This print was found in Guernsey County.

Searching for Ohio’s Bigfoot

By Mike Ryan, OCJ Field Reporter

Wanted, Bigfoot: Bipedal creature that is fast and agile, fluid and smooth in movement, with a hairy coat of brown, black, red, or salt and pepper. Stands 8 or 9 feet tall. Excellent tree climber and swimmer that will eat just about anything. Last seen ranging across the Buckeye state. 

Ohio is a Bigfoot sighting hot spot that has even been the subject of national media attention in recent years due to the large number of reported encounters that continue to accumulate across the state. The Grassman, as Ohio’s Bigfoot is known, has been reportedly seen in various Ohio locations, with the Appalachian foothills of eastern Ohio being its predominant haunting grounds.

Author Doug Waller, of Muskingum county, is a longtime Bigfoot enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge about Bigfoot and cryptid lore. Doug has published 5 books on Bigfoot with another one in the works. He is also co-founder of the Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigations (SOSBI).

“I have always been interested in Bigfoot. I remember when I was a young man in the early 1970s being fascinated by the reports of ‘Mo-Mo,’ the Missouri Monster, that were coming in. This first stirred my interest in the creature and I always read any news stories or watched any shows on Bigfoot that I came across. I started attending Bigfoot meetings in the 1980s,” Waller said. “But my involvement in Bigfoot research really got going in 2006, when I started working at the Guernsey County Library. I found a bunch of Bigfoot books in the library stacks, eagerly read them, and began to get books on the subject from across the country through inter-library loan. I just couldn’t get enough and I amassed quite the reading list.”

Waller’s literary immersion into the world of Bigfoot led him to begin field research in the hills of eastern Ohio and to start an organization with other Bigfoot aficionados to promote the stories, study, and pursuit of Ohio’s Sasquatch.

“I got involved searching the woods for tracks and evidence and poking around on the Internet for information and contacts in ‘06 when I was working at the library and reading all of those books. Before long I found a collection of like-minded people and we started having meetings. We founded the Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigations to provide a venue for people to come and discuss what they had seen or heard without fear of ridicule. SOSBI held its first meeting in the Fall of ’08 and I started to write my first book, which I published in 2013, at about that same time,” Waller said.

Waller’s first book, “Standing in the Shadows,” details how the author got involved in Bigfoot studies and his experiences with the cast and crew of the television show, “Finding Bigfoot,” which filmed an episode in eastern Ohio. The book also describes Waller’s early personal investigations and contains first-hand eyewitness accounts of Bigfoot from Ohio and beyond. His other books, “Hidden Encounters,” “Screams in the Night,” “Bigfoot Reports,” and “Silent Forest” are devoted to first person testimonials of Bigfoot encounters by individuals Waller has interviewed.

“Most of the accounts in my books come from around Ohio, but there are also stories from all around the world in them. While most of my interviews were taken from this state, I got a lot of stories coming from move-ins to the state, or people who had returned home from college or the military from some other place where they had their experiences. I have stories from at least 20 states, Canada, and even one from South America. When SOSBI started hosting meetings and talks, people would share their stories, and I would write them down. I found that the more I went out and talked and shared information, the more stories I got,” Waller said.

The interviews that Waller has conducted for his books further influence his belief in the Bigfoot’s existence and his main goal in writing about them is to provide a forum for people to share their stories.

“When you do a lot of research and interviews, you see a lot of the same things popping up again and again. There are a lot of uncanny similarities in the experiences that people share. Also, there are so many verified stories out there from over the years that describe unexplainable occurrences that could not have been faked. I have met many reliable witnesses over the years whose detailed tales never change at all. My primary goal is to uncover people’s stories. It is said that for every Bigfoot report that is submitted, 10 may go unreported. People are often hesitant to speak about what they have seen. After the initial shock of a Bigfoot sighting, when people go and confide to someone about what they saw, they get shut down and laughed at by friends, family, and coworkers. And that makes them mad and embarrassed, and they shut up and shut down. I want people to report what they have experienced without this fear of insult. I am happy to keep the interview anonymous; I just want the story, because if someone reads or hears the story and they realize that they had a similar encounter in the same area or region, it helps put together another piece of the puzzle,” he said.

Ohio is one of the top 5 states for Bigfoot sightings in the country. SOSBI keeps a detailed map of Ohio where sightings/evidence of Bigfoot have occurred, and the eastern region of the state, especially, is littered with sites. Waller offers some insights into the sightings of creature’s prevalence and locations in the state.

“There is a lot of Bigfoot activity in the entire eastern part of our state, from Lake Erie clear down to the Ohio River. There have been a few sightings in central Ohio and a few in the northwestern part of the state — but it is so wide open and unforested up that way, there is not much habitat for them. However, while most reports come of them being seen or heard in deep cover, there are also reports of them coming from outside of densely populated metropolitan areas. Like people, some may prefer to live around the city, while some don’t,” Waller said. “The hotbed for Ohio Bigfoot sightings is Salt Fork Lake State Park in Guernsey County. There are tons of them there. Keep in mind that the park gets 2 million visitors a year, so that’s a lot of potential witnesses. Salt Fork has been known for years for Bigfoot activity, but I don’t know if there are more in that area than in some spot down in Wayne National Forest. A lot more people go looking for Bigfoot at Salt Fork than somewhere down in the Wayne in Athens county, for instance. You don’t have to go to Salt Fork to find Bigfoot.”

For those interested in searching for an Ohio Sasquatch, Waller suggests finding an area that has had recent Bigfoot reports and to go quietly camp out somewhere by yourself during the offseason when others are not around and look and listen for certain telltale signs.

