The FBI releases its file on Bigfoot

The FBI releases its file on Bigfoot

Release consists of the Bureau laboratory’s 1976 analysis of hair and tissue allegedly belonging to the “legendary creature of the Pacific Northwest mountains”

Written by
Edited by Beryl Lipton

Release consists of the Bureau laboratory’s 1976 analysis of hair and tissue allegedly belonging to the elusive woodland creature

Shortly after lunchtime on what was shaping up to be a relatively uneventful Wednesday, the @FBIRecordsVault Twitter account - which posts sporadic updates to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s FOIA reading room - tweeted out the following.

And with that, the Wednesday officially became eventful.

The 22-page release consists largely of correspondence between Peter Byrne (dubbed one of the Four Horsemen of Sasquatchery) of the Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition and Jay Cochran, Jr., Assistant Director of the FBI’s Laboratory Division. Byrne first reached out to Cochran in August 1976, asking if Cochran could either confirm or deny the numerous stories within the Bigfoot community that hairs had been sent to the Bureau’s labs for analysis.

Cochran wrote back a couple weeks later, noting that, similar to the rumors surrounding the FBI’s possession of Nikola Tesla’s secret research, the Bureau often received such inquiries and had no record of any analysis every having taken place.

In November, Byrne wrote Cochran again, thanking him for clarifying the matter … and then immediately asked if the FBI would actually be able to analyze some recently discovered hair and skin tissue.

Surprisingly, Cochran agreed to the request, explaining that while the FBI Laboratory is primarily focused on criminal investigations, Bureau policy is to make exceptions in cases of legitimate scientific inquiry.

(And lest you think that “legitimate scientific inquiry” line was snark on our part, that’s a direct quote from internal memos recommending that Byrne’s request be granted.)

Byrne followed Cochran’s instructions on how to send the samples to the laboratory …

which determined in February of 1977 that they, in fact, did not belong to “the legendary creature of the Pacific Northwest mountains,” but a deer.

Cochran passed on the rather anticlimactic findings to Byrne’s colleague at the Academy of Applied Science, as Byrne was out of the country at the time … searching for the Yeti. Byrne never wrote the FBI again, and the file ends there.

It’s unclear if the release was in response to a request or if the Bureau was just saving them for a slow news day. An additional request has been filed for all unprocessed records, and in the meantime, you can read the full release embedded below.

Image via Wikimedia Commons