Jay, Ohio Bigfoot Group Founder
Anyone who has been in this field for any more than 5 minutes knows that there are people who get their kicks out of interrupting your research with jokes. So when I originally received an email about "Bigfoot being a human-ape hybrid", I pretty much dismissed it and went about my day. As time went on, I received yet another email (same person, same claim) and dismissed it once again. Mind you, I don't make it a habit of dismissing emails but the way it was written led me to do so. After a few months, I had a reliable person approach me with the same theory. Bigfoot origins are definitely the second hottest topic in the Bigfoot debate... the first being it's existence, of course. So, after hearing this theory once again, I decided to finally research it.
The possibility of a human-ape hybrid isn't as far fetched as I had thought. Humans and chimpanzees are actually closely related in terms of DNA. Other primates (besides humans) apparently have one more set of chromosomes than human beings do, but the DNA sequence of a chimp and a human are, according to the research I read, 95% the same.
The subject of a human-ape hybrid was presented publicly in 1910 by Dr. Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov of the former Soviet Union as a "Humanzee" (Male human x female chimpanzee) or a Chuman (Male chimp x female human). (It was alleged that the Soviets had wanted to create a army of human-ape hybrids according to some sources.) Dr. Ivanov's research went on for decades with many setbacks and a hybrid was never produced (at least publicly).
Since we our government was competing with the Soviet Union constantly, it is safe to assume they may have been attempting the same thing.
Now, for those who are thinking "Conspiracy! The government was experimenting on a hybrid and released these experiments thus creating Bigfoots!" will be upset by my take on the matter. One flaw with this is that the government would likely keep this under strict wraps and failed experiments would likely be "disposed of" rather than just released into the wild. Now, you may claim that an angry or pity filled scientist would turn these creatures loose... but if you say this, you likely have never been to a government facility. I would imagine to get to an top secret experiment area you would have to go through about 50 locked doors and several searches. It's highly unlikely that someone would sneak out humanzees in their jacket. And even if a few were to get out, keep in mind that Bigfoots are a global cryptid, the likelyhood that fertile hybrids (which are rare) that could create a global population is almost nil. Also coupled with that is that Bigfoots are mostly reported in size from 7 foot to 9 foot, human beings and chimps this size are not common. Not to mention the BIG killer to that theory.... Bigfoot folklore exists in native American culture... long before there was a government to conduct experiments.
It should be noted that there was a claimed Humanzee in the 70's named "Oliver", however after genetic testing, it was determined that Oliver was 100% chimpanzee.
Since there probably aren't private scientists with the type of funding it would take to keep up with this type of experimentation and I'd like to think that they're aren't a bunch of people out there randomly having relations and offspring with apes, I'd say this theory is pretty much put to bed. There are just too many unlikely variables in it. The information I uncovered during my research did, however, shed some light as to what the origins of Bigfoots could be. At some point along the span of time, humans and apes split from each other, it is a widely accepted theory that there was interspecies mating during these times. Many scientists believe that it is these crosses and those that occurred throughout time that led to Homo Sapiens as we know ourselves today. It certainly is plausible that another primate, such as Bigfoots, could have been a biproduct of these interspecies relationships as well... but that is another topic for another day....