I met Paul Hulsey when I arrived at the conference. As he was the organizer of the event, he was the one to welcome me and, since I’d never before been to a Bigfoot conference, tell me a bit about what to expect. I found him friendly and sincere, and possessed of a passion for all things Sasquatch. Paul is a member of and official Alabama investigator for the BFRO (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization) who first became interested in the subject some few years ago, when he had his first sighting.
A lifelong hunter, Paul was in the woods in search of deer. He was hunting on private property, land belonging to the hunting lodge to which he belonged, when he saw what he thought was a poacher. It was mid-January in 2007, he told me, and he saw what he took to be a man in a ghillie suit. (A ghillie suit is, according to Wikipedia, a type of camouflage clothing designed to resemble the background environment such as foliage, snow or sand. Typically, it is a net or cloth garment covered in loose strips of burlap, cloth, or twine, sometimes made to look like leaves and twigs, and optionally augmented with scraps of foliage from the area.) Paul shouted at the “man” and the latter stopped and turned to look at him. Using the sight on his rifle, Paul took a closer look—and realized that he was not looking at a man at all, and that what he had thought was a ghillie suit was in fact hair.
I asked Paul what he thought Bigfoot was, and he stated his belief that they were an indigenous people, not just animals; large and hairy, yes, but intelligent, and possessed of the ability to speak(!).