Scott Hangartner of DuBois will speak about “A History of Bigfoot in Pennsylvania and Around the World,” at the 21st Annual Dinner meeting of the DuBois Area Historical Society, Saturday, Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the DuBois Senior Center.
The buffet menu features turkey and ham at a cost of $12. Reservations are due by Oct. 12 and may be sent to the DuBois Area Historical Society Inc., P.O. Box 401, DuBois, Pa. 1580l. Checks should be made payable to the DuBois Area Historical Society.
The annual person of the year awards will be presented during the evening.
Hangartner believes Bigfoot, the tall, hairy, foul smelling, man-beast exists. He is the only field researcher in central Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, spending time in the woods looking for signs of Bigfoot.
The Bigfoot tracking network nationwide is split on the nature and number of Bigfeet. Some trackers in the Pacific Northwest insist Bigfoot hasn't relocated to Pennsylvania. Some say there are no more than 2,000 Sasquatches nationwide and that they should be on the Endangered Species List. Others estimate as many as 6,000, living in nuclear families from Maine to Alaska, with cousins in Tibet and Guyana.
Bigfoot has been spotted more than 500 times since 1973 in western Pennsylvania, including in the Rockton area. There are more sightings in Pennsylvania than any state east of the Mississippi. Pennsylvania sightings rank third nationwide, with nearly as many reports as Canada.
Hangartner has been fascinated with Bigfoot since he was a child. He grew up on Bigfoot films and documentaries.
“I felt that all the people who claim to have seen Bigfoot could not have been wrong,” he says. “It’s past out of the realm of possibility that that many people could be wrong.
In his investigations, Hangartner has found “stick stackings,” sticks woven together, teepee formations from branches, trees twined together, broken branches high in trees and hair samples stuck in brush. He was a speaker at the fourth annual East Coast Bigfoot Conference and Expo held in Jeannette last month.
Upcoming historical society meetings: Nov. 19 - Louis E. Sewell, Grand Cheminot of Pennsylvania’s Forty et Eight (veterans of World War I) organization; and in 2003:Feb. 26 – Bill Hand, “Major McCreight, an Early 20th Century DuBois Leader”; March 13 – Gary Gilmore, “Presettlement Forests: What John DuBois Saw”; April 3 – Jeanne Curtis, “Making Pysanky” (Ukranian Easter eggs); May 29 – Galen Kilmer, “DuBois Area High School Local History Projects.” All are free at 7:30 p.m. in the E.D. Reitz Museum, 30 W. Long Ave., DuBois.