Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What Constitutes a Bigfoot-Sasquatch Encounter?

Experiences, under the Microscope....

(This is an archival post from 2010, here selected from a longer old one and republished. Some views of mine seen here may be outdated now. A few small edits have been made.)

"Twenty-four hours a day I have doubts--it drives me crazy. But the Sasquatch business is so intriguing that I can't give it up, come hell or high water. I've sunk so much time and effort in it now that I must go on searching. Besides, above all else, I want to know the answer. In the Sasquatch business you have to be crazy or dedicated. On one side you have all the big scientists in the world, the game biologists, the press and all the so-called sane people. And on the other side you have a nut like me. But look at it this way--once upon a time scientists didn't believe the world was round or that man would get to the moon."
--Rene Dahinden, BF Researcher, 1973 (from a newspaper article, recently posted on bigfoottimes.net)

“They’re shaking their heads at me, and I’m shakin’ my head at them. It’s REAL, end of story.”
--James "Bobo" Fay, California BF Researcher, BFRO Member

For those of us who have not had an undeniable, irrefutable, face-to-face sighting of the large, hairy, cryptid hominoid, it is sometimes difficult to be utterly and absolutely sure of ourselves when it comes to Bigfoot. We ourselves, despite all of this time looking into the phenomenon, and hearing endless reports from witnesses, there is always the nagging possibility that we or they are, perhaps, just crazy after all. Why believe in something that we cannot absolutely prove, something we can't just go out and necessarily find if we want to? Could it be that this whole thing was born from a joke, and perhaps has continued all of these decades simply as a congregate collection of misperceptions and hallucinations combining with myth and legend generated by the popular media? Well, we think maybe not; but we strive endlessly to be sure of things as we proceed as we ever do off into the realms of the unknown and the great Mysteries of the world, of the mind, of being itself. 

What follows are some preliminary thoughts we hope will lead to a larger paper on Blobsquatching. We'll look at our own possible Bigfoot encounters, from the obviously false fleeting visions to more suggestive and convincing experiences that cannot just be explained away.

Recently someone we know fairly well claimed a face-to-face encounter with a Bigfoot up in the Trinity County mountains. At a distance of about 30 feet he stood before one and even says he spoke to it. The encounter lasted about two minutes before the creature (described as being much more like a man-like Neanderthal than an ape) turned and retreated back into the woods. Now, we wish we could have such an extended encounter. It would provide so many answers, as it has for this witness who no longer feels the need to prove that the Sasquatch exists. However, how can we, personally, know for sure? Maybe it was a tall tale, a lie, a self-delusion? None of these options seem, to us, very likely, considering the man reporting it. The witness seems very sincere and sane. But, despite it all, the lingering questions of the human mind and perception and individual differences and motivations persist.

Even if we see such a thing ourselves, are there not some doubts that can remain about our own perceptual processes? Many who have seen a Bigfoot report a confusion of their previous reality systems, some even questioning their own minds and sanity. Sometimes there is even a feeling of having been somehow cursed or hexed--so great is the shock to the psychological system--a phenomenon especially notable in the old Native American recountings (see the book, Raincoast Sasquatch for examples). Others become serious true believers and advocates for the cause of Bigfoot, and spend their lives in pursuit of another encounter.

Not to get too close to issues of "multi-dimensionality" and mystical propositions (which are better left alone when one is trying to prove something), we think it can clearly be said that there is something powerfully strange about Bigfoot encounters, that somehow they exist outside of not only our known sense of the world, but also trigger a part of the mind with which we are fairly unfamiliar. Sighting encounters are not usually "normal" in the sense in which we see an elk or a bear. There is something odd about them, it seems, that triggers not only our vision but also something in the mind that is ambiguous, unclear, and yet deeply powerful. Confusion and conviction can occur at once, throwing the normal control we have over our own minds and reality somewhat into doubt. Also, how do we account for the differences in perceptions, even within the category of "Class A" sightings? How can one person see an ape, and another see some kind of proto-human cave man? And what is the real difference? Obviously, our perceptions are based not only on raw input, but in large part are formed of individual perspectives and interpretive biases.

Before we get into our own experiences, we'd like to note the classification system devised by the BFRO. BFRO uses "Class A," "Class B," and "Class C" categories to divide the most convincing reports from those that are merely suggestive, second hand or historical. To summarize, we quote in part:
"Class A reports involve clear sightings in circumstances where misinterpretation or misidentification of other animals can be ruled out with greater confidence. ... Incidents where a possible sasquatch was observed at a great distance or in poor lighting conditions and incidents in any other circumstance that did not afford a clear view of the subject are considered Class B reports. ... Most second-hand reports, and any third-hand reports, or stories with an untraceable sources, are considered Class C, because of the high potential for inaccuracy."

