The director of the Center for Bigfoot Studies in Riverside, Calif., says he believes finding the legendary primate would be an important scientific discovery.
Daniel Perez, whose home doubles as the headquarters of the center, is one of the foremost experts on Bigfoot lore and often travels around the United States to investigate reported sightings and interview potential witnesses, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
"This isn't about finding some new species of butterfly in South America which would have little impact on your life or mine," he said. "If we ever find this, it might be the biggest scientific discovery the world has ever seen."
Perez said he's been approached by his fair share of hoaxers, but the similar accounts of Bigfoot sightings dating back hundreds of years and spread throughout the country keep him searching.
"I understand that many people are ignorant of the data on the subject, but this is more than just tabloid stuff," he said, offering a cast of a large footprint as evidence. "As you can see, it's very manlike. It walks like us and has feet like us, but it's covered in hair and has gorilla-like features. It could be a missing link."