Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, the Year in Review

As this blog is finishing its second year in existence, it's time to look back on 2010 and quietly smile.  It was quite an adventurous year in many ways, and I'm absolutely positive that 2011 will be even more so.  Allow me to share my favorite blog items from 2010 with you.


January
This blog celebrated its first birthday!  As if that wasn't enough to keep us tingling all month, the strange, dark, upright figure in the Great North video was discovered.  This caused great excitement for a short while until it was discovered that it was a film crew member herding the ungulates for better filming.


A giant red arrow pointing out the dark figure in the video.

I got to spend a few cold nights in the woods and swamps of Mt. Hood National Forest.  Steve Streufert published his lengthy interview with Al Hodgson.  I shared supporting evidence for my hypothesis that sasquatches might be clapping instead of beating sticks against trees when they wood knock.  Mike Greene gave me permission to post his thermal video showing a sasquatch on this blog.

A still from the "Squeaky" Footage

March
I started keeping my eye on the Descending Ridge.  Craig Flipy and I headed to the Olympics for two nights.  A photograph of a possible bigfoot was posted.  I shared my thoughts on the 10 Essentials of Bigfooting.  Guy Edwards accepts an invitation and checks cameras at the Descending Ridge with me.  Ahhh, Spring Break...


Olympic Swamps



April
The Legend of Beerfoot, is debuted, and was soon shown at a Portland film festival to a bewildered audience.  The Search for Sasquatch, a documentary by Jesse Larson, was completed, showing a camera retrieval expedition to the Descending Ridge.  A lot of my friends and I got to take Bob Saget bigfooting.  I mused about how amateur scientists will always have a place in bigfooting.  


Casting a Sagetsquatch print.




May
I went adventuring for the day to several sighting locations.  Craig Flipy and I stumbled upon a very squatchy meadow in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  


Flipy Meadows




June
School ended, which sent me on a gluttonous six-day squatch-a-thon that left me exhausted, yet craving more.  Smack dab in the middle of it was the Oregon Sasquatch Symposium, which was epic.  After speaking, I bailed on the Symposium early to try to locate fresh footprints on the Skokomish River, but to no avail.  I then did an on-sight investigation of an eye-witness sighting from just a few days before.  


A bigfoot impression from Molalla, OR



July
A kapre sighting from the Philippines came to my attention.  I spent a night at Dinger Lake and heard knocks.  The next night  was spent with Will Robinson at another location, and several knocks were recorded.  The semi-occasional feature, "Sasquotes," was born.  The Willamette Week, a hip weekly Portland newspaper included me in their "100 Best" as Portland's Best Believer.  More reports came to my ears from Gordon Creek.  I trekked to Northern California with good friends.  


Friends at the PG Filmsite




August
After driving the Oregon Coast with Tyler Bounds, I hear and record excellent vocalizations in Mt. Hood National Forest.  Beachfoot was a fun gathering.  Soon thereafter, I disappeared into the wilds of the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon.  Just a few days later, I went bigfooting in Pennsylvania with Matt Moneymaker of the BFRO.   


Cool cave graffiti 




September
I spent a day poking around at the Bigfoot Bash and Bounty and talking to friends.  I started my investigation into the McKenzie River Footage.  Guy Edwards, Craig Flipy, Barney Rubbish, and I spent a couple nights in the woods and hiked several valleys.  The Chehalis Project images were posted to remind everyone of this interesting snippet.  The McKenzie River Footage report was finally released.  (No, I haven't got the original footage yet, but an occasional email is still being sent...)  


The Chehalis Images




October
Randee Chase, witness and photographer of the Silver Star Mountain photographs, and I ascended to the peaks to obtain measurements.  Dr. John Bindernagel's excellent new book was finally released after many years of effort.  A short video showing the on-site investigation of the McKenzie River Footage is posted on my Youtube page.  


Randee Chase and I at the top of Silver Star Mountain




November
The usual suspects, accompanied by Mrs. Flipy, spends a night at Lost Lake in the Coast Range.  Some of my best friends got married, and I was honored to play at their celebrations.  


