I visited a local Bigfoot museum here in California, the Bigfoot Discovery Museum. I didn’t know what to expect, because once you hear “local Bigfoot museum” I’m pretty much ready to go.
Before I describe it, you may wonder my stance on Bigfoot, because why not. Based on what I’ve seen I don’t think we have an undiscovered apelike cryptid here in the US (or one that’s survived to the modern day). Other “mystery primates” I give credit to on an individual basis. I do think there’s a Bigfoot phenomena that does hint at something weirder and wilder, something that’s more paranormal, psychosocial, or both. You now have an idea of my mindset – but I went in wanting to just see what this was like.
I was not disappointed. The Museum is small, two rooms and a few outdoor exhibits. It’s run by a few people for the most part and has been for years. It’s delightful (and powered by donations and merch so go to the link above).
The first room is mostly pop culture representations of bigfoot, and this was absolutely enthralling. Until you pause and see this small but surprising slice of Bigfoot culture, you don’t realize how much Bigfoot is part of our culture. Honestly, the proprietor could probably have only focused on Bigfoot in culture and built a larger museum.
The rest of the museum are various aged exhibits, the famous video running in a loop, and a small library and merch area. There’s nothing overly surprising to a person like myself who’s had an interest in this, but it’s a nice compilation, especially for California which is big and has many a cryptid. For me it was nostalgia, and a reminder of the enduring story of Bigfoot.
There’s a few outside exhibits, again nothing unusual, just nice to see it all in one place. There’s a diorama and some great wall art to bring it all home, though the diorama wasn’t well lighted.
Of course I got a T-shirt. Of course I donated. How could I not?
Did I learn anything new? Come away with an increased appreciation of Bigfoot? Nothing changed my mind on the phenomena of Bigfoot – but what I did was appreciate the impact on culture and the museum.
This museum was a vision of a small dedicated group They believed in Bigfoot, they were curious about Bigfoot, they wanted to connect on Bigfoot. They had a museum that was a unique and personal. They had made something, something sincere and honest and very much itself.
In the world of the paranormal, of cryptids, and the like there are tons of grifters and obvious scams. There’s crystals and weird testimonies by people whose so-called experiences magically evolve with current fads. Then there’s the Bigfoot Discovery Museum.
Just some people doing their thing. I might not believe in Bigfoot, but I believe in them.