Scientists to Search for Chinese "Bigfoot"

Date: April 1995

BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese scientists are setting off on a year long expedition to investigate reports of a 7-foot "Bigfoot'' wandering the wilderness. The 30-member team will set off next month for the Shennongjia Nature Reserve in central China, where for centuries residents have reportedsightings of a creature that is half man and half ape, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.

Some scientists expect to find an undiscovered species of ape men, the report said. "The most satisfactory thing would be to get a picture or even a videotape of the creature,'' said Wang Fangchen, the scientist heading the expedition.

The expedition plans a scientific survey of the region's environment,geography and meteorology, even if it fails to find Bigfoot. The nature reserve, in the western part of Hubei province, is home to rare species, including the golden monkey.

Anthropologists, biologists and geneticists from the Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing University and Beijing Normal University will be team members, the report said. An advance team began searching in March for the legendary creature.