MOORESVILLE – During the month of October, the Mooresville Public Library likes to explore the spookier side of learning.
In years past, it has invited speakers to talk about aliens, paranormal activity and otherworldly ideas, according to library associate Megan Mosher.
This year, Mosher said staff decided to extend that spooky theme in yet another direction – Bigfoot.
“I was actually on Facebook – I belong to a couple of groups – and the library up in Hickory mentioned this group,” Mosher said. “And I said, ‘Oh, Bigfoot.’”
The group, Bigfoot 911, is based in Marion and goes on expeditions to find signs of Bigfoot.
“We have been researching Bigfoot as a team since 2014, but I have been doing Bigfoot research for 40 years,” said John Bruner, founder of Bigfoot 911. “It captivated me when I was a kid, and it just kind of went through.”
Bruner, who is a retired paramedic, said interest in Bigfoot has become more mainstream in the last decade.
“If you’re skeptic, I am not going to change your mind,” Bruner said. “I am not going to argue with you on what it is or what it isn’t. I believe we are all entitled to our opinion.”
Approximately 25 people came to Bruner’s presentation, which went over the physical traits and habits of Bigfoot, as well as reported sightings.
Bruner said he saw one himself in August 2017 when he and his team were on an expedition in McDowell County.
“It was huge,” Bruner said of the suspected 9-foot-3-inch Bigfoot. “I mean, huge.”
There have also been a number of reported sightings across the country for thousands of years, Bruner said, from early Native American tribes, colonial explorers and, now, modern park rangers and residents.
The closest sighting he’d heard of to Mooresville was this July in Statesville, Bruner said.
But audience members had stories of sightings as well – one of which was on Interstate 77, where the old rest stop used to be.
An audience member asked Bruner – “Does that mean they could be in Iredell County?”
“Well,” Bruner responded, “I was driving here today, and I was looking. And I was telling my son, ‘This looks like Bigfoot country.’ It just has the look.”
Mosher said even if people don’t believe in Bigfoot, it’s still “fun to explore.”
“It really is something that’s kind of interesting for all ages,” Mosher said. “And he (Bruner) was talking about ‘Finding Bigfoot’ and the shows (about Bigfoot). I think it really has piqued a lot of interest.”
The library has a number of books on Bigfoot, which were on display during Bruner’s presentation, as well as DVDs of shows like “Finding Bigfoot.”
“And we can get stuff (more resources), too,” Mosher said, “if people are interested.”