My name is Dan Ricke, I was raised on a wind blown isolated dirt farm in far eastern Colorado. In 1975 after I got my commercial pilots license I learned to cropdust, and I moved to Oklahoma in 1979. Being raised in a time of no TV I had a passion for reading and discovered the unknown, I spent every penny I had on the old True and other magazines that covered the stories of monsters like the MoMo monsters of Missouri and the Sasquatch of the PNW.
My first story I heard in 1979 of a Bigfoot sighting happened when a coworker told me of a sighting he had in a canyon, my second report was in Mississippi while cropdusting there, came from local farmers of the things they saw and took them to heart of warnings not to fish in the stream next to the airport because of boogers that hung out there, by then it didn’t matter I was hooked. I didn’t really get into the field research until 1997, my daughter’s boyfriend related a sighting he had just a few miles from my home starting a personal search that’s cost thousands of dollars and thousands of miles and unknown hours.
The thing that interests me the most after all these years is still the mystery, and after proving not to the world but myself, “I know Bigfoot exists!” and the mystery deepens around each bend of the creek or just over the hill. Maybe it’s best if the mystery stays a mystery living in the minds of those who have seen one or the apt attention of wide eyed children listening to a village elder.
In my search what I found was friends and memories that will last a lifetime and a better understanding of human nature and also it’s pitfalls, also an understanding of the history of mankind’s dealings with the unknown, I realized I am an ambassador of my species.
I am older now and getting wore down, but if I could tell a researcher just getting started, I would tell them do not assume anything, question everything.