Evidence Refuting

To succeed in negative discovery -- to prove that some mythical entity did not exist -- was far more exacting and exhausting than to succeed in finding a known objective. -Daniel Boorstin, Quoted in Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science by Jeff Meldrum.
The main argument refuting Sasquatch's existence is lack of conclusive, universally accepted evidence. The year is 2012 and there is no body, bones, unambiguous photograph, unambiguous video, ... no indisputable proof. This must be viewed as negative evidence -- but does not preclude its existence. It should also be noted that technology such as trail-cams, nightvision cameras, heat sensing camera, and just the accessibility and portability of high quality digital cameras should increase the probability of getting an unambiguous photograph. In addition there seems to be an increasing number of researchers actively searching for Sasquatch. Every day that goes by without discovery makes the creature's existence less probable.
You know, I've spent over 40 years -- and I didn't find it. I guess that's got to say something. -Rene Dehinden, link
Other negative evidence includes:
  • Known Hoaxes. It is possible that the evidence in favour of Sasquatch is the result of very good or very lucky hoaxes. Sasquatch hoax attempts seem to be fairly common, even if we dismiss the 99% that are clearly hoaxes we are left with a significant amount of material that is counted towards the evidence of existence.
  • Ecology. Sasquatch are big and therefore require a large amount of food. Is there enough energy available in the ecosystem to support these creatures? Read my article here.
  • Breeding populations. ""It defies all logic that there is a population of these things [Sasquatch] sufficient to keep them going.... What it takes to maintain any species, especially a long-lived species, is you gotta have a breeding population. That requires a substantial number, spread out over a fairly wide area where they can find sufficient food and shelter to keep hidden from all the investigators." -Phillips Stevens, a cultural anthropologist and ethnologist at the University at Buffalo (link). The BFRO has an interesting article contesting this assumption (link). Biologist John's Mionsynski words in this National Geographic piece.
  • Psychological phenomenon. Sasquatch sightings can be attributed to misinterpreted/misidentified known animals, false memories, or even hallucinations.
  • Range across North America. There are several examples where sightings or reports have been plotted on a map of North America and the sightings are enormously widespread. It seems unlikely and unprecedented (maybe the cougar is the closest example) that a large terrestrial mammal could have such a large range and still be extremely rare. For this reason, one could argue that maps like these support the hoax and/or psychological phenomenon theories.
  • No fossil record of great apes in North America.

Even if you have a million pieces of evidence, if all the evidence is inconclusive, you can’t count it all up to make something conclusive, -David J. Daegling, anthropologist, Scientific American