Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 7, 2013

Around the Town: Do you believe in Bigfoot?

By Jan Boston Sellers
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — What is it about Bigfoot or Sasquatch that interests me, I mean people, so much? What is it about this mythical creature that has spawned myriad searches, articles, websites and even its own television series?

Bigfoot has never been captured but thousands of sightings occur each year. The descriptions are varied: some say he is 7 feet tall, others believe he is at least 14 feet tall. Some say he is black. Others swear he is brown. A few think he weighs 300 pounds: others are convinced he is an 800-pounder. A few things everyone agrees on: he is ape like; furry and walks vertically with his long, ape arm in full swing. Eye witnesses also claim they hear thunderous noises from the brush before spotting him, or it, or maybe even, her.

Bigfoot sightings have been around for more than 400 years although he wasn’t officially named until 1957. No one has ever captured the bipedal creature. He remains elusive to this day. His roaming is not indigenous to the United States either. Big foot has been spotted in Australia, and other countries, while apparently migrating and living on deer and vegetation.

A few years ago while visiting Yellowstone National park, our tour guide told us of a time when Bigfoot sightings were running rampant through the national park. Park rangers, having heard enough to form an unofficial investigative team, began tracking Bigfoot. Turns out, the sightings were nothing more than a college student in a costume. A situation, park officials said, could have become dire if someone had elected to shoot at “Bigfoot” in an effort to prove the species existence.

Bigfoot hoaxes are commonplace. Many tapes and pictures have been taken and posted on the internet as proof of the species existence, only to be later determined as fake.

The top twenty most common places for Bigfoot sightings are: Estes Park, Colorado; Georgia; Mount St. Helens area; Lembo Lake, New York; Quebec; Mantee County, Florida; the Ukraine: Siberia; Ketichan, Alaska; Marble Mountain, California; Ontario, Canada; Nova Scotia; Poland; Eastern Texas and Bluff Creek, Utah.

Don’t despair, Tennessee has its share of Bigfoot stories too.

The last account of Bigfoot in Tennessee featured the manlike ape looking in a window and “aping” the homeowner’s movements!

After reading numerous accounts; watching some on-line videos and reading some stories, there were a couple of things I gleaned from the Bigfoot tales: there is always a lot of noise in the brush, woods, or forest before the actual sighting.

Secondly, no one ever seems to be frightened by Bigfoot. He doesn’t seem to be aggressive or confrontational, usually just meandering off when spied.

I decided to poll the students, second through tenth graders, at the TAD Center regarding their beliefs in Bigfoot. Literally, one half believes: the other half placed him in the same category as Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny.

Regardless of whether you believe in Bigfoot or not, you have to admit it is fascinating on some level. Sort of like the Loch Ness Monster. But that is another monster for another day.

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The annual “Celebrity Waiters Event” is slated for Thursday, March 14th, at the Cumberland Mountain State Park with all proceeds going towards Relay for Life. The dinner features a catered meal, entertainment and live auction. Tickets are $25 per person. Call Sherry Lawson at CMC at 931-459-7051 for additional information regarding this happening.

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Tickets are on sale for the annual TAD Center’s Fundraising Fashion Show featuring the latest in spring clothing and accessories from Gigi’s and the Screen Door.

The show is slated for Monday, April 8th, from 11-1 at Fortes on the Square. The $20 ticket price includes the fashion show and meal. There will also be door prizes and a silent auction. Tickets are available at Gigi’s and the Screen Door.