1977 -- Reuters News Service:   Beijing, China

China has opened a museum dedicated to the elusive "Bigfoot" ape-man said to roam the Shennongjia Nature Reserve in Hubei province, the Xinhua news agency reported Sunday.

The museum is displaying samples of reddish hair and plaster models of huge footprints collected over the years that are said to prove the existence of the creature, Xinhua said.

The museum, which opened last month, also features documents and pictures of various scientific and exploratory operations mounted over the years to track down the creature.

"All the materials in the museum are genuine," says Chen Renlin, chairman of the Shennongjia Cultural Research Society and self-proclaimed "Bigfoot" expert.

Since the 1950s, both scientists and amateurs have searched in vain for the creature in the Shennongjia valley, as well as for its cousin, the yeti, in the Himalaya mountains. 

Copyright Reuters 1977

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