Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Right This Minute" Interview

Yesterday afternoon, I was interviewed by Right This Minute news about the upcoming season premiere of Finding Bigfoot.  I was spoken to via computer, so I may look a bit funny in my movements, but considering they were in Arizona and I was in Oregon, it doesn't look too bad...

The interview can be seen by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bigfoot Eyewitness Interview in NY

In this special clip released by Animal Planet, we meet Robert, a bigfoot witness from New York.  Robert and I went to the Catskill Mountains to do a recreation of his frightening encounter.  Robert is only one of several witnesses we met in New York that will be featured on the upcoming season 2 debut of Finding Bigfoot.  Be sure to catch the premiere on Sunday night, January 1st at 10 pm on Animal Planet.

After each episode, you can look forward to my personal insights on that week's expedition by going to the official Cliff Barackman website and reading my behind-the-scenes commentaries.  We film more than 100 hours of footage for each episode, and the editors cut that down to less than 44 minutes.  Lots of cool, 'squatchy stuff gets left out of each episode, and my commentaries are the only place where you can read what happened behind the scenes.  Check them out after each and every episode!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finding Bigfoot - NY Town Hall Meeting

In another Finding Bigfoot sneak peek video released by Animal Planet, see witnesses at the New York town hall meeting recount their tales of encountering sasquatches.  Watch the clip below, but be sure to catch the entire episode when it debuts on January 1st at 10 pm on Animal Planet.  Following each episode in season 2, I'll be posting short essays detailing my personal commentaries on each episode.  These will give insight on the encounters, investigations, and other bigfooty things that happened behind the scenes.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bringing a Baboon Bigfooting? Yep.

Another highlight of the upcoming season 2 premiere of Finding Bigfoot was finally getting to take a live ape out to the woods bigfooting.  It had been a dream of Bobo's for as long as I've known him, and it was great to see him live his dream.

Below is a sneak peek of Finding Bigfoot's New York expedition.  Be sure to catch the entire episode on Sunday, January 1st at 10 pm on Animal Planet.  Check back on my official website for my behind-the-scenes commentaries to accompany each and every episode.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Finding Bigfoot - The Game!

I've always said that if you want to see a bigfoot, you've gotta be a bigfoot.  Well, now you finally have your chance.  Animal Planet has produced a free online game where you get to be the bigfoot.  Run through the woods and elude the Finding Bigfoot team members while you pick up food items, throw rocks, and avoid collisions with traffic.  You lose when you are finally discovered, just like the real species!  

Play it now by clicking this link.  My high score is pretty bad so far, so be sure to do better than I did.

Sneak Peek at Season 2's New York Expedition

Just in time for 'Squatchmas, Animal Planet has posted a series of sneak peek clips for season 2 of Finding Bigfoot.  Be sure to check out the full episode when it premieres on January 1st!  Also catch my behind the scenes commentaries that will follow each and every episode on the official Cliff Barackman website.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Finding Bigfoot Season 2 Press Release

The Animal Planet marketing team is ramping things up for Season 2 of Finding Bigfoot.  A new press release has a lot of information that folks have been asking for, and now I can finally talk about.  Included in this press release are photographs, vocalizations by the various team members, Finding Bigfoot biographical information, video teasers, and even a partial episode guide.  Take a few minutes and browse the goods that the fine people at Animal Planet have put out there for you by clicking this link.

Remember, Season 2 of Finding Bigfoot premieres on New Year's Day, January 1st on Animal Planet at 10 pm.  Please check your local listings because of time zone issues.  The first episode will feature our investigation into the New York Baby Footage.  The New York expedition was fantastic, and very 'squatchy.  There will be a few surprises in the show, too.

And, of course, you can continue to look forward to my commentaries and interviews after the shows.  These give even more insight into the bigfooting side of things.  Remember, Finding Bigfoot is a TV show designed for entertainment, but there's real bigfooting going on, too.  The after-episode commentaries are where you can read about stuff that never made the 44 minutes of air time, but is interesting and important for bigfooters.  We shoot more than 100 hours of footage that eventually gets cut down to a measly 44 minutes.  Lots of stuff happens that never sees the TV screen...

You can read the commentaries from past episodes on my official Cliff Barackman website.

