Believe it or not, Scott Wolter is actually skeptical about Bigfoot! That is what we learned last night on the History Channel H2 series, America Unearthed. Scott took to tracking the Bigfoot phenomenon after getting a tip from an eyewitness, Ed Welch. Of the thousands of Sasquatch sightings throughout North America, very few have been recorded in the State of Minnesota. Ed is among one of these rare encounters. So, since its in Wolter′s own ′backyard′, he decided to check it out. The investigation leads Scott across the U.S. and includes a flight to Nepal to see if there may be a connection between Bigfoot and the Yeti. Are both the modern descendents of an extinct ape-like creature known as Gigantopitheus?
Ed tells his story to Scott and it is fairly typical. Welch was in a wooded area near his home and came across a tall, bipedal creature moving through the forest. Ed only saw it for a few seconds and tried to chase it, but the Sasquatch, or whatever it was, got away. He then suffered a major panic attack and for some three days was in a state of shock. Other than that, he has no physical evidence, so Scott respects what Welch thinks he saw but Wolter needs more proof.
Ed directs Scott to meet with a veteran Bigfoot researcher, Doug Hajicek. He′s been hunting for Sasquatch for 24 years after seeing big footprints in Alaska. They discuss the possibility that Bigfoot, the Yeti and the dozens of other similar creatures reported worldwide, are all related to Gigantopitheus. Fossil remains dating back some 300,000 years shows that there was a giant ape living in what is now China. They were 10 feet tall and most likely bipedal. Perhaps some, or their descendents, existed back 12,000 years ago and crossed the ice bridge between Asia and North America?
Doug claims to have a hair sample from Washington State that could be from a Sasquatch. He lets Scott check it out with his digital microscope. Hajicek points out how the hair end is tapered where as human hair ends are straight due to regular cutting. Another feature, known as ′scaling′, also matches closer to that of apes than humans. Wolter wants to have its DNA tested and Doug agrees.
Scott heads next to Stanislaus National Forest in California after Doug tells him that there are petroglyphs there depicting Bigfoot. Wolter meets with Kathy Strain who tells him that there have been 55 sightings in the forest, the most of any particular area. She also disappoints Scott with news that the petroglyphs are actually pictographs. Not carved stone but just painted rock. Still, the paintings are about 1,000 years old and show a family of three Sasquatch.
This is all very interesting but Wolter is still looking for physical evidence. So he flies to Nepal and winds up in the village of Namche Bizaar, a jump-off point for many Himalaya climbers. There, he meets with Sherpa guide, Sona, who tells Scott about local legends of the Yeti. One was how a Yeti killed six yaks back in the early 1960s. Sona introduces Wolter to another guide, Mingma, who saw a Yeti when just 14 years old. They both tell Scott that there is a Yeti scalp kept by monks at the Khumjung Monastery. Wolter goes there and meets with one of the monks, Tenzing, who allows Scott to use his portable digital microscope to photograph a strand of hair. The end is a straight cut, probably human.
Wolter returns to Minnesota and meets again with Doug to give him the results of the DNA test. The laboratory finds that the DNA is human, but that is good news to Doug. At least it was not that of a bear or other animal. Scott also meets with another eyewitness whose sighting was backed up with video. But, Wolter is still skeptical without any solid, physical evidence.