Baby squatch at a wedding


December
"Strange Days with Bob Saget" premiered, showing the bigfoot episode on the first night of the series.  Thom Powell started a new blog, while Craig Flipy showed some commitment to his.  






It has indeed been a very squatchy year!  Considering some plans and surprises that are currently in the works, I'm certain that 2011 will be the best on record.


Thank you, everybody, for continuing to read the North American Bigfoot blog.  Keep checking back because I'm always up to something squatchy!


Happy New Years, everybody!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dr. Bindernagel Interview Pt. 2

As promised, here is part two of the interview posted a couple days ago...  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Animal Planet's Matching Grant for Apes


While I was out of town for the holidays, I received this important email from the Jane Goodall Institute.  The cable network, and friends of the 'squatch, Animal Planet, have generously offered Dr. Goodall a matching grant until the last day of this year!  That means for every dollar any person donates to the Jane Goodall Institute, Animal Planet gives another dollar, make each private donation worth twice as much!  Hurry, though.  This offer from AP is only good until December 31st!




Please consider giving something, no matter how small, to this worthy cause.  Also, consider watching a lot more Animal Planet in the near future.  It's good for the brain!

Here's the original email I received:



Dear Cliff,
 
With just over a week left in 2010, we have an exciting matching gift opportunity from Animal Planet!
 
Animal Planet’s  R.O.A.R. program has partnered with Roots & Shoots members in support of their endangered species youth campaign to raise money for our chimpanzee conservation efforts in Africa.
 
Animal Planet will match your donation, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $25,000 until December 31, 2010. 
 
As you know we have an incredible task in front of us to build the supplemental sanctuary site at Tchimpounga. You donation right now will help us in these efforts and ensure that we receive the full $25,000 offered to us by Animal Planet.
 
Your ongoing financial support is one of the main reasons why we continue to be successful in our mission to protect chimpanzees and foster global conservation. I can’t thank you enough for your support of our work in 2010, and I hope you will help us make the most of this special matching gift from Animal Planet by making a year-end donation today.
 
Thank you so much for your support.
 
Best Wishes,
Maureen Smith, President, the Jane Goodall Institute
 
Maureen P. Smith
President
the Jane Goodall Institute

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dr. Bindernagel Interview Pt. 1

I stumbled across this excellent interview with Dr. John Bindernagel and wanted to share it with you.  Part two will be posted in a couple days.



Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mission: Conservation of Great Apes

Bigfoots are lucky to live in North America.  As the below video points out, the survival of great apes is directly tied to the standard of living of the humans with whom they share their habitat.  Despite current economic conditions, we North Americans enjoy among the highest standards of living in the world today.  That alleviates at least some pressure on the bigfoot population.


When you watch the clip, keep thinking, "Sasquatch."


While bigfoots might be affected by deforestation or other human influences, they are unlikely to fall prey to heavy pressure from bushmeat poachers.  We'll know that the current economic crisis is really bad when bands of people take to the woods to hunt saquatches for food...

Though it might sound ridiculous to some, I want to encourage the bigfooting community to be aware of, and maybe even help support, the various ape conservation societies that are out there (such as the Great Ape Trust, who produced this video clip).  Remember that sasquatches are undoubtedly a member of the great ape family.  Their inevitable discovery will likely place them somewhere on the ape gradient between gibbons and humans .  What we do for the other apes now will eventually be reflected upon the sasquatch.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Card

The following picture pretty much says it all, although I'm not so sure what "it all" is...  


Happy holidays!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mysteries at the [Bigfoot Discovery] Museum


Mike Rugg, of the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in Felton, CA, sent me a notice that he will be featured on the Travel Channel's, "Mysteries and the Museum" television show Monday night.  Here's what Mike had to say:


"This is a quick note to let you know our museum will be featured on episode 8 of the new Travel Channel show called "Mysteries at the Museum." It's scheduled to be shown on Dec 21 at 6 and 9 PM and again on Dec 26 at 1 PM. The segment will be about 8 minutes of an hour-long show featuring a number of museums."


