EDITOR’S NOTE: In Northeast creatures with Paul Bartholomew, reporter Caton Deuso sits down with Bartholomew of Whitehall to discuss his research on different phenomena within Whitehall. Topics include sightings of creatures such as Sasquatch as well as discussion of other sightings in the northeast region. This is the first of two articles.
First in a series
Paul Bartholomew of Whitehall has been studying various enigmas in the northeast over the past 40 to 50 years and is still continuing his research today. With so many years of research under his belt, he has noticed certain anomalies within sighting of unknown creatures and objects.
“We’ve always had an interest in the paranormal and the unusual. Back in 1973, there was a major UFO flap in the region. So we’re always following this type of thing. But, in 1976, there was a landmark case that occurred in August in rural Whitehall,” Bartholomew said.
The case is familiar to most as the Abair Road incident. Police officer Dan Gordon had a face-to-face encounter with a Bigfoot-type creature that night while on patrol. Gordon stated that the creature crossed the road in just three steps.
“Dan was my neighbor, and in 1982 in February, he and another police officer were traveling towards South Bay… and they were on patrol. They saw a creature cross the road in front of them. Now that’s the most common sighting we have is road-cross sightings,” he said.
Bartholomew said that Gordon pulled over, drew his weapon and tried to pursue the creature. However, the creature took off and he was unable to follow it.
“That was a case which over a week-long period, there had been as many as a dozen or more witnesses to creature phenomenon,” Bartholomew said. “As it turns out, there was UFO phenomena simultaneously that was reported. There were other crypted phenomena as well.”
Gordon didn’t come out to the public about the incident until 20 years later. Bartholomew explained that he waited that long to tell his story to preserve his reputation as an officer in Whitehall.
“We could only talk about him as an anonymous law enforcement official. That’s all we could say for 20 years. And then he finally came forward with his story publicly. But there’s everything to lose and nothing to gain by, specifically police officials, coming forward with their stories. So it’s a very courageous thing that Dan did,” he said.
Bartholomew has studied multiple trends among unknown phenomena over the years and has specifically focused on the northeast region and trends.
“We decided to look at New York State back in the 70s just to see how many sightings there were because we had these landmark cases around us; it turns out that one of the best books ever written on the subject had logged like 14 cases or something like that,” he said.
Through this book, Bartholomew was able to dig deeper into the cases which led him to finding other phenomena as well as the history of sasquatch in the northeast.
“When you looked at the area, you could see that really intensely there’s this long history and you can trace it back to the Algonquin, the Iroquois, the stone giants, and the Wendigo,” he said. “It’s part of our heritage in the northeast.”
Bartholomew mentioned that the Abair Road incident with Brian Gordon is what he calls a confirmation sighting. This type of sighting is one he describes as concrete and solidified with evidence.
“In this area, particularly in the Whitehall region, it’s August, September and October are the peak months, there seems to be a lot of sighting in those months. Whether it’s because more people are driving around in warm nights or because there’s some sort of migration route, I have no idea,” he said.
Bartholomew explained that because most of the research done is based on theories, researchers are doing their best to document as many sightings as possible to be able to see distinct patterns. Gordon’s sighting of the creature is often seen as an outlying incident because it wasn’t during the peak months in Whitehall.
“Cliff Sparks, who was the former owner of Skene Country Club here in Whitehall, he had a sighting in May! So, it can happen any month,” Bartholomew said.
NEXT WEEK: The second installment of Northeast creatures with Paul Bartholomew.