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Chinese researchers to relaunch 'Bigfoot' search

By Katy Byron, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chinese launching new search for Bigfoot
  • Group seeks funding for effort
  • Bigfoot believed to be half-man, half-ape

(CNN) -- Wanted: Patient person. Physically fit, with basic knowledge of biology. Able to take pictures.

Job: Find Bigfoot.

Scientists in China's Hubei Province have announced they are looking for additional members for its special team tasked with tracking down the creature.

The Hubei Wild Man Research Association (HWMRA) is recruiting researchers internationally to join the group's search in the Shennongjia forest region, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

Luo Baosheng, vice president of the HWMRA, told Xinhua that the organization is comprised of more than 100 scientists and explorers who have been chasing the ape-like animal for years. The last time a organized search took place was in the early 1980s, Xinhua reported Saturday.

"Most importantly, we want the team members to be devoted, as there will be a lot of hard work in the process," Luo told Xinhua. Team members are also expected to be in good physical health and preferably 25 to 40 years of age, he added.

The search for the phantom, known as the "Yeren" or "Wild Man" in China, will cost at least $1.5 million U.S. dollars, according to Wang Shancai, a member of the the group and an archaeologist with the Hubei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. The group is seeking funding from various companies and institutions, Wang said.

Chinese researchers have been searching since the 1970s. There have been more than 400 reported sightings of the half-man, half-ape in the Shennongjia area. In the past, explorers have found inconclusive evidence that researchers claimed to be proof of Bigfoot's existence, including hair, footprints, excrement and a sleeping nest, Xinhua reported.

Witnesses say the creature walks upright like a human but is much taller, and is covered in hair head-to-toe.

The search for Yeti is not restricted to China.

People in the United States have been looking for years. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) claims it's the oldest and largest organization with the goal of finding Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The organization relies heavily on eyewitness reports from residents.

According to BFRO's website, the animal began to be referred to as Bigfoot by journalists in the 1950s after a spat of sightings reported in northern California.

 
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