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In the meantime our data base of sightings here in Santa Cruz County continued to grow. We went out as often as possible for a number of years looking for Bigfoot especially when we had a fresh local sighting to investigate, and found more and more bits of evidence to support the reports in the local area. We tended to keep a low profile as we didn't want to get accused of being in it for the money. But by 2008 I had run out of money. I lost my home to foreclosure as it was one of many bad loans that went wacky when the banking system crashed. We managed to get rid of the upside down burden with a short sale, but I also borrowed money using the museum property as collateral. That's why the museum has a loan payment to make each month and a balloon payment that recently became due and payable. But with the help of donations from a number of members and supporters of the museum we were able to pay the back taxes and make it possible to extend the note for two more years. Had you folks out there not helped, the museum would be closed now. Overcoming all the monetary struggles since 2008 while fighting to counteract all the media mis-information and the academic backlash against the subject has been a long climb up a steep hill. But I keep telling myself I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!!!!!
Then in 2010 CalTrans closed Highway 9 four miles south of us for the entire tourist season from June through October and revenue stream dropped 50%. Most museums are supported by the local citizens via fundraisers and donations. Not so easy to do when many are still convinced that Bigfoot is a joke. In Willow Creek CA their Bigfoot museum has been a major tourist attraction since the late sixties, and even though a great many residents don't believe in Bigfoot, the whole town supports the museum and helps to keep it going. Its not like that here. We do have some volunteer help from time to time by individual locals, but there is no recognition for the tourist impact we've had and very little recognition by educators and county organizations who are in the dark on this subject. When Dr. Jeffry Meldrum wrote a book on Sasquatch, sixty of his peers at Idaho State University signed a petition that suggested he be fired. Most scientists are convinced that the slightest interest in Bigfoot can be a career killer. Most people who visit the museum and actually talk to me, the curator, are very complimentary and astonished at all the information we have to offer, but only a few have expressed their gratitude with more than $20. We have been advised by some to become a nonprofit corporation while others have warned us against it: the fact is, we are nonprofit, so we might as well make it official.
I'm convinced the study of Bigfoot has reached the top of the discovery climb. After 60+ years of study Bigfoot is indeed currently undergoing the discovery process. Something this controversial couldn't be accepted overnight. But in spite of the overall ignorance of the subject there are more scientists of stature looking into this than ever before. I believe its an easy down hill coast from here (to the final announcement of reality) but the big question now is what happens next and will we be around to be a part in it? I feel great satisfaction for the part we've had in the discovery process, but without ongoing occasional funding help we are not likely to continue to be a part of the discovery. It doesn't take a lot of money to keep this museum open, however, and I'm confident all our dedication and hard work--with a little help from you--will payoff in the end because we are The Little Museum That Can.