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‘Class A’ Bigfoot Report Reveals Little about the Beast—and Much about the Seekers

[ SKEPTICAL INQUIREE

Benjamin Radford is a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and author or coauthor of several books, including Investigating Ghosts: The Scientific Search for Spirits.

Q: I heard about a Bigfoot sighting not far from here. It happened a few years ago. There was a team of firefighters working on the Tres Lagunas fire in northern New Mexico. They saw a Bigfoot not far away, out in the open during the daytime, and it couldn’t have been a deer or bear. What do you think about that case?

—Michelle M.

A: I was asked the above question at a local writer’s group meeting by a fellow writer who heard some of my book subjects (including lake monsters and the chupacabra). I replied that I hadn’t heard of that specific sighting, but that I’d look into it. She seemed slightly surprised that I—as a New Mexico–based Bigfoot researcher of some minor renown— wasn’t familiar with such a significant, credible sighting in our home state.

Much of the Land of Enchantment is of course desert—and thus not an ideal habitat for a group of large creatures that presumably hide from scrutiny under the verdant canopy of the densely forested Pacific Northwest and other sylvan regions—but there are several forests and remote areas with water and food that could theoretically support large unknown animals. Occasional reports, none of them particularly credible, have emerged about Bigfoot sightings in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque (not far from where SI Editor Ken Frazier lives) and farther north. The Tres Lagunas fire she referred to was started by a tree falling on a power line on May 30, 2013, that burned 10,200 acres of land in the Pecos Canyon area of northern New Mexico over the course of three weeks.

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