The show's website had this to add:


"How did a manuscript and eyeglass case save Teddy Roosevelt's life? Could a 1912 wireless message warning about icebergs have saved the Titanic from her tragic fate? And does a large primate tooth prove the legend of Bigfoot is real?"


Mike Rugg, manning the helm at the
Bigfoot Discovery Museum.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010 Skokomish River

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post on my attempted investigation of a fresh sasquatch trackway near the Skokomish River. An excellent photograph of one of these footprints has now been added to the ever-growing Cast/Impression Database located on my website, www.NorthAmericanBigfoot.com.



2010 Skokomish River, WA

Year
2010
Month
June
Date
18
State
WA
County
Mason
Location
Skokomish River
Found by
ID Withheld
Cast by
Not cast
Length
13 inches
Width (ball)
5.25 inches
Width (heel)
5 inches
Stride
Unknown
Depth
Unknown


While scouting for elk near the confluence of Church Creek and the Skokomish River in Mason County, WA, a state employee stumbled across an excellent trackway. There were many footprints, but only one was clear enough to photograph. The others were in thick forest duff surrounding a seep from a nearby spring.

Click here to go to the 2010 Skokomish River track page.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bob Saget's Thoughts on Bigfooting and Bigfooters

In a video blog about his experiences while shooting the "Strange Days with Bob Saget" series, Bob shares some  thoughts on bigfooters and his experience in the woods with us.


While Saget may not be right about Flipy eating a turd, his assessment of bigfooters is correct in at least one way:  We are each others' best friends.  That is one of the best things about bigfooting in general: the awesome, ridiculous, interesting people one gets to hang out with.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sword Shopping Video

In case you missed the previous post on this video, or were unable to see it for technical reasons, here is an amusing short bonus clip from the recently-aired "Strange Days with Bob Saget" bigfooting episode.



Bob Saget really liked Bobo.  When Saget finally finished filming the final episode for the series, he and "Dan the Sound Guy" gave Bobo a phone call to chat for a few minutes.  Funny...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bonus Material from "Strange Days with Bob Saget"

The original pitch for "Strange Days with Bob Saget" was for a series of one-hour episodes.  For whatever reason, the individual episodes were later cut down to half-hour shows (22 minutes without commercials), which means that a lot (or most) of what we filmed ended up on the digital equivalent of the metaphorical cutting room floor.  We filmed some great stuff, and even some of the production crew was disappointed that so much of what went on would not be used in the on-air episode.


Cliff Barackman casting Bob Saget's footprint


Recently, A&E Television has started posting some of this unused clips as "bonus material," presumably for use as extra features on a future DVD.  Over the next several days, I will be posting the videos (as I find them) for your enjoyment, starting with the clip below.


The context of this clip is that Bob was interested in hearing what a sasquatch might sound like, so Paul Graves and I were asked to share some recordings with him.  We played recordings of elk, coyotes, barred owls, and finally a few of sasquatches for Bob so he could compare their vocalizations.  Not all of what transpired made the clip, but the Ohio Howl bigfoot vocalization did.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Primate Species from Asia

This past October, a new monkey species was discovered in the jungles of southeast Asia.  The type specimen (first dead one to be examined by a scientist) was then eaten by the hunters who killed it, destroying precious data on an endangered primate.


Perhaps it tastes better than it looks...


Personally, I'm not an advocate of killing any primate.  However, the locals in Myanmar, where the creature was killed, have a strong liking for bush-meat (primate flesh), and this has already driven the population of the species to a dangerously low number (estimated at around 300 individuals).  To me, eating primates seems akin to cannibalism, but who am I to judge?

For more on the species and its discovery, check out this link.  


Myanmar, located in southeast Asia


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crappy Little Dreams Blog

That Saget show that aired a week or two ago pretty much mostly featured James "Bobo" Fay and Craig Flipy.  They were the two most obviously ridiculous characters on the shoot, so this should have pretty much been expected for the comedy show that the Saget crew was trying to put together.  Plenty of people got kind of riled up about the show making bigfooters look bad, and those people probably won't like this blog post very much.  I didn't mind the treatment, but then again, I wasn't prominently featured (luckily).


