Look! Up in the sky! Bigfoot has sprouted wings, and he's coming your way.
A bird the size of a small airplane, with a 14-foot wingspan — twice the size of an eagle's — mesmerized several witnesses last week in southwest Alaska, who compared it to a creature from Jurassic Park.
Pilot John Bouker told the Anchorage Daily News he spotted the huge creature in the sky. "The people in the plane saw him," he said.
At first he discounted the sighting, until he saw the huge creature with his own eyes, just 1,000 feet from his plane.
"He's huge," Bouker said. "He's really, really big. You wouldn't want to have your children out."
After another big bird sighting, a heavy equipment operator radioed the nearby town of Togiak, warning residents to protect their children, and causing more than a bit of unrest.
Monkeyman’s Biting Reputation
The incident only underscored an important fact: Monster reports are not always a joke. A mysterious "monkeyman" menaced India last year, biting and robbing 60 people on the outskirts of New Delhi.
In one 10-day period, police received 328 calls about the half-man, half monkey. They dispatched about 1,000 officers and imposed a curfew in one area. After an investigation, officials later declared the entire event was a hoax perpetuated by mass hysteria.
In Alaska, local officials suspect that well-meaning witnesses may have overestimated the bird's size, and say that it may have been a Steller's eagle — a rare, fish-eating bird that's harmless to humans.
Still, it's time to wonder, have we seen the last of Big Bird? Or do Bigfoot, Mothman, and the Loch Ness Monster have a new friend?
With that in mind, let's check in some of our favorite monsters.
Bigfoot Convention: Eric Altman says he won't rest until Bigfoot is protected under the Endangered Species Act.
"I've seen the evidence — the footprints, the hair, the eyewitnesses. It's too much to discount," says the 32-year-old software designer and director of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society — one of some 40 groups dedicated to finding the mysterious beast.
"Right now, I think it's critical that we get DNA tests on some of the hair we've collected."
Bigfoot sighting are largely associated with the Pacific Northwest. But Altman said Pennsylvania ranks fourth among states, with more than 500 sightings dating to the 1800s — and his group has investigated more than 50 reports.
"Even if 85 percent of the reports are hoaxes or easily explainable, 15 percent can't be explained," he says. "This is a worldwide phenomenon."
Bigfoot is a bit like Elvis. He's an ongoing national obsession. He's large. And he gets around.
In the last five years, a Bigfoot has been sighted munching on pinot noir grapes at a vineyard in Salem, Ore.; swiping lingerie from a trailer park in Ochopee, Fla; and menacing revelers on New Year's Eve 1999, in Tamworth, England.
Perhaps "Mr. Bigfoot" is just a big hairy guy who gets drunk and wears women's underwear — the ultimate party animal. Certainly, much of the purported evidence turned out to be fabricated by pranksters in monkey suits.
However, Altman is among those who believe there are unknown species of giant primates all over the world — known to us as "Sasquatch," "Yeti" and "the Abominable Snowman."