In Newaygo County, Michigan, Robin Lynn Pfeifer is stocking up on blueberry bagels from the local store. But the sweet treats aren’t intended for her own family of five. Instead, she plans on handing them out to the mysterious, hairy hominids that allegedly roam the woods around her rural home. Pfeifer, you see, apparently shares the land with a family of Bigfoots – and they’re not quite as frightening as you might think.
The roots of the Bigfoot legend date back to pre-Columbian times, when Native American tribes told stories of the wild men who inhabited the forests of North America. Back then, the fabled creature had a number of different names, including the British Columbian term Sesquac – which would later become the word Sasquatch that is still in use today.
Interestingly, reports of mysterious hominids can be found all around the world, from the Yeti or Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas to the Almas that reputedly stalk the peaks of Central Asia. It wasn’t until 1958, however, that North America’s own version of the legend became firmly cemented in the public consciousness.
That year, construction worker Jerry Crew was driving a tractor on a site in California when he allegedly stumbled across a series of over-sized footprints on the ground. Human-like in appearance, the prints were far too large to belong to any man or woman. Soon, the local media became interested, and the nickname “Bigfoot” was born.
Although most people now believe that Crew’s discovery was a hoax conducted by his prankster boss, the incident sparked an interest in Bigfoot that still continues to this day. What’s more, nine years after the prints made the news, another shocking report emerged from the same area of California – and this time the creature had apparently been captured on film.
In 1967 two friends, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin, recorded what they claimed was footage of Bigfoot walking through the woods near Bluff Creek, CA. At one point, a strange figure could be seen looking back at the two men – a moment that has become one of history’s most enduring images of the supposed creature.
Patterson and Gimlin have, unsurprisingly, been greeted by plenty of skepticism over the years, although neither has ever admitted to a hoax. Meanwhile, the legendary creature has endured. And even today, the television show Finding Bigfoot attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers, all keen to watch as self-proclaimed experts track the mysterious hominid across North America.
But while Bigfoot remains a fantasy to most, one woman claims to have built a very real relationship with an entire tribe of the strange creatures. In 2009 Robin Lynn Pfeifer and her husband relocated with their three kids to a home in rural Newaygo County, MI. And soon after the family arrived at the 10-acre property, Pfeifer claims that they met some rather unusual neighbors.
Apparently, Pfeifer encountered what she claims was a family of Bigfoots living in the forest adjoining her house. According to Pfeifer, the creatures were as many as ten in number and mostly between 6 and 9 feet in height. She also says that they had a human-like appearance, marred only by their wide noses and hairy bodies.
“The biggest one I’ve sat and looked at for 15 minutes was 9 and a half feet tall,” Pfeifer explained in a 2011 interview with Discovery News. “The large male is all black. Others are beige and white. The biggest footprint is 18 and a half inches long.” Moreover, Pfeifer claims to have a vast collection of the supposed creatures’ footprints – although the so-called Bigfoots are apparently too smart to be captured on film.
According to Pfeifer, her attempts to photograph what she believes to be Bigfoots have all ended in failure. Even when she tried to trick the mysterious beasts by installing automatic cameras on her property, it seems that they outmaneuvered her. The supposed Bigfoots allegedly tampered with the photographic devices and left them upside down. Pfeifer remains convinced of the existence of the creatures, though, and hopes to persuade the rest of the world that she’s telling the truth.
What’s more, Pfeifer has apparently even assumed responsibility for feeding the Bigfoots that she claims are living on her property. “They get fish every day, a bucket of fruit, a bucket of dry dog food,” she explained. “Their favorite thing is blueberry bagels. If I’m not baking them, I go to different stores to buy them.”
And Pfeifer also claims that Bigfoots are responsible for some strange occurrences around her home. These incidents include a mysterious tapping sound that seems to emanate from beneath the property. Pfeifer has also apparently come across braids in pieces of rope and intricate objects crafted out of twigs, for which she believes Bigfoots are responsible.
In fact, Pfeifer is so passionate about Bigfoot that in 2011 she traveled all the way to Russia in order to learn more. There, she attended a conference aimed at those who believe in mystery hominids around the world. The visit eventually culminated in a trip to Siberia’s Tashtagol District, where attendees searched for evidence in an area known for its Yeti sightings.
Not everyone in Russia was convinced by Pfeifer’s alleged Bigfoot encounters, however. In fact, Idaho State University’s Professor Jeff Meldrum, who specializes in anthropology and anatomy, was quick to cast doubt on her stories – as well as claims that Yeti footprints and hairs had been found in Siberia.
“There’s no substance to any of her claims,” Meldrum told Discovery News. “If there were ten to 12 around her home, she should be opening up a museum with all the artifacts.” Moreover, he also spoke out against the evidence allegedly uncovered during the conference, pointing to a lack of scientific rigor throughout the investigation.
And it wasn’t just Meldrum who expressed doubt over Pfeifer’s stories. Speaking to Discovery News, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman – who has dedicated his life to studying mysterious creatures such as Bigfoot – was also unconvinced by her claims. Apparently, Pfeifer isn’t the first to claim a close relationship with the creatures without any evidence to support her accounts.
“All the Bigfoot contactees – for some reason they never take photographs,” Coleman lamented. “There’s a lot of interest in finding these things, but we have to look at 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.”
Then, more than a year after Pfeifer first spoke about her Bigfoot encounters, an organization known as DNA Diagnostics Inc. released a startling statement. They had apparently analyzed material provided by Pfeifer and concluded that a previously unknown hominin species really was inhabiting the wilds of Michigan. Experts were quick to question the results, however, criticizing the lack of data made available to back up the claims.
Within months, journalists had also established that Pfeifer was the acting press officer for DNA Diagnostics, casting further suspicion on both her claims and the study’s alleged results. Moreover, it emerged that the mother-of-three had been sentenced to a maximum of five years’ probation for fraud back in September 2012. And while the incident was seemingly unrelated to her supposed Bigfoot encounters, these revelations haven’t painted Pfeifer or her stories in a very convincing light. Bigfoot, it seems, remains as elusive as ever.