Crappy Little Dreams: Gotta Live 'Em!



My regular bigfooting buddy (and friend of the 'squatch), Craig Flipy, was one of the main people with Saget for most of the shoot.  I posted a blog article regarding Craig's website earlier in the year, and now Craig has taken to trying to update his own blog once in a while, too.


Craig's most recent blog details his perspective on being at the Saget shoot.  His outlook on this adventure is unique in many ways, as could probably be guessed by Craig's obvious, well, "uniqueness."  (Being "unique" is kind of a prerequisite for being a close friend of mine, as "normal" people pretty much make me nervous.)


Included on Craig's blog are his audition tape for the gig (which also can be seen below because I think it's funny), as well as several embarrassing moments from Bob Saget's career (just to even things out a little, I suppose).  Several of the clips aren't exactly family-oriented, so be forewarned.  Unlike me, Craig isn't trying to run a youth-friendly blog.  


Craig Flipy's audition tape for "Strange Days with Bob Saget"


Also of interest in this slightly whacked-out audition tape is the song playing behind it: "Flippy Rap."  It was composed and performed by the now-no-longer Southern Californian female rap duo, Foxy Autopsy.  Note the prevalence of the word, "weirdo" in the song.  Yes, it was written for and about Craig Flipy.  One of the two members of Foxy Autopsy went on to actually marry Craig in October.  I can't say it was love at first sight for them, but it proves that perseverance is the key to getting what you want.

If you're interested in an edgy and weird outlook on the bigfooting world (or whatever world Craig inhabits), you might want to drop by the Crappy Little Dreams Blog every now and again to check things out.  It might make you laugh, or it could possibly even slightly offend you.  Either way, you'll be a better person for peeking into this guy's strange little world.  (And Bob Saget thinks his days are strange!)  

Craig Flipy and Bob Saget getting along nicely.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thom Powell's New Blog

Author and friend of the 'squatch, Thom Powell, has now entered into the blogosphere with his own corner of the web.  Thomsquatch.com was born on Saturday, so there's not much there yet.  Since Thom is both a teacher and an author, I believe we can expect intriguing thoughts and well-written commentary in the not-too-distant future.  Besides, he's super sarcastic and funny, which is one of my favorite combinations of character traits.


Click on over to Thom's blog and welcome him by following his blog.  Notice that I added a link to him on the right sidebar of this page.

Thom Powell and Cliff Barackman in Willow Creek, CA

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dr. Bindernagel and the Yams on Seattle Radio Tonight

This item just crossed my desk, and I wanted you to know right away.  Tonight at 7 pm, Dr. John Bindernagel and Tom Yamarone will appear on "The Gary Mantz Show - Mastery and Mystery" on KKNW 1140 AM in Seattle, WA.

Dr. Bindernagel and Tom Yamarone

So you don't live near Seattle?  No worries, just click this link to listen live on the internet.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sasquotes - Dr. John Bindernagel

Dr. John Bindernagel is a retired wildlife biologist living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  His recently published book, The Discovery of the Sasquatch, is a must-read for any serious amateur cryptoprimatologist interested in furthering the cause for scientific recognition of the species.

Dr. Bindernagel's book examines not only evidence for the existence of sasquatches, but also some of the reasons that the scientific community has continued to ignore the subject.  By reading it, one cannot help but understand that...

"...the proposition of the sasquatch as an existing North American mammal is not nearly as far-fetched as it might first appear to be."


Dr. John Bindernagel and Cliff Barackman


To order a copy of Dr. Bindernagel's book, please visit Beachcomber Books.  It is well-worth the price tag!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Let's go 'Squatchin" - Full Episode

I caught the Saget show thing last night as it was broadcast.  Watching it with Craig Flipy (the bigfooting-bushcraft-ninja guy in the episode, in case you don't know) at his home, I really enjoyed it.  Sure, I could nit pick, but why?  It's nice to not take the whole bigfooting thing so seriously every once in a while.  Besides, it's a comedy television show!

