As the Finding Bigfoot crew wraps up filming in Northern Michigan, here's the latest unscientific poll results about the existence of Bigfoot by mlive.com. According to current results, almost 25 percent of people who have voted believe that there's a Bigfoot in Nothern Michigan-- and he likes to eat pasty:
Here's how the town hall meeting went down in Michigan:
Bigfoot chasers film TV episode in Houghton Lake area
By Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News
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. The episode will run something this summer.
"I'd say there were at least 350 people at the meeting," said "Bigfooter" Phil Shaw, a member of the Bigfoot Field Researchers 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 weighs 800 pounds; the average female is 6 feet tall and a petite 600 pounds.
(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."