Friday, September 23, 2011

BLUFF CREEK FILM SITE UPDATE; plus JOURNEY TO BLUFF CREEK, by Guest Blogger TRAVIS McHENRY, wherein Travis Finally Reaches the PGF Site

Mid-Late September 2011 Edition
Yours Truly on PGF Site, with "Big Trees" in the Background, 2011.
OK, it's me, the hu-man, and I am back. I've kicked that stinky ape-man out of my bookstore, changed my blog password, and cleaned up my keyboard which he filled up with cookie crumbs.

There have been some very exciting and interesting developments in the BLUFF CREEK FILM SITE PROJECT endeavors since we stopped filming last year. Certain tribulations have occurred, not the least of which has been the absolute impossibility of getting all of us together on-site once again. We'll be up there at the PGF site next month, and there will be another batch of videos for all of you. Though none of us fully agree on the location, and though there is no absolute proof yet, we have settled our sights on the upper sandbar area. At first we called it the "Barackman" site, as it was Cliff who told us of James Bobo Fay being there with Bob Gimlin in 2003 and settling on that area as the most likely, according to his memory of the much-changed location. As of early this year we are calling it the Gimlin Site (or perhaps the Gimlin-Bobo-Barackman Site, though that seems a little laborious).
View of the Dahinden-Gimlin "X" spot, from downstream.
This is the area indicated by Gimlin in 2003 as that of the first sighting.
Photo by Steven Streufert, 2011
Recent developments and on-site observations made over the summer have convinced at least this writer even more. That location has always looked very much like the right spot to me; but we did have to settle the matter of all the opposing claims. If the film site is not located there, at least in the general area of what we have been calling the "General Consensus Site" (the larger area identified in Daniel Perez' BIGFOOT AT BLUFF CREEK), then it would have to be way farther downstream. We are not convinced that it is in the locations identified by Bobbie Short, Peter Byrne or MK Davis.
View of the Dahinden-Gimlin "X" spot, from upstream.
Wherever Perez has indicated on the ground, this is the spot marked in his book.
Photo by Steven Streufert, 2010.
We do have to consider the oddity of Al Hodgson saying he thought it was below the Bluff Creek bridge above Louse Camp, as well as the further oddity that the Forest Service office (according to Joe Beelart, private conversation, OSS 2011) used to tell people it was only five miles up the creek from the Highway 96 bridge. Could these two locations be possible? Yes, but we seriously doubt it. All the history of the studies of Bigfooters on the site would have to be thrown out the window. If Rene Dahinden said it was above Louse Camp then so be it! Unless, I guess, he was fibbing to mislead people. That just doesn't seem likely at all, as so many in the past have been there when it was still recognizable by the landmarks seen in the film.
Here is a very rough diagram showing one proposed track-way
of the P-G Film subject, with the "aerial shot" superimposed,
 including the Titmus-proposed after-tracking up the hill.
(Excuse our transgression of the contour line at upper left.)
As a reminder of past work, here is Daniel Perez' marked map clarifying the
exact spot marked by Rene Dahinden. Note the arrow points to the exact site
declared by Bob Gimlin for the first sighting in 2003. Daniel could not specify
what part of the track-way Rene's mark was meant to show... Frame 352, start
or finish of the film. We think that Gimlin has clarified that for us now, but we
will need to certify the trees and stumps by gridding out and surveying the site.
One piece of BIG NEWS (that does not have to do with stepping on the toes of FINDING BIGFOOT) is this: Roll One of the Patterson-Gimlin footage has been recovered! BILL MUNNS has gotten the roll from John Green, and is scanning it in its entirety. Yes, this is the scenic and horseback footage that precedes the Bigfoot segment, shot in Bluff Creek, possible on the same day as the filming of Bigfoot.

Fascinating composite by Bill Munns from Patterson footage.
It is as I suspected, after seeing the BBC "X-Creatures" documentary. John Green is shown at his home showing what looks like a full film reel. They edited it for TV such that only parts of the horseback footage and scenery shots were shown. I asked, and John told me that he couldn't recall having the full film roll. This will kill off all of those odd "Massacre" and "Blevins" type conspiratorial suppositions about the editing of the film. Clearly, these were shot as they rode up the creek at some point or other, and apparently sequentially lead up to the Bigfoot sighting.

Start with Munns' post #925 et seq. for the whole story, as well as some wonderful panoramic montages Bill has made from the film here on THE BIGFOOT FORUMS, THE MUNNS REPORT.

