The Wall Street Journal wrote about the rise in legitimate researchers—from academics to naturalists—who are "open-minded skeptics" or true believers in Sasquatch. Wonderfully, the WSJ created one of their iconic "hedcut" portraits of Patty, the female Bigfoot star of the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin footage that remains the best visual evidence of the ape-like cryptid. From the Wall Street Journal:
John Hickenbottom, a naturalist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources at Salt Fork State Park in Ohio, said he used to be dismissive of "dads in tube socks and cargo shorts saying 'Have you ever seen Bigfoot?'" After some research, he considers himself an "open-minded skeptic."[…]
During a recent meeting of about 20 researchers, several declined to provide their names to a reporter. A primate zookeeper from Michigan said she long thought of Bigfoot as a joke but changed her mind after realizing that many sighting accounts included primate behaviors she didn't think most people would know about.
She traveled to Washington state in 2019 to see nests studied by the Olympic Project. The sight of the large oval nests, woven of huckleberry branches and looking similar to beds made by apes the zookeeper works with, was "mind blowing," she said.
An insect taxonomist at a Utah university said he has been investigating since 2015, when he and his son were elk hunting in northern Utah and saw a group of five apelike animals going through an aspen stand about 250 yards away.