Top Headlines on WHSV.com May 23

By: Kitty Capelle
By: Kitty Capelle

These are the most viewed headlines on WHSV.com for May 23. Stories with available video will have a link in the headline.

Searching for Bigfoot in Pendleton County

Reporter: David Coy

 

PENDLETON COUNTY -- You may have heard of many mysterious beings and creatures, such as the Moth Man, the Loch Ness monster, mermaids and the Flatwoods monster. One creature stands out among the rest and still receives tons of attention and he's known as Bigfoot.

"We've all heard the legend of Bigfoot, but who knows if it really exists? It's probably just superstition,” said Eric Harris, a camper.

According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, also known as the BFRO, there have been 237 sightings in Ohio, 100 in Pennslyvania, 54 in Virginia and 86 in West Virginia. Combined, there are reports of nearly 500 sightings.

"You're talking about the Bigfoot sightings in the area. I think back to the movie Jerry Maguire where his line was 'Show me the money.' I say, 'Show me the evidence,'” said Tim Whalen, a fisherman.

Matt Moneymaker, is the president of the BFRO. He says the evidence is there.

"Anybody who tries and tells you they don't exist, they are just flat out wrong," said Moneymaker.

Moneymaker has been researching Bigfoot since he was a kid.

"There is bits of footage out there, but there hasn't been any good footage,” said Moneymaker.

He has a TV show on Animal Planet called 'Finding Bigfoot'.

"I've gotten footage of them at night with different kinds of cameras, but it's that daylight stuff that makes it special," said Moneymaker.

Moneymaker claims that he and his crew found DNA evidence of Bigfoot's existance.

Billy Willard is also a Bigfoot researcher, but unlike Moneymaker, he's a big skeptic.

"My personal feeling is that it is a species a part of an undiscovered primate," said Willard.

Anna Dorta, another camper, believes it's a person with a medical condition.

"It's probably a person who grew hair all over his body and he's coming out occasionally and people see him and think he's a Bigfoot," said Dorta

Willard said the species is very intelligent. While on expeditions, he claims to have communicated with the creatures through wood knocking.

"Honestly I am not out on any recognition. I know that there are some people that have put a lot more on the line than I have," said Willard.

Bigfoot sightings usually occur near mountains. The creatures are usually tall and covered with fur, but the fur can be different colors.

"In other places their hair will be so bleached out that they will be blondish or the same color as a deer and some has even seen white ones. But usually they are black or dark brown," said Willard.

In Pendleton County, West Virginia, the BFRO has confirmed 13 reported sightings of the creature since 1994. The conditions in the county are believed to be perfect for the species.

Carter Fox is an administrator at Brandywine Campground. He says he hasn't seen anything in the area and hasn't received any reports.

"Everyone has their own beliefs and they can act on them accordingly as long as it doesn't negatively impact others. I would say there's not enough information, so I would say no," said Fox.

No one has actually found Bigfoot's body.

In the past, people have worn outfits acting like Bigfoot, but until there's a body of proof, people will continue to speculate. 

 

Army Surplus Owner Talks About Mortar After Incident

Reporter: David Coy

HARRISONBURG -- The Virginia State Police is calling an object found in the Chick-Fil-A parking lot Wednesday morning a "World War II Mortar Round". The bomb squad locked down the area and took the round away. The detonation device was not in the round.

People are allowed to legally own rounds, similar to the one state police found, as long as it has been dismantled. Rudy Dean owns Valley Surplus. He said an Army surplus store would not sell a live round.

"We won't buy anything that we know that is a live piece of ordinance. Generally when someone comes in and they have something like that, we send them to the proper authorities to have it checked out," said Dean.

It is illegal to own or sell any live mortar round or anything similar. 

Harrisonburg to Install Alert System in July

Reporter: David Coy

HARRISONBURG --A tornado warning system is being credited for saving lives in the Oklahoma tornadoes, but the City of Harrisonburg doesn't have one.

According to Harrisonburg Fire Chief Larry Shifflett, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County has a reverse 911 call system that comes from the Emergency Communication Center to your landline phone. For those who don't have a landline, a system for text alerts and notifications on your cell phone will be in place starting July 1st.

"We hired an outside consulting firm about two years ago to do a study, and to do a study on sirens and electric notifications. And their recommendation was not to use the sirens," said Shifflett.

He said that a tornado siren does not give any specific information about the situation. To sign up for the system, you can call the fire chief's office. The number is 540-432-7703.

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