Department of Environmental Sciences is
pleased to present an interview with wildlife
education expert, Larry Battson, conducted by
USFW  Historian, Dr. Mark Madison.  

Battson had just delivered a lecture on the topic
of the Bigfoot phenomenon.

MADISON: So, Larry, why did you first become
interested in Bigfoot?

BATTSON: Well, I think it was maybe a
magazine article or book I read as a youngster, and I'd always had a mild interest in it. The
years [arrived] when I started working with animals and worked with Jim Fowler from the old
television program "Wild Kingdom."

He had an adventure in Russia where the -- they were filming Russian brown bears and all the
guides wanted to talk about was Bigfoot. So, I thought, that's pretty incredible. And so years
later -- I shouldn't say years -- shortly after that I was contacted by someone to actually
construct an exhibit on Bigfoot.

After doing a little bit of research and a few phone calls, I realized -- what's the expression,
"Where there's smoke, there's fire"? There was definitely something to this.
There's a great
possibility that we could share this planet with a bipedal mammal that may be not too far
from -- not too far from us."

MADISON: What types of evidence have you come across to support this idea of a bipedal
mammal like us?

BATTSON: Well, the footprints. They've been -- there's been tens of thousands of those found
all -- basically all around the world. The hair samples that when analyzed, they're said to be
unknown primate, but the hair samples were collected in places like in Northern California,
Washington and Oregon.  Feces, dung has been found that doesn't really tell anyone
anything except possibly the diet, which seems to be very similar to a bear.

But I tell you what, the tens of thousands of eyewitnesses, and we're talking about law
enforcement officers, rangers, scientists, people that have actually had a chance to see one
of these animals, usually for just a short glimpse, but realizing that, hey, this -- the moment
that we think we know everything that exists on this planet, we're really kidding ourselves."

MADISON: Have you ever seen one, Larry?

BATTSON: "I can't say for sure that I have. I've seen things that -- that looked weird or, you
know, a dark shadow, but until I actually see one, clear view, I can actually sit there and
observe it and study it for a few seconds, that's when I'll say I have seen one."

MADISON: I imagine a lot of people who have seen one have come to your various talks and

BATTSON: "Well, they have. In fact, believe it or not, when I was in Shepherdstown {WV], I was
approached by a gentleman from Virginia, and he'd had a sighting in 1995, and not only did
he see it, but he was with -- he's in the security business -- he was with two FBI agents that
saw it as well, and basically when they got out of the area where they had -- where they had
seen this animal, they pretty much made it clear that they would have no intentions of ever
going back there again."

MADISON: Sage advice, I'm sure. What fascinates you about Bigfoot so much that you travel
around the country to talk about it?

BATTSON: "Well, I think it's -- it's a pretty darned good story. I mean, some of the sightings
and some of the things that have been involved with it, I mean, it's just absolutely fascinating.
We did a lecture there in Shepherdstown that was an hour and 15 minutes long, and basically
I was just getting warmed up, because sometimes for some of these -- believe it or not, there
are actually Bigfoot organizations that have had me come in, or some of these library talks, I
get so wrapped up in what I've heard, I can't spill out the information quick enough and the
talks last two and three hours and everybody just sits there. I mean, it's really wild."

MADISON: How do you answer the critics, and I'm sure you've heard this before, who say,
"Well, you know, how come we don't have more film footage of Bigfoot or other -- or a dead
body," perhaps? I imagine these questions have been thrown at you quite a bit.

BATTSON: Well, they have, and they all -- you know, they're all legitimate, but there's, believe
me, several animals that we have on this planet that live in remote areas of the world there's
not that much film footage of. As far as a body, there were bones found up in Conneaut, Ohio
in a makeshift graveyard which were very large -- as they put it, very large human-like bones,
and, you know, in certain parts of the country -- you know, a bear skeleton looks very similar
to a human skeleton. So, who knows, maybe someone ventured across one of these things
thinking, wow, it's just a big bear. Just a possibility.

But someone asked me what evidence do we need -- "If I were to find a body, what should I
do?" I said, "Well, there's no way you're going to carry the whole body out, so just bring back
part of it and that will be enough for the scientists to prove the existence of this mammal."

MADISON: That's an interesting point. How big are these Bigfoots?

BATTSON: Well, I've gotten reports from the state of Washington, 23-inch track with an
eight-foot stride. So we'd be looking at an animal anywhere from eight to nine feet tall. Of
course, then, everybody says, "Well, how can something hide like that?" Well, don't give
yourself too much credit because mother nature, many creatures -- believe me, I've told
people when they walk through national parks and things, they say, "Oh, I'm so afraid of a
mountain lion." I said, "If you walked through most national parks in the western part of our
United States, if you've taken any kind of a hike, I will guarantee you that you've been
observed by a mountain lion from high up on a rock or high up in a tree or a black bear that
you had no idea that was close by."

MADISON:  Larry, one last question we should ask you... what is your day job in addition to
Bigfoot expert?

