Mr. Riggleman, who is contemplating a run for governor in Virginia and is writing a book about his experience with the dark side of Republican politics, sees a way forward in his experience with Bigfoot. The sasquatch was how many people first learned about him as a politician, after an opponent accused him of harboring a fascination with “Bigfoot erotica,” in 2018.

“I do not dabble in monster porn,” he retorts in his book, “Bigfoot … It’s Complicated,” which he based in part on a trip he took in 2004 on a Bigfoot expedition.

The book is full of passages that, if pulled out and scrubbed of references to the mythical creature, could be describing politics in 2021.

Mr. Riggleman quotes one true believer explaining why he is absolutely convinced Bigfoot is real, even though he has never seen it. In an answer that could have come straight from the lips of someone defending the myth that Mr. Trump actually won the 2020 election, the man says matter-of-factly: “Evidence is overwhelming. Check out the internet. All kinds of sightings and facts.”

At another point, Mr. Riggleman describes a conversation he had with someone who asked if he really thought that all the people claiming to have seen Bigfoot over the years were liars. “I don’t think that,” Mr. Riggleman responds. “I do believe that people see what they want to see.”

He did find one way to crack the Bigfoot false belief system: telling true believers that they were being ripped off to the tune of hundreds or thousands of dollars to go on expeditions where they would never actually see the creature.

“They got very angry,” he said. But eventually, some started to come around.

View Source