Geographical Index > United States > New York > Steuben County > Article # 232
Media Article # 232
Article submitted by Joe Sabin
Tuesday, August 22, 1995
Bigfoot in Rathbone? 'If it's a hoax, someone did a good job...'
By Melanie Conty
The Corning Leader
Rathbone - Bigfoot may be stomping around town, according to people who found huge footprints, hairs and uprooted vegetation near an area pond, area residents suspect.
Officials at the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell University are examining the findings, and said they do not know who or what they're from.
"If it's a hoax, then someone did a pretty good job of setting this thing up," said Michael McKeon, a DEC spokesman in Albany. "And if it's not a hoax, then we'll have to see if Bigfoot's out there."
The prints were each 15 inches long, five inches wide and embedded at least an inch in the mud, McKeon said.
They were spaced over 40 inches apart and casts taken showed bunions on the feet.
McKeon said he didn't believe the claims at first, but now is not so sure.
Nellie Ferry of 6788 Hardscrabble Road spotted the prints Aug. 9, when she and her husband, Joe, were fishing at a neighbor's pond.
A few days later more showed up, and then on Wednesday more appeared on the pond's other side.
"I'm not saying (Bigfoot) is what this thing is, but we're trying to get an idea," Ferry said.
"The DEC said it's not human, but it's not an animal."
Neighbors in this rural area about six miles outside Addison say they are intrigued and a bit anxious about the situation.
They report hearing noises - and sometimes a stench - coming from the remote pond.
"My daughter rides her horse up there," said one woman.
"That's our back yard. That's why we live up here because we feel safe. Now, I don't feel so safe."
Many of the neighbors don't want their names used.
"People will think we are crazy," she said.
Friends and area libraries have been providing Ferry with books and videotapes on Bigfoot, who has been spotted throughout the United States since the 1940s. A narrator of one videotape claimed to show actual footage of his Bigfoot sighting. The animal was about 8 feet tall, 400 pounds and extremely hairy. Others on the tape said Bigfoot has a pointed head, red eyes and looks "like the devil."
The species is believed to exist on fresh fish and vegetation, and there has been no evidence that it eats red meat. Wolves allegedly roll around on its footprints and are quite receptive towards its stench, described as a combination of sewage and musty, wet cloth.
Sightings have been in Alaska, California, Vermont, and Florida, and upstate New York, the last here in the Adirondacks in 1972. Believers say about 1,200 Bigfoot exist in the United States.
Ferry said whatever has been walking around the pond has pulled up cat tails and eaten their roots, and lately she has heard howling and other unusual sounds from the woods at night.
McKeon said he does not believe there is yet cause for alarm.
"It's not something that we think is a real problem," he said. "There's no reason for people to panic."
This advice, however, did not calm Ferry.
"I am getting nervous over it,"she said. "I mean, I would like to see it to find out what it is."