Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 9th, 2010
A correspondent, Jim Caspar, Director of Bands, Wattsburg Area School District, in Pennsylvania, passed this along, with permission to post it on Cryptomundo:
The Tom Ridge Visitor Center, located at Presque Isle State Park, in Erie, PA, has some movable dioramas at the entrance that illustrate
the various life forms and activities that one can experience in the
park. I was there with my son, Mick, today [April 8, 2010] and was very amazed and amused that they actually made one of the dioramas to represent the UFO/ Bigfoot sightings that took place in the park in the 1960s [July 31, 1966]. I have attached a picture of it that I took today on my iPhone.
I should also mention that they have a wall-sized mural about the Lake Erie Monster, which I guess would be South Bay Bessie, although there have been sightings around the Erie area lakeshore.
Here is the location of the sightings:
The balloon explanation is unproven, of course. But then the UFO reality, the Bigfoot encounter, and/or the alien sighting are beyond proving, as well. The full exploration of the case may, uncomfortably for some, exist in more of a Fortean netherworld than one of any actual scientific fact, with what information we have to date. One part of a report like Presque Isle could contain a misindentification (take your pick) and the other could involve some form of reality.
I know all about this piece of landscape, regarding UFO-Bigfoot-cryptid cases, as I wrote about this morass in the “high strangeness” days of the late 1960s and 1970s. I am certainly not taking a debunking stance as much as a multi-faceted skeptical but open-minded one, as usual.
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.