TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The legend of Bigfoot is fantasy to some but reality to others. In the piney woods of East Texas, where Bigfoot believers say the animal thrives, a group of researchers are hosting the Texas Bigfoot Conference.
"I don't know what else it could be," said Daryl Colyer, Vice Charman of Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy. "It was upright it was around six feet tall; the color of dead pine needles. It was about 40 yards in front of me."
For researcher Daryl Colyer, the legend of Big Foot became a reality on a trip to south Texas.
"It shook me up pretty good," said Colyer. "For several days after that I couldn't get my mind off of that. I finally came to terms with it after a week. There was just nothing else it could be."
And, Colyer is just one of many big foot witnesses around the country. After his personal encounter, Colyer joined the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy - the group that's hosting an East Texas conference this weekend.
It is the 9th Annual Texas Big Foot Conference, but the first one in Tyler. Researchers will use casts to make believers out of skeptics.
Another goal is to raise money for research equipment, but they won't be the only ones profiting this weekend.
"It's wonderful," said Kim Doughty, with Tyler Sleep Inn and Suites. "I mean it is filling up our hotel basically for the next 2-3 nights. It is a great great thing. It definitely brings lots of revenue in."
And, if the outlook of Bigfoot cynics changes, Colyer says it'll be a plus.
"Try to open your mind. Listen to intelligent people present their cases present the info they have. Colyer. "Then evaluate it on your own."
So, no matter what you think, with an open mind, anything is possible. The conference starts Saturday morning at Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler from 8:30am to 6:30pm. It will be followed by a fundraising dinner at 7:30pm at the Discovery Science Center. General admission is $15.