By SHELLEY TERRY - email@example.com
SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP —
Debbie Sherman was driving home early Monday morning after a night of playing cards with friends when she saw something moving across the field.
At first, the Geneva resident could not make out the object.
“I thought it was a dirt bike,” she said. “Then I saw it was massive in size, standing on two feet .. and it was standing tall, really tall.”
Sherman said she saw a Bigfoot, also known as sasquatch, an ape-like creature that some people believe live in the forests of North America.
“I was driving west and it was on the north side of Route 20 before North Ridge Taxidermy,” she said, noting before this sighting, she didn’t really believe in the existence of Bigfoot.
“I was driving and he was coming sideways from me,” she said. “He was big and hairy and muscular. I slowed down, thinking we were going to collide, and all of sudden he was gone.”
Sherman holds a steady job, keeps to herself and her family, and was a little uneasy about coming forward with her Bigfoot story.
When she got home around 3:20 a.m. Monday, she went on the Internet and contacted Doug Waller of the Southeast Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigation (SOSBI) through the organization’s Facebook page.
“She was pretty shook up,” Waller said. “Most people don’t expect to see something like that.”
The SOSBI started in 2008 with the intent to give people an opportunity to talk freely about Bigfoot, he said.
SOSBI’s investigators Steve Blair and Rich Washington drove to Saybrook Township to check into Sherman's sighting. The pair made contact with the landowner, received permission to look around and found some tangible evidence, Blair said.
They found tracks in the range of about 17 inches long and 8 inches wide, he said.
“One track was in the mud,” Blair said. “You can see something walked through there.”
They also found what looked like a nesting area, he said.
Waller said Sherman isn’t the first Ashtabula County resident to see Bigfoot.
“Do you know Hogsback Ridge in Madison?” he said. “One was spotted there in March.”
Another sighting occurred in March along Interstate 90 near Geneva; and a man described a Bigfoot near Geneva in July 2011, according Ashtabula-Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.
Sherman said one of her relatives said he encountered a Bigfoot in 1985 near Whispering Willow Mobile Homes in Harpersfield Township.
At the time, she was skeptical, she said. “Now I’m not so sure.”