The Boston Globe - 31.08.2019

(Joyce) #1

AUGUST 31, 2019

Composed in large, typed
font and tacked to a lobby bul-
letin board, the note addressed
construction delays on the
town’s Creamery Bridge, which
crosses the Waits River and has
been blocked off to traffic since
the spring of last year.
Then, the message took a cu-
rious turn.
“The prolonged closure of
the bridge is due primarily to
deck replacement and NOT be-
cause of a displacement of or
intrusion on a ‘Sasquatch’ or
Bigfoot, either a single creature
or several,” the bulletin said.
“This is absolutely untrue and
frankly, quite ludicrous.”
“These rumors born of agi-
tated imaginations are to be ig-
nored and disregarded.”
To date, the identity of the
flier’s author remains un-
known. The posting was un-
signed, bears no official seal,
and both the state agency over-
seeing the project and the town
say they have released no such
Since the original appeared
more copies have popped up.
Three were found on a table
outside a local bookstore. Earli-
er this week, copies were tacked
on various downtown bulletin
boards — next to fliers for the
annual all-church yard sale and
offers of free kittens — and by
midweek, it had reached that
big, virtual bulletin board
known as the Internet, where
the online masses smelled con-
As one Twitter user put it: “A
denial this strong is practically
an admission.”
Alexander Chee, a Bradford
resident and an associate pro-
fessor of English and creative
writing at nearby Dartmouth
College, found himself harbor-
ing similar doubts after coming
across the flier earlier this
“The denial is incredibly
specific,” he said, “in the kind of
way that makes you think that
the person is lying.”
Whatever Sasquatch mis-
chief may (or may not) have oc-
curred in the vicinity, most resi-
dents seemed not to have en-
countered it.
“The only Sasquatch I’ve
seen is my boyfriend,” said
Sherry Brown, who was work-
ing the counter at Village Eclec-
tics near Main Street.
Amy Cook, a local veterinari-
an, said, “I have not treated Sas-

Continued from Page 1

quatch” — but added that she
might not be able to say even if
she had, given HIPAA restric-
Pearl Sullivan, whose back-
yard abuts the Waits River and
sits just feet from the Creamery
Bridge, remains mostly uncon-
vinced that a creature is lurking
near the banks. For one thing,
her German shepherd, Sully,
who often patrols the family’s
backyard, would have almost
certainly been sent into hyster-
ics if a Sasquatch were to have
gone stomping past.
“He’s very territorial,” she ex-

And yet...
“About a month ago,” she
says, “my husband and my
daughter and a couple of her
friends swam a little ways down
the river. There’s a part where
the water gets really shallow,
and I saw thesehugefootprints
in the water. They just seemed
way too big to be ours.”
She shrugs.
“And then this comes along.”
So far, at least, the town’s
weekly newspaper, the Journal
Opinion, has refrained from
covering the affair.
“We’re taking a very re-
strained approach to the Sas-

quatch story,” said managing
editor Alex Nuti-de Biasi in his
cluttered office this week — be-
fore allowing that it would “cer-
tainly change my mind if it be-
comes more than just water
cooler talk.”
J.B. McCarthy, project man-
ager with Vermont’s Agency of
Transportation, which is over-
seeing the bridge construction,
said he’s received “several calls”
about the Sasquatch fuss.
“I just told them what was
going on with the bridge,” he
said, which is not much.
He said progress has been
slowed by typical bureaucratic

machinations, but is scheduled
to be complete Oct. 25
In the absence of any con-
crete information, rumors have
circulated about who might be
behind the fliers.
Some have speculated about
a person in town who, accord-
ing to Nancy Hanger, who runs
Star Cat Books, “spends a lot of
time in Seattle,” where Sas-
quatch sightings are a thing,
and “has access to high-speed
printers and photocopiers.”
As she tended to the lunch
rush on a recent afternoon at
The Local Buzz, owner Sarah
Copeland Hanzas mused about

all the buzz. In addition to run-
ning the popular restaurant,
Copeland Hanzas serves as a
Vermont state representative
and, in these rocky political
times, wanted to make clear
she would stand by all constitu-
“We’ll make sure that in ad-
dition to preserving the historic
character of the bridge,” she
said, “that they also preserve
the Sasquatch habitat.”

