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Bigfoot Fans Plan Michigan Expedition

Bigfoot enthusiasts will visit Michigan's upper peninsula next month to search for evidence of the creature whose existence is doubted by scientists but is immortalized in legend by many names, including "Sasquatch."

The expedition will focus on eastern Marquette County, said Matthew Moneymaker, a Californian who studied English and law before finding his true calling as founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.

BFRO, says Moneymaker, is heading to Marquette County to investigate four reports of Bigfoot sightings in that neck of the woods.

Since the Bigfoot group began back in 1995, Moneymaker has devoted himself to the search and, according to his website, has been involved in the writing and production of three programs on the search for what is said to be a large, hairy, somewhat human-like creature.

"We'll be looking for evidence supporting a presence. ... We hope to meet local people who might have seen a Sasquatch or heard of someone else who had an encounter," Moneymaker told the Daily Press of Escanaba, Michigan.

The legend of Bigfoot dates back centuries. But skeptics have challenged accounts of sightings, and practical jokers have staged hoaxes that have included grainy film footage of people dressed in costumes.

Moneymaker said members of his organization have either glimpsed Bigfoot or gotten close enough to hear the creature in all but three of 30 expeditions in the United States and Canada.

The late Grover Krantz, a Washington State University professor who specialized in cryptozoology, the study of creatures that have not been proven to exist, believed Bigfoot was a "gigantopithecus," a branch of primitive man believed to have existed 3 million years ago.

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