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On the China Bigfoot Scene

by Matt Moneymaker, updated July 11, 2011

Sighting + Tracks near Shennongjia, June 2011

Source: Global Times Newspaper - Beijing, China

Where: In a cornfield within Chengkou County (Chongqing Municipality), west of Shennongjia.

What: Farmer describes a sighting in his cornfield then finds tracks. Local police respond and make plaster casts! Kudos to Chinese police, because that would never happen in America or Canada.

Details: For more details about the case click here.

Comments: Chinese media has not shown cast photos yet. Hopefully the casts will be on display at the police station and the witness will make himself available to more reporters/investigators. Reporters need to do a story at the site of the encounter and take photos of the area for the story. An artist needs to meet with the witness in order to depict what he saw. That would be helpful to other bigfoot researchers outside China. We'd sure appreciate it.

Also, a sculptor needs to make a wildman statue for the airport terminal under construction in Hubei -- the new airport to bring more tourists to Shennongjia. A life-like statue of a wildman inside (or outside) the terminal would become the unique emblem for the airport. Everyone would want to take pictures next to it and everyone would recognize it in photos. It's too good to pass up, and it would be easily justified to those concerned about excessive construction costs.

The airport wildman statue project is yet another reason to make sure eyewitnesses have many opportunities to work with local artists and sculptors.

The Chengkou area, where the most recent inciden happened, is very mountainous and forested. Add cornfields to that mix and you have very good bigfoot habitat.

The things we'd like to know: Are there wild deer in those mountains, or any kind of large wild herbivores? What other types of animals come to eat the corn in those fields at night? Bigfoots would come for the corn, but they would be more interested in eating the other animals that feed on the corn. Bigfoots are omnivores with a carnivorous streak.

Click the map below to see the terrain of Chengkou County. It's very squatchy.

View Larger Map

A recent development in Chinese bigfoot research is the planned production of a 3-D, Avatar-like film about scientists searching for Chinese bigfoots ("Yeren") in the vast and mysterious Shennongjia Preserve. The working title for the film is "Primary Zone".

See the article in Xinhua.

This is an ingenious move by the Chinese. The film will introduce movie-goers around the world to the Yeren in a fictional context that provides a way to weave in several fascinating subjects:

- The natural wonders of the Daba Shan Mountains, and the flora and fauna of pre-historic, ice age China.

- One of the most under appreciated figures in human history: Emperor Shen Nong (inventor of tea, herbal medicine, agriculture, wildlife conservation, and world trade) who was himself a product of the Daba Shan Mountains.

- The valiant efforts of the Chinese Army to help solve the mystery of the Yeren in the 1970's.

- The upcoming generation of young scientists in a unique country poised to become the major cultural force of this century.

The budget for this film is roughly 15 million dollars. That's not much for an Avatar-like 3-D film produced in the United States, but it's pretty major film budget in China.

One has to be impressed at the rapid pace of decision-making regarding this film project. Clearly the impetus for this film was the spate of recent news articles about a proposed major expedition in the Shennongjia Preserve. Those articles circulated in early October of 2010, and then the film project was announced roughly three months later, with the blessing of the Chinese government.

The film project does not preclude a real expedition from occuring in the future, but it will provide much more support for it when it does happen.

A major expedition into the Shennongjia Preserve will be a daunting task, but trying to film that expedition would be ten times more daunting (and dangerous) than the expedition itself. Therefore it is a very wise move to produce a fictional treatment first, so the public has a greater apprecation and understanding of any scientific efforts that happen thereafter.

Go China !!

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