Gnats are Back in Town…

“The Gnats are Back In Town”

By Sasysquatchgirl and a little Thin Lizzy 😜

Guess who just got back today

Those annoying gnats that had been away

Haven’t changed, they are here to stay

But man, they’re already making me crazy

They were flying all around

Looking for me, buzzin’ around, to see if I could be found

I ended up running all around

Cause they were driving me crazy

The gnats are back in town

The gnats are back in town

I said, The gnats are back in town, the gnats are back in town

The gnats are back in town, the gnats are back in town

The gnats are back in town, the gnats are back in town

You know those gnats fly together a lot

Every one of them in the forest chasing what I’ve got

Man, when I tell you, I was pissed I was red hot

I mean, I was steaming

And then those few they get right in your face

Well, I got up and flapped about the place

Man, I wish I had some mace

those nats wont stop now, til they get ya

The gnats are back in town, the gnats are back in town

I said, the gnats are back in town, the gnats are back In town

The gnats are back in town

The gnats are back in town

The gnats are back in town, the gnats are back in town

Spread the word around

Guess who’s back in town

You spread the word around

Tonight they’ll be dressed to kill

Down in the forest after the hill

They’ll follow you and blood will spill

And if the gnats wanna swarm, you better let em’

They’ve been waiting in their home, buzzin around, waiting for so long

Won’t be long till summer comes

So now the gnats are here again

The gnats are back in town, the gnats are back in town

Spread the word around, the gnats are back in town

The gnats are back in town

Been hanging ’round in limbo

The gnats are back in town again…

Inspired by true events…

Picture and video are my own

Boys are Back in Town Again, by Thin Lizzie is used in accordance with the fair use act, for parody purposes…

copyright 2019, property of Sasysquatchgirl and Bigfootmountain all rights reserved

Witness Story from the San Jouquin Valley

So first, before I share these pictures and short story with you I wanted to say, I always take someone at their word and try to debunk respectfully if at all possible. But this is where things often get hinky I’ve noticed in this field. It is completely okay to debunk or not even believe. But always, always do both with respect.

I see many people get tortured online for posting a pic that sometimes not even they are sure of. They are often just asking our opinion. And I know not every pic or story will hold up, but still, I implore all of you to be helpful with your debunking and respectful with your disbelief. I thank you for reading that quick soap box moment, and now here is a story from Shelly Billington who was kind enough to share her experience with me.

” Good afternoon. I would love for you to blog my short story. Here is some background before I get started. I followed a friend onto Squatch Watchers about a year, year and half ago and started learning abut the biggies..I was raised camping in Sierra Nevada and know the mountains well. In October 2018, I took my first hike, but I decided to look low because of the fires we recently had. It was then when I found my first print and tri pod. Then in January of this year I found my 2nd print. Also in February of this year I found a very cool structure that was covered with snow. I went back up the hill in March to examine it closer. To me it looked like an upside down nest. It didn’t seem big enough to be a home but would make an awesome home/trap for something smaller. I found my 3rd print when walking around that area, this one was larger than the others it was 18″ inches long and 6-7″ inches wide, and was sunk into the wet, snow melted ground about 2 1/2 inches. This is just a little background of my experiences so far for you. I am new to this. That brings us up to speed and on to the photos. On April 10th my friend and I went to the Stanislaus River here in the San Joaquin Valley, we went to check out fishing holes.. I love taking pictures of scenery while I’m out..we found a little clearing with a log to sit on. Matt sat down and was watching for striped bass to make movement and I was taking pictures of the area. The first three will be of the river from where I was standing across to the private property on the other side. It was around 6:45 in the evening and the sun was on its way down. The tree’s reflection is beautiful on the river, you will see nothing dark along side of it and no reflection of anything but the trees in the water. This was picture #89 in my camera. I sat down next to my friend and was looking at the water when he said to me, “Shelly what is that?” I said “what”? he said “over there looking around that tree”.. I said “I don’t know”, you will be able to have an idea from the landscaped view of picture #89 how far away it was. I had not yet used my zoom, the next three I used my camera to zoom in on the dark figure across the river.

