If you are a fan of Small Town Monsters documentaries, you will be aware of Beast of Whitehall. The film (2016), directed by Seth Breedlove, highlights Whitehall, New York, which is frequently referred to as the “Bigfoot Capital of the East Coast.”
After the film was released, Whitehall experienced an increase in local interest in Bigfoot, and one man tried to create an annual event from the excitement.
That person was David Molenaar.
The first “Sasquatch Calling Festival” was scheduled for 2016, in Skenesborough Park, and the event included screenings of two recent films, Beast of Whitehall and Minerva Monster.
For 2016, the media patiently listened.
“I read somewhere about a mosquito-calling contest, and I figured, well, why couldn’t we do something like that?” said David Molenaar, then mostly known as a member of the Whitehall Beautification Committee. “We wanted to do something to celebrate Whitehall. This could be our Woodstock.”
Lisa Loeber, of Hampton, New York, won the Adult division of the calling competition in 2018, and was awarded $100.
By the time Whitehall, New York’s Third Annual Sasquatch Calling Festival took place on Saturday, September 29, 2018, Molenaar and the local gathering had become quite an event, covered by media throughout the State of New York, and coast to coast within the Bigfoot community.
The local NYup.com site had an article about the festival explaining:
The festival was the brainchild of David Molenaar, 66, who moved to Whitehall nearly five years ago. He described himself as a former newspaper man, fundamentalist minister and “a jack of all trades and master of none.” Since moving to the community, he became involved in the village’s Planning Board, Historic Preservation Commission and Chamber of Commerce.
Asked if he believed in Bigfoot, Molenaar conceded he had never seen or heard one, but added, “I’m hopeful.” He was absent, though, for most of the event, noting his pet opossum had died that morning.
Or had he? Some locals felt Molenaar was always at the festivals, but not visibly. He was said to be “hiding in plain sight,” inside a Bigfoot outfit, all three years.
On October 17, 2018, the Manchester Newspapers reported:
After only three years, Whitehall’s annual Sasquatch Calling Festival may be no more.
Event organizer David Molenaar told The Times last week that he doesn’t intend to be the primary organizer for future festivals, citing health concerns.
“I’m too old and feeble,” said Molenaar, 66. “Somebody else has to be the head man.”
Thus, just as suddenly as he got involved, Molenaar dropped out and withdrew from organizing the 2019 Sasquatch Festival.
While locals may have thought David Molenaar a bit of an “odd bird,” it had little to do with his interest in Bigfoot. As it turns out, he might have been carrying around thoughts of himself being multiple personalities.
On Friday, June 7, 2019, Molenaar’s world fell apart.
David K. Molenaar, 67, was charged with two counts of offering a false instrument for filing after an investigation by the state Department of Motor Vehicles and State Police, according to State Police.
He was accused of illegally applying for a non-driver identification card at the DMV office in Fort Edward under the name David Miller, claiming he did not have a driver’s license, officials said.
Attempts by the media to reach him via his listed phone number failed, as the number was disconnected.
Local credible investigator Paul Bartholomew forwarded the following article, sourced to Page 3, June 13, 2019, Whitehall Times, Whitehall, New York.
Any updates on this story, or the status of the annual Sasquatch calling contest will be carried here.
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