|Phil Shaw shows his map of Michigan with Pushpins|
marking each of the BFRO Bigfoot sighting reports
Three Michigan news sites react to the visit from the TV crew of Finding Bigfoot. At MLive.com they mention a missed opportunity from a habituation witness in the Isabella County area. Then at the Detroit News and Ogemaw County Herald, BFRO member Phil Shaw is interviewed. Shaw is a pilot has recently retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Read them both below. First, the habituation witness in Isabella County...
Is Bigfoot real? Isabella County resident says Sasquatch haunts her homePublished: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 3:10 PM Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 3:33 PM
By Lindsay Knake
ISABELLA COUNTY, MI — Near the village of Edmore, southwest of Mount Pleasant, a huge creature haunts homes and people, says one resident.
After learning Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” crew came to Gladwin, Houghton Lake and West Branch this week to seek out the mysterious, hairy ape, Tammy Forrester asked why the film crews aren’t coming to her neighborhood.
“There is something in these woods,” she said. “There’s a lot of things that go on around here with this thing.”
She said her family and neighbors have seen Bigfoot for about 15 years. Forrester saw it crouched down in her yard a few years ago.
“It came up and knocked a fan out of our bedroom window. Seriously,” she said. “It was a whole lot bigger than me.”
The creature, she said, makes bizarre noises that make the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. It also has a musty, moldy smell. That’s how people know he’s around, she said.
When that happens, Forrester said, she heads indoors.
Dogs are scared of it, she said, including the family beagle, who would hide when he heard it.
“People out here don’t walk these roads after dark,” she said.
Now for BFRO member Phil Shaw...
Bigfoot chasers film TV episode in Houghton Lake areaBy Tom Greenwood
Call it "Close Encounters of the Hairy Kind."
This week, producers from the Animal Planet TV program "Finding Bigfoot" have been filming in the Houghton Lake area, looking for Bigfoot in the Big Mitten.
Before taking to the woods, the Hollywoodians held a town hall meeting April 5 at the Houghton Lake Playhouse, looking for leads and thirsting for local stories about the much discussed, seldom seen Sasquatch.
"I'd say there were at least 350 people at the meeting," said "Bigfooter" Phil Shaw, a member of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization.
"Many people had stories that they shared: My favorite was from a lady who lives south of Houghton Lake that actually had been able to record 'whoop howls' from a Bigfoot.
"They only howl on a limited basis, so that was very rare and impressive."
(Bigfoot is a general description of a huge, hairy, ape-like and what most believe to be mythical creature usually covered in dark brown or reddish hair.
(BFs are usually described as having a huge brow ridge, a gorilla-like face, a jaw-dropping aroma and reportedly have left footprints as large as 24 inches long and 8 inches wide. According to Shaw's readings, the average male Bigfoot is 8 feet tall and weights 800 pounds, 6 feet tall and a petite 600 pounds for the female.
(They are also supposed to be omnivores, nocturnal and non-confrontational.)
Scientists, biologists, zoologists and anthropologists have largely dismissed the idea of an ape-like hominid living in the backwoods of America.
Shaw said he and his wife encountered a Bigfoot a few years ago while vacationing in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia.
"There was an opening in the trees, and we saw a guy walking, and he didn't have any clothes on. We both agreed it was a Bigfoot," said Shaw, 69.
At that point Shaw — a pilot and recently retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — became a Bigfoot aficionado.
"I've been to six BF conferences, read 40 books on the subject and experienced 25 incidences that I think involved Bigfoot," said Shaw, who is also an avid hunter.
The incidents included sightings, vocalizations and strange stick formations found in the woods.
"They weren't deer hunting blinds or kid's tepees," Shaw said. "What human would build something like that?"
According to the BFRO, people have reported more than 130 Bigfoot sightings in almost every county in Michigan, but none in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Monroe.
And for some reason Bigfoot really likes to hang out in Ogemaw County, which has recorded six sightings of the big guy.
Tim Barnum, news editor for the Ogemaw County Herald, says there are many reports, but many keep them to themselves rather than face potential ridicule.
"I've heard stories, but personally I've never seen one," Barnum said. "Then again, I'm not much of an outdoorsman."
For many Americans who want to believe in Bigfoot, the truth is out there.
"People might think it's crazy to believe in Bigfoot, but there have been sightings like this for years in every culture all over the world," Shaw said. "Also, we're finding more plants and animals today than we did back in the 1700s. And besides, it's a great retirement hobby."
