Will forensic analysts succeed in doing what Bigfoot hunters have only dreamed of achieving?
Skeptics and believers are holding their collective breath waiting for the results of a peer-reviewed, five-year study conducted by Texas veterinarian Melba S. Ketchum.
Ketchum claims to have isolated enough DNA samples from alleged Bigfoot hair, blood, saliva and urine to prove the existence of the legendary beast.
While we're all waiting for an eventual thumbs up or down on Ketchum's DNA assertions, one group of Bigfoot researchers has gathered an impressive number of videos reportedly showing numerous images of Bigfoot (or Bigfoots, if you will) from locations around the country.
Many new videos have been submitted to the online group Facebook/FindBigfoot (FBFB), including one striking video from September that reportedly shows a Bigfoot very near to the person who captured footage of the creature on his mobile phone.
"What's so amazing about this new video is how close the Bigfoot is to the camper's tent," Jack Barnes, chief video analyst for FBFB, said in a press release. "A Bigfoot usually maintains maximum distance from humans, but this one couldn't have been more than 25 feet away."
Check out these Bigfoot/Sasquatch videos spanning 45 years from 1967 to 2012 (story continues below):
Here is a compilation of more than 20 videos compiled by the researchers of the social networking site Facebook.com/FindBigfoot.
This is a detailed, frame-by-frame analysis of the most famous alleged and hotly debated Bigfoot film footage in history.
This is a digital analysis of the encounter with an alleged Bigfoot by Paul Freeman in 1994 in the Blue Mountains of Washington State.
This video was taken from inside a camp tent on Sept. 6, 2012, near San Antonio, Texas. It shows what appears to be a large, hairy creature which, at one point, turns its head toward the camera, giving an excellent view of its face.
The new Bigfoot videos have encouraged the FBFB team, and many are confident that someone will soon grab that indisputable Bigfoot image or video for all the world to see.
"With all the mobile phones and video out there, we've seen a spike in the quantity and quality of Bigfoot submissions. We want to celebrate 2013 as 'The Year of Bigfoot' to remind people that each video submitted helps our community to learn more about these amazing creatures," Barnes said.
Whether or not you believe Bigfoot exists, the FBFB video collection spans 45 years between 1967 and 2012 and begs the question: From a statistical point of view, is it reasonable to assume that every person who has taken and submitted these visual accounts is either confused or deliberately perpetrating a hoax? Or is it possible that even a small percentage of these eyewitnesses might have, in fact, honestly captured something unusual -- and similar -- on film or video and simply want to share it?
An Idaho State University scientist is also looking to 2013 to be the year when the existence of Bigfoot can finally be proven and skepticism laid to rest.
ISU recently approved anatomy and anthropology professor Jeffrey Meldrum's proposal to try and raise enough in private donations on Kickstarter.com to build a high-flying remote-controlled blimp -- known as the Falcon Project -- equipped with special cameras to catch Bigfoot day or night.
"The beauty of this system with the very high-tech camera equipment is that the initial surveying and identification of targets will take place from 2,000 to 3,000 feet in the air," Meldrum told The Huffington Post.
"It won't be this big, ominous blimp cruising over the tree lines, but it will be this little speck at night that's painted black with some lights on top. It'll just blend in with the starry background," Meldrum said. "Most wildlife usually aren't as aware of things up in the air as they are of things at eye level and on the ground, and even if they did happen to glance up, they wouldn't take notice."
Meldrum is working on the Falcon Project with project founder and previous Bigfoot eyewitness William Barnes. The pair hopes this aerial Bigfoot search will get off the ground in 2013 and result in definitive proof of the elusive animal.
Are all Bigfoot images and videos faked? Take a look at more of them through the years:
This still image taken from a 1977 film purports to show Bigfoot in California.
A film still shows what former rodeo rider Roger Patterson said is the American version of the Abominable Snowman of Nepal and Tibet. The film of the tall creature was shot by Patterson and Robert Gimlin northeast of Eureka, Calif., in October 1967.
