Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bigfoot 911 founder shares bigfoot research!

John Bruner is a believer and has been doing bigfoot research for 40 years, primarily in McDowell County, North Carolina! “The knocking was my first encounter with them,” Bruner said. “I was raised in the woods and had never heard anything like that, and they were not your normal knocks.”

By John Bailey from The Hickory Record: In 2014, he started Bigfoot 911, a group of investigators based out of Marion.

They conduct expeditions at least twice a month to search for evidence of the creature, and in August of this year, the team had a major sighting, Bruner said. He shared this and other stories with a crowd of nearly 50 during a recent visit to the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library in Hickory.

Bigfoot is a bipedal creature, walking on two legs like humans, and is from 6 to 9 feet tall, weighing from 600 to 900 pounds. Bruner said some of their habits include rock throwing, wood knocking, building tree structures and building stone piles.

“The knocking was my first encounter with them,” Bruner said. “I was raised in the woods and had never heard anything like that, and they were not your normal knocks.”

He showed the audience a rock that was thrown at him during the encounter in August.

The bigfoot he saw in August was approximately 9 feet tall. The hair was stringy and matted with no hair on its face, which looked like leather, and its nose was flat on its face.

“I was about 30 yards from it. It was big. Its arms came down below its waist,” Bruner said. “It moved with a speed of a cat. We made eye contact for maybe five to 10 seconds, and then it was gone, down through a ravine.”

He said the other thing that stood out about the encounter was seeing the muscles of the creature move.

Some of his group’s other recent findings included a footprint found in McDowell County in April. It was 16 inches long.

They’ve found a rock formation 4 miles in to the woods as well.

“There wasn’t a rock around anywhere, and we found this rock pattern, and we photographed it. Two hours we came back and there were two sticks crossed, laying on top of them,” Bruner said. “It may not be bigfoot, but it’s weird there were rocks stacked up 4 miles back in the woods that I know good and well nobody was in.”

Bruner said there have been bigfoot sightings in every state of the country except Hawaii. Most of those sightings are on the eastern and western halves of the United States. He said the Appalachian Trail is one reason for the concentration in the eastern side of the country, providing an accessible pathway through the region.

“Native Americans have observed bigfoot for hundreds of years,” Bruner said.

In North Carolina, the Cherokee called the creature Tsul ‘Kalu.

Bruner said there isn’t much bigfoot activity in Catawba County. He only found one article from 2003, and there wasn’t much detail in the story. Like in other areas, Bruner thinks the problem is it’s actually underreported.

One nearby area he said had “tremendous bigfoot activity” was the Uwharrie National Park in Montgomery County, east of Charlotte.

Scottie Hentschel, of Conover, shared a story about one of his primitive camping trips to Uwaharrie and an encounter he had there. It’s a trip he takes regularly during the colder months when there isn’t a lot of foot traffic.

About three years ago, he, a friend and his son camped out in the park, and around 8:30 p.m., they heard an unusual yell.

“And we heard coyotes. Immediately after we heard the coyotes, we heard a yell again,” Hentschel said. “We heard the coyotes again, and then the yell again, moving away. They did it about four times, and then we never heard it again.”

Afterward, he said they got pictures of strange tree structures near them.

“You say it could be a deadfall, but it looks too weird,” Hentschel.

Bruner said for the longest time people didn’t talk as openly as they do now about sightings of a bigfoot.

“It was not socially acceptable, but people are starting to talk about,” Bruner said. “I believe I have people in my county who are still reluctant to talk about things they see and hear.”

He believes there is too much circumstantial evidence for something not to be there. Bruner points to the numerous footprints found every year, though he admits they are the most “faked things in the bigfoot world.”

One reason bigfoot pictures are never very clear is because they are taken by people who are surprised by the encounter, unprepared to take the time to focus and get a good photo, Bruner said.

Despite what others say, he respects everyone’s opinion on the subject, including doubters.

“They say they’ve never seen a (bigfoot), but have you ever seen a baby pigeon, but they’re real,” Bruner said. “I don’t debate. If you don’t believe in bigfoot, I respect that.”

Luke Hughes, of Morganton, and Doug Teague, of Hickory, said they both investigated bigfoot sightings through Catawba Valley Bigfoot Believers and are friends with the Bigfoot 911 group.

They shared a recent encounter they had in McDowell County.

The two were on their way out of the forest when they heard a bigfoot call, and they heard what’s been called “female chatter” in another bigfoot incident, Teague said.

“Until you experience it, you can’t describe it. I’ve been an avid hunter and hiker my entire life,” Hughes said. “Until you get into the woods, and experience one of these calls, there’s nothing in nature that makes a sound like that.”

They were both drawn to the investigations because of the thrill of the unknown.

“It’s that last great undiscovered thing in the country, and it’s a lot of fun,” Hughes said.

Hickory residents Rachel O’Hara and her husband Michael attended the event because her father has always been curious about bigfoot.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a believer, but I wouldn’t say I’m a skeptic either,” Rachel O’Hara said. “I think there’s a lot in this world we don’t understand. Some of the things they say make you go, ‘I don’t know about that,’ but then some of the other stuff you think, ‘maybe.’”

She’s a dietician, and when Bruner talked about the eating habits of a bigfoot as one way to understand their behavior, O’Hara could relate.

They were both interested in the stories shared by other members of the audience as well.

“We were talking about how it’s interesting to hear people talk who actually do believe,” Michael O’Hara said. “It’s much more convincing.”

For more information, visit the Bigfoot 911 Facebook page or email bigfoot911bobr@gmail.com.

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