BATTSON: Well, the Bigfoot thing is kind of a sideline. In fact, it is a sideline. I'm a wildlife
educator. I travel all over the country with my collection of wild animals and visit about 200
schools each year. Of course, we come to the National Conservation Training Center every
October for the open house and do shows there and various other nature centers and so
that's what I do. I'm an educator. And then my wife and I on the side, we also write and
illustrate children's books. So we keep pretty busy. Plus raising baby animals. Right now we're
raising a bobcat kitten and a baby olive baboon. So that right there is a full-time job.

MADISON: Yeah, I think you said you were with the bobcat right before I got in touch with you.

BATTSON: Yeah, Cheryl, my wife was mixing up the formula and I was baby-sitting it, and right
now the bobcat is just starting to get its legs, and its teeth like little hypodermic needles, and,
you know, when you raise a kitten how physical they are, well, just imagine that kitten on
steroids and you'd have this -- give you an idea about what raising this bobcat's like.
MADISON: Larry, finally, if people wanted to learn more about Bigfoot or help support your
organization, is there a website or some means they could contact you and Cheryl?

BATTSON: Oh, absolutely. In fact, it's real easy to remember. It's, and
you can go to that website, and if you have a question or want to contact us about something
or the other, maybe doing a wildlife lecture or doing a Bigfoot lecture, they can go to the site
and e-mail me and I'll get back with you just as soon as I can.

MADISON:...Larry, we really appreciate your time. We appreciate you coming out to NCTC for
about the last 10 years during our open house and the Bigfoot lecture you just did out here.
Thank you very much.

Saint James College
Seminary doesn't
purport to know the
truth about Bigfoot
and his/her relatives

Our Department of Environmental
Sciences is located at the edge
of the Florida Everglades, which has its own version of Bigfoot.  For over a hundred years,
there have been reports of
"Skunk Ape" down our way.  This photo by David Shealy comes to
us courtesy of
Spotted Dog Studio Textile Arts which derives many of its dyes from plants
growing in the Everglades.
SAINT JAMES College Seminary
Department of Environmental Sciences
______________________________________________SPECIAL REPORT
Dr. Mark Madison, USFW
at a Glance

The U.S. Government and BIGFOOT...
...a fascinating interview with Larry Battson

Salish Native American word, "sésquac".   Roughly
sésquac means "wild man"
    anonymously to the
    nearby Sarasota
    County Sheriff's
    Department here in
    Florida. There were
    two pictures and a
    letter that said that
    on three separate
    nights the "ape" had
    gone up on the
    woman's porch and
    removed apples from
a bushel basket. Law Enforcement officer were called
to the small community of Myakka each time but
there was no Skunk Ape presence when the
deputies arrived.  The incident is thought by primary
researcher, Loren Coleman, to have occurred close
to Fruitville and Tuttle Roads, just off Highway 64.  

We here at Saint James had two of our own researchers at that exact location this
week but we did not collect any Skunk Ape hair, droppings...or photos.

It should be noted that Colemen is not some wide-eyed nutcase but is, rather, a noted  
Cryptozoologist.  He studied anthropology and zoology at Southern Illinois University,
and also psychiatric social work at the Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston.
Coleman continued his education with studies in anthropology at Brandeis University and at
the University of New Hampshire, where he studied sociology.  He is also no stranger to the
classroom as he taught at the university level from1980 to 2004.

The letter that accompanied the photos when they were sent to the sheriff's office appears
below in excerpt form....

Myakka is located in the county adjacent to Saint James College Seminary's
Department of Environmental Sciences.

Dear Sir or Madam,
Oct of 2000.  ... It is in a crouching position in the middle of
standing up from where it was sitting.  It froze as soon as the flash
sent off.  I didn't even see it as I took the first picture, because
Enclosed please find some pictures I took in late September or early
Oct of 2000.  ... It is in a crouching position in the middle of
standing up from where it was sitting.  It froze as soon as the flash
sent off.  I didn't even see it as I took the first picture, because
it was so dark.  As soon as the flash sent off for the second time it
stood up and started to move...from where I was standing, I judge it
as being about six and a half to seven feet tall in a kneeling
position.  As soon as I realized how close it was I got back to the

It had an awful smell that lasted well after it had left my yard....  
If I had known it was this close to the hedge roll as it was I
wouldn't have walked up as close as I did.  I'm a senior citizen and
if this animal had come out of the hedge roll after me there wasn't a
thing I could have done about it.  I was about ten foot away from it
when it stood up.  I'm concerned because my grandchildren like to
come down and explore in my back yard.  

An animal this big could hurt someone seriously.  For two nights
prior, it had been taking apples that my daughter brought down from
up north, off our back porch.  These pictures were taken on the third
night it had raided my apples.  It only came back one more night
after that and took some apples that my husband had left out in order
to get a better look at it...we waited up but eventually had to go to
God Bless
I prefer to remain anonymous
Photo fromPatterson-Gimlin
film, which Roger Patterson and
Robert Gimlin say shows a