“People often see Bigfoot along ridge lines, right-of-ways along creeks and rivers, or they catch a quick glimpse of them walking railroad tracks. They are huge creatures that can plow through trees and briars, but if there’s an easier route, they’ll sometimes take that. Bigfoots are very curious. This is one of their weaknesses and it can cause them trouble. If you are around them and they want to check you out, they will; if they want you gone, they may try to run you off. They prefer to be alone. In the foreword to ‘Screams in the Night,’ I include an extensive list of often-mentioned events and look-fors associated with Bigfoot encounters, such as the feeling of being watched, the woods going immediately silent, finding broken and twisted trees bent in strange formations, foul odors, large shadows, screaming, and gibberish-like chattering, to name just a few things to be aware of when in Bigfoot territory,” Waller said.

Waller encourages people who are skeptical of Bigfoot’s existence to keep an open mind. Simply because something has not been experienced or encountered by a person does not mean such things are not possible or do not exist. Cryptozoology, the study of hidden animals or beings yet to be identified by science, is an optimistic endeavor that stimulates both the imagination and the intellect.

“People will often ask me what is a ‘Bigfoot’? Is it a primitive man? An ape? A cross between a man and an ape? Is it supernatural? My answer is that I don’t know what it is, but there is something out there that we haven’t discovered yet. And there is a group of people out here, some with a lot of experience in the woods, some with a lot of experience with books, some with both, working to figure it out and track it down,” Waller said. “When skeptics come to our talks and say ‘I don’t know, I’ve lived here for 50 years and never seen anything like that, etc.,’ I say to them, ‘Well, I’ve never won the lotto, but I have spent a bunch of money over the years on lotto tickets. Even though I’ve never won, I know some people do.’ Bigfoot is like that — some people have never seen one, but some people will.”

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28 comments

  1. William Robert Hall Jr

    I think I may have found evidence of the real Bigfoot . I can send pictures of my evidence to any one interested . But really can’t wait to have it tested. I not sure where to start either. Thanks

  2. I have evidence of the real bigfoot I have a recording and a few pictures if anyone is interested

  3. I have had some pretty intense experiences in northeast Ohio . I’m investigating the area now , I have footprint images and tree structures . I’d love to tell you about my experiences . I haven’t seen one but only because twice when I could have I wasn’t prepared .

  4. ANY BIGFOOT SIGHTINGS IN NORTH WESTREN OHIO ?

  5. I’ve never seen a big bigfoot but my wife and I had very scary camping experience one time that could have been a visit from a bigfoot. it scared us enough that we packed up and left left the next morning.

  6. any sightings in or near southern ohio ?

  7. I would like to talk to you about your Bigfoot experience

  8. My son’s and I have been going camping in the same spot (southeastern Ohio) for at least the last 15 yrs. Every year we hear the same thing screams that sound like a women being killed. Bone chilling in the middle of the night. Some trips we have heard the so called knocking sounds. All seem to happen between 2 and 4 am. Woods are always deadly quite. Camp fire almost burned down to nothing. We always camp the fourth of July.. from 2 days to sometime 10 days straight. It’s not every night it happens, but it will happen and it will put a fear in you like you ve never known. You don’t know to run away, sit steal or run to help the women. At least 8 people can verify this , they ve been with us and heard it for themselves. This year we are setting up trail cams and hiding in known area for 2 nights. Has always been something we share with few. Maybe more people should know and or experience. We will get all the evidence we can on this trip and share with all.

    • I think that might be foxes. I heard that kind of sound down here in SE Ohio. Sounded like a woman screaming. Then I came across videos of foxes vocalizing.

  9. I saw a Bigfoot in New Springfield Ohio 5 years ago at about 5-530 in the morning. I will never forget those eyes. I haven’t been down that road since.

  10. where do i find map locations????

  11. Where can I find map locations of bigfoot sightings?

  12. There’s not much to investigate as far as these things go……thats their secret…….they can morph into other animals etc…..they can go in to invisible mode while stalkin you………they are aliens who stalk and harass you……….they cannot be trusted and are a total disgrace to us humans……they will cheat steal and harass us Humans

    • Yes they are shapeshifters and yes they are cowards…….their secrets aren’t much of a secret to some of us……..u cant find them bc they are right under ur nose the whole time in invisie mode stalkin u etc……….they love Morphin into crows deer etc

    • In response yes they can shapeshift and yes I personally have seen two in all my life…….you dont find bigfoot…..they find u……if you frequent an area where they reside know one thing….they know your scent…..and let them know that you know they are there….example would be finding one of their structures snd hangin a shirt that smells like u off of it…..they will catch on real fast especially if u go around markin their stuff and then they might show themselves bc they know that u already know about them…..u can trick the tricksters who for the most part play games on us for their own sick entertainment…..

      • In response yes that is all true……their main animals they love to morph into are crows and buzzards……thats their secret……fly around and stalk us humans shape-shifting into birds etc………they use telepathy to convey messages to us…….they are not on our side……when r u people people goin to catch on……..if they didn’t have special powers we would of caught one a long time ago……..quit thinkin they are like us in the flesh……we r Givin them way to much credit for being this gentle docile creatures that we all want to believe…….truth is they are demonic and I personally have experienced their insane stalkin and harassing for over three years myself……….they like fruit pies hate tomatoes and love honey roasted peanuts……..they can mimic animals etc……

  13. I’ve heard wood knocking, hear calls, seen structures made from branches and have had some encounters that can’t be explained any other way.. And a lot of people in the area have aswell.. heard story about bigfoot on the logging trails and ridge tops of our hills.. Here recently have just put it together that it’s probably a Bigfoot.. I live in the woods connected to Shawnee Forest in Southern Ohio, scioto. Should definitely do some investigating in this area. 👍

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