SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The latest Bigfoot sighting in Northern California isn't deep in the woods or high on a mountain, but in a courthouse.
One of the leading searchers for the creature is suing the Great American Bigfoot Research Organization for breach of contract, claiming it never paid to use keepsakes he collected in his pursuits, including a plaster impression of what he describes as the hairy beast's actual big foot.
"You can't get this stuff anywhere,'' C. Thomas Biscardi said Wednesday by cell phone from Texas, where he says he has spotted a Bigfoot yet again. "It's worth thousands of thousands of dollars.''
Biscardi claims the suburban San Francisco company agreed to pay him $215,000 but only made one initial payment. His attorney, Dennis Kazubowski, said the company hasn't replied to repeated requests to return the items.
The company didn't immediately return a call on Wednesday seeking comment.
Bigfoot, a hairy humanoid that supposedly stands up to 8 feet tall, has long vexed legions who have taken to the American wilds to look for what some claim might be evolution's missing link. Many others scoff at the very notion of its existence.
Generations of American children were reared on the legend, which spawned television shows, films and even tours. More than 2,550 sightings have been reported in North America in the past century, according to Christopher L. Murphy's 2004 book "Meet the Sasquatch,'' a title referring to the creature's American Indian name.
But hoaxes have also been a large part of the Bigfoot legend. California construction company owner Ray L. Wallace donned 16-inch wooden feet to create tracks in mud in 1958, and it led to a front-page story in a local paper that coined the term "Bigfoot.''
In the suit filed in Marin County Superior Court, Biscardi asked for $185,000 plus interest and the return of his rare Bigfoot stash including original film reels, magazine articles, books and pictures. He's also asking the organization not to use his name or likeness on its Web site, which was still offering Biscardi-led expeditions Wednesday.
Kazubowski said the Bigfoot expert entered a licensing agreement with research organization executives Carole Rubin and Robert Shorey in 2005 to conduct Bigfoot expeditions and allow the organization to use his collection.
The lawsuit claims Biscardi "is publicly renowned for leading the research into whether the Bigfoot creature exists.''
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