Believers and non-believers alike flocked to the Platte Canyon Community Center in Shawnee on Aug. 5 to attend an “Afternoon with Bigfoot,” hosted by Bigfoot researchers Mark Taylor, who lives in Shawnee, and Dennis Pfohl, who lives in northern Colorado. This is the first Bigfoot information session by the two, who are the founders of the Colorado Bigfoot Research Group.
“Even though some people may be sort of timid to say, ‘Hey, I believe in Bigfoot,’ it seems to be a big topic of discussion,” said Pfohl.
Curiosity is high in Park County, as nearly 50 people attended the session.
“With some of the more recent sightings in and around the Bailey area, it provided a good opportunity for us to go in, put on a good presentation, educate some folks and hopefully come away with some new reports,” said Taylor.
Some locals are already convinced of Bigfoot’s existence.
“It’s a flesh-and-blood animal that just has not been discovered,” Bailey resident David Sanders said. “And I think we’re getting closer and closer and closer.”
The last reported sighting in the Bailey area was submitted by two women hiking in Pike National Forest on May 29 of this year. After receiving the report, Taylor and Pfohl instituted an arduous investigation.
“What we do when things like this are reported to us is we get together with the individual and go to the location,” said Taylor. “We have them describe what they saw, where the creature was, where the other person was, all on location, and then completely re-create the scene if possible.”
Combined, Taylor and Pfohl have 20 years of experience in researching the subject of Bigfoot, and they have investigated hundreds of Bigfoot sighting reports across the country. Their group does currently cover some other areas of North America, but Colorado is their main area of expertise. Their work includes conducting fieldwork, collecting new evidence, monitoring possible activity in suspected active areas, and talking with and interviewing eyewitnesses. They pride themselves on their high standards for scientific collection and documentation.
“There is a ton of modern-day research that shows evidence of Bigfoot’s existence,” said Pfohl. “Mark and I want to bring more of the science side to the attention of the people and educate the public a little more on the subject.”
This science side includes hair identification and DNA analysis of collected evidence.
“We’d like to become a little more well-known in the state of Colorado as researchers,” Taylor said. “We are very well-resourced with the best research equipment.”
Both men agreed that there is a lot people don’t know about Bigfoot, and the creature deserves respect and admiration and should not be treated like a wild animal and hunted for sport. They also stressed that the group is very open-minded to correction and alternative explanations in an effort to get closer to the truth.
“So many people have encounters from all different walks of life,” Pfohl said. “People are shy about sharing their experiences. Each one of these reports and the people that we talk to and deal with need to be handled appropriately and sensitively.”
Taylor and Pfohl encouraged anyone wanting to report what they saw to go to the Colorado Bigfoot Research Group’s Facebook page or to their website, www.coloradobigfootresearch.com.
The Colorado Bigfoot Research Group participates in a larger nationwide organization of Bigfoot researchers called the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.