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Animal Planet Crew Seeks Bigfoot in Fouke, Arkansas - Innovate Arkansas

Animal Planet Crew Seeks Bigfoot in Fouke, Arkansas

By Associated Press, 1/28/2013 8:07:00 AM

FOUKE - Bigfoot remains elusive, but a crew from the Animal Planet television show "Finding Bigfoot" is seeing what they can find in Fouke, where the legendary Fouke Monster still lives.

The television crew has been filming in the Fouke (Miller County) area since early January trying to find more evidence regarding the existence of bigfoot.

Fouke was selected for the television show because the "Legend of Boggy Creek" was filmed in 1972 in Fouke and the surrounding area.

The film is described as a "horror docudrama" about the Fouke Monster, a bigfoot-type creature seen in the Fouke area since the early 1900s.

Charles B. Pierce, an advertising salesman and filmmaker from Texarkana, borrowed about $100,000 to make the 90-minute film.

The movie was remade and released in 1977 titled "Return to Boggy Creek."

Fouke Mayor Terry Purvis hopes a film company will produce a sequel and film it in the area.

"I wish they would film it like they did the remake of the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre.' If they film in the Fouke area, it would be economic development. Maybe the state of Arkansas could provide economic incentives like they're doing in Shreveport, La., with filmmaking," Purvis said.

He said "Finding Bigfoot" will broadcast a show later this year about Fouke and the region.

"It's cool," Purvis said.

"I think they've been credible sightings. A woman had a daytime sighting about a year ago and reported to us. You could tell she was scared and her voice was quivering. I think she was telling the truth," he said.

"Some people who have talked about sightings are trying to get attention. Some have had too much to smoke or to drink," Purvis said.

"There is no way of knowing how many sightings exist, because a lot of people fear coming forward. People can be cruel," he said.

The television crew has been researching the legends of bigfoot and have received reports about sightings in southwest Arkansas including Fouke, northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma. During a recent town hall meeting to discuss the sightings, residents talked about sightings and evidence discovered near Dierks Lake, McNab, along the Red River and in swampy areas of Miller County, Ark.

A part of the research in the region has been done by Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.

"The overall mission of the BFRO is multifaceted, but the organization essentially seeks to resolve the mystery surrounding the bigfoot phenomenon ... conclusive documentation of the species' existence. This goal is pursued through the proactive collection of data and physical evidence from the field and by means of activities designed to promote an awareness and understanding of the nature and origin of the evidence," according to an explanation of the show.

The cast includes:

Matt Moneymaker, a native of Los Angeles, is an organizer of BFRO. In 1996, he launched the BFRO Website and began investigating and publishing eyewitness reports on the Internet.

He is also credited with being the first to:

- introduce sound blasting and howling as a technique for locating bigfoot;

- propose and argued the connection between bigfoot sightings and deer kill stashes, after being shown evidence by Mennonite Farmers in Ohio;

- and record the long moaning howl of an alleged big male Sasquatch_the "Ohio Howl."

Cliff Barackman, is a bigfoot expert and a native of Long Beach, Calif., who continues to research bigfoot and believes it may be a real biological creature.

On his first expedition to Bluff Creek, Calif., in 1994, he stumbled across possible bigfoot footprints and tree-damage evidence and a possible hair sample.

He is the first to formally describe the knock sounds allegedly made by bigfoot in 1992, at a scientific conference at Rutgers University for the International Society of Cryptozoology.

He is also said to be the first person to debunk the "Georgia Bigfoot Body" hoax in the summer of 2008.

Ranae Holland is a research biologist for the show and a native of Sioux Falls, S.D.

"She does not believe in bigfoot, but she is fascinated by the phenomenon and has found a way to combine her scientific knowledge, fieldwork skills, and love of the wilderness to investigate alleged sightings," the website states.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington.

James "Bobo" Fay, a native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., saw his first Sasquatch while on an investigation with veteran bigfoot researcher John Fritas in 2001.

He takes odd jobs in unrelated fields centered on trying to spot a bigfoot.

Bigfoot sightings have been reported in every state except Hawaii.

"So this season, the team continues to leave no stone unturned and no piece of credible evidence unexplored as it travels to new locations to investigate compelling new finds in multiple states," the promotional material states.

With the knowledge of the locals and their own experiences researching Sasquatch, the team is hot on the trail to locate these distant cousins of the North American bigfoot in the remote terrain and jungles of these far-off lands.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or distributed.)

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