Bigfoot Research Project

During a 2016 meeting of the Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Bigfoot Research Project, Fred Saluga, a Luzerne Township native now living in West Virginia, left, and Maria Davidson, of Connellsville, examine three casts of tracks from the region possibly made by Bigfoot creatures. The group is presenting the Fayette County Bigfoot Symposium from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 16 at the Morrell Volunteer Fire Company. Admission is free.

The Fayette County Bigfoot Symposium has been planned for local residents who may want to learn more about the legend of Sasquatch.

The event is set for 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 16 at the Morrell Volunteer Fire Company Event Center, Route 119, Dunbar Township.

Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Bigfoot Research Project is presenting the symposium while the fire company is the sponsor. Admission is free.

“Everybody’s interested in Bigfoot,’’ said Fred Saluga, Bigfoot Research Project director.

Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, has been described as a large, hairy, smelly creature who walks on two feet and can be found predominately in forests and rural areas. Bigfoot is considered a myth, but there are those who are not so sure. For years, media across the nation have published reports of sightings and encounters, often by people rattled by their experiences.

Organizers of the event said participants can learn more about Bigfoot as well as UFOs and the paranormal: "Hear reports of local Bigfoot activities. Learn Bigfoot search techniques. Report your own Bigfoot encounters.''

Featured speakers include:

Saluga, a native of Luzerne Township now living in West Virginia who also serves as West Virginia director and Pennsylvania assistant director for MUFON (Mutual UFO Network).

Brian Seech, of Hopewell, Pennsylvania, who is founder of both the Center for Unexplained Events and The Center for Cryptozoological Studies and has appeared on Destination America’s “Mysteries and Monsters’’ television series.

John Ventre, of Greensburg, who is former director of Pennsylvania MUFON and appeared on the History Channel’s “Hangar 1” television series.

Johnny Freeman, of Brownsville, who is a Bigfoot researcher and member of the Bigfoot Research Project.

Doug Waller, of Cambridge, Ohio, and a member of the Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigations.

Tony Lavorgne, of Pittsburgh, who is a published author, paranormal researcher and operates a podcast.

“The speakers will be followed by a town hall for anybody who wants to talk about paranormal experiences – if they’ve seen anything,'' said Maria Davidson, of Connellsville, who is a member of the Bigfoot Research Project.

Food and T-shirts will be available for purchase.

The symposium will benefit the Morrell Volunteer Fire Company through a $10 donation from vendors and other fundraising activities taking place during the event. Vendors who are interested in tables can contact Bob Scholz at 724-323-2738.

The Bigfoot Research Project started about five years ago. Group members, who share a fascination with the legendary creature, hosted a similar event at the Patsy Hillman Park in Hiller last year that attracted about 500 people and benefited the park.

“We’re a grassroots organization that helps our local community by donating our time and resources,’’ said Saluga.

Saluga and Davidson noted the area continues to have Bigfoot sightings and that local residents remain intrigued by Bigfoot.

Saluga commented, “I think it’s the mystery of what is it? Where is it? And what’s it about?’’

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