For researchers defending the existence of Bigfoot, a huge creature that’s hiding right in our own backyards, the lack of hard evidence is a big problem. Sure, we’ve got plenty of plaster casts, too many blurry photos and shaky videos to count, and we’ve even got loads of frightening audio recordings, but despite these and hundreds – if not thousands – of reported Sasquatch sightings each and every year, we still can’t find a body. Well, there is an answer to the biggest problem of Bigfoot, and it’s one that’s troubling for the Sasquatch believers who consist mainly of rugged outdoorsman and analytical scientists: Bigfoot is a ghost.
Those words are equivalent to heresy in Bigfoot investigation circles. In fact, as strange as it might seem, I’ve even lost friends for saying that Bigfoot is a ghost, with enraged squatchers convinced I’m making light of their weekends in the forest. I can assure you, though, that I’m dead serious. There is a stranger element to Sasquatch sightings, and for paranormal researchers, these anomalies tick a lot of familiar boxes. You see, the reason we can’t find flesh and blood evidence of Bigfoot is because he’s not a flesh and blood creature, at least not any longer.
Since its inception, the Bigfoot Field Research Organization has collected over 3,000 well-documented reports of Bigfoot all over North America, and those numbers don’t count the whispered stories told after a few drinks. Animal Planet’s flagship series Finding Bigfoot is creeping up on a 100-episode milestone, amateur Sasquatch hunting groups have set up shop in every corner of the country, and annual events like the Ohio Bigfoot Conference attract thousands of people from around the world to attend lectures by well-respected university professors who consider the existence of a North American Man-Ape a completely logical conclusion.
Bigfoot peddles beef jerky in the immensely popular Jack Link’s advertisements
From starring roles Harry and the Hendersons to moonlighting as a spokesman for Jack’s Links Jerky, Bigfoot has become a bonafide pop culture icon. Yet despite all of the television shows, research groups, and actual scientists invested in Bigfoot’s existence, we still can’t find any solid evidence that he even exists.
As a paranormal investigator who doesn’t confine himself to one facet of the unexplained, I’m in a unique position to notice “crossover phenomena” that researchers who segregate themselves can’t help but miss. These crossover phenomena exist between reports of all manner of strange encounters, but thanks to a lack of communication between Bigfoot trackers, ghost hunters, UFO investigators, psychics, and other fringe researchers, they’re largely ignored if not altogether unseen.
The Bigfoot-ghost connection might seem like an offhand joke or a great Weekly World News headline, but to those of us who research both phenomena, the connection is obvious. Long swaths of Bigfoot tracks often stop in the middle of nowhere, almost as if the creature leaving them simply disappeared. Strange electronic malfunctions plague researchers during critical moments. Mysterious lights accompany Bigfoot sightings but are omitted from official reports. Photos of the creature are nearly always blurry, witnesses report temporary mental aberrations during encounters, and not a single fur, scat, or flesh sample has returned from the lab without pointing toward a mundane animal. Put simply, we’re looking at the Sasquatch phenomena in the wrong way.
Paranormal researchers Dana Matthews and Greg Newkirk search for Bigfoot in NY 
My first inkling that there was a stranger element to giant apes roaming North America occurred in the summer of 2006, during my very first Bigfoot hunt. At this point, I’d been ghost hunting for seven years, and while I’d dipped my toes into UFO investigation and psychic phenomena research, the cryptozoological was a world still unexplored for me. That all changed in while standing in line at the grocery store.
Ironically enough, I was flipping through the Weekly World News when I saw a classified ad (believe it or not, the classified ads were the only real thing about the paper) placed by a Bigfoot researcher by the name of Tim Holmes. To my surprise, the man was local and maintained an office in Elmira, NY, just a twenty minute drive from where I lived. After a few phone calls to my ghost hunting team and a visit to the Elmira Bigfoot Watch offices, we arranged a hunt on Connecticut Hill, in Alpine, New York – our first ever Bigfoot investigation.
The Elmira Bigfoot Watch’s Tim Holmes on the hunt for Sasquatch 
An ex merchant marine who claims he literally fist-fought Bigfoot while stationed in the Philippines, Tim was as legendary as the creature he sought, at least in his hometown. A cross between Elmer Fudd and Rambo, Tim had a penchant for carrying loaded weapons into the forest and trash-talking other Bigfoot researchers. Fortunately, Becky Sawyer, his biker-chick sidekick, was far more interested in collecting evidence of the creature than blasting it with a shotgun. The two of them made an odd couple, but there was one thing they shared: an intense fear of Bigfoot.
