Monday, October 31, 2011

"FINDING BIGFOOT" All Over the Place in Willow Creek, Lunch with BOB GIMLIN and AL HODGSON, The Filming of "Birth of a Legend." THE UNEXPURGATED VERSION

Rogues Gallery at the Museum: James Fay, Bob Gimlin, Al Hodgson,
Tom  Yamarone, Cliff Barackman and Steven Streufert.
Photo snapped by a crew member whose name we didn't catch.
  Mid-Late August 2011 Edition,
  Updated for Late October...

NOTE: This is an older blog entry that we decided to expurgate so as not to get my friend, Bobo, into any trouble with his Animal Planet employers. The producers felt that this blog had revealed too much about what went on during the production of the show, and was giving away its secrets. I took those parts out of it, not so much for fear of a massive lawsuit from the Network, but really just for our friends on the show. NOW we may speak. I've got a ton of other stuff from the nearly two weeks the FINDING BIGFOOT crew spent up here in the Willow Creek area, and you'll see much of that here on this blog. For now, suffice to say it was a wild time, indeed. Bob Gimlin's return to the film site was a highlight, and helped us in the Bluff Creek Film Site Project focus in on the area we've been seeing as the most promising. Let me just say it now: BOB WAS RIGHT.

It is very weird to see one's friends on TV. It is even weirder seeing oneself on there! More on that coming up soon. The new season's episode aired last night on Animal Planet, and so far has gotten really good reviews. Kudos, guys, and gal! Personally, I saw it right after I rolled in to Hoopa, at the local casino, after a busy afternoon at the Bluff Creek Film site with Ranger Robert Leiterman. I could barely hear the episode due to the jingle-jangling of slot machines, but it was fun nonetheless to see it with the real Locals.

And, by the way, we have REDISCOVERED the PATTERSON-GIMLIN FILM SITE, or so it seems, and we have documented it. Yes, that means we have found the big trees and the stumps, and will almost certainly be able to re-trace the creature's track-way as in the film. That news is going to be coming out slowly here on this blog. I've also been posting on the MUNNS REPORT thread on the BIGFOOT FORUMS. It looks absolutely certain, to me anyway, that we have indeed found the site. So, stay tuned for yet more BLUFF CREEK FILM SITE PROJECT. (See under "Favorites" through this link.) It should be said here and now that the film crew were on the right spot, as identified by Bob Gimlin, but the recreation shown in the show was done down on the gravel bar edge of the creek for better filming. The ACTUAL film site is back on the elevated sand bar BEHIND where you see Bobo walking. That is not the true track-way of the creature seen in the PGF.

 For now, read on with this little blast from the past....

This sleepy little hamlet of Willow Creek often bustles with Squatching enthusiasts, but the last month or so has been simply ridiculous. What Mecca is to Islam, what Jerusalem is to those other religions, this place seems to be for Bigfooters. On top of the usual parade of Bigfoot-interested tourists, the BFRO came to town to hold an expedition up in Bluff Creek, and then another down in the coast redwoods area. After that the four stars of Animal Planet's FINDING BIGFOOT came knocking on our door, trailing behind them a vast retinue of camera people, boom mikes, lighting arrays, producers, location scouts, managers and a large U-Haul trailer. The Bigfoot Motel read "No Vacancy" for nearly two weeks, and the townsfolk woke up again to the fact that they are, indeed, living in the "Gateway to Bigfoot Country," whether or not they even care for a moment about the hirsute legend.
Bob and me at the Willow Creek-China Flat Museum.
Indeed. But we'll blog about that next time, okay? The location has been under the consideration of the Bluff Creek Film Site Project for some time, and will  be thoroughly documented and filmed by us in mid-October.

