(NEW YORK) -- A couple of campers got the scare of their lives the day before Halloween after they spotted what they claim was the infamous Bigfoot.
In a video posted to YouTube on Oct. 30, “Beard Card,” who did not want his name made public, said he was camping with some friends near Squaw Peak and Little Rock Canyon in Provo Canyon, Utah, and initially thought he saw a deer.
“We wanted to get a closer look at [it],” he said in a YouTube post. “On our way up, we thought we saw a bear, until the monster stood up and looked right at us. We ran straight to the car after that, leaving our tent and everything behind. It’s probably still up there.”
The original video has garnered more than 4.3 million YouTube hits and has sparked debate amongst Bigfoot enthusiasts about whether or not the furry beast is actually seen in the video.
For self-proclaimed “Bigfoot Hunter” Tom Biscardi, this sighting seems “to be the real deal.”
“If you look at the shoulders of the creature, with no arms and no neck, it looks like a creature that is waiting there and looking around, asking, What is going on here?” he said. “It was laying a little dormant there and to me, bears can go on two legs to smell the air and/or see if someone is there in their territory. In my opinion, it was not a bear, it looked pretty damn good.”
Biscardi, who runs searchingforbigfoot.com, said he has been hunting Bigfoot for 45 years and said he has had seven encounters with the mystical creature. He has produced several Bigfoot documentaries, including Bigfoot Lives.
Bigfoot, said Biscardi, is apelike with long arms that go past their knees, and are often hunched over.
“Their necks are closer to their shoulders and they are of course, very hairy,” Biscardi said. “The main thing that gives them all away is the footprint which is left behind. They are barefoot with five distinctive toes.”
But Jeffery Meldrum, an associate professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University, said there “is very little to go on,” to determine whether or not an actual sighting of Bigfoot took place.
“All we really have contextually is the account of the events by the eye witnesses. I can relate to the emotions of the situation but it would be nice if they held their ground and waited just a little bit longer to capture more of the creature,” Meldrum said. “When it moves, it is really difficult to interpret. The glimpse is slippery. It is hard to discern.”
Meldrum is an affiliate curator of the Bigfoot Field Researcher Organization and for the past 15 years, he has researched the ways monkeys, apes and human ancestors move. He has also published several academic papers about Sasquatch including co-editing "From Bidped to Strider: The Emergence of Modern Human Walking."
He said the number of skeptics who do not believe in Bigfoot is decreasing as evidenced by the public’s reaction to this video. However, he said the lack of a clear picture has him doubting whether this was truly a Bigfoot sighting or not.
“Not everyone is skeptical. I’ve seen polls that show the majority of Americans are very openminded about the possibility of its existence,” Meldrum said. “I would have to lean toward skeptic about this one instance, however. But, it does not tamper my conviction that the total of evidence, foot prints and hair that defies attributions to known species, and the oftentimes witnessing of credible and experienced individuals in the outdoors, does point to the existence of an unknown species. They in and of themselves do not negate Bigfoot’s existence.”
He said Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, is an omnivore, stays in hiding to avoid human contact as a defensive mechanism, and in general, acts as a “gentle giant.”
Biscardi said he hopes to get in touch with Card to go to the Utah site and investigate further.
“If anyone is going to get these creatures, it is us,” he said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio