New Bigfoot video sparks fierce debate online

As one myth dies another picks up speed.

Fresh off news that Chupacabra sightings were likely cases of mistaken identity, Bigfoot is making headlines once again.

Thomas Byers of North Carolina is claiming to have filmed the legendary monster. Check out the blurry video for yourself below.

Byers posted the video on his website, where he details the alleged encounter. Byers claims he was driving down a road in northern Rutherford County with his friend Carolyn Wright when he spotted a "brown furry animal" between six and seven feet tall coming out of a field. Byers says he jumped out of his truck and used a small video camera to capture Bigfoot, or "Knobby" as Byers calls him, as he crossed the highway.

Byers says Knobby "smelled like a cross between roadkill and a skunk" and growled at him as he ran across the road.

While the blurry video is sparking debate across the Web about the authenticity of the sighting, the uncertainty hasn't stopped "Bigfoot video" from becoming a trending topic on Yahoo! in the U.S.

The hunt for giant, hairy people is also heating up in Russia, where officials in Siberia have announced plans to open a scientific institute to study Yetis, or as they are commonly known, Abominable Snowmen. While Yetis are generally spotted in the Himalayas, the Siberian region of Kemerovo has begun to use its reputation for sightings to promote tourism.

Stories about wildmen have long been a part of the cultures of the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. But the Bigfoot legends went mainstream in the 1920s when writer J. W. Burns published a series of Canadian newspaper stories in which he popularized the term "Sasquatch."

While the modern legend may have got its start in Canada, it gained greatest prominence after the the appearance of the famous Patterson-Gimlin film from California in 1967. The image emerged around the release of "The Planet of the Apes" and gained international attention. "Apes" costume designer John Chambers was accused of being the man in the footage (a claim he always denied).

Only time will tell if this latest sighting is the real deal.