I took 4 pictures in all. The one you have seen is #90 of it or they, I’m not quite sure, when looking at it blown up even bigger it looks like it could possibly have a small one on it’s back, or another looking around it from behind the tree. There is only one set of legs though. At first we thought it could be a shadow, but shadows do not have reflections on water or air and in picture #89 there is no reflection on the water.

It or they had stood there and watched us. I was in shock, not expecting one to be down here in my valley, they belong up in the mountains or so I thought. I did send the pictures to another site to get feedback. Chuck from Michigan Paranormal Time Isnow, examining and enlarging these pictures for me. Also last week I did contact the BFRO, but I have not heard back from them as of yet. I understand that they get a lot of sightings and calls.

I went back to the river to look around and nothing is the same. The tree is not there and neither is the log we were sitting on actually. When the river rises I am sure to find it again. Now my goal is to maybe find some sort of structures in the area. As far as I know there are no known sightings here in the valley. I am in awe. And to answer your questions, there were no smells, but the distance was quite far, and all this happened within a few minutes span. It was maybe 5 minutes at the most. It is funny because people talk about eye-shine and find faces in leaves and I do not see any of that. In hearing Bob Gimlin tell his story last month, I was greatly inspired to share my own. I had been out looking before for Bigfoot, and then there it was when I was not even looking for it. I am sending you these pictures, which I have explained, and you are the only other researcher besides Chuck Sutherlin to see them. Everyone else has only seen the one I posted on your site. I did go back a couple of days later at the same time of day which you asked and no, there was nothing there. I’m sending over the debunking pictures as well. You will be able to tell it was a different day because the tree is not in the water because the water level had gone down a little at that time. This has been a very exciting experience for me, and I have now convinced a few other people that they are real.”

Thank you,

Shelly

I thank you Shelly for trusting to share your stories and photos with me. I hope the BFRO or another research group can get out to your area soon to further investigate with you…

What do you think? Could it be a Bigfoot? Or maybe a large black bear? Let me know what you think. You can leave your comments here or feel free to email me at:

Sasysquatchgirl@gmail.com

Property of sasysquatchgirl and Bigfootmountain all rights reserved…

Photos all supplied from Shelly Billington.

Name that Plant…Sightings Movie Review

I recently had a chance to catch a Bigfoot movie, (yes Bigfoot, don’t let the picture fool you) titled Sightings with a release date of 2017. I’m realizing lately that we could all be missing some good movies and documentaries in this genre because we aren’t seeing Bigfoot named in the title. In the 70s, movie titles were more direct, simply titled Bigfoot or Capture of Bigfoot etc. so I hope to do better catching the newer ones coming out. If you’re writing one now and reading this, please e-mail me and let me know it’s coming…

So back to Sightings, I popped some popcorn and settled in, intrigued that an alien is on the cover. I admit it started off reminding me of the movie Signs from M. Night Shyamalan (Some spoilers ahead, proceed with caution). There was an angry father played by Boo Arnold, who lost his wife, and his daughter whom I think is a hemophiliac (because they really don’t say) because she needed clotting injections and finally a brother in law in the ranch next door (instead of a brother). Sound familiar? But it wasn’t as annoying as you might have suspected it to be.

It starts out with a phone call that bodies of dead women have been found on said angry father’s property. He was the sheriff and is now waking up on his first day of being a civilian. The bodies show no signs of trauma, or a visible cause of death. When the brother in law hears this he shows up telling him it’s the same creature that took his sister, and that she didn’t just run away. He said they needed to keep his niece safe now.

Next he gets a visit from a cryptozoologist. She has a theory that the Bigfoot are actually aliens and they are taking women with a certain compatible blood type for breeding (cue my nightmares). The daughter does end up getting attacked but she manages to get away. Now dad is a believer. They are giving a certain plant that supposedly deters the Bigfoot, they are put all over the property like garlic for a vampire, only they never once name the plant (unless I missed it…twice). So now I briefly can’t concentrate and I’m rewinding thinking, “name the God forsaken plant!”

