You may have heard it reported this past weekend, but Hastings hosted the first-ever Nebraska Bigfoot Conference last Friday and Saturday.
According to the Hastings Tribune, the two-day conference included filmmakers, investigators, researchers and educators.
The Hastings article spotlights a former Benedict resident whose family experienced a Bigfoot encounter in 1973.
The woman is quoted as saying: “A gentlemen from York saw it run across the highway from our house. He doesn’t talk about it anymore, but he came up to my folks’ place and could hardly talk. My mom said his eyes were really big and when he could finally get some words out they called the sheriff. My boyfriend and I came home from a football game and there were spotlights going in the field and on the road. They were looking for something. That night, everyone was kind of nervous about it. My brother, Gary Reetz, who is seven years older than me, felt like someone was watching him from the barn. He and his buddies got guns out and looked for it.”
According to the story, signs that an intruder had visited the area included a “Stop Ahead” sign pulled out of the ground and left at the scene. Little else was ever mentioned about the incident or subsequent investigation."
The Hastings article recounts other sightings, as well -- from those who attended the conference last weekend.
As faithful readers of this blog know, several years ago, the Dorchester Times published a controversial story about possible Saline County sightings of a Bigfoot -- the elusive forest-dwelling man-ape, also known as a Sasquatch.
As we reported back in 2008, a longtime Dorchester area resident -- now deceased -- once told a Times staff member that he had clearly seen a creature resembling Bigfoot. While his family dismissed the accounts, the elderly resident insisted the creature really existed.
According to the resident, the Bigfoot-like creature was spotted in the woods of Turkey Creek near Pleasant Hill in the mid-1980s. The creature was witnessed for about 30 seconds as the gentleman was driving along what is now County Road II, south of Pleasant Hill. The creature, described as over 10-feet tall, quickly disappeared into the thick vegetation surrounding the creek, according to the witness' account.
The Times was also told of another Dorchester area resident, a World War II veteran, who had seen what is called "the Johnson Creek monster." According to our sources, in the early 1970s, this individual and his son saw it several times at their residence, which was near Johnson Creek. This individual's son has reported that the entire family once saw it in their yard. The details given made it sound as though the specimen resembled a traditional Bigfoot as depicted in popular culture, except smaller. It was described as a small, upright ape-like creature.
To be clear, the Dorchester Times is highly skeptical of the existence of Bigfoot.
Nonetheless, we can't forget the sincere accounts we have heard about the Dorchester area Bigfoot-like creatures.