Journalist Laura Krantz never gave Bigfoot a lot of thought and even considered the mythic creature to be nothing more than tabloid fodder. However, when she realized that hunting for the infamous Sasquatch was in her blood, she embarked on a yearlong exploration to uncover America’s fascination with the beast in the woods.
Her journey through the world of Bigfoot was chronicled in her new podcast, “Wild Thing,” where she leaves no stone unturned in both looking for Bigfoot as well as getting an idea of what kind of people his myth attracts.
Krantz revealed to Fox News in a recent interview that her personal hunt began when she stumbled upon a random article in The Washington Post about a man named Grover Krantz.
“I was like, ‘Hey, same last name!’” she said. “And I started reading it and he just seemed like a total weirdo.”
Grover was a bit of an eccentric, but a scientist through-and-through. He donated his body to the University of Tennessee’s “body farm” and was known for measuring people’s cranium with his trusty caliper, according to the article.
“So, that’s also weird, here’s this guy who is clearly a scientist down to his core and then there’s this sort of throwaway section about Bigfoot and I’m going, ‘OK, who is this guy?’” she said. “I asked around and it turns out we’re related. He’s my grandfather’s cousin and he would show up at family events and measure people’s heads.”
It turns out that Grover was one of the pioneers of Bigfoot hunting, which fascinated Laura. So much so that she used her journalism skills to investigate Bigfoot in what would become “Wild Thing.”
“When I came across this guy’s name and started reading about him, that sort of made me rethink Bigfoot. So part of what I wanted to do was say, ‘OK, I’m going to suspend disbelief for a minute and see what’s out there,’” she said. “Not only am I going to explore Bigfoot and what’s out there, but this subculture of America society that’s interested in this and spends a lot of time, money and effort trying to seek this creature out.”
The average person likely has a mental image in their head of someone who hunts for Bigfoot that involves a tinfoil hat and a wall of conspiracy theories. While the Bigfoot hunting community is not without its more conspiracy-minded members, Krantz said she wanted her show to investigate in the same spirit as her scientifically minded relative.
I did come in contact with the more conspiracy-minded, more paranormal ‘Bigfoot was dropped off by aliens’ type,” she said. “I kind of knew I had to make a decision early on because... I don’t know if you’ve spent a lot of time on the Internet looking at Bigfoot, but it’s a pretty deep rabbit hole. The potential to falling down it can be very high. I wanted to focus on the more scientific ‘Bigfoot is beholden to the laws of physics, nature and biology as we currently know him’ as my relative Grover thought about it. That helped to narrow down the focus.”
With Bigfoot sightings being reported in every state except Hawaii, it wasn’t hard to find a slew of people that were both qualified to talk about Bigfoot and not interested in anything that couldn't be verified scientifically.
Krantz spoke to wildlife biologists, ecology experts, experienced outdoorsman and others who also didn’t give Bigfoot a second thought until they had an experience that they simply couldn’t explain. She says most of the people she spoke to with anecdotal evidence brought two unbelievable things. The first was a Bigfoot sighting. The second was the thought that this otherwise reasonable person would be pulling her leg.
“The most compelling stuff has really been the eyewitness accounts. You talk to people who really are experienced woodsmen, experienced outdoorsmen who have a background in wildlife biology and ecology and they tell these stories that’ll make the hair stand up on the back of your neck,” she said. “They clearly experienced something that's inexplicable in any other way, at least in their minds. Granted, I haven’t experienced any of it for myself, but they just have a gravitas about them and I don’t feel like they’re telling me a tall tale.”
Through “Wild Things,” she got to report on an often unreported piece of Bigfoot evidence, some unexplained large nests in the Washington woods. On the Olympic Peninsula, she was brought to these nests that she describes as being between eight and 10ft across, woven similarly to bird’s nests. She says no one quite knows how they got there, but stops short of confirming them as evidence of Bigfoot.
“While it’s not evidence that it’s Bigfoot, it’s certainly evidence that there’s natural behaviors that we don’t know about,” she said. “That’s the other side of this that I find interesting. As people are out looking for creatures like Bigfoot, Loch Ness or the Yeti, they’re making discoveries about the natural world.”