Bigfoot hunters flock to Washington for first international conference
'I believe we're going to see something real soon; it's just a matter of time'
The first International Bigfoot Conference gets underway today in Kennewick, Washington, offering the wisdom of professional sasquatch hunters from around the world to skeptics and fanatics.
Cryptozoology — or the study of animals that have not been proven — has been a topic of interest for co-organizer, Russell Acord, for the majority of his life, so much so that he's written two novels with a third on the way.
Growing up with the forests of Montana as his backyard, Acord was intrigued by the idea that something close to human could be wandering around out there in the wild but remains a committed skeptic.
"I've been a researcher forever. I have yet to find anything that tells me with definitive proof that Bigfoot does or does not exist. I believe in the possibility, but I've never found anything that tells me for sure that it does," he said.
It's that questioning nature that the conference has been shaped around, says Acord, who isn't looking to convince "non-believers" of Bigfoot's existence.
He's hoping to encourage attendees to form their own educated opinions, after looking at the evidence presented by the event's curated panel of experts.
"You're going to have people who believe Bigfoot is related to an extra-terrestrial. You're going to have people who believe Bigfoot is historically a man that has lived in the wilderness forever. You'll get all types here," said Acord.
"That's fine. That's what we want. We want that good, healthy questioning attitude and the conflict."
His books have earned him invitations to conferences and have allowed him to pursue his hunt for information on the elusive creature.
As part of a five-man team that includes a world-renowned cryptozoologist and the creators of the Bigtruth blog and podcast, he regularly ventures to locations where discoveries have been made to do his own research.
"Out of the five of us, we make a very diverse, unique group. We're all very experienced in our own fields and by coming together and doing our own research … we pull it together and find out whatever we can."
But are they getting closer to discovering the truth behind those big footprints and blurry photos? Acord believes strongly that the question is not so much "if," but "when."
"I believe in our lifetime, as we get better at research, as we get better at technology and being able to cover areas, if it's out there, I believe we're going to see something real soon. It's just a matter of time."
With files from the CBC's On The Coast.
To hear the full interview listen to audio labelled Bigfoot hunters flock to Washington for first international conference.