A DNA test could prove the one thing that decades of grainy videos, mysterious footprints and unverified eyewitness accounts haven't -- the existence of Bigfoot.
Bigfoot researchers in California say they've obtained startling evidence, and are now trying to raise money for genetic testing on an oil residue purportedly left behind by the elusive hairy beast.
AOL Weird News has obtained exclusive photos taken recently by forensic expert Mickey Burrow, who examined the evidence, and those photos are available here for the first time.
EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS OF ALLEGED BIGFOOT RESIDUE:
At a press conference today in Fresno, Calif., the Sanger Paranormal Society reached out to the public to help come up with the needed funds to pay for a thorough analysis of DNA from an alleged Bigfoot creature.
Sanger founder Jeffrey Gonzalez presented photographs taken of strange impressions left on the windows of his pickup truck that was temporarily abandoned in a snow storm when he and several others were on a Bigfoot expedition over Memorial Day weekend in California's Sierra National Forest.
When the men returned to retrieve Gonzalez's truck, they were startled to discover the window markings -- including a large paw-like image -- and what they first thought was evidence of hair on two of the truck windows.
Gonzalez called in forensic/law enforcement photographer Mickey Burrow, who has spent 14 years as a qualified court photographic expert and crime scene processor.
"I immediately started wondering if there could be some DNA left behind, because if this thing put its face on the window, I thought there was probably DNA on there," Burrow told AOL.
"I've got the know-how. I've done it more than 5,000 times on crime scenes. In this case, I treated it like it was a vehicle that got burglarized.
"As I was looking at the windows, I told Jeff it looked like something came up to the truck, rubbed up against it, swiped along the side of it, and then just put its face up on the window and looked in -- that's what it looks like."
Burrow photographed the images left on the truck windows and collected some DNA swabs. While Gonzalez suggested one of the impressions shows a hand print, Burrow isn't convinced.
"I'm very iffy on it. To me, it looks like a paw print," he explained. "I don't think it was a primate or a biped, because it looks too much like a paw. But then again, we don't know what Bigfoot is.
"I was just looking at what I could find off the truck. I didn't find any hair or blood or prints, so we really don't know what we have that touched it. We don't know if it's a bear or a Bigfoot or a mountain lion."
Bigfoot is a legendary tall, hairy ape-like creature that has somehow defied capture and identification. Also known as Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman and Yeti, it supposedly lives in heavily forested or snow-capped mountainous regions of the world.
While most scientists deny Bigfoot's existence, decades of huge numbers of eyewitness reports, pictures and films have kept the legend alive.
Previous attempts to analyze potential Bigfoot DNA haven't resulted in anything that could be considered as the scientific find of the ages. That's why Gonzalez is being very careful about who he'll turn over his reported Bigfoot DNA to.
"We need somebody to come forward to take this DNA and get it mapped," he told AOL. "Since nobody knows what a Bigfoot is, there's no available DNA for it. But by testing this DNA, by process of elimination we can find out if it was a bear, gorilla, baboon or something else.
"If it's not any of those, and you've eliminated all the possibilities, and it's not human, then what's left?"
Burrow is looking for an objective, science-based truth.
"I would like to just find out, because it's got my interest piqued," he said. "I believe Bigfoot exists, but I don't believe it has mystical powers like many people say it does. I think it's just an unknown species that hasn't been discovered or hasn't fully evolved."
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more