Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What to Do and Not to Do when Visiting the Patterson-Gimlin Film Site in Bluff Creek

PGF frame showing the true colors found there in October.
BIGFOOT'S BLOG, Late-June 2015 Edition

How to Treat the PGF Film Site at Bluff Creek When Visiting: Keep in Mind, You are Walking on History.

Please see below for some of the things you really should avoid doing on the Film Site, if you care at all about Bigfoot and its history in Bluff Creek. Bluff Creek Project is currently working with the USFS and its new chairman, Merv George, to get the site declared an Historical Landmark.

Recall the red color behind the film subject, around the front and eastern side of the PGF site Big Tree? Those are vine maples, a lovely shrubby tree that goes from green in the summer, to pale yellowish-green in the fall, finally turning red when the cold of winter begins to set in come later October or November. These leaves are part of how we know that the film was not shot in August or September, as some claim. It shows a scene that is in correspondence with the story told by Patterson and Gimlin. Hence, these trees are evidence. When we finally located the PGF site, part of what verified it for us was the vine maples there in front of the signature Douglas fir, beside the broadleaf maple that provides the yellow color in the film. That latter maple is still there and growing, nearly fifty years later. In the same spot, the progeny of the PGF vine maples stood.
The Big Tree in its context. Thankfully there are a few vine maples left on the spot to the right and higher up the bank. You can see them here. This and following photographs by Steven Streufert, copyright 2015.
Well, upon our return to the site a few days ago we found that these important trees had been amateurishly sawn down. About the Big Tree we found four stumps of old vine maple, with their trunks and branches senselessly left in front of the tree, blocking foot access to the trunk. Someone had cut these down (we know who, as they were caught on our trail cameras), hoping to get a better photograph of the Big Tree. Maybe they were thinking of doing a film recreation, but that is impossible without major logging of the trees now covering the former barren sandbar.
Senseless destruction of life and history.

Above is the Big Tree as it stands today, also showing historic vine maple trees cut down by a certain noted Bigfoot researcher, destroying part of the evidence of the site. I counted at least 35 annual growth rings, making these trees the progeny of those seen in the PGF.
Our guests from Arkansas, supporters of the Bluff Creek Project,
who came with us to the site last week. Here they are having a
tough time getting through the downed vine maple branches.
The sawn stumps. These trees are the kind that provided the red color in the background of the PGF.

At least 35 years of growth, almost as old as the film itself.
These grew from the same patch you see at the bottom
 of the Big Tree in the film.
If you go to the PGF site, treat the fragile artifacts of history with care. That includes the old stumps seen in the Bigfoot film. These have been there as they are since they were cut as part of the salvage logging done after the massive 1964 Flood, between 1965 and 1966. These are key artifacts on the film site, helping to establish our documentation and proof of the site, but also useful in determining the location and size of the film subject.
The Big Stump, to left of subject in Frame 352 et seq.
The Tall, or "Smiley" Stump, to right of subject in Frame 352 et seq. 
Showing significant degradation from people leaning & sitting on it.
And the log piles, too.  Don't walk or sit on these, if you can avoid it at all. They are seen in the film and are part of our modern survey map. These are old growth fir logs left behind on the sandbar by the 1964 Flood.
Part of the debris pile behind which the subject walks after
Frame 352, at the front of the current sandbar.
Log pile seen in back and east of film subject. Showing significant
degradation from people walking across the logs.
Don't do anything to this big leaf maple. It provided the yellow color seen behind the subject in the film, and is likely 65+ years old. It can be identified as a young, spindly tree in good images from the PGF.
Big Leaf Maple on the Site.
The sandbar is eroding around its edges. Some is caused by the creek and weather, but a lot of it is due to humans walking around. Do note the established trail up to the top of it from the creek, and avoid climbing on its edges if you can. Every step takes another few inches away from history.
Natural erosion, caused by the creek, took down a major amount of sand and gravel at the crook in the creek near the first sighting spot.

Also... Don't Litter. Here's a measurement two-by-four that someone left behind. If you're wondering about our colored survey flags, we're done with those, and we'll be doing a more professional survey this summer, so we'll be removing all old flagging currently on the site other than a few trail markers.

The previous year. Was it really necessary to destroy these gorgeous trees?
Patty's trackway, up to frame 352. We've cleared dead and low-hanging branches somewhat, but we avoid taking out living trees and shrubs. Don't conduct major excavations here, or remove large quantities of the sand on the historic sandbar. That fine dark grey silt sand you find just beneath the forest duff is what Patty walked upon. It was put there by the major 1964 Flood. It, too, is part of the history.


Technology in the Field. Low impact, high tech.

For your own safety, be bear-aware and keep an eye out for mountain lions. We are monitoring these with our camera project. Please do not harm them, either.

You can read all about the film site on this blog. Just put "Bluff Creek into the search box here... bigfootbooksblog.blogspot.com

Visit the new BLUFF CREEK PROJECT BLOG here: http://bluffcreekproject.blogspot.com/
Links to our YouTube page and the videos we've gotten of wildlife in the area and on the site are provided there.
The Big Tree today, a massive old-growth Douglas fir.

BIGFOOT EVIDENCE blogged about this topic, based upon Jamie's piece on the Bluff Creek Project Blog. Go see the article and comment here: http://bigfootevidence.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-famous-pattersongimlin-film-site.html 

Jamie and Me at the berm on the hill above the film site. Someone jumped the gun and declared the area a "Bigfoot World Heritage Site." These signs are entertaining, but the USFS doesn't really like them. Every year they appear around Bluff Creek, put up by unknown persons.  Photo courtesy of Jamie S. and Bluff Creek Project Blog.


  1. "Someone had cut these down (we know who, as they were caught on our trail cameras) . . .

    . . . showing historic vine maple trees cut down by a certain noted Bigfoot researcher, destroying part of the evidence of the site."

    Can he/she be named and shamed and/or prosecuted?

    1. It was a shame to see damage to the site and its history, but the lesson was learned and this blog will hopefully get the word out to not to any more such things. The person doesn't need to be shamed and wouldn't be prosecuted, but he has admitted it. He made an honest mistake, not realizing what he was doing, and being a bit over-enthusiastic about seeing the Big Tree and hoping to recreate the film. The person admits guilt, and we shall carry on. He wrote this to me:
      "I saw recently the Bigfoot Evidence posting about the maple vine at the P-G film site that was cut.... THAT WAS ME. OOPS! My blunder. My mistake. I was trying to get a really good shot of the 'big tree', which can be used to navigate your way looking at the famous movie. I didn't even realize it until Steven pointed out that the maple vine was part of the original movie. I could blame my dog, ___, but I know you would not believe me. So I am the guilty party."

  2. I do read your blog Steven and enjoy the updates. I'm glad to hear about the apology for the tree cutting. But I think it would be hard to protect the area from those that would do it harm until some kind of recognition occurs for the area. I am glad to hear that there is the possibility for that being worked on.



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