Yes, indeed, we did have lunch with BOB GIMLIN and AL HODGSON. With only Tom Yamarone and Paul Graves along, we somehow managed to escape from the TV production circus to have a genial conversation at Gonzalez Mexican Restaurant. Questions were asked of Bob, but we did try to honor Bobo's request to "not go getting all Danny Perez on Bob, now!"
Real Bigfoot old-timers, still sharp: Bob Gimlin and Willow Creek's
Al Hodgson. Out in front of the Museum.
For those few of you who do not know, FINDING BIGFOOT is a new television show on Animal Planet, featuring BFRO director, Matt Moneymaker, Cliff Barackman, James Bobo Fay and a woman known as Ranae (why doesn't their website tell us her last name?). Okay, her last name is Holland (but why did we have to look it up?) "MEET THE TEAM"

It's weird to see your friends on TV.
We were somewhat involved in helping out the producers in coming to Willow Creek and finding the Bluff Creek PGF site, and we were allowed to hang out at a bunch of their filming spots, so this blog is going to try to respect their wishes not to reveal things that would act as "spoilers" for the show. We'll try to skirt around that by showing a few things that happened off camera, such as the above. Since we are friends with Bobo and Cliff, and Matt to some extent, such hanging out also involved a certain amount of after-hours beer drinking. Best not to talk too much about that, either, we guess.

It all started in late July when the BFRO invited us (me, that is) to give a talk at their expedition up in Bluff Creek. That public speaking prospect was unnerving, but we've been told it was pretty good. The topic was The History of Bigfoot in Bluff Creek. We met some very cool folks there, including a family from Utah and a fellow all the way from England.
Fish Lake, just up off Bluff Creek, base of the BFRO expedition.
It is known for its civilized campground, as well as a whole heck of a
lot of Bigfoot activity around the area.
The expedition base was at Fish Lake, but branched out all across the Bluff Creek basin, with some interesting results (details private to the BFRO, save if you can find the report on their page, We noticed that these folks hardly ever sleep. They're up into the wee hours of the morning sitting around in the dark woods with night vision and thermal imagers, and the seem to arise at the crack of dawn.
After a night of very little sleep indeed, we and fellow Bluff Creek Film Site Project member, Robert Leiterman, led a big group of expeditioneers up the creek from the Bluff Creek bridge some three miles to the Patterson-Gimlin film site area. During all of this we met Animal Planet producer Jen, and location scout Rowdy (last names withheld here). From there the Bigfoot thing snowballed to take over nearly the entire next month.
And then, shortly afterwards, Finding Bigfoot came to town....
Though we're not going to give it all away, here are a few pictures around about before and after the filming scenarios.
Before a visit to Bigfoot Books some interviews were done at the Early
Bird ("Bigfoot Burger") Restaurant. Here Al Hodgson, Willow Creek elder
of Bigfooting hangs out, Matt and Bobo get prepped by head honcho.
Before the familial Bigfoot 'n' Donuts mural, Bobo devours his
Bigfoot Burger, Ranae gets in the groove. After this the crew came over to see
us at the shop, and we had to pretend we were meeting them for the first time.
On the second day they were in town a full house assembled at the Willow Creek Veterans' of Foreign Wars Hall to tell their stories of Bigfoot encounters. Word of mouth around town was enough to gather the crowd, and surely many more would have flooded the place had the event been formally advertised. A few historical notables showed up, as well as some noted Bigfoot Researcher types. We were happy to encounter Tom from Jefferson State Bigfoot Research, veteran but now-retired BFer Rip Lyttle, and some others.
Sign announcing the Town Hall Meeting, outside Veterans' Park.
VFW Hall, Al Hodgson meets for the first time in ages with
 Jon and Wade, sons of Jerry Crew. Local, Ranger Jim, also converses.
Al knew Jerry quite well back in the day. It was Crew who made the
1958 track casts up in Bluff Creek that made Bigfoot a front-page name.
In this photo before the meeting began one may see Al Hogson and some
other locals including Ranger Jim and  Denali, who was quite excited
to hang out with the TV people and her friend, Mr. Bobo himself.
The meeting getting going inside the Willow Creek VFW (Vets') Hall. Cut!

