Is the legendary Bigfoot hiding out in the wilderness of North Carolina? 

According to 20-year Bigfoot researcher Michael Greene the answer is yes — and he intends to search once again this weekend with an Animal Planet crew in tow. Back in 2009, Greene shot 40 seconds of thermal video of what he claims is the elusive Sasquatch — video that another researcher calls the "most important footage since the Paterson/Gimlin film taken over 40 years ago.” 

"In the middle of the night, I was awakened by what I call, 'Darth Vader' breaths," said Greene in an interview last year. "The image is the first comprehensive thermal image of a Sasquatch … even though I admit that it's blurry," the former fraud investigator added.

According to The Charlotte Observer, Greene plans to hunt for Bigfoot in the Uwharrie (U-WHAR-ee) National Forest in Montgomery County. As Fox8 points out, if the legendary monster is hiding out in the forest, it's doing a fine job of avoiding contact. At just under 79 square miles, it's the smallest of North Carolina's four national forests.

The North Carolina stop is but one of several "Bigfoot hotspots" that Animal Planet will document for an upcoming special. Other states on the radar include Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Oregon and Washington.

Check out Greene's thermal footage of what he claims to be Bigfoot below!

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Animal Planet joins Bigfoot hunt
Camera crew to follow one man's search for the legendary creature.