As we explored Connecticut Hill, an area locals referred to as the “Alpine Portal”, the duo would tense up as they described the reports that filtered out of the area. Campsites were attacked by massive creatures, mysterious green lights hovered in the treetops, and strange electromagnetic fields would temporary disable electronics. Neither Tim nor Becky attributed the strange lights or electromagnetic malfunctions to Bigfoot, but instead saw the creature’s appearance in the area as a testament of the Alpine Portal’s ability to draw weirdness.
This outing eventually became the basis for The Bigfoot Hunter: Still Searching, a micro budget documentary that followed the exploits of Tim and Becky as they took us into the New York hills in pursuit of the creature. The entire shoot was, for lack of a better word, ridiculous. We found prints, we staged recreations, and we even had a brush with what Tim and Becky believed was Bigfoot. After something began to toss rocks at us from a thick patch of pine trees at the edge of a clearing, Tim cocked his shotgun and urged our team to stay out of the “kill zone” as the trees shook. In retrospect, not much had occurred in terms of evidence collection, but their fear was real.
Stranger though, were the scenes that we had cut from the documentary because they were just too weird. In one such clip, Becky described to us how she came face-to-face with a Sasquatch in the Alpine Portal, only to suddenly awake in the woods several hours later. Bigfoot had hypnotized her. In another interview, Tim hints that Bigfoot has a habit of randomly “disappearing”, as if he’s vanished in thin air. These clips didn’t fit with Tim and Becky’s insistence that Sasquatch was a flesh and blood creature that could be tracked – and killed – like any normal animal, so I left them on the cutting room floor and moved on. Knowing then what I know now, I’d not just have left these scenes in the film, I’d have expanded on them.
Bigfoot researcher Dallas Gilbert shares evidence with paranormal investigator Greg Newkirk 
In 2012, six years after my adventure in the Alpine Portal, my wife and investigative partner Dana and I sought to have a different kind of Bigfoot experience with Dallas & Wayne, two good old boys from Portsmouth, Ohio. This duo had friendlier approach to Sasquatch in contrast to the one Tim Holmes employed. They didn’t carry weapons into the woods and they didn’t give chase. Instead, they claimed to have developed a friendship with these creatures, making regular offerings of marshmallows and meat, acclimating themselves to the wilderness, and even entertaining Bigfoot with sing-a-longs by huge bonfires.
With an approach to Sasquatch that was more Jane Goodall than Harambe, it’s hard to believe that anyone could dislike Dallas and Wayne, but in Bigfoot investigation circles, they were downright reviled. Labeled as kooks, crazies, and frauds by their peers, associating with Dallas and Wayne was seen as an affront to Sasquatch investigation, and those who had done so were quickly labeled the same and ostracized from the community of “serious” researchers. Why? Because Dallas and Wayne believed some pretty strange things about Bigfoot.
Dallas Gilbert stands beside the Bigfoot research van in “The Boneyard” 
Dallas, a reiki master with a thick southern accent, believed that Bigfoot existed between worlds, and used portals to pop in and out of our realm. His office was lined with thousands of pixellated photographs that he claimed contained the creature, and perhaps most startlingly, he claimed that Bigfoot had telepathically taught him a sacred language that could summon the Sasquatch when spoken. Wayne, a giant of a man with “born wild” tattooed on his hands, had the self-proclaimed best Bigfoot call in the world, but largely took a backseat when it came to Dallas’ wild theories, save for the time he accidentally walked through a Bigfoot portal and found himself in a prehistoric world.
As crazy as their beliefs about Bigfoot might have been, they were nothing if not successful in their attempts to get up close and personal with Bigfoot. Those researchers who risked their reputations to spend a weekend at “The Boneyard”, D&W’s research hotspot deep in the West Virginia mountains, came away stunned by their close encounters, often returning with audio recordings of whoops and howls that couldn’t be identified. To many of the so-called “serious researchers” who shunned Dallas and Wayne, this kind of evidence could never be captured by “two hillbillies with kooky beliefs”, so they wrote it all off as a hoax and moved on.
