October 15, 2005

East Texas Bigfoot

It's Bigfoot conference time again--not in northern California, Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia, but in Texas, where "believers" (a rather snarky word on the reporter's part) gathered in Jefferson.

"It's not a matter of believing, like faith, when you believe in something you can't see," said Daryl G. Colyer, a Lorena businessman who has investigated hundreds of reported Bigfoot sightings in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

From the reporter's viewpoint, however, "believer" is code for "not rational, wears aluminum foil in his hat." I know; I once was one--a reporter, that is.

"You see one of these things and it changes your whole perception of reality," said Craig Woolheater, the office manager of a Dallas company who co-founded the Texas Bigfoot Research Center in 1999, five years after he said he saw a hairy creature walking along a remote Louisiana road.

Colyer and others estimate that about 2,000 are in North America today, reclusive nocturnal animals living in thickly wooded areas with waterways, eating meat and plants and making nests out of trees and brush.

So if you associate Bigfoot only with the Pacific Northwest, these people beg to differ.

I have no claims of Bigfoot sightings myself, but one rational friend had an interesting experience in SW Colorado. I honestly don't know what is out there, but there is nothing like a wild forest-dwelling humanoid to fuzz the boundaries between "nature" and "culture."

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