From: The Detroit News:
Extra Bonus! More Phil Shaw news reported by Ogemaw County Herald:
Local resident researching Bigfoot phenomenaBy Elon Brissette
Staff Writer | email@example.com
WEST BRANCH — Out of 107 investigated Bigfoot sightings in Michigan, three of them have been in Ogemaw County.
According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Association Web site, a number of years ago Bigfoot was seen north of Rose City on state land. More recently, the creature was spotted near the south edge of the Rifle River Recreation Area in November 2003, and in Lupton near Rose City Road in September 2007.
Phil Shaw of West Branch, who enjoys researching Bigfoot, said it is possible to see Bigfoot in the area because of the terrain, but that it’s not an everyday occurrence.
“You have to remember, this creature isn’t easy to be seen,” Shaw said. “It’s very happenstance, very nocturnal, very shy.”
According to bfro.net, each reported sighting is investigated, and if it is deemed as not a hoax, it will be included in the listing of sightings. The Web site also explains that sightings will not be published if the reporter wishes. So, while only three sightings in Ogemaw County have been reported on the site, it is possible there have been more.
Shaw and his wife, Carol, believe they saw Bigfoot in 2006 while on vacation outside of Michigan. On a four-lane highway in New Brunswick, the Shaws caught a glimpse of something walking across an opening in the trees.
“We both agreed that was not a man,” Phil Shaw said. “No blue jeans, no plaid shirt, no T-shirt, no hat, no white face, and she (Carol) says he had a funny gait.
“So, it was a little iffy. I wouldn’t call it a Class A (sighting) myself, but what we saw we didn’t think was a human.”
Before that incident, Shaw said he was like most people and had read some articles about Bigfoot, but never really took that much of an interest in the creature. But because he and Carol thought they saw one, and he found BFRO, which is an organization trying to do research on the animal, he is more captivated by the phenomena than before. And he’s not ashamed to talk about his belief.
“If you believe the anthropologists that have studied this, there’s lots of history,” Shaw said.
“Lots of proof actually of sightings, footprint casts, handprints, footprints, hair analysis.”
“If people are interested (I’ll talk),” he continued. “I’m not ashamed about it. I’m retired, so I can keep my job.”
While Shaw said he is intrigued by the whole concept of Bigfoot sharing the swamps and woods with humans, he also enjoys going on expeditions in different areas with BFRO.
“Even if I didn’t see a thing, just going camping in the mountains of Pennsylvania would be fun, and it’s low cost,” he said.
He has already gone on two expeditions — one in the Upper Peninsula in 2007, and one in North Carolina this past spring — and hopes to go to more, including one in October in Pennsylvania. Shaw said maybe half of the people on the expeditions have had some sort of encounter with Bigfoot, while the rest are just interested in the phenomena.
However, Shaw said, because there are so many people congregated in one area on the expeditions, it decreases your odds of sightings.
“It takes a lot to connect with these animals,” he said. “If you’ve got a pretty remote area, they’re less likely to be intimidated or reclusive. If there’s not a lot of people, they could be very curious.”
And Shaw said he wants people to be aware that this is not just a Pacific Northwest phenomenon; there is potential to have Bigfoot sightings in this area. He explained that Bigfoot’s physiology shows it needs a lot of water, and its presence could go untraced in flooded areas. Therefore, because Michigan has a lot of swampland, and most people don’t venture into those areas, Bigfoot may like that.
“That’s where the cover is. That’s where the food is,” Shaw said. “Northern Michigan and the U.P. have tremendous habitat for this kind of creature, and they don’t really leave too much sign behind, whether it be a B.M. or footprints, you don’t see them in swamps.”
Shaw said that while Bigfoot can vary a lot in size, with adult females being 200-300 pounds less than the average 8-foot, 800-pound adult male, some could be mistaken for a grizzly bear. However, because of Bigfoot’s height, it has a longer stride than bears walking on their hind legs.
“Size-wise it could be close to a grizzly, but even grizzlies, if they walk on their hind feet, they have short legs and maybe walk a few feet,” Shaw said. “Whereas this animal is most of the time on two legs and they can move.”
With limited photography of Bigfoot in comparison to the number of sightings, Shaw said that is because most people don’t carry cameras with them into the woods.
“Even if you had a camera and you only have 10 seconds, 15 seconds, a minute maybe to see this animal, if you don’t have a camera cocked and ready, your odds are pretty remote,” he said.
He also said that because of digital technology, even if you were to capture Bigfoot in a picture, people would believe it was a fake SRC: Ogemaw County Herald.