Sam Sherry had never heard the word "Bigfoot" until 1987, shortly after he saw fiery red eyes in the Pennsylvania woods while he was fishing at night. "I shined the (flash)light up there on that and I see two big eyeballs?as big as golf balls," Sherry says. "He come busting out of that woods, swinging his arms and pounding his chest."
Pennsylvania is fourth behind California, Washington and Oregon in the number of reported sightings, according to the Bigfoot Field Research Organization. Since his first encounter, Sherry says he has spotted Bigfoot six more times. One was a female because she had a "yearling" with her.
In August 1982, James Young told authorities he heard snorting, heavy breathing and smelled a terrible stench that terrified his family and drove their four dogs crazy. An 18-inch footprint was found nearby. Two years later, David Gustkey saw a Bigfoot crossing a busy highway in the same vicinity. ?I was scared,? Gustkey says. ?I had never seen anything like that. I remember the size of it. It was all hair. It was not a gorilla. It was not a bear. It was not human.? It was 7 or 8 feet tall and had no visible neck, and crossed the 30-foot highway in two steps.
?You have all these hunters out there, why haven?t there been a lot more reports of people seeing them?? asks Mel Schake of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. ?We have a lot of people out there at all hours of the day and night. To my knowledge, no one has ever reported seeing anything like that.?
Eric Altman, president of Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, thinks most sightings go unreported. He says, ?People are afraid to come forward because of ridicule from the general public.?
During his research, Sherry says he?s found Bigfoot beds, feeding spots and favorite paths. Although he has seen many tracks, he thinks they?re very smart and can hide their tracks and other signs. ?They?re smarter than the average guy. They hide their tracks. They hide everything,? he says. Not only is Bigfoot nocturnal, but Sherry thinks it lives underground, which is why the one he encountered stank of the kind of dampness found in caves. He says, ?If they were on the surface more of the time, they would be seen more often.?
He has been feeding two Bigfoot families and has set a trap for them. It?s a bear snare that he?s adapted with a locking mechanism he designed himself to outwit them. So far, none of them have stepped into it. ?Their feet are too big,? Sherry says. ?What I?m interested in is a live specimen. I have to catch one.?
Loren Coleman knows all about Bigfoot?and more. Learn about his research from ?The Mothman and Other Curious Encounters?, click here.
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