Along a bustling four-lane highway in north Georgia, a modest wooden structure stands. The building—at least what’s inside—is a tribute to a fabled beast. Welcome to Expedition: Bigfoot! The Sasquatch Museum.
Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti—all are terms for a legendary ape-like creature. There are supposed footprints and sightings all over the world. Most people believe Bigfoot is part folklore, part mistake, and part hoax. Some folks think a giant hairy creature actually roams the forests and evades capture.
David Bakara is part of the latter group. He owns the Sasquatch Museum. A longtime member of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, Bakara opened for business in 2016.
“I wanted to take what I know about Bigfoot as an active researcher and investigator, but I’m also a huge Disney World fan,” he says. “I was thinking, ‘Maybe I can make this thing like a family attraction.’”
The museum boasts a replica of a remote cabin, including a hatchet-wielding mannequin trying to bar the door as two hairy paws burst over the top. There are also color-coded maps showing hundreds of supposed Bigfoot sightings and a gigantic reproduction eight-foot-tall beast.
The museum’s highlight is a well-known 1967 video of an alleged Sasquatch sighting. The grainy 59.5-second video plays on a loop—along with recorded stories from those who claim to have encountered a Bigfoot. “The reason I didn’t shoot it is, it was just too human,” a hunter says in one account.
Bakara knows he’ll never persuade everyone—or even most people—that Bigfoot exists. Still, his unusual museum welcomes about 50,000 gawking visitors each year.
Recently Sherry Gaskinn was driving by and stopped in. “I can remember my great-grandmother talking about having a cabin in the woods, and she saw Sasquatch,” she says. “I’ve always been curious.”
(A Bigfoot mask and other items on display at Expedition: Bigfoot! The Sasquatch Museum in Cherry Log, Georgia. AP Photo/John Bazemore)