Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Spring Olympics

The Olympic Peninsula is an awe-inspiring place. There are thousands and thousands of square miles of green rain forests and impenetrable swamps, all of which makes excellent habitat for sasquatches. It is always a pleasure when I find myself under the canopy of this lush woodland.




I started my adventure by visiting friends on their property outside of Sequim, WA. Over the years, they have seen elk, cougar, and other wildlife on their property, mostly near the seasonal creek. Being a bigfooter, I asked if anything weird had ever happened on the property, and got an interesting story from Neil, one of the property's owners. Apparently, one night his dogs were acting strangely, so Neil went outside on the porch to listen. He heard the sound of something moving through the woods. Being fond of his woods and the animals that inhabit them, he moved to the middle of his yard and sat down to listen to the wildlife. Whatever was there was approximately 70 yards away. To his surprise, the animal he was listening to turned out to be a group of animals. They started creeping towards him and split up, surrounding him from all sides. Neil thinks there could have been as many as five individual animals. He heard very little noise as the creatures made their way through the woods towards him, approaching him to a distance of perhaps less than 100 feet. What he thought was peculiar was that the animals seemed to be signaling each other with a clicking noise. The noise Neil made to imitate this was similar to the "tsk tsk" noise made when shaking one's head and disapproving of something. The creatures would make two clicks, then another on the other side of the yard would answer with four, then another would do three, or some other number. He reported that the answering creature never made the same number of clicks as the preceding creature. Neil sat and listened to the clicking creatures for well over an hour until his girlfriend drove up the driveway, coming home from work. Neil never saw the animals, which he thought was very strange due to the moonlight, and also that the clicking was loud, possibly indicating a large creature.

The next morning, I was directed to a great chainsaw carving of a bigfoot with friends. It had a "for sale" sign on it, but my wallet was in the car... So instead, I posed for a picture. If anyone wants to buy this, email me through http://www.northamericanbigfoot.com/ and I'll send you directions to the sculpture.




On Tuesday, I met another friend who lives nearby, BH. She is a local bigfoot researcher and is very enthusiastic about the subject. She and I spent the day driving back roads and chatting. I was looking for a place to camp for the night, but was routinely turned around by unpleasant weather at high altitudes, private land at the lower altitudes, and closed gates to the secluded valleys on public land that I thought looked right for sasquatch habitat. (Having chosen these valleys for their sighting history, strategic terrain, and food/water access, I am now even more convinced that they hold sasquatches. It looks like my next trip might be a backpacking trip to one or more of these spots...) I eventually found a place to camp near the coast overlooking a clear cut. My camp was located less than a mile from where BH had an early evening sighting of a seven-foot bipedal creature crossing a logging road during the fall of last year. I spent some time putting out apple piles on the muddy road and setting up camera traps, but no animals cooperated with my plans that night.

After being awakened by nearby logging activity the next morning, I spent some time west of Lake Crescent where there is a cluster of sighting reports. Most of these sightings were from motorists on Hwy 101, possibly indicating a spot where the bigfoots like crossing the road. I spent several hours driving the back roads and walking the river looking for footprints. I found sign of bear, elk, fox, and beaver, but no giant apes. Many of the roads were blocked with snow limiting my access to the higher elevations, but I made use of my time.

I found that night's camping spot near where Devil's Creek flows into the Calawah River. Almost immediately upon arrival (I was still sitting in my truck studying the map), an animal made a huff/growl noise from the treeline. This put me on alert, but no animal was seen. Deer and bear both make such noises, so I do not know to what to attribute the noise. No other animal activity was noted by game cameras nor by my ears. The area was thick with devil's club, and the river bottoms were covered with elk sign. There was plenty of elk sign wherever I looked.

The next morning I broke camp at 5 am in order to meet up with a group of bigfooting friends. The plan was to check some game cameras located near Forks, WA. Forks seems to be taking advantage of the recent attention brought upon it by the book and movie, Twilight. There's an entire store devoted to the Twilight series. I looked for bigfoot stores, but I guess they were on the next block over...