Bobo's dog Mountain Monkey was a prominent figure playing with her ball
at the feet of the stars of the show all during the filming of the meeting.
Bigfoot bros... Bobo Fay, Matt Moneymaker, and researcher Rip Lyttle.
At the FINDING BIGFOOT town hall meeting in Willow Creek August 10th.
After the meeting it was a great honor to finally meet the sons of Jerry Crew.
Here Wade and Jon are showing a display they made with an article about
their father and the ORIGINAL, slightly fragmented 1958 Bigfoot track cast.
Tom Yams poses with the Crew Bros. and Jerry Crew's track cast. History!
"The Foot Fetish is strong in this one..."
Thomas Graham of Jefferson State Sasquatch Research, with Folksinger
and researcher Tom Yamarone, whose song about Jerry Crew helped
facilitate the sons getting back into the Bigfoot world.
Photo provided by Tom Yamarone.
Afterwards it was beer with Bobo at the Forks Lounge.
Bobo actually defeated an arm-wrestling champ here that night.
And here is a clincher, perhaps of of the true Holy Grail items to emerge from the historic return of the Crew brothers to the world of Bigfooting. While the brothers were getting their photos taken with some fans, the wife of one of the brothers showed us the binder of materials they had brought with them to the event. Inside was an old brown paper note which I noticed was signed "Bob" and addressed to "Jerry."

Bob Titmus' map and note to Jerry Crew, detail.
It turns out that this was the ORIGINAL grocery sack note that Bob Titmus had slipped onto the window of Jerry Crew's tractor up in Bluff Creek sometime in late September or even early October, 1958.  The note tells Jerry that Bob is leaving some plaster in the cab, and tells Jerry to make casts of the best footprints. On the other side of the opened grocery sack paper Bob Titmus drew a MAP of the Bluff Creek area, leading along the new road construction, up towards the area surrounding Notice Creek. Get this: THE MAP SHOWS THE LOCATION OF THE FOOTPRINT FINDS! Along the road and creek, beside such notable items as "Dump Truck" and "Logging" sites, one sees little hash marks where Titmus found additional tracks that Jerry Crew had apparently not known about. This historical relic shows the incredible and fundamental importance of BOB TITMUS to the history not only of Bigfoot in Bluff Creek, but of the entire field of Bigfooting. For now we'll publish two photos we took of the original in its binder. Next time we will publish the four-page photocopy of the Titmus-Crew map and note, once we get around to scanning it.
Bob Titmus' note to Jerry Crew. Click to Enlarge and Read.
Disclaimer: Though this blogger is affiliated in a friendly, non-formal way with the BFRO, and we are indeed friendly with a number of members of that organization, we'd like to say that we have never actually signed the NDA, and are in no way obliged or beholden to follow any rules or censorship from that organization. Neither are we "an informant" for the BFRO. That having been said, we spent a good bit of time hanging out with Mr. Matt Moneymaker, head of the group and quite a controversial figure, and we found NOT ONE moment of displeasure in doing so. The conversation was good, and fair, and nearly entirely free of judgment of other researchers. We understand that there are a lot of you out there who have reason to feel otherwise, but it has been our own experience over the last few years that Matt is really a cool dude. Strange, you might say, but true.... Go figure. Maybe it is because this blog has nothing to prove to ANYONE.
A slightly melodramatic promo pic from Animal Planet. Enough techie gear to
scare off the biggest squatch. Bobo, what is there in that "Evidence" bag?
We were interviewed for a story by the Hoopa Valley tribal newspaper on the topic of the TV show coming to our area. If you go to the bottom of the online article you can even read the reporter's sketch notes from the talk, for some reason also published. Read it here: Shooting Bigfoot with Film not Bullets.
For the rest of the story, tune in to Animal Planet in October. We've heard the special two-part episode on the Klamath-Trinity area is supposed to air on Halloween. After that we will surely have yet another blog entry to write.
Hanging out with the rest of the gang, especially our friends Cliff, Tom Yams, Paul Graves, Craig Flipy and Rowdy from the production crew was also quite fun. It involved a lot of great Bigfoot discussion, endless planning sessions for the filming (which we were not really part of, by choice), and lots of sitting around while the filming sessions were going on. Much of the time Cliff and Craig were out in the field doing "real" squatching activities. A rather extensive day was spent with Bob Gimlin at the WILLOW CREEK-CHINA FLAT MUSEUM. Here are a few more photos from there. We'll leave the rest for later.

