The Animal Planet network will come to Kansas next month because, producers claim, the elusive Bigfoot has reportedly been seen tippy-toeing in our midst.
Sean Mantooth, a producer for the show “Finding Bigfoot,” confirmed Thursday the TV crew will come to the Wichita area in late January to film scenes in Kansas.
“I can’t discuss any specific elements of the show in Kansas, including the locations where we will be,” Mantooth said. “We don’t want people knowing where we will be and try hoaxing us or coming out to watch us.”
The hit TV show premiered in May 2011.
Followers of the show know each episode usually involves a town hall meeting in which people are invited to share their experiences of Bigfoot.
Kansas will be no exception.
A town hall meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 26 in the Wichita area, Mantooth said. The location has yet to be determined.
Kansans can meet with the crew: Bigfoot Field Research Organization president Matt Moneymaker, and researchers James “Bobo" Fay, Cliff Barackman and Ranae Holland.
“We want people to come out and we’ll listen to their stories,” Mantooth said.
A few weeks ago, an episode featured the crew exploring an area around Oklahoma City, finding a long strand of hair that was determined not to be human.
“There are lots of possibilities,” Mantooth said. “We do know it wasn’t human DNA.”
Could it have come from a buffalo?
“I will concede nothing,” Mantooth said.
What will the crew do in Kansas?
“We have a few tricks up our sleeve,” Mantooth said. “There have been ’squatch sightings. People will just have to tune in and watch.”
Sightings in Kansas
Bigfoot in Kansas?
Consider these claims:
In 1978, the chief of police for Chetopa, in Labette County, reported finding 21/2 miles of animal-like tracks with footprints measuring 17 inches long and 55/8 inches wide.
In 1984, a Sedgwick County woman and her daughter reported being followed by a large animal as they walked along a dark, country lane.
An Aug. 15, 1869, article in the St. Louis Democrat reported that nearly every resident of Crawford County had seen a beast nicknamed “Old Sheff.”
“Several times it has approached the cabins of the settlers, much to the terror of the women and children. … It has a stooping gait, very long arms with immense hands or claws; generally walks on its hind legs but sometimes on all fours."
In October 1978, The Wichita Eagle reported an 8-foot-tall, Bigfoot-like creature was seen twice in three weeks roaming by the Kansas Turnpike near Lawrence.
According to the Gulf Coast BigFoot Research Organization’s website, at least 13 counties in Kansas have reported Bigfoot sightings, including in Sedgwick, Harvey and Butler counties. The most recent sighting in Sedgwick County was in 2006. The website reported that a husband and wife were fishing on a boat at night on the Arkansas River when they felt they were being watched and heard a deep, guttural growl.
The self-funded group, which is not associated with Animal Planet, was formed in 1997 to research Bigfoot sightings in Southern states and invites the public to submit sightings to the website. Members spend as much time as possible in the field with night vision equipment, infra red heat sensors and other equipment looking for Bigfoot or evidence, such as footprints, that Bigfoot exists.