Though I was there and spent hours filming various interviews and data analyses, I got almost no screen time, which is fine (though some of my casts were shown, and it was me that Matt was chasing in the car).  I have to wonder what happened to the hours of stuff we filmed. The more experiences with television I have, the more I realize the power that the editors hold.

The entire show is embedded below.  Leave expectations at the door, and you won't be disappointed.  This is NOT a serious investigation into the subject.  It's a stand-up comedian going bigfooting for mass consumption by the American public.  Enjoy!


PS... Sorry about the ads.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bob Saget and his Strange Year

"Strange Days with Bob Saget" is premiering tonight on A&E.  There will be two back-to-back episodes starting at 10 pm EST.  "Let's go Squatching," the second of the two half-hour shows, features a gaggle of bigfooters, including myself.


Some of the folks on the gig...  Can you name them all?


You probably shouldn't expect this show to be a deeply informative and educational exploration of the sasquatch mystery.  You can, however, expect this episode to be focused around Bob Saget having a light-hearted romp in the field with some of the most active bigfoot researchers today. 


Bob was always kind and respectful of the subject while in the woods with us.  He does think that sasquatches are real animals, and I know for a fact that he was moved by his personal interviews with members of the local Native American tribes.  It's hard not to be...


The real question is how will his editors handle it.  Will they show the computer analysis of various sasquatch vocalizations, or will they feature me talking about certain parts of ape anatomy and how that reflects primate intelligence?  Most likely, they'll cut snippets from all sorts of stuff and make whatever they have funny.  That is their job, after all.


So, tune in tonight and join me in not taking everything so seriously.  Have some fun with the subject, and support those who draw attention to it.  And remember, Mr. Saget is a true believer.


Enjoy the following interview with Bob.



Bob Saget Documents His Year of Living Strangely


Bob Saget and Cliff Barackman


Bob Saget says the production of his new series‘Strange Days’ made for a strange year. For this new documentary-style series – premiering Tuesday on A&E with two back-to-back half-hours starting at 10 p.m./9c – the ‘Full House’ funnyman went in search of unusual experiences.

And he found them: With a motorcycle club (the Iron Order, based in Kentucky where he met bikers with names like Peckerwood and Naked Dave, a man who eschews pants), Bigfoot believers, frat boys, a group of boys at summer camp, masked Mexican wrestlers, and comedian Jeffrey Ross, who accompanied Saget on a tear through Las Vegas after midnight.

Saget, 54, talked to Fancast on the phone from Los Angeles about his travels and the six or (possibly) seven episodes of ‘Strange Days’ that he produced from his adventures.

So, Bob, after spending some time searching for Sasquatch, did you come out of the experience believing in the existence of this elusive creature?

Well, the truth is, I really did believe it. For three days, I didn’t have any communication. I’d have e-mail at night. I have three daughters and a girlfriend and a mother and I was e-mailing, ‘I think this thing exists!’ and I’m being open it and they were like, ‘Yeah, OK.’

Did you hear Sasquatch stories at camp when you were a boy?

I never went to camp. That’s kind of what this show’s about anyway because it’s a bucket list of stuff I’ve always wanted to do. So I went to camp with this Camp Copper Creek [for Episode 5 of ‘Strange Days’]. They didn’t really discuss Sasquatch stories. But when I went up to the Pacific Northwest [for the Sasquatch episode], the first people we came across were Native-Americans who lived in this area . . . and they said they’d seen [Sasquatch]. And there was no acting for the camera. They didn’t even want us to be showing them.

In the 19th century, some Native-Americans thought cameras would steal their souls.

That’s exactly what we did do!
Which designation do the Native-Americans of the Pacific Northwest prefer – Sasquatch or Bigfoot?

They’re fine with Bigfoot and they also don’t like Yeti because Yeti would be the Abominable Snowman.

Yeah, you hate to hear people make that mistake.

They did tell me this: [The creatures] are men and women and teenagers. The teen-aged Sasquatch Bigfoot is about six feet tall and the parents are 1,500 pounds, 7 feet tall, maybe even 9 feet.