I did eventually get over the plant thing and despite it I did enjoy this movie. The inevitable showdown does come at the end but I don’t wait to spoil the whole movie for you. I will say I especially enjoyed the background music, it was a-lot like a 50s sci-fi B movie soundtrack. So if you are a Bigfoot and Alien enthusiast then I am recommending you give this movie a chance. Then after as always you can let me know what you thought…

I watched this streaming on the Amazon Prime platform, where you can find a lot of good Bigfoot movies, and below is the link to the trailer. Happy viewing…

Sightings Trailer:

https://youtu.be/YnART9frRqw

Finding Jay…Then Interviewing and Reviewing Him

Recently I was was given an advance copy of the Finding Jay documentary to review. But then I thought since I found him, I’d steal a little more time for an interview as well. And steal is what I had to do because he’s a busy man. Busy family life, full time job, runs own production company; Chum Bucket Studios and continuing his work and investigating sightings inside the Kettle Moraine . So as I always am when someone can squeeze me in, I’m thankful for the time…

So here it is, a Q&A with Jay

Q.What prompted your interest in the paranormal?

A.We’ll have to go way back to answer this one. I think it was my fascination with Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. The old Creature Features were simply the best. Of course seeing The movie ‘Monster Mysteries’ really peaked my interest with Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Yeti. Bottom line anything supernatural peeked my interest.

Q. What was your first interest in the paranormal field and why?
A. Had to be in 1977 when my brothers, sister , mom and I witnessed the most amazing display of a well lit object in the dark sky. It moved like nothing we’ve ever seen before in our lives. Of course that made me think this was an alien craft with extraterrestrial life on it. Oh the imagination of a 10 year old as my mind raced trying to figure out what this UFO was. So throughout my life I have always looked up in the sky and wanted to see another UFO. By doing so I’ve actually seen six different UFOs in my lifetime.
Q. What was your first personal paranormal experience?
A. The craziest thing that has happened to me was when I was a young boy. I was over at my friend’s house next-door, and we were playing with Star Wars figures in his bedroom. We were up on the ledge by his window of his bedroom. It was a beautiful sunny day in the afternoon. All of a sudden everything went black for about four seconds. The odd thing about this is that my friend asked me “did the lights just go out?” How could two little kids experience a black out at the same time?
Q. Who were your role models in this field and why?
A. My two role models in the world of crypto zoology has always been Linda Godfrey and Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum. They both look at everything scientifically and do their due diligence in trying to prove or disprove what is out there . Yet they have an open mind about the unknown and undiscovered.
Pictured here with Linda Godfrey out on an investigation.
Q. What made you decide to pursue this field and start WPI Hunts the Truth?
A. After having a honeymoon on the East Coast, my wife Katie and I ended up in Salem Massachusetts. We went on a ghost tour that really peaked my interest. So when we returned to Wisconsin we thought we would begin our own investigation team and try to find the truth. Because at this time the ghost phenomenon was just the beginning on TV. Our group investigated cemeteries and in abandoned buildings reported to have paranormal activities.
Q. You started out focusing on hauntings, what types of paranormal experiences did you witness if at all?
A. There was this one investigation in Rockton Illinois. It was about three am and I was in the basement of this person‘s home we were investigating. All of a sudden this coldness surrounded my entire body. I felt like I was in some sort of electric field. All the hair on my body stood up like the redwood trees in CA. The coldness did eventually go away and I wasn’t frightened at any time during this encounter, but it was truly bizarre.
Q. Any particular call or investigation that stands out to you?
A. We investigated the Ohio State reformatory in Mansfield Ohio. We were walking through the guard’s room. We heard what sounded like old jail type keys being rattled right next to us but there was nobody there. But the biggest capture was an EVP caught in the warden’s room. It sounded like a woman crying and then a gunshot then the woman screaming louder. All of this happened while the two of us were just looking around. We heard absolutely nothing because it was so quiet. We later learned from the tour guide there, that the warden’s wife was shot back in the 1940s in that same very office.
Q. Did you work with a team on those investigations?
A. Yes. Since 2007 we constantly had a revolving door with different teammates. The most we ever had was a team of 10 and at the very least a team of 5.
Q. What prompted your shift to cryptids?
A. While I was still fascinated with the ghost phenomenon it wasn’t until October 2013 when I entered the Kettle Moraine. We heard what sounded like a simian type yell in the distant woods. We couldn’t identify it. Personally, I’ve never been the big outdoor man and didn’t know all the sounds of the woods. That’s why I went onto the computer to find some sounds of the indigenous animals in Southeast Wisconsin. We couldn’t find a match. And It intrigued me so much that I thought, maybe there is something to this Bigfoot.
Inside the Kettle Moraine.
Q. What is your personal philosophy in regards to being out there in your research areas? What do you carry? What is your mindset?
A. My philosophy is simple. If you want to find an aggressive animal, bang on some trees and yell until your blue in the face. But I see Bigfoot more of a person. So if you want to look for a person you treat them with respect because you are in their home, not yours. My mindset is pretty easy going in the woods. I always go out there with the intentions of a hike with friends. I never have any high expectations of running into a Bigfoot or a Dogman or anything unknown. I do this because if something is out there and they want to make contact with me, I want to show them that I am no threat. This is why I do not carry firearms or bright lights. However, as I practice safety first, I do carry a machete and have some bear spray just in case I run into some predator animals. I feel if I carry a gun they can sense it and may not approach me. I have a 35 pound backpack filled with supplies, first aid kit, extra batteries, fire starter, rain ponchos, hunting knives, extra flashlights, toilet paper, bug spray and one extra set of underwear (no joke). You never know!
I may have to consider this underwear thing for myself now that it’s out there…

