By McKenna Hunt
Matthew Braun and his four roommates enjoy being out in nature and watching “Finding Bigfoot” together. They figured at least a couple other Western students shared their same passions.
“We were like ‘Shoot, what if we made this a reality?’” Braun’s roommate and Pacific Northwest Bigfoot Research Club Treasurer Elliot Scott said.
Scott said the idea of the club, shortened to PBR, is to catch some evidence and learn the real methods of finding Bigfoot.
The club description on the Western Associated Students club website states that the members are, “committed to collecting data, tracing the droppings, rituals, noises, and migration of these creatures to understand their elusive behavior and their overall role in the PNW ecosystem.”
Braun said activities in the club will center around excursions out into the wilderness to search for Bigfoot and using various research methods to do so.
Braun said there will be a lot of overnight camping excursions because Bigfoot is most active in the night. He said day trips will be planned as well.
So far, current research methods will include the imitation of Bigfoot communication through “tree knocks” and specific calls, Braun said. Trail cameras will also be strategically placed where sightings are most common.
“It has been said that they communicate through Bigfoot calls and tree knocks,” Braun said. “I think we’ll try to imitate that and try to get a response.”
Braun said there are 300 Bigfoot sightings every year in the Pacific Northwest alone, which is almost one per day.
Scott said a large portion of Bigfoot sightings happen all over Washington state.
The internet can be daunting in terms of receiving credible information about Bigfoot, Braun said, but the club has credible sources that they use for reference and to present in meetings.
As far as location goes for the club’s excursions, Scott and Braun are interested in heading towards Olympic National Park. Braun said Olympic National Park holds the most Bigfoot sightings in the world. Scott said Snohomish County has also had a significant amount of sightings.
Scott said they would come out with a research paper detailing their findings if they found Bigfoot.
“All four of us founding members will be authors and co-authors and the rest of the club will get mentioned,” Scott said. “We’ll also shout out Western of course.”
Scott said they are going to record all of the data they get, trail cameras and all, and hopefully will find evidence of Bigfoot.
“It’s not if, but when,” Braun said.
Scott said the club is going to try and reach out to community members who have been involved with Bigfoot to come and give a talk at Western.
Scott said the people on the TV show “Finding Bigfoot” have come to universities to talk about Bigfoot, so that could also be an option.
PBR is still reasonably young in terms of club age, with their official start date being Feb. 1, 2018. Their first meeting was held Wednesday, April 18, and according to Braun, went pretty well.
“We watched some evidence clips, went through a PowerPoint and really just discussed current research and what people know about Bigfoot right now,” Braun said.
Braun and Scott said club meetings will involve watching TV shows, talking about Bigfoot and viewing past research findings. Scott said that trip planning will also be incorporated into meetings.
If anything, Braun said he would love to hear personal exchanges that people have had with Bigfoot.
Braun said the club is still fairly small because it’s just starting up.
“There are nine members on the club page but only five people came to our first meeting,” Braun said.
Sam Fletcher, Rex Marquardt, and Braun are the founding members of PBR while Scott holds the position of club treasurer.
Braun said he thinks it would be great to get a bunch of people in the club to share a collective vision of finding Bigfoot.
Braun and Scott said they really want to start advertising for the club and hope to rent out a booth in Red Square to spread the word. They said they might even go as far to include a gorilla suit to be a main attraction for the booth.
Scott and Braun said they just want the club to be a means to go out into the wilderness and have fun.
“I mean, we’re pretty hairy dudes,” Scott said. “We’re just trying to find another brother to hang out with.”