Near the end of 2009 a group of hikers in Maine videotaped an unidentified animal in a tree.
They weren't sure what it was, but they thought it looked like a primate, possibly, so they uploaded the footage to YouTube.
Nothing wrong with that.
The title of their YouTube posting asked whether the animal could be a sasquatch (bigfoot).
Several people asked for our opinion.
We responded privately.
Then a few articles popped up in U.S. newspapers about it. And then other articles appeared outside the U.S., including this recent cover story in the U.K.'s "Sun" newspaper.
The recent European articles will likely lead to more articles elsewhere, probably with the same headline: "Is this the proof?"
Here's the answer to that question, so there's no more mystery about this video:
Yes, it is the proof ... proof there are North American porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) in Maine, but that's not exactly a discovery ...
Refer to the comparison photos below, and the chart showing the range of North American porcupines.
The footage is relevant to bigfoot research, though, because a porcupine in a tree can look like a dark-furred primate in a tree, espeically at a distance.
Several people have spotted porcupines in trees at a distance during BFRO expeditions. The spotters often called over other people to conclusively identify them.
We noted an abundance of porcupines in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on forest highways near Lake Superior in summer. Most were road-kill. Some expeditioners described near-misses while driving at night.