It's known by many names: Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Abominable Snowman, to name a few. And it reportedly lives in extremely remote areas of North America and other countries. But just because a countless numbers of people say they've seen the great hairy beast doesn't mean it's real.
The Bigfoot controversy reared its head (or feet) many times in 2013. The debate surrounding alleged Bigfoot DNA continued from 2012; numerous videos and still images emerged of reported Bigfoots (or is that Bigfeet? We've never really figured that out.); a Texas press conference presented a group of Bigfoot researchers who claimed to show real, never-before-seen high quality videos of the legendary tall, hairy creature; there was also a series of "clear" photos showing two Bigfoot in Pennsylvania.
HuffPost even sent intrepid reporter Andy Campbell overnight into a remote area of New Jersey where he joined members of Animal Planet's "Finding Bigfoot" TV series, hunting their quarry in The Garden State.
And as 2014 begins, Bigfoot gets off with a running start. On Jan. 10, "10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty" premieres on Spike TV. Over the course of eight weeks, nine teams of two people each will be unleashed into the Pacific Northwest to attempt to find irrefutable evidence of the existence of Bigfoot -- as they all compete for a $10 million prize. Hosting the new series and keeping track of the Bigfoot trackers is former television Superman Dean Cain. The woods will never be the same again.
Here's our look back at the year in Bigfoot...
Two Alleged Bigfoot Faces - January
FacebookFindBigfoot / YouTube
As 2013 began, Bigfoot believers hoped the results of a five-year study conducted by Texas veterinarian Melba S. Ketchum would finally confirm the existence of the elusive tall, hairy creature believed to roam and live in remote areas of the world. While the DNA test results formed the basis for even more controversy about Bigfoot and raised credibility issues about Ketchum's research methods, an online group, Facebook/FindBigfoot offered recent Bigfoot images and videos. The two images here show alleged creatures from 1967 (left) and 2012 (right).
Bigfoot Videos From British Columbia #1 - July
Legend Tracker / YouTube
After a Canadian app company put out a request for videos of Bigfoot, two videos of interest were posted to YouTube. This image is from the first video, that was supposedly taken by someone who was part of a large group of Chinese tourists apparently out looking for Bigfoot in Mission, British Columbia. It's a little hard to believe that a real Bigfoot wouldn't be spooked by so many people close by. The next slide shows another reported Bigfoot from the same area.
Bigfoot Videos From British Columbia #2 - July
Legend Tracker / YouTube
This is a still image from a video reportedly showing Bigfoot at a distance. According to the description given with the video, a couple that was hiking on a road above a lake in Mission, British Columbia, saw something moving, standing and walking at some distance away from them. But they were able to capture a few seconds of it on video.
Sleeping Bigfoot - October
SasquatchGenomeProject.org / YouTube
A team of Bigfoot researchers held a press conference in Dallas, Texas, in October, promising to show "never-before-seen, high definition video of Bigfoot." The various video clips they offered weren't exactly high def. The image above, from one of the videos, reportedly shows a sleeping Bigfoot (in 2005). It would have been nice if the public had been shown the rest of the video, to see what happened when, at some point, the creature woke up. The video left many questions unanswered.
Two Bigfoot In Pennsylvania #1 - October
In early October, pictures emerged from Pennsylvania where John Stoneman said he was driving his car through Kinzua State Park when he saw not one, but two large hairy creatures in the woods. He took photographs of what, at first glance, looks like an apelike creature standing behind trees. Is this the real deal Bigfoot or perhaps something far more simple? The next slide may shed some light on this.
Two Bigfoot In Pennsylvania #2 - October
If the previous slide had you about ready to buy some camouflage clothing and expensive camera equipment to begin your Pennsylvania Bigfoot hunt, you might want to reconsider. After HuffPost presented photos taken by John Stoneman that allegedly showed two Bigfoot creatures, we heard from someone calling himself/herself "Tipster," claiming to have a photo (above) that proves the alleged Bigfoot was nothing more than a tree stump, calling the original photos "a scam." Neither Stoneman nor Tipster returned calls from HuffPost to continue the dialogue.
HuffPost Hunts For Bigfoot In New Jersey - October
Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
Never let it be said that intrepid HuffPost reporter Andy Campbell isn't up to the task of spending a night in a remote area of New Jersey looking for Bigfoot. Andy joined Cliff Barackman and Tyler Bounds -- team members of Animal Planet's "Finding Bigfoot" -- to spend the night at the Franklin Parker Reserve of New Jersey, armed with some high-tech equipment and night vision scope attached to a video camera. As they stumbled through a field, they heard a splash, and Andy quickly turned just in time to see...a beaver. There's always next time, maybe next year. Meantime, if you'd like to join the hunt for Bigfoot, without leaving the comfort and warmth of home, get some snacks together, sit in front of your computer and start watching Animal Planet's live, 24-hour Bigfoot Cam. We wouldn't kid you about a thing like that.