Recently MK Davis (check out his great new BLOG!) posted an image of Frame 352 superimposed upon the Dahinden 1971 "aerial" photo of the site. He asked if people could draw the proper film perspective in from the camera view to the big trees in back. MK removed his original (incorrect) version, but here is our corrected one...
The PGF Site, perspective lines drawn by Steven Streufert, on MK Davis' inset.
Click to Enlarge.
Enough nerdly blather!
Next blog entry I'll have an account of the trip I took with my nine year old daughter to the PGF site. She toughed it out, even through the mile-long slog up and down the now-closed road spur down to the site, even past the bear tracks and bushwhacking through dense regrown forest down in the sandbar area. She only faltered when she saw the innumerable spiders hopping among the creek rocks. Arachnophobia!!
Travis McHenry, Bluff Creek, 2011. Self-photographed, in heroic idiom.
This time we have an account written by one-time Pennsylvania researcher, TRAVIS McHENRY, of his trip down to the film site. For him this was a grand, life-long pilgrimage, finally realizing its goal. We were happy to help him on his way! And from the quality of his observations on the ground up there we are now proud to announce he is being made an honorary member of the Bluff Creek Film Site Project. We're hoping he can join us there next summer for further documentation of the veracity of the accounts of the filming of Bigfoot in Bluff Creek in 1967.
Thom Cantrall, photographed by Steven Streufert, 2011.
Recently we were visited at Bigfoot Books by author and Bigfoot contactee, THOM CANTRALL. A fine conversation ensued. He voyaged onward to Bluff Creek after the visit, seeking to find Patty. You may find out about Thom and his books at

Recently, Florida "researcher" Tim Fasano had some slanderous words to say on Facebook regarding myself, of all people. Imagine that! Well, he made a stupid remark about how I "never have set foot in the woods." Ha ha! To that I will simply respond with an image, and to note: Fool, I LIVE in the woods!
Click the image to the right if you need to enlarge it, and view just where Timmy boy drives his cab vs. where I happen to spend 24 hours of my day, in Bigfoot Country, USA.

NOTE: I've recovered the idiotic things that Timothy Fasano said on Facebook. They amount to slander, but anyway.... Ugh. See the COMMENTS section below this blog entry for what he said, and what some prominent Bigfooters said in response.



Text and Photos by Travis McHenry, 2011.
Copyright if he wishes, so ask him.

Read Travis' earlier Guest Blogger spot, wherein he became stranded in the Bluff Creek snow, HERE.
Click Images to Enlarge.

