Squatch talk entices locals, visitors alike

Fans of the mysterious and cryptic in Harlan County are gearing up for an event June 12 that is sure to leave behind a big footprint on tourism.

Hosting the first ever Squatch & Coffee Talk, Moonbow Tipple Coffee & Sweets will be open additional hours June 12 for the free event, offering locals and visitors alike a chance to swing by and get a taste of some of their new coffee and bakery items if they haven’t already.

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., attendees will get the opportunity to hear from Kentucky researchers, some who have spent decades in the pursuit of Bigfoot and other mysterious phenomena.

Michael Cook, from Cook Cryptid Research, said his interest in Bigfoot began at an early age in Harlan County.

Cook had took a fishing trip to the banks of Martins Fork Lake near the dam, when he had an encounter of his own.

Hearing something he thought might be a bear across the ridge, Cook said he soon discovered it wasn’t a bear, but something unusual and even larger in size when the being fell and rolled into the river.

Rising from the water was something weighing roughly 450 pounds, towering at 8-feet tall on two legs, with hair covering its entire body, Cook said.

Since then, Cook has researched Bigfoot extensively, becoming a field researcher and author.

A separate encounter with a past girlfriend and close friend was also featured in These Woods Are Haunted, a popular show produced from the Travel Channel.

“My life as a Bigfoot researcher has been trying Really, and that’s what I’m going to talk about at the coffee shop,” he said. “Most researchers have had some sort of experience, encounter or something that has drove them to the brink of insanity, and they have decided to find out why.”

Cook said his encounters scared him to such a point of curiosity that he wants to find out what could terrify him that much.

“No creature on earth — man, beast or whatever — would ever scare me like that did. Here I am 20 years into it looking for the very thing that scared the daylights out of me,” he said.

Others with experiences similar to Cook will also attend to tell their stories, compare and perhaps even share research with fellow Bigfoot hunters at the Squatch & Coffee Talk event at Moonbow on June 12.

For more information regarding the event, follow the Visit Harlan County or Hello Harlan Facebook pages for an updated list of speakers as the event nears. Cook is also available on Facebook for questions.