Still seeking the Bigfoot exclusive

By Karl Terry: Local columnist

“Bigfoot discovered living on top floor of Lincoln Hall”

“Subsisted on discarded pizza and stale beer”

I’ve always wanted to write a Bigfoot headline. Those guys at the National Enquirer get all the fun assignments.

My wife is a fan of various radio and television programs that explore the unexplained — ghost sightings and haunted houses and UFOs. Mysteries of all sorts show up on the SciFi Channel and the Coast to Coast AM program.

I’m not too crazy about ghosts and UFOs. I guess, unlike Dana Scully and Fox Mulder of X-Files fame, I just “don’t want to believe.”

My wife is, however, under strict instruction to inform me of any segments in her regular programs featuring Bigfoot. An undiscovered hairy ape-like man on the loose in the wilds of America is something that strikes my fancy. It could be true. New species are discovered all the time and Sasquatch could just be very good at hiding.

While the Yeti of the Himalayas and similar beasts in other parts of the world have been purported to exist for years, the craze really came to the United States in full force in 1967 in California when Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin released home movie footage of what they said was Sasquatch or Bigfoot. The authenticity of the video has been debated for decades with people still lining up on one side or the other on whether or not it is a hoax.

More recently two men put together an elaborate hoax by releasing what they said was the body of a Bigfoot stuffed into an ice chest. They set up a big press conference where they said they would turn the corpse over to scientists. The heat surrounding the photos proved to be a little too much. The pair never showed up and later admitted they had used a gorilla suit.

Some areas of our continent are very vast and wild and Bigfoot could be out there somewhere. Over the years I’ve tramped some of the same areas where Bigfoot sightings or tracks have been reported. Reports have been made of the creatures in the Cloudcroft and Ruidoso areas frequently and nearly every county (Roosevelt isn’t included) has sightings logged on a tracking Web site I’ve perused.

Eagle County in western Colorado is famous for some pretty impressive tracks made along the Eagle River. In neighboring Sopris County where I lived a few years ago, legend held that Sasquatch lived on the snowy slopes of Mount Sopris, which I could see from my back porch.

Lots of hiking, hunting and fishing has never turned up anything I felt was Bigfoot evidence, but I’ll keep on looking.

Who knows, some day you may read the headline in the local paper — “Columnist lands first interview with Sasquatch; Bigfoot beast denies Britney Spears paternity accusations.”

Karl Terry is a columnist and former newspaper editor who is looking forward to all the kooky e-mail this column will generate. Contact him at:

karlterry@yucca.net