Altoona PA Bigfoot shooting rumor – Case closed (UPDATE: Prints)

The local news now has more info on the person who called 911 saying he had proof of Bigfoot. See update below.

Original story published May 16, 2013

A few of you may know that this has been brewing since Wednesday. In my opinion, it has been resolved and there is no substance to the report that a Bigfoot was shot near Altoona, PA. Eric Altman and Ron Galucci of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society and Stan Gordon, chronicler of Pennsylvania weirdness did the legwork to investigate this story VERY promptly.

On Wednesday, I heard that there was a reported shooting of a Bigfoot in Somerset County, Pennsylvania (a heavily wooded, rather lightly populated area of central PA). I contacted Eric, the director of the PA Bigfoot Society, for the scoop. He said he was investigating but had the police tapes which he graciously passed to me. I was able to hear the following from the recording:

Person 1: [...]Mr. ___, 97 Spruce Street[...]?
Officer: Negative
Person 1: [...] called 911 advising that he contacted the Game Commission to call him back; wants a police officer to come to his residence. Apparently he has proof there of Bigfoot.
Officer: Bigfoot, right?
Person 1: That’s affirmative, he has evidence …uh…proving Bigfoot. He would like a police officer to come there.
Officer: Apparently there’s a large amount of smoke in that area…
[*static*] Spruce Street.

Here is the Bigfoot clip (MP3)

Eric has posted a report on his facebook page: (private) Summary Report on Alleged Pennsylvania Bigfoot

He writes that he received two emails, the second of which is summarized:

The report stated that a hunter had shot a Sasquatch while hunting turkey this morning. This is the first day of Spring Turkey in Pennsylvania. Later a second confirmation message on the scanner stated that yes there was a body but was unable to identify who or what it was. This all started about 10:30 AM and continued through most of the day. The location was stated as Russell or Rustic Road (too fast to be sure) here in the local area of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Just wanted to let someone know.”

Then there was word that a helicopter was near the witnesses’ house, supposedly in connection with the “body”. Through investigation, Ron determined that there were prints of what appeared to be bear found by the Paint Township Police officer. No mention of a turkey hunter shooting anything was discussed.

In a followup, the Game Commission did not report they received such a call, nor did the Somerset State Police station. Later, they discovered there HAD been a call that was determined to be bear tracks – possibly a mother and cub. As for the helicopters? There is a training area nearby and helicopters could possibly have been flying over in relation to that.

So, no Bigfoot, no body, no corroboration of the story. It all falls apart upon examination.

But, as usual, the Bigfoot blogging community (Bigfoot Evidence, Who Forted, Before Its News) RAN ahead with the hyped rumor which turned out to be a bust. That’s how these things usually go.

DN thanks Eric Altman for his cooperation. Good job, guys.

UPDATE (24-May-2013): It turns out this was just a person who believes in Bigfoot and had tracks. There was NO shooting involved. Bigfoot Or Bear Tracks?

On May 14th police responded to a man claiming to have proof of Bigfoot just miles from his home in Somerset County.

That man is John Winesickle, and he has picture after picture of alleged footprints caused by what he said is Bigfoot.

Winesickle took the investigating officer on a path in the woods he regularly walks and showed the officer the tracks, but according to the police report, the investigator concluded the tracks belonged to a bear.

But Winesickle says it’s not a bear. Even though the police were nice, it’s not a bear, he reiterates. He’s heard sounds as well. Sorry, this is not good enough proof of Bigfoot.

Addition: Huff Post piece has a picture of the print and a copy of the police report.

  15 comments for “Altoona PA Bigfoot shooting rumor – Case closed (UPDATE: Prints)

  1. May 16, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Good job here! A delight to read a professional report where more than just eyewitness testimony. I also like the speed of the investigation. Wonderful to have people able to step up and investigate. I’m sharing this with the Bigfoot Club so they can read about an investigation done correctly. I think it’s bear, but it’s important to talk to the right people (the police) and not just speculate about the helicopters, but to find out if it is common for helicopters to be there or not. I’m very impressed.

  2. Chris Howard
    May 16, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    The private high school I attended “sister school”, Grier School for Girls, is located up there! Coincidence? I think not!

    Sasquatch panty raid… which is also the name of a band in Malvern, if I’m not mistaken?

