MENOMINEE — It could be out there. Nobody’s captured one yet, but many people throughout the world, including the Upper Peninsula, have claimed to have seen the legendary Sasquatch (otherwise known as Bigfoot, Grassman and a myriad of other names depending on location) out and about in the U.P.’s woods. This year, people from all over the world will gather in Menominee Saturday for the Marinette/Menominee Bigfoot Convention.

For Craig Sulk, one of the organizers of the convention and operator of the Hyden Adventure, this is the third annual convention in Menominee. He and his wife Barb have been funding the convention largely out of their own pocket. “We have these giant maps (of Menominee and Marinette county) at the Hyden Adventure, and we put stickers on them everywhere there’s been a sighting of Bigfoot, the Dogman and the Black Panther, and there’s quite a few,” he said.

Sulk said that he and his wife were inspired to hold a convention in Menominee after seeing the kind of revenue places such as Remer, Minnesota, gained as the “Bigfoot Capital of the World.” He said, “They have a picture of a Bigfoot that you can tell is fake, and they have this big weekend-long convention and it brings thousands of people.” 

So far the convention has seen support from the Oconto Lodge and 35th and Coffee in Menominee, according to Sulk. He said their support helps, but putting on the convention still puts a lot of pressure on his family to keep it going. “We figured Marinette and Menominee could have the same thing other places have,” he said.

He said that in past years, the convention has drawn hundreds of people to the area. “Last year we had right around 300 people attend, and they come from all over. This brings a lot of revenue; most people who come aren’t from the area.”

This year, award-winning paranormal researcher Allison Jornlin will be speaking on strange creatures of the Midwest. Author Linda Godfrey, who was made famous for her work on the Beast of Bray Road in Elkhorn, Wis., will be making a return appearance to feature the rough cut of her newest documentary: “Return to Wildcat Mountain: Wisconsin Black Panther Nexus.” Sulk said she will also be spending time at Stephenson Public Library to talk about her journey as an author.

The convention will also feature Rich Daniels, a prominent Bigfoot researcher and behavioral therapist, who will speak on what he refers to as “paranormal encounter syndrome.” According to Sulk, Daniels has found that many people who claim to have encountered cryptids such as Bigfoot are left with psychological conditions similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. “He’s done a two-year study with 146 cases, and a lot of them have some pretty major problems now,” he said.

The convention will also feature Brian Frejo, who recently had done some research in the area. “He’s got Pawnee and Seminole heritage, and he’s researched the Native American Bigfoot traditions,” Sulk said, “Every Native American tribe has some belief in them, so he’ll be speaking about the Big Hairy People.”

“A lot of people go to these conventions just because they’re curious,” he said, “so what do you have to lose?”

The convention will be held at the Pullman House on U.S. 41. The doors will open at 9 a.m., and the cost of attendance is $10.