As paranormal investigators, Dana and I had no real stake in the greater Bigfoot research community, so we grabbed a couple friends, jumped in the van, and put our reputations on the line and hit the woods of West Virginia with the quirky duo for a weekend. Four years later, we still have a hard time processing what we experienced.
Dallas, compelled by greater forces to pass on the so-called Bigfoot language to Dana, taught her the series of sacred words, making her promise to use them only for good. That night, she put them to use around the campfire, and something very strange occurred. As we listened to the echo of Dana’s voice bounce through the nearby mountains, we all gasped as we watched a bright green flash illuminate the sky above us, like a meteor entering the atmosphere. We’d barely had time to respond to the mysterious light before massive, booming shrieks came thundering from the forest, first from one side of the campfire, then from the other. Whatever was making these noises, there were several of them, and they were closing in.
Frankly, I was terrified. We all were. None of us had ever heard anything like it before, and after spending an afternoon listening to Dallas and Wayne fill our heads with tales about telepathic communication, transdimensional entities, and portals to prehistoric worlds, we hadn’t exactly remained open minded. When the strange noises echoed through the forest, we short-circuited, and while Dallas and Wayne positioned their cameras, they looked at us and laughed. This was a response they’d experienced a lot.
Paranormal Investigators Dana Matthews and Nick Foust hear distant Sasquatch Howls 
For the next two hours, we huddled around the fire as the howls continued. Occasionally small rocks were tossed at us from the trees, and once, the sound of something very big came charging in our direction from the tree line, only for Wayne to stand up from his chair and run toward it, sending it rushing back into the forest. If this had been a set up, it was a good one – too good for any of us to believe a couple of Bigfoot hunters from a depressed coal mining town could stage with any believability.
We’d later send the audio we’d recorded to every nature, Bigfoot, and audio expert we could scrounge. None of them could explain the howls or pin them to any known animal, but one thing was for certain: whatever had produced them had a massive lung capacity, bigger than any animal known to roam Ohio.
A year or so after our experience at the Boneyard, we were recalling our adventures with Dallas and Wayne to our good friend and long-time paranormal researcher John E.L. Tenney. I’d briefly mentioned the strange green flash we’d seen before the mysterious howls fired up when he stopped me. “Did they look kind of like fireballs?” he asked. As it turns out, the “green flash” is a fairly common phenomena, and for a time, was seriously studied by paranormal investigators from all corners of the unexplained.
The more I dug into the green flash phenomena, the more interesting things got. These mysterious lights popped up in loads of reports connected to everything from ghost sightings, to UFO experiences, to, believe it or not, Bigfoot encounters. Most often, the green flash was reported as an afterthought, as if the primary phenomena experienced by witnesses was so stunning that the flash was nearly forgotten in the commotion. Even Tim Holmes had mentioned green lights hovering over the Alpine Portal.
I began to go through my own files, realizing that my old ghost hunting team had reported the mysterious green flash several times, often as a precursor to paranormal activity. We weren’t alone, either. Fellow investigators had reported ghosts appearing and disappearing in flashes of emerald light, of entire rooms spontaneously illuminating in shades of green, and even glowing, free-floating globules that appeared to have a mind of their own. This phenomena, though, was widely ignored.
How did this strange phenomena tie into both ghosts and Bigfoot? For the first time, I started to consider whether or not the two might be related, and before long, I started to find countless connections between Bigfoot reports and ghost sightings. When the reports are collected, the data reviewed, and the barriers between research removed, the crossover phenomena are hard to ignore.
Ghost hunters have long lamented the strange ability of spirits to kill electronic equipment, whether it be draining fresh batteries in a matter of minutes, causing camera malfunctions during critical moments, or even straight up frying electronics. Turns out, this is something many Bigfoot hunters have experienced as well. In fact, back in 1993, the Bigfoot Research Project, the first serious attempt to capture Sasquatch on trail cameras, made use of a direct video feed fed into an off-site VHS recorder, and was plagued by mysterious problems with its electronic gear, causing numerous issues when it came to capturing evidence.
Ghost hunters have also often reported the feeling of being hypnotized by sightings of a spirit. Whether attributed to fear or a supernatural force, the strange feeling of being frozen in fear for minutes or hours tends to be a strange side-effect of brushes with the paranormal. Again, this is also an effect described by Sasquatch researchers during Bigfoot encounters, often referred to as the “invisible wall” effect, or “the tingles”.
The answer to the biggest problem with Sasquatch – an almost total lack of hard evidence – was suddenly clear: Bigfoot is a ghost.
