An Oregon man has spent his life on a mission—and there are newly released FBI files to prove it. Peter Byrne is now 93, and he's decades into an obsession to find creatures of lore like Bigfoot and the yeti, a fascination born from stories he'd heard as a kid, per his website. Now, the FBI has opened its vault to reveal correspondence in 1976 and '77 between Byrne and FBI officials, in which Byrne actually got the agency to test hair samples he sent to them—though he tells NBC News he doesn't recall that ask. "Please understand that our research here is serious," says one of his letters, dated Aug. 26, 1976, on a supposed Bigfoot hair he believed to be in the agency's possession. By Nov. 24 of that year, Byrne had sent in his own sample.
"The hair that we have now, about 15 hairs attached to a tiny piece of skin, is the first that we have obtained in six years which we feel may be of importance," he wrote in a letter to the assistant director of the FBI's lab division. The FBI's eventual determination: "The hairs are of deer family origin," per a Feb. 22, 1977, letter seen by CNBC. "It's disappointing," Byrne tells the Washington Post. Newsweek notes the FBI files were released due to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by John Greenewald, who runs the Black Vault, a site dedicated to getting government info declassified. Meanwhile, Byrne says he's still trying to prove Bigfoot's existence. "We have motion-sensitive cameras out in the mountains" in Oregon, he tells NBC. (This woman decided to sue California over her supposed Bigfoot sighting.)