Bigfoot and Nessie's New Friend

Bigfoot, Mothman and Nessie
Have a New Feathered Friend

By Buck Wolf

Oct. 22, 2002 --   Look! Up in the sky! Bigfoot has sprouted wings, and he's coming your way.

A bird the size of a small airplane, with a 14-foot wingspan — twice the size of an eagle's — mesmerized several witnesses last week in southwest Alaska, who compared it to a creature from Jurassic Park.

Pilot John Bouker told the Anchorage Daily News he spotted the huge creature in the sky. "The people in the plane saw him," he said.

At first he discounted the sighting, until he saw the huge creature with his own eyes, just 1,000 feet from his plane.

"He's huge," Bouker said. "He's really, really big. You wouldn't want to have your children out."

After another big bird sighting, a heavy equipment operator radioed the nearby town of Togiak, warning residents to protect their children, and causing more than a bit of unrest.

Monkeyman’s Biting Reputation

The incident only underscored an important fact: Monster reports are not always a joke. A mysterious "monkeyman" menaced India last year, biting and robbing 60 people on the outskirts of New Delhi.

In one 10-day period, police received 328 calls about the half-man, half monkey. They dispatched about 1,000 officers and imposed a curfew in one area. After an investigation, officials later declared the entire event was a hoax perpetuated by mass hysteria.

In Alaska, local officials suspect that well-meaning witnesses may have overestimated the bird's size, and say that it may have been a Steller's eagle — a rare, fish-eating bird that's harmless to humans.

Still, it's time to wonder, have we seen the last of Big Bird? Or do Bigfoot, Mothman, and the Loch Ness Monster have a new friend?

With that in mind, let's check in some of our favorite monsters.

Bigfoot Convention: Eric Altman says he won't rest until Bigfoot is protected under the Endangered Species Act.

"I've seen the evidence — the footprints, the hair, the eyewitnesses. It's too much to discount," says the 32-year-old software designer and director of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society — one of some 40 groups dedicated to finding the mysterious beast.