Friday, October 30, 2009

Bigfoot Halloween Costume, on the Cheap!

For those of you who are looking for a last-minute Halloween costume, check out this video. It's not realistic enough to be used as a hoax costume (or to be frozen in a freezer and put on national television), so I feel comfortable posting this for everyone to enjoy.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bigfooting with Ringo Starr and a Cough

I've been fighting a cough for a while now. I'm much better than I was a week ago, but still not really up for going out and pushing myself. So this past Saturday night, I took it easy and watched a movie.

I found the 1981 movie, "Caveman" starring Ringo Starr in the free section of pay-per-view, and sat down for some mind-numbing nostalgia. I had seen the movie decades ago, and also had vague feelings of liking it. My taste at that age wasn't exactly "refined", but I thought I'd see what I thought was funny when I was in my early teens.

I was pleased to see a cameo by the abominable snowman. The costume was totally funny, and the long forearms reminded me of the commercially available costume that those clowns from Georgia tried to pass off as a body in a freezer last year. (I do think that its intermembral index was a little exaggerated...)

Still, it made me smile. Particularly the last scene with the bigfoot in it. It makes me think of what a bigfoot might be feeling, which is always a good thing.

Here's the best clip. Enjoy!


On October 22, 2009 the following article was published in the Agassiz-Harrison Observer in British Columbia.

To summarize, the University of Frasier Valley needed a new mascot and they adopted the most obvious candidate, the sasquatch.

Their choice makes perfect sense for many reasons. There have been numerous sighting reports from the Fraser Valley for decades. Everybody loves the 'squatch. The nearby town of Harrison Hot Springs is the home of John Green, long-time investigator and bigfooting pioneer. Just to top off the list, many years ago this sasquatch luminary was even the mayor of the town.

So, the university made the right decision and adopted a 'squatch as a mascot. Now they need our assistance to help name it. The obvious choice would be "Cliff Barackman", but that's been done (my parents beat you to it).

Perhaps something more vanilla and common like "Squatchy" would be a good choice?

The 2010 Olympics, which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia already have "Quatchi", so adding an "S" would make sense.

"Quatchi" and friends

It would be kind of funny too because the "S" would imply the word "it's". Therefore, as an inside joke between you and me, every time the name was said the speaker would inadvertently be saying "It's squatchy." British Columbia is very squatchy, after all.

So if you feel as strongly about the squatch as I do, feel free to suggest that name. All you have to do is email this address with your suggestion by next Friday, October 30th, 2009:

I already emailed my choice in. The following is my email to whoever receives it:

To Whom It May Concern:

I suggest the obvious:


It is similar to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic's mascot, "Quatchi". This could be good marketing, an important thought for any smallish community.

Also, the "S" implies the word "it's". Therefore the mascot's name would be suggestive of "It's Squatchy". You live there. You have to agree that the Fraser Valley is a very "squatchy" place.

Cliff Barackman
Bigfoot Field Investigator

Once again, I'll urge you to vote (but this time not necessarily for me).

Give them your idea for a name for this critter. If you like my idea ("Squatchy"), then rally behind it and suggest the same. I'd be pretty pleased if our suggestion was selected.

Ooh, I do love democracy.

Speaking of which, you can still vote for me, once per day, until November 13th.

Now on to the article...

UFV sasquatch needs a new name

It came out of nowhere and startled revellers at UFV’s recent ‘party on the green’. The brand-new UFV Cascade Athletics mascot — a giant hairy sasquatch — appeared on campus last month and sightings have since been reported all over the Fraser Valley. It seems that the creature has taken up residence in the university’s athletics facilities and is quite comfortable there. As such, the administration and student body feel obliged to give it a name.

[editor's note]

That’s where you come in. Help name the UFV Cascades Athletics sasquatch mascot and, if your suggestion is chosen, you could win a night at the Ramada Plaza hotel, dinner for two at an Abbotsford restaurant, and an all-sport family pass to Cascades games during the 2009-2010 season.

To enter, send your proposed mascot name and the rationale for the name via email to by Friday, Oct. 30. 2009.

Why a sasquatch? The origin of the word ‘sasquatch’ comes from a Chehalis word meaning ‘wild man’.

They are quasi-human, hair-covered, tall (up to 15’), and powerfully built. Clearly, sasquatch are not social creatures and are known to frighten humans away with displays of territorial assertion…much like our mighty Cascades student-athletes on the courts, fields, courses, and waterways of the Fraser Valley. BC has been a fertile location for sightings of sasquatch over the years.

