Bigfoot Encounters

Wildlife educator to talk about Bigfoot Phenomenon

Evansville Courier & Press Wednesday, September 19, 2001

His wife says it will never happen because he is looking for it, but Larry Battson still hopes to see it someday. He is referring to the legendary, some say mythical, manlike ape called Bigfoot, whose existence has not been proved.

But Battson’s wife can only half-joke about it because, he said, she has seen it herself.

“She was coming home one night about five years ago and one was standing right by our driveway,” he said. In fact, the nationally known wildlife educator said, Bigfoot sightings are not all that uncommon in Putnam County, Ind., where he lives. One was reported there as recently as July.

Battson will share his knowledge of the phenomenon with the public in a 7 p.m. Thursday presentation, “Bigfoot — Myth or Reality?” at Wesselman Woods Nature Center.

Along with his extensive anecdotal evidence, Battson will bring a footprint cast originally preserved in California and a tape recording of eerie sounds made by a law enforcement officer in Washington and attributed to Bigfoot.

The creature has been recorded in American Indian legends, Battson said, and in the early journals of American explorer Daniel Boone.

President Theodore Roosevelt, an outdoors enthusiast, reported in one of his books the story of two Idaho trappers’ encounter with a Bigfoot.

“To me, it is another wild animal. That is totally the only reason I am interested in it,” Battson said. “They have been seen in every state but Rhode Island and Hawaii. It is either one of the most fascinating animals in the world or the greatest hoax ever.”

Battson is a believer, but he acknowledges the Bigfoot story makes a fascinating tale. It was his decision to tell that tale for a popular regional broadcast sports program in Cleveland that got him hooked.

“At first we were going to have some fun with it. Once I started doing some research on it, everything changed,” he said. “I started calling other people and hearing the same stories over and over.”

Battson thinks Bigfoot is more common than most people believe, but has been kept a myth partially because of the effect it would have on the tourism industry if the frightening creature’s existence was proved beyond doubt.

“I have yet to run into anyone who was not intimidated by it. People who see it say they have no desire to ever see anything like it again,” he said. “It changes their life entirely.”

Reports of Bigfoot sightings have come from as close to Evansville as Pike State Forest, Hoosier National Forest, Morgan Monroe Forest and along the Wabash River.

© Evansville Courier & Press

Back to What's New?
Back to Newspaper & Magazine Articles

Portions of this website are reprinted and sometimes edited to fit the standards of this website under the Fair Use Doctrine of International Copyright Law
as educational material without benefit of financial gain.
This proviso is applicable throughout the entire Bigfoot Encounters Website