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Media Article # 360

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Man calls for law to protect Bigfoot

By Chris Hamilton
Capital News 9

Whitehall is known as the birthplace of the U.S. Navy, but if one man gets his way, it may soon add "Protector of Bigfoot" to its resume.

Paul Bartholomew, a local researcher, said, "I proposed a protective ordinance for these creatures in the Whitehall area which would protect these creatures under the law, and it would also recognize these creatures."

Bartholomew has asked the Whitehall town board to pass a resolution that would make it illegal to shoot Bigfoot. He said the idea is mostly symbolic, adding it would be a step toward bringing notoriety and tourists to the area, much like the lake monster Champ does for Lake Champlain.

Bartholomew said the proposal is similar to one Port Henry officials passed to protect their favorite monster.

In 1976, there reportedly was a Bigfoot sighting in Whitehall on Abair Road. And some said there were other nearby sightings in northern New York, and across the border in Vermont.

Bartholomew said, "What was sighted out there was a large creature, 7 to 8 feet tall, walking like a gorilla hunched over, making a sound like a woman screaming. While it was a landmark case, it was just one that forms a chain of sightings which goes back to the Algonquin and Iroquois."

Ultimately, Bartholomew hopes to bring a museum to Whitehall to mark all the sightings in the area.

Bartholomew said, "We should have a museum exhibit, based on this phenomenon, and I think it would draw tourists as well, and maybe even a festival."

The Whitehall town board will review the resolution at its next meeting on Feb. 5.

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