Hairy Man as depicted in a Central California pictograph estimated to be 500 to 1,000 years old. (Photo courtesy KATHY MOSKOWITZ STRAIN/Stanislaus National Forest)
In California, many people associate Bigfoot with the cool, densely forested regions of the Sierra Nevada’s or the northern Coastal Range, but the pictographs at the Painted Rock shelter near Taft, California tells a different story. The pictographs are believed to have been created 500 to 1000 years ago and include familiar creatures such as coyotes and bears but also a creature that a local Native American tribe calls the “Hairy Man”.
The big male, according to Yokuts tribal lore, is Hairy Man, standing on two legs, its arms spread wide, with long hair and, writes Forest Service archeologist Kathy Moskowitz Strain, “large, haunting eyes.” Next to it, with the same hairy, two-legged aspect, are what appear to be the adult female, the “mother,” and her child.
None of the animals shown on Painted Rock are proportionally larger than one would expect; they’re all either life-sized or smaller, as if in the distance.
The painting of Hairy Man is 8 1/2 feet tall.
If the creature depicted in the pictographs is Bigfoot, then it was able to survive in a pretty harsh environment. The rock shelter is located on the Carrizo Plain, an area that is known for being very dry and having dramatic highs and lows for temperatures. The plain itself is grassland with the San Andreas Fault Zone running through it and is bordered by chaparral mountain ranges on either side.
Watch this Monster Quest episode featuring the Native American rock art: