Grayson • Olive Hill Quarterly Spring 2019 - Page 16

These are the types of questions that Seth Breedlove explores in his new six part documentary series "On the Trail of Bigfoot." This isn't Breedlove's first look at Bigfoot. His first foray into documentary filmmaking was a film on the Minerva Monster, a Bigfoot type creature reported from Minerva, Ohio, near where Breedlove grew up. His next two films, the Beast of Whitehall and Boggy Creek Monster looked at reports from Whitehall, New York and Fouke, Arkansas respectively. Another of his upcoming stand-alone films, Momo the Missouri Monster, looks at a rather peculiar series of sightings from that state in the early 1970s. While the second trilogy of films from his production company, Small Town Monsters, look at odd phenomenon across Appalachia, like Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster, he also discusses really strange Bigfoot sightings in conjunction with UFO reports in Invasion on Chestnut Ridge. So Bigfoot isn't a new phenomenon for Breedlove to explore. But by the time he went into making On the Trail Bigfoot, he said, he was fairly convinced there wasn't much to the phenomenon other than mistaken identity and 16 SPRING 2019 hysteria. If he had to put percentages on it, he said, he was about "30 percent sure" the sightings might represent a real creature, while the other 70 percent of him was skeptical. That began to change over the course of filming this new series though. Breedlove's journey to document Bigfoot reports, and those individuals who spend their time studying and searching for the creature, started in the PNW, before taking him to Oklahoma's Ouachita Mountains and back to our own TriState. Along the way, he said, experiences like those in the Ouachita Mountains' Area X (documented in episode five of On the Trail of Bigfoot) began to chip away at his skepticism, making him more open to the possibility that there might be more to some of the sighting reports. At this point Breedlove's production company has made seven stand-alone documentary films on strange reports of monsters across the U.S. He's travelled far and wide and interviewed multiple witnesses. But the filmmaker had never experienced any phenomenon himself. Nothing like the stories he had collected from others that sparked his