- Associated Press - Sunday, June 5, 2016

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - A group of people interested in learning more about the mythical creature Bigfoot gathered Saturday for the 10th annual Down South Bigfoot Rally.

The event was held at the Paul B. Johnson Park.

Don McDonald, from the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization, hosted the event. He told WDAM television that (https://bit.ly/1U61k1e ) he has spent 20 years trying to track down the creature he calls Bigfoot. Every year he hosts this event as a way to educate people and for people to share their encounters with Bigfoot with a larger audience.

McDonald says he’s been called “crazy” for his beliefs but he’s not worried about what people think of him.

“I’ve been told I’m on drugs. I’ve been told I’m bat crap crazy, but I want to help these people with encounters,” McDonald said.

During the event, he showed what he described as evidence of Bigfoot, including footprints and a recording of the creature’s whistle. He showed a map with places where Bigfoot has been sighted in Mississippi, adding that one of the hotspots is southwest Meridian and south of Forrest.

Bigfoot is a mythical apelike creature also referred to as Yeti or Sasquatch. Events like the one Saturday in Hattiesburg are held around the country.

The Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization was founded in 1997 as a way to focus attention and research on Bigfoot sightings in the south, the organization says on its website.

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