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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Bigfoot Film Festival

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Believers and non-believers are invited to explore

When then 10-year-old Pam Pierce appeared in “The Legend of Boggy Creek,” a movie her father (Charles B. Pierce) directed, she wasn’t acting.

Pierce believed her part. “I run in first saying, ‘Grandpa, Grandpa. We saw him! We saw the Fouke Monster!’” Now, 50 years after the movie’s release about a creature who lived in the woods near Fouke, Ark., Pierce still believes in the “monster,” also known as Bigfoot.

“Absolutely,” Pierce said from her home in New Hampshire. “Just because it hasn’t been reported by a news agency doesn’t mean there haven’t been sightings, because they do have sightings.”

“The Legend of Boggy Creek” is one of three Bigfoot-themed movies (“Skinwalker – The Howl of the Rougarou” and “Creature from Black Lake”) which you can watch during the Louisiana Bigfoot Film Festival. The event will be Saturday, March 26, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at Shreveport’s Scottish Rite Temple (725 Cotton St.). Tickets are $25.

“I’ve had an interest or curiosity in Bigfoot since I was a young boy, hearing stories or incidents people reported in the Northwest Louisiana area — the Toledo Bend, Caddo, DeSoto, Bossier, Red River areas,” said festival co-host Brian Horn. “The sightings of these big, hairy creatures that walk on two feet — now you see them, now you don’t. They’re there one second and gone the next.”

Bigfoot — also referred to as Sasquatch — is generally described as at least seven feet tall. Going back to the 1940s, people have reported either seeing Bigfoot, seeing evidence of Bigfoot, or hearing stories about Bigfoot.

Count Horn among them, going back to his childhood days.

“There were reports (in DeSoto Parish) of pets and animals going missing,” Horn remembered. “A young calf or a baby horse foal would

go missing, or dogs or cats. … Some people reported having property damage, like a barn or chicken house, or a chicken pen or a goat pen, damaged. At that time, they would say you don’t imagine that a coyote, bobcat, raccoon or possum would do that kind of damage.”

Pierce, too, remembers hearing Bigfoot stories while growing up in Texarkana.

“Before my dad made a movie about it, it had already been a sensation in the news,” Pierce said. “It was reported when Bobby Ford was attacked. It brought media from all over. It made national news. That was already a sensation going on. People talked about the Fouke Monster before my dad ever made a movie about it.”

In May of 1971, according to the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, Ford reported that he was “attacked at his house by a hairy creature that breathed heavily, had red eyes and moved very fast.” Ford went on to say that “the man-like creature, which was about seven feet tall and three feet across the chest, put its arm around (Ford’s shoulder) and grabbed him.” Ford said he was able to get away from the creature by running through his home’s front door. Ford was treated at a hospital for scratches and shock.

As an adult, Horn has gone out on his own — and with friends — to look for evidence of Bigfoot.

“On Loggy Bayou, I found questionable footprints in the mud, where you don’t think a human being — either hunting, fishing or spelunking (cave hunting) in the woods — would go barefoot when it’s rainy and almost wintertime,” Horn said. “You see this barefooted print in the mud that has toes and a heel mark, and you do the simple math. You put two and two together and say, ‘OK, other people see these kinds of prints all over the country. I’m seeing this print in the mud. I can’t explain it. I can’t say what it is. I can’t say what it isn’t.’” Even though reputable news organizations haven’t reported any confirmed sightings, the Bigfoot phenomenon remains talked about and investigated by folks who have little doubt.

“In North America, I would say, conservatively, well over a million people are interested in Bigfoot, who follow social media pages and groups that post experiences, encounters and findings,” Horn said.

And you will be able to meet and swap stories with some of those people at the upcoming Bigfoot event.

“The base intent for the festival is to have people who are known researchers, known investigators for a long time, to come and meet regular, everyday folks who are enthusiasts and part of the cult following of Bigfoot culture,” Horn said. “The researchers will talk about what they’ve found, seen and discovered.”

It is doubtful the festival will convince anyone there isn’t a Bigfoot. In fact, the festival is likely to reaffirm the attendees’ belief that there is a Bigfoot.

“I do believe they exist,” Horn said confidently. “I can’t say I know what the origin of these creatures are, but I believe they exist. I believe the tens of thousands of sightings and encounters that people all across North America have reported through decades of time, that there’s something to it — that they do exist.”

To buy tickets to the Louisiana Bigfoot Film Festival, you may visit www.eventbrite. com and search for “Louisiana Bigfoot Film Festival.”

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