    ;-)

  3. May 16, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    I have a feeling this won’t be the end of it. It will be labeled a cover-up and a conspiracy by the true believers. The govt swooped in with their helicopters and seized the carcass and took it away. Altman and Gordon will be called liars and accused of being complicit in the cover-up. True believers have their minds made up, and neither a lack of evidence nor a mountain of contrary evidence will persuade them. To them, every sighting is real, no matter how flimsy or frivolous. And any sighting that is found to be nothing or unsubstantiated is a cover-up.

  4. Eric Johns
    May 17, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    This has been happening a lot these past few years.

    First the rumors that Iraq had WMDs. None were ever found. Then the rumors that someone shot Osama. No body was ever produced.. Finally, the rumors that CERN found the Higgs boson. Again, lots of internet hype that ends up being a lot of hot air.

    I wish everyone was skeptical about outlandish claims without any material proof, people are just so gullible!

  5. May 17, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    It’s a familiar story. Sigh. If I kept trying to order a product from a web site and it kept just taking my money and ripping me off, I’d really stop using that web site. Yet, these big foot people never seem to go “hey, guys, guys, we’ve heard it all before…anyone have good reason this time it will turn out different?”

    I gather there are indeed some big foot guys out there that have clued in. But they seem the minority.

  6. May 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Finally, the rumors that CERN found the Higgs boson.

    !?!?!?!

    Oh, man. What is this? Some kind of Higgs conspiracy theory? Do skeptics now have to take on the “Higgsers”? The Higgs boson (and the corresponding Higgs field) has been confirmed. Peer-reviewed publications in respected journals, publicly available data sets (if you want to crunch your own numbers), and a six-sigma signal at the predicted energies. Or do you reject the entire Standard Model of particle physics on some dubious ideological grounds? (Or have you just not been paying any attention to anything at all since the original press release?)

  7. Phil
    May 17, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Err what? All Osama bin laden has to do is make another video to prove the US govt. is lying.

  8. May 18, 2013 at 5:42 AM

    @ Eric Johns

    You can believe what you like about Osama Bin Laden (although, as Phil points out, his media appearances have dropped off rather sharply since being shot) but there’s plenty of further information about the ongoing Higgs boson work. This is a link to the CERN blog from March this year.

    ‘http://home.web.cern.ch/about/updates/2013/03/new-results-indicate-new-particle-higgs-boson

    It’s not 100% definite, but looking increasingly positive: “the new particle is looking more and more like a Higgs boson.” It’s more than just an ‘internet rumour’ and I really don’ think you can put it anywhere near the same category as rumours of a shot Bigfoot.

    As regards that, I think Jim is probably right. I’ve said it before, but once you’ve developed a sealed system of thinking in which having no evidence to support your claims is proof positive that someone is covering up the proof that you’re right, then the sky’s the limit to what you can believe.

  9. Eric Johns
    May 20, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    “… It’s more than just an ‘internet rumour’ and I really don’ think you can put it anywhere near the same category as rumours of a shot Bigfoot… …but once you’ve developed a sealed system of thinking in which having no evidence to support your claims is proof positive that someone is covering up the proof that you’re right, then the sky’s the limit to what you can believe.”

    Ever been to a party where you tell a joke and half the room laughs and then there’s that one awkward guy in the corner who says “No, that’s not true cause X, Y, Z…!” Yeah, that’s exactly what just happened here.

    May I point out the (rather obvious) satirical nature of my original post?

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-more-satirists-attacked-by-people-who-missed-point/

  10. May 21, 2013 at 4:53 AM

    Well, if there was satirical intent there I missed it and I apologise. I am quite happy to be that awkward guy, though. And I notice that according to your own statistics the other half of the room didn’t laugh.

    The other part of my response, about ‘sealed thinking’ wasn’t directed at you, I was just agreeing with Jim Price about bigfoot conspiracy believers.

  11. Eric Johns
    May 22, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    The other half of the room didn’t laugh? Well, that explains the left side of the bell curve… you know, statistics and whatnot.

  12. kamamer
    May 22, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    I confess I missed the satire. That said, upon it being signaled as satire, it was pretty good satire. As they say, it’s only good satire if some miss the satirical intent. I think you hoodwinked most. We should have maybe paid more attention to your final “people are just so gullible” bit. Thank you for the delayed laugh.

  13. Bob
    May 24, 2013 at 11:01 AM
    • May 24, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      I hate you for making me click on that without a trigger warning, Bob.

  14. May 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Bob has discovered… “sascrotch”

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