What began as three local men sharing their passion for Bigfoot and other unproven creatures has turned into an international community for sharing information on “cryptids, country living and things that go bump in the night.”
Cryptovania was the result of casual conversations of co-founders Steve Marvin, Nick Marvin and Jason Trost in Sept., 2017.This multi-media platform includes cryptid fans and outdoor enthusiasts from across the country and the world.
“A cryptid is any creature in the forest that is unknown or unproven,” said Steve Marvin.
The online phenomenon started with a Facebook page and has since exploded, with a presence on Instagram, Twitter and Vimeo. Their primary outlet, according to Marvin, is their Cryptovania TV channel on Roku.
The channel has uploaded 230 videos in the last 7 months.The founding members have filmed 33 to 50 percent of those, but has accepted a lot of videos from other places, too.
“We built the community and have a lot of contributors,” said Marvin. “We seek to be an aggregator. There is a lot of information waiting for a home. We are going to provide that home.”
Their purpose is not to prove the existence of cryptids, according to Marvin.
“We are not finding or discovering cryptids,” said the trio of co-founders in their video, ‘Cryptovania Wants You.’ “We already know they exist, and you do too.”
They want to network with other lovers of the mysterious and unknown. More than that, the cryptid lovers are leveraging their shared passion to promote a love for the nature around them. What was done for casual fun has morphed into a “kind of lifestyle,” according to Marvin.
“Our mission, its to get regular people out into the woods to enjoy and appreciate what is right in our backyards,” said Marvin.
Marvin’s fascination with Bigfoot started in 4th grade, and has only grown since.
“I know that Bigfoot is 100 percent real,” said Marvin. “I’ve known since I was a kid. The way I know is that I have had every kind of experience you can have — visuals, smells, tracks, audio, you name it.”
Marvin is not alone in this. Cryptovania TV is based out of Thompson Run Tire, his store in Hydetown. In the shop, he averages three people a week telling him their first hand stories.
Evidence for Bigfoot, in addition to sightings, includes footprints, tree structures, twisted trees, deer placed high off the ground in trees and hair. Most of the filming done by Cryptovania TV has occurred in the many forests of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
There are a number of different types of Bigfoot seen around the world, according to Marvin. Although only the Skunk ape, a southern variety, has a widely accepted name, the species local to Titusville is much more human in appearance. He said it is smaller than its cousins on the pacific coast, which are more ape-like in appearance.
Marvin’s favorite cryptid story is an encounter from 50 years ago and reported by The Herald. On Aug. 20, 1965, an article reported that three boys were attacked near Miller Farm.
“It seems these boys and others have been camping at a spot on Oil Creek known as Nightcap Bend,” said the article. “And it was at this site Monday night the boys saw something that was not human and was not bothered by .22 caliber bullets.”
Marvin explained that he saw this in a “Yesteryear” segment of the paper, but that he heard about the incident a couple years earlier.
“I believe that was probably Red Eyes, an albino Bigfoot that has lived in Miller Farm,” said Marvin.
Marvin expressed that the endeavor achieved much more notoriety than he expected, gathering some big names. Notable among these nationally recognized Sasquatch experts are Todd Standing, Greg Yost, Wes Germer, Vic Cundiff and M. K. Davis. These are just a few of the 800 enthusiasts from different states and countries represented on the group’s Facebook page.
While Bigfoot is the primary focus of the group, they explore other cryptids too. Some of note are the water monster of Kinzua dam called ’Kinzua Nessie’, the often-sighted Dogman, the giant Thunderbird said to be seen often over Pennsylvania, Devil dogs and black snakes that reach 30 to 40 feet in length.
You can follow these adventures on the group’s Roku Channel, Cryptovania TV, or on their Vimeo channel, vimeo.com/cryptovaniatv.
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