The recent Bigfoot hoopla ended Wednesday when the purported carcass of the great hairy one captured in northern Georgia turned out to be a rubber gorilla suit. Before the hoax was revealed, the media turned out in force Friday at a Palo Alto, Calif., news conference where the men who claimed to have found the body held court and answered questions about one of the most enduring pop culture legends.
For Bigfoot believers, who gather eyewitness accounts and other “evidence,” the searching will likely continue. Here are some places where you can feed your Bigfoot curiosity and see some gorgeous scenery along the way.
* Bigfoot Discovery Museum
Where: 5497 California 9, Felton, Calif.
What you’ll see: The Bigfoot Discovery Museum, part of the Bigfoot Discovery Project, is the work of Michael Rugg, a longtime sasquatch enthusiast. The museum holds plaster casts, skull casts from “Bigfoot-like” creatures, recordings, books, videos and a diorama with two life-size models. The project recently added a Bigfoot resort, decorated with memorabilia and artifacts that wouldn’t fit in the museum. The resort is available for rent.
Hours: 1 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays.
Admission: Free, but donations are accepted.
Info:www.bigfootdiscoveryproject.com or call (831) 335-4478.
* Willow Creek-China Flat Museum
Where: 38949 California 299, Willow Creek, Calif. (about an hour from the coast of Arcata in Humboldt County.)
What you’ll see: A specially built house holds this collection of Bigfoot print casts, photographs, maps, newspaper clips and other documents. A 25-foot-tall Bigfoot statue guards the entrance to the museum, and there’s a research center adjacent to the museum. While heading to this site, take in the stunning scenery along California 299, also called the Bigfoot Scenic Byway.
Hours: Open from mid-April through the end of October, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays.
Info: (530) 629-2653, www.bigfootcountry.net
* The Seattle Museum of the Mysteries
Where: 623 Broadway E., Seattle
What you’ll see: Described as Washington’s only paranormal scientific museum, this institution holds maps of Bigfoot sightings, replicas of print casts and purported photos of sasquatch. Also on display are photos and information on UFOs, crop circles and haunted houses. The museum also boasts an oxygen bar, in case you get lightheaded from all the displays.
Hours: 10: a.m. to noon Mondays to Thursdays, 1 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays, 1 to 6:30 p.m. Sundays.
Admission: Suggested donations of $3 for adults, $2 for children 8 to 16 years old, children younger than 8 get in free.
Info: (206) 328-6499, www.seattlechatclub.org
* Washington State Capital Museum& Outreach Center
Where: 211 21st Ave. S.W., Olympia, Wash.
What you’ll see: The museum is hosting an exhibit called “Giants in the Mountains: The Search for Sasquatch.” The exhibit, organized by the Washington State Historical Society, includes tribal artifacts and artwork as well as physical evidence collected in the field by anthropologist Grover Krantz. The exhibit explores the scientific explanations, hoaxes and popular cultural interpretations of the Bigfoot legend. The exhibit ends Oct. 18.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday
Admission: Adults, $2; youths ages 6 to 18, $1; children younger than 6, free.
Info: (360) 753-2580, www.wshs.org/wscm/index.htm
* International Cryptozoology Museum
Address: P.O. Box 360, Portland, ME 04112
What you’ll see: Cryptozoology is the study of mysterious creatures such as mermaids and the Loch Ness Monster. This private museum is run by Loren Coleman, the author of “Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America” and “The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti & Other Mystery Primates Worldwide,” plus 30 other books. In his 48 years of researching Bigfoot, he has collected plaster casts, hair samples and other evidence that he claims prove that the creature exists. His museum includes tourist souvenirs, an 8-foot-tall Bigfoot model, Indian art and cultural artifacts.
Hours: Coleman will provide tours only by appointment.
Admission: Donations of $25 are suggested.
Info: To visit the museum, contact him at www.lorencoleman.com