September 16, 2019

‘Finding Bigfoot’ filming for several days in area

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HOUGHTON LAKE — The Animal Planet series “Finding Bigfoot” plans to record a town hall meeting at the Houghton Lake Playhouse April 5, which will give the cast of the show leads on investigations in search of the elusive sasquatch.

Josh Jurgess, a production assistant for the show, said the expedition that begins with the Houghton Lake town hall, where witnesses can share stories about their Bigfoot sightings, is the first time the show has filmed in Michigan.

Jurgess added The Bigfoot Field Research Organization, which includes the members of the show’s cast, has listed several potential sightings in the area.

“There’s been numerous sightings in Northern Michigan,” he said. “It’s really exciting that we’re going to be doing some investigations.”

True to the show’s form, Jurgess said the cast and crew of the show will conduct investigations at night in locations consistent with sightings in the region.

BFRO investigator Don Peer, who investigates sightings in Northern Michigan, said he has lobbied for the show to visit Michigan.

“I’ve been trying to get them here for a while,” he said. “Because Michigan’s probably one of the hottest spots in the country, outside the Pacific Northwest.”

Those who attend the meeting April 5 will likely appear on the show when it airs, according to Jurgess.

“Basically, everyone’s going to have to sign an appearance release,” he said.

Seating at the town hall begins at 6 p.m. and the cameras start rolling around 7 p.m., Jurgess said. He added depending on the number of eyewitness testimonies, the town hall could go late into the night.

“It could go till about 10:30 p.m.,” he said.

The “Finding Bigfoot” gang will be in the area until April 11 conducting its investigation, Jurgess said.

Peer said he conducted an expedition in the area last year.

“We did an actual expedition last year,” he said. “We had real good results. That was in Oscoda County, in the Huron National Forest.”

Phil Shaw, a West Branch resident and Bigfoot enthusiast, said he will “absolutely” be at the town hall in Houghton Lake. Shaw said he is glad the show is filming nearby.

“It just gives more publicity to the possible existence,” he said. “I think that people will realize that really, there’s a lot of evidence that these creatures exist right here in Michigan.”

Shaw said he is sure there are sasquatch in the area. He said Saint Helen resident Jim Finlayson has photos of a Bigfoot footprint; and several stick structures and broken trees in the vicinity of where Finlayson snapped the print photo are further evidence of sasquatch presence.

“I’m convinced they exist,” he said. “I’ve gathered over 25 incidents of what I consider Bigfoot activity.”

In an article in the Ogemaw Herald in July 2009, Shaw said he believes he and his wife saw a sasquatch in 2006 while on vacation in New Bruns­wick, Canada.

Shaw had one request for people attending the meeting who do not believe in Bigfoot.

“Have an open mind,” he said.

While at the meeting, Peer said he hopes to hear reports of sightings or instances of Bigfoot activity that has not yet been reported to the BFRO.

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