Every Halloween, news sites, newspapers, and television news shows spotlight something strange. It’s that time of year for the weird and wonderful, of course. The “ridicule curtain” is lowered and the media loves the non-mainstream material, for a few days.
If you notice, this October 2009, the trend has been for a lot more Bigfoot coverage than usual, and ghosts have been somewhat pushed aside.
The local media, Associated Press, and USA Today coverage of the International Cryptozoology Museum and The Green Hand Bookshop, for example, spread over two weeks, earlier in the month. The moving of the museum did not concentrate on the sizable FeeJee Mermaid or the extremely large Mystery Civil War Pterodactyl, but on the big Crookston Bigfoot being lifted, transported, and gingerly placed into the new downtown Portland site.
Only two days of preparation time remain at 661 Congress Street, Portland, Maine. Window design is by Brendan Faherty of Mobile Impressions LLC of the Duncan Hopkins-designed International Cryptozoology Museum™ logo.
Now, as we get closer to the actual date of Halloween, not active recent sightings of Bigfoot are in over 300 papers, but a couple hunts for the hairy forest giants are getting attention this week.
Last weekend, in Dolly Sods, West Virginia, Sasquatch Watch, headed by Billy Willard (above), were followed as they decided to go searching for Sasquatch.
“Typically we go out and visit sites where there’s been previous sighting reports,” Willard told WV Public Radio. “We do get encounters called in to a hotline that we have, and we go out and we’ll research those areas looking for evidence such as footprints, strange stick tree structures and that kind of thing.”
Willard’s Bigfoot enthusiasts got coverage that usually goes to ghosts at this time of year.
“As large as they claim this creature is, it’s got to have some weight to it. And if it’s walking around out here, it’s going to leave a footprint,” Willard says.
During the search with the reporter from public radio, he finds something he thinks resembles a Sasquatch print in the bog, deep in the mud.
“It could be a small track right there,” he said. “We’ve got a track right here, not as big as the other one we saw over there. And again, it’s old, you can tell it’s been here since the rain. But that might actually be cast-able. There might be some toe impressions in there.”
He grabs the plaster of Paris and makes a cast.
Willard’s hunt in the rugged Allegheny Mountain highlands of the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area got massive coverage this week. The Associated Press summed up what happened, in typical fashion: “The group took plaster casts of suspicious prints but didn’t spot the creature during the expedition last weekend.”
It perhaps is intriguing to point out that Willard, via his association with Steve Kulls, was unfortunately drawn into hosting some of the early Georgia hoax claims. Willard distanced himself, appropriately, from all of those folks early in the melodrama.
So we all be surprised to learn today that someone is throwing a fastball inside at Willard, indirectly?
As often happens, as I’ve sure you’ve noticed, when Tom Biscardi is alerted to the fact that someone else is getting publicity for Bigfoot in a specific part of the country, his ears perk up. Biscardi has announced he will be coming to West Virginia next weekend to get his own media coverage.
If it wasn’t so silly and sad, today’s Charleston Daily Mail article might be entertaining.
A local country singer Kris Allen (is this the same one who has been on “American Idol”) ~ who definitely is interested in new publicity for his own 15-year-old sighting ~ “has persuaded Bigfoot tracker Tom Biscardi to bring a team to West Virginia next Friday in hopes of getting film proof of Bigfoot creatures. Biscardi says it will be a filming of a filming, actually, because a film crew from California-based Golden Leaf Pictures has been following Biscardi’s pursuits around the country with the intention, Biscardi says, of producing a 3-D film about him and Bigfoot next spring. A phone message and e-mail to Golden Leaf received no response,” says the Charleston Daily Mail.
Then comes the comedy. The newspaper notes:
Some contend Biscardi has been at the middle of several Bigfoot hoaxes, a contention Biscardi tosses off.
“You know what? That’s OK. People need to talk,” Biscardi said. “There’s one real Bigfoot hunter and that’s Tom Biscardi and his team. When you’re at the top of the heap, you’re going to have imitators. The proof is in the pudding of my work – that’s the key.”
For those with short memories, Biscardi “stretched” reality during his infamous “Bigfoot Friday” news gathering about the Georgia-Bigfoot-In-Ice last August 15, 2008. That turned out to be a hoax.
How long is Biscardi going to be in West Virginia?
The Charleston Daily Mail answers that question: “Biscardi could be here as long as three days, but says he often knows within 24 hours if it’s a ‘hot area.’”
That seems just about the right amount of time to hold another news conference.
Of course, Biscardi could make more money off Bigfoot with a slight change in his focus.
Half a billion dollars in sales are made every October in “haunted houses” and “haunted tours” around the USA, according to National Public Radio this morning. Perhaps we’ll see a “Bigfoot haunted house” run by Tom Biscardi in Las Vegas, next Halloween 2010?