To these we would like to add our own somewhat humorous classes: "Class D" and "Class F," as well as "Class X." In our proposed Class D category would fit any indeterminate experience that though not fully known could have been a Bigfoot encounter. Often, an experience in this realm can FEEL like a Class A encounter to the experiencer; but because that thing falling to the forest floor could have been an acorn falling from a tree, and not something thrown by a Sasquatch, we have to be circumspect in our assumptions and reactions. This would also have to apply to unidentified animal calls heard out in the spooky hills at night. Though we have pretty convincing sound recordings that we think might be Bigfoot-originated, we just can't say they are so without some corollary evidence such as footprints or a sighting of the creature actually vocalizing or wood-knocking.

In Class F we would group all of those that are obvious hallucinations, products of inner mental problems of the witness, or hoaxes (such as anything seen in the presence of Tom Biscardi). In Class X we would group all experiences that are just plain "weird," that seemed perhaps hyper-real to the witness, but may include unknown factors of reality and perception that would otherwise be termed "metaphysical" or "paranormal." We distinguish these from the sequential lettering simply because we in no way would like to deny that they happen and that they may be "real" in a way we just cannot currently comprehend. Many things we now consider as having the "X-factor" may indeed someday be proven scientifically, and may become part of our ordinary reality. For current science, proceeding as it does by incremental induction, experiment and hypothesis, these things are just simply out-of-category. They do not help to prove anything, and there is little if anything in them that is verifiable or repeatable for analysis. That does not mean they are not happening, and in some way "real." (And that does not mean there is anything wrong with science--that is the way it is supposed to work.)

It might be helpful at this point to quote Arthur C. Clarke's three "laws" of prediction, from his essay, "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination":

1.When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is probably wrong.
2.The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3.Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Or, as Sci-Fi writer, Larry Niven, put it in corollary to the last point, "Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."

We have seen "Bigfoot," along with a whole lot of other strange monsters, many times. That is, while driving for 12 hours through the night--one's mind and eyes tend to grow tired or bored, and strange forms begin to appear. Once we thought we saw a man in a white shirt walking in the highway--it turned out to be a plastic grocery bag blowing in the wind. We've "seen" many a Bigfoot standing in the tree-line, or moving in the shadows, or even in the middle of the road. We've also seen demons, aliens and very large white rabbits. Obviously, all of these are almost certainly "Class F" in nature. Though one could have been a Bigfoot, we seriously doubt any were. And it does little good for us to say or assume so, besides.

A few times we have gone out into the woods with people from out of town, and we found that sometimes just a nut falling from a tree or a deer moving in the brush is enough to raise the pulse and get these folks believing that Bigfoot are everywhere. This is a known condition: SQUATCH-ON-THE-BRAIN; or as we term it,"Squatchlucination," where the desire to see a Bigfoot overrides the natural perceptual and interpretive skepticism and gives rise to monsters from the Goblin Universe (as Dr. John Napier termed it). 

If one lives in a natural, forested area long enough one learns just how many strange noises and creatures are out there in the night. When we first moved to Willow Creek we found ourselves hearing the horrible shrieks of demons in the hills at night. These turned out to be foxes, however horrifying within the imagination. One night the most horrible screams were heard, complete with horrid thrashing about in the brush. Though it was one of the most deeply terrifying sounds we've ever heard come from an animal, it turned out to be two raccoons fighting (or mating?). Go figure. There are owls, doves, squirrels, coyotes, deer, bear, woodpeckers, and so many other beings that make noises that could be construed as Bigfoot. One has to learn to rule these out. Now when we hear such sounds while outside on our porch we don't even jump; though we do listen closely, if not to see Bigfoot then to understand what interesting things are living out there, or maybe to see a mountain lion or a bear. We have seen both of the latter on our own dirt road recently. However, there are other things that just don't fit into these "Class D" boxes.

There are much better cases that are very  convincing, even though they fall just short of an actual sighting. Here is how we wrote about our own very close, non-sighting "encounter" with something big and wild in our very own backyard, June, 2008. We can't explain it at all, save with the Sasquatch hypothesis (though we have to admit it could just as easily have been a Purple People Eater). We live at the top of [excised for personal security after threats of violence against this blogger, July 3, 2011], in a [excision] at the dead end of the road, near the top of the [excision] Ridge which is [excision] from Brush Mountain Lookout's ridge and Friday Ridge Road to the [excision]. There have been numerous recent Bigfoot incidents reported out there lately....