Within the Fraser Valley alone, sightings have been reported since the 1800s at Pitt Lake, the Upper Pitt River Valley, Stave Lake, Harrison Lake, Chehalis, Port Douglas, the Hemlock Valley, Chilliwack, Chilliwack Lake, Yale, Deroche, Ruby Creek, and Hope.

A specimen was even reportedly captured alive in Yale about 150 years ago. Including the ancient Aboriginal sasquatch legends, the creature has a local history that dates back thousands of years. About the UFV Cascades UFV Athletics teams wear the name Cascades in honour of an ancient legend of power, strategy, and triumph.

The Cascade Range is a mountainous region noted for its chain of tall volcanoes that run along the west coast of North America and form part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Local myths speak of the mountains as chiefs, who waged war by heaving fire and stone at one another. The name conveys strength, longevity, and fierce raw power.

Friday, October 23, 2009

1988, Dr. John Bindernagel

I have added another cast to my online library of possible sasquatch impressions. This is one of the better-known casts from the literature. Read on for details. or just click here.

Year: 1988
Month: October
Date: Unknown
Location: Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
Found by: John and June Bindernagel
Cast by: John Bindernagel
Length: 15 inches
Width (ball): 6.5 inches
Width (heel): 4.5 inches

This print from October of 1988 was found and cast by Dr. John Bindernagel and his wife, June in Strathcona Provincial Park near their home in British Columbia. It was left on a hiking trail, and indeed a hiker's boot print can be seen in the cast itself.

When I first met Dr. Bindernagel in the late summer of 2006, he brought with him a number of other casts. Two other of his casts caught my attention. When I asked him about the other casts he had assumedly cast at the same time as the cast above, he told me that they were cast some 40 miles and a number of miles away. They were, in my opinion, obviously from the same individual, having the same peculiar toe shape and size. Apparently this individual gets around...

Dr. John Bindernagel and Cliff Barackman, September 2007

This cast is not widely traded, but appears in many publications, and rightfully so. Dr. Bindernagel is of the highest integrity, his scientific background is impeccable, and he has written extensively on the sasquatch topic. The cast itself is clean and crisp, despite the hiking boot impression. It must have been a fresh print, possibly only a few hours old, when found.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Forty-two Years Ago Today...

The Moment, by Mike Rugg

Where were you today at approximately 1:15 pm?

I was teaching geography to nine-year olds. I looked at the clock and thought to myself, "Forty-two years ago, right now!" My students had no idea I was thinking about anything other than the major mountain ranges of Europe and Asia. (If I were talking about the mountains of North America, I would have mentioned the Siskiyou's, just for kicks.)

I'm a total bigfoot nerd. I celebrate the anniversary of the Patterson/Gimlin Film every year. This year is no exception.

Most years, I'm teaching at that particular moment. Usually I notice the time. Sometimes that magical moment slips by and I don't remember to take note until a couple hours later. Still, I always notice at some point. It's kind of like a personal holiday, but one on which I have to work. Maybe that will change after Discovery Day.

It was probably the PG Film that set the hook in me back in the mid 1970's, as far as my personal path into bigfootery goes. That and "The Legend of Boggy Creek" (I've always loved monster movies).

The Patterson/Gimlin Film has played a prominent role in my life ever since, though its influence has been laughingly heavy for over a decade and a half.

When I first started camping with the sole purpose of "looking for bigfoot" back in 1994, it was with the intent of finding the PG Filmsite (which I failed to do, but discovered possible footprints). I was also looking for the PG Filmsite when I found myself over three miles up river, off trail, in the dark without a flashlight wearing shorts, a tee shirt and river sandals (not a good situation, but I'm a little wiser for it now). My first bigfoot cast was the right foot of the PG Film subject (bought from Dr. Grover Krantz himself).

My first bigfoot cast

I have now visited the PG Filmsite no less than a dozen times. I was the first person I'm aware of to get a GPS reading at the site, though Daniel Perez was the first to publish the numbers (he was there two or three weeks after I was back in 1997).

I have had possible bigfoot action at or very near the filmsite on three occasions. I am aware of several others who have also possibly encountered one of these creatures there too. However, I am not aware of any sightings from the filmsite except for Roger and Bob's, though that would be cool.