In the Kettle Moraine with Scott Markus of, “What’s your Ghost Story?”
Q. What made you pick the areas inside the Kettle you investigate and what brought you to the kettle for the first time? And what is your favorite time of day to hike?
A. We ended up in the Kettle Moraine because we were looking for the Beast of Bray Road. We figured the Kettle Moraine was not too far away from Bray Road and this was a perfect place to look. This is when we heard the simian type yell that we could not identify and peaked my interest ever since. The best time to go out is at night. You weed out any other people that might be out there hiking, biking or horseback riding. I never like to go out during the day because you can get a false positive reading when it ends up being a person. At least at night you weed out a large percentage of human contamination.
Out in the Kettle for a night hike
Q. How does it feel living right near Bray Road? Is it just a regular street to you now since you drive on it daily?
A. It’s very nice to have Bray Road in my backyard. It has never become a regular street to me because of the two sightings I’ve seen in the past five years on that road. 2 things I can’t explain but sure were weird. 

Bray Road, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Q. Do you feel as though your research and interest in encountering Dogman has waned or are you still actively investigating those encounters?
A. Not really. My main focus is in the Kettle Moraine in search of the Wisconsin Sasquatch. However, with that said I am still always looking out for ‘The Beast’ as a drive up to the Kettle.

Q. What was your first BF encounter like?
A. I have had four encounters of Bigfoot. They all weren’t up close Harry and The Henderson’s style, but unique enough to know what it was. The first one was really quite extraordinary. It was at night in the woods with no light, the snow filled the forest floor and you can see like an animal without any lights. I saw this 8 foot being swaying from side to side and then it glided as if it was on the wire to another tree. I wasn’t scared as I was more intrigued.

Q. What gave you the push to create a documentary?
A. As I am the type of guy that carries around a camera and takes pictures and videos daily, you can imagine what I do when I’m out in the field. So I have 2 external hard drives filled with over 4 TB of documented video, pictures and audio. It was in 2018 that I wanted to go back and look at all of my documentation for research sake. Then I thought maybe I’d put out a :20 minute video of me talking about my 5 year journey to and out to people at events or conferences. While I have loads and loads of testimonies of the people I went out with I thought maybe I could get them on camera to talk about some of those encounters. The next thing I knew I had a full blown documentary going on. By early 2019 FINDING JAY was born.

Q. I’m sure many man hours went into this project, how does it feel now that it’s complete? What is the official release date? And where will you premiere it?
A. I lost track of how many hours I put into this project last September. I have put my whole heart and soul, blood sweat and tears into this project. I finally finished FINDING JAY in March 2019. As I put my hands up like Rocky Balboa in Rocky I was relieved, exhausted and excited all rolled into one. I will be preparing this film at the PA Bigfoot camping adventure in Farmington Pennsylvania on May 31st in front of a captive audience. The Blu-ray disc will be available June 1st, as I’m taking pre-orders now. FINDING JAY will be released to stream on Amazon Prime Video July 1st.


Q. You can say you’ve probably investigated all things paranormal, do you feel each phenomena is it’s own entity or do you feel like they may be all from the same pot so to speak?

