Oliver Sheehan.jpg

Oliver Sheehan is a Daily Sun staff writer.

I have written about some pretty spectacular things since I started this job. I did not see THAT tornado with my own eyes, but writing about it helped me understand its awesome (albeit devastating) power.

I did not see the floods of June 9/10 this year, yet I have followed the aftermath closely. Having seen the effect that wet weather can have in England, and having nearly being caught out standing in the middle of a flood that claimed two lives in 2007, I can safely say I understand more or less the fear that those families felt (although I can‘t really understand what they are still going through five months on).

I was on the scene before most emergency crews for that fire along FM 744 that burned close to 200 acres to a cinder. From where I was standing the fire itself did not look threatening, but you only had to look at the destructive trail it had already taken to see how much worse it could have been if there had been a house and a family smack bam in the middle of it all.

Despite all these incidents, the thing that has amazed me most is the non-incident that occurred last week. Again, this is a phenomenon that I did not see with my own eyes, but it is also something of which I am quietly confident that I will never have the pleasure to witness with my own eyes.

For, the phone call that I received last Thursday was from a company by the name of Searching for Big Foot Incorporated. I spoke to the guy in charge of the “search” and he told me his team was driving all the way from California to Navarro County.

He informed me that there have been five “sightings” of Big Foot around the Frost area in the last month.

One woman, the guy claimed, had “witnessed” an up close encounter through her window.

Now, not to put a damper on the situation, but in the mere six months I have been a member of the editorial team at the Corsicana Daily Sun, I have always been told one very wise piece of advice from my trusty managing editor, Bob Belcher: “Approach everything with a healthy skepticism.” I have heard some sound advice in my time, but this really hits the nail on the head.

So, while Bob called the Sheriff’s office to ask about reports, I got on the blower to Frost police to see if they had heard or seen anything. Believe it or not, there was no record of any reports from the Sheriff’s office or Frost police. Shocking right?

According to the Texas Big Foot Research Conservancy, there have been two sightings near Navarro Mills, one in November 2008, and the other in February 2006. Both witnesses reported “unusual activity”, says their website.

It may be that I am just a cynic, but is it possible that someone was just trespassing on their properties? Is it possible that an orangutan or a large ape escaped from a zoo?

To my mind, this is the best time of year for coyotes to show their bravery and start sniffing around closer to inhabited property as well.

I have another theory too. Back in my old town of Higham, there was a sighting of “the black panther” along a lane not too far from The Griffin Pub and Restaurant.

The sighting was made by a guy who was known to regularly pop in to the bar in The Griffin and sink a few pints. The night that he “witnessed” the black panther, he had also sunk a few pints. It will come as a shock to everyone then, that no evidence was ever found.

I would like to say I believe the Big Foot exists, but honestly, if five sightings of Big Foot really have taken place in the last month, then lets look at the timing. Halloween weekend was 12 days ago. Funny that.

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Oliver Sheehan is a Daily Sun staff writer. He may be reached by e-mail at oliver@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? E-mail: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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