The FBI in the late 1970s launched an investigation into Bigfoot, according to records released Wednesday.
The bureau went so far as to analyze alleged Bigfoot hair and tissue samples, but those turned out to belong to a deer, the documents show.
In August 1976, Peter C. Byrne, then the director of the Bigfoot Information Center, wrote a letter urging the FBI to test 15 hair and tissue samples. Mr. Byrne said the material was not identifiable as “any known creature of this continent.”
“Will you kindly, to set the record straight, once and for all, inform us if the FBI, has examined hair which might be that of a Bigfoot,” Mr. Byrne wrote. “Please understand that our research here is serious. That this is a serious question that needs answering.”
Former FBI Assistant Director Jay Cochran, who lead the bureau’s laboratory division at the time, sent a letter to the Academy of Applies Sciences in 1977 with the results of the testing.
He said the bureau ran a rigorous test on the materials, including a study of its root structure, cuticle thickness and scale casts.
But the results were less than exciting.
“It was concluded as a result of these examinations that the hairs are of deer family origin,” Mr. Cochran wrote.
The letters and other materials related to the Bigfoot probe were released on the FBI Vault, the bureau’s online repository for Freedom of Information Act responses and declassified documents.
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