We hiked a few miles off-trail and uphill to reach out camping site. We camped in an excellent spot overlooking two separate valleys with a muddy water source nearby. We received no callbacks nor knocks, but "talked 'squatch" until we wearily hit the hay.



Unfortunately, I have no bigfoot data to share from that night.. At one point, we thought we had excellent knocks coming from our northwest, but it was more likely gunshots. The next morning when the light was still grey, the three other people I was with heard a possible whoop from higher along the ridge. My recorder did not record it because the card was full. Grey light is an excellent time for bigfoot encounters, and once again I missed the party. When will I learn to wake up at 5 am and reset the recorder? Hopefully before the next missed opportunity!


The next morning, we broke camp, hiked out and went our separate ways. They headed to another area to put out more IR trail cameras, and I headed south to the Hoh Rainforest. Before the National Park, there is a small community with several bigfoot items of interest.



I stopped at the Hard Rain Cafe and Mercantile, remembering my last visit a decade ago. Then, a man owned the store who had found convincing footprints on the ridge above while hunting. He said that until that point, he didn't believe that bigfoots were real. After sitting and studying the tracks for over twenty minutes, he decided that bigfoots must be real.


That man has now sold the property to Anna and Christian Matsche. They have a large (but not life-sized for a bigfoot...) "Harry" doll in an kayaking action pose on the front porch. They also feature a "Bigfoot Burger" on their menu with an awesome sign for a menu.

When I asked about any recent bigfoot stories, she had not heard of any, but offered to let me read a page written by an eyewitness. She pulled out a green ledger book with the letters BFRO on the cover. Looking inside the cover, Mel Skahan had apparently given it to the owners. Mel has not been in the BFRO for many years, so the book must have been quite old. Not many stories were written up in the pages, and no stories were recent. Still, I left my card with the owner and she put it in the bigfoot book. She was very kind and friendly, so I would encourage everyone to drop by and eat a burger.

Just a few hundred feet away is another reason to drop by this small community. If you cannot find it, just follow the signs...




When I got to the store and was greeted by the giant bigfoot statue that stands guard outside, I was disappointed to find that Oliver's was closed. I peeked in the window and saw a couple other bigfoot-related items, which I snapped photos of.







This statue was also on display inside Oliver's. Take a moment and look at the photo above. I think (but can't tell for sure) that there is a surveillance camera lens looking at me from the right side of the bigfoot's torso. I hope it is a camera! How's that for a change? A bigfoot was taking a photograph of me without my knowing about it. Such irony!

My campsite for that night was in an area of high activity near Lake Quinault. That's kind of a silly thing to say because the entire area has a lot of activity. Most of the folks you run into have either seen a bigfoot, or they know somebody who says they have.


I ran across a sign adjacent to the Quinault Indian Reservation. I had been seeing two of these signs for years, but had never looked closely at them. Once I walked up to the sign for a closer look, I could see the bigfoot that someone had painted on the sign, though it was in bad shape due to vandals and the weather. Now I have an even better idea who "Swampie" is, though I had my hunches before...



No bigfoot activity was had by me that night, but I got a pretty decent video of a large owl through the thermal imager.








So, no bigfoot evidence was gathered on this trip, but it sure was great to get out and see some 'squatchy areas. I met with good friends, spoke to several excellent witnesses (which I didn't go into here), and gave it my best shot for a week. Now that its warming up a little, I hope the bigfoots become a little more active, or at least that I get out more often. After all, I won't get a picture of a bigfoot from my living room! Neither will you, so feel free to get out there and give it a shot. The air and exercise is good for your body, and the terrain and greenery is good for your soul. Besides, you might see something really cool. Maybe even a bigfoot.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Week in the Life of a Bigfooter

Yesterday evening, I was invited to go have dinner in the woods. I imagine most people receive phone calls about meeting up at a restaurant with friends, but my buddies are the sort that suggest cooking a meal on a fire and doing some wood knocks. (If only I could find a woman with the same priorities...) So, two good friends and I drove up to Memaloose Road where possible tracks were recently (February 22) found in the snow by a couple ATV riders (this was posted to Bobbie Short's website). Well, the food and company were great, but no bigfoots showed their presence, visibly nor audibly. Our vocalizations kept a nearby owl interested in our activities, and who knows how all the Estacada teenagers dealt with the noises we were making. It's so nice having super squatchy areas within an hour's drive of my doorstep! I had not been out this way for several weeks, and was very pleased to find that the snow has receded dramatically.

