Note: This is part two of an occasional series about Bigfoot and other mysteries of Vermont and the North Country.
VERGENNES - For amateur sleuth Dennis Hall of Vergennes, the North Country abounds in unexplained natural phenomena. Hall is known nationally for his dedicated research of Lake Champlain's famous aquatic denizen, Champ the lake monster. However, recently, he has expanded his explorations into searching for evidence of Bigfoot or Sasquatch-both living and dead-on the Vermont side of the big lake.
This amateur Indiana Jones, a native Vermonter, has dedicated several decades in exploring both shore and water of Lake Champlain in search of history and prehistory.
"I have always been fascinated by our local history and prehistory," Hall said. "I believe our region has very ancient roots and is the cradle of American civilization."
Over the years, Hall has searched the lake basin for the remains of a failed 17th-century Dutch fortified outpost located near the mouth of the Otter Creek, uncovered the remains of an ancient native elm wood dugout, researched the stillborn 18th-century plans of Vermont pioneers to build an expansive, geometrical capital city spanning Button Bay to Vergennes, and discovered the original Iroquois names for Otter Creek (Makawyck) and Dead Creek (Pagkagan)-native names lost for generations until Hall rediscovered them jotted on the parchment of an antique New York land grant.
Now Hall's new inspiration is to devote more time to Bigfoot or Sasquatch research. It started in 2009 when he uncovered an unusual curved stone in a ravine about one mile from the Otter Creek Falls in Vergennes.
"I found this curved stone," he said carefully holding a buff colored stone in his right hand, "and I immediately thought it must be a prehistoric tool or maybe even a fossilized bone. I am no expert about bones, so I contacted Don Bicknell, M.D., in Vergennes. I had zero expectations about what it was; it just looked interesting enough to be something."