During the first week of June my wife and I attempted to reach Bluff Creek, but were forced to turn back nine miles short of our goal due to thick snow on the roads.  I couldn’t go on existing without seeing the Patterson-Gimlin Film Site for myself, so during Labor Day weekend, I decided to return to Humboldt County and try to reach the site again.  This time, I would be heading into the woods completely alone.
Hard at work reviewing my maps at Louse Camp
I got into Willow Creek after an eleven hour drive from Orange County and promptly connected with my old pal Steven Streufert for dinner at Cinnabar Sams (which has excellent food and a nice selection of local beers).  We spent an hour or so combing over my maps and confirming the directions that would lead me to the Film Site.  My goal in this trip was to visit and photograph all the possible Film Sites starting with Peter Byrne’s bat boxes.
Hard at work at Louse Camp
The remainder of my first night in Willow Creek was filled with what I’ve come to call High Humboldt Strangeness: we saw Saint John Hunt, son of the infamous Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt, singing “Low Rider” with his band St. John and The Sinners. At the bar where Al Hodgson’s store used to be, spontaneous fights broke out among the locals while we investigated an old disused phone booth behind the building. The phone booth was possibly the exact booth used by Roger Patterson when he made his historic first phone call after his 1967 Bluff Creek encounter. Possible, but unlikely. [See this blog's previous blog entry for photos of the phone booth and such, at the bottom of the Bigfoot Days presentation.]
At Bigfoot Books, earlier in 2011.
Steve and I ended up talking about Bigfoot until three in the morning, when I finally had to call it quits so I could go find a campsite.  I chose Aiken’s Creek campground because it was relatively close to the G-O Road and I wanted to get an early start.  After less than five hours of sleep, I was awakened by the morning sun and even though I was dead tired, I was so excited about seeing the Film Site that I couldn’t go back to sleep.  A few minutes later, I was off on my great adventure into the mountains!
Can You Find the Blobsquatch?
Surprisingly, while I was headed up the G-O Road, I passed four cars coming down the mountain.  They all appeared to be teenagers who had most likely been partying somewhere in the woods out of the reach of adults.  At the seventeen mile mark, I found the turnoff for 12N12, which is a paved road of similar quality to the G-O Road.  A few miles down 12N12, the turn for 12N13 is a hard right which is easy to miss; but I didn’t have any problem since I was using my odometer to keep track of distances.  Fortunately, all the roads I had to drive were labeled by metal posts, so there was never any doubt I was headed the right direction.
Upper Bluff Creek
On 12N13, I started driving very, very slowly.  The road isn’t paved, and the KIA Rondo is technically a low-clearance vehicle.  In addition, I only had one spare tire and I didn’t want to end up with multiple flats by speeding over the sharp rocks that littered the road.  Despite the hazards, 12N13 is a beautifully scenic road with stunning vistas overlooking the forested landscape.  Mountains, valleys, and trees as far as the eye can see.  I took advantage of the view to stop and get some good pictures of the Bluff Creek area before proceeding on to my final objective.
The KIA at the pullout for 12N13H
About five miles after turning off the G-O Road, I came to a large dirt pulloff (basically a big parking lot) at the road leading down to Bluff Creek.  As with all the other forest roads, this one was clearly marked 12N13H.
12N13H sign.  The "H" stands for Hell.
Once I arrived at the parking area, my excitement about being so close to Bluff Creek increased dramatically.  I took a mental inventory of how long it had taken me to arrive at that moment.  From my first interest in Bigfoot as a teenager, researching the Patterson Film on the Internet using a 14.4K dial-up connection in 1995, to my most recent expedition to Bluff Creek trying to stand on the very spot where the creature was filmed: it had been a much longer journey than just driving a few miles up the G-O Road.
A very beautiful hike down 12N13H
To make things even more exciting, the woman behind the counter at the Willow Creek Bigfoot Museum informed me that Bob Gimlin had been in town a couple of weeks prior and had actually visited the Film Site with the crew from “Finding Bigfoot.”  Steve said he couldn't confirm or deny whether that was true, but sure enough, there was ample evidence to suggest that Bob had been present.  There were horseshoe prints all along the road leading down to Bluff Creek, and there were numerous piles of manure dotting the landscape.  The idea that I would literally be following in Bob Gimlin's hoofsteps ignited a romantic Bigfoot fervor that caused some serious errors in my decision-making.
"In the hoofsteps of Bob."
Steve had warned me that 12N13H was a pretty rough road, but if I was careful I should be able to make it down to the point where the road is closed and then hike the last mile to the creek.  I didn’t want to take any chances with my vehicle, so I decided to park at the pulloff and hike the entire 2.4 miles down to Bluff Creek.  Gigantic error #1.  In an excited haste, and reeling from the pitiful amount of sleep I had gotten, I started throwing supplies into my backpack. Things I packed: two bottles of water, a camera, binoculars, first aid kit, ham sausage with cheddar jack cheese and pita bread (for lunch), a bottle of California champagne, a crystal champagne flute (to celebrate my arrival at the Film Site), an extra pair of shoes for walking in the creek, and a flashlight.  Things I didn’t pack: compass, emergency whistle, and LOTS MORE WATER.  Gigantic error #2.
