'A Sasquatch in the Ozarks' Sunday on Animal Planet Jun 26, 2015 19:36:13 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Jun 26, 2015 19:36:13 GMT -5
'A Sasquatch in the Ozarks' Sunday on Animal Planet
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – After six seasons, 38 US states and eight countries, cable show Finding Bigfoot is visiting the Ozarks to suss out the elusive sasquatch, or Bigfoot. The results of the show's search, an episode titled "A Squatch in the Ozarks," will air on Animal Planet Sunday, July 28, at 9 p.m.
In case you were wondering, Bigfoot is defined as "a very large, hairy, humanoid creature reputed to inhabit wilderness areas of the US and Canada," according to Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd edition. Most scientists dismiss reports of Bigfoot sightings, but at least one anthropologist and expert on human evolution, Grover Krantz of Washington State University, thought they might exist. He died in 2002.
Members of the Finding Bigfoot team are also open to the possibility of a real Bigfoot. They're the ones who looked for sasquatch here in the Ozarks. The team includes Cliff Barackman, James "Bobo" Fay, Ranae Holland and lead investigator Matt Moneymaker. (Animal Planet assures the News-Leader this is his real name. Moneymaker is the founder and president of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization – yes, this is a thing.)
Springfield resident Ron Boles is featured in the episode. He claims he's seen Bigfoot twice. In 2009, he was in Howell County in a forested area when a tree seemed to have been "broken" by something unseen, then "pushed down a hill at us,” he said. “I saw something very large and black running away from us – and it was bipedal.”
In 1988, he believes he saw Bigfoot in Greene County. "Back when I was 20-stupid – you ever been 20-stupid? – we heard there was a kegger [party] at a spot near the James River that we called the old resort," he said. He and a companion went to check it out, but found no evidence of a party. On the way through the woods back to their vehicle, they smelled something terrible. "The best way I can describe the smell? Fermented puke," Boles insisted. "I mean, it was that bad. It was very pungent, a nauseating, musky smell that enveloped you like a fog. Mind you, we were stone-cold sober.” Moments later, they saw "a very large something" behind a tree about 25 feet away. The figure swayed back and forth. Boles said he is 6-foot-3 and his companion that night was 6-5. The ground where they stood was slightly elevated relative to the tree with the mysterious, smelly figure. "This thing was looking eye-to-eye with the person I was with," he claimed, admitting, however, that he never saw the creature's eyes. "No, no eyes," Boles continued. "This was right at dusk, we were facing west, so pretty much we saw the figure and uh, but it was right at dusk, there's not a lot of detail you're gonna see. I did see a conical head, broad shoulders, (and) it was holding onto that tree with one of its hands while swaying." He estimated the creature was 7-foot-6, if not 8-foot-tall. "The guy I was with, he says 'I can't handle this,' and took off running. Being that he was bigger, I did, too. We met up with the other guys back at our van and told them what we saw," he said.
Boles admitted he questioned his own impressions almost immediately. He wondered if he had been seeing things, or if the foul smell had been nothing more than a dead animal. "I'm not one for a kneejerk reaction," he claimed. So within 30 minutes, Boles and another person went back to the "exact same spot." They didn't find anything. No smell, no swaying 8-foot figure. But Boles became a Bigfoot believer. "That's been part of my life since then," he said. "When you have an experience like that, it sort of stays with you."
Since then, Boles joined the Finding Bigfoot team and participated in Finding Bigfoot-style expeditions to Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and Ohio, as well as Missouri.
Boles is not the only Ozarker featured in this weekend's episode of Finding Bigfoot. Vincent Anderson helped bring Animal Planet to the Ozarks in the first place. Author of Baldknobbers: Chronicles of Vigilante Justice, Anderson was raised in Ozark County. He's a former school teacher and currently a reference library staffer at Donald W. Reynolds Library in Baxter County, Arkansas. "Actually back in March of 2011, I wrote a story on Ozarks sasquatch," he said, and posted it to a local history website he maintains. "I'll be honest, I just threw it together. I came across sasquatch articles from 1865, 1874, 1911. The ones that really intrigued me were from the 1865 era. Copycat stories on sasquatch abounded. They didn't have the internet the way we do today."
Animal Planet found Anderson's web posts last year. The network contacted him December 15, and asked him to help locate actors in Baxter County and Taney County to film reenactments of sasquatch sightings. Anderson also appears in this weekend's episode. "The cast comes in, I welcome them to the Ozarks when they get out of their Blazer," he said. "I tell some stories from 1865 and 1911 and then we spent an evening up north of Rockbridge, Missouri." That's on the Douglas-Ozark County line.
Anderson admits he has never actually seen an episode of Finding Bigfoot. Personally, he thinks his research into the Grisso Cemetery made for a more interesting blog post than his sasquatch stuff. Still, he's going to have his parents DVR Finding Bigfoot so he can watch it when he gets a chance Monday or Tuesday.
If you miss "A Squatch in the Ozarks," Sunday at 9 p.m., the episode will be posted on animalplanet.com after the airdate.
Source: Gregory J. Holman, The Springfield News-Leader, June 26, 2015.