Bigfoot could be alive and well in East Texas and some enthusiasts are going to try to find him.
“If Bigfoot really exists, I can guarantee you our dogs will find him,” Brad Croft of Universal K-9 said, according to a news release.
One of the places they could be searching is the Mineola Nature Preserve. The preserve is on the Sabine River and has 2,911 acres of city-owned land.
More than a dozen man-made ponds are speckled on the property as well as walking trails and pavilions.
Mineola Mayor Bo Whitus said hunting is not allowed on the property, with the exception of periodic youth deer hunts. This was attractive to the “Finding Bigfoot” crews, he said.
Whitus said the locals tell stories of bear and cougar sightings in the preserve, but they never have been validated.
He had never heard the subject of Bigfoot come up until seven or eight months ago when a maintenance worker spotted a strange vehicle far into nature.
The maintenance worker “was at the river and coming back up close to a slough,” Whitus said. “There was an old car sitting there, and it concerned our guy, so he called the police department. They ran the tag, and it was from the Dallas area.”
As officers got close, they noticed fruit on top of the car and found a young man lying in the grass near the area.
“We don’t know how he got his car that far down into the preserve, but he did …” Whitus said. “He heard a radio announcer say there was a sighting in East Texas, and the guy took out a map and mathematically deduced this was the place for him to be.”
The man was not ticketed but was given a talking to and sent on his way, Whitus said.
“It was a coincidence that we had just finished one of the bridges, (so) one of them is called Bigfoot Bridge,” Whitus said. “We were trying to reinforce the story to try to create a little interest in what is going on in East Texas.”
The name must have worked because Whitus said the city received a letter from “Finding Bigfoot” before Christmas on its interests of filming a show on the property.
Staff writer Emily Guevara contributed to this report.