The Notorious B.I.G.FOOT

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on November 18th, 2015

It’s the legend that refuses to die. How is it that after all these years Sasquatch still holds such sway over the American imagination? The answer to the mystery might already exist half a world away.

If Bigfoot exists, why isn’t he on Instagram?

That’s how the current argument goes. In our age of ubiquitous, camera-­ready smartphones, when we share every mundane moment across social media, surely, someone, somewhere would have snapped a selfie with the big guy by now. How is it that the most convincing “evidence” remains a grainy, 48­-year­-old film clip that looks suspiciously like a guy in gorilla drag?

The 91 people gathered in a YMCA lodge 68 miles southwest of Buffalo don’t want to hear it. They’ve plunked down $20 apiece to spend an October Saturday in this cabin by the lake, home to the fourth annual Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo. Folks make new friends and renew old acquaintances as they chat and mill about the mess hall, which today serves as an auditorium and convention center of sorts. Many wear buttons that declare I BELIEVE.

A kitchen in back serves pizza and snacks. Vendors hawk all kinds of Bigfoot merch. One draws a crowd with photos of footprints of the day’s star attraction. Stuffed Sasquatches are another popular item. Peter Wiemer, the event’s founder and organizer, is admirably transparent about what inspired him to put on this show: “The entrepreneurial bug,” he concedes. “We’re the only Bigfoot convention in the world available as a video on demand. It’s only $1.99 for four-­plus hours from 2012.”

The conventioneers fill rows of folding chairs and listen in rapt attention as a burly man named Steve Kulls — the “Squatch Detective” he calls himself — offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Bigfoot reality shows are made. Another speaker clicks through a PowerPoint presentation on “What to bring while Bigfooting” (thermal imager, audio recorder, headlamp with green or red filter), and how to behave in the woods (“attitude is paramount; keep it professional at all times”).

Other folks have more urgency for being here: They’ve seen Sasquatch, and they want to share their stories and find comfort in a community of witnesses. They convey a deeply felt belief that there is more to the world than we know.

Take Julia Karanasky. A grandmotherly 79­-year-­old, she still wonders about a noise she heard outside her window more than a decade ago. An intense dream — or was it? — followed, which triggered a search for answers that continues to this day.

Karanasky’s experience occurred about 15 years back, after she moved with her husband to Niagara Falls, N.Y. During the first night in their new home, Karanasky woke to use the bathroom, and heard a growl outside the window, deep and unfamiliar. She sat on the edge of the bed for several minutes until the noise stopped. A few hours later, around 4:30, she had a nightmare as real as life. An enormous, hairy man stood at the same window, peering in. After a few moments, he walked across the front lawn, up a stream and out of sight.

Weeks later, still unsettled by the experience, Karanasky described her dream to a neighbor. “Oh, that’s the Big Man,” the neighbor told her. “Some people call it Bigfoot. He lives there on Tuscarora. We don’t bother him. He doesn’t bother us. He’s been there for years.”

Karanasky concedes that her experience proves nothing, yet she is driven to understand a moment so odd, and so vivid, that it compelled her to be here. “I had no interest in Bigfoot before that,” Karanasky tells me. “But after, I started watching movies and reading books about it. I found out (about) this conference and said, ‘I’ve got to go.’ I like hearing other people’s stories.”

Read the entire article on the website here. Way more content on their site. #Bigfoot #Sasquatch

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.

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