The search for Bigfoot and paranormal sightings are keeping Jim Smith busy!
Jim Smith first saw Bigfoot near the college in about 1971. Born in Roanoke in 1956 and having lived in Wadley a little more than 50 years, he remains unfazed by those who question his pursuits into the paranormal.
On his website he wrote: "Here in Alabama you have to be careful who you mention Bigfoot, ghosts, UFOs or anything paranormal to. Mention it to the wrong person and you'll be labeled crazy, laughed at, ridiculed and made fun of, for the remainder of your life ... Oh, how the close-minded, or ignorant people as I call them, love to ridicule!"
It reminds one of Henry David Thoreau, who said, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
Smith marches to a different drum but tells of many incidents where he was talking to someone about the paranormal, then someone else who overheard follows him outside a business to tell of their own experience with Bigfoot or a ghost.
Smith said he carefully details his sightings and includes them on his websitewww.alabamabigfootsociety.com. He guarantees confidentiality to anyone giving him information or telling of a sighting.
Bigfoot is an unusually tall, hairy man-like creature, whose existence has never been proven. Many stories have been done on television and in the print media on Bigfoot, and there have been TV shows on the hunt for him.
The first time Smith saw Bigfoot is what got him interested.
"It walked by my house. Back then you brought stray dogs home and they barked. Some other people said they saw a monkey, and we started watching for it," he said.
Some nights they would sit on the porch and the dogs were in the woods. There would be howling, then other dogs would start barking. He tried to calm them down and couldn't do anything with them. They took off running like they were going to eat something up. That is when he saw a really tall thing on two legs with long arms swinging come by.
"We thought it was a giant maybe, from the circus. He walked by a window. A few weeks later--I was in the 11th grade--someone came in hollering, 'I've seen a giant monkey.' It was also by my house. We jumped in a friend's truck and drove to where he said he had seen it. It had snowed, and giant tracks were left. My friend put his foot in and I put my foot in, and the track was about as long as both of our feet," he said.
He finally saw the Patterson Bigfoot film made in California about 1967 and that really got him interested. What he saw in the film was almost the same thing he had seen. That is when he knew they were on to something, he said.
His website is mostly Bigfoot, but he also has information on the Creek Indians and their beliefs, as well as ghosts and the rarely seen black panther.
"I do have a lot of people who ridicule me, and that is part of the reason I put a website together, so people can put their experiences on there," he said.
Source: The Randolph Leader