Ever quizzical and inquiring, Cliff Barackman considers the Evidence.
Willow Creek Museum Gift Shop.
Next blog entry we will have some more detailed TALES OF BOB GIMLIN'S VISIT, and we'll tell what we can of his return to the BLUFF CREEK FILM SITE. Sorry to leave you all hanging a bit, but there's only so much we can put into one blog entry, and there is only so much we can tell you out of respect for our friends involved with the FINDING BIGFOOT TV show. You'll see it all soon enough; and after we'll tell you about all the stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor.
At the start of a filming day, here are Bob Gimlin and Tom Yamarone entering
the Museum. Tom drove all the way to Yakima and back to bring Bob here!
Until then, see ya....
Bobo, Bigger than Bigfoot.
Go to the web page for the show for updates, here:


Me HATE the hate. Me "Angry," that true. But Bigfoot not like be cause of all hu-man hate each other. You KNOW me? No. You know ABOUT me? Not. Me still laugh at hu-man in woods with silly headlamp and goggle on face. But me not hate them. They like TV to me. But when me see them use me to hate other, then me say, phooey. Me not EVER let you see me. Me not EVER let you even come close. Me go far away so you not EVER even hear me laugh, and me laugh harder and harder every day, hu-man.

This blog is copyright and all that jazz, save for occasional small elements borrowed for "research" and information or satirical purposes only, 2010, Bigfoot Books and Steven Streufert. Borrowings for non-commercial purposes will be tolerated without the revenge of Angry Bigfoot, if notification, credit, citation and a kindly web-link are given, preferably after contacting us and saying, Hello, like a normal person would before taking a cup of salt. No serious rip-offs of our material for vulgar commercial gain will be tolerated without major BF stomping action coming down on you, hu-man.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nine-Year-Old Rediscovers BLUFF CREEK P-G FILM SITE. Bigfoot Footage Turns 44; BLUFF CREEK FILM SITE PROJECT Updates

Denali on the upper sandbar, PGF General Consensus Site, with the big
trees behind her obscured in foliage.

Denali, a real trooper, did what many a grown-up would not do. She slogged her way down the last mile or so on the now-closed 12N13H on foot, reaching the bottom of the canyon where Bluff Creek flows. Proceeding through thick forest, over downed trees, through thick brush and nettles, into and out of mud bogs, we came to the area where it is generally accepted that Bigfoot was filmed 44 years ago today by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin.
Hoof prints of a certain famous Bigfooting fellow's horse.
Bluff Creek film site area road, 12N13H. We followed these
on the hill above the site.

