By RENEE FITE July 10, 2008Press special writer TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS —
“The Legend of Boggy Creek” movie inspired D.W. Lee to drive to Fouke, Ark., in search of Bigfoot.
Since the 1990s, he has become an avid researcher and expert on the legend and the creature.
And a believer.
“Once you see one, you want to see another one,” Lee said. “Hearing their vocalizations and movement around you is incredible.
“It gives you pause to think about what goes on in a woods at night.”
Lee and his Stilwell-based Mid-America Bigfoot Research organization are part of an international long-term Bigfoot investigation using cameras and video equipment. Their Web site, www.mid-americabigfoot.com, has a message board where researchers discuss their findings, Lee said.
Once, when researching north of Claremore, he saw a dozen of the creatures move on all fours through an open field, then stand up and walk when they got to the tree line.
“We have a white Bigfoot in this area,” Lee said.
“We’ve been tracking it in this area since 1994. It travels in between Adair and Cherokee counties.”
Bigfoot is definitely a primate, he said.
“There are three kinds: those with human type features and a nose more human in shape; those with a gorilla look; and some with a monster look that are terrifying to look at.”
They’re found throughout the U.S. and active in Oklahoma, according to Lee.
“They’ve been here for ages,” Lee said. “We shouldn’t be afraid. They’re just as curious about us.”
Some people feed them, and they have found plenty of dead chickens outside chicken houses, he said.
“They’re really good at catching deer,” he said. “They hunt in packs. Part of them will run deer in the general direction of the others, and they can grab them when they run by.”
Two women in the Lost City area – Peggy and Margaret Hance – have grown up watching Bigfoot for 25 years. Margaret moved to the area with her parents when she was 12.
Over the years, they’ve had things thrown at their house, including rocks, lumber, sticks, and a cat that died at the hands of the creature.They’ve seen Rose of Sharon bush torn up and claim they hear, see and smell Bigfoot regularly.
“I’ve heard them holler and scream,” Margaret said. “Mom’s seen them and I’ve seen them in the backyard 20 feet away.”
She describes them as tall, with long, brown-reddish hair, no hair on their face, and standing upright with long arms, reaching almost to their knees.
“We see them every day,” she said. “We’ve seen small, medium and large footprints.”
Peggy said she was only scared the one time she thought a little Bigfoot was trying to come in the house.
“A sheriff’s deputy spotlighted one once,” she said.
Another time, her husband was in the tool shed and a Bigfoot was standing outside the door watching him.
“My granddaughter yelled at it to, ‘Get away from my grandpa,’” she said. “And it moved on.”
She thinks the Bigfoots (or is it Bigfeet?) like red-haired children most of all.
“They used to watch my grandchildren,” Peggy said. “They’d even watch them go out and get on the school bus. I’d see them hiding behind a tree or bushes.”
She’s seen two females.
“They have breasts, usually with no hair, and on their face and palms of their hands,” Peggy said.
Margaret said they come in all different colors.
“Light brown, medium brown, dark brown but mostly reddish-brown,” she said. “In California, they have silver-tipped ones.”The Hances used to grow garlic in the backyard, but think the creatures pulled it all up, “so much it doesn’t hardly grow.”
“I heard they really like garlic,” she said.
Margaret read about a woman in Georgia who said they could talk, but, “I’ve only heard them grunt, growl and call across the creek to each other. Or scream and yell when a dog chases it.”
Those looking for some Bigfoot fun can attend the annual Festival in Oklahoma in October.
Honobia, near Talahina, holds a Bigfoot Festival.
Lee’s organization helps host, and it’s their second year to have a conference.
This year, an anatomy and anthropology professor from the University of Idaho will be the featured speaker.
“He’s gone on record saying he believes there are Bigfoot,” Lee said.
Whether you’ve seen one and can’t wait to see another, find it hard to believe what you’ve seen and just don’t want to admit it, or consider Bigfoot bogus, enthusiasts like Lee will continue to research until there is enough evidence to change legend into fact.
TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESSBy RENEE FITE Press special writer
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