Supporters Rally to Bigfooter’s Defense

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 20th, 2008


Bob Chance delivers one of his lectures on the historical Bigfoot in Maryland.

If remarks to Cryptomundo are any sample, Bob Chance has a lot of understanding friends and fans. Members of the hominological, cryptozoological, civic, and environmentalist communities have lined up behind Bigfoot hunter Robert Chance.

The Examiner published a followup article about Bob Chance on Friday, June 20, 2008. It shows a change in tone, and the contents do some justice to the reality of the situation.

The headline, “Supporters Speak Out for Indicted Environmentalist,” demonstrates what I am hearing from the grassroots level (no pun intended), about the reactions to the publicity surrounding the state attorney’s charges against Bob.

Bob has sent word that he wants to let readers of Cryptomundo know that the positive comments here are ones he greatly appreciates, as he begins his battle not only with the court of law, but in the court of public opinion.

The newspaper dealt with the circumstances of Bob’s indictment this way today:

Members of Harford County’s environmentalist community lined up behind Bigfoot hunter Robert Chance, who is awaiting trial on charges of possessing marijuana with intent to distribute.

Chance, a former Bel Air town commissioner, teacher, environmental educator and keeper of Bigfoot lore, was indicted last month after a police search of his house recovered suspected marijuana plants and hallucinogenic mushrooms — enough to charge him with intent to distribute, according to State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly.

“He’s done a lot more good than bad, if that’s all he’s done,” said Tom Close of Bel Air, who said he had worked both alongside and against Chance as a real estate developer. “I don’t think he’d ever distribute anything.”

Chance declined to comment, but his attorney, Gus Brown, said any plants the police recovered in their May 12 search appeared to be immature and had yet to be tested and confirmed as marijuana.

Lynn Mullins, who said she and her son participated in a nature camp run by Chance last summer, expressed surprise that the state was pursuing charges against him.

“I think the charges are a bad use of resources,” she said. “Bob Chance is not the kind of person who would put anybody at risk, or put the community at risk. His entire life has been spent in service of the community.”

Chance had been a Bel Air town commissioner in the late 1970s, helped create Harford County’s first recycling center, and has made a hobby of collecting stories and evidence of Bigfoot appearances in Maryland.

Some speculated the alleged presence of marijuana was related to Chance’s struggles with cancer and efforts to ease the pain. Maryland does not have laws permitting “medicinal” marijuana, but doctors use an FDA-approved synthetic version called Marinol to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and lack of appetite.

Because the investigation was ongoing, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office could not release information on how much was seized from Chance’s Darlington tree farm and nursery, but Cassilly said the “intent to distribute” charges stemmed from the quantity of contraband, not the presence of money or packaging materials.

Chance is scheduled for an arraignment July 8.

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.

13 Responses to “Supporters Rally to Bigfooter’s Defense”

  1. kittenz responds:

    Oh, so it’s OK to use a synthetic marijuana substitute, not-so-coincidentally formulated and distributed by a big pharmaceutical company, to combat chemo-induced nausea, but if you use the all-natural original, you’re a criminal?

    That is absolutely outrageous.

  2. a_mangy_human responds:

    yeah kittenz!! Excellent point! So it’s ok for the CIA to traffic cocaine (cough cough Gulfstream II jet aircraft # N987SA cough) but hey let’s pick on this environmentalist who has done nothing but good things for the community because and to quote his attorney “any plants the police recovered in their May 12 search appeared to be immature and had yet to be tested and confirmed as marijuana”!!?!?!?!?! WTH!?!?!? Typical cops! Shoot first ask questions later!


  3. TaishaMcGee responds:

    We need t-shirts.

  4. kittenz responds:

    “Chance declined to comment, but his attorney, Gus Brown, said any plants the police recovered in their May 12 search appeared to be immature and had yet to be tested and confirmed as marijuana.”

