Louisville group takes its research on elusive beast seriously
Group leader gives frequent talks about his research
(March 2016) – Charles Raymond has been tracking the legendary “Bigfoot” for more than 20 years. It has been a personal journey geared toward documenting fact from fiction.
Originally from Florida, Raymond said he moved to Kentucky because he personally “wanted to track all locations of the different reports.” He also wanted to “help establish credible evidence of Bigfoot.”
Meet Bigfoot researchers March 4 at the showing of the movie “Something in the Woods” at Village 8 Theaters in Louisville. 7:15 p.m. Movie followed by Q&A with movie writer David Ford and others. The movie is based on a true story of a family encountering two Bigfoots in the late 1960s.
In two decades of research, Raymond has documented more than 250 witness reports of Bigfoot. He has spoken to law enforcement, teachers and park rangers just to name a few sources.
“Almost every county in Kentucky has one Bigfoot report,” said Raymond, 49. Counties with more than 10 reports include Bullitt, Trimble, Anderson and Ohio. In places like rural Anderson County, the Kentucky River and dense forests make it an ideal location for Bigfoot.
In Trimble County, Ky., Raymond said, “The beast was seen early in the 60s and 70s,” he said. “A manhunt was held.” The unexplained killing of cattle is what sparked the investigation. “There are still reports from Trimble County. Bigfoot doesn’t migrate.”
From left, Charles Raymond and The Rev. Don Neal are lead investigators with the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organization, based in Louisville, Ky.
Raymond has a process he follows when tracking this creature. First, he “interviews witnesses on location or by phone. I validate every witnesses encounter the best I can.”
The next step is to travel to the location of the sighting and re-enact what the witness encountered. He determines fact from misidentification at this critical point.
The third step involves searching for such evidence as tracks, hair, etc. He might try making tree knocks, calls to elicit a response from the creatures.
Raymond, who resides in Louisville, Ky., works with a team of 12 researchers on his quest to find Bigfoot. It’s hard to get everyone together at one time because “we all have jobs,” he said.
Researchers and professional trackers like Raymond work at their own expense at what can become a second full-time job. For him it is “strictly a passionate hobby.”
On Jan. 16, Raymond gave a presentation at the Henry County Public Library in Eminence, Ky. “Over 100 people attended a two-hour program,” he said of his multi-media presentation.
Raymond’s presentation consisted of known Bigfoot behavior, historical activity, locations in Kentucky and things he and other witnesses have observed. He said he does many library presentations each year. His goal is to “encourage children and parents to read and explore. I ask them to have an open mind, discover your own beliefs.”
Sketch by Terry Thomas, sketch artist for the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organization, of the Trimble County sighting of Bigfoot.
This was his second presentation at the Henry County Public Library. Library Director Jessica Powell said both programs were well attended. “He’s a big hit when he comes.”
• For more information or to contact Charles Raymond about a sighting, visit www.kentuckybigfoot.com.
Powell admits there have been a few Bigfoot sightings in Henry County. She credits world-of-mouth, popular Bigfoot-themed TV shows and the general “mystery” of it all to the good turnouts for his presentations at the library. Raymond has been featured on the Animal Planet, The History Channel and The BBC.
To get into the theme of things, prior to his presentation at the library, a Bigfoot reading for children was held. After the program children made Bigfoot Arts & Crafts. During the presentation members of the audience shared their own local encounters and asked lots of questions.
Powell said the library asked Raymond to speak because of the popularity of ghost stories and Kentucky haunts in the area. “We knew Bigfoot would go over well.”
Raymond said the one weakness of Bigfoot’s is that they are, “curious creatures.” They are also, “highly intelligent.”
Bigfoot has been described as a nocturnal creature, having reddish brown hair, bipedal, standing erect, having a height of seven feet or taller and feeding on nuts, fruit and deer.
He tells people searching for Bigfoot at night to “act normal. Set around the campfire and laugh. This will spark their curiosity to come closer.”
He said, “People don’t realize there’s not just one Bigfoot.” Based on reports he has conducted in Kentucky, “many witnesses have seen multiple Bigfoots. There are clans in these areas. There are well over 50 to 100 Bigfoots.”
In 1997, Raymond founded the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organi-zation. It is a non-kill research organization that seeks to prove the existence of and protect such creatures. Its purpose is to document all sightings.
Raymond conducts research in Kentucky and Indiana. He often is booked to give presentations on his research.
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