When my brother and I were little, my mom and dad took us to this movie called Sasquatch, The Legend of Bigfoot. The film followed these hikers as they searched for, and shared stories, about Bigfoot. It was a little hokey. A little scary. And a lot of fun.
Ever since that movie I've been hooked on Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti or whatever you want to call it.
In school, whenever we had some sort of project or book report to complete, I'd try to work Bigfoot into my idea. I even wrote a five-page english term paper in college on a Kids in the Hall skit that hinted to the theory that aliens were, in fact, Bigfoots that were dropped off by a spaceship (think E.T. with fur). It was a brilliant idea that, in a sense, eliminated two birds with one stone. I think I got a 'C' on it.
Back in the day, my three high school buddies thought up this master plan. We were going to call our local newspaper, the Martins Ferry Times Leader, and tell them we saw a Bigfoot in the woods above my house. We planned on buying a gorilla outfit, hiking up in the woods, taking a couple blurry pictures and sending them to the newspaper. Keep in mind this was the late 80's, before the internet, before photoshop and before you tube. So it seemed like a pretty good ruse at the time. We would be famous.
I'm not sure why we didn't do it. More than likely, we probably found a bum to buy us some beer and forgot about the idea altogether in a drunken blackout.
Still, my fascination with the mysterious creature has never waned.
That's why on a weekly basis I visit the The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization - it's a web site that keeps me informed on the latest sightings, expeditions and rumors surrounding Bigfoot. And, no, this site isn't some sort of joke. It's the real deal, my friends.
As it states on the web site, the mission of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) is "...essentially, to resolve the mystery surrounding the bigfoot phenomenon, that is, to derive conclusive documentation of the species' existence.''
One of the highlights of the site is The Comprehensive Sightings Database. Click on any state (in the U.S. or Canada) and you can find a sighting in virtually every county. I found a reported sighting near my home (Bath, Ohio) in Summit County down in the Cuyahoga Valley National Forest from 2005. After reading a couple of these reports, I'm convinced that most of these people, in fact, did see something. Is it a bear, a guy in a monkey suit or a hallucination? More than likely. Is it a Bigfoot? Welllll, you be the judge.
Another higlhight of BFRO.net is that it's the only place you can buy an 'official' FRAME 352 T-shirt. Unless you live under a rock, you know the photo I'm talking about (see picture above). I bought a Frame 352 t-shirt for my girlfriend last Christmas (yep, she's still with me) and when she wears it out to some sort of get together, she's the talk of the party. Or at least I think she is.
Every year, BFRO also puts together some cool Bigfoot expeditions to locations in North America that have reported 'heavy Bigfoot sightings' in the past couple of years.
According to BFRO, there have been more than 30 open expeditions (i.e. allowing in non-members as observers) with over 600 attendees, collectively. More than half that number consider themselves Class B witnesses (i.e. people who have not seen a bigfoot clearly, but have had either a quick sighting, or a confrontation in dark, or at least was close enough to hear a bigfoot). In addition, the BFRO has gotten close enough to at least hear sasquatches on all, but three, of its expeditions.
If I had the time, I would definitely venture out on one of these expeditions. Hey, it beats going to the Outer Banks or some other boring spot where you sit and stare at the beach like a mindless zombie slurping on a Pina Colada. At least the expeditions sound fun, creative and adventurous. Plus, I'm pretty sure it would be an experience you would never forget even if you failed to see a Yeti.
That said, if I decided to go on one of these expeditions I'm not too sure I would tell my co-workers, my family or anyone for that matter. I mean, just imagine the conversations after you returned from one of these expeditions:
JIM: Hey Eimer, how was the vacation?
ME: Er, good.
JIM: What'd you do?
ME: (Sighs) Well, if you must know, I hooked up with a search team from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization and we searched for Sasquatch in the West Virginia Wilderness.
JIM: (silent) Mmm. Hmmm. Nice talking to you.
Jim would then proceed to tell every single person in the office about the conversation that just transpired. Then I would get endless Bigfoot pictures and e-mails sent to me. Plus, I'd for sure be known as the 'Bigfoot Guy' and have to defend myself to my co-workers over and over and over again. I'm pretty sure my retirement party would also have a Bigfoot theme - even a possible Sasquatch Stripper.
That's why I'd lie and say I went to Scotland to search for the Loch Ness Monster instead.
Stay tuned for FIVE PIECES OF PROOF THAT BIGFOOT IS ALIVE!