Where Bigfoot Walks is a spectacular, moving, and witty narrative exploration of not only the phenomenon of Bigfoot, but also the human need to believe that something is out there beyond the campfire, and that wildness remains as well.
Awarded a Guggenheim to investigate the legends of Sasquatch, Robert Pyle trekked into the unprotected wilderness of the Dark Divide near Mount St. Helens, where he discovered both a giant fossil footprint and recent tracks. He searched out Indians who told him of an outcast tribe, the Seeahtiks, who had not fully evolved into humans. He attended Sasquatch Daze, where he met scientists, hunters, and others who have devoted their lives to the search, and realized that “these guys don’t want to find Bigfoot—they want to be Bigfoot!” A handful of open-minded biologists and anthropologists countered the tabloids he studied, while rogue Forest Service employees and loggers swore of an industry conspiracy to deep-six accounts of unknown, upright hominoid apes among us.
In the end, Pyle concludes that if we can hang on to a sizeable hunk of Bigfoot habitat, we will at least have a fragment of the greatest green treasure the temperate world has ever known. If we do not, Bigfoot, real or imagined, will vanish; and with it will flee the others who dwell in that world. “Looking at that tangled land,” he writes, “one can just about accept that Sasquatch could coexist with towns and loggers and hunters and hikers, all in proportion. But when the topography is finally tamed outright, no one will anymore imagine that giants are abroad on the land.”
In the years since publication, the author’s fresh experiences and finds—detailed in an all-new chapter which includes an evaluation of recent DNA evidence from Bigfoot hair and scat, the study of speech phonemes in the “Sierra Sounds” purported Bigfoot recordings, Pyle’s examination of the impact of the wildly popular Animal Planet series Bigfoot Hunters, the reemergence of the famous Bob Gimlin into the Bigfoot community, and more—have kept his own mind wide open to one of the biggest questions in the land.