Post by Graveyardbride on Jun 5, 2015 7:25:51 GMT -5
'Minerva Monster' documents Bigfoot scare in 1978
MINERVA, Ohio – In August 1978, the area was abuzz with reports of a Bigfoot creature – 7-feet-tall, hairy and smelling of ammonia – that had been reported peering into the kitchen window of the Cayton family’s farmhouse near Minerva, invading the chicken coop and even hurling rocks at the home. “I think a lot of people believed them. I believed them,” recalled Jim Shannon in a new documentary titled Minerva Monster. Shannon worked with the Stark County Sheriff’s Office at the time.
Although many cried hoax and openly mocked the Caytons, according to the film, “There was no doubt in my mind then or today that those folks saw something. No question in my mind. There was no booze involved,” said Shannon, who investigated the claims. “They were terrified.” Similar creature descriptions came from residents of a nearby trailer park and even drivers on US Route 30. The 55-minute Minerva Monster film includes multiple eyewitness accounts from Minerva-area residents including Howie Cayton, plus extended interviews with Shannon and Barbara Galloway, a cub reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal assigned to cover the story in 1978.
Making the Film. Seth Breedlove, a Bolivar native who wrote and directed Minerva Monster, had been researching the Minerva story for a planned book when he met Bigfoot enthusiasts Alan Megargle and Jesse Morgan through the Ohio Bigfoot Conference. “We had film equipment and Seth had interview contacts,” said Megargle, the editor, cinematographer and a producer of Minerva Monster. A collaboration was born.
While the documentary is enhanced with atmospheric camera-work and evocative music composed by Brandon Dalo, it includes none of the melodramatic narration or sensational re-enactments so prevalent in “reality” television. “There have been lots of Bigfoot films but never one the way we did ours,” Megargle said. “They’re mostly about hillbillies with guns trying to kill off Bigfoot.” While Breedlove describes himself as “the group skeptic” of the Minerva Monster crew, he was persuaded by the Caytons’ story for a basic reason. “They had nothing to gain from all this other than a lot of ridicule,” he said.
Witness Accounts. Breedlove spent months persuading the Caytons to cooperate with the film. Minerva Monsters marks the first time that Howie Cayton, who was a boy in 1978, has been interviewed about what happened. “Most of the witness accounts are about fleeting encounters” with the creature, Megargle said. “Howie claims to have jumped on it.” Because the Minerva Monster saga unfolded almost 37 years ago, “nobody’s stories linked up,” Breedlove said. “Inconsistencies abound and we made a conscious effort to leave that in (the film).”
Minerva Monster had its world-premiere May 16 at the Ohio Bigfoot Conference held at Salt Fork State Park Lodge, with about 450 people in attendance. “The reaction was real positive,” Breedlove said. “What people seemed to like most was that we took the subject seriously. It was straight-up eyewitness testimony with none of that hokey, overdramatized stuff.”
The Minerva Monster documentary will be the centerpiece of a celebration in downtown Minerva on Saturday, June 6, from noon to 5 p.m. The film will be shown at 12:30 and 3 p.m. at the historic Roxy Theatre. Marc DeWerth, organizer of the Ohio Bigfoot Conference, will give an hour-long talk about Bigfoot in Ohio following the 12:30 screening. The Minerva Monster production crew, along with some individuals interviewed in the film, will take the stage after the 3 p.m. show. While admission is free, tickets can be requested by emailing: email@example.com. (A 5 p.m. showing is already full.)
DVDs of Minerva Monster and film-related merchandise will be for sale at the Roxy. Additionally, there will be Bigfoot merchandise vendors outside the theater, Minerva Monster-related carvings at local retail store Local Flair, food vendors and a costumed “Minerva Monster” for photo opportunities.
Source: Dan Kane, CantonRep, June 1, 2015.