Sunday, January 15, 2017

The skinny on Bigfoot: Researcher to speak in Wisconsin

Dan Nedrelo first heard of the apelike creature known as Bigfoot while in grade school.

By Pamela Bowers from The Leader-Telegram

Over the years he has interviewed around 1,000 people who have reported some contact with the creatures as he traveled across the United States as a Bigfoot researcher.

Nedrelo, a Viroqua biologist and wildlife and nature photographer, will speak at the Dunn County Historical Society’s Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum on Jan. 21. He’ll talk about his research and will present evidence he has collected. Nedrelo has been a Bigfoot researcher for 16 years.

Many people he has interviewed who have reported some contact heard vocalization sounds believed to be a Bigfoot’s, and others have reported seeing footprints in the grass that are larger than those of humans.

While investigating reports of a Bigfoot in 2008, Nedrelo saw a silhouette at a campsite in Georgia with reflective eyes 7 feet off the ground.

“We still don’t know what we have,” he said, noting there may be different species known as Bigfoot. “We have bits and pieces. It’s probably going to come down to a body before there is acceptance.”

While in seventh grade at a church camp in Wisconsin, Nedrelo came across something large on the edge of a lake that hissed.

The historical society wanted to bring more diverse educational events to the area, including the Bigfoot presentation, said Dustyn Dubuque, the society’ education and programming coordinator.

“The term Bigfoot perks up almost everyone’s ears,” he said. “Whether it is a personal experience, a show someone has watched or just a fun story, Bigfoot is ingrained in our society.

“Living in the Midwest, stories are abundant, and many stories have been spoken about to members of the historical society, so we decided to try and bring some information to what some people may believe.”

There have been 100 reports of Bigfoot in 50 counties across Wisconsin, including the Rice Lake area and Clark County, he said. Sightings of a Yeti or Sasquatch, other names for Bigfoot, also have been reported in many other parts of the world.

According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, in July 2006 there was a Bigfoot sighting near Eau Galle. A creature between 7 and 8 feet tall with 3-inch long hair and a large build was seen. The witness reported a very foul odor, described as having a rotten wet dog, fishy garbage smell to it. The witness, who had seen black bear before, said it was not a bear.

Nedrelo said he believes Bigfoots have speed, are stealthy and live in remote areas. They also have great intelligence and better eyesight than humans, he said. Anecdotal evidence suggests the creatures may be able to run 45 mph.

“I have been told the rivers are their highways,” Nedrelo said.

At the museum presentation, he hopes to hear from others who may have had contact or experienced an encounter with a Bigfoot.

“I know they are real,” Nedrelo said. “If I didn’t think they were real, there is no way I would have spent 16 years heavily involved and traveled to 22 states and interviewed 1,000 people.”

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