Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot

Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot

Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot

Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot


Bigfoot sightings have been reported in every state except Hawaii. Interest in this creature, which many believe to be as mythical as a leprechaun, is as strong today as ever, with the wildly popular show Finding Bigfoot persisting on the Animal Planet network and references to bigfoot appearing throughout popular culture. What is it about bigfoot that causes some people to devote a chunk of their lives to finding one?

In Monster Trek, Joe Gisondi brings to life the celebrities in bigfoot culture: people such as Matt Moneymaker, Jeff Meldrum, and Cliff Barackman, who explore remote wooded areas of the country for weeks at a time and spend thousands of dollars on infrared imagers, cameras, and high-end camping equipment. Pursuing the answer to why these seekers of bigfoot do what they do, Gisondi brings to the reader their most interesting--and in many cases, harrowing--expeditions.

Gisondi travels to eight locations across the country, trekking into swamps, mountains, state parks, and remote woods with people in search of bigfoot as well as fame, fortune, adventure, and shared camaraderie. Many of the people who look for bigfoot, however, go counter to stereotypes and include teachers, engineers, and bankers. Some are private and guarded about their explorations, seeking solitude during a deeply personal quest. While there are those who might arguably be labeled "crazy," Gisondi discovers that the bigfoot research network is far bigger and more diverse than he ever imagined.


Believing in bigfoot’s a matter of faith.

Let me confess: I dig reading about the paranormal — ghosts flitting around old homes, chupacabras sucking the blood of goats and chickens in Puerto Rico, Nessie eluding searchers in a Scottish loch, UFOS soaring through western skies. What’s not to enjoy? I devoured these stories with millions of other Americans as a kid. I also learned that explorers like Admiral Byrd descended into middle earth from openings found in Antarctica and that lycanthropic people shape-shift into werewolves under a full moon. Did a large, hairy, man-like creature living deep in the Pacific Northwest woods scare hikers, abduct campers, and topple tractors sent to destroy its homeland in Northern California? Duh.

These stories all seemed real, especially to a ten-year-old kid reading them in a newspaper tossed on the coffee table right next to the Newark Star-Ledger, the New York Daily News, and the Bridgewater Courier-News. How could I not believe? How was any of this crazier than the stories in the Star-Ledger about men killing store clerks over fifty bucks? Or articles about gangs that raped young girls in the Bronx? Or even politicians taking . . .

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