Searching for Bigfoot

Using tree knocks, howlsand other signals, hunters lookfor creature in Barren County,Mammoth Cave National Park

Searching for bigfoot

Charlie Raymond, of Prospect, Ky., (right) founder and lead investigator of the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organization, leads a small team of people into the woods to search for Bigfoot, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Barren County, Ky. The Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organization has collected information on reported sightings listed in several Kentucky counties including at least three in Barren County, two in Allen County, two in Edmonson County, one in Hart County, three in Logan County and one in Warren County. (Alex Slitz/Daily News)

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Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2014 1:00 am

By DEBORAH HIGHLAND The Daily News dhighland@bgdailynews.com 783-3243 | 5 comments

GLASGOW — Sasquatch, or rather the hunt for the elusive creature known around the world under many names such as Yeti and the Abominable Snowman or just Bigfoot here in Kentucky, brought out a crowd of researchers into the frigid Friday night air to a patch of rural land in eastern Barren County. 

Charlie Raymond, founder and lead investigator of the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organization, led a team into some lightly snow-covered hills. He conducted a series of tree knocks and howls along the way, communication signals that he says are common for a bigfoot.

“Typically they do that to alert other bigfoot that ‘we have humans present,’ ” Raymond said. “That’s what we think. We don’t have any scientific proof.”

It’s not as though he’s met a bigfoot that he could ask, he said.

However, he said he has in eastern Tennessee used a thermal imaging camera to see two of the creatures that were crawling on their bellies.

A relative of the Barren County landowner, who asked to remain anonymous, recently recorded a mid-pitched howl of an unidentified creature coming from a cedar thicket. The man immediately got online and did some tracking of his own, which led him to Raymond and his team. 

But there was more than just a howl. The man who called upon Raymond to help him had placed 200 pounds of corn on the cob in a field in an attempt to attract deer to the area for hunting. Within the next two days, the 200 pounds of corn, cobs and all, disappeared. In the middle of where the corn had been placed was an arrowhead.

Sasquatch hunters call this process “gifting,” Raymond said. He explained that the creature had taken the corn and in return left an arrowhead as a sort of primitive thank-you note for the food. Last week, Raymond left a jar of peanut butter near the rural site after smearing some on the outside of the jar and then resealing it. The next day, the jar was gone.

Raymond’s ultimate goal is to document, prove the existence of and protect the creatures. 

Raymond, along with one of his researchers, his wife Dana, who calls herself a skeptic leaning toward belief in bigfoot, hiked into a wooded area several feet from the cedar thicket where the Barren County man said he had recorded the howl. Dana Raymond built a fire and maintained base camp Friday night.

Under a crescent moon, Charlie Raymond set out with two of his investigators, Renee and Terry Thomas of Georgetown, and two Daily News journalists on a hike through the hilly, wooded area to hunt for evidence of bigfoot, evidence such as a return tree knock or a howl. During a tree knock, Raymond takes a large stick and slaps it against the outside of a tree, creating a noise like a major leaguer knocking a fastball out of the park. If he’s lucky, he gets a knock in return, that is if a sasquatch is up for conversation.

Raymond alerted his wife via two-way radio when he was about to conduct a tree knock or a howl so that she would know the sounds were coming from him rather than a sasquatch. One howl got a return high-pitched hoot back from an owl. 

After traversing the private property in Barren County, Raymond led the team and visitors to a spot in Mammoth Cave National Park where he, his wife and a group of Girl Scouts got a scare last summer.  While making howls and tree knocks with a giggling group of scouts, something large leaped onto the raised walkway in an area of the park, Raymond said. The leap created a thud so loud that the group hustled as fast as they could away from the area. Dana’s first thought was to protect the children from what could’ve been a bear or a bigfoot. 

On Friday, as soon as Raymond and the rest of the team got of their vehicles at Mammoth Cave, he immediately pointed out what sounded like a tree knock coming from the same wooded area that he had visited with the Girl Scouts. He guided the group along a walkway knocking on trees and let out a howl. Nothing responded.

The sightings and evidence aren’t everyday occurrences but are reported more now than they were five or 10 years ago, Raymond said. Television shows such as Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot,” have made it easier for people to come forward without fear of being labeled. Raymond will be featured in an upcoming segment of the show. 

The Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organization has collected information on reported sightings listed in several Kentucky counties including at least three in Barren County, two in Allen County, two in Edmonson County, one in Hart County, three in Logan County and one in Warren County.

Conclusive evidence has escaped researchers. No one has been able to prove definitively that the creatures exist. But no one has been able to prove that they don’t exist either.

Raymond and his team don’t charge a fee to investigate bigfoot claims and encourage people to come forward with any sighting information or sounds so that they can be documented on his website www.kentuckybigfoot.com and shared with other sasquatch researchers. Raymond has been searching for bigfoot for 20 years.

“My goal is to gather enough evidence to establish laws to protect them,” he said.

— To report bigfoot evidence, call Charlie Raymond at 502-851-9295 or log on to his website.

— Follow city editor Deborah Highland on Twitter at twitter.com/BGDNcityeditor or visit bgdailynews.com.

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