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alleged Bigfoot photo
Artist's rendition of Bigfoot

ITC to host April 8 bigfoot panel discussion

By Alison Beshur
Public Affairs Specialist

(April 5, 2006)--Bigfoot. Hairy Man. Sasquatch. All are names for a larger-than-human ape-like creature that has been spotted in Texas as far back as the 1830s and reported seen hundreds of times during the past decade in different parts of the state.

Still, there are skeptics.

The "Bigfoot in Texas?" exhibit and speaker series at UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures evaluates findings, beliefs, folklore and methods of scientific investigation of the Bigfoot phenomenon.

The exhibit opens Friday, April 7 and runs through Sunday, July 30. Local and national speakers are scheduled for four panel discussions on April 8, May 6, June 3 and July 8 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

>> Learn more about current and upcoming events at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

John Davis, executive director of the museum, said the exhibit is an "examination of a facet of Texas culture from folk belief to the nature of scientific proof."

"Culture is everything humans create and transmit and is more than just tools, equipment, foods and music. Culture also encompasses the way we approach life, the way we define births, deaths, success, ourselves, other people and the world itself," Davis said. "Culture includes beliefs and science, folklore, newspapers, rumors, and the stories we tell each other."

UTSA's ITC is working with Craig Woolheater, co-founder and director of the Texas Bigfoot Research Center near Dallas, to produce the "Bigfoot in Texas?" exhibit, which includes a re-creation of the Big Thicket of East Texas, vocalizations, the Skookum body cast and documentary, "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science."

Woolheater said the exhibit "features a sampling of some of the most credible and historically significant evidence in support of the existence of an undocumented bipedal ape in North America, including for the first time, compelling regional evidence."

"The timing of the exhibit corresponds to increased public interest and recent calls for study from some of the world's most respected scientists," Woolheater said. "In addition, the speaker series enables Texans to hear some of the most active and knowledgeable researchers involved with the investigation of the Bigfoot phenomenon."

While UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures is partnering with the Texas Bigfoot Research Center to produce the exhibit, it is not taking a stand on the existence or non-existence of the "Woolly Booger."

Admission to UTSA's ITC is $7 adults, $4 children ages 12 and younger, seniors ages 65 and older, and military with ID. Admission is free for UTSA students, faculty and staff with a UTSACard.

For more information, visit the Institute of Texan Cultures Web site or call (210) 458-2330.

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Four-part speaker series

"Bigfoot in Texas?," April 8, 1-5 p.m.

Featuring: Daryl G. Colyer, field researcher for the Texas Bigfoot Research Center and former Airborne Cryptologic Russian Linguist for USAF Intelligence; Kathy Moskowitz-Strain, forest archaeologist, Heritage Program manager at Stanislaus National Forest in Sonora, Calif., and presenter of paper: Mayak datat: An Archaeological Viewpoint of the Hairy Man Pictograph; Peter Byrne, executive director of the International Wildlife Conservation Society and author of The Search for Bigfoot: Monster, Myth or Man?; and Catherine Cooke, CEO of The Mountain Institute and former executive director of The Mind Science Foundation.

Evidence, Collection and Examination of Bigfoot, May 6, 1-5 p.m.

Featuring: Jeff Meldrum, associate professor of anatomy and adjunct associate professor of anthropology at Idaho State University and researcher of Sasquatch; Jimmy Chilcutt, forensic consultant and retired Conroe police officer with nearly two decades of fingerprint and crime scene investigation experience; and Rick Noll, long-time researcher of Bigfoot and principal member of the expedition group that found and collected the Skookum Body cast in 2000.

Cultural and Sociological Phenomenon of Bigfoot, June 3, 1-5 p.m.

Featuring: Loren Coleman, world-renowned cryptozoologist and author of Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology; and Benjamin Radford, managing editor of The Skeptical Inquirer and Spanish-language Pensar and author of dozens of articles on urban legends, mass hysteria, mysterious creatures and media criticism.

Wildlife Biologist Examination of Bigfoot, July 8, 1-5 p.m.

Featuring: Daryl G. Colyer, field researcher for the Texas Bigfoot Research Center and former Airborne Cryptologic Russian Linguist for USAF Intelligence; and Alton Higgins, field biologist for the Texas Bigfoot Research Center.

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