A. I wish I had the answer but when it comes down to it … I really don’t know. However, if you really want my theory I’d tell you I speculate all things cryptid, paranormal and alien are from one in the same.

Q. If you were in a position to bring a Bigfoot In alive or dead, do you think you would leave them free or bring in the proof.
A. I’m an advocate for Bigfoot. Whether part man, part animal, or all animal, I have the utmost respect for them. I would love to have a million dollars and appear on Jimmy Fallon and be the envy of millions of people but honestly at the end of the day, I truly like being ‘Just Jay’. Close my eyes at night knowing I have integrity, a good heart knowing I’m a simple man. So to answer your question, I’d leave them free and respect their dead if a body was found (documented with video & photos of course).

Q. What is your thoughts on how mainstream bigfoot has become, he is a household name now, do you think it helps us or hursts us?
A. I think it helps bring awareness. It also helps people talk about and come forward to report their sightings/encounters without being ridiculed. That in itself will help us move forward with new data and finally learn the truth: Bigfoot Does Exist.

Q. What is the most important thing you’d like us to take away from watching Finding Jay? 
A. I want people to watch this film with an open mind and come to their own conclusion without me telling them what it is.

Q. You’ve mentioned in a recent social media post you may have found a pathway bigfoot could possibly be using. Is this your next focus? And can we hopefully expect documentary number two from your findings? 
A. Yes, maybe in another 5 years I’ll have enough data to create another film. In fact my youngest daughter already has the title for my second film called ‘Found Jay’.  Now as far as ‘the corridor’ I have no idea …just a hunch. While I google this area for Google Earth I clearly see where the forest is thicker and thinner I theorized this is a great place to cross. 

Q. If you never found any evidence if this documentary could never be made, Would you consider time out in those woods as wasted?
A. No. It’s never a waste of time because 13 out of 15 trips in the woods has only given me squirrels and birds anyway. Still, if there wasn’t any evidence at least I’m getting out in nature to get away from technology and hear myself think.
I second that one…
Q. What advice would you give to an up and coming researcher if you could?
A. My advice is get out there and Discover for Yourself! Question everything yet have an open mind. There clearly are no experts in this field because not one person has all the answers. There are also clearly hoaxes and/or misidentifications. The only true way to discover is to ‘be out there’ whether it’s the woods, a cemetery, a creepy road or looking up into the sky once and a while. DISCOVER FOR YOURSELF.
And now the review…

I’ve popped the popcorn and settled into another Bigfoot documentary, or have I? And keep in mind I’ve seen quite a few. First thing that reeled me in was an adorable boy (I wonder who’s) advertising Chum Bucket Studios. This beginning reminds us that like other cryptid documentaries it is self produced, directed and edited. We are not in this field for the money, we are in it for the love of this creature and to educate people on his existence. With that said, most documentaries are the telling of witness encounters and pontificating on what manner of species he could be. And there is nothing wrong with that. I enjoy many of them. I believe witness encounters because I believe he exists. Sometimes you just have to have faith. But in Finding Jay there needn’t be any pontification because there was actual proof to see, hear and believe…or not for yourself. The film was the culmination of 5 years of filming and documenting that researcher Jay Bachochin had from his adventures inside the Kettle Moraine. If you don’t know the Kettle, which is located in Wisconsin. It is a forest known for being a hot bed of all things paranormal.

The Kettle Moraine State Forest

Just like my stomping ground The Freetown Forest here in Massachusetts it has everything from aliens to bizarre cryptids. Never a dull moment. And that is much like the ride this documentary takes you on. Never a dull moment. There are witness accounts, of course, both Linda Godfrey and Mary Marshall The Paranormal MD make an appearance here amongst others, discussing their investigations out there with Jay.

Jay with Mary Marshall inside the Kettle.

But you will be busy thinking on the evidence put forth for you. I don’t want to give anything away because you need to see it for yourself and decide what you believe for yourself, but I will say there are moments I don’t think you will be able to logically explain away, but with every piece of evidence there was also documented attempts to debunk it.

I don’t want to give away anything but this picture is a “what is that” moment.

