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Bigfoot Enthusiasts Meet In Pennsylvania

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose@privat.dk>
Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2002 14:46:24 +0200
Fwd Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2002 19:20:15 -0400
Subject: Bigfoot Enthusiasts Meet In Pennsylvania 

Source: Tribune-Review - Greensburg, Pennsylvania




Bigfoot enthusiasts make tracks to Jeannette

By Craig Smith


Saturday, August 31, 2002


Eric Altman dreams of coming face to face with a hairy creature
that can stand more than 8 feet tall, weigh nearly a ton and
smell like rancid meat.

He came close, he thinks, about two years ago. That's why he's
98 percent sure the creature that's come to be known as Bigfoot
is out there.

"I want to see one of these creatures up close," he said.
"There's obviously something out there. We have a mystery to

Altman will be among the speakers when the Pennsylvania Bigfoot
Society holds its fourth annual East Coast Bigfoot Conference
and Expo from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Pitzer's
Townhouse Restaurant in Jeannette.

He's hoping the public will attend the conference to share
stories of Bigfoot sightings and to learn more about the

Altman's own close encounter occurred in August 2000 in the
woods of Bradford County. During a preliminary investigation
into a Bigfoot sighting, Altman and others heard something
circling them. At first, they thought it was a bear.

"When we moved, it moved," he said. "That's not typical of a

Then there was the mumbling. Altman said it sounded as if the
creature was trying to talk. "We had goosebumps. Our hearts were
racing," he said. "It was pretty intense."

Altman, 32, of Jeannette, has been "obsessed" with Bigfoot for
more than 20 years. He believes the creature stems from a break
in the evolutionary process.

"As the evolutionary chain progressed, a separate species broke
off," he said. "Man evolved. This thing remained animal-like."

You don't have to go deep into the woods to find a Bigfoot,
though. One of the most recent reported sightings in
Westmoreland County was near Jeannette.

At about 7 a.m. June 9, 2000, a woman driving on Route 30 near
Delallo's Italian Marketplace reported seeing a creature more
than 7 feet tall, weighing about 400 to 500 pounds, cross a side
road in three steps. Altman and other investigators scoured the
area but found no hard evidence of Bigfoot.

By day, Eric Altman works full time for a communications
company; his wife, Kathy, works for a local retailer. They spend
the hours away from their jobs chasing Bigfoot and running the
Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, an organization formed in 1999 by
Eric Altman, Steve Anderson and Henry Benson to receive and
investigate Bigfoot sightings.

"We get sighting reports from all across the state," Kathy
Altman said.

So far, the research has been hampered by circumstantial
evidence. "Until someone is lucky enough to get actual
photographic footage," she said.

Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin apparently did just that on
Oct. 20, 1967. The 953 frames of 16 mm footage they filmed at
Bluff Creek, Calif., is cited as the best evidence of Bigfoot to

But Eric Altman believes this will be the era that will prove =97
or disprove =97 the creature's existence.

"Twenty years ago we carried a camera and a pocket tape
recorder," he said. "Now, we have infrared cameras, night scopes
and thermal imaging."

One independent investigator, William Dranginis, of Virginia,
travels the country in his high-tech Bigfoot Primate Research
Lab, a motor home that once served as a mobile veterinary
clinic. Packed with all the latest in surveillance gear, from a
360-degree-perimeter night- vision camera to a thermal-imaging
system, it's billed as one of the highlights of the Bigfoot
Conference and Expo in Jeannette.

In addition to Eric Altman, the speaker's list includes UFO and
Bigfoot researcher Stan Gordon, of Greensburg; Bigfoot
researcher Ron Schaffner of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Rick Fisher,
director of the Ghost Hunters Society.


Additional information is available from the Pennsylvania
Bigfoot Society at 724-374-5555. The group's Web site is


Craig Smith can be reached at csmith@tribweb.com or (724) 850-


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