Memaloose Road



I recently spent several hours photographing my bigfoot cast collection on a uniform background for the casts database on my website, http://www.northamericanbigfoot.com/. After I was done, I realized I was missing some, including the Skookum Heel, the larger Titmus cast from Hyampom, the left foot from Laird Meadows, and a first generation from the Green Swamp in Florida. I realized that I gave away my copies as gifts, and hadn't yet poured a replacement from the molds I have made. Ugh. I guess I'll have to set up the lights and such to do another round of photographing. Just when I thought I was done...

1982 Grays Harbor, WA

I pulled some game cameras from a property near Mt. Hood this past week. Unfortunately, there were no bigfoot photographs on the memory card, but I learned a little about windstorms. It's hard not to learn about something you have 1,984 photographs of. Well, actually a couple photographs were of a neighbor's horse that keeps messing up the property boundary's fence, but most of the pics were of the windstorm. Hopefully I'll have better luck next time.

A fantastic opportunity has now presented itself due to this property owner's awareness of the subject. He has recently purchased another property a short distance away from where his brother witnessed a sasquatch this past summer. There is a manufactured home on the property, which is vacant due to drywall work currently in progress. Only two weeks ago, a contractor returned to the property after hours to pick up a tool that was left there. The contractor got the tool, but was astounded at the stench of the area. Being a bear and elk hunter, he compared the odor to something like a terrible smelling elk, but not quite. Whatever the source was, he had never smelled anything quite like it, and it scared the willies out of him. (A contractor without his willies is not a pretty sight!) He hightailed it to his rig, and left immediately. Well, a vacant property with spooky odors is right up my alley, especially when it's pushed up next to a creek with a history of sightings. I will be putting my cameras on this new property in the very near future.


Tomorrow I leave for a week-long bigfooting extravaganza. I will be visiting the Olympic Peninsula in an attempt to gather data on bigfoots, and the Olympics are probably the best place to do so in the continental United States. I will deploy all the technology I can in hopes of one of the furry ones making a mistake and sneaking past one my camera lenses. On a side note, I will also be trying my hand at steelhead fishing, which is entirely new to me. Growing up in California, I know all about ocean fishing for tunas and yellowtail, but this PNW fishing is a whole different gig. Still, fish are fish, and I have to start somewhere. Besides, walking the creeks is an excellent way to find footprints, which is my main goal in this endeavor. An eight-pound steely is my secondary objective.

This past week, a good friend in Idaho sent me some funny menus from a restaurant chain named Elmer's. The menus feature a bigfoot called Furley Woodswalker. So here we have a combination of bigfoot, Mr. Furley, and a pale reference to Skywalker (a stretch, I admit, but I'm always looking for connections). Star Wars, Don Knotts, and bigfoot, all wrapped up in one entity? I've died and gone to 'squatch heaven.


Thank you to everyone who has been reaching out to me through the website. I am really having a lot of fun with this project, and appreciate all the help that has been given. If I can help you in any way, or if you can help me, feel free to let me know via the "contact/volunteer" link on the website, http://www.northamericanbigfoot.com/.

Until after my trip, take care, and get into the woods and bring us back something to look at. Data not shared is the same as not having any data at all!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Idle Time Is Not So Idle...

Due to commitments in my non-bigfooting life (which I sometimes forget I even have), I haven't been able to spend a night in the field for many weeks. However, I have not been idle. I seem to do bigfoot-related stuff on an almost daily basis.