This documentary has a running time of 2 hours and 6 minutes. I know most documentaries you see on Amazon are maybe at most a little more than an hour, But this moves at a fast past and is expertly edited but again you will focus on the evidence. And you will most likely be making it longer by rewinding a few parts saying to yourself, “what is that?” I really enjoyed this documentary and I recommend it. It makes me want to head to The Kettle myself someday, then someone can film a documentary about finding me because I most likely won’t find my way out…

Finding Jay is available for pre-order now for Blu-Ray and will be available for streaming services on July 1st. You can also catch Jay at the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Camping Adventure next month. He will be presenting there with his son Blake.

And also on the Travel Channel next month in, In Search of Monsters.


To pre-order Finding Jay go to www.wpihuntsthetruth.com

Finding Jay Trailer:

https://youtu.be/yb5PLOjUMrk

I Thought I Saw a Wabbit…

We are so accustomed to attributing rabbits to the adorable Cadbury chocolate egg wielding ball of fluff, that we never really think on their history and how they came about being part of this holiday. So I thought I’d dig into the history of Easter celebrations and learn all about them. And maybe find out what’s up with delicious chocolate eggs. So put the chocolate bunny down and enjoy the read.

Okay let’s start with eggs. Because we enjoy leaving a trail of chocolate egg wrappers everywhere. Originally eating eggs (the real eggs) was forbidden by the church for the week of Good Friday and Easter. Any eggs laid that week were decorated and given out to the children.

And now for the Easter bunny, also called “Easter Hare” was born in Germany. He was first thought up to encourage children to be good and if you were, he would come with eggs. On some occasions he also brings small toys. Sound familiar? Rabbits also have generally large liters (kittens), which represents new life. The earliest documented case comes from the early 15 hundreds. And then again in 1700s in Germany, whose migration to America brought along this tradition which obviously stuck.

The bunny is also part of other cultures and is seen as everything from spirit guides to being seen as mischievous, but overall they are seen as representations of life and fertility.

So now where did the chocolate bunnies and eggs from Hell come from? In Victorian time they were giving children satin covered eggs to celebrate with. Then in France in the 19th centuries they began making chocolate eggs and bunnies. Obviously they became popular leading us all to be battling tight jeans.

Unfortunately like all holidays in America, we somehow turn the importance and focus of the actual holiday to material gifts. And it becomes a store holiday just like Christmas. We all have lost sight of what these holidays truly are about. There is one big positive here and that is it’s another day you can spend with your family and nothing is better or worth more than that.

Hope you had a great Easter…

Wendigo…Movie Review

I was trolling through movies on Amazon Prime the other day when I came across one about the scariest cryptid out there. (well to me anyway), The Wendigo.

This movie simply titled Wendigo, came out in 2001(not sure how I missed it). It stars Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island) and Jake Weber (Dawn of the Dead).

It was strange to see a cryptid movie not about Bigfoot on Amazon. Not that I’m knocking Bigfoot, it was just something different to see.

It starts off with the Family going to a friend’s vacation home, and on the way they hit a deer that a hunter was tracking. And naturally as it always goes In horror movies, they now have issues with their redneck neighbors (What would these movies be without a gun toting redneck around).

After settling into the house they head to the local store and meet the Native American store owner who tells their son all about the history of the Wendigo and then gives him a totem of one. Now this part of the movie I liked, they stuck to the actual lore of this cryptid, but after this scene the movie goes tits up. There’s a sledding and a simultaneous accidental shooting (By guess who). The father in this film is without a doubt having a bad day, (and I should mention, never go sledding with this idiot). After they have a sledding and shooting accident a Wendigo spirit shows up and screws up the whole movie, like a cop directing traffic. They should have stayed centered on the rednecks as the only antagonists in this film. The Wendigo ending left me with that “what the hell just happened here” moment. You all know what I mean, I call it the 2001: A Space Odyssey effect. You get all the way to the end and then boom an ending only Stanley Kubrick could understand, but If you do watch this movie and figure out the ending, let me know what it was about. Despite the confusing ending, if you like the Wendigo lore I recommend watching it at least once and of course email me with your thoughts on the ending…because right now I’m standing by my “what the hell” theory.

