Click here to support the Daily Grail for as little as $1/month on Patreon
Map of All Bigfoot/Sasquatch Sightings in the United States

Map of Bigfoot Sightings Provides Interesting Insights

The growth in computing power, databases and mapping APIs has led to an explosion in geographical information presentation. So when Joshua Stevens, a PhD candidate at Penn State, came across 92 years worth of Bigfoot/Sasquatch sighting reports in Canada and the United States, he thought it “just has to be mapped”.

The thousands of reports come from archival work and reports submitted directly to the website of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), each of which is geocoded and timestamped.In all, Stevens combined the data of 3,313 sightings reported from 1921 to 2013, and immediately noticed some interesting aspects:

Right away you can see that sightings are not evenly distributed. At first glance, it looks a lot like a map of population distribution. After all, you would expect sightings to be the most frequent in areas where there are a lot of people. But a bivariate view of the data (right) shows a very different story. There are distinct regions where sightings are incredibly common, despite a very sparse population. On the other hand, in some of the most densely populated areas sasquatch sightings are exceedingly rare.

I don’t have a really good explanation for this. These are sasquatch sightings we’re talking about and I’m way out of my area of expertise (do bigfoot experts exist?). But it’s clear that if the legendary biped is real, it’s thriving out west.

The terrain and habitat likely play a major role in the distribution of reports (note: reports, not sasquatch themselves!). Even if bigfoot wasn’t lurking nearby, it might be hard to tell when surrounded by rugged terrain and dense forest. Was that a stick cracking naturally or is a giant primate creeping around? The desire to find, or think you saw, bigfoot might be especially high if you’ve heard tales of giant, ape-like creatures calling the place you’re in home. A combination of environment and legend likely combine to at least put wary outdoorsmen on the lookout.

It might be interesting also to see any change in the data from pre-Internet days to post. Click through to the link for more analysis and images, as well as high-resolution versions.

Link: ‘Squatch Watch: 92 Years of Bigfoot Sightings in the US and Canada

Editor
  1. Eureka
    This is what annoys me from the story: the fact that no-one else inside the so-called Bigfoot community thought of plotting the sightings on a map before. No, it had to be an outsider, because Bigfooters are much too busy using their computers to engage in heated online debates over the latest Blobsquatch video on Youtube :-/

    1. Fixxored
      … no-one else inside the so-called Bigfoot community thought of plotting the sightings, by month, on a map, so they can be analyzed for migration patterns and routes.

      It annoys me too, RPJ.

  2. Cities and forests
    [quote=Joshua Stevens]There are distinct regions where sightings are incredibly common, despite a very sparse population. On the other hand, in some of the most densely populated areas sasquatch sightings are exceedingly rare.

    I don’t have a really good explanation for this.[/quote]

    That seems obvious to me. A higher population is going to lead to more people and higher odds of someone thinking they saw something, but once the population gets high enough, you’re in a city, where people aren’t reporting seeing bigfoot. Likewise, the sparse population areas are the rural communities where there’s forest, the very location where people see things.

    [quote=red pill junkie]This is what annoys me from the story: the fact that no-one else inside the so-called Bigfoot community thought of plotting the sightings on a map before.[/quote]

    I literally lolled at your comment. To be fair though, I have a layer in Google Earth of bigfoot sightings that I downloaded from the BFRO website once. I never saw any analysis of it though. Just, here’s the coordinates for reports.

    1. BFRO website
      Well, I can’t open the website right now because Google is blocking it. So, how far back do their pinpointed sightings go?

      Well, maybe I was too harsh to the Bigfoot community; but you gotta admit though: filling cabinets with reports is not enough. You need to give the data to people who will know how to extrapolate information from it –like the way Vallee found out Wednesdays are the day of the week with higher incidence of UFO sightings.

      BTW welcome to the Grail 🙂

      1. Thanks! I’ve been reading
        Thanks! I’ve been reading this site for years, but this is probably only the second time I’ve posted something.

        BFRO.net is being blocked because of malware. Weird. I have Google Earth open right now, but when I turn the BFRO layers on, nothing happens. One of them is called “new additions,” so I don’t know if the layer calls remotely to their database and can’t retrieve anything at the moment.

        Here’s an image of their layer and a link to it that I was able to find:
        http://www.pinterest.com/pin/103723597639596647/
        http://www.gamefishin.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5842

        So I guess they did try to map the data, but nothing’s working right now. Of course.

        You’re right though. Actually analyzing the data could lead to insights.

        The comments on the original blog about the map linked this paper that created an ecological niche model for bigfoot (though as a way of criticizing niche models):
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02152.x/pdf

        I did a presentation on niche models in grad school. I wish I knew that paper existed back then.

  3. It seems logical if sasquatch
    It seems logical if sasquatch exists they would avoid densely populated areas, same as wildlife, and would be pushed into an ever shrinking habitat as civilization encroached.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.