If you were searching for an elusive, bipedal creature that might not even exist — say, Bigfoot — what kind of equipment would be on your wish list? One Idaho-based scientist has his answer: A tricked-out, remote-control search blimp.
Despite the wary head shakes of skeptical colleagues, Jeffrey Meldrum, an anatomy and anthropology professor at Idaho State University, wants to build a crowd-sourced, $300,000 zeppelin to help him capture video footage of the mysterious Sasquatch. According to Reuters, the airship will come equipped with a thermal-imaging camera to help penetrate the dense forest covering the areas where the missing link is rumored to roam, namely the Pacific Northwest as well as the northern tips of California and Utah.
"The challenge with any animal that is rare, solitary, nocturnal, and far-ranging in habitat is to find them and observe them in the wild; this technology provides for that," says Meldrum, who is also the author of Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.
The plan, dubbed the Falcon Project, was first envisioned by a Utah man named William Barnes who allegedly came face-to-face with a "well-manicured" hairy creature in northern California sometime in 1997 and subsequently approached Meldrum with the notion of finding Bigfoot using an airship. The Falcon Project is projected to take flight next spring.
That is, at least, if it ever takes off. Fundraising efforts have been slow. Reuters reports that Meldrum has yet to raise a single dollar for his cause. Still, he's hardly the only party interested in finding the legendary beast. Spike TV is offering a $10 million reward to anyone who can offer irrefutable evidence of Bigfoot's existence as part of a new reality show.
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