Bigfoot Museum by Sharon Black

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At 8 years old, Harriet McFeely of Hastings, Nebraska was ‘hooked’ on Big Foot. A lot of people did not share her interest and she found out people could be mean. That did not deter her from pursuing Bigfoot.

Sasquatch or Yeti are also named for this huge forest ape. There have been stories for generations about an elusive black hairy animal spotted all over the world. After the Patterson- Gimlin film in Northern California of Sasquatch walking in daylight, it has been studied and questioned as to whether this was a large person in an ape suit or if it was a genuine Sasquatch. {{more}}

Now a widow, Harriet is found in the Bigfoot Crossroads of America Museum in Hastings. After signing your name and where you are from on the guest book, she takes you to the map of the United States with pins on it. The pins represent where a Bigfoot sighting has been reported. There are many pins in Nebraska.

“They follow the water,” Harriet said. “For every pin on the map of a report of a Bigfoot sighting, there are most likely ten more that have not been reported.”

One reason why people do not report all the sightings is of being ridiculed. People will say they are drunk or on drugs or insane. But then, on the other hand, Bigfoot hunting is a phenomenon on television, movies, and social media.

The museum is jam-packed of everything Bigfoot, the humorous, the factual, and the scientific. Harriet documents everything.

Squatters is a nickname for people who hunt for Bigfoot. There are many and there are scientific searchers. One sign of a Bigfoot is broken branches and the limbs are propped up in the tent-like form on the ground.

In extreme Eastern Nebraska, reports of domestic horses returning from pastures with their manes braided got the attention of Bigfoot researchers.

In one corner of the museum is a picture of Don Monroe. He wrote a book titled ‘The Braided Horses are Coming’, published in 2013.

That’s not all that was braided. In Garrison, Nebraska, a cloth flag was flown on Memorial weekend at the cemetery. By orders of President Trump, flags were to be flown at half mask the next day in remembrance of those who lost their lives to Covid-19.

Enter a woman who walked to the cemetery every morning and night. When the flag was taken down the next day, the flag had been ripped in the middle and the edges and strips braided and knotted tightly. Harriet was sure that was the work of a Bigfoot. She wanted that flag!

Although it was scheduled to be burned in a flag ceremony and Harriet knew she was not going to get possession of the flag. The ceremony began and when the fire was lit, a gust of wind hit, and it was decided to not burn the flag at that time. Harriet received a phone call the next day. She could have the flag for the museum.

The knots are so tight and hard in the strips it could not have been done by the wind. The flag was 14 feet in the air. The figure-eight of the flag rope was looped a different direction.

The woman who walked to the ceremony knew there was no wind the night before, otherwise, she would have noticed twigs and leaves on the ground.

The items on display in the museum are Harriet’s. She also had hosted a Bigfoot conference in Hastings and estimated that possibly only 25 people would attend. The day began with 25 arriving and then more chairs had to be set up and then more chairs and then more chairs to accommodate almost 700 people.

She had become an overnight success.

The museum is on East 42nd Street in Hastings. Walmart is on 42nd Street. Not very far from the intersection, there will be a sign and then soon there will be the entrance to the museum. Also on Facebook.

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Pins on the map of sightingsKnotted and braided flagCover of bookCloseup of flagBigfoot Museum Phot

Sharon Black is from Smith Center, Kansas. We welcome her to our team of volunteers.

Smith Center KansasSharon Black has been writing for many years including newspapers, short stories, and as a publisher. She was born in Nebraska and has lived in Kansas most of her life. In her hometown of Smith Center, Kansas, Willa Cather’s hometown is to the north and Bob Dole’s hometown is to the south. Sharon is a press release writer for the National Parks Arts Foundation and writes for b U n e k e magazine. The biggest project she has accomplished is the co-writer of the TV movie Home on the Range. The movie is about the song, which is the state song of Kansas and the lawsuit surrounding it in the 1930s and finding the rightful author of the song. Sharon is distantly related to the Mississippi writer Eudora Welty.

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