Trailer of Wendigo:

https://youtu.be/43G7rai6rVk

You can reach me at:

sasysquatchgirl@gmail.com

And if you have suggestions for the next Woman of the Woods to highlight? You can also reach me at:

womanofthewoods2@gmail.com

Copyright April 2019, property of Bigfootmountain and Sasysquatchgirl all rights reserved

All pictures used in accordance to the fair use act

Woman of the Woods…A Q and A with Laura Krantz

The Bigfoot Community is a large one. Bigger than you would think. Researchers, enthusiasts, fans, writers, bloggers, artists and podcasters. How do you go about finding anything new and different in this genre with so many wonderful voices in it? Well, I’ll tell you, find and follow a skeptic out there that just happens to have Bigfoot royalty in their blood, and follow along as she learns about all things Bigfoot and see if her skepticism becomes belief. This week I give you another Woman of the Woods and learn about her journey through the history of Bigfoot…

Everyone, A Q&A with Laura Krantz

Q. Would you mind sharing a bit about your work at NPR? Maybe the most important and or favorite news story you were apart of there? Did you find it to be rewarding?

A. I spent about 7 years at NPR headquarters in DC, working as an editor and producer (so I was never on the air) and then 2 more years in Los Angeles working at one of the NPR stations there as an editor. I have to say that, of all the stories I worked on, my favorite was probably the series I produced from Russia. I traveled with Morning Edition host David Greene on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok. We spent about two weeks on that trip and it was unbelievably interesting and eye-opening (not to mention an adventure). Our goal was to report on Russia and the feelings of the Russian people 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. If people are interested they can find that series of stories here.

https://www.npr.org/news/specials/2012/russia-by-rail/

I’m interested so I’ll be reading that next.

Q. Pre Grover, what was your opinion on Bigfoot?

A. Pre-Grover, I hadn’t given much thought to Bigfoot. I’d always just regarded it as a myth or campfire tale. My only real exposure has been through tabloid headlines and the movie Harry and the Hendersons.

Q. When you realized you had a relative who was a Bigfoot Researcher, what is the first thing that popped in your head? And did those thoughts change when you realized how important he was to the Cryptozoology field?

A. First thing? “Holy sh*t- what a weirdo!” Although, to put that in context, the first I’d heard about Grover was in a Washington Post article about him that talked about how he’d donated his body to the Tennessee Body Farm and his bones (and his dogs’ bones) to the Smithsonian Institution. So the section about Bigfoot stuff that was in that same article was just one part of that “what a weirdo!” response I had. Once I knew we were related, he (and Bigfoot) became all that more interesting-my big thought was, “This guy’s a real scientist – tenured professor of Anthropology, made some important findings in his field – and he thinks Bigfoot is real. Maybe there’s more to it than I thought?”

Grover Krantz

Q. You mentioned you thought having Grover’s name definitely opened doors for you. Who did you reach out to first? And what was their reaction to hearing from you?

A. The first person I reached out to was Diane Horton, Grover’s fourth wife. I thought she would be a good place to start because she would have known Grover on a whole different level than just about anyone else, and she would be able to point me in the right direction of others who knew him well. Also, she lived nearby – about 30 minutes south of where I live in Denver, so that made her the most obvious starting point. As for others, I think sharing the last name helped tremendously but I also think I was very transparent with people that I talked to. I told them I was a journalist and what my background was. I made a point of conveying the fact that I wasn’t picking up the mantle from Grover, but that I wanted to understand his work and this community of people as a subsection of American society. The goal was to report honesty, not make fun of people or turn this into something silly. But yes, Grover’s name definitely got people to open up in a way that they might not have otherwise.

Q. When you put it all together, who Grover really was, his work, etc. was that what gave you the initial push to pursue this full time? And if not, what was? And what were your goals in the beginning?

A. It’s funny, I found out that I was related to Grover in 2006. I didn’t start working on this podcast until 2017. I knew his story was an interesting one but I didn’t quite know how I wanted to tell it, not to mention my day job at the time (I was full time at NPR and a news room schedule is pretty busy) didn’t really make me want to do more reporting in my downtime. I needed the space to really think about how I wanted to do it and that really didn’t happen until I became a freelancer. But Grover’s story percolated in the back of my brain for years.

Q. How did your opinion or respect differ after you began to meet encounter witnesses. How, if at all did your opinion of them change? Did you have that moment from “omg, these people are crazy” to “I think these people really saw something.”

