in the US and Canada – Joshua Stevens.

Through archival work and reports submitted directly to their website, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization has amassed a database of thousands of sasquatch sightings. Each report is geocoded and timestamped. Occasionally, even photos and videos of the alleged evidence are included. I’m not quite sure how I stumbled across this, but I’m glad I did.

After crawling the data and converting it to a more convenient format, I mapped and graphed all 3,313 sightings that were reported from 1921 to 2013.

Josh says the analysis and map production was done in ArcGIS and then styled in Photoshop. The graph was done in Illustrator. He does not know what the data means since he is not well versed in Bigfootology but the map does look more or less like a population distribution map, as it should. There are less populated areas that are high density sightings but that is also to be expected due to the pop culture influence from Bigfoot. What does this tell us? Actually, not all that much. 3313 “sightings of bigfoot” have not been confirmed by much of any worthwhile physical evidence to back up the stories. I bet you could have mapped fairy sightings in Europe back in the day had this technology been available.

Graphic from http://www.joshuastevens.net/ Go to site for higher resolution version.

Graphic from http://www.joshuastevens.net/ Go to site for higher resolution version.

I like that we have a number on the sightings. It’s actually a bit less than I would have guessed in 92 years. My main question, why has no “bigfoot” researcher ever done this? This is commonly available software.

  16 comments for “Infographic shows 3,313 sightings of Bigfoot in 92 years

  1. September 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Over three and a quarter thousand sightings, to zero dead ones ever found is a rather poor ratio. Does not that comparative statistic prove they don’t exist?

  2. Chris Howard
    September 18, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    It would be interesting to compare these statistics with demographics on populations who hold beliefs in pseudoscience.

    My guess is that there is a correlation.

  3. September 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    It would appear ‘Squatches (I like that) have quite the range across the continent. You’d think any creature with a range like that should be as common as robins and white-tailed deer.

  4. September 18, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Well I don’t feel bad about those people who are out there “Hunting” ‘squatches anymore, obviously they are not endangered. And obviously immortal.

  5. September 18, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    US human population is about 10 times the Canadian human population, but the ratio of US to Canada sightings appears to be better than 30-to-1. With the exception of British Columbia, clusters of US sightings pretty much stop at the border.

    For instance, Michigan is thick with BF sightings, but central and southwestern Ontario are near-empty.

  6. September 18, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Terry, I think Canada has a rather tough immigration policy in regards to Bigfoot applicants.

  7. Mr. B
    September 18, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    BFRO data…. Take it for what it’s worth. Read this older post that mentions the quality of that data (and of the people behind BFRO for that matter) http://www.skepticblog.org/2009/01/01/attacked-by-bigfoot-well-by-the-bfro/

  8. September 18, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    If we calculated a minimum viable population for just a fraction of those alleged sightings, there would have to be thousands upon thousands of big hairy giants roaming frequently visited woods, and yet we don’t have one irrefutable teeny tiny type specimen to show for it. Absolutely amazing.

  9. spookyparadigm
    September 18, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    To be fair, he does note that the Pacific Northwest and a few other spots in the west have a lot more sightings than they should vs. population density. However, I don’t think this helps their case much. If it was just the temperate rain forests of the PNW, that would be one thing (it wouldn’t prove the legend, but it would be interesting).

    But according to his map, the deserts of New Mexico are also hot spots. Whereas the deserts of California, not so much. This map looks less like an ecological range, and more like a map of “Where the Wild Things Are,” a map of the American imagination of western wilderness mixed with foresty areas interspersed throughout.

    That map is the geographic equivalent of seeing a Victorian pile and saying “ooh, that’s a haunted house.”

  10. September 18, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    @lagaya1

    Since the Sierra Bigfoot kills, sasquatch now qualify for refugee protection status in Canada.

  11. September 18, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    The bigfoot population seems to correlate well with the redneck population. Wonder what the results of mirror testing would show?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_test

  12. September 19, 2013 at 3:04 AM

    It is my belief the sightings relate to access to vacation destinations such as camping, hiking, etc. Many reported sightings are just eyewitness testimony which I always find suspect. I can only speak to my own experiences as a hunter but realize many sightings are misidentified animals. You can crawl the data on BFRO all you want but if an investigator (believer) interviews a witness they are more likely to believe the reported encounter. Their job after all is to check on and verify encounters or sightings and find evidence of the existence of Sasquatch. BFRO should track two databases one, where all sightings are reported and the other, where all sightings with additional clues exist pertaining to said sightings such has footprints, video, photo, hair or scat samples. I get the feeling that over 95 percent or more of sightings in that database were submitted to the BFRO base.

    I do not consider anything from the database credible until someone actually sifts through the mounds of encounters and eliminates the ones that rely on eyewitness testimony alone.

  13. Adash
    September 19, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    Maybe if we take the sightings season by season, a Bigfoot migration pattern might emerge.

    • September 19, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      We have zero evidence that bigfoot migrate. First we must FIND them. Then we can observe their behavior. Horse before cart, please.

  14. Jon O
    September 19, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Results from passive surveillance programs (usually self-reporting), always correlate strongly with population. Epidemiologists normalize data like this by population, in order to spot underlying trends in distribution. If this were done properly, probably we’d see the bigfoot “disease” focused in the Pacific NW. I’m not trying to justify bigfoot’s existence here, just suggesting a better method of analyzing the data.

  15. September 19, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Sometimes what little we have on rare or unknown creatures is conjecture about their behavior. It helps in finding them. With that said, It puts consideration of migration in line with finding them doesn’t it?

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