Not only is she perhaps the youngest Bigfooter on record to reach the film site area, we now have reason to believe that it is the CORRECT site, and not just someone's wild and unfounded theory. Based upon our studies of four years now, as well as on recent developments in the research of Bill Munns, and Bob Gimlin's reconfirmation of the location of the first sighting of the creature, we have now come to the point where we feel pretty darn confident that we can prove the location on-site. We have the big trees. We have the old stumps seen in the film still there in the ground. We have the correct layout of the creek. We have, therefore, only one area that we can lay out the track-way of the film's subject in that fairly narrow creekside sandbar. All we have to do now is measure it out... and we'll be doing that tomorrow. For now, see below for some film site diagrams, as well as Denali's film site quest, wherein she saw what adult eyes have lost track of and not been able to pinpoint for over two decades.
Here are some landmark spots of the PGF area with photos.
The larger photo to lower left is the site in 1971 or '72. We believe
now that it is to be found in the white part in the upper right
Lower sandbar area. Victory!
In the "Big Bend" or "gulch.
Root balls as big as a room. In the gulch.
Heading upstream to the "rounded gravel bar." Big trees are in a direct
line far back behind Denali. 
Just downstream from the first sighting spot identified by Bob Gimlin.
Just below the "Dahinden X," also identified by Gimlin as the spot.
Nearing the end of the film site sandbar area, big trees to left off frame,
the "bowling alley" just ahead.
Start of the bowling alley. Denali Art of Sasquatch painted with
water on rock at bottom.
BIG TREES! Upper sandbar, among the trees seen in the film background.
We're here!

Heading back downstream, through the Bluff Creek jungle.
Heading back up the incredibly steep hill.
Screen capture from the FINDING BIGFOOT promotional trailer online.
Here we see Cliff Barackman (Patterson) filming James Bobo Fay (Bigfoot)
at the spot where Bob Gimlin has indicated they first saw and started filming
the creature in the famous film. Here Bobo is walking on the gravel bar, for
better filming, rather than up on the sandbar behind where he really should be.
Here, in another screen capture from the promo trailer, we see the cast of
FINDING BIGFOOT standing with BOB GIMLIN on the site Bob identified
as the correct sighting zone, right next to Bluff Creek. Cliff starts to film here.
Here is Bill Munns' digital recreation of the PGF site, which he made based
solely upon data contained within the film itself. Despite the limited view of
the camera in the film, it is utterly uncanny how well this illustration matches
with the real area of the creek where Bob Gimlin identified the first sighting
spot. It depicts the upper sandbar nearly perfectly. Blue dots are Patterson's
track,  the red ones are representative of Patty.
Screen capture from the Munns YouTube page.
Here again, for your reference, is a diagram we made based upon a model
that MK Davis set up. We corrected his perspective lines as found above.
Bill Munns confirmed these as correct. Note how the film was shot
diagonally across the sandbar, and the "big tree" is actually way to the right.
For a very long time now the above is how we have been
seeing the PGF site, as if it were a box oriented top-down,
from north to south, involving straight lines. The new view,
however, reflects a dynamic and shifting camera position, and
the motion of both subject and photographer to view
diagonally across the sandbar. People looking for the image
above would never find it on the ground, in real life. In great
measure, this desire to graph out the film dimensions has
contributed to the loss of knowledge of the site, on site.
So folks, stay tuned here for new developments from our last trip this year to Bluff Creek. Watch for a new series of Bluff Creek Film Site Project videos on YouTube coming your way soon. Also, tune in to FINDING BIGFOOT on Animal Planet, October 30th. It is their special two-hour "Birth of a Legend" episode, filmed here in the Willow Creek area. I'm told that Yours Truly appears in the final edit. Hopefully they didn't edit it to make me look like a goofball... or maybe I just am a goof? Well, tune in for that. See ya.

* View the FINDING BIGFOOT trailer HERE,
   with details on the episode HERE.
* View the BILL MUNNS video HERE on YouTube.
* Join the MUNNS REPORT thread on the Bigfoot Forums HERE.


What me have to angry be about? It my birthday. Me drink a beer and eat pizza I find in hu-man trash bin. It taste better than eating hu-mans, which me do if me get angry. So me won't.

This blog is copyright and all that jazz, save for occasional small elements borrowed for "research" and information or satirical purposes only, 2011, Bigfoot Books and Steven Streufert. Borrowings for non-commercial purposes will be tolerated without the revenge of Angry Bigfoot, if citation and a kindly web-link are given, preferably after contacting us and saying, Hello, like a normal person would before taking a cup of salt. No serious rip-offs of our material for vulgar commercial gain will be tolerated without major BF stomping action coming down on you, hu-man.