Sunday, September 7, 2008

Author follows in Bigfoot's footsteps
The Orange County Register - August 3, 1988
Author: Maria Hunt ; The Register

To Danny Perez, Bigfoot is no laughing matter.

At 25 years of age, Perez claims he is the foremost Bigfoot researcher in the United States.

He is founder and sole operator of the Center for Bigfoot Studies in Anaheim Hills and the infrequent publisher of the BigfooTimes, a newsletter on Bigfoot sightings and happenings.

Perez spent eight years working on his just-published book "Big Footnotes," which he calls the first reference work to list thousands of books and articles on the purported creature called Bigfoot -- also known as the Sasquatch -- and the Abominable Snowman, an Asian form of Bigfoot. Sasquatch is an English version of an Indian word meaning "wild man of the woods," Bigfoot's favored habitat.

Orders from other Bigfoot enthusiasts, one in the anthropology department of the University of Chicago, are rolling in, said Perez, who hopes to attract more scholarly interest to what he calls the "Bigfoot problem."

"It has never been given a fair shake in the scientific community," he said.

An electrician by day, Perez became intrigued with the subject in 1972 when he saw a movie called "The Legend of Boggy Creek," which he described as a documentary account of the " fouke " monster in Arkansas, a country cousin of Bigfoot.

"That movie just totally captivated me," he said. "I didn't really think there were monsters . I couldn't believe it."

After seeing the movie, Perez decided to find out whether Bigfoot was fact or fiction.

"The bottom line is to establish the physical reality of Bigfoot by doing field investigations," he said. Toward that goal, Perez said, he visits sites in California where Bigfoot reportedly has been spotted and interviews people who claim to have seen it.

"I operate under the knowledge these things are out there," he said.

Perez said he uses the word "problem" when talking about Bigfoot because the creature's existence is an unsolved mystery. "The solution is ultimately that someone will bag one, probably with a gun," he said.

Although humans have not captured one of the creatures, some enthusiasts have come up with a list of characteristics.

Bigfoot is described as a 7- to 12-foot-tall apelike creature that walks upright like a human and is covered with short, thick, dark fur. Perez said its diet is unknown but might include berries, nuts, leaves and perhaps deer and cattle.

There are a few reports of people being killed by Bigfoot-type creatures, but Perez said such reports are rare.

"I don't think they're aggressive or out to kill people," he said. "If they saw you or I, they'd probably run into the bush and avoid contact."

Two researchers claim to have captured a female Bigfoot on film in Northern California in 1967. It is the only purported filmed record of the creature.

"No one has proven that the film is not legitimate," Perez said.

By the year 2000, Perez plans to do a second book on Bigfoot covering all known facets of the "problem" and discuss what he calls the classic cases.

But, Perez warns phony Bigfoot researchers and "myth perpetuators" who aren't really interested in finding out the truth to beware. He said his new book will debunk some so-called researchers.

"People are taken by stories in the

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