My interest in the Bigfoot phenomenon goes back to childhood, the mystery and excitement, the possibility was mesmerizing. I was a child of the 70’s and stories of large creatures lurking in the woods and monsters under the bridge were commonplace and always had my curiosity peaked. I never really wanted to be the one on TV telling the whole world of my discovery, I just wanted to find it for myself, to know it was real, to experience the thrill of the chase. As a kid growing up in northeast Ohio my adventures were limited to the backyards of my neighborhood, not much ever happened there.
My involvement with the Bigfoot phenomenon was not quite an accident but it certainly wasn’t something I sought out to do. In 2010 I somehow ended up at the Ohio Bigfoot Conference, met some people and started my own investigation on the subject (short version of the story). A few years later I was tagging along with the B.F.R.O on several local investigations and hearing firsthand accounts of Bigfoot sightings. This was the adventure I was looking for my whole life and didn’t know it.
Since my adventure began in 2010 I’ve witnessed many strange and unexplained things. I’ve heard weird noises in the woods, I’ve had rocks thrown at me and I even saw something very large and human like through a thermal late one night deep in the woods of Coshocton County. All my own experiences combined prove nothing to me, all can be explained away, bear, deer, maybe just my imagination. But it’s those firsthand accounts from seemingly innocent bystanders, sucked into the myth, that keep me up at night, wondering.
The whole Bigfoot sensation really took off in 1967 when Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin filmed an alleged creature crossing a dried creek bed in the mountains of California in an area called Bluff Creek. That video is still regarded by many as the best evidence ever presented for the existence of this elusive animal. But it was Patterson’s actions following the release of his footage that raised questions about its authenticity. Roger put together a documentary featuring his famous footage and began touring across the country showing it to whomever would pay. In the film, several items came into question and it became evident that some creative editing was used to dramatize things a bit. In addition, Gimlin wanted nothing to do with the film tour so Roger enlisted an imposter to take along and fill the role of sidekick. Patterson died in 1972 of cancer and a purported deathbed confession to hoaxing began to circulate leading to further skepticism.
In the past few years many have tried to scam the public with lies and trickery. Rick Dyer’s horrendous taxidermy didn’t fool anyone but the local news. Todd Standing’s 70’s style Muppets sure didn’t fool anyone either, except for TV’s Survivorman Les Stroud. And even science failed to prove the mystery as Melba Ketchum’s apparent shortcuts and self-published “paper” did little to convince anyone. Television shows like Finding Bigfoot put the mainstream spotlight on the subject but the cast of characters and lack of real evidence only made for good entertainment, nothing more. Then more shows started popping up, each new one worse than the previous. From the ridiculous Mountain Monsters with its band of misfits to $10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty the truth seems all but lost at this point.
But in my mind, I still go back to those firsthand witness accounts. Those I cannot dismiss, well not all of them anyway. It’s those people who keep the legend alive. No picture, video, audio clip or DNA alone will ever be enough to convince the masses, not with the current track record for such evidence. But when I hear the stories, and I see their faces, not looking me in the eye but starring off into nothing, their minds whisked away to that moment in time when they were face to face with something legendary, I BELIEVE. The fear and raw emotion in their voices, THE TRUTH! I believe. So I ask you to look past the salesmen, the showmen, the hoaxers and liars, and SEEK THE TRUTH! For it will set you free.