Researchers hope to change tide on Bigfoot mystery

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
03/19/2018 08:00 AM
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
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People gather near a vendor during the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center’s Oklahoma Bigfoot Symposium on March 10 at CC Camp in Stilwell. The two-day event offered presentations and gave researchers a platform to showcase Bigfoot castings and audio recordings. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A Bigfoot facial reconstruction and footprint casting sit on display at the Oklahoma Bigfoot Symposium on March 10 at CC Camp in Stilwell. Hundreds of people attended as it provided visitors an opportunity to tell their stories. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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A human hand is compared to a footprint casting during the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center’s Oklahoma Bigfoot Symposium on March 10 in Stilwell. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Two Bigfoot castings sit on display during the Oklahoma Bigfoot Symposium on March 10 at CC Camp in Stilwell. STACIE BOSTON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
STILWELL – Whether you call it Yowie, Yeti, Sasquatch or Bigfoot, the mystery of the beast drew hundreds to Stilwell on March 10 to the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center as researchers tried to provide evidence that the creature isn’t such a mystery.

The center holds an annual Oklahoma Bigfoot Symposium and offers people a chance to hear researchers, audio recordings and firsthand accounts and view castings.

“We actually have different researchers that will be presenting their research from the past year. Different audio, different pictures, whatever they have and new developments as they find stuff out,” Rex Hatfield, MABRC field researcher, said.

D.W. Lee, MABRC executive director, said since the symposium began nearly six years ago there have been multiple accounts of people reporting Bigfoot sightings.

“I would say on average we have 10 to 15 reports turned into us at every symposium,” he said. “It’s a nice way for people to relate their experiences and find out for sure if what they’ve seen was a bigfoot or not.”

The symposium took place at CC Camp, which Lee said is approximately a mile away from the group’s research center.

“We call it the Devil’s Cauldron because it’s a bowl shape area, and then past that we have two other research areas within two miles of that,” he said. “A lot of Natives in this area, they’ve come up to us and told us of their encounters. It’s really a rich area for Bigfoot sightings and encounters.”

With foot castings on display, Lee said it’s the symposium’s “biggest” piece of evidence that Bigfoot lurks somewhere. “The casts are pretty much the biggest piece of evidence that we have that Bigfoot exists. We have a large collection of them inside from not just around here, but from around the country.”

Hatfield said the symposium helps shed light on the creature. “The more people we have working together on this the more evidence we’re hoping to bring forward and solve this mystery, bring forward one of these creatures and find something out.”

Regarding sightings, Lee said there’s anything from white, to tannish blonde and even black-haired Bigfoots that are typically reported in Adair County.

“Around here we have a white one. We believe it’s the alpha of the troop in this area,” he said. “There’s a high voltage power line right-of-way that all of our research areas are within a mile of and since (19)96 he’s been seen within a mile of that power line on multiple sightings.”

Hatfield said if someone encounters a Bigfoot they need to write it down. “Memories fade, but if you can write down as much details as you can as soon as possible it’d be best.”

When researching, Lee said the group uses audio recorders, night vision cameras, thermal cameras and a drone. He said more people are having encounters in Oklahoma because they are moving into wooded areas. “We’ve probably got just as many Bigfoot as any other state, but since we’re pushing more out into the woods we’re coming across more and more encounters.”

As for skeptics, Hatfield said “seeing is believing.”

“Get out in the woods. Rather than judging us on what you’re seeing through a computer screen or on TV, come out and look for yourself. That’s the best way to get a good idea of what is and what isn’t,” he said.

Lee said most skeptics are typically “diehard” skeptics.

“They’re not going to believe that there’s an 8-foot tall, undocumented creature running around the woods,” he said. “I usually tell them, ‘you look at aliens, UFOs. We would be fools to think that we’re the only ones in this universe.’ We’re always encountering new species of animal. To actually believe that that’s not out there, you just can’t really follow that line of thought.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/OklahomaBigfootSymposium.

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