Littleton’s Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum is hosting the fourth annual Bigfoot in the Park event on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Medoc Mountain State Park from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
According to museum proprietor Stephen Barcelo, there will be five keynote speakers, vendors, and a group hike through the park. Barcelo is hoping for a minimum of 300 to 350 guests this year, and would like to see this event grow to the 600 to 800 range.
The speakers consist of multiple locals who have spotted Bigfoot, including William Morris, John Harrison, and Minnie Silver.
Daniel Benoit of the East Coast Bigfoot Research Organization will talk about his investigations, followed by Barcelo, who will emcee throughout the event and talk about some of the reports he has received at the museum.
“The event starts at 9:30 a.m., but the speakers probably won’t get started until around noon,” said Barcelo. “After the speakers are done, I hope to take a group on the Discovery Loop Trail through Medoc Mountain where multiple sightings have been reported. Bigfoot sightings are rare as it is. When 40 to 60 people hike through together, we probably won’t even see a squirrel.”
Medoc Mountain is home to many Bigfoot sightings dating back many generations. Barcelo said that there have been three reports in the past three months, each of which produced prints of Bigfoot tracks and sightings. One of the recent sightings produced what were reported to be grunts and other sounds at a hiker. Barcelo said that 20 or more sightings have been reported to him over the years, but he thinks a lot of Bigfoot experiences are still kept secret for fear of ridicule.
According to Barcelo, who is about 98 percent on board as a believer, Medoc Mountain State Park is a great location for Bigfoot because the site is protected, it isn’t logged, hunting is not allowed, and aside from the trails, there is a lot of open habitat space. Barcelo doesn’t think Bigfoot calls Medoc Mountain home, but they regularly migrate through.
“The rule of thumb was that Bigfoot are nocturnal,” said Barcelo. “A lot of us are thinking that is not 100 percent true anymore. There have been a lot of daytime sightings. I think dawn and dusk seem to be when they are most active.”
Barcelo said that food is a driver, and the creatures are feeders of opportunity.
“These are big hulking creatures. They’re not going to expend the calories to chase down an animal when they can just let a Chevy do the work for them,” he said.
Bigfoot are known to consume road kill, injured animals, and dig through trash cans.
“Gifting is also big,” said Barcelo. “A lot of people do gifting, anything from apples, donuts, and peanut butter, to shiny things like CD-roms, marbles, and balloons.”
Park rangers ask that visitors take their gifting items with them when they leave.
Barcelo thinks that America’s fascination with Bigfoot is because “people like escapism, especially in a turbulent time. With the divide in the world, this is something that brings people together. It’s a fun thing to do.”
Medoc Mountain State Park is at 1541 Medoc State Park Rd., Hollister, N.C., and can be reached by calling 252-586-6588.
For more information about Bigfoot in the Park or the Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum, visit crypto-para.org.