Rockslide on 12N13H.  Very dangerous area.
I began hiking down 12N13H at 10:30AM.  It was an easy, pleasant hike through a truly beautiful forest.  All downhill.  The road was fairly rocky—I nearly twisted my ankle twice.  Despite the rocks, I saw numerous bear, rabbit, and deer tracks along the road.  Before I knew it, I was at the bottom of the hill and came right up to a clearing with Peter Byrne’s bat boxes.  There was a sense of elation rushing over me in seeing that metal pole and knowing I had made it to the right place.  Adjacent to the bat boxes is a small campground with a fire ring that looked like it would be a fun place to spend a week in the woods.  But I wasn’t there to camp.  The bat boxes were merely a marker for the beginning of my journey up Bluff Creek.
Overlooking the lower sandbar
I nearly died crossing this creek. It was very steep and treacherous
Campsite at Bat Boxes Landing
One of the Bat Boxes
At first, I tried to follow what could be considered a trail through the trees, but since I didn’t have a machete, my forward movement was somewhat limited by the forest cover.  While pushing my way through the thick vegetation, I kept my eye on the creek to watch for landmarks indicating I had reached the Film Site.  Several times I unnecessarily crossed the creek because the “trail” led me in that direction, and then stopped cold.  My only guess is that the “Finding Bigfoot” crew spent a lot of time wandering around through the trees getting their footage and inadvertently throwing me off the path.
Bluff Creek
Eventually, I resigned myself to simply using the creek as my trail and made much faster progress.  The first squeal of excitement came when I reached the root balls marking the edge of the lower sandbar.  This lower sandbar is significant because it’s the General Consensus Site: Identified by Daniel Perez, Chris Murphy, and Rene Dahinden (among others) as the general location of the Patterson Film.  I spent some time investigating the sandbar and the surrounding trees, but I didn’t see anything that I could conclusively match with my Frame 352 printout.
The root balls identifying the lower sandbar.
Gravel bar at the lower sandbar
Area around the lower sandbar
Area around the lower sandbar, again.
Area around the lower sandbar, upstream more.
However, while poking around the sandbar, I found a strange track in a sandy puddle that was sheltered under some low-hanging branches.  The track was a little too perfect, though.  Given that the “Finding Bigfoot” crew was just there, it’s entirely possible that one of them made the track.  The track looked basically like a human foot (about twelve inches long) but sunk down more than twice as deep as my footprint.  Whoever or whatever made the track was significantly heavier than me.
Strange track I found at the lower sandbar.
Finding Bigfoot, or FROM Bigfoot?
Moving further upstream, I came to another bend in the creek and followed the trail up off the creek bed onto what is called the upper sandbar.  According to Cliff Barackman (and many others), this upper sandbar is the actual location of the Film Site.  Immediately after stepping into the heavily overgrown area, I felt like I was in Bigfoot Nirvana.  There were stumps.  There were big trees.  There were downed trees.  Unfortunately, it was so overgrown it was difficult to tell where you were standing.  I took numerous pictures of what appear to be the large tree directly behind Patty in Frame 352.  Also, I tried to match up the stumps on the ground with the stumps in the picture with limited success.
Headed toward the upper sandbar
Is THIS the "Big Tree"?
Stump on the upper sandbar.
More stumps on the sandbar. Do THESE match with those seen in the PGF?
After spending some time at the Film Site, I wanted to push on further up the creek to verify some information that I had gleaned from an interview Bob Gimlin did on the Artist First Network with Robert W. Morgan back in 2003.  In that interview, Bob stated that he and Roger followed the creature’s tracks over some gravel and saw where it went around a big bend in the creek.  They guessed that it climbed up the hill after crossing the creek.  Bob also stated that he and Roger would’ve had to climb a 15-foot rock cliff in order to follow after her.
Area around the upper sandbar
Ladies and gentlemen…  I found that rock cliff.
Area of the upper sandbar.  The Patterson-Gimlin Film Site is right up there!
The Bowling Alley
Pool at the bend in the creek.  I went swimming here.  It was cold, but amazing!!
The rock cliff around the bend in Bluff Creek.
After the Film Site, there’s a long, straight and narrow section of the creek popularly referred to as the Bowling Alley.  It’s filled with gravel and rocks.  At the end of the Bowling Alley is a very big bend.  On the other side of that bend is a vertical rock cliff.  Finding the rock cliff was especially exciting because I was able to corroborate the location information given in Bob Gimlin’s interview, and it confirms the upper sandbar as being the location of the Film Site.
It was time to celebrate!
Trees at the Patterson-Gimlin Film Site
Unfortunately, when I took off my pack, I realized that I had only packed two bottles of water to last me all afternoon.  It was a pretty hot day, and most of the first bottle was already gone.  I wisely decided not to drink the champagne with lunch knowing it would dehydrate me further.  Instead, I carefully rationed what remained of my water while enjoying lunch at the Bowling Alley.
Sandbar across from the rock cliff. I found cougar tracks here!
After lunch, I decided to go for a swim in the pool at the bend in the creek.  I stripped down to my hiking shoes and jumped into the icy water, letting it rush over me in a sensation of pure existential ecstasy.  If I had died at that moment, it would’ve been fine with me.