Looking upstream at the PG Filmsite, July 2009

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of accidentally running across Tony Healy, author of the excellent book, Yowie, The Search for Australia's Bigfoot while on expedition at Bluff Creek. My field partner and I escorted Tony to the PG filmsite and spent a great night with him at this historic spot. No bigfoots were heard, but many stories about them and their Aussie cousins were.

Cliff Barackman, James "Bobo" Fay, and Tony Healy
near the PG Filmsite, August 2007

I was honored to have been invited to speak in Willow Creek at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the PG Film. The title of my presentation was "The History of the PG Film Subject, 1958 - 1967", which detailed the numerous times that Patty's footprints might have been found prior to the film, dating back to the late 1950's. Also speaking at this event were James "Bobo" Fay (who told about early investigators in the Bluff Creek area dating back to the late 1940's), Scott McClean (who went over the media's written accounts of the film), Daniel Perez (a widely recognized expert in the history of the film), and the biographer of Roger Patterson, David Murphy. It was held on October 20th, and we spent that night in the cold backcountry of Bluff Creek at Louse Camp, just three short miles from the filmsite.

Cliff Barackman speaking at
the 40th Anniversary Celebration

Only later did I have the distinct privilege of befriending Bob Gimlin. I have spoken to Bob numerous times about that day, 42 years ago. Many subtle details have been shared about that day which enriches the PG Film for me, whether it was the torrential downpour that nearly stranded Roger and Bob, or the fact that Bob had to "borrow" a front loader (that luckily had the keys left in it) to pull his truck out of a dangerous, muddy situation half way up Onion Mountain (this event left a dent in Bob's hood, which can still be seen today). It was also from these conversations that I suspect that they did not camp at Louse Camp as is widely reported, but rather at the Notice Creek landing, just a short distance away. Minor details, to be sure, but when you're a bigfoot nerd, that stuff is cool.

However, as amazingly awesome as the PG Film is, I would like to encourage those who can to try to get another film of equal or better quality. The PG Film set the bar intimidatingly high for visual evidence. I'm out there trying to get new footage kind of a lot, even for a bigfooter. Maybe you can't get out as much as I try to, but there's a lot more of you than there are of me. The odds are squarely in your favor.

Learn from the past. Roger and Bob had a good strategy, and one that can be recreated. They were in an area that had recent activity, in this case footprint finds (the Blue Creek Mountain prints, and the Onion Mountain print, both from August of 1967). They spent multiple days poking around and enjoying the great camping in a remote area. They scoured the creek beds looking for footprints (probably the only place with a real possibility of recording footprints in that area). Roger kept his camera close to him and readily accessible. All of this paid off.

You can do most, if not all of those things. That means you potentially could get really, really, really lucky too.

But, if you don't try their method, TRY SOMETHING! Get into the woods. Bring a camera. Believe in luck.

Happy anniversary!

Roger, Bob, and Patty
Mike Rugg

Oh yeah, one more thing... Happy birthday to fellow bigfooter Autumn Williams! Consider yourself hugged.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rights for the Great Apes?

As you probably know, I'm a big fan of apes. You could say I'm ape for apes. Maybe it's a family thing...

I'm biologically an ape, you're biologically an ape, bigfoots are biologically apes, and there are a small number of other apes that inhabit our planet. We're one fairly small family, sharing many morphological, cognitive, and emotional characteristics.

So, a question must be asked. Since apes are self-aware, problem solving, intelligent, and emotional creatures, just like their slightly less-hairy human cousins, should they be awarded rights?

Current law gives them the same rights as a bag of rice: none at all, just a commodity to be bought and sold.

Since sasquatches are in fact real animals, their "discovery" is an inevitability. Their days of secrecy are numbered, and then we humans need to grapple with their location on the gradient that is the ape family line. We'll also have to deal with our location on that same continuum. We may not be as different as we would like to think. Keep that in mind when you read the following article I found on the Great Apes Blog.

I find these philosophical questions interesting to ponder. I hope you do too, no matter what conclusions you come to.

Should Apes Have Rights?

The Year of the Gorilla ambassador, Ian Redmond, (OBE), on Sunday 26 July 2009 participated in a discussion on the BBC1's 'The Big Question'. One of the big questions on that day was whether apes, such as gorilla's and chimpanzees, should be given rights.

