One man said he believes Bigfoot or Sasquatch is roaming remote areas of the United States, including an area in Missouri not that far from Kansas City. He took KCTV5's Brad Stephens and a photographer out for a night of "squatchin".
What Scott Nelson hears in his headphones is strange, disturbing and unexplainable.
"Yes, I've heard him speak. And you will hear him speak here in a moment," Nelson said when asked if he thinks Bigfoot exists.
Nelson retired from the Navy after a 17-year career as a crypto-linguist, intercepting Russian communications and decoding them. Currently, he is a professor at Wentworth College in Missouri.
"Because of what I did in the Navy, spending years and several thousand hours speeding the human voice up and slowing it down, I could just detect language in those vocalizations," he said.
The vocalizations were captured on audiotape in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains by a group of hunters in the early 70s. Nelson came across them a few years ago while helping his son write a paper on Bigfoot.
"I said, 'Stevie there's language here.' He said, 'Dad, how can that be? It sounds like a bunch of apes fighting to me.' I said, 'We have to slow it down, like dad used to do in the Navy.'"
When that happened, Nelson said he instantly knew three things about the sounds he was hearing. No. 1, he was hearing a language; No. 2, it was not human; and No. 3, it was not fake.
It was at that point Nelson became a Bigfoot believer and researcher.
"The number of reports have increased; it's becoming more and more accepted for people to come out and say, 'I had this strange experience, it terrified me and I need to talk about it,'" he said.
In fact, Bigfoot has never been bigger. There seems to be new, amateur video of Sasquatch turning up more frequently. The most famous, of course, is the Patterson film made in 1967.
Skeptics say each and every one of the videos is fake. But Nelson said not only is Bigfoot real, he's right in our backyard.
"A big, gigantic, hairy wildman," Nelson said. "Throughout Missouri, the reports go back over 100 years."
Nelson said there have been numerous reports of Bigfoot activity up and down the Missouri River Corridor.
"There are two places in Missouri, one right here, 10 minutes away, called Monkey Mountain. Now, there's a reason pioneers called it Monkey Mountain," he said.
Nelson offered to take Stephens to the nearby location where he said there has been a lot of Bigfoot activity and Stephens accepted. They went looking for the so-called "Missouri Monster" deep in the woods in the dark of the night.
Their hunt for Sasquatch began on the outskirts of Lee's Summit, MO. Nelson took Stephens and his photographer to a remote area of Jackson County where he says there has been plenty of recent unexplained activity.
"We might hear animal mimicry, like an owl, but something doesn't sound quite like an owl sound," Nelson said.
Once the trio is out of the vehicle, Nelson makes sure his recorder is on, then announces their arrival with a strange-sounding yell that is reminiscent of Tarzan's howl.
It may seem strange, but Nelson welcomes skeptics, after being made a believer himself when he heard recordings of similar sounds. He's convinced the sounds were made by a group of Bigfoot communicating with one another.
"That's just letting them know we're here and we're trying to communicate," Nelson said with a laugh.
Within minutes, their small group is deep in the woods with only their pitch black surroundings to keep them company. At one spot they stop and Nelson says it's where he's encountered something strange before.
"It's right over here that I was hit by the smell," he said. "We heard this very deep guttural grunt, snarl like this (mimics a grunting noise), very close to us."
Not only does Nelson believe Bigfoot roams the woods near Lee's Summit, he said research indicates there could be thousands of them in North America. And he has a response for skeptics who ask him why, if there's so many, people don't see them.
"We do. More and more we do. The BFRO website was only started in 1996, the Bigfoot Field Research Organization has 30,000 reports," he said.
Moments later the trio comes across dead branches and twigs piled together.
"There's really no reason for a human to build that. It's believed by the research community that this might be used as a hunting blind, so they might hunker down behind this, waiting for a deer to walk by," Nelson said.
Nelson has been in the woods many times and said he never comes alone.
In the end, there was no Bigfoot sighting the night KCTV went out with Nelson, but Stephens still walked away with a consolation prize.
"Well, at least you can say you've been 'squatchin'. Nice thing about it is you get to go for a walk in the woods and, whether you're successful or not, you still get to go for a walk out in the woods," Nelson said as they headed back to their car.
Click here to find out more about Nelson's research.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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