On March 4, 2009, I was the featured guest on the internet radio show, "Let's Talk Bigfoot". Kathy Strain interviewed me for the hour-long show, and we had several questions via phone by our live online audience. Kathy is a good friend and one of my bigfooting mentors from many years ago. You can download a podcast of my interview from the LTB link above, or you can find it on the media page (near the bottom) at http://www.northamericanbigfoot.com/.


Kathy and Bob Strain of the AIBR



In February, I took a drive to Tillamook, OR to try my hand at digging clams. After all, if you want to see a 'squatch, you have to be a 'squatch. It wasn't as easy as I hoped, and I only managed to get some small ones, which I promptly returned to their muddy bed. It was my first attempt at clamming, though. I'm sure I'll get better as time goes on. I plan on using this knowledge I will obtain from being a successful clammer to increase my odds at obtaining thermal images of bigfoots on the clam beds. Such footage would be compelling and potentially quite clear, if it was close enough, especially since there would be no cover for the sasquatches on the flats. Another reason this should be a high priority would be the supporting evidence of footprints that could be potentially documented and cast as the creatures make their way across the mudflats.

The clam beds at Tillamook are vast, and many are within a short sprint of heavy timber. There is a long history of sightings from locations just a short distance from any of these clam beds. Interestingly, the sand dunes just to the west of the beds held abundant sign of elk, from scat, to prints, to bedding sites. Another plus...

Tillamook Clambeds at Dusk

I have made a number of day trips into the local mountains as well. When going out for the day, I target areas that would hold footprints, such as river bottoms and ponds. I have found it difficult to reach my destinations due to the persistent snow that still hangs at a low elevation. I generally drive as far as I dare, get out and then walk the road a ways back looking for snow prints or other sign. I have found sign of deer, elk, and bear, but not of my specific animal of interest.

At the end of the road, for me at least...

Elk sign


Many people have been reaching out to me through the http://www.northamericanbigfoot.com/ site. I have recently heard about an area with a history of vocalizations outside of Estacada, sightings from Idaho, and have been sent some pretty decent photographs of possible footprints and what appears to be a handprint. These photos will appear on http://www.northamericanbigfoot.com/ over the next few weeks.

Speaking of the website, I am slowly gathering information on some of the casts I have in my collection to post on the cast database. If you know something that I don't about any of the casts, please tell me about it so I can update the page. I have also added a couple artists to the website under the Cultural Impact section, and am sitting on enough information to add a couple more pages very soon.

Spring Break is only a week away, and I plan on spending the bulk of it in the woods, trying for photographic evidence of our furry friend. A unique opportunity has presented itself to access some remote locations in Washington with several bigfooter friends of mine. One area that will be visited produced vocalizations and good footprints just last fall. The majority of the week will be spent alone, so if I never blog after this vacation again, just know that bigfoot got me and I died happy.

Of course, the most fantastic thing that looms on my bigfoot radar is the Yakima Bigfoot Round-up this May. It will undoubtedly be the bigfoot party of the year, and a virtual who's-who of the bigfoot world. This event is being organized by Tom Yamarone (http://www.bigfootsongs.com/, where a nice article about me was recently posted), Paul Graves (click here to see his bigfoot art), and James "Bobo" Fay (if you gotta ask, you don't need to know).

Thanks for checking in to my little bigfoot world. More soon.

"Head's-up" found on a logging road sign leading to Skookum Meadows.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Whistle While You 'Squatch

Most bigfooters have heard of Dsonoqua, the Wild Woman of the Woods, frequently depicted on totem poles throughout the Northwest. She is most often shown with her lips pursed, as if whistling, and in fact her legends specifically mention her doing just that. I believe, as do many others, that Dsonoqua is a mythological depiction of a sasquatch. Native Americans incorporate more common animals into their mythologies and legends, so it makes sense that bigfoots are woven into this rich cultural tapestry as well.

