KINGSPORT – I don’t know if Bigfoot exists or not. I’ve never seen him, nor has anyone I know. But there’s been plenty of people who have.
According to John Stamey, the organizer of the Tennessee Bigfoot Conference, over the past 50 years there’s been more than 64,000 reported sightings and 100,000 publishing stories of the elusive, wilderness legend most commonly known as Bigfoot. People from all walks of life, all across the country, have seen the mysterious woodland creature, with some sightings going back 200 years.
Probably the most notable one was captured in the Patterson-Gimlin video of 1967, where Bigfoot was seen walking in the woods in Bluff Creek in Northern California.
Personally, I’d like to live in a world where Bigfoot exists. I believe it would make for a much more interesting world.
Now whether you believe in the myth or not, you might want to consider heading up to Bays Mountain Park this weekend for a deeper dive into the world of Bigfoot. The Tennessee Bigfoot Conference is coming back to the park for its third year.
The three-day event will be held in the Farmstead Museum, beginning today at 11 a.m. and continuing until 4 p.m. on Sunday. It’ll be three days of professors, authors and experts in the field of hominology (study of man-like creatures and cryptids), sharing their experiences, stories and theories about Bigfoot and the paranormal.
“We’re going to have all kinds of fun speakers,” Stamey told me earlier this week. “Not only do we do Bigfoot, but we do the paranormal and everything else. We’re going to have talks from people who are knowledgeable about the topic, a friendly group who’s going to accept what you think and if you’ve got a story, we’ve got times where you can hang out and tell your story.”
In addition to the guest speakers, the event will showcase about 20 vendors on Friday and Saturday, offering all manner of Bigfoot and paranormal related merchandise, including crafts, art, books, dolls and more.
Admission to the vendor area is free, though there is a charge to attend the guest speaker events. This past weekend, Stamey held a similar vent in Georgia where about 300 people attended. Last year in Kingsport, 250 folks came out to learn more about Bigfoot and Stamey hopes the attendance will be even more.
“We’ve got lots of excitement and I’m expecting a good crowd this weekend,” he said. “If you don’t believe in Bigfoot you’ve got a lot of folks who have reported seeing him. We have so much evidence from people, so if you don’t want to believe it, that’s fine, but the preponderance of evidence is against you.”
For more information about the event, call 843-655-8775 or visit www.bigfootday.com
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (vendors and speakers); 6 p.m. VIP meet and greet
Saturday – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (vendors and speakers)
Sunday – 9 a.m. Bigfoot University; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (vendors and speakers)
LIST OF SPEAKERS
• Dr. Igor Burtsev - Internationally recognized Bigfoot researcher from Russia with more than 30 years experience publishing, researching and speaking on the subject of Bigfoot and Hominology.
• Janice Carter - Co-author of “50 Years of Coexistence: The Tennessee Bigfoot Chronicles,” likely the most famous book ever written about a family's continued interaction with the Bigfoot community.
• Robin McCray - Internationally known Mindspeak practitioner and Bigfoot researcher.
• Tony Felosi – Paranormal and Bigfoot researcher from Kentucky.
• Dr. John Stamey - Author and host of several podcasts that feature Bigfoot and the Paranormal; director of the Tennessee Bigfoot Conference, Georgia Bigfoot Conference, Kentucky Bigfoot Conference, and dean of Bigfoot University (a day-long course on finding Bigfoot).
• William Henry - Bigfoot Researcher and Bigfoot experiencer.
• Matt Delph - Bigfoot Researcher and experiencer.