Does Bigfoot roam area forests?
By Rodney L. Sherman
CLARION NEWS Editor
Does a "Bigfoot" roam the woods of Cook Forest or the thick woods of Forest County? If you're open to friendly discussion, this summer will offer some opportunities to learn more about the mystery.
Amy Bue, 49, of Youngstown, is a mom, teacher, editor, aspiring novelist, and a cancer survivor with an enormous bucket list.
She is also a Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) investigator from Northeast Ohio.
Bue will be speaking about her Bigfoot research at MacBeth's cabins along the Clarion River in Cooksburg on Friday, July 13.
Bue recently formed "Amy's Bucket List Expeditions," or ABLE, a business which offers Bigfooting expeditions and seminars. She also leads workshops with 4-H groups and Scouting troops at various locales.
Although she does occasional talks for kids only, all of her talks are family-friendly, and can be tailored to the needs of an organization as far as timing and content. Bue can be reached at Bigfootamy@gmail.com
Bue also will be a featured speaker at the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Project's "inaugural meet and greet camp out" the weekend of July 13-15 in Cook Forest.
All the reservations for the PBP event are taken.
Bue's presentation at MacBeth's Cabins begins at 7 p.m. with a get acquainted session followed by an hour-long presentation starting at 8 p.m. and a night-time hike starting at 9 p.m.
Details are still being worked out and it might be a good idea to pre-register for the event by calling 814-744-8400. There is no fee for the event.
Bigfoot? Here? Really?
Contacted by the CLARION NEWS, Bue said there are 31 open cases of Bigfoot sightings and experiences between Clarion and Forest counties.
"Events" can include rocks being thrown, howls and finding of footprints.
"Only three have been published for those areas so far," said Bue. "These unpublished reports go all of the way back to 2005 (for Clarion County) and 2003 for Forest County.
"I have been reading over them, and am in the process of interviewing witnesses and making a map of sightings."
Bue said there was a rash of sightings and events in 2016 near the Clarion River.
"I know of these from both my work with the BFRO and from cases brought to my attention by private individuals," explained Bue. "A case that has especially fascinated me is one that has been published on BFRO.net.
"I know the witness personally now, and he is a good and honest man. His sighting took place not far from where my grandfather's hunting cabin once stood.
"I still go to that location to remote camp several times each year, and now I am constantly hyper aware of the possibilities of what could be in those woods."
Bue said her grandfather's cabin was along State Route 666 near Blue Jay Creek. She said the sighting to which she referred can be found at http://http://www.bfro.net/GDB/show_report.asp?id=51283.
"He gave me permission to mention him and his sighting," said Bue. "What's interesting to me, as I have interviewed people from Clarion County, is the high number of rock throwing incidents that are reported.
"The TV show Finding Bigfoot,' which mentions the throwing of rocks in conjunction with Bigfoot sightings, didn't air until 2011.
"The fact that visual sightings were aligning with rocks being thrown at campers and huntersway before that year seems to be more than a coincidence.
"What throws rocks? Not a bear. A person? Perhaps. But people swear it was no person that they saw."
Bue said whether it's Blue Jay Creek, Tionesta Creek or the Clarion River, a lot of the reported sightings include a creature seen standing in the water or on its banks.
"One report I had was from some kayakers who rounded a bend and who both confirmed they saw a massive brownish-red figure stand up from the water with a fish in its hands," said Bue. "These kinds of accounts with more than one witness are especially important as a Bigfoot investigator.
"And when they are detailed and stand against the kind of scrutiny I give them, they are downright impressive."
Who sees Bigfoot?
Who are the people reporting Bigfoot sightings?
"The people I have met who have made sighting reports are from all different backgrounds," explained Bue. "Mechanics, doctors, stay-at-home moms, police officers, farmers: you name it.
"I'm a teacher, a writer, and a former editor. Bigfoot doesn't seem to discriminate based on our bank accounts or how we make the money we put into them.
Not surprisingly, the group that reports the most sightings is hunters.
"The group with the highest number of witnesses I have personally talked to is hunters," said Bue. "These men and women of all ages have come away from their encounters shaken. Some have never gone back into the woods."
Becoming a believer
So what happened what did Bue see that made her a believer of Bigfoot?
"I had a sighting of a huge creature standing upright and holding onto a tree in 2012," said Bue. "It was while I was a passenger in a car traveling on a bridge over Meander Reservoir in Mahoning County, Ohio.
"It was from a distance, so being the skeptic that I am, it was hard for me to admit that I thought it was a Bigfoot.
"I still can't be sure, and I want more evidence. But I'll tell you this: that sighting changed the trajectory of my life."
That sighting and her subsequent interest in the subject led Bue to become a Bigfoot investigator.
"Now I interview other people about their own experiences and I am even more convinced that a North American primate could be alive and well in our forests," said Bue.
Bue's sighting experience can be read about at:http://http://www.bfro.net/GDB/show_report.asp?id=40715.
How could a large, hairy, upright, walking creature exist among an ever-expanding society and not be seen frequently?
"That's one of the questions I get the most often, and it's one that doesn't bother me," acknowledged Bue. "I mean, I understand the skepticism, but think about it -- mountain gorillas were unproven to Westerners until the 1900s.
"The natives were the ones who knew they existed. The first footage of Cross River gorillas was taken from a camera trap in 2012.
"The Bili Ape was first seen in the 2000s. A new species of orangutan was just found last year in Sumatra.
"These are large animals. And they are elusive."
Bue said Native Americans history includes many stories about Sasquatch or the many other names they are known under.
"I believe we should pay closer attention to those accounts," said Bue.
I've never seen one and there isn't any such thing
Bue understands some people aren't going to believe Bigfoot exists and some people won't even entertain the idea of a discussion on the idea.
What would she say to a man who calls her crazy?
"I would just tell him that we're not crazier than anybody else on this earth." Said Bue. "Believe me, I get it all of the time. I've even lost some friends and family over it. But I know what I saw, and I know that there is a whole lot more evidence to support the existence of Bigfoot than people are aware of."
Bue said she is lucky because she doesn't need anyone's approval to do the research she loves to do.
"I won't embellish my story, but I certainly won't take away from it either just to make someone else more comfortable," said Bue. "I guess that after I would tell the person I understand their reaction, I would ask him if he had time for a cup of coffee --my treat -- and I'd tell him what I know.
"I'm not out to convince anyone who doesn't want or need convincing; I'm out to share my experiences.
And if someone else saw Bigfoot?
And if someone would like to share a Bigfoot sighting or event?
"That person would get a cup of coffee and a piece of pie," said Bue. "I would promise him anonymity and privacy if he would want it. I would just love to hear what he has to say. Every little bit of information adds to the puzzle that we're trying to put together as investigators."