September 18, 2005
Texas has a Bigfoot in it

Have you seen any seven-foot-tall apelike beings wandering around your neighborhood lately? Well if so, take heart. As this story in the October Texas Monthly notes, you have company.

THESE DAYS, THANKS TO THE INTERNET, Daryl Colyer hasn’t had any trouble finding others who’ve met Bigfoot. Craig Woolheater, for example. The 45-year-old office manager from Dallas came across a seven-foot-tall gray-haired creature on the side of the road in Louisiana when he was driving home from a trip in 1994. The vision so inspired him that in 1999 he founded the Texas Bigfoot Research Center (TBRC), a volunteer-run, self-funded organization dedicated to finding the Lone Star State’s Sasquatch. This closer-to-home version of the BFRO soon caught Colyer’s attention, and after taking on a field expedition for Woolheater in January 2004, he decided he’d work for the TBRC in addition to his regular Bigfoot-hunting gig. A brotherhood was formed, and the two men talk on the phone almost daily, discussing new scientific findings and the anecdotes posted on the group’s Web site,

Their work is far from boring. Due in part to the TBRC’s efforts, interest in Bigfoot has taken hold in the state, particularly in East Texas, which has the dense woods and plentiful waterways said to be the habitat of choice for this mysterious species. According to Woolheater, there have been about 150 credible sightings each year since he started fielding reports in 2000; investigators believe that there are in fact many Bigfoots populating the area. Nearly every day the center’s thirtysome members communicate via e-mail or phone on some Bigfoot-related subject (what was that strange sound heard recently in the Piney Woods? A whoop? Or more of a chatter? How tall was the creature in that last sighting? What color hair? Any good new devices to use in the woods?). And every fall, Woolheater spearheads a pivotal event for Sasquatch fans everywhere: the TBRC’s Bigfoot conference, held in the East Texas town of Jefferson.

I'm curious about something: If these guys ever do find a Bigfoot, will that be taken as evidence for Intelligent Design, or against it?

Actually, I'm curious about something else, and I'm glad to see that reporter Katy Vine brought it up:

Which is not to say that everyone warmly embraces the idea of Jefferson as a home for Bigfoot lovers. Many of the natives would rather have the focus on their town’s history, not on ghosts or monsters, and Bigfoot is not a subheading under “zoology.” “Well, why has no one found a body?” they’ll ask.

Woolheater and Colyer are receptive to skeptics’ criticisms. “There is no fossil record of higher-order primates in North America,” Colyer acknowledged.

“And we’re trying to find something that is not common or identifiable,” said Woolheater.

To put it mildly, that's not much of an answer. In fact, it's pretty much 100% BS. I would have liked to have gotten the perspective of a scientist here to explain just how much BS that explanation is (and believe me, it's a lot of BS), but at least the point was raised.

Anyway. It's an interesting story, and as with all Texas Monthly previews it'll be around for a few days, so check it out while you can.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 18, 2005 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

Why is everyone overlooking the easy answer? *Obviously* Goobernor Goodhair has let it grow a little long these days...

Posted by: B. K. Oxley (binkley) on September 18, 2005 2:12 PM

Actually, the only big apes I usually see are the inflatable ones towering over car dealerships.

Posted by: Tim on September 18, 2005 6:11 PM

(OK, someone has to say it:)


Posted by: CrispyShot on September 19, 2005 12:15 PM

“Well, why has no one found a body?”

I've lived many years in areas that had very large bear populations, but I've never found the body of a bear either...not even the bones of a bear. Why ? Quite simply, bodies don't last long in the woods. Nature provides a very effective means of utilizing carrion, bones and other dead material especially in warmer climates. If these creatures do exist, we can assume that it is a very small and reclusive population. It would be very naive to expect that anyone would happen to just stumble across remains.
Add to that the fact that a lot of the area in question is sparsely populated, and I think your question is answered.
I also lived several years in East Texas, specifically around Gregg County. While I'm still out on whether Bigfoot exists or not I've seen things that I simply can't explain under the known classes of fauna in the area.
just my two cents worth...

