Back in the days of bell bottoms, the FBI was willing to entertain the notion that Bigfoot, the mythical giant furry humanoid, might be more than a flight of fancy.
The FBI Records Vault is an online Freedom of Information Act Library stocked with thousands of scanned documents covering fascinating and bizarre topics ranging from the to a background .
On Wednesday, the FBI Records Vault Twitter account brought our attention to an intriguing set of documents involving the agency's role in a Bigfoot investigation in 1976 and 1977.
The collection spans 22 pages of correspondence and newspaper clippings starting with a letter the FBI sent in response to Peter Byrne, director of The Bigfoot Information Center in Oregon.
The New York Times profiled Byrne's work in 1976. He's a former professional hunter who took up the futile cause of trying to prove Bigfoot is real.
Byrne asked the FBI to analyze a sample consisting of "15 unidentified hairs and tissue." Byrne wrote he thought the hairs "may be of importance."
The documents reveal a history of Bigfoot-related letters and memos leading up to the FBI Laboratory agreeing to examine the mystery hair.
After a battery of tests and comparisons, the FBI reached a definite conclusion. It was no Bigfoot. The sample came from a creature in the deer family.
This no doubt came as a disappointment to Byrne, who's known for his book The Hunt for Bigfoot.
Byrne remains a notable and controversial figure among Bigfoot aficionados. His persistence with the FBI back in the '70s has gifted us a very entertaining FBI Vault file to enjoy, but we're still waiting on some hard evidence that shows Bigfoot isn't just a fantasy.