I saw in the news that downtown Marion, North Carolina, is having a Bigfoot Festival in 2018 and I can promise you that, by doing so, they are going to draw in people from all over the place. It’s really going to be something.

Now, this got me thinking – with my mind that always goes a million miles an hour – and I realized that this is just absolutely brilliant. This is just an absolutely fantastic idea. Get a few people to say that they saw Bigfoot in the area and then your place is an instant tourist attraction with festivals and all.

I mean, think about it: Why in the world would anybody go to Marion?

Right, they wouldn’t. Ever. Ordinarily, no one in their right mind would go to Marion on a trip. Look up Marion on the internet if you don’t believe me and check it out. I think you’ll see what I mean. I Googled attractions in Marion, NC, and TripAdvisor.com came back with a list of the top 10 attractions and it includes “English Farmstead cheese” and “the McDowell Arts Council Association Gallery Gift Shop.”

Now, keep in mind that those things are on the top 10 list of things to do in Marion, so I think you get what I’m saying.

However, now, because of the creativity of the Marion tourism officials and because of recent “Bigfoot sightings,” Marion will be able to rake in the tourists dollars from all these people who are not coming to Greensboro but who are going to Marion.

The Charlotte Observer said last week, “The Marion Business Association and the McDowell County Chamber of Commerce are supporting the idea, believing the festival will be great exposure for the county … McDowellNews.com reports.”

See, it’s already working like a charm because it’s getting the town widespread free advertisements in major newspapers.

Now, Marion is in McDowell County. Do you know what else is in McDowell County? Right, neither do I. I have no idea and I can’t tell you where Marion is on a map, or even where McDowell County is – and I’m from North Carolina and have lived here my whole life.

But I can tell you this: They have a bunch of people coming there next summer because their citizens and their economic development people and their visitor and tourism people got creative and found a way to somehow make it sound like Bigfoot is in the area.

They are taking a card from a very, very famous tourism and economic development playbook: one from Loch Ness, Scotland. The same exact thing happened there nearly a century ago. The Loch Ness monster is famous and everybody in the world can tell you all about it even though there is no such thing. The town gets all that free publicity because in May 1933, some people in that very smart lake community made up a cockamamie story about seeing a …

Wait for it …

A sea monster.

A sea monster in a lake no less! There are no such things as sea monsters but, if there are, I can tell you with certainty that they do not live in lakes. One way you know is by the name: Because they are sea monsters.

But, anyway, none of that makes any difference because, with one single crazy tale about a sea monster in a lake, the entire town made out like bandits, and their small town economy – which was once dependent on whatever meager amount of butter churns they could sell or something like that – shot into the stratosphere.

Regardless, more power to them. They had the chutzpah and the wherewithal, and a lot of other qualities represented by big old-timey words, to make up a story about seeing a sea monster. They were able to create a hullaballoo and then hornswoggle people using a bunch of perspicacious malarkey and skullduggery. I’m not exactly sure what happened right there but my point is that, now, every year, thousands and thousands of people go to Loch Ness because maybe they’ll see the sea monster. The people of Loch Ness don’t care if BMW opens a plant there or if American Express opens a call center because, what they do have already, is all these people coming to see their sea monster in a lake.

Now, as for Greensboro, what I’m saying is that this is exactly the kind of inventive creativity we need here. We need to stop looking to bring in giant companies like BMW or FedEx and, instead, say we saw Bigfoot here or a local sea monster, or something like that that will really draw people here. Something that can really put us on the map. We need the local economic development people and all the visitor and tourism bureau people to come up with some sort of monster story that will really get people in here.

I would point out that we’re not working from scratch here. Nearly 10 years ago I did a story about Commissioner Billy Yow and the mysterious vampire beast that was terrorizing his farm in southeastern Guilford County. The beast was featured on MonsterQuest, a TV show that did an episode on Billy Yow’s farm occurrences. But did our tourism people play up the fact that our county had its very own vampire beast killing farm animals and drinking their blood and terrorizing the community? No, here we were sitting on a gold mine and we didn’t do anything about it.

Now, I’m also saying that the Rhino Times as a local newspaper, and myself, as a writer and as an advocate for this community, can help. I know that I, for one, think Greensboro really and truly has plenty of these types of creatures. I think this city is teeming with them in fact.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been around Greensboro and seen a weird creature that looked like Bigfoot – and, let me ask this to our visitor and tourism people, isn’t it the same for you? Haven’t you seen him here too? Exactly. I thought so. And if you are reading this on the web and are from somewhere outside of Greensboro, if you come here you will see exactly what we mean.

If you’re are one of these people from another city or state who’s fascinated by this type of thing, I think you will be very interested in some of the things that we’ve seen around here, whether it be The Summerfield Sasquatch, The Colfax Chupacabra or the herd of vampire beasts drinking out of Buffalo Creek next to an alien spaceship.

And don’t get me started on the Brown Summit Mountain Lights, which many people say are eerier than Lake Erie itself, not to mention all the rednecks who have disappeared around here only to be found three days later stumbling aimlessly along the side of a country road with pains that may or may not have come from an alien anal probe.

I don’t really do a whole lot of pro bono writing but I am happy to help the cause of my hometown for free from time to time. If you are a tourism or economic development person you can have this for free; you don’t need to pay me or anything. I’ll get you started; you will just have to complete it …


Greensboro The Greensboro Police Department and other important and reliable authorities in Guilford County have reported a strange rash of sightings of all sorts of monstrous creatures including Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and aliens from planets unknown. Authorities in the Greensboro area say this is absolutely real unlike recent Bigfoot sightings in Marion, North Carolina.

In Greensboro’s Lake Jeannette community, a sea monster has been sighted so often that residents of the lake have named her “Jeanetteie.” They have also opened the Lake Jeanette Monster Viewing Platform and Diner. For some unknown reason that has baffled authorities, the monster shows itself most often when large groups of tourists have spent a lot of money in area shops and retail outlets. One waitress at the lakeside diner also said the appearances seem to happen primarily after customers there had left big tips.

Paddleboats on the lake can be rented for $70 a day, and paddles for the boats can be rented as well for an additional $20 per paddle.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan said she could neither confirm nor deny the stories of creatures, monsters and aliens in the city because, she said, US government scientists and other officials have told her to keep quiet about the strange rash of creature sightings to avoid panic. Vaughan said she has also been instructed not to mention the large number of alien abductions that have occurred in and around Greensboro. Scientists believe those abductions could be related to the eerie lights that appear each winter over a downtown Greensboro skating rink. Greensboro authorities are encouraging people not to attempt to come to Greensboro to view the lights this winter due to the danger from Yeti attacks …