There was a feeling of uneasiness and the idea of the unknown that shocked Shannon LeGro into a life of looking at the world through an entirely different, paranormal perspective. LeGro had an encounter at a young age with huge, dark beings that triggered an initiation into the unexplained, which led to LeGro and her "Into The Fray" radio program being at the forefront of the fringe.
LeGro, one of the leading experts in the field of cryptozoology, tackles a broad range of subjects from Bigfoot, to Ufology, to ghosts; anything that falls into the category of odd on "Into The Fray," which is a go-to place for all things unsolved. Like many in the field, LeGro has an interesting story to tell, and like all who have dedicated their time to research and bringing light to subjects generally left in the dark by the masses, it all started with a chance encounter.
Below, LeGro details her strange sighting, Bigfoot, what goes into making "Into The Fray," and a subject near and dear to many; "Halloween."
Q:A paranormal experience as a teen prompted what would become "Into The Fray." What do you think you really witnessed running in the woods and why do you think so many researchers have that weird feeling from the experience and then become researchers after personal experiences?
LEGRO: "It is the only oddity I have witnessed with my own eyes. When it comes to the phenomenon of shadow people, often they can be explained away by others who say it was a byproduct of waking from sleep, sleep paralysis, etc. In my case though, I was extremely lucky to have seen these anomalies in broad daylight. I was not asleep, incapacitated, in a traumatic situation or saddled with high stress. What these four, completely light-voided beings were is the ultimate question. Some have speculated human beings executing military drills, ghosts, multi-dimensional beings, demons, and even Bigfoot has been fingered as the culprit. Of them all, Bigfoot is absolutely not on my list of possibilities…unless of course, they can shape-shift. And on this particular day, decided that dropping 300 pounds and donning a skin tight rendition of a Catwoman suit, sounded like fun. The way they ran was an incredible accouterments to their appearance, with such grace and agility, with no regard for the trees in front of them. The movement of their arms and legs seemed so comical, useless for things obviously NOT from around these parts.
Could my brain have created some 'artifact?' Some blip or skip in the matrix of my gray matter. That is not at all, an impossibility. I did not go back out riding for a few days after that, but it did begin a lifelong love for the unknown. The feeling of the initial experience does dull and what comes after, is easily cultivated with books, shows and other people who have similar tales. That’s innate in us;to ask questions. You do find out quickly, it usually only leads to more questions, but we happily forge on. Mystery is a wonderful part of this life, being nosy and never quite satisfied with an explanation can be a blast, whether we want to admit it or not. "
Q:The show offers such a diverse episode list of topics . What do you look for when coming up with episode ideas?
LEGRO: "As far as choosing a topic or guest, I simply go with what I’m interested in. I realize every show will not please every listener, but an engaged host makes for a much better show. If you are hunting down guests that are only at the behest of your audience, you may be doing yourself, the quality of the show, and the listeners in general a huge disservice. As many of my fellow casters know, this is a full-time gig ,and you have to maintain a passion for it. If not, that shows in your on-air exchanges."
Q:There are many 'regional' depictions of Bigfoot all over the world. Why do you think it is hard for the general public to entertain idea similar Sasquatch species can exist ?
LEGRO:"We know Gigantopithecus walked the earth at one point, and died out somewhere around 100,000 years ago. These guys weighed upwards of 1,000 pounds, stood around 10 feet tall, and could cover some serious ground when looking for food and avoiding any dangers. Few bones have been recovered, but it has been enough to give us close reconstructions of these massive creatures. Turning to Bigfoot now, one of the biggest complaints is lack of physical evidence such as bones. Some think they bury their dead;maybe it’s a code they are born with, a way to keep them on the low as a species. Known animals will many times go somewhere secluded and alone to pass on, and even then scavengers, weather and the passage of time quickly handles business on a carcass. Hunters have said time and again they have never seen a bear, deer or other large animal carcass intact in the woods. I myself have seen plenty of bones in the woods. Is it possible a few of us have walked right over evidence of Bigfoot and just thought it to be something else? It is very troubling though, that nothing has been found to this day. No conclusive evidence, save for some DNA samples said to have been “contaminated” by its handler. Or was it? Conspiracy theories on Bigfoot run a muck, and it seems some staunch “flesh and blooders” are turning their heads away from thinking this is just another undiscovered primate.
For the argument of the existence of Bigfoot, I love bringing up the story of the North Pond Hermit in the state of Maine. This gentleman decided he’d had enough of people and society. He proceeded to live completely alone in the woods indefinitely, and succeeded until his eventual capture by law enforcement. He had a tent, a pair of glasses and clothes. To avoid detection, he wouldn’t light a fire.. He went for an astonishing 27 years without talking to another person, save for once when he passed a man off a trail. 'Hellos' were exchanged. The reason I bring up the NPH is, even though he was able to live undetected for so long, he still had to come into town and break into cabins and cars for food, or to replace tattered clothing. He was good, but not THAT good. He isn’t built for the woods like a Bigfoot would be..They can live perpetually off the radar, and never have to come near people to maintain the way they live."
Q:Do you think the merging of paranormal topics muddies the field in terms of mainstream acceptance or does it help grow an overall awareness about the possibilities of what is out there?
LEGRO: "I think it can muddy things quite quickly if wild accusations of what something may be is brought forth as a fact of the phenomenon. Far-fetched theories are something I have myself said on many a recorded show, without regret. It’s important to keep an open mind when looking at any of these subjects, because at the end of the day, and the culmination of any good debate we have no idea what’s really going on."
-By MIKE DAMANTE
BONUS : Happy haunting
Q:With Halloween approaching, what is your favorite Halloween memory?
LEGRO:"Creating a'haunted house' in my garage with my brother as a kid. Cassette tape full of creepy music, wolves howling and witches cackling in the background. Black trash bags hung from the ceiling to guide the poor, unsuspecting souls to touch tables full of peeled grapes for eyeballs, noodles for entrails, cooked cabbage for human flesh, and our neighbor Mike always on the ready at the end to provide the classic jump scare."
Q:Favorite horror movie?
LEGRO:"Being an 80s kid, a movie that stuck with me was Wes Craven’s ‘The People Under the Stairs.’ When you watch movies like that now, the scares seem so very different and more effective. And because I can’t pick just one; '‘Tales From the Darkside.’ Covers way, way over your head that night."
Q: When you aren't researching the unknown, what are your other favorite hobbies?
LEGRO: "This may seem to circumvent the question, but it’s an important part of my daily routine. Each night before I retire to bed, I read something that has nothing to do with the show, or research. It’s a ritual I will always hold true to. Right now, I am working between Stephen King’s ‘IT.’ (yes, quite bandwagon of me at the moment, I know) and re-reading one of my favorites, ‘The Descent’ by Jeff Long. Hobbies include runs in the vast desert area behind my neighborhood, shooting and target practice, hiking, camping, and fishing when I can get to a decent lake. Love you, Utah."