For Ian Redmond, who has spent "hundreds of hours in the company of apes", and even "become friends" with some of them, some basic rights should definitely be accorded these majestic creatures. In a post on the Year of the Gorilla blog at WildlifeDirect, Ian says that great apes are very similar to humans in many aspects such that they have been classed into the same biological family as humans - Hominidae.

That said, his argument for apes rights is that great apes are self conscious animals with cognitive abilities similar to a those of a human child and should therefore have similar rights. Ian laments that despite apes being biologically classed together with humans, in law, they still have the legal standing of a piece of furniture. He says:

It seems to me (and many others) quite wrong that a self-aware social mammal with cognitive abilities similar to a child has the same legal standing as a chair, i.e. a possession to be bought and sold. To me, great apes deserve respect, and the granting of basic rights in law might change atavistic attitudes and help prevent the abuses that humans inflict on them.
In most countries without wild ape populations, captive apes can be bought and sold legally, and any protection they do have in law is accorded mainly because they are endangered species or because they are animals and covered by anti-cruelty laws.

To Ian, these laws are interpreted to mean physical abuse and thus do not constitute 'rights'. For rights he proposes that we take the path charted by the Great Apes Project (GAP) which seeks the right to life, liberty and freedom from torture.

The debate over ape rights is an ethical one. Some think that giving apes rights is equating them to humans. This is evident because most people agree that there is a need for greater respect for, and better conservation of, great apes. When 'rights' are mentioned however, distinct polarities emerge among those who had previously agreed. You can however differentiate the rights that GAP proposes for great apes from those sought for humans by reading the GAP recommendations (for ape rights) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ian recommends, in the short term, a "focus on educating people about apes to increase respect for their cognitive abilities and social skills". After this, he reckons, "the logic of granting them rights might not seem such a radical idea..."

Where do you stand?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sasquatch Scramble!

Hmmm... What could the answer be?

I've been accused of seeing the influence of bigfoots on our culture everywhere, but am I wrong?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bigfoot Discovery Day III

My good friend Mike Rugg is throwing his third annual bigfoot shindig this weekend. This will be the first one that I will not be attending, but if the last two are any indication, I'm bumming. You'll be bumming too, if you can't find your way to Felton, CA (outside of Santa Cruz) this weekend.

Here's the flyer, and some pics from previous years. If you go, drop me an email and let me know how it was!

Kathy Strain and Bob Gimlin

Bob Strain, Mike Rugg, James "Bobo" Fay,
Tom Yamarone, and Scott McClean around
the fire at the after-party.

Standing room only for Dr. Meldrum

Dr. Meldrum and Mike Rugg, owner and operator of
the Bigfoot Discovery Museum

Sunday, October 11, 2009

NW Montana Footprint Find

The Spyderco knife is 5 inches long.

Recently, a reader of this blog emailed me to ask my opinion on a footprint she and her husband found in northwest Montana. Considering how poorly most photographs of footprints turn out, this picture is one of the best I have seen. To make it even more interesting, assuming it is a sasquatch footprint (as is suggested by the context), it is clearly of a juvenile of the species. I asked permission from the reporting witness to use her pictures and to add the footprint to my online database of prints and casts. She kindly agreed and has been very forthcoming with information. She has asked me to keep her identity and the location confidential, and as always, I agreed.

Below is the background of the footprint, and more information on this excellent find can be read here.

This footprint was found on September 10, 2009 around 3:00 pm (in case you look at the "properties" of the photo, the (new) camera was set for AM, not PM) by the witness and her husband while hiking off trail in Kootenai National Forest, located in northwest Montana. The trail head they departed from was accessible only with a four wheel drive vehicle in low gear. The witness is a tracking hobbyist and is well-versed in the signs of North American mammals.

The terrain in this area is steep, similar to interior Alaska with tundra, bogs, swamps, grassy meadows, large mountain slides with boulders and scree, dense alpine and subalpine forests, thick alder, and plenty of wild huckleberries. The daytime temperature was only 38 degrees, and a light snow fell earlier in the day. The elevation was between 6000 and 7000 feet.

The witnesses took some time to look for additional tracks after the initial find. They found plenty of tracks of other animals, including bear, various ungulates, wolf, coyote, and bobcat, but no other sasquatch tracks.

The witness commented that the photograph is misleading in that the print looks skinnier than it did in person. She suggested looking at the context picture to get a better idea of the wideness of the print.

The mud where the print was discovered.