This became a line that Dana and I started saying a lot to anyone who would listen. It sounds crazy, for sure, but when the evidence is laid out, it’s hard not to see it as a convincing argument for the biggest problems of the Bigfoot phenomena. It was convincing enough that in the fall of 2015, we were contacted by the producers of Finding Bigfoot. After 80+ episodes, they were finally going to discuss the dirty secret of squatching: that many reported Bigfoot sightings took on paranormal qualities. As two of the only paranormal investigators openly discussing the connections between Sasquatch encounters and ghost sightings, they wanted our help.
Paranormal investigators Greg Newkirk & Dana Matthews meet the cast of Finding Bigfoot 
In November of 2015, Dana and I were standing in the shadow of California’s Mt. Shasta, meeting the Finding Bigfoot team for the first time. The question we’ve been asked the most about the show is how real it is, and we can assure you, both the cast and the production crew are serious about what they do. They really do intend to “find Bigfoot” as best they can with a production crew in toe, and the researchers featured in the series are the real deal, so much so, in fact, that they couldn’t take any of our crazy theories seriously. Well, most of them, anyway. Only James ‘Bobo’ Fey was willing to entertain wild ideas about ghostly Bigfoot, so for nearly the entire shoot, he saddled up with us as we investigated some of the strangest Sasquatch sightings in Northern California.
After the sun had set and we were setting up for the first night investigation in French Gulch, a Bigfoot hotspot tucked away in the mountains, Dana and I were climbing into our POV camera rigs when we heard the crew gasp. We turned our eyes to the sky and watched it light up in a bright green flash that came from just beyond the mountain ridge. Dana and I looked at one another and knew that we were in for a good night.
What you see and hear in the episode is pretty much how it all went down, save for a few small things that were cut for time. Dana performed the sacred language she’d been gifted by Dallas, we all heard some strange vocalizations that replied to our own calls, and Bobo did deem the evening as “pretty squatchy”, but there’s one thing about that night that was never shown: the incredible amount of technical issues that plagued the overnight shoot.
While we trekked through the forests of French Gulch, brand new batteries were sucked dry in minutes, meticulous camera settings were mysteriously wiped clean, GoPros malfunctioned, SD cards were corrupted, and audio equipment malfunctioned. According to the executive producer, Finding Bigfoot had never had nearly so many technical problems on any of their previous 88 shoots. Jokingly, the crew blamed it on the “paranormal weirdos”, but to Dana and I, they were at least partially right. Finding Bigfoot had finally decided to approach the paranormal phenomena that surrounds Bigfoot sightings, and they were getting exactly what they asked for. If Bigfoot is a ghost, he was certainly trying to let us know.
In the days that followed, we interviewed eyewitnesses who claimed they’d watched Bigfoot disappear into thin air, some who claimed they’d seen strange lights in the sky during their encounters, and even wore magick talismans as we took part in guided meditation in a sacred Native American cave (what happened during that meditation is a story of its own for another time), but the interview that stuck with us the most was with a woman by the name of Kathleen Odom. Kathleen is a trance-medium, but while most trance-mediums claim to channel the dead, the demonic, and even beings from the far reaches of outer space, Kathleen told us that she could channel Sasquatch.
About a week before we were scheduled to interview Kathleen, she allowed us to submit questions that, she claimed, might be answered by a spokesperson for the Sasquatch themselves if they were deemed appropriate. Dana and I have spoken to a number of trance-mediums over the years, but channeling a Bigfoot was new to us. We attempted to keep an open mind, wrote down nearly two dozen of our most burning questions, and fired them off to Kathleen. Turns out, the Sasquatch liked our inquisitive nature, and we received some pretty strange answers that only made us more invested in the theory that Bigfoot is a ghost.
“The first question that Greg and Dana had was, ‘are you familiar with what we, the hairless ones, refer to as ghosts, and can you tell us where they come from?” Odom told the crew. “Sasquatch said, ‘ghost, as you call it, are like our people. No body make easier to travel, as you call it.'”
Ok, off to an interesting start. According to Kathleen’s channeling sessions, Bigfoot are at least ghost-like.
“The next question that you had was, ‘many people who claim to encounter the Sasquatch people have reported seeing a bright green flash of light – can you tell us what this green light is?’ The Sasquatch said, ‘when our people come to you from another place, green flash happens. When we go back to other place, green flash happens.'”
