New Bigfoot Sightings: Proof Still Lacking

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THE GIST

- The Michigan bigfoot family lives in the woods near the woman's home, she says.

- A group of Russians, meanwhile, say a bigfoot roams an area of southern Siberia.

- Neither parties have any photographs, recordings or other evidence to verify their claims.

There are new claims of bigfoot encounters -- in Siberia and rural Michigan -- that will likely add to the debate over whether the creatures really exist, although neither holds the smoking gun of a photograph, tissue sample or other scientific evidence.

A group of Russians claim a living "snowman" roams the cold Shoria Mountain area of southern Siberia. Meanwhile a woman in Newaygo County, Mich., told Discovery News that she has been interacting with and actually feeding a large family of close to 10 Bigfoot-like creatures who live in the woods near her home for the past two years.

"They get fish every day, a bucket of fruit, a bucket of dry dog food," said Robin Lynn Pfeifer, a 47-year-old resident of Newaygo County, north of Grand Rapids. "Their favorite thing is blueberry bagels. If I'm not baking them, I go to different stores to buy them. I tell them they are feeding the wildlife."

She said she has collected casts of many large footprints, but says the creatures are too shy and too clever for her to get a photograph. She describes the Bigfoots as ranging from six to nine feet tall and looking like humans, except for hairy coats and broad noses.

"The biggest one I've sat and looked at for 15 minutes was nine and a half feet tall," Pfeifer told Discovery News. "The large male is all black. Others are beige and white. The biggest footprint is 18 and a half inches long."

Skeptics say that big claims need big proof, and so far that hasn't happened when it comes to Bigfoot. Natural history and evolutionary scientists also ask how these creatures could have survived for so long without being detected, and where the evidence is of their body or bones or DNA.

Loren Coleman directs the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine and has been studying and writing about strange sightings of creatures for several decades. He says he's skeptical of anyone who comes forward with tales of lengthy Bigfoot encounters without providing serious evidence.

"All the Bigfoot contactees -- for some reason they never take photographs," Coleman said. "There's a lot of interest in finding these things, but we have to look of the credibility of the people feeding us the stories. I'm always careful of two kinds of people, the debunkers who have no interest and the true believers who will not bring any critical thinking."

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