Q: Where does Sasquatch live?
A: Sasquatch-ewan, of course.
But seriously, folks. If you were a shy, primitive, 8-foot-tall, 400-pound, nocturnal, bipedal hominid, where would you hide?
Why not Ohio?
Although the Buckeye State seems an unlikely place for a beast reportedly as large as Bigfoot to roam, the extensive forests of eastern and southern Ohio could provide plenty of shelter, according to Bigfoot believers.
Ohio is among the top states for Bigfoot sightings
In fact, Ohio is among the top states for reported Bigfoot encounters, said Louis Andres, a program specialist at Pleasant Hill Lake Park near Loudonville. That’s one reason why the park will host the Bigfoot Basecamp Weekend (https://pleasanthillpark.mwcd.org/calendar/2022/09/09/bigfoot-basecamp) on Sept. 9–11, Andres said.
The president of that organization, Matt Moneymaker, will make several appearances at the Bigfoot Basecamp Weekend.
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Moneymaker, who is also a star of the “Finding Bigfoot” TV series on Animal Planet, will host a VIP dinner at Mohican State Park lodge as part of the event. He will also explain and demonstrate new high-tech investigation equipment, including thermal-imaging drones that will be livestreaming Bigfoot hunts during the weekend, Andres said.
A Bigfoot sighting was reported in 2020 by a family camping within the 1,845-acre Pleasant Hill Lake Park, a Muskingum Water Conservation District park, Andres said.
The park adjoins other large natural areas, including 4,500-acre Mohican-Memorial State Forest and 1,100-acre Mohican State Park where other Bigfoot sightings have been alleged.
Encounters with Bigfoot have been reported in the area as far back as 1899, Andres said.
And myths and legends of a gigantic, man-like ape, also known as Sasquatch or Yeti, go back centuries in cultures all over the world.
(Strangely enough, one place Bigfoot never appeared is on “The X-Files,” a television program that featured many other legendary creatures — including lake monsters and chupacabras — during its run.)
In all, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization notes 318 reported modern encounters in 67 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Could the Bigfoot Basecamp Weekend generate more?
Events include night hikes, pontoon-boat tours and Bigfoot exhibits
Among the events during the weekend will be Bigfoot night hikes — family-friendly after-dark hikes with naturalists and volunteers from the Bigfoot research organization.
“You never know what you might see,” Andres said.
Other events include pontoon-boat tours of the lake; a Bigfoot exhibit with a lifesize model, fun facts and other information; and a program and book signing by Charles Kimbrough, author of the Bigfoot-hunting how-to guide “Squatchin’ 101.”
Additional activities include Bigfoot-themed family craft-making, a bushcraft survival skills program, and screenings of family-friendly Bigfoot movies and documentaries.
Bigfoot-themed local food trucks will be on site; “Bigfoot Rootbeer” and “Squatch Orange Soda” will be sold at the park store; and free “Squatch S’mores Kits” will be available to visitors.
Moneymaker will also host a community “town hall” meeting at the Pleasant Hill Lake beach at 7 p.m. on Sept. 10, Andres said.
The meeting will allow people who have had possible Bigfoot encounters to share information without fear of ridicule, Andres said.
“It’ll be fun, but also a safe space for people to tell their stories,” he said.
Although several programs during the weekend will require a fee, many will be free, Andres said.
Tickets for some events are available online at the event website. Some events, including the VIP dinner with Moneymaker, have already sold out, Andres said.
A limited number of campsites are also available during the event with advance registration.
“Even if you’re not a Bigfoot enthusiast or believer, there will still be plenty of fun things to see and do,” Andres said.
“And Lord help us if we do actually find one,” he said. “We’ll be on every TV show and the front of every newspaper.”
Probably even in Saskatoon.
Steve Stephens is a freelance travel writer and photographer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.