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2 the Outdoors: Sasquatch possibly in Chautauqua County?

Many believe the legendary Cryptid walks among us.

MAYVILLE, N.Y. — Few creatures in the wild attract more controversy than Bigfoot. The legendary primate has been an enigma for centuries and continues to fascinate. 

Mayville resident Peter Wiemer has been sponsoring an annual Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo since 2012. The outpouring of eyewitnesses since then has many believing that Sasquatch may be living in the area. 

"They are from all kinds of walks of life. There's 45 eyewitnesses that have reached out to me, there's a hundred or more in Chautauqua County that aren't talking to me," Wiemer said.

The county is lush with dense forests and deep gorges that would offer such a large animal plenty of space to remain concealed. Their habitat requirements are very similar to the Black Bear, a common, but seldom seen species in the area.

Credit: Paul Bartholomew
There have been hundreds of documented sightings in NY State, spanning decades. This was taken on a trail cam near Whitehall, NY in 2010.

Dr. Jeff Meldrum a Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology at Idaho State University has done extensive research on the elusive Cryptid. 

"There has been published data that indicates that examination of the bioclimatic factors that establish a black bears' population seem to also run very parallel to those attributable to Bigfoot based on its reported distribution," Meldrum said.

Skeptics often point to the lack of physical evidence such as bones to discount these animals' existence. But that's not unusual with any animal, says Sasquatch Researcher Steve Kulls. 

"To find a dead bear in the wild is unheard of, the same thing with a coyote or a fox even, because the environment has its own disposal system," Kulls said.

Credit: Peter Wiemer
Footprints are virtually impossible to fake. This was found in Ashville NY in 2014.

Footprints are confirmation of an animal's presence, and are impossible to hoax. Many have been found in Chautauqua. 

"Footprints tell us a lot a lot of things too," Meldrum said. 

"Not only presence of something, but obviously, like I mentioned earlier, something about it's distribution, it's movements across the landscape."

For those convinced of its existence, the proof is out there, and always has been.

"This mystery does go back centuries," Kulls said. "If you think about it, not only do you have the Native American lore, but throughout history. "

Wiemer agrees, "Whether they're humanoid or more animal, that is yet to be figured out, but they're there."

Here are some very interesting links to websites that further examine the mystery:

Chautauqua Bigfoot Expo: bigfootexpo.com

Idaho State University: https://www.isu.edu/rhi/

Squatch Detective: squatchdetective.weebly.com

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