If Bigfoot exists, it's becoming increasingly difficult for it to hide. For years, cryptozoologists have relied on "footprints," blurry photographs and shaky camera footage in their search for proof of the legendary cryptid's existence — but recently, scientists have turned to more rigorous methods of investigation. Earlier this year, for example, researchers at Oxford announced plans to incorporate DNA analysis in their hunt for Bigfoot; now, Idaho State University anthropologist Jeffrey Meldrum is taking the search for Sasquatch to the skies.
Meldrum's plan: seek out Bigfoot from overhead with a remote-control blimp equipped with a thermal imaging camera (prototype pictured below). The heat-seeking dirigible was first proposed by a Utah man by the name of William Barnes, who claims to have encountered Bigfoot in Northern California back in 1997. Barnes pitched his plan to Meldrum, who thought it sounded like a good idea. They call their collaboration The Falcon Project, and the pair claims they need to upwards of $300,000 to build their RC rig and get it off the ground.
According to Reuters, Meldrum has received the go-ahead from his university to conduct his search, but he'll have to raise the funds himself. Perhaps not surprisingly, he's yet to raise so much as a single dollar:
Most scholars discount Bigfoot as a phenomenon borne of myth and perpetuated by a mix of fakery and misidentification of real animals. They contend that science demands a high standard of evidence that has not been achieved in the case of sasquatch.
No fossils or other physical evidence has been unearthed to suggest that the largest primate ever known migrated from Asia to the Americas, and no Bigfoot has been captured or killed, skeptics argue.
"There is no Bigfoot," said University of Iowa anthropologist Russell Ciochon.
Will Meldrum's project take off? Who knows. We kind of hope it does, though not necessarily for what it could teach us about bigfoot, specifically. To be perfectly honest, Meldrum and Barnes would probably get a lot more support if they found a way to make their remote-control, sasquatch-seeking machine into a more generally useful ecological/conservation tool. But then maybe we're all wet. Maybe Yeti only reveal themselves to those who dedicate their lives to seeking out them and them alone — sort of like the Loch Ness Monster did with this guy.