Is Bigfoot real and alive in Upstate New York?
Mayville, N.Y., resident Peter Wiemer told WGRZ that he’s heard from 45 eyewitnesses who claim to have seen the Sasquatch in the area around Chautauqua Lake, located 60 miles south of Buffalo.
“There’s a hundred or more (witnesses) in Chautauqua County that aren’t talking to me,” Wiemer told the TV station.
According to WGRZ, Chautauqua County is packed with dense forests and deep gorges where a large animal could live but rarely be seen, like the Black Bear. Wiemer, who sponsors the annual Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo event for believers and fans, says footprints seen in nearby Ashville, N.Y., are further evidence that Sasquatch is out there.
Whitehall, located in Washington County north of Albany, has also had a large number of Sasquatch sightings that led to it being dubbed the “Bigfoot Capital of the East Coast.” In 1976, multiple witnesses, including local police and a New York State Trooper, said they saw a man-like “beast” standing over 7-8 feet tall and covered with hair, similar to the famous 1967 images captured by Roger Patterson in California. A blurry photo from a Whitehall trail cam in 2010 is among hundreds of reported Bigfoot sightings across the state.
Whitehall has its own Bigfoot event, the Sasquatch Calling Festival, with a competition for best Bigfoot calls to attract the elusive animal.
But Bigfoot has been reportedly sighted many other places, including in Washington state in 2020, keeping hope alive for enthusiasts across the U.S.
So is Sasquatch real? Experts call it a “cryptid,” an animal that cryptozoologists believe may exist in the wild but may not be widely accepted in the scientific community. Other cryptids include the Yeti (or abominable snowman), the chupacabra and the Loch Ness Monster.
Dr. Jeff Meldrum, a professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University, told WGRZ that data suggests Bigfoots (or Bigfeet?) live in habitats similar to the Black Bear. And not finding physical evidence, such as bones, doesn’t mean a Sasquatch is any less real than other wildlife.
“To find a dead bear in the wild is unheard of, the same thing with a coyote or a fox even, because the environment has its own disposal system,” Sasquatch Researcher Steve Kulls told WGRZ.