This is a massively entertaining investigatory quest to pinpoint the science behind Bigfoot claims.
An engaging look at the history, mythos, and science of Bigfoot and company, Bigfoot Yeti and the Last Neanderthal is a fascinating investigation and a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Brian Sykes brings his geneticist’s expertise to the undertaking of a serious, scientifically guided effort to determine, once and for all, whether or not Bigfoot and the Yeti exist. As Sykes engages with the Bigfoot spotter community and runs genetic samples through endless laboratory tests, he also relates the rich, colorful history of the search for these human-like creatures. He also espouses his own theory that if ape-like humans still hide in the wild, they may be relatives or descendants of lost human species, such as Homo neanderthalensis.
The book begins with the history of Yeti and Bigfoot searches, from the rich eccentrics who originally funded ventures to Nepal to modern people who claim to have psychic connections to Bigfoot. Later, the author performs DNA analysis on possible Bigfoot hair samples. Despite some cringe-inducing moments with them, Sykes never disrespects Bigfoot enthusiasts in any way. On the contrary, according to this book, Sykes may be one of the only scientists in the world who is willing to pursue their interest seriously. His efforts to apply the scientific method to the existence of Bigfoot is laudable and will endear the geneticist to many a Bigfoot researcher.
Bigfoot, Yeti, and the Last Neanderthal is highly readable. The style is lively, utilizing rhetorical questions and declarations of amazement to communicate the extent of the author’s personal enthusiasm for the subject. Unfortunately, this can undermine the text as a serious scientific piece. Considering all of the real work done for the book, writing it in such a dramatic manner seems like a wasted opportunity.
That said, Bigfoot enthusiasts may never see more validation from the science world than they will here. The author seems sympathetic to their cause, even eager to prove them right, albeit in a way that will also validate his own ideas. Finally, above all, Bigfoot, Yeti, and the Last Neanderthal is massively entertaining. Ideal mostly for cryptozoologists, but definitely a good pick for the casually interested or curious.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.