Dana and I looked at one another knowingly, and the crew, having just witnessed the green flashes for themselves, exchanged wide-eyed glances of their own.
“See thats what they do,” Kathleen said, matter-of-factly, “when they go between the dimension like that, they are refining their energy. It’s a higher vibration.”
Whether you put stock in psychic mediums or not, the comments about the green flash were pretty interesting. All of our research up until now had pointed at the mysterious green flashes being a precursor to paranormal activity. Hell, most of the show’s production crew had witnessed it for themselves just a few nights before, so to hear it come from the mouth of a woman unfamiliar with our thoughts on the matter was intriguing, at the very least.
As we prepared to leave the crystal shop where Kathleen gave us her impressions, she gave us one last piece of advice on dealing with the Sasquatch: intention is everything. This echoed a sentiment that Dana and I have been employing in our long-term investigations, and its one we’ve always believed has an affect on the paranormal as a whole.
James “Bobo” Fey and paranormal investigator Dana Matthews search for Bigfoot in CA 
Our next night investigation took place at Castle Crags, and while the excitement was mostly due to being stalked by a bear and finding a glowing mushroom (which might go a long way toward explaining some of the strange glowing orbs reported in the Castle Crags area), Bigfoot didn’t seem to be interested in us that night, but a long hike with Bobo was the perfect time to lay out my thoughts on Sasquatch.
While he’s easily the most open to the paranormal of the Finding Bigfoot team, Bobo was still a tough sell, believing Bigfoot to be a flesh and blood creature through and through. Still, I pressed the idea that Bigfoot was a ghost, and you can see, that for a split second, Bobo actually considered that it made sense.
I’m don’t know whether Finding Bigfoot will continue to seek out paranormal cases, but the fact that they dedicated an entire two hour special to the idea that Bigfoot could be a ghost is a very big deal. The idea is out there, and its spreading. Since the episode aired, we’re regularly approached by Bigfoot witnesses who were once too scared to relay their experiences because they didn’t line up to the usual reports. I suspect that we’ll see a lot more mainstream paranormal researchers – and Bigfoot investigators – publicly declaring that Bigfoot is a ghost very soon
Even longtime, credible cryptozoologists are warming up to the idea that Bigfoot is more than flesh and flood. Just a few months ago, Linda Godfrey, the OG of dogman investigators known for introducing the infamous Beast of Bray Road story to the world, caught our “Bigfoot is a Ghost” lecture at Michigan Paracon. Afterwards, she told me that she was preparing to drop a new book that covered many reports from the fringes of cryptozoology, including the elusive Green Flash phenomena. Still, even she was a bit nervous as to how these stories would be received.
While the “Bigfoot is a ghost” theory is starting to become more well-received, I still can’t blame researchers for being hesitant to embrace it. While at the Ohio Bigfoot Conference earlier this year, Dana and I were in the middle of a great conversation with a local Sasquatch hunter when we decided to float the idea only to be shut down immediately. “I don’t do woo-woo,” harumphed the man who had just demonstrated to us the best way to whack a tree with a stick in order to draw a giant, prehistoric man-ape out of the forest. I’m not saying that we might not be wrong in our theories, but that kind of lack of self-awareness is far more harmful to Bigfoot research than embracing new ideas ever will be.
For skeptics, the idea that Sasquatch encounters might involve non-corporeal entities will always be bunk, but for those of us actually seeking out the unexplained in all corners of the paranormal world, approaching Bigfoot as a ghost solves the biggest problems that the cryptozoological creature presents. Lack of conclusive hair, skin, or bones – hell, lack of an entire body? You won’t find one, save for the fossil record. Tracks that suddenly disappear mid-stride? It was just doing its ghostly thing, disappearing into thin air. Electronic malfunctions, hypnotized witnesses, and missing time? Fatigue from prolonged exposure to intense electromagnetic fluctuations. I could go on and on, but the correlations are all there for those who look. Bigfoot is a ghost.
The fact is, there’s just as much evidence for the ghostly connection to Bigfoot reports as there is for the existence of the creature, and to be perfectly fair, the fact that so many people have continued to report encounters with a creature this massive is, by the very definition of the word, paranormal. Ignoring the connection is only hindering the search.
If you really want to find Bigfoot, swap the tree knocker for an EMF meter once in awhile. You might be surprised how close you get.
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