The giant, hairy, ape-like creatures known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch have been seen all over the U.S. since the first people came to America. There seems to be several types(if not separate species) of these creatures across the country. For example, Bigfoots seen in the Eastern part of the country and in the south seem to be a bit smaller and more aggressive than those in the pacific northwest. The Fouke Monster, seen near Fouke, Arkansas, has been known to attack humans. Bigfoot on the western side of the country tend to be tall and shy. They try to hide as soon as they see they have been spotted.
The top state for sightings of Bigfoot or Bigfoot-like creatures is California. The famous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film was shot in this state. Number two on the list for the most sightings in Washington and number three is Oregon. The other two states on the top five list are states people don’t often associate with Bigfoot. Number 4 is Ohio(where I live). The Ohio Bigfoot even has it’s own nickname, the Grassman. Florida, in the number five spot, also has it’s own Bigfoot called the Skunk Ape.
Those are the five best places to see Bigfoot, but there are some states where there have been very few sightings. Don’t even bother trying to find evidence of a Bigfoot in Hawaii. They just aren’t there. Delaware also has few sightings, along with Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Nebraska, Kansas, and the Dakotas. But, always remember, just because there aren’t many Bigfoot sightings in these states doesn’t mean the creatures are not there(except for Hawaii).
The Pacific Northwest has more Bigfoot sightings than anywhere else, and that is where we will start our journey into the Cryptid U.S.
The Legend of the Ohio Grassman
Ohio is in the number four spot for most Bigfoot sightings. The only states ahead of it are California, Oregon, and Washington. The Ohio Bigfoot even has it’s own nickname, the Grassman. The hotspot for Grassman sightings is Salt Fork State Park, home of the annual Ohio Bigfoot Conference.
The Ohio Grassman on MonsterQuest(www.history.com)
The first account of a Grassman sighting appeared in a newspaper on January 23, 1869. The headline was titled “A Gorilla in Ohio.” It told of a hairy creature that had attacked a man walking with his daughter. The man’s daughter threw a stone at the creature as it wrestled with her father, and it ran away after the stone hit it’s ear.
Another, more recent sighting occurred in 1978. Evelyn and Howe Cayton said their grandchildren and some friends came into the house crying, saying they had seen a monster in a nearby gravel pit. Vicket Keck and the Caytons went outside to see what had scared the kids. They saw a creature covered in dark, matted hair. They estimated its weight at about 300 pounds and said it was 7 feet tall. In Evelyn Cayton’s words:
“It just stood there. It never moved, but I almost broke my neck running back down the hill.”
The rest of the Minerva sightings started on August 21, 1978. Ron Schaffner, a Bigfoot researcher, chronicled the sightings. This is how it happened.
On August 21, at about 10:30 p.m., Evelyn Cayton’s family and friends heard noises in the direction of an old chicken coop while sitting on the porch. They saw two pairs of yellow eyes reflecting in the porch light. Scott Patterson got up and turned on his car’s headlights. There were two “cougar-like” felines standing by the chicken coop. Then, a large, bipedal creature stepped out in front of them, as if to protect them. The creature then lurched towards Patterson’s car. Everyone ran into the house and someone called the Stark County Sheriff’s Department. While they were waiting for the police to arrive, they saw the creature looking in the window. It stayed there for 10 minutes. Patterson and Evelyn Cayton loaded guns, but did not shoot at the creature because it did not try to attack them. After a while, it suddenly left. Mary Ackerman said “It doesn’t seem to want to bother anyone. It was just curious. We felt like it wanted to be friends.”
About 5 minutes after the creature had left, the police arrived. A strong stench was still lingering in the area. They also discovered some unclear footprints. The creature was seen several time over the next couple of days.
A picture of a running Bigfoot from Ohio (frontiersofzoology.blogspot.com)
One of the prominent Bigfoot researchers in Ohio is Joedy Cook. He has been studying Bigfoot since 1991 and has written books on the subject that include Bigfoot Encounters in Ohio, Beginner’s Guide to Bigfoot Research, and Legend of the Grassman. He has found several Grassman “nests.” He helped out the MonsterQuest team when they filmed an episode in Ohio. He sent in a baboon skull he had found(MonsterQuest said no one knew what the skull was from because, you know, TV has to be interesting), and a possible Grassman handprint. Forensic Examiner Jimmy Chilcott examined the print and said it was either from a gorilla or a Bigfoot.
The handprint Joedy Cook found(img262.imageshack.us)
2005 was a good year for grassman sightings. Joedy Cook lists 8 reports from that year in his book Legend of the Grassman: The Bigfoot of Salt Fork State Park.
