Bigfoot on display! Museums, collections salute sasquatch
This unretouched image, purportedly of Bigfoot, was taken from several seconds of film shot in Del Norte County, Calif., in late 1967. It is from a film by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, who claim they captured Bigfoot in their footage. (Associated Press files)
Museum curator Al Hodgson holds what he claims is a plaster cast from the legendary Bigfoot in a 2003 photograph. Bigfoot means big business in this neck of the Humboldt County woods. (Robert Durell, Los Angeles Times)
The museum is along California 299, also known as the Bigfoot Scenic Byway. Willow Creek, a town with a population of about 1,500, hitched its fortunes to sightseeing, fishing, rafting -- and Bigfoot. (Robert Durell, Los Angeles Times)
The exhibit, which continues until Oct. 18, includes some artifacts from Grover Krantz, an anthropologist. Krantz, shown in 1982, holds a footprint cast from an alleged sasquatch in Oregon. (Associated Press file)
This stone head courtesy of the Maryhill Museum of Art could be construed as looking like a sasquatch-type beast. (Washington State Historical Society)
The case shows the Gigantopithecus blacki skull reconstruction on the far left; the Lowland gorilla skull replica (male specimen) in the middle; and a human skull replica (male specimen) on the far right. (Washington State Historical Society)
The Washington State Capital Museum in the historical Lord Mansion in Olympia, Wash.
Here is the inspiration for the capital’s exhibit:
If we manage to hang on to a sizeable hunk of Bigfoot habitat, we will at least have a fragment of the greatest green treasure the temperate world has ever known. If we do not, Bigfoot, real or imagined, will vanish; and with its shadow will flee the others who dwell in that world. Looking at that tangled land, one can just about accept that Sasquatch could coexist with towns and loggers and hunters and hikers, all in proportion. But when the topography is finally tamed outright, no one will anymore imagine that giants are abroad in the land. -- Robert Michael Pyle, “Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide” (Washington State Historical Society)
Loren Coleman, the author of "
Reporters attend a Palo Alto, Calif., news conference Aug. 15 announcing the claim that a deceased Bigfoot or sasquatch creature has been discovered in a northern Georgia forest. (Ben Margot, Associated Press)
Rick Dyer, left, and Matthew Whitton answer questions from the media during a news conference about their claim that they found a deceased Bigfoot in the woods of northern Georgia. (Ben Margot, Associated Press)
Tom Biscardi, a longtime Bigfoot enthusiast, displays a photograph given to reporters during an Aug. 15 news conference in Palo Alto about the purported Bigfoot find. (IAN SHERR, AFP/Getty Images)
The recent Bigfoot hoopla ended Wednesday when the purported carcass of the great hairy one captured in northern Georgia turned out to be a rubber gorilla suit. Before the hoax was revealed, the media turned out in force Friday at a Palo Alto, Calif., news conference where the men who claimed to have found the body held court and answered questions about one of the most enduring pop culture legends.
For Bigfoot believers, who gather eyewitness accounts and other “evidence,” the searching will likely continue. Here are some places where you can feed your Bigfoot curiosity and see some gorgeous scenery along the way.
* Bigfoot Discovery Museum
Where: 5497 California 9, Felton, Calif.
What you’ll see: The Bigfoot Discovery Museum, part of the Bigfoot Discovery Project, is the work of Michael Rugg, a longtime sasquatch enthusiast. The museum holds plaster casts, skull casts from “Bigfoot-like” creatures, recordings, books, videos and a diorama with two life-size models. The project recently added a Bigfoot resort, decorated with memorabilia and artifacts that wouldn’t fit in the museum. The resort is available for rent.
Hours: 1 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays.
Admission: Free, but donations are accepted.
Info:www.bigfootdiscoveryproject.com or call (831) 335-4478.
* Willow Creek-China Flat Museum
Where: 38949 California 299, Willow Creek, Calif. (about an hour from the coast of Arcata in Humboldt County.)
What you’ll see: A specially built house holds this collection of Bigfoot print casts, photographs, maps, newspaper clips and other documents. A 25-foot-tall Bigfoot statue guards the entrance to the museum, and there’s a research center adjacent to the museum. While heading to this site, take in the stunning scenery along California 299, also called the Bigfoot Scenic Byway.
Hours: Open from mid-April through the end of October, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays.
Info: (530) 629-2653, www.bigfootcountry.net
* The Seattle Museum of the Mysteries
Where: 623 Broadway E., Seattle
What you’ll see: Described as Washington’s only paranormal scientific museum, this institution holds maps of Bigfoot sightings, replicas of print casts and purported photos of sasquatch. Also on display are photos and information on UFOs, crop circles and haunted houses. The museum also boasts an oxygen bar, in case you get lightheaded from all the displays.
Hours: 10: a.m. to noon Mondays to Thursdays, 1 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays, 1 to 6:30 p.m. Sundays.
Admission: Suggested donations of $3 for adults, $2 for children 8 to 16 years old, children younger than 8 get in free.
Info: (206) 328-6499, www.seattlechatclub.org
* Washington State Capital Museum& Outreach Center
Where: 211 21st Ave. S.W., Olympia, Wash.
What you’ll see: The museum is hosting an exhibit called “Giants in the Mountains: The Search for Sasquatch.” The exhibit, organized by the Washington State Historical Society, includes tribal artifacts and artwork as well as physical evidence collected in the field by anthropologist Grover Krantz. The exhibit explores the scientific explanations, hoaxes and popular cultural interpretations of the Bigfoot legend. The exhibit ends Oct. 18.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday
Admission: Adults, $2; youths ages 6 to 18, $1; children younger than 6, free.
Info: (360) 753-2580, www.wshs.org/wscm/index.htm
* International Cryptozoology Museum
Address: P.O. Box 360, Portland, ME 04112
What you’ll see: Cryptozoology is the study of mysterious creatures such as mermaids and the Loch Ness Monster. This private museum is run by Loren Coleman, the author of “Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America” and “The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti & Other Mystery Primates Worldwide,” plus 30 other books. In his 48 years of researching Bigfoot, he has collected plaster casts, hair samples and other evidence that he claims prove that the creature exists. His museum includes tourist souvenirs, an 8-foot-tall Bigfoot model, Indian art and cultural artifacts.
Hours: Coleman will provide tours only by appointment.
Admission: Donations of $25 are suggested.
Info: To visit the museum, contact him at www.lorencoleman.com
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