Sasquatch Sightings in the Hudson Valley | Outdoors | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

Lifestyle » Outdoors

Sasquatch Sightings in the Hudson Valley

Bigfoot Researchers of the Hudson Valley Band Together to Gather Evidence

by

Last Updated: 02/15/2019 8:59 am
11 comments
DEREK HATFIELD, VIA FLICKR
  • Derek Hatfield, via Flickr

Ask a conventional wildlife biologist about the existence of Sasquatch, you’ll get a flat “no,” probably a funny look. Still, no less a researcher than Dr. Jane Goodall told an interviewer that she was sure that they exist. And the question comes quite close to home when you consider the experiences of people like Dutchess County resident Gayle Beatty.

Beatty grew up loving the visits to her grandparents’ place in Rhinebeck, and when her family moved upriver from Westchester to Pine Plains in the late ’60s, she was one ecstatic 13-year-old. “I’d always been into the outdoors, hunting, fishing, riding,” she says. “So moving to the base of Stissing Mountain was heaven. We called ‘our’ mountain Little Stissing.”

First Encounter

She’d just gotten her tent up and was settling in for a solo campout one night when the weirdness hit. “It was just getting dark and I heard an owl call—really loud and sudden, a little different-sounding,” she says. “Seconds later, there was the most horrible scream. It just tore through me and vibrated in my chest.”

Gayle Beatty
  • Gayle Beatty

It was unlike anything she’d ever heard before. “I sat there in shock for a minute, just shaking, and decided I had to make a run for it,” she remembers. “I bolted straight down that 75 percent grade, slipping and sliding, and ran into the house crying, yelling that there was something out there and it was after me.”

Just don’t go up there anymore, she was told, but there was no keeping her indoors and in time Beatty took over Hook Line and Sinker Bait Shop on the Sawkill in Red Hook. But she never forgot the sound.

“Fast forward to 2011,” she says. “I’m in the other room and my husband’s watching Animal Planet’s ‘Finding Bigfoot,’ and there it was, the exact same sound, that I hadn’t heard since 1968,”

Beatty started Googling Bigfoot sightings in Dutchess County. “I found the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, and the first sighting listed was two women who glimpsed one crossing a road in 1985. And I thought to myself, ‘Oh my god, we have these?’ I started reaching out to my friends who had farms.”

bigfoot_track.jpg

Stories poured in: sightings, inexplicable tracks, atypical livestock deaths, hair, spoor. In 2012, Beatty started a Facebook page, Bigfoot Researchers of the Hudson Valley, where people who’ve encountered evidence of the ‘Squatch can share information, and added Bigfoot investigations to her outdoor repertoire. “We’ve gone all over—Dutchess, Putnam, Ulster, Columbia,” she says. “There’s no fee, and it’s totally confidential. People don’t normally want anyone to know they’ve asked. I’ve been on quite a few podcasts, local TV. But it’s not about the publicity, it’s about education. I’ve presented to schools and Scout troops. I wrote a kids’ book, A Young Researcher’s Guide to Bigfoot; parents wanted a way to explain them to their kids.”

Tales of cryptids—a species not scientifically confirmed—have persisted across cultures and centuries. Beatty finds it fun and fascinating to contemplate, and visitors to Hook Line and Sinker are invited to share in the adventure. “One side of the shop is Bigfoot and the other is bait,” she says. “We have over a dozen casts of footprints, tons of photos, books, Bigfoot memorabilia, some art and jewelry.”

Beatty doesn’t particularly care whether you believe in the Sasquatch or not. “Most of the absolute naysayers are trolls who’ve never spent a day in the woods,” she says. “The one thing every sane person knows is that we don’t know everything. We’re not saying we know something is a Bigfoot, just presenting evidence as we find it, make of it what you will.”

So what should you do if you’re out and about and come face to face with a hairy biped over seven feet tall? “Don’t make eye contact or try to smile, it could be misinterpreted as aggression,” says Beatty. “Lower your head, put your hands up, tell them you won’t hurt them, and back away without sudden moves or screaming…Oh, and see if you can get a picture.”

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment
 

Add a comment

Latest in Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Pride Month in the Hudson Valley with These Events
  • Celebrate Pride Month in the Hudson Valley with These Events

    From parades to art exhibits and maskerade roller disco for youth, here's a handful of events to celebrate Pride Month throughout the Hudson Valley.
    • Jun 11, 2021
  • Stone Wave Yoga: Tending the Flame of Personal and Communal Wellness
  • Stone Wave Yoga: Tending the Flame of Personal and Communal Wellness

    In the summer of 2019, Liz Glover Wilson had just opened the second location of her burgeoning Gardiner yoga studio and wellness campus, Stone Wave Yoga, in Poughkeepsie. Like so many other small business owners in the Hudson Valley, she had no way of knowing that only months later her entire business would fundamentally change. With the pandemic’s economic and personal challenges constantly at her door, however, yoga remained the one thing that Glover Wilson knew she could count on. “A lot of the students who stayed with us this last year are hungry to learn more about the yoga tool kit because they’re seeing that it really does work,” she says.
    • Jun 5, 2021
  • Winnakee Land Trust Opens Vlei Marsh to the Public
  • Winnakee Land Trust Opens Vlei Marsh to the Public

    The Winnakee Land Trust opened Vlei Marsh to the public on June 1, a 165-acre nature preserve that is Rhinebeck’s second largest wetland area. Multi-looped, newly upgraded trails at Vlei Marsh take visitors through both wetland and forest, home to scores of mammals, amphibians, and birds. A 30-year-old accredited land trust and nonprofit, the WLT focuses on protecting and stewarding forests, farmland, natural habitats, and water resources from development, for both ecological health and community enjoyment. They have expanded into acquiring and maintaining land in the Hudson Valley in the past few years.
    • Jun 3, 2021