A group known as the Sasquatch Gemone Project presented evidence at a Dallas news conference that they said was collected during a five-year, $500,000 research project they claim proves Bigfoot’s existence. Aside from the typical plaster cast footprints, hair samples, grainy photographs and out-of-focus videos, DNA evidence was introduced.
The group claims the DNA samples were reviewed by nearly a dozen independent laboratories, and according genetic scientist and team lead researcher Melba Ketchum, those evaluating the DNA didn't know what they were testing.
“I have one e-mail from a tester saying, 'What have you done, discovered a new species?'” Ketchum told the New York Daily News.
Loren Coleman, of the International Cryptozoological Museum based in Maine, recently told the Huffington Post that Bigfoots have been sighted in Michigan for more than 50 years.
"Michigan has been a hotspot for sightings since the 1960s, especially (in) areas like Sister Lake and Monroe, where there were reports of very aggressive creatures and people being attacked," Coleman told the Post.
But what evidence is there — physical, eye or ear-witness — that Bigfoot is here in Ottawa County?
Internet postings during the past decade have presented unverified claims of Bigfoot sightings at the eastern edge of Spring Lake and Nunica/Crockery Township wooded areas. Details concerning those claims are scant.
With cooperation from a major state Bigfoot research organization, some of the reported claims are presented here. While hard physical evidence often eludes, a fascinating pattern emerges.
Several reports on record come from neighboring Allegan and Kent counties spanning 35 years. While most involve hearing large footsteps in wooded areas, peculiar smells or hearing animal-like screams, in one 1997 report, a hunter claimed a Sasquatch approached him, coming within 25 feet.
Another report from September 1983 tells of a man walking along on a gravel road parallel to M-22 in Lowell who believed “something was watching him.” He claimed that upon glancing over his shoulder he witnessed a large humanoid shape, which appeared hairy.
One 2002 report from southwest of the city of Holland tells of two cars that stopped in the road to allow a pair of Bigfoots to cross. The driver in the report stated it was at about 9 p.m. when a vehicle in front slowed down — perhaps to allow a deer to pass — but it was something else.
“They were very large, barrel chested, like a gorilla walking like a human,” an eyewitness wrote. “They sort of marched, lifting their knees higher than a person would when they walked. I couldn't see their color or texture because of the darkness, and they were definitely not human.”
“Does anyone actually believe that there are Bigfoots around the town of Holland, Michigan?” one person posted on an Internet message board. “People have spotted them around the city and in the city. And, what about in Spring Lake?”
While there are few details on the Spring Lake encounters, there is a pair of Bigfoot stories on record from 1992 and 1994 of interest. Both claims were from different parties near their homes in wooded areas.
The 1992 report involved Bigfoot tracks, peculiar smells and sounds. The 1994 report from July 16, more detailed, has a mother and son report of hearing grunting sounds and finding tracks on their 10 acres of property near Maple Island road.
The tracks were large and near a swampy area.
“My son and I saw the tracks,” she stated in the report. “They were big, not of a human. I was so scared, I told my son, 'Come on, let's get out of here.'”
Reports of large hairy creatures in our general region of Michigan date back to the 1800s. In late December 1885, the Grand Rapids Press reported Samuel Shupe, an experienced outdoorsman, was walking through woods with a friend when the two came to a tall white oak tree with its top torn off. But what really caught their eyes were giant footprints that led up to the tree and then away into the forest.
“Look at those tracks! And look what it did to that tree! What kind of an animal is that?” Shupe stated in the article.