Sep 022015

When adventurer Steve Fossett went missing Sept. 3, 2007, Web users were enlisted to help in Fossett’s rescue from the comfort of their own homes. Using a program called Mechanical Turk, high-resolution satellite imagery of the search area was collected from a company called Digital Globe. Participants were shown a single satellite image and asked to note any objects or wreckage that could be a plane or its debris. Though Fossett and his plane remain missing, the satellite technology used to search for him could theoretically be applied to other searches, and may finally verify the existence of large, mysterious creatures reputed to inhabit the globe. Unknown animals such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, for example, might be easily located and captured–if indeed they exist.

While satellites would be of limited use in heavily wooded areas, Bigfoot creatures have been reported in many areas with relatively little forest, including Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, and Arizona. A single twelve-foot Bigfoot may or may not be hard to spot, but a family of them surely would be easier to find. Furthermore, there cannot be only one Bigfoot; there must be a breeding population of them, by some estimates 6,000 to 10,000 in North America alone. Surely a coordinated, close inspection should reveal dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of Bigfoot in remote areas at any given time.

The search could include bodies of water as well. Many lake monsters and sea serpents are reported to be fifty feet or longer, and surface regularly where they are seen. If armchair investigators are up to the task, it should be possible to organize a team to monitor monster-inhabited lakes such as Scotland’s Loch Ness, Canada’s Lake Okanagan, and America’s Lake Champlain using Google Earth technology. Monster buffs don’t need to dip their toes into cold lakes or brave the wilderness to search for their quarry; they can scan a dozen square miles over cup of hot coffee at their leisure.

Of course, if such searches are done and still reveal no solid proof of the monsters’ existence, few minds will be changed. Diehard believers can always claim that all the monstrous beasts somehow hid undetected, or are masters at camouflage. Or the searchers didn’t look long enough, or in the right places. It only takes one live or dead Bigfoot or lake monster to forever prove that they exist, but nothing will ever prove they don’t…

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.


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