Friday, October 1, 2010

Back to Silver Star Mountain

The photographs purportedly showing a sasquatch on the top of Silver Star Mountain in southern Washington State have been weighing heavily on my mind this past year.  I have blogged about them once or twice, and they were the subject of my presentation at the Oregon Sasquatch Symposium (OSS) this past June.

 The third of three photos possibly showing a sasquatch on
Silver Star Mountain.  Photo courtesy of Randee Chase.


The photographs were taken on November 17, 2005 by an electrician named Randee Chase.  I met Randee in 2008 and soon thereafter made a day trip to the summit of Silver Star together to take measurements at the site. On that trip, I intended to take some comparison photographs with a subject of a known height standing in the same location as the purported sasquatch.  My hopes were dashed due to a grey, drizzly day.  One couldn't even see the hilltop where the critter was standing, so I only managed to walk away with some very rough GPS measurements of distances.  I didn't know at the time that these measurements would start a journey that is still to be finished as of this writing.  

Sometime over the course of the next year, Bill Munns came onto the bigfoot scene.  After reading through his work on the Patterson/Gimlin Film, I because both impressed at his diligence and intrigued by his methods.  It soon occurred to me that this same optics formula could be applied to the Silver Star photos to determine the height of the figure.

The simple optics formula that can be used to determine
a subject's height in a photograph.


I made another attempt to obtain measurements at the summit of Silver Star shortly before my presentation at the OSS, but it too was largely thwarted by inclement weather.  Still, I walked away with more measurements obtained with my GPS units, both of which are accurate to within three meters.  

Using these slightly fuzzy measurements, I found that the figure on Silver Star stood somewhere around seven feet, eight inches tall.  I stated my methodologies and reasoning in my OSS presentation, along with a plea to the bigfooting community to get out there and do some real amateur science using whatever means one has at his/her disposal.  

Cliff Barackman presenting at the Oregon Sasquatch
 Symposium.  Photo courtesy of Steve Streufert.


A member of the audience that day took my plea to heart and approached me offering his assistance as a professional statistician.  Jumping at the chance to collaborate with someone who actually enjoys doing the kind of math necessary for these nerdy pursuits, he and I have been working closely together over the last three months to refine my data.

Last weekend, I had another opportunity to scale the summit of Silver Star Mountain along with the witness, and several other bigfoot investigators.  This time, the weather was perfect.  Using some newly purchased equipment, more accurate measurements have been obtained dropping the margin of error from the previously mentioned three meters down to half a meter.  Angular separation measurements have been obtained to verify the focal length of the photographs.  Comparison photos of a subject of known height standing in the same spot have been taken using the same camera that took the original photos.  Photographs taken with the camera will be used to calibrate the camera, comparing the calculated focal length to the manufacturer's specifications.  

Clearly, I have a lot of work to do.  It will be a while until I can get some results (mostly due to time constraints), but when I get them I will certainly share them with the good readers of this blog.  Keep checking back for updates on these excellent photos.

In the meantime, here are some photos from that day.  Enjoy!

Randee Chase and Cliff Barackman at
 the summit of Silver Star Mountain.


The view of where Randee took the photos
from the perspective of the subject.


Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier.


The rocks from where Randee took the photos.


Tyler Bounds standing at the subject's location.
This photo was taken with the same camera used
 for the original photos.


8 comments:

  1. Kudos Cliff, I see that we are drinking water from the same scientific well these days. I have to tip my hat for your continued raising of the bar. We can speculate on what we see until the cows come home but applied science introduces facts. We can still argue about the facts I suppose but a little raising of the scrutiny bar helps tremendously. Sooner than later other science minded folks will become interested and the ball will roll. Keep up the good work.

    One observation on the height mentioned. I take it you estimated the visible height of the subject to be 7'8" tall. I say this because I can't see the feet of the subject. Just a little hazy on this observation.

    You are on the right path, let it lead you to discovery.

    David W Ellis

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  2. Thank you for your kind words, David.

    Regarding the Silver Star pics: I have taken into consideration that the full height of the figure cannot be seen in any photograph. Details on how I arrived at the height estimate will be in the report.

    Cliff

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  3. You're diligence is amazing. Keep up the good work!

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  4. I am so glad this picture is getting a good second look... It is the favorite picture to me of all the BF pictures, to me it shows a lot more than just a big hairy species, it shows emotion and intelligence.

    I was under the impression this was admitted to be another hiker in the area, or a story like this. But with sound numbers and math (very critical) this will reveal the truth of at least the height.

    Kudos Cliff and if ya ever come up North please contact WASRT for at least a cup of Joe and some casual talk...

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  5. Your field research and application of mathematics to this case is a great model for using scientific methodology to quantify real hard data in our search for these mysterious beings. Great work!

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  6. Nice work has been done!
    No matter of real cises, but very imaginable explanation of the case!
    Igor Burtsev

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  7. Never stop!!! They do live with us...

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  8. Cliff...after watching the Silver Star episode on Finding Bigfoot (Animal Planet) the electrician Randee said at the beginning of the show he took his photos and someone later noticed the figure on the mountain, but later during the show he's standing on the mountain talking about how he saw the figure and began taking pictures....his story seems inconsistent....can this be explained? Thanks...

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