I’m back from the 22nd annual Ohio Bigfoot conference held at Salt Fork State Park. The weather was perfect for squatching and the conference wasn’t that bad either. My fiancee and I didn’t get in until late Friday evening so we didn’t attend the meet and greet. On Saturday, the day of the conference, we grabbed a pair of seats in the back at about 15 minutes after three. Considering the seats were general admission, it was good to get seats early rather than closer to the starting time of 4PM. I did that one year and practically had to stand the entire conference. However, Don did a great job accommodating those who could not fit into the room by simulcasting the conference to the large TV just outside of the conference room. Don Keating who is the one who puts the Ohio Bigfoot conference together told the audience that at last count, at least 550 people were in attendance. This continues the trend of each conference becoming larger than the last. In fact, the Salt Fork State Park lodge had every room booked during the weekend.
One of the biggest changes this year that I noticed is that the gift shop located within the lodge carried some bigfoot related merchandise which included a hat, a T-Shirt, some key-chains, books, and a doll of the hairy creature itself. I ended up purchasing two key-chains and a hat. The hat is black with a white bigfoot looking creature on the front with a foot print located on the side. Pretty cool to wear out in the field to let other people know you’re crazy. The other big change is that there was no guided tour on Sunday. Due to safety concerns with respect to an event that happened the year prior where someone lost their life not directly related to bigfooting, Don decided to just cancel the tours. However, he told everyone where they could go if they decided to venture out for themselves. Despite it being dangerous, the Hosack’s cave area has a rich history of sightings. Definitely don’t go anywhere near the trail once it hits dark or you could very well end up getting yourself killed.
As for the conference itself, Dr Jeff Muldrum had an interesting presentation on his research into the Asian variation of Bigfoot. After Jeff presented, Tom Yamarone played one of his bigfoot inspired songs to the crowd which sounded pretty good. I’m thinking about picking up his CD which contains four tracks. After the song, the moment I think a lot of people in the audience were waiting for happened when Bob Gimlin took the microphone. It was an honor to see Bob make it out to the conference and the crowd let him know by giving him a standing ovation before his presentation. Bob recounted the events that took place the day Patty was filmed by Roger Patterson. Bob came across as a very sincere man and I didn’t smell any signs of him participating in some sort of elaborate hoax. If I am going to believe anyone when it comes to the PG film, it’s going to be Bob since he was there as an eye witness. Everything outside of the scope of what Bob has said is speculation and speculation has harmed the bigfoot community more than helped. After Bob presented his story, he received another warm standing ovation. Bob stuck me as a down to earth, incredibly humble man who feels as though he has done nothing special. I told him that he was the most famous Bob I knew and he replied “I’m just Bob“. The guy had a great sense of humor and a smile that was great for pictures, as you’ll see below. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get any better in the bigfooting world than to be in the presence of Bob Gimlin unless of course, I’m in the presence of an actual Sasquatch!
Small clip of Bob Telling His Story. Apologize For The Sideways View
Second Small clip of Bob Telling His Story.
Between 7PM and 8 was the scheduled amount of time for dinner. My fiancee and I generally eat the buffet which is at a reasonable price. This year, they had turkey, ribs, potato and macaroni salad, salad, corn bread, green beans, mashed potatoes, and moose for dessert. Now I’m not sure what the heck caused it but soon after dinner, during the 8PM presentation, I felt something that I could only describe as a bomb being set for detonation in my stomach. The next 20 minutes of my life were agonizing as I thought I needed to dial 911 because I was going to die on the shitter. After that was over with, I found out that my fiancee vomited at about the same time I was in the bathroom. This has me thinking that we encountered some mild food poisoning. We both ate the same thing. Macaroni salad, turkey, salad, some mashed potatoes, a few green beans, some whole kernel corn, and I had a chocolate moose while she had a pink moose. My suspicion is that we received the food poisoning from the macaroni salad but I can’t confirm this. If you attended the conference and ate at the dinner buffet, I’d love to know if it had the same effect on you.
From left to right: Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Bob Gimlin, Larry Lund, Tom Yamarone, John Horrigan, Don Keating
All in all, Don Keating put on yet another great conference filled with interesting speakers. I’m not sure how you can top a bigfoot conference after having Bob Gimlin present his side of the story other than having an actual dead bigfoot on display at the event. I joked around, telling Don that Tom Biscardi could help out with that which generated a good laugh from those around me at the time. My fiancee and I enjoyed our time at the lodge which we always use as a mini vacation throughout the year as the rates on the rooms are fantastic, especially for the conference. We saw a red-tail fox, a large number of deer, hawks, a few toads on the trail, but no bigfoot. Maybe next year!
View the entire photoset from our trip via Flickr.