As a motor biker was driving through the Grand River area of Ohio in April 2012, an alleged Bigfoot ran across the road and was caught on videotape.
Depicted is an illustration of a creature reported to inhabit the Kemerovo region of Siberia. Scientists from the U.S., Russia and other countries have yet to find one of these creatures known as the Russian Snowman. In early October, researchers claimed to be 95 percent certain that the animal exists.
An alleged footprint of a Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, appears in snow near Mount Everest in 1951. Now, scientists are setting out to find evidence of a reported unknown, hairy, bipedal creature known as the Siberian Snowman.
Bigfoot or bear? Impression left on the driver's side window of a pickup truck owned by Jeffrey Gonzalez. The bizarre image was left by an alleged Bigfoot in California's Sierra National Forest over Memorial Day 2011. DNA samples of the impressions will eventually determine the identity of the animal responsible for them. (See next slide for a close-up of the paw-like impression.)
Close-up of the "paw" print image. The impression was reportedly left by Bigfoot on the window of a pickup truck in the California Sierra National Forest over Memorial Day weekend 2011.
Bigfoot or bear? Pictured is a second impression left on the rear side window of the same truck from the previous slides. According to forensic/law enforcement photographer Mickey Burrow, "What you're seeing is a swipe mark. It looks like a small hand, swiping to the left, leaving another impression, and there's hair within those areas -- you can see where the hair would be."
This footprint was found over Memorial Day weekend, 2011, near Fresno, Calif. by a group of campers who were on a Bigfoot-hunting expedition. The print, measuring approximately 12 inches, was found near a truck where possible DNA evidence was left behind by more than one Bigfoot creature.
This footprint was found in 2008 in the Sierra National Forest near Fresno, Calif.
Thomas Byers snapped this photo of "Bigfoot" along Golden Valley Church Road in Rutherford County on March 22, 2011.
Bill Willard is the leader of a group searching for evidence of a Sasquatch or Bigfoot creature, spotted by, among others, his two sons in Spotsylvania County. He is shown on May 19 in Thornburg, Va., with a plaster cast he made from a suspicious footprint several years ago.
This still frame image from video provided by Bigfoot Global LLC shows what Whitton and Dyer claimed was a Bigfoot or Sasquatch creature in an undisclosed area of a northern Georgia forest in June 2008.
This October 2007 image was taken by an automated camera set up by a hunter in a Pennsylvania forest the previous month. Some said it was a Bigfoot creature; others believed it was just a sick bear.
A preserved skull and hand said to be that of a Yeti or Abominable Snowman is on display at Pangboche monastery, near Mount Everest.
Idaho State University professor Jeffrey Meldrum displays what he said is a cast of a Bigfoot footprint from eastern Washington in September 2006. Some scientists said the school should revoke Meldrum's tenure.
Joedy Cook, director of the Ohio Center for Bigfoot Studies, talks to a visitor to his booth on Oct. 15, 2005, at the Texas Bigfoot Conference in Jefferson, Texas. The event, hosted by the Texas Bigfoot Research Center, drew enthusiasts and researchers of the legendary creature.
Ken Gerhard of Houston, Texas, holds a duplicate plaster cast footprint Oct. 15, 2005, at the Texas Bigfoot Conference. The event, hosted by the Texas Bigfoot Research Center, drew enthusiasts and researchers of the legendary creature.
Josh Gates, host of Syfy TV's "Destination: Truth," holds a plaster cast of what Malaysian ghost hunters said was a Bigfoot footprint in 2006.
Al Hodgson, a volunteer guide at the Willow Creek-China Flat Musuem in California, holds up a plaster cast of an alleged Bigfoot imprint in 2000. The museum houses a collection of research material donated by the estate of Bob Titmus, who spent his life trying to track the creature.
Costume maker Philip Morris, who does not believe the Bigfoot legend, claimed the Patterson-Gimlin film showed a person wearing a gorilla suit that he made.