The stars of a popular cable show are combing the woods around Houghton Lake, Mich., for signs of the the giant bipedal ape-man known as Bigfoot. Animal Planet's show "Finding Bigfoot" is filming in the area and drew 350 people to an April 5 town meeting held to gather clues about the whereabouts of the elusive cryptid, according to the Detroit News.
Phil Shaw, a member of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization told the News that some of those who showed up for the meeting shared stories of personal encounters.
"My favorite was from a lady who lives south of Houghton Lake that actually had been able to record 'whoop howls' from a bigfoot," he said. "They only howl on a limited basis, so that was very rare and impressive."
Shaw's organization has records of around 140 Michigan Bigfoot sightings since 1910 -- including a November 2011 report by a hunter who heard "resonant vocalizations and bipedal movement" while camping in Roscommon County.
"Michigan has been a hotspot for sightings since the 1960s, especially areas like Sister Lake and Monroe, where there were reports of very aggressive creatures and people being attacked," said Loren Coleman of the International Cryptozoological Museum in Portland, Maine.
Coleman said the high number of sightings makes sense because of Michigan's extensive wilderness.
"It's in the boreal forest, the heavily tree-covered area that goes from the Pacific Northwest across the U.S.-Canada border to Maine, but it has more sightings than other places because there are more people," he said. "You need people to see Bigfoot and Michigan has a higher population than, say, the Dakotas."
The Houghton Lake episode of "Finding Bigfoot" will air on Animal Planet this summer.
David Moye contributed to this report.
Flickr photo by JD Hancock.