Sasquatch More than Just a Legend to Local Residents
Mystery Casebook Sasquatch existence still questionable-

Brigitta Burks / Staff Writer /

Published Monday, October 29, 2007-Bigfoots — who weren’t in a costume shop — have been spotted near Athens, said Bigfoot researchers and organizers of a mountain biking event Saturday.

A group of costumed mountain bikers attempted to see a Bigfoot on a three-mile long path outside of The Plains, where Bigfoot sightings were reported in the past.

“I want to meet Sasquatch. He’s my hero,” said Wendy Shields of Athens, a cyclist dressed as Napoleon Bonaparte.

Marco Deshaies, one of the race’s organizers, has never seen a Sasquatch, but said, “The signs are all there.”

Sasquatch sightings have been prominent in Ohio since the 1960s, said Don Keating, manager of the Eastern Ohio Bigfoot Center in Newcomerstown, Ohio, and organizer of the Annual Bigfoot Conference.

Ohio could be home to Bigfoot as it harbors many rivers and forests, which provide the food and waters the creatures need, said Scott Moody, an Ohio University Biology professor and Bigfoot researcher.

Researchers have concluded that many sightings were imagined or falsified, Keating and Moody said. In order to determine the validity of reports, researchers use scientific methods such as footprint and hair sample analysis, Moody said.

Moody proved the last sighting of a Bigfoot in 2002 outside of Haga Ridge in Stewart to be a white-tailed deer through hair analysis, he said. The family who spotted the Bigfoot remained unconvinced and moved to Arizona, he said.

Some researchers say there is evidence to support Bigfoot’s existence. One footprint, found in Georgia, had prints on it similar to those found on humans and apes, Moody said.

However, no remains of a Sasquatch have ever been found. Ohio’s acidic soil and deer mice, which eat bones for calcium, assure the decomposition of Sasquatch bodies, said Keating and Moody.

Another theory is that Sasquatch bury their dead like other ancient species of humans and apes, Moody said. This could indicate that Bigfoot is a surviving offshoot of Homo erectus, he added.

Keating disagreed, and said he thought they were just an animal in the forest, rather than another form of Homo erectus.

Seeing is believing in the case of Bigfoot, Moody said. Upon interviewing (those who report seeing a Sasquatch), a lot of people say “I was always a skeptic.”

Keating said he has seen what he believed to be a Bigfoot outside of Newcomerstown in 1985. The creature walked down a hill and into a chicken pen and then back out into the woods, said Keating, who advises contacting a reliable organization if one has a similar encounter.

— Kristen Halliday contributed to this report.

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