Dugan Arnett can be reached at
Follow him on Twitter

To w n




Sarah Copeland Hanzas outside The Local Buzz cafe in Bradford, where a flier has locals speculating about Sasquatch and Creamery Bridge repairs.

they retired, the study said, un-
derscoring the long-lasting ef-
fects of head injuries.
Harvard researchers said
the study was the first to docu-
ment what many players have
long suspected: that lengthy ca-
reers and hard-hitting positions
can lead to brain trauma and
mental health problems in re-
“These guys are such fantas-
tic athletes, but a significant
percentage of them are doing
serious damage to themselves,”
said Andrea L. Roberts, a re-
search scientist at the Harvard
T.H. Chan School of Public
Health, and the lead investiga-
tor on the study, which was
published Friday in the Ameri-
can Journal of Sports Medicine.
Roberts said the findings
underscore the importance of
preventing concussions, closely
monitoring players who sustain
blows to the head, and finding
ways to lessen the impact of
those injuries.
A spokesman for the NFL
declined to comment on the
study, as did a representative
for the National Football
League Players Association.
The survey was conducted
as part of the Football Players
Health Study at Harvard Uni-
versity, a $56 million initiative
examining the health effects of
professional football, funded by
the players union.

Continued from Page 1

The results add to a growing
body of research about the dan-
gers of head injuries in profes-
sional football. Recent studies
by Boston University research-
ers on the brains of deceased
players, including Aaron Her-
nandez, have found evidence of
chronic traumatic encephalop-
athy, the degenerative brain
disease also known as CTE.
Just days ago, Andrew Luck,
the Indianapolis Colts quarter-
back, retired at age 29, saying
he could no longer live the life

he wanted and felt no joy in the
game after seven injury-
plagued years in the league.
Rob Gronkowski, the Patri-
ots star who retired in March at
age 29, recently started hawk-
ing CBD oil, claiming it alleviat-
ed the pain he felt from hit after
hit over nine seasons in the
“We really glorify profes-
sional football players and peo-
ple don’t keep in mind what
these guys are dealing with in
terms of physical pain and inju-

ry because they hide it,” Rob-
erts said.
Michael Alosco, an assistant
professor of neurology and an
investigator in Boston Universi-
ty’s CTE Center, said the Har-
vard study was important be-
cause “it’s probably one of the
largest looking at the long-term
consequences of playing foot-
ball, particularly at the profes-
sional level.”
“That in itself is a tremen-
dous accomplishment and a
huge advancement in the litera-

ture,” Alosco said. “It really pro-
vides a strong link and a direct
association between the
amount someone plays profes-
sional football and later-in-life
cognitive or neuropsychiatric
Under pressure to respond
to such problems, the NFL has
in recent years made dozens of
rule changes designed to lessen
the risk of head injuries, such
as penalizing runners or tack-
lers who initiate contact with
their helmets.
The Harvard study, which
was based on self-reported sur-
vey results from former players,
found that 12 percent reported
serious cognitive problems,
compared to 2 percent of the
general population. Nearly one
in four players reported symp-
toms of anxiety and depression.
Roberts said she was dis-
turbed to find that even 13 per-
cent of former players under
age 45 and 11 percent of former
players under age 35 reported
cognitive problems such as
memory loss and confusion
typically associated with old
“Those are numbers that
make you feel sad,” she said.
Cognitive problems, depres-
sion, and anxiety were twice as
likely to be reported by players
who spent 10 seasons or more
in the NFL, compared with
those who played a single sea-
son. The risks for those veteran
players were high even if they

were kickers, punters, and
quarterbacks, considered rela-
tively low-impact positions.
“That points the finger right
at NFL play,” Roberts said. “You
can see, ‘Wow, the guys who
played for 10 years are doing a
lot worse than guys who played
only a year and, for the most
part, they played the same
amount in high school and col-
lege.’ ”
The study found, however,
that even running backs and
linebackers who spent only one
season in the NFL reported se-
rious cognitive problems. That
finding, Roberts said, suggests
that players in those high-im-
pact positions suffered later in
life from head injuries sus-
tained while playing in high
school and college.
Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, director
of the Stanford Brain Perfor-
mance Center, said the findings
should prompt further investi-
gation of ways to prevent and
treat concussions in football as
well as in other sports such as
biking and wrestling where
head injuries are common.
“In general, it points to the
fact that we need better diagno-
ses and treatment of concus-
sions so people don’t end up
with these large, long-term
problems,” he said.

Michael Levenson can be
reached at Follow
him on Twitter @mlevenson.

Ex-NFL players 6 times as likely to note cognitive issues

The risks for veteran players were high even if they were kickers and quarterbacks.
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