Don Keating Interview
Profile: Don Keating was born in Columbus, Ohio and has lived in Newcomerstown his entire adult life. He works as a laborer at a garage door manufacturer. He has been investigating and researching the Bigfoot phenomenon in Ohio since July of 1984. He hosts the largest and longest lived Bigfoot Conference in the United States.
Q: Why search? What’s your motivation?
A: I started my search in July of 1984 when I was checking out books at the County library. I started wanting to determine on my own if Bigfoot could be in Ohio. I discovered it in Ohio when I spotted it on September 15, 1985 four miles south of Newcomerstown. My motivation is to get clear quality video of a Bigfoot doing something humanly impossible.
Q: Some people may say to themselves, “Bigfoot in ohio, no way!”. What would you say to them?
A: Come to Ohio and visit the sighting locations. I have NEVER tried to convince an out of state person Bigfoot is in Ohio. However many have left Ohio convinced it could be in Ohio. It’s not just farms and cities here.
Q: Some people say that the Internet helps with the search, others disagree. Have an opinion on this?
A: At first it helped put people in touch with researchers. Now it’s a hinderance. Too much information out there. A half descent story writer can research about Bigfoot for just a brief time and send in a fantastic sounding Bigfoot encounter. It’s not helping the research.
Q: You put on a great yearly conference, how did this start?
A: Back in 1989 I wanted to get regional researchers together to compare sighting and track reports. It just expanded from there.
Q: Do you see any patterns in your research? IE: More reports in June, night, etc.
A: Most reports are from March through November. The distribution of reports being day or night? I’d say 2 day for every 3 night.
Q: Someone calls you with a fresh sighting – whats next? What all is involved with your investigation that you are willing to share?
A: I contact a researcher to accompany me to the sighting location to look around and interview the alleged eyewitness. If the area is close enough, I’ll keep an eye on it regularly until I’m convinced the creature has moved out, or there is nothing more I can do at the time.
Q: Bigfoot – human relative, primate, or..?
A: I have heard people call it a missing link, while some call it “the Forrest People” and others think it’s UFO related. Simply, I think it is an undiscovered primate. Nothing more, nothing less. Just an animal roaming the woods that has yet to be scientifically discovered.
Q: In your opinion, the best evidence that a bigfoot exists is..
A: The countless castings from different parts of North America and the Patterson/Gimlin film.
Q: How many reports do you investigate a year? What % do you feel are legit?
A: During an average year I would say six to 12. It’s very tough to put a number on the percentage of how many are legit.
Q: Do you have a personal ‘bigfoot collection’? What is it made up of?
A: Yes. Countless books, VHS video tapes of field research, meetings I have held, TV programs, plaster castings, cassette tapes and the like.
Q: Any last comments that may have come to mind?
A: Yes. In my opinion, we are no closer to discovering Bigfoot now than we were in 1966. The Skookum cast is from an Elk. The August 2, 1992 Ohio Bigfoot Video (that I shot) has NEVER been proven to show a known individual, like a human or a horse, and until someone can prove beyond a shadow of doubt, they better keep working on it.