All conventions have their fans, be it Star Trek, Comic-Con, and even work related affairs, but this weekend it was time for Bigfoot fans to gather, discuss, share, and compare all things Bigfoot at a New York Bigfoot convention.
The Bigfoot convention drew Sasquatch fans from near and far on Saturday to western New York, the Bigfoot believers not only convinced that the enormous, allegedly hairy, scary, and smelly creature roams the deep forests of the Pacific Northwest and Canada, but also all over New York, reports The Morning Call.
An estimated 100 people turned out at the fourth annual Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo sporting Bigfoot paraphernalia while sharing first-hand, second-hand, and possibly a couple of third-hand, Bigfoot stories, some wearing pins that said, “I Believe.”
And if you don’t believe in Bigfoot, be prepared to have a spirited discussion with folks like Julia Karanasky, who believes she may have had a Bigfoot encounter of the first-hand variety. At first, Karanasky thought the possible Bigfoot was just some pervert trying to get his jollies by peaking through the window of her Niagara Falls home, a home she had just moved into two days before. But she soon began hearing many stories about Bigfoots roaming the area of her new digs, and upon further reflection, realized the massive figure that had cleared its throat outside her window very well could’ve been a Bigfoot.
“I keep telling people, ‘I think he came to my house that night,'” said Karanasky, who took in the Bigfoot convention seminars from the front row.
Another who believes he had a face to face run-in with Bigfoot is Dave Wargo who says he was first overwhelmed by the creature’s stench before seeing it standing on some railroad tracks near Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest.
“People make fun of you,” said Wargo, a veteran guest on Animal Planet‘s popular Finding Bigfoot series. “But I know what I saw.”
Peter Wiemer originally organized the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo as a way to bring in more tourists to the area which relies heavily on tourist dollars, and while the woodsy region is most renown for its scholarly, artsy, Chautauqua Institution summer retreat, talk of Bigfoot in the area also raises eyebrows.
“You say Bigfoot in a room full of people and watch everyone stop and look to see who’s talking,” laughed, Wiemer.
Western New York’s Bigfoot reputation hasn’t only given Weimer’s Bigfoot convention solid traction, but also made the area notorious enough to attract Bigfoot documentary filmmakers who create films such as the one below.
In fact, Weimer has become such a Bigfoot devotee that he has even pushed for the state of New York to put highly elusive legend on its endangered species list.
But the New York department responsible for giving Bigfoot such a designation didn’t want to listen, saying in 2012, “This mythical animal does not exist in nature or otherwise…. No program or action in relation to mythical animals is warranted.”
But again, don’t tell that to Sasquatch believers like those at the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo, who enthusiastically absorbed presentations from the likes of Steve Kulls, a “Sasquatch detective” who gathers Bigfoot evidence while trying to distinguish bogus Bigfoot reports from those believed to be more legitimate. Along with Kulls was a presenter named Ken Gerhard, a cryptozoologist who not only gathers evidence of Bigfoot, but also the Loch Ness Monster, chupacabra, and even werewolves.
New York has definitely recorded its share of Bigfoot sightings with at least 100. So the next time you’re in New York, keep your eyes open for a Sasquatch, or plan ahead and swing by the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo.
[Image via Patterson-Gimlin Film/Wikipedia]