Monday, November 5, 2007

Searching for Bigfoot Researchers look for evidence of DuPont Monster

By Heidi Terry-Litchfield Herald Correspondent

Morris Herald News

He was in the area hunting snakes as part of a field guide activity, something this Marseilles resident has done across the United States, when he saw a large creature heading up a hill in the woods by the road.

The snake hunter, who wishes to remain anonymous, described the creature as tall – over 7 feet tall – with hair on it.

When he first saw it, he thought it might be a national guardsman in a gully suit, but after he yelled, “Hey,” the creature looked toward him and the snake hunter saw the profile of the creature’s eye and cheek and knew this was no human.

It was this eyewitness report that led a group of Bigfoot hunters from California to the Morris area to see if they could find any proof of the creature.

Brian Mazzola, Steve Kulls, Tommy Biscardi Jr., and Jimmy Snell stand next to their travel trailer, which is filled with gadgets and supplies, in the backyard of a Morris residence where they camped while searching locally for signs of a Bigfoot-type creature known as the “DuPont Monster “. (Herald Photo/ Heidi Terry Litchfield)

For the past week, a team of trained professionals has been scouring the area near the old DuPont chemical plant near Seneca in the hopes of finding proof of the DuPont Monster . Rumors about the monster have been told in the area for about 30 years, with several area residents reporting they have seen a large, hairy, Bigfoot-type creature in the woods.

Tommy Biscardi Jr., the director of field security for the live capture team from Searching for Bigfoot Inc., said they receive tips from all over the United States reporting Bigfoot sightings, but they don’t rush out to every one of them.

“We do a thorough background check on the area and situation to see if we can substantiate any of what is reported,” said Biscardi.

“If we feel the information makes sense, we will send a team to check out the area.” Biscardi wasn’t always a believer in Bigfoot, so he understands when people feel skeptical about what his team does.

“My father hunted Bigfoot for 30 years, and I never believed him until I had an encounter while out spending a day with him in Texas,” Biscardi said.

The field team is made up of individuals who all bring something to the field in the way of tracking and searching for Bigfoot. Biscardi was an Army Ranger; Jim Snell has been with the team for one year, coming from a background as a paranormal investigator; Steve Kulls has been with the team for a 1 1/2 year since leaving his profession as a private investigator; and cameraman Brian Mazzola was hired on to film the hunt in a sequel to the group’s first documentary, “Bigfoot Lives.”

The no-kill team uses devices to aid its search, including night-vision glasses, thermal imaging, cattle prods, binoculars, and wireless cameras. “I’ve traveled 25,000 miles with this team and I want to see the documentary to its end,” said Mazzola.

“But I will admit I’m still a bit skeptical. If anyone is going to find a Bigfoot, they will.”

Biscardi and his team had spent several nights in the area of the reported sightings, as well as doing recon missions during the day. They said they have found foot prints along the water that they can’t explain as being human.

“It’s cold, there is cut corn stalks and thick brush, and bare foot prints that can’t be explained,” said Biscardi. “While I haven’t seen this one, I can say for sure there is something here.”

Biscardi said the state of Illinois has a rich history with Bigfoot stories and that the Seneca area was not the first place they’ve examined. They went to Funk’s Grove in 2006 on another resident tip.

He said the creature has hair that can be several different colors. It walks upright. It is nocturnal, doing it’s moving and hunting at night, and, he believes, it wants nothing to do with humans.

Biscardi also believes that the creature lives on several different continents and is called several different names, including Sasquatch, Yeti and Almas, as well as many names given to such a creature by the different Native American tribes.

“Many places have stories of a large half-human, half-animal type creature,” said Biscardi. “We don’t think it is only in North America.”

The team was scheduled to leave the area over the weekend, having searched all of the area it was given permission to search. It is hoping companies and land owners in the old DuPont area will give permission for the team to return and search their land.

“Without being able to go into all the areas, it’s hard to do a thorough investigation,” said Biscardi. “We hope that property owners in that area will invite us back; we’d love to come. The people we’ve met have been very nice to us.”

For further information on the team, its findings, or photographs of the footprints found near Seneca, visit