MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.C. -- A national cable television channel is sending a film crew to a national forest 75 miles from Charlotte to join a Salisbury man in his search for Bigfoot.
The Animal Planet plans to document Michael Greene's search for the creature, which Greene says he captured on videotape nearly two years ago.
And Greene plans to lead an expedition of volunteers into the forest Saturday in hopes of finding Bigfoot.
Tahli Kouperstein, director of communications for the Animal Planet, said the crew will join Greene at the Uwharrie National Forest in Montgomery County as part of the network's six-episode series on Bigfoot sightings around the United States.
"They are using modern technology to finally find the legendary and elusive creature," Kouperstein said.
She said crews are visiting "areas of the country where videos or photos have shown convincing evidence of Bigfoot sightings."
Greene, who moved to Salisbury from New Jersey last year, says he has been chasing Bigfoot for several years, trying to find the legendary creature - generally described as half-ape, half-human - in forests from Canada to the southern United States. He said he had a breakthrough about 11:30 p.m. April 28, 2009, somewhere in the Uwharrie National Forest.
Greene says he took three minutes of video, using thermal-imaging equipment, showing a large creature walking through the forest. He says he baited the creature, using a Zagnut candy bar.
Greene has a website that displays several videos, but it is unclear if any are the footage that he claims shows Bigfoot.
He said he was attracted to the area after spotting a Bigfoot in the forest in 2008, but he said he didn't get video of the creature.
Greene - who has a varied background including a master's degree in psychology, a private pilot's license and a former career as an EMT - said he realizes there are many Bigfoot skeptics.
"Until I saw it myself, I did not believe it," he said. "It was like a fairy tale."
Greene says others in the area near the forest, which at 78.7 square miles is the smallest of the four national forests in North Carolina, have seen Bigfoot. At 3 p.m. Saturday, he said a group of those interested in the case - possibly accompanied by the Animal Planet film crew - will head into the woods.
"That should be pretty interesting," Greene said.
Chris Cagle, of the Eldorado Outpost, where Saturday's expedition will gather, told the Montgomery Herald he is skeptical about the creature's existence.
"If there was a Bigfoot in the forest, he would already be mounted on some guy's wall," he told the newspaper.
Kouperstein said an airing date for the show has not been set. Crews also are planning visits to Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Oregon and Washington.
How to join the search
A meeting of those who have encountered Bigfoot or have evidence of the creature's existence in or near the Uwharrie National Forest is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Troy Fire Department, 610 North Main St., Troy (in Montgomery County).
Anyone interested in joining the search for Bigfoot on Saturday is asked to meet by 3 p.m. at the Eldorado Outpost, on N.C. 109 north of Troy. Those who plan to join the search are reminded that the Uwharrie National Forest has some rugged terrain and a rattlesnake population.
For information about Greene and his search, check www.bushloper.net.