A. A point of clarification- I spent most of my time talking to people that were following in Grover’s footsteps in terms of how they viewed Bigfoot- as an unidentified primate, beholden to the same law of physics and biology as the rest of us. Once I got to know these researchers, it became apparent to me that they were simply curious people with a question about the natural world and they wanted to find an answer to it. A lot of the witness accounts- especially from those people who’d spent lots of time in the woods and knew the ecosystem and environment well- really made my jaw drop. I think the one that really blew my mind was John Mionczynski’s – he’s just not someone who’s going to make something like this up.

Q. You mentioned spending two years researching before starting your podcast. What was that time like for you and did you have one particular moment or time that stands out from the rest?

A. Yes – it was about 18 months of research/writing/production before the first episode of the podcast came out. It was hard – this was a big project that I did almost entirely on my own. I did hire an outside editor and sound designer and my husband (who’s also a journalist), played a key role as a sounding board and it’s first editor. But overall, it was incredibly rewarding to be working on a project of my own making. I knew that if I was going to do well, it had to be good and that was entirely up to me. Both scary and great. It’s hard to pick a favorite – camping at Beachfoot In 2017 was a lot of fun ( bonus: I was awakened in the middle of the night because I’d pitched my tent over a mole hole and that beast was trying to come out right under my pillow). Also loved going out into the Mt. Hood National Forest with Cindy Caddell, Shane Corson and Gunner Monson. And I totally geeked out over my conversation with Todd Disotell about Just how advanced the technology for DNA analysis has become.

Mount Hood

Q. What was it like to see the Olympia project for yourself first hand? And did it directly change your mindset on anything?

A. Seeing the nests with Shane Corson of the Olympia project was another one of those jaw dropping moments that really made me think about what we know about the natural world. It definitely made me wonder and although the evidence didn’t end up showing the nests to be made by a Bigfoot, they certainly were weird and it would be fascinating to find out exactly what went on there.

Q. What made you start the podcast? Or was that always the end goal of the two years spent researching?

A. The podcast was always the end goal – once I decided to tell Grover’s story, I knew that a podcast was the format I wanted to do it in. My journalism career started in radio, and although I dabbled in print, I was happy about going back to audio. I just like it better.

Q. People love the first season of your podcast. When do you anticipate the second season coming out? And is there any little hint you can share about what may be coming?

A. The second season! This is still TBD – I’m a one woman shop and so it will take me a while to get the next one up and running. I’m working on ideas for several projects right now, none of which are fully fledged yet. But I promise I’ll let people know what’s going on via social media channels- @wildthingpod on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And people can also sign up for the email list on the website:

www.wildthingpodcast.com

I don’t spam people but if you want to know what I’m doing next (once I’m doing it), thats a good way to find out.

Q. How has your family been about you being the crazy Bigfoot girl lady now?

A. My family is totally into it, mainly because I think they love Grover’s story almost as much as I do. Everyone has had a lot of fun with it. They’re always sending me photos of Bigfoot, statues, stickers, etc. that they see out in the world.

Q. Do you see yourself continuing on with this for the foreseeable future?

A. I definitely plan to do more podcasts, although they won’t likely be about Bigfoot. I started this to scratch a personal itch and explore something new, but it’s not my passion the way it is for other people. I like to think of the first season of Wild Thing as an introduction to the world of Bigfoot and from there, people can go find all the other podcasts/books/films/shows/websites that are out there!

Q. Finally, I know when I first started hitting the woods regularly using what I call my “Bigfoot eyes” the whole way I thought of the environment and really all of nature shifted. Has that happened to you at all?

A. I’ve always been interested in nature and the environment, even before this, but I think this has just made me more aware of how important it is to preserve wild places – even if Bigfoot doesn’t exist, there is something to be said for having untamed landscapes in this world where something like Bigfoot *could* live…

There are so many great Women of the Woods out there that I’m hoping you can all help me to highlight them all. I would love to hear from you all about who you think I should highlight for future Woman of the Woods posts. I want to say, how I define Women of the Woods is everything from the ladies in the field to the bloggers, writers and podcasters that bring your adventures in the field to the masses. You can reach me with your suggestions here in the comments or by email at:

womanofthewoods2@gmail.com

sasysquatchgirl@gmail.com

or social media sites at @sasysquatchgirl

Hope to hear from you all soon!

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