A new article is up on the Star Beacon about the Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigation (SOSBI). They will be giving a talk in Conneaut, Ohio next Thursday. The article is an interview with Doug Waller, head of the group:
"CONNEAUT - For decades, stories about ape-like creatures living deep in the North American wilderness have proved fascinating to many people.
"Whatever the name - Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti among others - countless books and a few reality television shows have been devoted to the legend of the beast that prowls the countryside.
"Next week, the Conneaut Public Library will give people a chance to learn more about the Bigfoot phenomenon. At 5 p.m. Thursday, Doug Waller of the Southeast Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigations will present a program devoted to the big fella.
"Waller will talk about how he became interested in Bigfoot, discuss books he has written on the subject and then share evidence he says gives strong argument to the critter's existence, ranging from photographs to plaster casts of footprints.
"Waller lives near Cambridge, located a short distance from Salt Fork State Park, known for its many Bigfoot sightings, he said in a phone interview Friday. Prior to retirement, Waller worked many years for the Guernsey County library system - a job he said piqued his interest in the animal.
"'I've always been interested in the subject,' he said. 'I read everything they had (about Bigfoot) at the library, then ordered more books.'
"To date, Waller estimates he has read 180 books about Bigfoot. He began accumulating stories and eyewitness accounts several years ago, and to date has published two books. A third book will be published in just a few weeks, he said.
"Waller's second book, 'Hidden Encounters,' contains a handful of stories about Bigfoot sightings in the Ashtabula County area, he said. In 2013, Bigfoot was big news, with sightings reported in Saybrook Township (along Route 20), Geneva Township (along Interstate 90) and the Madison area in Lake County.
"Waller is hoping to hear more stories at Thursday's event. People are generally reluctant to talk about their experiences in front of a crowd for fear of being ridiculed, he said.
""After meetings are over someone usually comes up (to talk),' Waller said. 'They're self-conscious. They're afraid they will be laughed at.'
"Waller said he has encountered plenty of scoffers.
"'Some people don't believe in them whatsoever,' he said. 'But they go from skeptic to believer in seconds after they have their first encounter.'
"Sadly, Waller hasn't personally spotted a Bigfoot. SOSBI members, however, gather regularly for campouts at Salt Fork to seek the animal and listen for sounds and screams, he said.
"People usually associate Bigfoot with the dense woods and mountains of northwestern United States. Ohioans are surprised to learn sightings are plentiful not too far from their homes, Waller said.
"'They are so astonished to find out they are practically living in their backyards,' he said. 'Actually, Ohio ranks fifths and sightings and there have been hundreds - if not thousands - of sightings in Pennsylvania.'
"Waller said he will be accompanied on his trip to Conneaut by associate Shawna Parks. He willingly travels the state to talk everything Bigfoot. Libraries are popular venues, he said.
"'I've probably appeared at more than 75 libraries over the past three of four years,' he said.
"An appearance at the Madison Public Library in October 2014 attracted more than 130 people, Waller said. He's hoping for a similarly-sized crowd in Conneaut.
"Kathy Altman, Conneaut library's adult service coordinator, said the library hosted an event devoted to UFOs a few years ago and that was well received. That response got library staff thinking of an event 'in a similar vein,' she said.
"'I really am hoping people show up and talk about it,' Altman said. 'Even if there's a little cynicism, I think it will be interesting."
Here's a list of SOSBI's other talks and appearances until May. I first went to one of Doug's talks in 2014 and am going to the one on the 22nd.