By Tracy Armbruster, Anchor
For years there has been the question of whether human-like apes have stalked the woods of North America. Some people say yes, while others do not believe the creature - known simply as ''Bigfoot'' - could have escaped civilization. We talked to one Northeast Georgia man who has dedicated his life to exploring this cultural phenomenon.
Deep in the Chattahoochee National Forest, there might live a creature many have heard of, but only a few believe they have actually seen. For Matt Pruitt, witnessing ''Bigfoot'' first-hand would be a dream come true.
''There's enough physical evidence to be convincing to me these things exist,'' Pruitt tells Newschannel 32.
And, he's not alone. As a member of the national Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO), Pruitt claims he has talked to many credible people who feel the same way he does about the seemingly mythic creature.
''Many witnesses have been police officers or search-and-rescue guys, doctors, even preachers and ministers,'' explains Pruitt.
But, before you are quick to laugh off this matter, Pruitt says just look at the evidence. Through the years, BFRO has collected photographs and audio recordings of the supposed human-like apes.
''We think there's a population of these things across the continent that they're a real animal and they constitute a species,'' continues Pruitt.
What began as a simple interest has turned into a full-fledged passion. Pruitt may live and work in Atlanta, but on the weekends, you can find him in the North Georgia Mountains, searching for clues - such as following trails, examining trees and looking for footprints. But, not everyone believes these signs are the makings of ''Bigfoot.''
''I think it would be highly improbable that a creature like that could escape civilization,'' refutes Dale Bergen.
Dale Bergen shares the same opinions as others. But, Pruitt wants to prove to the world these animals do exist. And, he invites anyone to join him on an expedition.
In fact, there will be a ''Bigfoot'' expedition in Northeast Georgia this weekend. For more information on taking part in Matt Pruitt's search for the legendary creature, just log on to the website http://www.bfro.net.
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