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'Finding Bigfoot' in southern Ind.

POSTED AT 10:04 PM ON Nov. 8, 2011  (UPDATED AT 10:09 PM ON Nov. 8, 2011)

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Matt Moneymaker, president and founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, stood in front of a crowd gathered at Monroe County History Center.

He asked if anyone had experienced an encounter with a sasquatch, either by seeing one, hearing one or knowing someone who had a firsthand encounter.

Twenty or so hands shot up.

About 100 Indiana residents attended a filming of a town forum scene Monday for the 2012 season of the Animal Planet show “Finding Bigfoot.”

The forum, which brought in Indiana residents from as far as 50 miles away, gave those who believe they have encountered a bigfoot a chance to share their stories with other attendees and the cast of the show, a panel consisting of BFRO members and a research biologist.

Nine Indiana residents shared stories of “class A” encounters, having seen firsthand what they believed to be a bigfoot.

Logan Hunter said he encountered a sasquatch in October 1999, 14 miles west of Salt Creek in Nashville, Ind.

One of the panelists said there are “lots of reports from that area.”

He was out with a family friend when a sasquatch began chasing the 1972 Oldsmobile they were driving.

“It was either Bigfoot or a man in a suit ­— and a man on stilts, at that,” Hunter said.

Descriptions of the bigfoots sighted ranged in height from 5 feet to 9 1/2 feet. Most said the creatures had no neck and were covered in black or dark brown hair.

The panel became interested in Indiana as a sasquatch hotspot when it received a video about a sighting in Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton, Ind., located near Lake Michigan.

They came to Indiana to determine the film’s authenticity and investigate what they heard was an active area for sasquatch sightings.

The cast and crew will be in Bloomington for seven days, Producer Bicha Gholam said. For the show’s upcoming second season, they will visit 10 states, including Indiana.

Many of the people who showed up for the town forum hadn’t had an encounter with a sasquatch but came out of interest for the show or the subject matter.

Recent graduates from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs Susanna Foxworthy and Josh Levering attended because they “thought it would be cool to check out the show,” Levering said.

“To be willing to go on public TV and say, ‘This really freaked me out,’ it just doesn’t seem like something a lot of people would do unless they legitimately saw something,” Foxworthy said. “After those stories, I totally believe.”

 

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