Posted by: Charlie Harvin on September 20, 2005 5:47 AM

Charlie, with all due respect, there's a big difference between "I've never found the body of a bear" and "No one has ever found the body of a bear". It's not at all naive to think that someone, somewhere, would have found evidence of Bigfoot if it existed. Hell, archeologists have found eggs and feces from dinosaurs. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but at some point you need to rethink your hypotheses.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 20, 2005 9:44 AM

Point well taken, however I still remain open minded to the issue. "Hair samples" have been tested by experts, and identified as belonging to no known species. There is archeological evidence of Gigantopithicus. And, however vague they may be, there are thousands of eyewitness sightings around the world every year that can't just be dismissed by assuming they're all liars.
I'll concede that proof of existance must be confirmed by physical evidence, but I also feel that it's quite plausible that something exists outside of recorded taxonomy in the remote areas of America and other places.
Remember the Coleocanth & Ivory Billed Woodpecker...and on top of that they may have just discovered a new primate in the Congo :)

Posted by: Charlie Harvin on September 21, 2005 2:45 PM

Not to mention that some sasquatch tracks have been found to contain dermal ridges that cannot be identified by primate dermal ridge experts.

And you're right Mr. Kuffner, to suggest that it's not naive to think that someone somewhere would have found evidence of bigfoot if it existed. There's actually quite a bit of evidence that there is an unknown primate of some kind in North America: tracks with unidentified primate dermal ridges, hair belonging to an unidentified primate (found in continental US), vocalizations determined to be of unknown primate origin - plus of course, the thousands of eyewitness reports from people of unimpeachable character who have much to lose, and nothing to gain from sharing their experiences, like the two gentlemen in the story, for instance.

Posted by: Velda Honeas on September 21, 2005 4:53 PM

bigfoot is my homie

Posted by: justin on October 9, 2005 10:01 AM

Having lived in Gregg, Upshur, and Harrison counties for several years, I am inclined to agree with Charlie's comments. I have on several occassions encountered something out in the woods of rural East Texas. Having lived out there for some 20+ years, I had chance to encounter more than my fair share of the odd and unusual. With only one creature that made me question my sanity, and then, after two more encounters and finding my neighbors had the same type encounters, I started researching everything I could find. I lived on the Upshur, Marion, and Harrison county line. Yes, the three come together at one point, my residence. And to give you an idea of how rural it is, the nearest WalMart is some 30 miles south, in Longview. So, yes, I do believe that there is a VERY large, unidentified primate in the woods of East Texas. I have seen it, and taken the brunt of jokes. No problem though. I know what I saw and no longer question what it was or my sanity.

Posted by: Richard Van Dyke on December 12, 2005 1:22 PM

Charles, I'm getting in on this way late, I know, but I've must tell you not all of us who have seen him; wanted to see him. I may have spoken of my sighting (25 years ago) only about a half dozen times. Mainly because I felt guilty of "something" until proven otherwise and felt no need to go looking for trouble. And I'm not looking for any here. The odds of someone perpetuating a hoax under the conditions I saw him are, to me, in the 0.0000 etc. range. I'm not a "Kook", I was not high in any way, shape, or form, nor do I suffer from any mental illness. Also, I'm an ex-marine and am currently an I.C.U. nurse so very little "gets to me" but I tear-up when I try to relay this event that happened so long ago, In my lights, I'm as normal/average as you get. A couple of observations RE: No body. (1) It was about thiry years before the last Japanese soldier, on Guam, was "captured". (2) The environment they live in is wet and inherently hostile to corpes -- that is, if they don't eat their own and grind their bones. Look, it's late. I'm tired. We'll keep looking; would you try to open your mind and ask "What if?" I hope you see one real soon.

Posted by: Dylan Ireland on July 27, 2006 12:32 AM