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Pennsylvania Bigfoot, the Jacobs Photos and More - Do you Believe?

Updated on May 4, 2017
The "S" bend in Cooperstown, PA
The "S" bend in Cooperstown, PA

Strange Happenings in NW Pennsylvania in the early 1980s

In the early 1980’s, I dated an avid hunter who supplemented his income by hunting, tanning and selling raccoon pelts. If you are a coon hunter, you spend many nights in the woods among nocturnal wildlife. This man had been hunting raccoons from a young age and he was familiar with the sights and sounds of the woods at night. One night, in Venango County, Pennsylvania at place he called the “S” bend; he heard a scream unlike anything he had yet to hear while hunting. It made even this tough guy's hair stand up and all the more so when he couldn’t locate his hounds. He eventually found them shivering with fright in the back of his pickup truck huddled in their dog boxes. He didn’t waste any time leaving the area.

Eventually, they would surmise that the scream had come from a big cat located in the area and that might be the end of the story, if a nearby “S” bend resident and fellow hunter hadn’t showed him a Polaroid of a large footprint he found in the mud on an old logging road close by. Over 30 years ago, I saw this Polaroid and listened to their stories - perhaps that's when I developed a strange curiosity about Bigfoot.


Doesn't Bigfoot live in California and Oregon?

When we think of Bigfoot, we usually think of what’s commonly known as the Patterson/Gimlin film. This famous piece was shot in October 1967 with a 16 MM camera by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin in California at a place known as Bluff Creek. The story goes that the two men went looking for Bigfoot after road construction workers had discovered large human-like tracks in the area. The Patterson/Gimlin footage, now the most famous Bigfoot footage, shows a large apelike creature walking, long arms swinging, away from the camera - turning once to pensively see who is following. Shortly thereafter, the footage jumps wildly as Patterson, a former rodeo cowboy, claims to have been thrown from the horse he is riding. Although there has been much discussion and analysis, the authenticity of the footage has never been proven or disproven.

So what is going on in Pennsylvania?

But that is California and I live in Pennsylvania. Animal Planet’s Bigfoot researchers have shot episodes researching possible bigfoot footage taken close to New York City and footage obtained in Salt Fork State Park (Ohio). Both states border Pennsylvania, so many have questioned, “What about Pennsylvania?" Could our state harbor Bigfoot as well?

The PA Bigfoot Society was founded in 1998 by Steve Anderson and Henry Benton whose members investigate submitted reports and conduct research in the state of Pennsylvania. Their site boasts multiple Bigfoot sightings dating back years and said sightings are categorized by county. You’d be surprised where people claim to have seen or heard the creature.

Perhaps the most famous Pennsylvania sighting was not with the naked eye and comes to us from Elk County, Pennsylvania. In 2007, deer hunter Rick Jacobs captured the still of a strange creature from a trail cam he mounted on a tree and was monitoring. The animal in the photographs was dubbed, “Jacobs Creature”. According to reports, “The Pennsylvania Game Commission said that photos the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization claimed showed a juvenile Bigfoot were most likely of a bear with mange.” The story was picked up by the Associated Press and eventually the images started being broadcast on CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC and Fox News.

Many articles and Wiki's on the Web point to a writer, researcher and journalist from Duke University named Vanessa Woods, who they purport wrote an article that showed that the proportions of the Jacobs creature were not similar to a bears. The article appeared in a magazine for children called, Scientriffic. I have visited Vanessa's Website and she is who she says she is having much experience with primates and primate research; however, I wasn't able to obtain a copy of the article online.

So does Bigfoot live closer to us physically than we initially thought? And are we any closer to knowing whether this crypto zoological animal really exists? One popular scientific tool, DNA analysis, may have the answers.

Will DNA evidence put the issue to rest?

Making headlines in May 2012 on, researchers from Oxford University and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology are asking anyone with a collection of cryptozoological material to submit descriptions of it. According to the article, "The researchers will then ask for hair and other samples for genetic identification." It appears some scientists want to put the whole “Bigfoot” issue to rest once and for all and geneticist Bryan Sykes of the University of Oxford is posing the challenge. "I'm challenging and inviting the cryptozoologists to come up with the evidence instead of complaining that science is rejecting what they have to say," says Sykes.

After all, who can argue with science?

Do you believe?

As for this writer, on November 11th, much to the chagrin of my friends and family, I let my curiosity get the best of me and tuned into the latest season of Finding Bigfoot. I didn't find it much different from the previous seasons with a lot of eyewitness testimony and not much else. Just for fun, I'll probably tune in for the next episode - at least until science disproves the existence of Bigfoot once and for all.

Do you believe?

Does Bigfoot exist?

