The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

March 16, 2008

More than 50 Bigfoot sightings tallied in W.Va.

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series concerning an international group’s effort to locate Bigfoot inside West Virginia.

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, an Internet scientific community charged with unraveling the mystery of Sasquatch, lists more than 4,000 sightings and trackings of the furry fellow throughout the United States and Canada.

The Web site www. has documented more than 50 sightings in West Virginia alone since 1975, with a majority of them occurring in southern West Virginia. The most recant Bigfoot sighting occurred last summer in Monroe County.

BFRO founder and director Mathew Moneymaker last week revealed for the first time the approximate geographical area in West Virginia where the group’s April 10-13 outing is scheduled. The group last explored a similar area in 2006.

“Our expedition will focus searching for Sasquatch in the Greenbrier River region area encompassing a span of three counties,” said Moneymaker, a law graduate and computer consultant from California.

Moneymaker began compiling his “comprehensive sightings database” in 1995 while still in law school. Since then, he’s received more than 20,000 submissions about sightings, but only about “one out of four have credible enough evidence to document and post on the Web site.”

The database, the first of its kind, gives a county-by-county breakdown not only of sightings and trackings, but also first-hand accounts. Some reports are buffered with notes from BFRO investigators such as retired Army Sgt. Stephen Willis, who will lead the Greenbrier River expedition.

Willis will most likely be searching for Sasquatch somewhere in Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties, which lists five previous sightings. A 1994 Greenbrier eyewitness account documents a man and son who saw “three creatures ripping limbs and bark from trees” at Sherwood Lake.

“I saw two very large black upright creatures ... it appeared they were eating bark. The smallest of the two had an arm reach about 10 to 12 feet. The larger of the two was several feet higher, later a third one stepped out. That’s when I told my son, ‘we have to run,’” the unidentified witness wrote. “I grew up in the area and I spent a lot of time in the woods, and it takes a lot to scare me. Through the years, I stopped talking about it because no believed me or my son.”

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