By 3 News online staff
An Idaho scientist is planning to build a remote-controlled helium blimp armed with thermal-imaging cameras to settle one of the northwest United States' most enduring mysteries: does Bigfoot actually exist?
Professor Jeffrey Meldrum has been given the go-ahead by Idaho State University to start raising funds to build the blimp, codenamed the Falcon Project, which will cost around US$300,000.
"The challenge with any animal that is rare, solitary, nocturnal and far-ranging in habitat is to find them and observe them in the wild," says Prof Meldrum. "This technology provides for that."
Prof Meldrum is the author of a book called Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, and has teamed up with William Barnes, a man from Utah who claims he saw Bigfoot in 1997.
It was Barnes' idea to launch a blimp, and the pair hope to raise the money in time to launch the hunt next year. According to Reuters, they are yet to raise a single dollar, but Prof Meldrum says he has been in talks with a couple of cable channels interested in producing a weekly TV series following the Falcon Project.
The most famous Bigfoot sighting occurred in 1967, when Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin allegedly filmed a female member of the species in a forest in California (pictured above).