East Coast Bigfooter Passes Away

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 19th, 2014

Sad news passed on by William Dranginis of Virginia Bigfoot Research Organization:

In Memory of
Sgt. Ricky James Berry
June 3, 1963 – June 2, 2014
It’s with a heavy heart we forward the news of the passing of East Coast Bigfoot researcher and author, Rick Berry. Rick spent many years collecting Bigfoot reports and speaking to eyewitnesses along the entire East coast. His 1993 book, Bigfoot on the East Coast, has chronicled over 1,000 reported sightings of a large hairy manlike creature that inhabits the mountainous regions of the East Coast. It has also become one of the most coveted books in Bigfoot research. I spoke with Rick a number of times through the years concerning Bigfoot reports here in Virginia as well as reports in other areas of the United States. Rick will be missed but his research will continue to educate existing and future generations of Bigfoot researchers.
Thank you Rick and Godspeed!

Link to Rick’s obituary.

~ William Dranginis


Bigfoot on the East Coast
by Rick Berry
Self-published, Stuart’s Draft, VA, 1993, 164 pages, photos, paperback, $12.95.

Reviewed by Bufo Calvin

“If we were to dismiss all of the eastern (Bigfoot) reports then we would also have to dismiss all reports of the same quality from all other places, including the Pacific Northwest. And that would leave us with almost no sightings from anywhere.”

Grover Krantz, Big Footprints.

Many people find it easier to accept that something like Bigfoot is real if it isn’t happening in their own backyard. For instance, if you live in New York, you might laugh at someone who said they encountered a big smelly monster in Kinderhook, while accepting an identical report from a logger in Oregon. Perhaps it’s because we can’t admit that we wouldn’t know about it if it was in our own stomping grounds. Maybe we’re just more likely to believe strangers. Whatever the reason, distance lends credibility.

If you’re on the East Coast, Rick Berry’s recent book may shake that “only on the West Coast” attitude. He has assembled over one thousand sightings from fifteen eastern states, and given each one about a paragraph. All of the familiar characteristics found in Northwestern reports are here, from glowing eyes to putrid smells. If you accept those, there is no reason to reject these.

There certainly are some interesting things in these reports, whether you read it cover to cover or just browse. It appears that the Eastern Bigfoot is not so streetwise as its Western equivalent…there are several reports of car/creature collisions. There are also a few cases of their being seen swimming underwater. The wealth of data will make this a useful tool for the statistically oriented researcher.

The book does have some significant flaws, though. One obvious result of its being self-published is the lack of professional proofreading. Possessives and plurals are often confused. In one case from Morristown, New Jersey, we are told that the “indecent” was reported to the police. While some descriptions of naked Bigfoots might justify the term “indecent,” it is obvious that “incident” was intended.

Also, the back of the book claims that it is “the only book available that lists every reported sighting of the legendary East Coast Bigfoot.” However, we are told in the beginning that there were eighty-two sightings in Vermont and fifty-four sightings in Pennsylvania which have been left out of the book “due to lack of space.” Hopefully, they will appear in later, larger editions of the book.

Still, a lot of effort has been put into this book, and it does fill a gap in the literature, and the author is to be commended for taking on the challenge.

Originally published in Strange Magazine 13, Spring 1994

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.

2 Responses to “East Coast Bigfooter Passes Away”

  1. bigfootboy_2000 responds:

    Sad news. I had the opportunity to meet Rick in 1993 at a book signing at the Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg Pennsylvania. He was on hand with Stan Gordon and a Bigfoot/UFO Mall display and exhibit. Very nice man. He invited me to join him on a sighting investigation the following day, however it never worked out. I will always have fond memories of meeting Rick. He did a wonderful job recording all the reports across the Eastern United States. God Speed Rick.

  2. DWA responds:

    “If we were to dismiss all of the eastern (Bigfoot) reports then we would also have to dismiss all reports of the same quality from all other places, including the Pacific Northwest. And that would leave us with almost no sightings from anywhere.”

    And to those who say, that’s the point, all I have to say is: you need to provide an alternative explanation why people with no experience with wild apes are consistently describing one, providing behavioral and morphological details generally known widely only among primatologists.

    Here’s to all the people who take the chances to expand knowledge. RIP, Rick.

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