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Bigfoot gets his big break

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  • Dr. Daniel Nephilim
    http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/entertainment/tv/s_388282.html Bigfoot gets his big break By Sam Kusic TRIBUNE-REVIEW Thursday, October 27, 2005
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2005
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      Bigfoot gets his big break

      By Sam Kusic
      Thursday, October 27, 2005

      Despite Wednesday's cold and rain, 8-year-old Dylan
      Rectenwald was allowed to play outside.
      He was having fun, pretending to be chased around
      Ligonier Township by a man in a Bigfoot costume.

      Rectenwald, who lives in Hempfield Township, is one of
      the area residents who are re-enacting tales of
      reported Bigfoot encounters and UFO sightings for a
      Canadian television show called "Creepy Canada." This
      week, its crew is filming segments in Westmoreland

      The show retells urban legends and documents the
      paranormal and supernatural, according to creator and
      director Bill Burke. Among the stories being told are
      several Bigfoot sightings in which area residents
      claim to have seen a hairy, apelike creature standing
      nearly 8 to 10 feet tall with footprints 17 or more
      inches in length.

      Though the name of his show suggests otherwise, at
      least half of its newer segments are about people and
      places in America, Burke said. He and his crew are
      currently putting together pieces about a wave of UFO
      and Bigfoot sightings that took place around here in

      Their lead source is Stan Gordon, a Greensburg
      resident who has been studying the phenomena for

      As Gordon explains it, in 1973 there was a wave of UFO
      sightings across the country. And in the late summer
      and fall of that year, there was a rash of Bigfoot
      sightings in Western Pennsylvania.

      On some occasions, he said, there were reports of UFOs
      and Bigfoot being seen together.

      Re-enacting some of stories from that time, some of
      the show's scenes are filmed at a Ligonier Township
      mobile home park and in the fields around the Lady of
      the Lake bed and breakfast, which is also in the
      township. There are also plans to shoot footage at the
      Laurel Caverns in Fayette County for an unrelated

      Some of the cast are local actors. Some have never
      acted before, like Rectenwald.

      There's also John Shissler, the big man in the Bigfoot

      At 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds, his enemies would call him
      trouble. His buddies call him Sasquatch, another name
      for the mythic creature.

      He's got the credentials you'd want in a fellow cast
      to play Bigfoot.

      "It's a role of a lifetime," said the Bethel Park
      resident. "I've been in rehearsal for 47 years."

      He's never acted before, not that it matters. As he'd
      said, there's really not much to his role.

      "Just grunt a little bit," he said.

      Rectenwald's role also is simple. Walk up to a
      thicket. Presume there's a deer in there and flush it
      out by throwing some rocks. Act scared when Bigfoot
      pops out.

      Playing a paranormal investigator is Ken Cooper, who's
      performed with the Greensburg Civic Theater for 10

      He said this work is different from stage work because
      there really aren't lines to recite. The action, he
      said, is the important thing.

      "You've got to look the part," Cooper said.

      Many most likely will take the reports the show is
      re-creating as hogwash. Burke, however, said he thinks
      there is something to them.

      "There's a lot more out there that we don't know
      about," he said. "It's a big, strange world."

      And he believes the people who reported the encounters
      are truthful, he said. "These are not people sitting
      around with aluminum foil on their heads."

      And if people aren't convinced of anything, no matter.

      "It's just interesting drama," he said.

      "Creepy Canada" is in its third season, and airs on
      Canadian station CTV.

      Nephilim's Paranormal Investigations - http://paranorm.cjb.net

      Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
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