"In the dark of late night/early morning something came down the hillside up from my cabin. Sitting smoking out on my enclosed porch I thought at first it was just another deer coming to eat my lettuce and chili peppers. I heard what sounded like a tripping sound in the brush, some big thing making a crack and crunch in the underbrush, followed by three distinct bipedal "whump, whump, WHUMP" footfalls. These were very heavy, thunderous things, to the degree that I could feel the concrete under my feet on the porch firmly vibrate about 30 yards away from the creature. This was followed by a heavy crash of something falling into the brush below. This was no bear, sure wasn’t a deer—I’ve seen and heard these critters up on my road. And if human it would have had to have been an incredibly big or obese man. And why would a big human be out walking around in the dark, dead end, dirt road mountainside, middle-of-nowhere woods at nearly three in the morning? I tried to observe it, but it crept back into the woods a little ways beyond the porch light, and then did not move at all. It did not flee farther. 
My flashlight was inadequate in power and batteries to pursue or see it. I stood there at the edge of the woods for about 15 minutes waiting for any sound or sign. None. I didn't want to pursue and scare it off, or get eaten by whatever it was. Then I decided to duck back into the cabin where I could continue listening and looking without being seen. I knew it was still out there. Once inside for a few moments I heard movement, as the thing went down into the neighboring vacant house’s yard. Through the open window I heard two under-the-breath grunting sounds, something like a bear’s growl crossed with a pig’s snort. Quickly outside I was once again unable to spot anything. The next day I saw a depression in the weeds where the thing had fallen down. There were two further depressions in the plants that looked a lot like big footprints. I could see some metal pipe and wooden construction debris under the herbage where the thing had apparently gotten hung up. Whatever it was I cannot say; and whatever it was it was very big, and incredibly sly. It escaped into the dark of night without another trace, but its impact upon the ground and upon me was undeniable. For what it’s worth, it FELT like a sasquatch.”

As is often said: Examine the Witness, not just what was witnessed. Examine yourself and your own perceptions and thoughts.

Here is a clip of ourselves on the FINDING BIGFOOT show, talking about our own experience. Of course, it's been highly edited. They took out, for instance, the part where we said, "I don't know what it was." Oh well....

Angry Bigfoot SHALL return
Angry Bigfoot SHALL return.

Friday, May 9, 2014

New Funding Drive for the Bluff Creek Trail Camera Project, 2014

Here is the new season's funding drive for the BLUFF CREEK TRAIL CAMERA PROJECT. Check in now and help get more cameras in the field at the greatest, most famous Bigfoot hotspot in the world. This is a publicly-funded research project. You can be part of it.


(What follows is copied from the Indiegogo page. Click the link above to go to the real page for the project.)

Bluff Creek Trail Camera Project

This campaign is for raising money to get trail cameras down at the Patterson-Gimlin Film site in Bluff Creek.

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This is the official crowd-funding page for the Bluff Creek Project's trail camera survey of Bluff Creek.
Summer 2014 update: 
This is the Summer 2014 crowdfunding campaign for the Bluff Creek Project. Right now we have 20 trail cameras looking for Bigfoot down in the Bluff Creek drainage including six at the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site. Right now we are focusing on getting Batteries and Bear boxes for the cameras. Twenty cameras is alot to service right now. Each camera takes 8-12 Lithium batteries which we buy in bulk. I thought we should do two crowdfunding campaigns this summer to give people a chance to come down there with us. Also this year we are trying to minimize our footprint down on the creek. We hope to have fewer trips that are less invasive. We now have a good trail cut down to the creek so we don't have to go boonie-crashing anymore. The cameras themselves are better camouflaged as well to minimize any interaction with the wildlife. 
New target budget:
20 cameras X 12 AA batteries at $1.00 per battery is $240
7 bear boxes X $35 each is $245
12 bottles of 2014 Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine X $2 bottle is $24

For a grand total of $509

Our first service is in the beginning of June where we will check the cameras that have been soaking for seven months. We will have an August and September expedition as well to take people down to the film site and see where the Bigfoot walked. We can also guide people down there in exchange for donations to the project. We run on gasoline, beer, and good food. This is a not-for-profit venture and we are just trying to get some pictures these 9' tall apes/people to people report seeing down there. 

We would also like to get some more higher-end 12mp cameras to replace our older 5mp cameras. The new cams are about $200 each, which is about $300 with an SD card, bear box, and lithium batteries.

More updates coming soon! 

