“We have bears, we have mountain lions and guess what? We have Bigfoot,” says Michael Johnson, a founding member of Sasquatch Investigations of the Rockies who just opened the Bigfoot, Yowie and Yeti store at 2346 South Colorado Boulevard.
Johnson's fascination with Bigfoot started 25 years ago. “I found some footprints out by Pikes Peak on a Thanksgiving holiday break that went places I didn’t expect them to go,” he remembers. “I started following them into a canyon about 800 feet deep, because believe it or not, I used to go into these places by myself a lot. One morning I was down there and I came face to face with a male Sasquatch.” Turning when he heard some rocks slide, Johnson says he saw Bigfoot standing about twenty yards away.
Johnson is one of ten professional Sasquatch investigators researching and documenting the presence of Bigfoot in Colorado — and he's not alone in having a close encounter with these creatures. Each team member has a Sasquatch story and has witnessed some sort of proof, he says.
Before he met Ron Petersen, a member of the SIR investigation team, "we were both following the same route,” Johnson says. “The evidence just started piling up after a while.” That evidence includes photos of handprints, footprints and even Sasquatch sightings, as well as recorded wood knocks taken during the team's overnight expeditions. The public has become fascinated with this proof, and Johnson and his team often take people into the woods to experience the “fear cage.”
“I can show you real things and what to look for, things in the forest that don’t lie,” Johnson explains. “When people come on these trips, they get put in the fear cage when they’re faced with something they didn’t really think was real. People act differently in the fear cage. Some cry, or leave, or never want to go again. But some believe.”
Fascinated believers and non-believers are all over the world. SIR's website has attracted nearly 120,000 viewers from around the globe since 2011, and most of those visitors wanted Bigfoot memorabilia. “A lot of people have asked us to buy T-shirts and other stuff, which really just allows us to be back in the field more often,” Johnson says, explaining the impetus behind setting up a store to fund research. “This costs a lot of money, and for years I was paying for this out of my own pocket.”
“Bigfoot, Yowie and Yeti is only two months old, but it’s a symbiotic business,” Johnson says, explaining that all of the merchandise is handcrafted by SIR partner Petersen and his wife. “It’s an easy thing to do, sending business both ways. And again, it all allows us to be in the field.”
Autographed books, apparel and custom canvas artwork are among the items that can be purchased online or in the store. You have to go to the store on South Colorado Boulevard to get the special Sasquatch statue. “If you buy Frank, our Sasquatch statue, we’ll throw you a Bigfoot party,” Johnson promises. “We’ll bring Frank to your house and tell Sasquatch stories.”
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To see photographic evidence and listen to the Bigfoot audio, click here to reach the Sasquatch Investigations of the Rockies website. Get started with Christmas shopping early and purchase Bigfoot slippers on the Bigfoot, Yowie and Yeti website.
Stay tuned for an exclusive Sasquatch expedition, and follow @laureneverytime to get in on the Bigfoot action.