The Mercer County area is a hotbed of activity for the paranormal and unexplained for reports and sightings of everything from Bigfoot to Dog-Boy, and those interested in learning more or sharing their experience will have a chance Sept. 13.
“Who knows what’s in your hometown,” said Brian Seech of the Center for Cryptozoological Studies and the Center for Unexplained Events.
Seech and Fred Saluga, founder of the West Virginia chapter of CUE, present “Strange Cryptids of the Ohio Valley” at 1 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Community Library of the Shenango Valley, 11 N. Sharpsville Ave., Sharon.
Topics up for discussion include the Shenango Dog-Man, or Dog-Boy, gargoyles and winged entities, Bigfoot and UFOs.
“I think it’s going to do really well,” Seech said, adding anyone who has had an unusual experience can contact them, and their account will be kept confidential.
But there will be plenty of discussion on various sightings that have been recorded throughout the Mercer County area, like werewolves, the creature known as “Thunderbird” and cryptids in general, which Seech said are animals that have not been recognized by science, like Bigfoot.
“But it’s more acceptable now to research creatures and cryptids,” he said, going on to explain his interest.
Seech and his wife of 29 years, Terrie, who lived in the Grove City area from about 1996 to 1999 and now live in Hopewell, Pa., keep tabs on sightings and reports in many areas via the Internet, television and newspapers.
“It’s a constant research,” Seech said, adding he looks for patterns, like an unexplained number of animal deaths in a certain area or reports of strange lights with no discernible source.
They started CUE in 1987 with one of their sons and a friend, and their group’s library now has more than 2,000 items related to their investigations and research; Terrie Seech is now in charge of CUE while Brian Seech has been focusing on CCS, which he founded in 2012 to narrow his focus on creature sightings.
“We never use the term ‘experts.’ We use the term ‘experienced researchers,'” he said.
They’re always learning something new, especially while they’re out in the field interviewing folks who have a story to share, or returning to the spot where a sighting took place.
Research teams like theirs have come a long way since the 1970s, when there was a boom in creature documentaries, Seech recalling one called “Mysterious Monsters” that featured Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.
Seech has been featured in several television shows himself, being called upon to share information about the “Devil Monkey” and the “Michigan Dog-Man.”
And the Seeches take their work seriously, putting a lot of time and effort into their research to ensure every last bit of information has been collected.
“The bulk of what we do is Bigfoot,” Seech said, noting they cover a lot of ground in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
They too have had their own unexplained events, so they understand where people are coming from when presented with stories that may seem unbelievable to an outsider – both Seeches have seen several UFOs, and Terrie Seech had an encounter with her late aunt.
The Seeches are always prepared, no matter where they go, with notebooks and cameras, since they never know when they might come across something interesting.
“But we also like to joke around and have fun,” he said, adding they attend several conventions throughout the year that are dedicated to their field of research.
It’s great to be able to meet like-minded people, and Seech urges those with experiences to share to consider doing so. The more reports that are documented, the better, and he doesn’t see it slowing down any time soon.
“It’s a really weird area,” he said of western Pennsylvania, when it comes to the unexplained.
For more information about the presentation, contact the library at 724-981-4360. For more information about the Center for Cryptozoological Studies and the Center for Unexplained Events, contact Brian Seech at 724-777-4803, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.centerforcryptozoologicalstudies.co,
For more information about the West Virginia chapter of CUE or UFO or strange creature research, call Fred Saluga at 304-723-8212.
Published Sept. 3, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.