|Photo Credit: Josh Huskin/Houston Press|
In an in-depth article by the Houston Press, journalist Jef Rouner gives us four pages of great reporting. Below are a few of the highlights from the article.
KEN'S THOUGHTS ABOUT BIGFOOT ON TV
Modern-day sasquatchploitation is very different from things like Leonard Nimoy's In Search of..., the show that first inspired Gerhard as a child. Finding Bigfoot, now in its fifth season, is one of Animal Planet's most watched shows despite criticism by researchers that the program is scripted and overly sensational. Gerhard learned early on to be very careful with which invitations he accepts to appear on television to discuss Bigfoot, lest he end up appearing different from the way he intended once the footage is edited.
"The field keeps getting black eyes from fictional stories portrayed as fact," he says. "Lots of very terrible shows full of actors running around pretending to hunt monsters. It's train-wreck television."
KEN's APPROACH AND PROCESS
Gerhard's approach is different. He moved to San Antonio eight years ago to be closer to the majority of Bigfoot sightings in Texas and maximize the number he could investigate in the field. His apartment is covered in maps on which he marks with push pins each sighting or report he finds out about. He looks for clusters from multiple sources, indicators that something has enough of a presence that it's unlikely to be the result of widespread misidentification or hoaxsters. The best candidates feature nearly identical stories and descriptions from unrelated individuals.
"I'll give Ken credit for actually going out into the field," says Chester Moore, a wildlife journalist who mentored Gerhard when he started out and helped him prepare for a trip to Belize to investigate Bigfoot sightings there. "There aren't a lot of guys who do actually get out and dig around, and that is what matters. He definitely has a passion for it. Ken is aggressive in his pursuit."
KEN'S UPCOMING INVESTIGATION
There's a Bigfoot sighting right here in Houston that he's been meaning to come look at in person. A couple jogging in Terry Hershey Park who had a penchant for venturing off the path into wooded areas had a frightful encounter three years ago.
"It happened on Sunday, April 2, 2011," says Gerhard. "JM (Not his real name) and his girlfriend were near a creek and spotted a caved-in area on the shore. At first they thought it was a very tall homeless man, but he didn't look quite normal. Somehow inhuman. He had a hairy face and large black eyes. Startled by the couple, it ran. A few days later, they returned to find some hair, which I have not had for analysis yet, and a half-eaten fish. It was tall and thin, and there was a foul smell around the area." The couple also described low-pitched grunts and moans.
You can read the full article at the Houston Press: Skeptical but Open-Minded, Texan Ken Gerhard Hunts for Bigfoot and Other Monsters