Saturday, November 10, 2007

“Bigfoot: Stepping Out in Geauga”

c. 2007 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Note to Readers: In this column, evidence has already been presented to demonstrate that Geauga County has been a point of interest for traveling aliens, and a home to melon-skulled children that roam our forests. But yet another tale has appeared regarding our quaint, Buckeye home…

Inspiration for a writer can come from nearly anywhere.

We were at the dinner table recently, when Soccer Fairy, our nine-year-old, offered a bit of wisdom she’d learned in school on that day.

She paused over a forkful of spaghetti. “Have you ever heard of Old Orange Eyes before?” she asked with an impish grin.

My wife, Liz, was busy filling a plate for Leigh. “You’ve got to eat, girlie!”

Our older daughter had just entered her teenage years. So she seemed more interested in the television than a hot meal.

The Fairy was undeterred. “Well? Have you heard of Old Orange Eyes?”

I considered my garlic bread for a moment. “No, I haven’t.”

“He’s a big, shaggy creature,” she explained.

“Hmm,” Liz interjected. “Like Bigfoot?”

“Yes,” our girl answered. “We read about him in class today.”

I nodded. “That sounds interesting, honey.”

“I told my teacher that you could write about Orange Eyes for the newspaper,” she said, twirling her noodles.

Leigh began to laugh out loud.

“That’s a good idea,” my wife agreed. “Another story like the UFO on Route 528, and The Melonheads…”

My face went red. “Don’t you think readers have heard enough strange reports from the homefront?”

Liz reacted with a giggle. “Okay, Rodney! How about another feature on pork rinds, instead?”

Soccer Fairy waved her fork defiantly. “Orange Eyes! Orange Eyes!”

It was time to get busy on our computer!

My first discovery came from a website called Bigfoot Encounters. An entry by Andy Ramirez confirmed the legend.

BF ENCOUNTERS: “Old orange eyes was allegedly an 11 foot tall 1,000 pound Bigfoot creature that is said to live in Central Ohio… the… creature first gained notice on March 28, 1959 when three teenagers observed a huge hairy orange monster rise from a ground fog at Charles, Mill Reservoir, near Mansfield. Then 4 years later the beast appeared again and this time it was witnessed by several people. Scientists were not sure where this creature lived, but it is assumed that the beast might have lived in a tunnel in Cleveland's Riverside where it lived in peace for more than twenty-five years. Then suddenly in the 1940's and 1960's highway construction destroyed the tunnel that Orange Eyes was alleged to be living in, forcing the creature to live in a stretch of forest behind the Cleveland Zoo… a group of teenagers invaded the creatures habitat on April 22, 1968 and chased the creature armed with baseball bats, flashlights, and ropes… (they) went into the forest to try to capture kill the creature but they found no sign of the beast. (In) June 1991 ‘Old Orange Eyes’ appeared again and this time the beast ran past two people fishing near Willis Creek scaring the daylights out them before disappearing.”

Truly local observations of the creature came from a BFRO report investigated by Mark Maisel. It was stunning to read that such a phenomenal beast had been sighted here in Geauga!

BFRO: Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization
Report # 15430 (Class B)
Submitted by witness: Saturday, August 05, 2006
Mother describes possible sightings by her children outside their rural home in Auburn Township


OBSERVED: “We only lived here a few weeks and my four-year-old came running into the house and said he didn't want to play outside anymore. He seemed upset but not extremely frightened. When I asked him what was wrong he said he saw a monkey man looking at him through the trees. I went out and nothing was there. I looked around the area but didn't see anything. My son took me to the tree and showed me where someone or something was looking at him from between a fork in the tree. That was two years ago. Yesterday my oldest son aged 15 was standing in the living room and glanced out the picture window. He said something huge and black ran from some trees we have there to beside the garage. I was kidding and said, ‘Is it Bigfoot?’ And he said very seriously, ‘yeah, I think it was.’ I ran out the back door, which is toward the opposite side of the garage than where whatever it was would be standing. I ran behind the garage and to the other side but nothing was there. I live near a heavily wooded area and the woods are close to the house behind and to one side of it. The garage blocks the view of the yard and you can only see the front/side from the window. Whatever it was would have had plenty of time to run into the woods.

(Later) my son's friend Bobby was visiting for the night and was outside getting things ready to build a fire when he called my husband from his cell phone to the house. He thought my husband or son was playing a trick on him and trying to scare him. Bobby told him something big was running from tree to tree looking at him. He said it was black and even though it was dark he saw the outline of the face. Which is why he thought it was my husband or son. He said it came from right outside the tree line from the yard and then went into the tree line running from tree to tree looking at him and getting closer to him. Like it was trying to hide from him but still keep an eye on him. Whatever it is, from descriptions given to me, its about 6'-6'4 and since everyone says it’s about the size of my husband or son... (My) husband is 6' 215 and son is 6' 240. The porch light was on and you can see the edge of the tree line because of the light.”

Soccer Fairy enjoyed reading the story she had inspired. Her teacher was impressed, as well. Yet I inherited a sense of uneasy curiosity from the process.
What other oddities of Geauga County would I discover next?

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