But I didn’t die.  Instead, I went around the bend to get a closer look at the rock cliff and found a bunch of cougar tracks in the sand.  There were several sandy areas surrounding the bend in the creek, but none of them contained humanoid tracks.  I spent an hour or so in this area quietly investigating my surroundings, meditating, swimming, and taking pictures.  I did all of this naked, and I’d like to explain why.
Trees overlooking the bend in the creek.
During my college career, I’ve taken numerous anthropology classes in an effort to learn more about human beings and primates in general.  An effect of this education is that I’ve learned how real scientists interact with primitive peoples.  One image that has always stuck with me is the lone anthropologist walking nude into the center of a Ya̧nomamö village with his hands held out to show that he has no weapons and he is arriving as a friend.  A similar approach seems warranted if a lone cryptozoologist wishes to make contact with a Bigfoot.

I can’t say for certain whether or not my methods were successful; but at the very least, if a Bigfoot was watching me while I was at Bluff Creek, it saw a vulnerable, peaceful human making a gesture of friendship.  And that’s something I can build upon in future visits.
Downed trees in the Bowling Alley
As the sun changed position in the sky, I searched my pack and realized I hadn’t brought a watch so I had no idea what time it was.  Rather than take a chance at having to find my way back to the car in the dark, I decided to gather up my things and begin hiking down Bluff Creek.  The hike back toward the bat boxes went very quickly and I only stayed for a moment to take a few close-ups of the campsite for posterity.

Then began what I like to call The Bluff Creek Death March.  The hike back up 12N13H taught me why it has the letter “H” attached.  It means Hell.  Living.  Breathing.  Hell.  It was very hot, and the sun was still high, and I was already dehydrated from the hike down to the creek.  I had only one bottle of water for a 2.4 mile uphill hike.  I knew I had to carefully ration my remaining water, try to stay in the shade, and walk slowly to control my heart rate.  The weight of my pack, made heavier by the full bottle of champagne, was like a two ton chain pulling me toward the earth.  I trudged up the mountain one slow step at a time.  It was brutal.  Toward the end of the road, I stopped sweating and my heartbeat was irregular so I knew I was going into heatstroke.  I felt like I might die soon, so I took a chance and started running the rest of the way until I reached the car.  My lungs nearly collapsed.  But that didn’t matter.  I had air conditioning.  And water.  Ahhhh.
Bluff Creek Bridge
I was delirious and my eyesight was messed up, but once I started sipping water, everything was all right.  After ten minutes, I felt coherent enough to drive and headed down 12N13 in the direction of Louse Camp.  I drove over Bluff Creek Bridge and somehow mustered the energy to stop the car and take some pictures with the intention of returning later to explore the area.
Pensively sitting beside Bluff Creek
At Louse Camp, I set up my tent, ate a delicious Ritter Sport Stracciatella chocolate bar, and promptly passed out from sheer exhaustion.
Louse Camp
I spent the following day exploring the vicinity of Louse Camp and Bluff Creek Bridge.  There were no further near-death experiences, and overall, I had a very enjoyable time.  I also spoke with two friendly families who visited Louse Camp for a few hours on Sunday.  One of them shared some smoked salmon which made a delightful addition to my evening meal.  They all agreed that Louse Camp is simply a perfect campground; additionally, it has easy access to Bluff Creek!
Channeling General MacArthur storming the shore of Bluff Creek.
In general, I had a very successful expedition.  I would’ve liked to have spent more time documenting measurements of the trees and stumps at the Film Site, but I didn’t have the time or the manpower to effectively accomplish such a feat.  I was able to corroborate the rock cliff from Bob Gimlin’s interview, which lends validity to the upper sandbar being the actual Film Site.  After having spent four hours at the site, I think it’s possible to nail down the precise spot where Patty stood 44 years ago.  While it won’t contribute anything whatsoever to anthropological understanding, our ability to visit the Patterson-Gimlin Film Site gives Bigfoot researchers a landmark all their own: a holy Mecca where the faithful can come to rekindle their inspiration and maybe find what they’ve been searching for all along.

Travis made this intriguing little video. IS IT REAL? You decide.


Hu-man kick me out from book store. He find me when he come back, and me here after drink whole box of beer. He drag me with rope from truck and dump in forest. He not appreciate me write blog for him, and me only ask cookie and beer. Him complain about mess I make, but me consider that decorating. Plus store smell better with Bigfoot pheromone. Him maybe even attract hu-man female friend. He no thank me. Hu-man never grateful!

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 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.