The sun has set and the moon is illuminating the night sky. Deep in the woods, a group of hunters are seated around a campfire. The fire light casts shadows on the trees but beyond that, the woods are pitch black. The gang is talking, laughing and having a few beers when someone hears a loud snap behind them as if something very large had stepped on a fallen branch. They all turn around and stare into the blackness, eyes adjusting from the firelight but they don’t see anything. Just some animal. Everyone turns around and thinks nothing of it. That’s when the sound of something crashing through the trees and coming towards them startles all of them. Everyone jumps up and turns towards the sound. A deafening roar echoes through the woods, a sound, unlike anything they have ever heard or hunted. The men don’t waste any time and take off in their trucks to seek the safety and comfort of a nice hotel rather than risk it sleeping with whatever was out there. They all agree not to tell anyone because after the fear has worn off, laughing at themselves and just a tad embarrassed.
Had the elusive creature popularly known as “Bigfoot” found this group of men on its territory?
Reports of the hairy, 7 to 9-foot ape-like creature are in no short supply in Michigan’s past or the entire United States and Canada for that matter. But out of all the categories that branch from the paranormal, poor Bigfoot within the study of Cryptozoology is often the laughing stock of the genre – quickly written off as a legend, hoax or the byproduct of a drunken camping trip. Bigfoot is the bastard child of the paranormal. Not many people take the idea of a large, unidentified hominid creature living in the woods undetected for thousands of years, seriously. And why would they? There are no believable photos or physical evidence such as a body to prove its existence. Some have claimed to have casts of the creature’s footprints Some claim to have Bigfoot DNA samples as in the case of Dr. Melba Ketchum. Videos like the famous 1967 Patterson film have been replayed over and over on TV shows. But are any of these valid? Some also feel that Bigfoot could be an interdimensional being but that makes my head hurt.
BIGFOOT MAKES THE HEADLINES
Willow Creek, California. 1958. A man named Jerry Crew discovers some rather large footprints at a construction site and newspaper headlines were quick to follow the discovery and label the animal as “Bigfoot.” The footprints were later admitted to being a hoax in 2002 and were set up by the developer of the construction area but it’s one of the first times the label Bigfoot is used and people start wondering about what’s in the woods behind their house that they are unaware of.
Shortly after Crew’s “discovery,” people came out with their stories including a Canadian man named Albert Ostman claimed he had been kidnapped by more than one Bigfoot in 1924. He escaped because they got sick on his chewing tobacco and he was able to get away. He never recanted his story. The 1960’s were considered a “golden era” for Bigfoot with lead researchers John Green, Ivan T. Sanderson and Rene Dahinden gathering firsthand accounts of encounters with Bigfoot. But no matter how seriously some took the subject, there would always be the people creating hoaxes, constantly causing people to never believe anything they saw regarding Bigfoot. Many will remember the hoaxes in 2005 and 2008 promoted by Bigfoot enthusiasts Tom Biscardi.
People see unexplained things all of the time but out of embarrassment, choose not to say anything and those are usually the truly credible witnesses that keep quiet. It’s the drunk, whacked out idiot that will be quick to tell you he saw Bigfoot one night or has Coast to Coast AM on speed dial.
There seem to have been a few good efforts made in the past by some Michiganders to establish a decent website devoted to Bigfoot research, but none of them appear to be too active these days. The majority of sightings seem to come from the Pacific Northwest and the southern states but Michigan is not in short supply of them. Sightings of strange, giant creatures go as far back as the late 19th century with a sighting from 1891 in Gladwin County by the Tittabawassee River.
Have you seen something strange in Michigan? Have you had a possible Bigfoot sighting? Comment below or write.
Michigan Bigfoot Information Center – Sightings by County. Most are older accounts taken from the book Sasquatch, The Apes Among Us” by John Green, 1978.
The Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization – There are some newer accounts from the 2000’s and onward in their Michigan section. Group was made notorious for claiming they were going to go out and shoot a Bigfoot in 2014 for the TV show Destination America.