Farmington — Brenda Harris has investigated Bigfoot sightings and activities along the San Juan River for years.

And now she is ready to share her research.

"Bigfoot is something that the people on the reservation are dealing with right now in different areas," she said. "For people living along the rivers, they hear it yelling or screaming late at night."

Throughout the years, Harris said she has received reports of Bigfoot sightings from Upper Fruitland and Hogback in New Mexico and Lukachukai, Cove and Tsaile in Arizona. She has either investigated those reports by herself or with her research group, the Shadow Seekers.

People interested in Bigfoot and the paranormal can hear from Harris and other researchers this weekend in Upper Fruitland. Harris teamed up with actor Jesus "Jesus Jr." Payan to host the Northern New Mexico Bigfoot and Paranormal Conference. Speakers will present evidence and theories about Bigfoot and the paranormal, as well as information about new technologies and future research projects.

Payan has appeared in the television series "Breaking Bad" and the movies "Crash" and "2 Guns." He has also worked with various paranormal and cryptid research teams and will present his theory on the origins of Bigfoot.

As for Harris, she started researching Bigfoot after a close encounter at her Upper Fruitland home in the mid-1990s.

Her husband left for the graveyard shift at work, leaving Harris, her younger brother and their children at home.

She remembers the windows were open when she heard noise outside. Then she saw the front door knob turn back and forth and heard her dogs whimpering underneath the porch.

"I got brave enough finally," she said. "I could hear it let go of the screen door. I hurried up and swung open the door, and I just saw this tall black figure with hair from head to toe."

The figure -- who she claims was Bigfoot -- took off to the north, she said.

"I've always known that it's been out there," she said.

She said another encounter happened in 2009 when her youngest son and a nephew showed her a 18-inch footprint they found near the family home.

This summer, the family found child-sized footprints near their residence. According to Harris, the impression was about an inch deep and was comparable to a child's size 7 shoe.

Harris said her daughter, who wears a size 8, and took off her shoes and made an impression in the ground. But despite putting all her weight into the footprint, the impression was not as deep.

Brenda Harris
Brenda Harris (Daily Times photo)

"We did cast those, and I'll be showing those at the conference and some pictures," Harris said.

She also plans to show video of Bigfoot in Upper Fruitland.

Not all sightings have happened at Harris' residence. Some people have called Harris to share their close encounters with Bigfoot, and others have contacted her when their livestock has been attacked by an unknown entity.

Whether or not people believe in Bigfoot or the paranormal, Harris wants everyone to remain safe, and she educates people on how to coexist with Bigfoot.

"You have the 'Finding Bigfoot' show, different shows, and you have researchers from all over the world that are doing research on Bigfoot ... But what about the safety of the people? Because we don't know enough about what this creature is capable of doing," she said.

Harris advises people not to leave food or animal feed exposed, to have lighting installed around homes and livestock corrals, and to keep their home sites clean.

Lately, she has noticed a change in Bigfoot's behavior. She said there are more reports of daytime activity.

"Since it's harvest time, they're going through people's melon patches. They like watermelons, onions, potatoes," she said.

Other speakers scheduled to present at this weekend's conference are Scott Nelson, William Allen Barnes, Sally Ramey and Robert Kryder.

Nelson is a former naval intelligence analyst and cryptologic linguist whose work focuses on Bigfoot's speech. He uses technology to analyze vocalizations to identify the building blocks of Bigfoot's language.

Barnes, who founded the Falcon Project, will discuss the project and its efforts to capture photographs of Bigfoot from the air.

Ramey will talk about research photography, and Kryder will present evidence collected by his research team.

IF YOU GO

What: Northern New Mexico Bigfoot and Paranormal Conference

When: 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Walter Collins Center, north of Navajo 36 on Indian Service Route 5085, Upper Fruitland

Where: Adults $10. Children 12 and under $5. Tickets can be purchased at the door, cash only. Vendor booth space is available for $10 for both days. Camping is free at the center, but there are utility hookups.

More info: Brenda Harris at 505-860-9254 or harrisbrenda46@yahoo.com

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and nsmith@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @nsmithdt on Twitter.