AWOLNATION and the Yeti

Below is a pretty great song with an appropriately great video to go along with it.  Boosting the video's greatness is a cameo appearance by a yeti, although it is a particularly flesh-hungry one.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Orangutan Physiology and Possible Parallels

This article details a recent study of orangutans in Borneo, and the dietary implications of being dependent on ripening fruits. Sasquatches obviously utilize the bounty of ripening berries and other forest fruits in their diet, most of which are ripening right before the onset of winter, the toughest time for survival. Like bears, it makes sense that sasquatches would put on as much weight as possible during this time for the lean winter months ahead.  But how do they deal with the lack of food throughout the winter?

Of course, orangutans are pretty much solely herbivores, while sasquatches are clearly omnivores. Still, when one considers the close biological relationship between orangutans, humans, and sasquatches, it makes sense to see how the other great apes make their livings in the world. While bigfoots are efficient predators and would clearly have it easier than herbivorous orangutans as far as getting protein in their diet, perhaps there's something to learn, or some insight to be gleaned, from this article. 

Orangutans in Borneo will eat just about any fruit in the 
forest. But during hard times when fruit is not 
bountiful, they find other sources of protein: leaves,
bark and their own body-fat reserves and muscle.
CREDIT: © Tim Laman 

How Orangutans Survive Potential Starvation
Joseph Castro, Livescience Staff Writer

Orangutans in Borneo can survive potential starvation by using their body fat and muscles as energy until a bounty of food is available, researchers find, adding that the results may someday shed light on the eating habits of our earliest ancestors.

The findings may also speak to various low-carb, high-protein diets, because essentially weight comes down to caloric intake for these orangutans as it does us, the researchers say.

In Borneo, an island in Southeast Asia, forests go through periods of high fruit yield, where around 80 percent or more of the plants will produce fruit all at once. Following these "masting" periods, the forests endure stretches of sparse fruit availability that can last anywhere from two to eight years. To survive in this unpredictable environment, orangutans put on fat by gorging on fruits when they're available, and then live off of these reserves until the next masting year.

Researchers have now learned that the orangutans start to metabolize their own muscles for protein after these fat reserves are gone.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Afterbirth of a Legend - Part 2 - Solo at Bluff Creek

This is the second installment of my irregularly scheduled behind the scenes debrief.  I do these articles after every episode, though this one has been tough to do since I've been on the road for four months filming the second season of Finding Bigfoot.  Still, for you patient folks, here it is.  Enjoy.

After our first night investigation, Bobo, Ranae, and Matt went back to Willow Creek, leaving me out in the wilds. With me was Craig Flipy, who would be filming my “solo” adventure. I was thankful to have Craig there because he and I work together on a very regular basis. We film our after-episode video debriefs, and have made a number of short webisodes about our forays into the wild. I was also given four nights in the woods to make some good bigfoot TV, as opposed to the three nights originally proposed. A new feature for season two of Finding Bigfoot is that one of us spends some time with only a bigfooty cameraman to try to get a close approach by a bigfoot. The fact that I was given an extra night was good news, as was the fact that I got to do it in Bluff Creek, an area I'm intimately familiar with.

Craig Flipy

The first night was spent on the old Bluff Creek Road that parallels the creek right above Louse Camp. There have been two sightings on that short section of road over the last three years. Bedding down in the middle of the path seemed like a good way to have a bigfoot stumble over you, so I went for it. I only got quail on my game camera that night. It was still nice to sleep out under the stars.

During my solo investigation, there are lots of scenes of me walking through beautiful meadows. These are located at Laird Meadow, half way up the slope from Louse Camp to Onion Mountain. Laird Meadow is actually a broken chain of meadows that extend on both sides of the road for nearly a mile. Separating these meadow oases are woods, with dense, shrubby undergrowth. Laird Meadow is the site of some interesting footprints found back in October 20 of 1963. A Forest Service timber cruiser named Pat Graves ran across Roger Patterson on October 21, 1963 and told him about some nearby prints that he saw the day before on a logging landing (Roger wrote in his book that the prints were found in 1964, but the original casts had the date etched into their backsides, and clearly stated 1963). I go to Laird whenever I can. There are some excellent meadows for tracking, and there is certainly a ton of food and animals in the area to make it worthy of a look when I'm in the neighborhood.

