BENNINGTON, Vermont. -- The report of a sasquatch sighting in Southern
Vermont last week has prompted others who saw what one man called "a
guy in a gorilla suit" to come forward.
After Ray Dufresne of Winooski told the Banner on Sept. 25 that he spotted
a bigfoot-type creature at the highest elevation on Route 7 between Bennington
and Manchester, three more people have reported seeing the same thing.
On Sept. 16 at around 7:45 p.m., writer Doug Dorst, 33, of San Francisco
was heading south from Cavendish on Route 7 to give a reading at Bennington
College when he saw the creature.
A 'big' somebody
As he approached the stretch of road near the highest elevation, Dorst
saw in the distance what he first thought was a "homeless dude with
a war wound in a snowsuit."
The thing was walking in Dorst's driving lane, so he slowed down to about
"As I got closer, it seemed like it was a 'big' somebody,''' Dorst
The creature spun around to look directly at him.
"It freaked me out," said Dorst. "It was so not computing."
The creature's face was light brown, or tan, and the body was dark brown
or black, he said.
"My impression was that it was a mask that someone had created to
be frightening," he said. "My feeling is that it was a stunt,
and I enjoy that. More power to the guy."
Dorst described the thing as standing over 6 feet tall and stocky.
"I almost wish I'd been paying more attention, so I could've appreciated
the absurdity and the fear of it," the writer said. "I think
this was a dude in a suit out there. I celebrate it."
Another bigfoot-spotter was Sadelle Wiltshire, 45, of Ben-nington, who
makes a living as a Web site designer at Spectrum Design in Bennington.
The same night that Dufresne contacted the Banner about the sighting,
Wiltshire and her partner, Ann Mrowicki, were heading north to see the
Vermont Sym-phony Orchestra in Man-chester and were passing the highest
elevation on Route 7 at 7:10 p.m., virtually at the same time as Dufresne.
"It was the weirdest thing," said Wiltshire. "It looked
like a guy in a gorilla suit, but it looked like it had a tail."
Wiltshire was considerably closer to the "Beast of Bennington" than Dufresne had been when he passed it. As a passenger in the car with
Mrowicki, Wiltshire was no more than 10 to 20 feet away from the thing,
she said. Dufresne said he had been about 140 feet away.
The creature, according to Wiltshire, was about 6 feet tall, of medium
build, with dark brown hair. She said it walked on two legs and had jointed
knees like a hominid. Neither Wiltshire nor Mrowicki saw the creature's
"Definitely not a bear," said Mrowicki in an e-mail to the Banner.
"Bigfoot? Hmmmm. A strange big person in a costume? That's the conclusion
we drew," Mrowicki wrote in her e-mail.
Wiltshire said she is not one to buy into bigfoot myths.
"It seems like in all the stuff I've read [that these creatures]
are all in climates that are much colder than ours, and much more rugged."
Local folks do not buy the folk tales, either. The Banner received several
tips that a Bennington man, Michael Greene, was inside the gorilla suit.
But Greene, who admitted that he has a penchant for practical jokes, denied
"I pull some jokes on people, but not this one," said Greene.
"I heard about it in the paper."
Greene, 42, said he was playing golf around dusk last Wednesday at the
Mount Anthony Country Club. Furthermore, he said, he does not now have,
nor has he ever had, a gorilla suit.
Ever since the Sept. 25 Banner article on the sighting, Greene said he
hasn't heard the end of it. The same goes for his relatives.
"They're getting the same that I am," said Greene.
Greene has "kin" in the Glastonbury area, and can trace his
roots back generations in southern
Bennington County, he said.
He's hunted extensively in the Glastonbury area as well, but said he's
never witnessed anything out of the ordinary.
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