It all sounds credible to me.

Exactly right. People have asked me: Have you seen it? Now, if I saw it or filmed it, the question really is, would I have told people? I mean, I think that would have been in the news, wouldn’t it?

Have you made all of your ‘Strange Days’ episodes? How many are there?

There are six and we did a seventh. The seventh was one we did a year ago that was kind of a pilot. It was an hour show where I looked for women for American men who wanted brides from Ukraine. So we went to Ukraine and we met women, and the joke that came out of it for me for as a standup [comedian] was: The age of consent there is “yes”!

Correct me if I’m wrong: Is ‘Strange Days’ also the name of your standup act?

We went on tour and I decided that I’m going to call it the ‘Strange Days’ tour because it’s a tie-in – you love your branding. It’s been a really strange year for me and so I figured, What the hell.

Did anything else happen the rest of the year in your private life to make the year strange?

Actually the Vegas trip kind of began my personal life stuff which is that a relationship started for me, which is really cool – not with Jeffrey Ross. He was my Oscar Acosta [the attorney who accompanied Hunter Thompson on the Las Vegas trip that resulted in Thompson’s book 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas']. Again, I say ‘bucket list’ but it’s really just shows that only I want to do because I just don’t want to waste a second of my life.

And you’re not terminally ill. We can confirm that up front, can’t we?

We can. When you watch these shows, it does seem as if there’s something wrong with me. I’m not ill, I’m just dumb.

Tell me about the Las Vegas thing.

The whole show in general [is] I was a big fan of George Plimpton [the late author who was a pioneer in “participatory” journalism, writing books such as “Paper Lion,” after spending time training with the Detroit Lions football team]. So it’s a documentary approach and yet it’s not mean-spirited. It’s living it, but [for example], I go to Cornell and join a frat, but I’m not the guy that gets drunk and wears a toga. I’m not doing what [‘Borat’ and‘Bruno’ star] Sacha Baron Cohen does – I’m not going naked into a guy’s tent at some point [as Cohen did in ‘Bruno’]. It is figuring out what do I want to do in world that is polluted with a bunch of reality shows that aren’t real. Let’s do something that really studies a subculture and hope for the best because my background was documentary. So I got Jeffrey Ross. It was kind of like ‘Midnight Cowboy’ or ‘Scarecrow’ or whatever buddy movie where something’s wrong with one of them.

Which one of you is Ratso Rizzo and who’s Joe Buck – the Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight characters, respectively, in ‘Midnight Cowboy’?

I’d say he’s a little more Ratso Rizzo. He was sick that week. He didn’t die on the bus, but he was not well. He was hocking up [mucus] the whole time and it’s in the show.

That’ll make for attractive television.

And it’s in high-def!

Just to clarify, no hallucinogenic substances of the sort used by Hunter Thompson were ingested in the pursuit of this production, right?

None were used. They were used by animals, but they were not used by humans.

That’s very heart-warming. You talked about a “documentary background.” What’s your documentary background?

I went to film school at Temple University in Philadelphia and for a movie I made about a young man that had his face reconstructed, I won the Student Academy Award, and I was 21.

Overall, did you accomplish for yourself personally what you had set out to do in the making of this TV show?

Yes, that’s the crazy part of it. Six months after I did the biker show, I performed at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C., so it’s a couple of thousand people. And [the Iron Order chairman] tells me a lot of our brothers are coming to the show and I got a hundred motorcycles in front of the Warner Theater in D.C. and I come out on stage and I yell, ‘Who the [expletive deleted] are we?’ And they go, ‘Iron Order!’

The only other motorcycle club on TV right now is the fictional criminal biker gang on ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ Is this Iron Order a more benevolent society?

They’re a caring group. Anyone that disgraces them is cast from the society. We had moments in the show where there are brothers and sisters who were not asked to be a part of the group anymore.

And yet, Naked Dave can stay!

We want [the show] to be entertaining. We also want it to be something where people go, ‘Holy crap! This really happened!’