Excellent tracking substrate in Laird Meadow

I set some cameras in the transition zone, where the meadow meets the wood line. There was an obvious game trail, and I thought that this was a decent place to try to catch a mountain lion or bigfoot on camera. A predator could easily scan the meadows from the safety of the woods from this trail. When placing cameras for bigfoots, always look for the strategic terrain. While it's certain there were a lot of deer in the area, I didn't get any pictures of my targeted quarry.

The next night was spent near Dry Lake. I got word of a sighting that occurred nearby only the week before. The night was spent making calls and throwing rocks off a ridge line and going for short night walks. No responses were heard before eventually retiring for the night.

The next day was spent on a hike to the confluence of Bluff Creek and Bigfoot Creek. Back in 1994, I found a trail of 14.5 inch footprints and a tree break where the road comes down to the floodplain of Bluff Creek. From this location, a half mile walk downstream brings you to where the small brook of Bigfoot Creek flows into a deep turquoise pool in Bluff Creek. A Yurok man told me that the creek is named Bigfoot Creek because that's where the bigfoots came to fish salmon. Looking at the deep pool at the confluence, I can see why that would be true. A pool of this size would certainly be an obvious holding ground for migrating salmon resting as they moved upstream.

This is the tree that I found broken in 1994.
It has grown a bit since then, but I'm pointing
at the location of the break.

We changed locations again that night, moving camp to one of my favorite places to bigfoot. I call this area the "Water Spot" because it's a marshland off the beaten path where I've had some of my closest bigfoot encounters. I knew that if there was food there, I'd have a good chance that bigfoots might be around, too.

I did a scouting trip around the marsh. There weren't a ton of deer around, though there were a couple. At one point, I found clear footprints of a black bear. It was walking on fallen logs and through grass at the marsh's edge. Another 200 yards ahead, I found the prints of a bear cub. A mother bear and cub can be bad news, but it's just something that you take in stride when you're camping in areas with abundant amounts of food for wildlife. Bigfoots and bears both go to the same places, deal with it.

A clear black bear print from the marsh.

A black bear cub print found nearby.

That night, Craig cooked salmon on the open fire using cedar planks. The smell of cooking fish swept downwind. Darkness fell and we went for a night walk, but our calls and knocks elicited no response. Back at camp, we observed a bear forage in the swamp by watching it in the thermal imager.

I did a couple tree knocks by hitting a log against a fallen tree. What doesn't come through very well on television was the response I got. From the southwest came a large boom, wood on wood, echoing from the valley below. It was distant, but unmistakeable: a huge response to my knock. They were there.

Later in the night, right across the swamp from me, two heat signatures could be seen in the thermal imager. One was bigger than the other, and they were seemingly quadrupeds. It soon because apparent that I was seeing the mother bear and cub I tracked earlier in the day. They were busy feeding on pond lilies. I made it a point to keep track of them. I figured they already knew I was there, and it would be best to know where they are at all times, especially since we cooked salmon on the open fire for dinner that night.

At one point, the mother bear stopped feeding and watched to the south. It then rushed out of the water and onto the hillside while making low grunting noises and stomping through the brush. The cub followed a few moments later.

Puzzled, I kept scanning the hillside catching occasional glimpses of the bears as they appeared in openings between the trees. When they had nearly crested the hill, I found out why they had so immediately left the area. Branch breaking and brush crashing started from the south. Something very large and noisy was entering the area and not trying to hide its presence. The keen senses of the mother bear alerted it a full minute before whatever it was got to the area, and she fled with her cub.

There are two possibilities as to what this intruder could be: a big male bear, or a bigfoot. I sat still, listening and scanning across the swamp for a glimpse of the intruder. After the brief, but violent crashing noises announcing its approach, I heard nothing else from that side of the water. I saw no signs of whatever it was. A thorough search of the area the next day yielded no prints or sign.

Enjoy some other pictures from my solo adventure in Bluff Creek:

In the woods adjacent to Laird Meadow

Laird Meadow

Where Bigfoot Creek flows into Bluff Creek.