New name, same mission

In 1958, construction worker Jerry Crew discovered some large footprints in the dry, dusty Northern California soil and a legend was born. Crew’s find was eventually related to the world via the Humboldt Times along with the name he and the rest of his work team had given to the maker of those tracks: Bigfoot.

In the years that have followed, the name of this one individual (whoever or whatever it was) has come to stand for the entire phenomenon of large, hairy bipedal figures seen by people all over North America and the world, even though, in the minds of many, "Bigfoot" remains a solitary, presumably magical creature along the lines of the Tooth Fairy or Jack Frost. Eventually, the term "Bigfoot" was appropriated by the media as a proxy for the humorously improbable interests of simpletons and not the concern of serious, practical people. 

Our organization's mission is to help establish and conserve "Bigfoot" — through a partnership with governmental, academic, and scientific interests — as what we believe it is: an extant population of higher primates living in the forests and wild places of North America. In the course of our work we have found that using the popular vernacular often raises barriers when attempting to engage those outside our specific field of interest. "Bigfoot" is not something serious people, they feel, apply effort towards. It's a phenomenon that belongs to tabloids, late-night comedians and scoffing network news anchors.

In response, we have adopted the term "wood ape" as a name for the animal because that's what all our observations and experiences tell us it is. Neither a joke nor a myth, but a living, breathing primate species deserving of protection and study. 

Jerry Crew's discovery may have created the legend, but the animal behind it has existed on this continent from a time far earlier than 1958. How much longer it’s allowed to survive and thrive alongside man is very likely dependent on establishing it as real. Whatever helps us do that must be done, up to and including unmooring ourselves from a legendary, often ridiculed, name. 

To that end, after long consideration by and following a unanimous vote of this organization's Board of Directors, we are pleased to announce that from this point forward, the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC) shall be known as the North American Wood Ape Conservancy (NAWAC). While we recognize changing how language is used is a long and perhaps quixotic endeavor, we feel that the needs of this amazing species are poorly served by the silly patina that has accreted over the term "Bigfoot." 

Hopefully, our efforts or the efforts of others will make the North American wood ape a serious topic. We believe changing the very words we use while getting there is an important part of that process.

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Occurred 7/9/1988 in Sebastian County, AR

Published on November 3, 2017 Icon-photo-off Icon-video-off

Fisherman has close encounter on lake in western Arkansas. Read more...

Occurred 5/7/2016 in Atoka County, OK

Published on June 17, 2016 Icon-photo Icon-video-off

Two NAWAC Investigators find interesting trackway.

Occurred 1/4/2016 in Walker County, TX

Published on March 22, 2016 Icon-photo Icon-video-off

Husband and wife observe massive upright animal in Sam Houston National Forest on FM 1375 Baker Bridge at Lake Conroe one hour apart. Read more...

Occurred 6/8/2014 in Gonzales County, TX

Published on July 8, 2014 Icon-photo Icon-video-off

Couple has an encounter while hiking in Palmetto State Park. Read more...

Occurred 12/20/1983 in Walker County, TX

Published on December 21, 2013 Icon-photo Icon-video-off

Hunter has close encounter in Sam Houston National Forest near Stubblefield Recreational Area. Read more...

Occurred 12/24/1976 in Tyler County, TX

Published on March 11, 2013 Icon-photo Icon-video-off

Close highway encounter on Highway 287 near Woodville.

Occurred Fall 2003 in Polk County, TX

Published on March 7, 2013 Icon-photo Icon-video-off

Couple has highway encounter near Big Thicket National Preserve. Read more...

Occurred 4/3/2012 in Liberty County, TX

Published on April 21, 2012 Icon-photo Icon-video-off

Man out walking for exercise at local track has unexpected encounter with upright hair-covered subject. Read more...

Occurred 5/15/2009 in Burnet County, TX

Published on April 11, 2012 Icon-photo Icon-video-off

Motorist has late-night encounter near Balcones Canyon Lands National Wildlife Refuge. Read more...

Occurred 5/1981 in Travis County, TX

Published on November 15, 2011 Icon-photo-off Icon-video-off

Airman reports night-time encounter on Bergstrom AFB.

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