Well, this ought to drum up interest in the Sasquatch Calling Contest and Festival slated for Sept. 29 in Whitehall, otherwise known as the Bigfoot Sighting Capital of the World.
Yes, he’s baaaack. Or maybe it’s a “She” or an “It.”
Gender identification is probably a lesser issue when it comes to Whitehall’s legendary Sasquatch, who sauntered into view this week. He, she or it was (allegedly) spotted crossing Route 4 on Tuesday, Aug. 7, all 6 feet of its hairy and hulking frame in full view of an unidentified man who reported the “incident.”
The guy who spotted Bigfoot was driving towards the Vermont border when, at 10:10 p.m., he saw the creature upright climbing over the guardrail. The man then reported it to long-time Sasquatch/Bigfoot investigator Paul Bartholomew, a Price Chopper frozen foods manager who has authored a book on the Bigfoot phenomena.
On his Facebook page, Bartholomew said the man reported: “The light of his vehicle passed between the creatures legs showing a big outline of two legs, a body, wide shoulders and a head. ‘It was black,’ the witness said, ‘I couldn’t believe it… my mouth just dropped open.’ The man said the creature must have already crossed the road and was stepping over the guardrail when he spotted it.”
After reporting the sighting, Bartholomew said the man chose to remain anonymous, fearing ridicule from those who don’t believe in Bigfoot, or who have no sense of adventure or humor.
That skepticism has long been caste upon anyone who pursues interest in Bigfoot, whose legend dates back to 1603 when a French explorer wrote of St. Lawrence River tribes referencing a giant creature called “Gougou.” That is described in this fascinating letter about Bigfoot from a former Washington County historian for the Northern Sasquatch Research Society.
A day after the sighting, Bartholomew and the man went back to the scene, where they found a gargantuan foot print about 12 inches long and 5 inches wide, of which Bartholomew took a caste impression. He said the area where the print was found was a “very hard area with dirt built up on road pavement— so not much detail— mainly an outline of foot with possible toes.”
Definitely a big foot. But, Bigfoot?
Bartholomew said, well, maybe. The place and timing of the most recent sighting squares with others in the past: August, September and October are when the Big Fella is most active. And the Route 4 crossover is also where Bigfoot sightings have taken place in the recent past.
In fact, enough local sightings have taken place — dating back to 1979 when Whitehall police officers tracked the beast — for a general consensus to have emerged as to what this thing looks like. It ain’t pretty: 7 or 8 feet tall; covered in black hair with no neck; red or pink eyes; a cowering aversion to light, and, worst of all, a pig-like screech or scream.
Bartholomew has pondered whether this is part of a migratory pattern for Sasquatch, or whether he/she/it is really just trying to get to a Stewart’s for a 24-ounce coffee and a hard roll with butter. Either way, the new sighting re-ignites the legend of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, take your pick, and affirms Whitehall’s special place in the world, or at least in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
The sighting comes one month after Bigfoot was named “The Official Animal of Whitehall.” It’s also one month before the Second Annual Sasquatch Calling Contest and Festival, slated for Sept. 29th, which runs from 10 am until 6 pm at Busty’s Brew along the Champlain Canal.
Organizers like David Molenaar say the festival is a chance to “come find your inner Sasquatch,” which may be the only Sasquatch most of us will ever really get to see, hopefully.