Chance of Jail Time For Bigfooter?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 11th, 2008

When lifelong Fortean, Eastern puma and Sasquatch researcher, and recent cancer sufferer Bob Chance was first arrested, the media highlighted Bob as a “Bigfooter.”

bob's book1

Perhaps in a nod to the civic-minded background of Bob’s life and the holiday season, the mainstream newspaper The Baltimore Sun is now calling him the ecologically-minded “Santa Bob.”

A 62-year-old ecologist, Christmas-tree merchant and former Bel Air town commissioner pleaded guilty today [December 10, 2008] in Baltimore County Circuit Court to growing marijuana and possessing psychedelic mushrooms on his 7-acre Harford County farm.

Robert C. Chance, who children buying Christmas trees know as “Santa Bob,” was arrested in May [2008] during a raid on his farm, where detectives and investigators from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration found 19 marijuana plants growing, more than a pound and a half of packaged marijuana in freezers, and about 33 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Chance had been charged with five counts, including possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Under an arrangement with prosecutors, he was able to plead guilty to two of the lesser charges in exchange for a recommendation that he serve no more than six months in prison.

Had he been convicted of all five charges, Chance faced a maximum of 20 years in prison.

This morning, Judge John G. Turnbull II — to whose courtroom in Towson the case was transferred after Harford County judges recused themselves because they are acquainted with the defendant — agreed that he would give Chance no more than six months in jail, but postponed sentencing until March 9 so that he can consider a pre-sentencing report.

Standing before the judge in a trim goatee, reading glasses and black blazer, Chance firmly answered, “Yes, sir,” to a series of questions from Turnbull as to whether he understood, among other things, that he was waiving his right to a trial by jury. Asked what his level of education was, Chance replied, “Two master’s degrees.”

“So you understand the English language,” the judge responded.

“‘Santa Bob’ pleads guilty in marijuana case,” by Nick Madigan, Baltimore Sun, December 10, 2008

I certainly hope the judge takes into account Bob’s good life, his cancer, and his friends’ appeals. Perhaps, in the end, he will get probation instead of six months?


Bob Chance routinely delivers his free lectures to schools, conservation groups, and the elderly about ecology, historical animal reports, and cryptid sightings in Maryland.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

5 Responses to “Chance of Jail Time For Bigfooter?”

  1. Allen Hopps responds:

    Mr. Chance went on several bird watching expeditions with my high school Biology class, he was a good fun person. I hope he makes it out all right.

  2. size 13 responds:

    To make Marijuana illegal was shortsighted but to KEEP it illegal is sheer foolishness.

  3. squatchbiatch responds:

    Bob Chance can do no wrong in my book. He is a true champion of all living creatures and a tremendous asset to the bigfoot community. Don’t even get me started on “the war on drugs”…

    I wish Bob all the best.

  4. hudgeliberal responds:

    Yeah, the war on drugs is just a drain on the economy that keeps our prison industrial complex alive and well. Education, treatment and prevention should be where the money is spent, instead it is spent ensuring that over 1 million NON-VIOLENT offenders, many whom suffer from a DISEASE called addiction, are jailed and cost taxpayers a minimum of 40 grand per year to house. I think what a person ingests into their body is their business and should not be a crime. Being a former addict and successful methadone maintenance treatment patient, I have seen first hand the misery of addiction and know full well just how big of a failure the drug war really is. Since Nixon declared this idiotic war, we continue to spend more and more money YET the amount of drugs on the street and the number of addicts rise each year, that equals epic FAILURE. The Netherlands have much more sensible attitude with relaxed laws and concentrate on a common sense approach and use education and treatment instead of jail time and guess what? They have less addicts, less crime and less STDs than the US. Sorry to rant but this is a very sore spot for me and many others. I never encourage anyone to use drugs and warn of the misery that is addiction, however, I only tell people to be informed and educated about what they are taking and putting into their body. Sorry for the ramble. I hope Bob gets probation. If he goes to jail, because of overcrowding, many VIOLENT criminals such as rapists, murderers and child molesters are released to make room for all the non-violent drug offenders. Ok, I will step down from the podium now.

  5. vernassina responds:

    Mr. Chance could certainly use our support right now. What a terrible waste of legal resources, and for what? To break a man’s spirit? This gentleman is a kind soul, who has given back to the community in many ways. I will not stand for the government trying to steamroll him, when there are bigger fish to fry. My prayers go out to this fine educator and his family. I’ll be at his farm this weekend to buy a tree, a book, and continue to offer any support I can for Bob.

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