In 1976, Peter C. Byrne, a leading authority on Bigfoot research, found the only known physical evidence of the notorious Sasquatch, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. He sent that evidence to be analyzed by the FBI and after four decades, the once-classified documents have finally been released.
When two biologists and employees of the U.S. Forest Service claimed they spotted an unidentified walking creature in the forest, Byrne was called to the scene in the Pacific Northwest where he discovered 15 unidentifiable hairs and skin cells.
Could what Byrne found have been DNA remnants of the illustrious Bigfoot? Byrne hoped so, and he sent the samples off to be tested by the FBI.
In a letter to the bureau, he requested the agency "arrange for a comparative analysis of some hairs that we have here which we are unable to identify."
"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," an August 1976 letter from Byrne reads.
He stressed the gravity of the investigation, saying, "please understand that our research here is serious. That this is a serious question that needs answering."
Jay Cochran Jr., then assistant director of the FBI's scientific technical services division wrote back, "Occasionally, on a case-by-case basis, in the interest of research and scientific inquiry, we make exceptions to this general policy." The letter, dated Dec. 15, 1976, was addressed to Byrne.
The final report never got back to Byrne, until now. Four decades later, it seems the FBI actually took his request seriously.
Like many Bigfoot inquiries, 43 years of waiting and investigation would eventually be met with disappointment. The FBI report concluded that the hairs were "of deer family origin."
Byrne recounted his original findings to the Seattle Times, saying, "It was credible, by two men who were U.S. Forest Service employees. They found footprints and they were amazed. Fourteen-inch barefoot footprints. They got hair samples that were snagged. We did our own search and we got hairs."
Byrne's search for the elusive creature is not over, however, and may never be. According to his website, the 93-year-old adventurer has installed motion sensor cameras and night vision devices surrounding his home in Pacific City, Oregon.
His website says that while the scientific community demands physical evidence, a personal encounter would be enough to put a lifetime of searching to rest.
"One that would enable him to shoot some photographic documentation, one that would give him certification which he knows the scientific community will not accept but which, after a lifetime of searching, he knows his friends and fellow Bigfoot hunters will..."