    That reminds me of something that happened to me once. There is a beautiful flower called Spider Flower or Cleome, descended from a native wildflower, the Rocky Mountain Bee Plant. I grow these lovely flowers from heirloom seeds, handed down from my grandfather, as well as growing new hybrid types that I buy each year. Here is a photo.  Notice the leaves? They greatly resemble marijuana leaves, although to the best of my knowledge the two plants are unrelated.

    Once, when I was living in a small town in southwestern West Virginia, I had a beautiful border of cleome plants growing alongside my house. They were about 3 or 4 ft tall, but they did not have any blossoms on them yet (they can grow to 7 feet or even higher under very favorable conditions). One day a passerby remarked that I was stupid to grow “pot” right out in the open like that, and I explained that it was not marijuana, it was cleome. The next day while I was out with my dogs, someone stole every one of my lovely cleome plants! (I’d like to have been a fly on the wall when they tried to smoke them lol).

    But that goes to show, the plants that Bob Chance had my not even have been pot plants. And even if they were, give the guy a break.

  5. red_pill_junkie responds:

    In total agreement with kittenz & a_mangy_human

  6. CamperGuy responds:

    Sounds like this may be plea bargained down quickly.

    agree with the above posters.

  7. cryptothekid responds:

    I agree with all the above. What has our world become, where people fear the government and stupid police arrest innocent people??

  8. Hawkeye responds:

    wow I can’t believe some of the above posts. Fact of the matter is wether we like it or not it is illegal to grow marijuana most of the places I’m aware of even if it is for personal use. I don’t see what all the uproar is about. Chances are this will be plead down no matter what thats how the system works and if convicted of anything then his status in the community will be taken into consideration.

  9. kittenz responds:

    “Fact of the matter is wether we like it or not it is illegal to grow marijuana most of the places I’m aware of even if it is for personal use. I don’t see what all the uproar is about.” –

    That IS what the uproar is about. It should not be against the law for people to grow marijuana or any other herb or medicinal plant for their own use, and most of the people who have posted comments are sick and tired of the persecution that takes place.

  10. riverguy responds:

    To clear up some misunderstandings:
    1. To those concerned with the “distribution” part of the charges– Whenever anybody is accused of growing pot, no matter what the size or number of plants, as a rule they routinely get these same charges. Whether the person was actually intending to distribute is settled in court. Knowing Bob, I have no doubt that if he was growing it, it was not for the purpose of selling it.
    2. Maryland’s medical marijuana law applies to the weed itself, not just to synthetics. It applies to possession, but probably not to the more serious charge of “manufacturing” (growing). It does not decriminalize simple possession, but it provides for a greatly reduced penalty ($100 fine max) “if the court finds that the person used or possessed marijuana because of medical necessity”. If Bob is found to have been in possession, he could be helped if his doctor is willing to support him on this. And although the “medical necessity” law appears not to apply to the charge of growing pot, a doctor’s support still might be influential to a judge who has to decide on an appropriate punishment if he is found guilty of growing it.

  11. cryptidsrus responds:

    Good to see Chance getting all the support.

    Hopefully this will not morph into a full-blown trial.

    Interesting, and also funny, post. Kittenz.

  12. MattBille responds:

    There are two issues.
    One is that, if you know what the law is and choose to violate it, then you accept that there are penalties if caught. If I speed, I know that any cop catching me is going to give me a ticket, and I have no arguments in my defense: I knew the law (or read the signs) and chose to take a risk in the legal sense. It’s not a defense that I am, in all other respects, a law-abiding citizen with a clean record, or that I thought I had good reason (late to pick up my child, etc.) to speed in a low-traffic area where I thought I created no physical risks. I am still guilty, and when this has happened a couple of times in real life, I have so pled.
    There is a caveat in any case involving a search: was the search legally conducted and justified? It’s not clear from the article whether that will be argued here.

    Whether the law should be changed (and I think it should) is a separate issue, one that must be addressed through the political process.

  13. Regan Lee responds:

    Just want to throw in my support of comments who think these anti-pot and ‘shroom laws are ridiculous.

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