Summer 2013 update:
Please help us get some trail cameras down at the PG film Site! We need some help getting cams to put down at the film site. We have six already but we need a few more to cover the creek and downstream by the bridge. This is a not-for-profit operation and all footage is open-source and not covered by complicated copyrights and NDAs. We are sick of the other projects holding out on their footage for documentaries or copyright issues. We will immediately release the footage for all to enjoy. If we all work together and get the cams down at the creek we have a real chance of getting a Bigfoot on camera. 

This is not for our personal gain or status, it is just for pure science. These cameras take an HD video of anything that moves down there and run all year long 24/7. They are silent and have their lights filtered so they are practically undetectable. 

If any donors want to go visit the site we will take you there. We have a trip planned in late August after Bigfoot days, a couple in September and one in October. If you help out with the project we will cook you some awesome dinner and breakfast at camp and guide you down to the film site. 

I understand that we all have differing opinions on the nature of Bigfoot, but we can't let these get in the way of genuine research. We welcome all types of assistance and help with our work. 

About the project:

The Bluff Creek Project is an open-source volunteer project initially formed to locate the original Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site. It consists of several project contributors who volunteered their time and gas money to complete the mountains of field work needed to confirm the site's location. We have been researching the area formally on foot since 2009. Recently, during the summer of 2011, we successfully located the original film site and completed a detailed survey of the surviving monuments and trees. This survey has been an enormous contribution to the Bigfoot research community and can now be used to exact dimensional data from the film and make accurate measurement of the creature's pathway and size.

Trail camera survey:
The trail camera project was launched in July of 2012, and successfully raised enough money to purchase four high-end trail cameras. We committed all of our personal trail cameras to the project as well, for a total of nine cameras installed at the site. The cameras were installed in late October 2012 on the 45th anniversary of the film. The cameras spent seven months in total down at the film site, capturing the movements of Bluff Creek's inhabitants. We had a few camera failures, but all of the newly purchased cameras performed flawlessly.
We have learned many lessons and fought several battles to pull off the project. We captured hundreds of videos of bears, deer, and a cougar. I hope to publish a small research paper containing the findings and data after the completion of a total of one year of deployment of the cameras. We think that the summer and fall months are the most active for the area and wish to include them in the paper. After all, "Patty" was filmed in the PGF in late October, with reported activity preceding that in August, yet we didn't install the cameras until late October.

What we need:
We would like to continue the trail camera project over the winter of 2013/2014, and have a few needs for our continued success. We would like to raise enough money to purchase a couple new cameras, some bear-safe camera housings, and fresh batteries for the other cameras we currently have. We had amazing success with the 2012 Bushnell Trophy Cam, and wish to purchase new 2013 models.

A list of their features can be viewed here:


The current price on Amazon.com for all items needed is:

$223.35  - Trophy can HD Max
$31.99  - Bear box for cameras
$20.37  - 32gb SD memory card
$22.99  - 12pk of Energizer lithium batteries

We intend this trail camera survey to be an open-source project, where all media and data is published immediately after collection for all the world to see. The main problem with similar camera projects is that all media and data is subject to strict non-disclosure agreements and stipulations. This is to protect any cash value associated with a potential Bigfoot image or video. We believe as a team that the commercialization of such a project is fundamentally unscientific. As a premise for the camera project we will practice full transparency during the entirety of the project. All videos and photos of any note will be published immediately after they are collected. They will be offered freely on the internet for non-commercial use for anyone who wants to use them for their own research. Any commercial use of the videos that results in a cash profit will be invested back into the Bluff Creek Project for use in the next season’s efforts.

While the subject of Bigfoot is quite controversial, it is still an enigma that captures the interest of people worldwide. The possible existence of such a creature is highly debated and subjected to constant skepticism from all sides. It is our opinion that if Bigfoot exists it is a physical, biological animal, and not paranormal in nature. Any animal that is real can be photographed and caught on video. Modern trail cameras are very high resolution and can take clear HD video of any animal that triggers the sensor. Such cameras have proven to be a valuable asset to any biological study of rare animals.

Contributors making sizable donations covering whole units will have the option of receiving back the used camera unit after this coming winter of 2013-2014. It is, however, encouraged that you contribute the camera to next year’s project. We will ship the camera to you after June 2013 when we retrieve the cameras. Any leftover cameras and materials will be put to use for the next overwinter season. There is of course the possibility that the camera will be damaged or stolen during the course of its use. This is unlikely due to the remoteness of the area and the roads being closed for the duration of the winter.

All contributors will have their name cited in the accompanying summary paper of the project. If you wish to remain anonymous please indicate so in a private message.

