Peter Byrne loved bedtime stories about Yeti and the Abominable Snowman. Unlike many people, as he grew up, his fascination continued. He became one of the world’s authorities on Bigfoot, and in 1976 he investigated what he viewed as a credible Bigfoot sighting.
At the time, Byrne was the director of the Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition in The Dalles, Oregon. He got the tip from two biologists working for the U.S. Forest Service who had seen a tall creature moving among the trees. Byrne investigated and found a bit of skin and a few hairs.
He wanted the hair and skin examined, so he made an unusual request of the FBI: he sent them the sample and asked them to do a comparative analysis.
And he never heard back from them again.
The FBI recently uploaded some of their records, and among the newly released papers was Byrne’s request and their response, which he never received.
The FBI files show a letter dated February 24, 1977, which reads, in part, “It was concluded as a result of these examinations that the hairs are of deer family origin.” So, not Bigfoot.
Byrne is 93 years old now, and is rather disappointed to find out that the hairs have such predictable origins. It doesn’t put a damper on all the work he’s done over a lifetime, though.
According to The Washington Post, the FBI may have had a good reason to test the sample. There was a typo in the “Washington Environmental Atlas,” which mistakenly said that the FBI had examined sasquatch samples. They may have wanted to put those rumors to rest by actually testing a sample from a purported sasquatch.
Regardless of their reasons, they took Byrne’s request seriously. It’s just too bad it took 40 years for him to find out the results.