Bigfoot sightings discussed at library

by Town Reminder

A hair-raising account
Bigfoot sightings discussed at library

By Matthew Couto
Turley Publications Correspondent

SOUTH HADLEY – A group of young and old Bigfoot enthusiasts alike gathered at the South Hadley Public Library on Wednesday night to share ideas and learn about the history behind the hairy subject.
“We’ll never know for sure if a Bigfoot exists until one is tagged,” said Adult Services Librarian and Bigfoot hobbyist Desiree ‘Desi’ Smelcer. “But I believe there are many people who have seen them throughout the world, especially because of my encounters.”
Smelcer, who grew up in northern California, has had two encounters with the humanoid Bigfoot, both at very different times in her life. The first encounter happened was when she was just five years old and on a camping trip with her family.
Peeking from her tent, Smelcer noticed a dark image by their campfire. Upon closer inspection it was hairy ape-looking figure with a human face playing with a stick.
“I didn’t think twice before falling asleep that night,” said Smelcer. “For some reason it did not strike me as odd at the time.”
The second encounter came in 2010, exactly two years ago, on a remote highway in northern California. According to Smelcer, there was a large figure in her lane up ahead that darted off to the side of the highway. Smelcer, being an ever-curious Sasquatch lover, slowed down and looked toward the breakdown lane to where she saw the being move.
When she turned her head, a Bigfoot was squatting within ten feet or so from her car. Despite wanting to get out and try to interact with the oddly human-like ape, Smelcer stayed in her car and waved without showing her teeth, nor her excitement, in order to not spook the Bigfoot.
“Even while squatting on the side of the highway, its head was still above the top of my car,” said Smelcer. “It noticed me staring at it and kind of tilted its head to the side as if it was thinking about what I was.”
But the presentation was not only about her experiences with the hairy humanoid. Smelcer briefly outlined some of the earliest information concerning the rare species that is said to be part human and part animal.
The packed library full of intrigued Bigfoot enthusiasts learned there are hundreds of different names for the abnormal being. Some of the names are Yeti, Sasquatch, Hig-a-bon, Mondo-grande, Nadi Bear, Di-Di, Yeren, and Almas.
According to Smelcer, who holds an Anthropology degree from Wheaton College, a Bigfoot is usually spotted in wooded areas. In the United States, there are more than 747 million acres of forest, 33 million of which are in California where Smelcer has had her two encounters.
“Many people don’t realize that one-third of California is the forest,” said Smelcer. “That leaves a lot of room for a Bigfoot to go undetected.”
Questions were taken after the hour-long presentation in order to relieve audience members of their curiosity. Some things learned from the questions are Bigfoots are not always friendly. They have been said to wear clothes sometimes, not all look the same – sizes vary some five to eight feet tall – and there have been sightings all throughout the world but never any picture captured.

“It has been said that Bigfoots are blurry in nature,” said Smelcer. “Which makes it tough or near impossible to capture one on a camera.”

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