A family from Ontario Canada was out hunting when they heard an eerie howling screaming in the distance. Smartphone in hand, they recorded the sounds. And a corner of the internet is convinced the now-viral video is evidence of Bigfoot.
Gino Meekis, an experienced hunter and resident of Northwestern Ontario near Sioux Lookout, was with his wife and grandson hunting grouse on October 3rd about 50 kilometers outside of the town when they hear an odd howl.
‘We walked down a trail to see if we can find a bird, and on our way back to the vehicle, it started,” Meekis said in an interview. “When it let out the first scream, I thought it was a moose, but my mind changed when it screamed again and again.”
Meekis and his wife paused for a brief moment to record the sound. His young grandson, who can be seen in the video, began to howl back at the sound. Meekis explained that his family retreated to their vehicle shortly after that as the cadence of the howling increased.
“I've heard many different animals in the wild but nothing like this. I grew up hunting with my grandfather for the first 12 years of my life,” Meekis said.
Online cryptid enthusiasts are pointing to the video as evidence of Bigfoot. Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry isn’t convinced.
“Our biologists say it could be a larger mammal–for example a wolf–but because it’s a considerable distance from the recorder there is no way to know for sure,” Jolanta Kowalski, the media relations officer for Ontario’s Ministry of Resources and Forestry said in an email.
Regardless, videos such as this often make cryptid researchers excited, and only indicates that the Bigfoot legend is alive and well in the 21st century.
“While the majority of us no longer need be concerned about the threat of predatory animals, our advanced technological society has in no way absolved us of the capacity for inhumanity in its various forms,” Dr. David Floyd, an expert in monster mythology and Associate Professor of English at Charleston Southern University in Charleston, South Carolina, said in an interview
“Even in the 21st century, the notion of a half-human, half-beast figure is appealing, as, to some degree, we recognize it both as contrast to our civility and analogue of our primal potential,” he added.
Floyd pointed out that we “anthropomorphize” our fears, and that nature is still a primal and often dangerous force that humans have yet to totally master.
“One of our primary fears is that of nature, or that which lurked in nature that could dispatch us should we let our guard down or wander too far from the locus of civilization,” Floyd said.
Whether Bigfoot is real or not, Meekis and his family did encounter something frightening in the remote forests of Ontario. As long as people continue to pursue the enigmatic monster, there will always be an audience for videos purporting to have captured evidence.
“Hope springs eternal,” stated Floyd. “That next video just might be the one that proves without a doubt what researchers have suspected and experiencers have known all along.”
This article originally appeared on VICE US.