One of the other well known Grassman encounters occurred on July 2, 1984, when Lorena Cunningham saw a female Sasquatch watching her kids while they were playing on the playground. She said it was 7 ½ feet tall and she saw several expressions on it’s face. It never looked like it was angry, it seemed to like to watch the kids playing. “it was almost smiling.” Lorena said. The hair covering the creature was dark with red tips. Lorena called her kids over after a minute and they left.
Lorena didn’t know this, but that was only her first of three encounters with Bigfoot creatures. In 2004, she was at her father’s house and went out to shut the gate one cold winter night after her daughter and her fiance left. When she went out, she saw a tall, grey haired bigfoot walking along the fence line. She thought it might have been going to a barn on the property to get out of the cold. She said it was about 7 or 7 ½ feet tall like the other one she had seen 20 years earlier. When she yelled “Hey!”, the Bigfoot turned, looked at her, and walked back across the field and went into the woods.
Her third encounter occurred in a barn. Lorena went into the barn to feed the horses. Usually when she walked into the barn, about 30 cats came running for food. That day, no cats came. The horses would not come inside. She heard the boards of the hay loft above herr creaking, and saw bits of straw falling through the cracks. She grabbed two pitchforks, because she knew it was a Bigfoot up there, even though she couldn’t see it. If it came down and attacked, she wasn’t going down without a fight, but, that didn’t happen. She walked out of the barn unharmed.
Lorena’s stories have been investigated by Doug Waller, founder of the Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigations, or SOSBI for short, and author of Standing in the Shadows: Bigfoot Stories from Southeastern Ohio. He even helped the cast of Finding Bigfoot when they were filming the Ohio episode. Doug is going to start working on a second book sometime soon.
I've also got the chapter about Lake Monsters done:
By far, the most famous American lake monster is “Champ” of Lake Champlain. Lake Champlain is located between New York and Vermont and extends a little up into Canada. The lake is 109 miles long and it’s maximum depth is 400 feet- thats plenty of room for a monster to hide. Lake Champlain is the largest oligotrophic lake in the U.S. with the exception of the great lakes. A couple thousand years ago, the lake was part of a larger body of water called the Champlain Sea, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. Eventually the lake was cut off from the rest of the sea and became freshwater.
The first sighting of Champ occurred in 1609, when Samuel de Champlain was on the lake. According to historians, Champlain saw “a serpent-like creature, about 20 feet long, as thick as a barrel, and with a head like a horse.” Many consider this the first Champ sighting.
Smual de Champlain(www.sonofthesouth.net)
Champ has been seen many, many times since then. I went to Lake Champlain in the summer of 2013 and met a woman named Molly who had seen Champ. She said she had seen it in 1982, when it rose out of the water, swam a little ways, and then disappeared under the surface. She said it had a large hump and a long neck.
Many people think Champ and other LAke Monsters could be Plesiosaurs, ancient marine reptiles that lived during the age of the dinosaurs (upload.wikimedia.org)
I also met Lorraine Franklin, owner of Champ’s Trading Post. She told me of a sighting where a man saw a huge creature swimming alongside his boat.
The most famous Champ sighting occurred on July 5, 1977, when Sandra Mansi saw Champ rise from the lake and took a picture of it. That picture is one of the best photos of any lake monster. Sandra’s children were playing in the lake when she saw the monster. Her husband Anthony went to the car and grabbed the camera. He handed it to Sandra and went to get the kids out of the water. Sandra said that the whole sighting lasted about 5 minutes.
Sandra Mansi’s Photograph(www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com)
Scientists have looked at the Mansi photo, and it has never been proven to be fake. Sandra still sticks to her story to this day.
Joseph Zarzynski lists over 200 Champ sightings in his book Champ: Beyond the Legend. But, there have been many more sightings since the publication of his book in 1984. His book is my personal favorite on the subject of Champ.
Here's a little preview of what I've got done in chapter 3:
Many mysterious beasties are also seen in North American skies. Many strange creatures have been seen in various states, some of the most famous beings include the Mothman seen in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and Thunder birds, which are seen all over the U.S.. Those two creatures are included in this chapter, along with the Van Meter Visitor and Living Pterosaurs.
Native Americans told stories of giant flying monsters they called Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds were said to be big enough to pick up a deer, or even a man! They brought storms with them wherever they went(it is said that a Thunderbird made the sounds of thunder when it flapped its wings and could shoot lightning from its mouth and eyes.)
There are many Native American stories of thunderbirds. Cryptozoologist Mark A. Hall recounts many of them in his book Thunderbirds: America’s Living Legends of Giant Birds(New York, Cosimo Classics, 2004.)