Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bigfoot Hunters Gathering In Fort Worth This Weekend


Bigfoot Hunters Gather In Texas
Artist: Bryan Hercules Hart
Is it possible — in an age when Justin Bieber can’t get from his door to his limo without a dozen paparazzi on his tail, when new microbes are being discovered in Antarctica, when basically anything and everything can be found — that the creature known as Bigfoot could actually elude detection?

And still really exist?

Those gathered in Fort Worth for this weekend’s 12th annual Texas Bigfoot Conference would like to hope so. Spurred on by blurry visuals, chilling audio, eyewitness testimonies and their own experiences, they’re determined to prove the validity of a thing largely considered mythological.

And if it meant something like “Navidad Women Gone Wild!” was a possibility, you might be determined, too.

The Bigfoot legend has thrived mostly since the 1950s, but sightings date to the 1800s. Stories of giant man-like creatures have long been among folklore in certain Pacific Northwest Indian tribes, and the term “sasquatch” is itself an anglicized version of the word used for the animal by the Coast Salish tribe of British Columbia.

The Pacific Northwest accounts for about a third of all reported sightings, but they’re otherwise spread around the continent. Texas ranks seventh in national sightings, according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, the country’s largest such group.

Among the speakers at Saturday’s conference will be Josh Gates of the SyFy channel’s Destination Truth, Idaho State University professor Jeff Meldrum (author of the book Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science) and U.S. Forest Service anthropologist Kathy Strain.

Statewide, most sightings are reported in southeast Texas, said Mark McClurkan of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy, the group sponsoring the conference. The state’s first sighting is thought to be the so-called Wild Woman of Navidad, a hairy creature seen running across the terrain of Jackson County in South Texas in the 1830s.

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