Bigfoot Official Critter of Whitehall NY and Marion NC
Ahh why not Marion, NC too? The village of Whitehall, NY, dubbed the old Cryptozoological poster-cryptid their official animal last month, there’s plenty of Squatch to go around.
I can hear the mayor of Marion, NC, now, “Crap we should have put that through sooner, Whitehall beat us to it!”
Bigfoot of Whitehall, NY
Whitehall is a small unassuming village a mere mile and a half or so from the Vermont border, just east of Lake George, nestled in the foothills of the Adirondacks. The high peaks region of the Adirondacks lies within a two-ish hour drive to the northwest. Plenty of wildlife, rivers, creeks and miles of forest shelter. The Adirondacks is Bigfoot heaven.
Lets face it, the northeast wilderness of New York, New Hampshire and Vermont is probably the most likely region on the east coast for a decent population of these creatures to thrive if they do actually exist. I mean, if Bigfoot (that is the plural form, like deer and bear) are real the Adirondacks is the kind of place they’re likely to be found cavorting. The jury of popular science is still out on that though, so more compelling evidence—than the thousands of sightings and footprint casts already amassed—is required.
Whitehall is a personal favorite for various reasons; beautiful scenery, a massive steel Bigfoot sculpture and assorted other tributes to these hairy forest giants, including a rather goofy looking metal Bigfoot sculpture standing outside of Bigfoot Wine & Liquor. Whitehall has had a fair share of Bigfoot sightings over the years too.
The first reported and most famous Bigfoot sighting near Whitehall is the 1976 Abair Road encounter. On the night of August 24th of that year 18 year old Paul Gosselin and his friend Martin Paddock were driving in a pickup truck along Abair Road just over the town line in Hampton, NY. They passed a “human figure” standing by the roadside. Turning around they returned to the spot and stopped the truck but the figure was gone.
The story goes that they heard a sound like a “pig or a lady” screaming. Startled and unsure what to make of it all they “took off to the top of the hill” where they locked the doors and waited for a bit. Suddenly they saw “something big” running at them so they high-tailed it out of there and drove into Whitehall to get the police. After a few jokes and jeers the officers, one of whom was Paul’s older brother Brian Gosselin, returned with them to check out their claim. Their father, also a cop, was also on the scene as were state troopers. This was apparently a pretty big deal.
At one point officer Brian Gosselin shined his search light into a field along Abair Road and caught a huge creature in the wash of the beam. The boys witnessed the creature as well and the officer stepped closer to the field while another officer apparently fled the scene, later refusing to admit what he had seen. It’s interesting to note that although many iterations of this tale mention state troopers and other officers on the scene not one of those other witnesses ever came forward to tell their version of events and are not mentioned further.
Read more about the Abair Road encounter in the new book Abair Road the True Story by Sue Gosselin. The road name is pronounce with a long “A” like “ey-bear” by the way. The documentary Beast of Whitehall is another good resource including this and other Whitehall sightings. Bonus, in that doc you’ll also hear excerpts from actual recorded interviews made during the investigation by Bigfoot researcher Bill Brann.
Other sightings in Whitehall include a Sasquatch who apparently wanted to play through on the golf course at Skene Valley Country Club; two hunters who heard low vocalizations and saw a creature on the opposite side of a creek; a NJ couple passing through Whitehall reported a creature crossing the road; and most recently—and maybe conveniently with the upcoming Bigfoot Calling Festival—earlier this month a motorist spotted a large hairy something crossing Route 4, and investigator Paul Bartholomew, co-author of the awesome but sadly out of print book available for an elevated sum by thrid-party sellers at Amazon.com, Monsters of the Northwoods, made a cast of a large footprint found nearby.
If Bigfoot tickles your whatever and you also happen to be a fan of craft beer and brew pubs there are almost as many breweries as Bigfoot sightings in the vicinity. Just south of Whitehall, on Rt 4 in Fort Ann, you’ll find Battle Hill Brewing Co. During our investigation of the area my partner and I stopped in for a flight of some really great beers. The brewer really knows what he’s doing. From the huge window in the dining area you get a great view north toward Whitehall, including the peaks of Battle Hill and the Pinnacle in the distance. I think it’s the Pinnacle, anyone who knows for sure is welcome to leave a comment.
It is this blogging investigator’s opinion that Bigfoot, as flesh and blood creatures, have a greater chance of being real than more fantastical things like ghosts, fairies, demons, unicorns or the Great Pumpkin. This isn’t a supernatural thing and it isn’t about belief. There are millions of acres across the Northeast states that roll right on up into Ontario, similar to the gazilions of acres of pristine forest land in the Pacific Northwest. Sure, you get the occasional rogue hairy upright walking hominid in Vineland, NJ—plenty of woodsy spots there and it’s close to IHOP—but nothing compared to the sprawling forests farther north.
Now, about this Marion thing…
Bigfoot of Marion, NC
What sort of Bigfooty things are going on in Marion, NC? Hardly enough to make Bigfoot the official town critter but apparently there is enough Squatchery nearby that they wanted to hop on the Bigfoot bandwagon. There are only two sightings in McDowell county listed in the BFRO database, one in Spruce Pine and other occurances in Little Switzerland that may have been Bigfoot related.
Adjacent counties have had about as much activity over the years as McDowell with just two alleged Bigfoot related incidents each for Avery, Buncombe, Burke and Yancey. One each for Rutherford and Mitchell. So for an area covering over 2,500 square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains, that’s 1.6 million acres, twelve sightings ain’t much. Granted those are sightings actually reported to the BFRO.
By comparison there are 21 Bigfoot related events in Warren and Washington counties in New York. Whitehall is located in Washington county which boasts 9 sightings. Granted the BFRO isn’t the be-all-end-all of Bigfoot sightings, no doubt there are countless sightings and incidents that have not made it to the BFRO database. Sighting reports still sitting in file cabinets in news offices and police departments across America.
I can’t believe I’m spending so much time on this.
Can’t blame Marion for jumping in on the Bigfoot craze. They did it for the same reason Whitehall did: tourist dollars. You see, after early interest in this subject dwindled in the public eye through the 1980s and 90s, due to the onset of internet social media platforms and services like YouTube the topic of Bigfoot, and other so-called unexplained mysteries, has again grown in popularity and filmmakers and TV producers are taking advantage of this interest, creating content that further fuels the flames of squatchery.
Bring people into town to spend money at local restaurants and businesses, and everyone’s happy. That’s the idea. But how can you get them there? Any way you can. Create a festival, draw attention by claiming Bigfoot as your official animal, give folks something fun to do, something strange to ponder, food, beer, enterainment and you’re all set.
Want Bigfoot festivals? You got it!
Whitehall is hosting the Sasquatch Calling Contest & Festival on September 29th this year. Free admission, fun for the kids, vendors, movies, live music, Bigfoot information and of course the calling contest. Get your vocal cords ready, you might win $100! For more information visit the Bigfoot Calling Festival Facebook page.
Marion is hosting the NC Bigfoot Festival on September 8th.
Just like the northeast U.S., western North Carolina has millions of acres of wilderness hills and mountains, the perfect place for Bigfoot. So don’t be surprised if, on some moonlit night, you’re driving back from the festival to your RV at the campground or your cabin rental in the mountains, and some hulking, hairy beast steps out into the beam of your headlights. Keep your eyes on the road ahead, you may encounter Bigfoot…