The FBI has released nearly two dozen documents it had on the mythical North American biped known as Bigfoot. These include descriptions of encounters and details of analysis that was done on hair samples.
What do the documents say?
The first document, a letter dated Dec. 15, 1976, from former Assistant FBI Director Jay Cochran Jr. to Peter Byrne, the director of the Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition in Oregon, mentions 15 "unidentified hairs and tissue" samples that Byrne wanted the FBI to analyze. Cochran agreed, and asked Byrne to send the samples to an FBI lab in Washington, D.C.
In a letter dated Aug. 26, 1976, Byrne pleads with the FBI to "set the record straight, once and for all, inform us if the FBI has examined hair which might be that of a bigfoot; when this took place, if it did take place; what the results of this analysis were."
Afraid that the FBI might not take his request seriously, he added, "[P]lease understand that our research here is serious. That this is a serious question that needs answering and that an examination of hair, or the opposite, by the FBI, does not in any way, as far as we are concerned, suggest that the FBI, is associated with our project or confirms in any way the possibility of the existence of the creature(s) known as bigfoot."
The documents also contain scans of newspaper clippings and the infamous blurry photo of Bigfoot included at the top of this story.
On Feb. 24, 1977, Cochran sent a letter to Howard S. Curtis, the executive vice president of the Academy of Applied Science in Boston, with the disappointing results of the hair analysis. From this letter it appears that the Curtis had submitted the sample on behalf of Byrne.
After an "examination," which "included a study of morphological characteristics such as root structure, medullary structure and cuticle thickness in addition to scale casts," the FBI determined that "the hairs are of deer family origin."
Pictures included with the letter purporting to be scans of the sample, show about a dozen or so pieces of hair roughly 4 1/2 inches long, attached to what seems to be a small piece of flesh roughly an inch in length.
In the final letter in this batch of documents, Curtis thanks Byrne for the analysis, and promises to deliver copies of the communication he had with the FBI to Byrne when he returned from Nepal. Byrne had traveled to the Asian country more than once to search for Bigfoot's wintery cousin, the Yeti.
During one of his trips to Nepal, not mentioned in the documents, he employed actor Jimmy Stewart and his wife Gloria to help him smuggle a finger from an alleged Yeti hand from a Nepalese monastery into the United Kingdom for testing. This finger turned out to be from a human.