Do you believe bigfoot exists?
MASSENA — In 2020, New Yorkers reported 113 bigfoot sightings, according to Microsoft News. For some north country residents, bigfoots are believed to be residing in their backyards.
Massena resident Michael Guimond was driving home on County Route 37 at about 11:30 p.m. on June 20, when he spotted what he believes to be a sasquatch.
“Something bipedal ran across the road within 50 feet of my car, this thing was extremely fast,” Guimond said. “I was going 60, it crossed the road from right to left in less than a second. It was not a deer, I’ve seen plenty of deer. This thing was brown or gray, shaggy and had arms and legs that moved in a circular motion.”
Guimond posted on Facebook about his sighting the same night, causing a slew of stories from other people within the area having the same experiences.
“I lived there in 2011 and I started walking my dog outside at night around 8:30,” Aric Lauzon said. “The woods at the back of my house went on for miles and miles. I was out there a couple nights and I kept hearing a loud screaming noise. It sounded like nothing I have ever heard before in my life. It sounds like a mix between an elephant and a bear, it goes right through you, it’s deafening.”
Lauzon lived at his Louisville home from 2011 to 2015, and he noted before he lived at the home, he was not a bigfoot believer.
“The summer of 2013 was when it started getting really bad,” Lauzon said. “Every night I would have company over and every time we were outside we would hear this thing screaming. One day I came home from work at 8 a.m. and my neighbors were all outside. While I was at work one of them ran through my yard ... and destroyed my birdhouse. There was big footprints through my whole yard and hair stuck in my fence.”
After the recurring incidents, Lauzon contacted Dean Gleason, director of Seaway Valley Bigfoot Research to do a week-long investigation.
“The DEC came with him and they all went back into the woods around 3 a.m.,” Lauzon said. “They were doing tree knocks and the thing was doing tree knocks back. One of them threw a rock into the brush and a minute later something threw the rock back at them and let out a huge roar.”
Gleason began Seaway Valley Bigfoot Research for people to report sightings and experiences they have had.
“I’ve been doing bigfoot research for quite a number of years,” Gleason said. “I’ve had six sightings in this area. I used to have a sasquatch sticker on my Jeep, and I had 40 to 50 people come up to me throughout the community and tell me their stories. A lot of people think bigfoot research is a big joke, people laugh at me, some of my own family doesn’t even believe me.”
After 10 years of research, Gleason believes the animals are harmless unless provoked.
“I don’t want any of them to get hurt or people trying to find them and mess with them,” Gleason said. “I really feel that they don’t bother people unless they’re provoked. I’ve only ever had one get aggressive with me. I’ve been in the woods with a lot of them and they’ve always left me alone.”
“The United States has a lot of habitat for them,” Gleason added. “They’re a worldwide phenomenon, every country has a belief in an animal like this. There’s a lot of credible evidence and as DNA technology advances I think a lot of people are going to be surprised.”