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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch: Humans need to believe in something

Jayce Freeman
Ethan Hoover is a believer in the myths, largely driven by the beauty of what is not known.

He lumbers beside the rushing creek, trampling the foliage and treading the rocky path without a break in his pace.

He does not care about the two men on horseback who are recording him. Towering over 9 feet tall and weighing about 12,000 pounds, he could crush those men without breaking a sweat if he felt threatened. He lets them live though, for he is just as curious about them as they are about him.

He has been known by many names: Sasquatch, Yeti, The Woodsman, Am Fear Liath Mòr and Skunk Ape. But he is most commonly known as Bigfoot.

While there have been numerous debates, articles, investigations and opinion pieces on whether Bigfoot exists or not, for me, the more interesting factor is why people want to believe in Bigfoot.

Ethan Hoover is a junior agricultural science major at Mississippi State University who justifies his belief in Bigfoot with the different myths and religions around the world.

“When you look at all the cultures across the world that have stories of things like Bigfoot, it’s kind of hard to say that there for sure isn’t anything out there,” Hoover said. “If you look back, there’s like an Australian Bigfoot. There are stories of Bigfoot in America.” 

According to native website Native Languages, numerous indigenous tribes across America hold legends of different hairy giants that roamed the wilderness, from the solitary Woodsmen of the Alaskan Ahtna to the Choctaw’s man-eating Shampe. Many of these stories have been passed down orally for thousands of years as a deep-rooted part of their cultures and belief systems, similar to how our parents pass their religious beliefs down to us.

Hoover stated his personal opinion that mankind is driven by the concept of the unknown.

“I think the the concept of not knowing everything there is to know makes the world a more exciting place for me,” Hoover said. “The fact that there’s just some stuff that can’t explain everything is a little more enjoyable for me.”

There is truth to this belief, as it can arguably be applied to everything else in the world around us.

Faith is believing in something even if you cannot explain it. It is taking a stab in the dark, risking the chance that you are wrong and trusting in something that may be difficult to fully comprehend.

Religions are founded by the idea that some higher being created us, that we have a higher calling and our lives truly matter in some cosmic way that we have yet to understand.

Even science, for as much as it tries to find a logical explanation for everything, is founded on the idea of discovering an explanation for the unknown mysteries of the universe.

However, just because we are fascinated by the existence of Sasquatches does not mean that we should actively go looking for them.

“I would love more than anything to be able to experience and encounter,” Hoover said. “But I think the open-endedness of the possibility of Bigfoot existing is more exhilarating than if we’d see them.”

While it would be interesting from a scientific standpoint to find an actual Sasquatch, to run tests on it and see how such a creature could exist on a biological level, to do so would be a disservice to those who view him as more than an unexplained creature.

Once you find Bigfoot, there is no reason to ever go looking for him again.

Bigfoot is not just a monster in the woods. He is a mythological creature, a protector of the forest, a murderous demon or a cunning natural spirit depending on what mythology or religion you follow. Once you strip away the smoke and shadows of the mystique, you lose the appeal.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone whose cultural beliefs include Bigfoot. Just like many religions and cultures all over the world, there is a constant longing to believe in and have faith in the existence of something we may never fully comprehend.

We all need to accept that there are things out there that we will never truly be able to understand, and this fact should not frighten us.

In my eyes, humanity needs to believe in something greater than us, something beyond our control or understanding, whether it is the belief that we are not alone in the universe, the existence of God and the afterlife or something as simple as ape-men in the woods.

At the end of the day, I want to have faith in something. I want to believe.

About the Contributor
Michael Cassidy
Michael Cassidy, Staff Writer
Michael Cassidy is a senior communication major. Michael is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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