We also will be accepting physical donations of equipment and gear. Please contact one of the members of the project if you have some equipment to offer. We could use some old trail cameras, audio recorders, night-vision, binoculars, video cameras, etc. All donations are non-refundable. We do not expect an image of a Bigfoot creature as a result of this project (though that would be great!). We do however expect lots of HD video of local wildlife including bears, deer, elk, and cougar.
Find This Campaign On
Help make it happen
for Bluff Creek Trail Camera Project and Jamie Schutmutt!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Late April 2014 Edition

OH BOTHER, MK Davis is back at it again. As if we didn't already know this, MK....
The question, "When was the Patterson film taken and who took it?"

Thank you for wasting 16 minutes of our time, MK. This video again clearly demonstrates only his faulty thinking and conspiratorial theoretical leaps.

Here is a recently-emerged frame from the film with the truest-to-life colors I've ever seen:
The true colors of the plants, trees and sand on the Bluff Creek sandbar.
* Those patches of trees with the red leaves are vine maples, and still grow on those same spots today, turning red in mid to late October or early November.

* The color red is shown by MK from two separate copies of the film. Color balances differ. The "dead foliage" in his scanned image from Patricia shows the red vine maples shifted to brownish or orangish red. The other colors such as yellow show fading too. The vivid reds and yellows of the maples are distinct features of that very spot today, and the vine maples never turn red before October (in my 12 years of observation up there and also in the long memories of older locals in this area I've asked).

* The 1964 Flood did not get up that high and kill those trees. It killed those alders down on the sandbar that the flood created but left the trees at the back and up the banked hill there alone. This evidence exists still today all up and down the creek. The green trees seen in the PGF are Douglas fir mostly old growth, with some understory shrubs like Oregon grape and rhododendron and azalea. Alders grow down on the sandbar, but were mostly washed away by the historic flood.

* Bill Munns has a complete copy of the first roll of film and had shown that it is contiguous, with natural camera stops between scenes, is unedited, and was clearly shot at the same time of year as the Bigfoot part. The horseback scene was shot in the shadows of the canyon downstream and thus there was a big difference in exposure between there and the fully exposed sandbar where the Bigfoot appears. This accounts for color differences.

* In the questioning of Gimlin the guy asks who was carrying the camera when they rode out that day. Gimlin obviously meant that Roger was carrying the camera and filming things. This was because Gimlin was not a camera guy. Easy explanation: Then Roger wanted footage of himself. So he asked Bob to film him, needing only to say, Bob, just flick this switch here and hold it steady. Both accounts can exist without contradiction. This does not indicate a lie on Gimlin's part, but just a differing interpretation of the intent of the two questions.

* The film was shot in 1967, October 20th, at shortly after noon (approximately 1:00 p.m., but unverified by a watch at the time). At this time of day that shadow length is totally natural at that time of year. As stated above, MK offers no time of day nor date on the year for his comparison photo, and he certainly wasn't standing on the correct film site besides.
The Big Tree in June 2012, surrounded by green-stage vine maples.
In other words.... MK is a fool playing goofy games on a computer. He can't even locate the correct film site, heading downstream to no man's land. The guy is lost in the woods and dreaming paranoid fantasies of massacres and flowing bloody streams with Bigfoot corpses piled high. Absurd.

The matter is settled and obvious, yet MK persists on his obfuscation and deliberate confusion of simple issues in order to advance his imaginary conspiracy theory and to gain attention and special fame. 

There are many things still to be known about the PGF, but they are not to be found using delusional imagination. 

His colors are being observed in somewhat degraded images from film copies. The natural colors are shifted somewhat. After that he intentionally manipulated cookies trying to show blood where there was none. Absurd.
A crop of that frame from the film.
The contiguous and unspliced scenes from the roll of film Patterson shot
(with some help from Gimlin). Bill Munns states that these are natural camera transitions.
Note how the reds are more prominent in the third scene, which is shot in a shadowy canyon.
MK Davis' scan take from Patricia Patterson's transparency. Note the degradation of reds, yellows and browns.
A photo from Tony Healy in 1978, showing the colors of foliage on the site, the vine maples not yet turned red.
Me just downstream from the site in August. This is what the foliage looks like that time of year.
Behind me are alders, vine maples, broadleaf maples, Douglas fir, and rhododendrons and ferns.
More Fun MK Errors...
MK's incorrect view of the PGF site perspective.
Perspective  corrected by me and confirmed as accurate by Bill Munns and our site survey.

MK believes a story handed down from great ur-hoaxer, IVAN MARX. More Massacre Madness...