By Brooke Curley
SAFFORD – Since he is the foremost authority on himself, Bigfoot made an appearance Thursday night, surprising everyone at the BLM Brown Bag Lecture on Bigfoot.
Not a parking space was spared for the Bigfoot Brown Bag Lecture at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) building. Individuals wanting to attend the lecture had to walk a good distance from their cars and around the building to enter. Roughly 75 attendees visited the event, making it standing-room only. Cub Scouts sat on the floor, and new chairs were brought in so people wouldn’t have to stand as they watched a movie about Bigfoot.
Prior to the movie, attendees had their feet measured and snacked on foot-shaped cookies teenagers had cut out by hand. The movie “The Legend of Bigfoot” was a 1970’s era film about a man named Ivan March and his research into the mysterious Bigfoot creature. With extensive home videos as evidence and personal thoughts from the Bigfoot enthusiast, the movie wasn’t intense enough to scare the children and just eerie enough to keep the adults awake.
It was when the movie had gone on for roughly five minutes that in through the front door meandered a large harry figure with extremely large feet. Bigfoot was on the premises. According to the BLM staff, the visit by Bigfoot was a complete surprise. After visiting briefly with the staff and those watching the movie, Bigfoot vanished into the night.
Amber Johnson, the Eastern Arizona College student who helped organize the event, told Gila Valley Central that the BLM does monthly brown bag events. However, this time they wanted something different.
“The BLM always does brown bags,” Johnson said. “It’s just inviting the public to come and experience something with us. Usually, it talks about the spring systems and things that are out in the desert, but Joneen wanted to make it fun, so she picked Bigfoot to get it out of the norm of all the lecture. It turned out really good. There is a lot more people here than I expected.”
Joneen Cockman, Lead Natural Resource Specialist, had the idea for making a Bigfoot night. The idea was to make it a fun night for the public. Dressing up in costume was encouraged and snacks and popcorn were provided.
The man inside the Bigfoot costume, Dustin Seale, told Gila Valley Central that his friend had seen the article mentioning Bigfoot and he decided to come as the lumbering mystery beast. Wearing a huge outfit that included a mask, feet and clawed hands, Seale’s Bigfoot performance stole the show. As Mr. Bigfoot, Seale had some words of encouragement for the mysterious creature’s fans.
“Just keep believing,” he said.