Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sasquatch Summit - Looking Back at the Tribute to John Green

John Green, the man of honor

As you probably know, the "Sasquatch Summit - A Tribute to John Green" was just held this past weekend in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. It was kind of a big deal for me because I had never had a chance to meet John Green, though I've been a fan of his for nearly two decades. It had also been a long time since I had crossed the border into Canada, and I knew I'd be seeing many of my Canadian friends and colleagues at the event. Besides, I love bigfooty events like this, and I certainly needed a vacation.

Craig Flipy was to be my travelling companion, and we left Portland, OR just before noon on Friday for the drive up north. After battling Seattle traffic for several hours, dropping by a friend's house near Everett, WA, and being grilled by an unfriendly Canadian border cop, we finally reached our destination well after dark.

Immediately after checking in at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, I was greeted by the smiling faces of several investigator friends. We arranged a meeting place, and I went about bringing my personal items up to the room.

Craig and I walked down the street to a local pub where many investigators had gathered. I was thrilled to see friends such as Tom Yamarone, John Kirk, Thomas Steenburg, and Bob Gimlin.

The next day was a day of presentations by various names in bigfooting. A highlight for me was Dr. Jeff Meldrum's presentation. It was injected with humor and lots of information on the casts obtained by John Green in the Bluff Creek region back in the 1960's. He spoke at length about the consistency of the footprints from various parts of the country, as well as addressing many misconceptions about the role Ray Wallace played in that time period.

An original Blue Creek Mountain
cast from August, 1967

I was surprised that my name came up in Chris Murphy's presentation in relation to the ongoing controversy about the location of the Patterson/Gimlin film site. I later spoke to Chris about my thoughts, and will be working with him to try to shed some more light on the matter.

Of particular interest to me was a room with many interesting displays. Among the artifacts laid out for us bigfoot nerds were several original casts from the Bluff Creek region (which I was later allowed to photograph to add to my online cast database), a copy of the Skookum Cast, numerous masks and displays from the British Columbian Museum (courtesy of Chris Murphy), and John Green's original filing cabinet filled with his files. What a treasure trove!

John Green's replica of the Skookum Cast

At the banquet dinner, the local Chehalis Indians shared a dance with us. Using a mask reportedly carved in the 1930's, they performed a sasquatch dance that was not performed from the 1940's until 2010. The musical accompaniment was made by hand drums and singing in the local Native dialect (the language that was anglicized to give us the word, "sasquatch!"). It was a beautiful site, and was a gift well-appreciated.

After dinner, various folks gave short tribute speeches to John Green, including several of his family members. Rene Dahinden's ex-wife was in attendance, and she read from letters sent by Rene when he was on the Pacific Northwest Expeditions funded by Tom Slick back in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

The night ended very late after bouncing from place to place, room to room. Morning brought rain and grey skies, and after poking around town a little, Craig and I headed back home. It was a great weekend that ended far too soon. I met John Green, caught up with many good friends, and did a little social bigfooting. I even met some of you, my readers. Thank you for introducing yourself and sharing your kind words about my work. I appreciate it.

Here are some other pictures from the event.  Enjoy!

John Kirk improvising a song about me
as I walked by.

Harrison Hot Springs is a very
'squatch-friendly place.

Cliff Barackman and Dr. Jeff Meldrum

Cliff Barackman and a friend


  1. It was a great weekend. I had a true blast. Great seeing you there too, Cliff.

  2. Cliff, do you know if the event was filmed?
    It would be great for Bigfoot Conference's to all be documented and uploaded via YouTube or some online video site for everyone who wasn't present to enjoy.
    Thanks for the report,
    Dallas, TX