We've received numerous emails about our recent examination of the Virginia trail cam "Bigfoot", in which we speculated that the shaggy creature captured on video may be the (supposedly) long-extinct ground sloth. Feedback to our theory has run the gamut from supportive to downright hostile (who knew that folks were so passionate about unidentified hairy objects?). Evidently, this mystery creature from Virginia has aroused the passions and imaginations of many, ourselves included. As a result, we feel compelled to expound on our theory that the ground sloth is alive and well, and lurking in the forests of North America.
Let's turn our attention to sightings of the supposedly extinct ground sloth and other compelling evidence which supports our theory that this creature still roams the wilds.
1886: Argentine explorer Ramon Lista, who would later become governor of Santa Cruz, claimed to have seen a ground sloth during a Patagonian expedition.
1897: Dr. F.P Moreno of Argentina's La Plata Museum was exploring a cave in Patagonia near Last Hope Inlet when he saw a hide from a ground sloth. Upon questioning the natives, the expert paleontologist learned that the hide had been left behind by Argentine officers two years earlier. (New-York Tribune, Nov. 4, 1900)
|Side by side comparison- Bigfoot vs. Giant Sloth|
1897-1900: Evidence of ground sloths were found near Last Hope Inlet by several other leading scientists of the day, including Dr. Nordenskjold, Dr. Rudolph Hauthal, Dr. Ameghino and explorer C. Arthur Pearson. These men found droppings, tracks, skins, and other evidence of ground sloths. Several of these specimens were displayed at the South Kensington museum in London. (New-York Tribune, Nov. 4, 1900)
1900: Professor Ray Lancaster, a leading paleontologist of the early 20th century, gave a lecture in London in which he stated, "I believe the giant ground sloth still exists in some of the mountainous regions of Patagonia."
1937: On August 18, a newspaper article described a sighting of a ground sloth in Indiana. The creature's blood-curdling screams and shrieks are eerily reminiscent of alleged Bigfoot vocalizations (coincidence?). The article stated: A stranger who declined to identify himself strolled into the newspaper office here today and declared that the weird, mysterious beast whose screams and prowlings have terrified residents of the Ohio river valley is simply a giant sloth... When a sloth is hungry and frightened, he said, it will give vent to blood-curdling shrieks and yells such as terrified river valley residents have reported they have heard intermittently since Friday night... At that time Mrs. Ralph Duff reported she caught a fleeting glimpse of the animal and said it looked like an ape.
1975: A miner named Mário Pereira de Souza claims that he came face to face with a giant sloth on the Jamauchím. He heard a scream and saw the creature coming towards him on its hind legs. The animal emitted a terrible stench. (It is interesting to note that many sloth sightings are accompanied by a strong, foul odor- much like the odor said to be emitted by Bigfoot)
1994: Dr. David C. Oren, an American ornithologist employed by the Goeldi Natural History Museum in Brazil, launches an expedition into the rainforest in the hopes of finding a ground sloth. He returns with voice recordings of minute-long yelps and howls, not unlike the sounds said to be emitted by Bigfoot.
2011: A resident of Ware County, Georgia, claimed to have seen a ground sloth.
From the 19th century to the present day, leading scientists, elected officials, and ordinary citizens have encountered evidence which seems to suggest that the ground sloth never became extinct, thus shedding an interesting light on the mystery creature filmed in Virginia.