January 22, 2015

Did Bigfoot Really Visit Minerva in 1978?

Bigfoot. Is it a legend, a myth or is it real?

Regardless of public opinion, many people have reported spotting the elusive creature. An initial sighting followed by several “visits” from the alleged creature occurred in Paris Twp. on US 30 east of Minerva in August 1978.

Thirty-six years later, the Minerva story is being revisited again. Seth Breedlove, a freelance journalist who resides in Wadsworth, is launching a monster documentary series beginning with the “Minerva Monster.” He is working with producers Alan Megargle and Jesse Morgan and Nathan Newcomer, who managed locations and public relations, to tell the real story through witness interviews; in the words of those who lived it.

August 1978
According to Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) investigator Ron Schaffner’s report, “The first major sighting was Aug. 21. Evelyn Cayton’s family and friends were on the front porch of their home when they heard noises coming from the direction of an old chicken coop, located to the right of the home. Witnesses saw two pairs of yellow eyes from what appeared to be “cougar-type” felines. Then they saw a large bipedal hairy creature step in front of the large cats. Everyone fled inside the home while waiting on Stark County deputies to arrive. The creature appeared at the kitchen window (about four yards from the kitchen table) and stood there for approximately 10 minutes. Everyone could clearly see the creature because of the back porch light.

Deputy Sheriff James Shannon arrived shortly after the creature left the scene. Shannon later said a strong stench like “ammonia-sulphur” lingered in the area. Extra deputies were called in and the area searched on horseback and with jeeps. (The land behind the Cayton property was an old abandoned strip mine and beyond that were dense woods going up a gradual hill.) Unusual, but unsubstantiated footprints were discovered.

Cayton’s daughter, Mary Ackerman, arrived at the residence the following day and saw the same creature standing on top of the hill next to the strip mine. The creature was seen Aug. 23 near the residence.

Two more sightings of the creature were reported Sept. 8 and 9, when Ackerman saw two “ape-like” animals across the strip mine. A man who lived five miles east of Minerva on US 30 reported catching a glimpse of an unknown furry animal. The animal was squatting next to a tree and let out a sound similar to a loud cough.

Breedlove has been interested in unsolved mysteries and the Bigfoot phenomenon since he was a child. “It’s not that I necessarily believe or don’t believe in Bigfoot,” he explained. “It is the fact there is no easy explanation.”

He came across the Minerva incident when he was doing research for a book about small town monsters and how legends and local lore seep into society. His first phone call was to a reporter who covered the story in 1978. After a brief intermission from researching, Breedlove began interviewing witnesses, law enforcement and Minerva Mayor Jim Waller.

Breedlove spoke with a member of the Cayton family, also. He noted the family was overwhelmed with skepticism and media and Bigfoot hunters to the point they had to install a fence to keep everyone away. Still today they do not want public attention.

The Minerva Historical Society was a great help, Breedlove noted. They provided packets of photographs and allowed him to hold interviews in their building. While Breedlove has found no pictures of the supposed creature, he was able to obtain a copy of the original police report and articles from the Akron-Beacon Journal.

“I think the people in Minerva were happy we were here,” Breedlove said. “However, what shocked me the most was the people we ran into on the street had no idea what we were talking about. This story ran on news stations and was heard as far away as Germany and Japan. It should be a huge part of local lore but has been forgotten.”

The crew began actual filming in September and finished the second week in December. They are now in the editing process.

The documentary will premiere May 16 during the Ohio Bigfoot Conference at Salt Fork State Park. Breedlove hopes to have a DVD available at that time and will work on having the documentary available to stream online. Brandon Dalo, a musician, is creating an original score to go along with the documentary.

Breedlove and his crew plan to continue with Small Town Monsters documentaries around the country. He will continue work on the original book but may turn it into a guidebook to work in conjunction with the documentaries.

For more information about Minerva Monster, visit facebook.com/Minervamonster.

Breedlove was raised in Bolivar. His parents owned a bookstore and the family traveled extensively attending book shows. He was homeschooled and graduated in 1999. Along with being a freelance journalist and working in medical billing, Breedlove is an online blogger and hosts a podcast at www.saswhat.com.


See also:

Teaser Trailer for Minerva Monster
Sasquatch Chronicles: Show Notes with Shannon Archive-Seth Breedlove
SasWhat: Small Town Monsters presents Minerva Monster
Small Town Monsters: Minerva Monster

#SmallTownMonsters #MinervaMonster #SasWhat

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

Filed under Bigfoot, Bigfoot Report, Cinema News, Cryptid Cinema, Cryptozoologists, Cryptozoology, Eyewitness Accounts, Pop Culture, Sasquatch, Videos