The site is easily searchable which I appreciate since I can find just the stories from New England. Phantoms and Monsters featured a classic Bigfoot story on January 14 of this year. The author is a longtime Vermont resident. She was driving home with her husband from a hunting trip on a warm day when they saw a large animal in the road. At first they thought it might be a bear:
I came to a stop just yards from it. We both thought it was a bear as it was hunched over with it's back to us. I honked the horn a couple of times but to no avail, the creature continued doing its thing... until it started standing up and up and up... “It had to have been 9 foot tall, maybe 800lbs,” my husband said; reddish brown shaggy fur.
|Bionic Bigfoot from The Six Million Dollar Man (1976)|
The creature turns to look at the couple in the car:
It was very apparent that whatever it was, was intelligent. It was a male but the largest animal I'd ever seen close up and my husband was as shocked as I was at the sight of the thing (not being disrespectful). It eyed us for maybe a minute or two looking directly into each of our eyes then turned, took a step towards the side of the road... Then the animal was just gone.
And that's it. The author writes that she was unfamiliar with Bigfoot when she saw this creature but later learned about him when she read a book by cryptozoologist Ivan Sanderson. (You can read the full account here.) Sadly she doesn't provide a date when the sighting occurred.
There is always the possibility that this story is a hoax, but even if it is it still reads like a classic Bigfoot account to me. It has all the usual components of a Bigfoot sighting, like the following:
1. People are just minding their own business when they encounter something strange.
2. At first they think it's an animal, but oh crap! It's a hairy humanoid.
3. The witnesses are amazed at the size of the creature, and sometimes at its intelligence.
4. The creature disappears.
However, just because most Bigfoot stories are all similar doesn't necessarily mean they're false. Perhaps Bigfoot just acts the same way all the time.
If Bigfoot does exist I personally don't think he/it is an animal. How could people in Vermont not notice 9-foot tall, 800 pound humanoids wandering around? They would be pretty hard to miss. And why haven't all these Bigfoot hunters found anything after all these years? It's entirely possible that Bigfoot is just a creature of folklore, a legend that modern Americans tell about something lurking in the woods. He's our version of the Medieval wildman or the Ancient Greek satyr.
However, if you believe in spirits, I think it's also possible to consider Bigfoot as some type of land-spirit, like the Roman genius loci. A genius loci is the spirit of a particular place; perhaps the Bigfoots people see are the spirits of the American wilderness. Which again make him similar to the wildman or satyrs.
But whether Bigfoot is just a legend or a spirit being, the message of these classic Bigfoot stories is identical: humans are not alone. Something else shares the planet with us, something intelligent, and it's not far away. It's right there in the woods or the swamp, just waiting to show itself to us.