Is it an elaborate hoax? Or has a team of investigators found actual proof that "bigfoot" is roaming the woods of north Texas. According to researchers, and even game wardens in Lamar county, sightings of a "hairy giant" have been reported periodically for the last 15 years. In just the last week, residents near Paris, Texas reported sightings at a remote area called Lamar Point. That's near the abandoned "camp Maxey" army base, 10 miles north of Paris.
Those who live in the remote area are frightened at the sounds and sightings of a mysterious creature. I went along with a group called, "searching for bigfoot", who ultimately plan to prove the beast's existence by "capturing it". The sole purpose of this 12 man research team is to prove the existence of something that, according to science, does not exist.
"When you get the sasquatch bug after seeing one of these creatures it stays with you for a long time, i've had 5 encounters over 33 years. I personally believe that this thing is derived from the yeti in the Hymalaya's" said team leader Tom Biscardi.
As a reporter i'm not a believer in bigfoot, with technological advances i believe if it was out there we would have found it by now. 10 miles north of Paris Texas, is a swamp that looks like something prehistoric , and it's here that locals say a hairy ape-like giant is roaming.
"I skate board here a couple of nights, and i saw something fly across the road by where the gates are and it just shoots into the woods" said 15 year old eyewitness Ryan Johnson.
Casts have been made of numerous footprints discovered by the swamp shore. Some "18" inches long. The night before, the team had encountered something standing in the swamp, startling some members who were skeptics to begin with.
"We started looking at it through the thermal imager and i-r scope , what i saw was something that appeared to stand up real fast then squat back down" said New York private investigator and skeptical team member, Stephen Kulls.
For 33 years, Biscardi has been searching for the elusive beast known by many names, sasquatch , bushman, bigfoot. He believes there may be as many as 35-hundred of these creatures roaming north America. This night, the team found more massive footprints, and what look like hundreds of dug out areas in the sand, and hundreds of broken mussel shells, or fresh water clam shells.
"They're digging them up and they're eating clams" Tom says.
Working on eyewitness accounts, the team set out to find what might be out there, using state of the art equipment such as thermal imaging cameras, motion and heat detectors, high powered listening devices.
"No matter what you get on film it's always going to be disputed, the only way is through d-n-a or a body" says Kulls.
Suddenly a large heat signature appears in the swamp. The team is sure it's what they're looking for, not to photograph, but to capture!
Biscardi lead his team to a sighting, "there he is straight ahead, he's moving right now he's moving right now, straight to the trees, he's moving into the trees, come here, into the trees right now".
In the dark of night, a big shadow moves through the woods, as quickly as it was there, it was gone. But what was it? and what was it doing here? Biscardi says, for the simplest of reasons.
"They have an abundance of vegetation and abundance of food, water" says Biscardi.
They tried enticing whatever was out there with a recording of an alleged bigfoot taken in the Sierra Nevada's.
There was movement, but no animals. For me there was an uneasy sense of eyes being on us. Limbs crashing down in the distance. I was skeptical before tonight, but after seeing the footprints and the scratch marks and dig marks and seeing something that i think was very big and moving at a high rate of speed through the woods, i may have to rethink that. Bisacrdi also claims that a hand he has in his possesion is the actual severed hand of a bigfoot.
"What you're seeing here is a hand turned over to us by a guy named Don Monroe, longtime bigfoot researcher, the Butte Montana police department tested it , found out it wasn't human" he says.
"I feel that theres alot of evidence that points that something exists, alot more than evidence that suggests something doesn't exist" Kulls says.
Could it be a hoax? Could someone be faking the prints? Biscardi says no!
"This is the most interesting thing that you're going to find you've got dermal ridges in this thing on the soles of the feet, you can't fake that" Tom says.
Dermal ridges are the creases that define the palm and bottom of the foot. If it's a hoax, someone is going to a lot of trouble to fool researchers, and frighten the public. If it's not a hoax, then something is out in these woods.
"Big foot is alive and well, and we're going to find him" Biscardi says.
Biscardi's team is funded by private donation. If you in their search organization, you can log on to their web site at www.searchingforbigfoot.com . We did talk with the Butte Montana police department today. They confirmed they had tested the "mysterious" hand and did find that it was "not" human. However their test was inconclusive as to "what" it was.