See results


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    • Kodi Farmer-Riley profile image


      8 months ago from Iowa

      THIS WAS AWESOME!! You need to watch Mountain Monsters

    • Harmel profile image

      Melody Gibbons 

      18 months ago from Staff Ave Cochranton Pa 16314

      It cracks me up in a way, because we just watched "Harry and the Hendersons" with my granddaughter. But who knows for sure. Nice article, Carla.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      My dad was a doctor and lived in an affluent neighborhood in Glenshaw, PA. There, one of his rich neighbors told him that he saw Big Foot drinking out of his swimming pool. So, if this guy wasn't lying, they tread closer to us than most of us think.

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      4 years ago from NW PA

      Me too! Thanks for the read!

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 

      4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Something sure scared those hounds. I am very curious over this elusive creature. I love watching the Finding Bigfoot show, it really is entertaining.

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      5 years ago from NW PA

      Thanks Au Fait - I think I'll stay out of the woods at night : )

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      I have no opinion on this subject as there is no proof one way or the other. I will tell you that a lynx scream will scare the blankety-blank out of you, especially in a still night. Interesting read, and well written.

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      5 years ago from NW PA

      And I think scientific evidence is going to be the biggest deciding factor. It should be interesting to watch unfold. Thanks for the read.

    • frogyfish profile image


      5 years ago from Central United States of America

      An interesting read here. I am not totally convinced, but I definitely lean toward Mr. Bigfoot being a real/rare creature. As you stated, ALL those people couldn't be lying.

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      5 years ago from NW PA

      Thank you, Diana!! Much appreciated.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 

      5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      This is a good hub and certainly something to think about. Voted up.

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      5 years ago from NW PA

      OH yes, I have seen that. Crazy!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      If you havn't seen this yet carlajbehr, go to YouTube for "police capture video of BF in Georgia" or something similar. It's a night time police vid from the foothills of a tall hairy biped crossing the highway at Olympic speed from a standing start.

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      5 years ago from NW PA

      Thank you for your comment, Alastar. I agree, there are alot of eye witness reports. The scientific community does rely heavily on evidence as that's what scientists are paid to do. Either way, I was really impressed by the Finding Bigfoot episode a few weeks back wherein some local district justices had a sighting and actually moved because of it. I've seen documentaries on sightings by law enforcement officers, marines and etc. Not all these folks can be lying. I think we're very close. Yes, the Chupacabra is great evidence that species exist that we are not privy to. As with any mystery, and is the nature of humans (think politics) - there will always be heated sides in this debate. Does Bigfoot or does he not exist. Again, thanks for sharing.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      The bottom line on BF ought to be the myriad of witness reports. There are just far too many from reputable people for something unusual not to be going on, and by that I mean the BF exist. For heavens sake can not eyewitnesses to a heinous crime send a person to their death in the US? We, the public that is, shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking present day science knows everything there is to know or the PTB would clue us in if they in fact knew something more about this subject.

      BF reports and encounters go way back in time and legends here in N America. The Patterson film has been all proved by 21st century techniques to be a very big female BF. And let's not forget the Chupacabra tooth found in a bloodless carcass that was rigorously tested by a respected laboratory for over a year and their conclusions that the tooth came from an unknown species.

      As far as East Coast BF go, perhaps it pays to think outside the box. Observations in one place out west that has been investigated by a team of scientists suggest some astounding possibilities for how BF can show up they wouldn't be expected to.

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      5 years ago from NW PA

      Thanks John - I'll see if I can conjur up anymore PA stories for you!

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 

      5 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      Enjoyed this hub tremendously! I must say though, I now am not as afraid of meeting up with Big Foot . The thought of meeting up with a bear with mange scares me to death!

      Voted up. Look forward to more.

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      5 years ago from NW PA

      Thanks for sharing, Teaches and Cryptid!

    • cryptid profile image


      5 years ago from Earth

      Great Hub, carla! Don't be ashamed about watching Finding Bigfoot. Think of it as "educational" programming. :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I have watched the Big Foot series as well, very interesting! I wouldn't know what to do if I came across this giant. I think it scares some people so much that they will not venture outdoors at night in some areas. Enjoyed your article.

    • carlajbehr profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla J Swick 

      6 years ago from NW PA

      Excellent piece, John. Thanks for sharing. It certainly puts things into perspective psychologically and physically.

    • chrissieklinger profile image


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Have you heard about the Lockness type monster at Raystown Lake in Huntingdon, PA? I think anything is possible, with all the junk we dispose of filled with chemicals, mutations are a real possibility!

    • tammyswallow profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Very interesting investigative report. I had a brother in law in SW PA who swears to this day he saw a Bigfoot while delivering papers in the early hours of the morning. I think anything is possible but the lack of physical evidence really says a lot. Great work!

    • profile image

      Susan Althof 

      6 years ago

      Good job Carla!!!


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