Have you seen any seven-foot-tall apelike beings wandering around your neighborhood lately? Well if so, take heart. As this story in the October Texas Monthly notes, you have company.
THESE DAYS, THANKS TO THE INTERNET, Daryl Colyer hasn’t had any trouble finding others who’ve met Bigfoot. Craig Woolheater, for example. The 45-year-old office manager from Dallas came across a seven-foot-tall gray-haired creature on the side of the road in Louisiana when he was driving home from a trip in 1994. The vision so inspired him that in 1999 he founded the Texas Bigfoot Research Center (TBRC), a volunteer-run, self-funded organization dedicated to finding the Lone Star State’s Sasquatch. This closer-to-home version of the BFRO soon caught Colyer’s attention, and after taking on a field expedition for Woolheater in January 2004, he decided he’d work for the TBRC in addition to his regular Bigfoot-hunting gig. A brotherhood was formed, and the two men talk on the phone almost daily, discussing new scientific findings and the anecdotes posted on the group’s Web site, texasbigfoot.com.
Their work is far from boring. Due in part to the TBRC’s efforts, interest in Bigfoot has taken hold in the state, particularly in East Texas, which has the dense woods and plentiful waterways said to be the habitat of choice for this mysterious species. According to Woolheater, there have been about 150 credible sightings each year since he started fielding reports in 2000; investigators believe that there are in fact many Bigfoots populating the area. Nearly every day the center’s thirtysome members communicate via e-mail or phone on some Bigfoot-related subject (what was that strange sound heard recently in the Piney Woods? A whoop? Or more of a chatter? How tall was the creature in that last sighting? What color hair? Any good new devices to use in the woods?). And every fall, Woolheater spearheads a pivotal event for Sasquatch fans everywhere: the TBRC’s Bigfoot conference, held in the East Texas town of Jefferson.
I’m curious about something: If these guys ever do find a Bigfoot, will that be taken as evidence for Intelligent Design, or against it?
Actually, I’m curious about something else, and I’m glad to see that reporter Katy Vine brought it up:
Which is not to say that everyone warmly embraces the idea of Jefferson as a home for Bigfoot lovers. Many of the natives would rather have the focus on their town’s history, not on ghosts or monsters, and Bigfoot is not a subheading under “zoology.” “Well, why has no one found a body?” they’ll ask.
Woolheater and Colyer are receptive to skeptics’ criticisms. “There is no fossil record of higher-order primates in North America,” Colyer acknowledged.
“And we’re trying to find something that is not common or identifiable,” said Woolheater.
To put it mildly, that’s not much of an answer. In fact, it’s pretty much 100% BS. I would have liked to have gotten the perspective of a scientist here to explain just how much BS that explanation is (and believe me, it’s a lot of BS), but at least the point was raised.
Anyway. It’s an interesting story, and as with all Texas Monthly previews it’ll be around for a few days, so check it out while you can.