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Bigfoot? Jeffrey Meldrum is hoping for believable evidence of Bigfoot. Over the years, pieces of evidence like the grainy photograph above have proved to be hoaxes. (Antonino Barbagallo / Corbis)

Searching for Bigfoot

A scientist in Idaho will use a blimp to try to catch a glimpse of the legendary beast

By Laura Leigh Davidson | November 16 , 2012
<br />Meldrum holds up what he believes to be the footprint of Bigfoot. (Rachel Anne Seymour / Tyler Morning Telegraph)<br />

Meldrum holds up what he believes to be the footprint of Bigfoot. (Rachel Anne Seymour / Tyler Morning Telegraph)

What's big, hairy, and—according to legend—lives in the forests of North America? Bigfoot! Over the years, people have said the creature known as Bigfoot is not just an American folktale, and now one scientist is out to prove it.

Records show that people have been chasing the elusive Bigfoot since the 1840s. Both amateur and professional hunters have made countless treks through North American forests vowing to uncover some sign that the beast, also known as Sasquatch, is real and on the loose. But without clear scientific evidence to prove the animal's existence, most people—especially in the scientific community—have written off Bigfoot as pure fiction.

Now, scientist Jeffrey Meldrum from Idaho State University and fellow Bigfoot-believer William Barnes have a new idea for how to once and for all find the species they believe spawned all the Bigfoot stories: Search for the beasts from the sky!

They want to float a high-tech surveillance blimp over the mountains in the western United States. More people have reported seeing Bigfoot there than in any other region. Meldrum and Barnes hope that a blimp will be able to easily fly over the mountains and spot one of the hairy creatures from above.

The remotely controlled blimp would be equipped with special cameras that can detect body heat, even in the dark. Any signs that Bigfoot is (or was) in the area would be relayed directly from the blimp to teams on the ground. Meldrum says the ground teams would then follow the evidence and use it to "try to make contact" with the mysterious creature.

No Bigfoot has ever been captured and studied. Researchers have never unearthed fossils that prove Bigfoot-like creatures once roamed the planet and simply died out. The closest thing to proof that Bigfoot exists is that searchers will occasionally encounter a set of mysterious footprints on the forest floor.

Meldrum is currently seeking financial backers for his expedition, called the Falcon Project. Although he hasn't collected funds to get the project off the ground yet, Meldrum remains hopeful. He told Reuters he was in talks with two cable channels competing for the rights to produce a new weekly TV series following the Falcon Project from beginning to end.

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    Twice Upon a Time #2: Sleeping Beauty, the One Who Took the Really Long Nap

    Twice Upon a Time #2: Sleeping Beauty, the One Who Took the Really Long Nap

    by Wendy Mass

    A fresh, new version of a favorite tale!

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    Twice Upon a Time #3: Beauty and the Beast, the Only One Who Didn't Run Away

    Twice Upon a Time #3: Beauty and the Beast, the Only One Who Didn't Run Away

    by Wendy Mass

    Wendy Mass tells the story of Beauty and the Beast, as never heard before!

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    Contributors:

    Wendy Mass is the author of the award-winning books for readers A Mango-shaped Space, Leap Day, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, Heaven looks a Lot Like the Mall, Every Soul a Star, The Candymakers, 11 Birthdays, Finally, and the Twice Upon a Time series. She tells people her hobbies are photography and hiking, but they're really collecting candy bar wrappers and searching for buried treasure with her metal detector. Wendy lives with her family in New Jersey. Visit her at www.wendymass.com.

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