Dzunuqua - Wild Woman of the Woods, 2007
Bill Henderson, Kwakwaka’wakw Nation 


Few recordings of bigfoot whistles have been obtained. I managed to record whistling in Northern California near the Siskiyou Wilderness Area in 2006 (click HERE to listen). The "Sierra Sounds" recordings obtained by Ron Morehead and Al Berry in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California in the early 1970's are by far the most widely known. They have been analyzed by Dr. Lynn Kirlin from the University of Wyoming who found that these peculiar whistles could have been produced by the constriction of the vocal track, as well as the lips.

When I saw the following article, I was intensely interested. I was aware that bonobos are excellent whistlers, but I was not aware that orangutans also had the ability to produce these sounds. The article not only touches upon the orangutan's ability to whistle, but also on the idea that apes can mimic sounds produced by other species, which is widely reported in the bigfoot literature. Bonnie's (the orangutan) ability to produce whistles could also shed light on the development of language in the human species.

If bigfoots are Gigantopithecines, as has been widely hypothesized, this is even more pertinent to us bigfooters. It is thought that Gigantopithecus is more closely related to orangutans than the African apes.

Native Americans would tell their children to not whistle while walking in the forest at night unless they wanted Dsonoqua to take them away. When I go bigfooting, I often walk in the forest at night, and make it a point to whistle. I would, of course, love to have Dsonoqua come and take me away, but more importantly, I want to draw the attention of any nearby bigfoot. They might think I'm one of them, until they see me. Hopefully, once my cover is blown, the bigfoot would want to try to drive me out of the area with a terrifying territorial display. With a little luck, I'll come back with a thermal video of the encounter, if I survive the initial heart attack.

Click here to read the article and to see video of Bonnie the Orangutan whistling.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sir David Attenborough and the Yeti

It is fairly well-known that Jane Goodall has been on the bigfoot bandwagon for some time now. It is refreshing to see other high-profile naturalists being open minded about the subject. Notice that both Goodall's and Atenborough's comments indicate that they are impressed by the data they have seen. It is up to us amateurs to obtain more data (evidence) to be shared and reviewed. The evidence is mounting, and can only be ignored for so long. Slowly, the tide is turning... Enjoy the article. -Cliff

You can see this article, as well as another on Jane Goodall at http://www.northamericanbigfoot.com/.



Yeti evidence is 'convincing' says wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough
By Sara Nelson

Sir David Attenborough believes there is 'very convincing' evidence that yetis exist.

Speaking on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, the revered wildlife expert said: 'I'm baffled by the Abominable Snowman - very convincing footprints have been found at 19,000ft. 'No-one does that for a joke. I think it's unanswered.'

The yeti is an ape-like creature said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet.

A photograph of a mysterious footprint, rumoured to be that of the yeti was taken in the Menlung Basin in the Himalayas in 1951.

A team of mountaineers travelled to the region on a reconnaissance mission before attempting to conquer Everest for the first time, a feat achieved two years later.


Eric Shipton recorded the footprint, and Tom Bourdillon, passing on the evidence to his friend Michael Davies, wrote: 'Dear Mick, Here are the footprint photos: sorry for the delay. We came across them on a high pass on the Nepal-Tibet watershed during the 1951 Everest expedition.

'They seemed to have come over a secondary pass at about 19,500 ft, down to 19,000 ft where we first saw them, and then went on down the glacier.'

In 1954, the Daily Mail reported the discovery of hair specimens from what was said to be the scalp of a yeti.

Professor Frederick Woods Jones, an expert in human and comparative anatomy, failed to reach a conclusion, but said the dark brown hair was not from a bear or an anthropoid (manlike) ape.

Alleged sightings and debate has continued through the decades - but so far no-one has been able to produce a clear, definitive photograph of the world's most elusive being.



Tibetan folklore has it that the yeti is nocturnal, whistles, and can kill with a single punch.

Investigators believe that at least two types of yeti exist: the dzu-teh ('big thing'), which is 7ft-8ft tall, and the nich-teh, which is 5ft-6ft

Sir David also spoke about not being able to halt climate change.

He said: 'We can never go back, there's no doubt about that... it's the speed at which we're changing.

'Before, it was thousands of years and now it's decades... but we can slow down the rate at which we change.'