How to spot the Texas Bigfoot

Is There a Texas Bigfoot? One of the greatest American urban legends is that of Bigfoot. The most famous stories about the hairy, 7-8 foot tall, 600-800 pound, ape-like creature come from the Pacific Northwest. But did you know that with over 30 eyewitness reports, East Texas rivals the Pacific Northwest for Bigfoot sightings?

Professional investigators and biologists use hi-tech recording devices and night vision goggles. They also put fruit or fishy smelling cat food in the trees for bait and collect hair samples when possible for DNA testing. The DNA samples usually come back from the lab labeled “unknown species” or “unknown primate.”

Most sightings of the Wooly Booger, Boogey Man, Night Ape, or The Screamer in Texas are concentrated around Tyler, Rusk, Longview and the Sabine River bottom. There’s even been sightings as close to us as Limestone County and the Washington County-Brazos River area. But back in 1978, The Bryan- College Station Eagle reported that representatives of the Texas Bigfoot Society, a 400-member group of Bigfoot enthusiasts located in Dallas, came to Milam County to investigate an incident in a tiny farming community known as Ad Hall.

According to the report, Jeffrey, who is the son of Cameron welder, Billy Gelner, said that around dusk he saw a lanky, eight-foot tall man-shaped creature covered completely with fine dark brown hair, at the edge of his grandfather’s maize field in the Little River Bottom between Buckholts and Cameron. Footprints about 20 inches long were found at the scene and in a nearby dry creek bottom. Two tree trunks were found with claw marks on them.

Billy Gelner and his brother stayed at the scene overnight and heard movements, but the discharging of their shotguns failed to flush anything out. They also noticed a sour odor for a few minutes but a nearby pig farm was ruled out because it was upwind.After the investigation, the Bigfoot Society concluded that the sighting was probably a prank, but Billy Gelner said that his son Jeffrey, “knew what he saw.”

In an August 2, 2003 report by MSNBC, Luke Gross, founder of the Texas Bigfoot Society, said, “At any given moment, somebody could see one of these animals. It depends on if they want to talk about it or not.” What that means is there are probably hundreds of tales about the giant, elusive, howling, ape-like creature that haunts the thick forests and river bottoms around small rural communities in Texas. For more information contact the Texas Bigfoot Research Society at

Jim Gober is a Central Texas farmer, Master Florist, Master Gardener, Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional and garden columnist. Shawn Walton will resume her column in August.

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2010-07-22 digital edition

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