Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Finding Bigfoot - "Frozen Bigfoot" Commentary

The Washington episode of Finding Bigfoot was filmed in the middle of March, 2011. It was the last of five episodes we filmed during February and March, so we were well polished and comfortable with the gig by that time. I believe it shows on screen.

The centerpiece of our investigations in southwest Washington was the Silver Star Mountain photographs. Avid hiker, and friend of the 'squatch, Randee Chase took three pictures of what might very well be a sasquatch sitting on the top of Silver Star Mountain, just east of Vancouver, WA. He didn't know what he photographed at the time, and honestly still doesn't. Randee and I have become friends over the last couple years, and I have had the opportunity to go to the top of Silver Star with him on at least three occasions. The more I look into his photographs, the more I am convinced that they indeed show a bigfoot. These same photos where the subject of my presentation at the 2010 Oregon Sasquatch Symposium, and that presentation can be seen on the DVDs. It should be noted that I have since taken more accurate measurements and have slightly reduced, but I still firmly hold that these photographs show a sasquatch.

     

The trip to Silver Star on the 1962 huey helicopter was one of the most spectacular experiences of my life. The helicopter had been restored to near-mint condition. I have to say “near-mint” because there were still bullet holes visible in the interior from its service in the Vietnam War. The top of Silver Star that day had epic seeing conditions, but a nasty wind that brought the temperatures down to below freezing with the wind chill factor. Though I had four or five layers of clothing on, they did little to shield my face from the biting cold. Having a second helicopter there to take heroic shots didn't help keep me warm, either. More than once, the second helicopter zoomed up to us and almost knocked us off our feet with its prop wash.



Go to CliffBarackman.com to read the rest of this commentary on Finding Bigfoot, "Frozen Bigfoot."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

98 Rock Interview


I was recently invited to do an early morning interview on 98 Rock radio in Baltimore, MD.  I had to be on the air at 5 am (PST) in order to make the "drive time" slot on the east coast, but it was well worth it.  The hosts were fun and encouraging, and they asked good questions that helped me do a little educating of the general public.  Thank you, 98 Rock!

Listen to the interview below:


You can also go directly to the station's page by clicking this link.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Finding Bigfoot - Oregon Field Notes


The Oregon Episode of Finding Bigfoot, entitled, “Fishing for Bigfoot in Oregon,” was one of my favorites to not only shoot, but to watch. As far as shooting it, I loved working back in the state in which I reside. We were dealing with my metaphorical backyard, and in several cases, were investigating things that I had already looked into.
The evidential centerpiece of the episode was the McKenzie River Footage. This footage came to my attention last August, and upon first glimpse seemed pretty compelling. It showed a dark bipedal figure seemingly standing from a sitting position next to the McKenzie River in central Oregon. In September of 2010, I visited the film site and did a fairly extensive on-site investigation. I left that investigation with the inclination to believe it was a human figure. When going over the casts' thoughts with Matt and Chris, the two witnesses, Bobo, Ranae, and I all came to that conclusion. Matt was less sure about that, and his opinion was mostly featured on the show, leaving the conclusions of the team ambiguous. You can read a previous North American Bigfoot blog post on my conclusions by clicking the previous link.

Read the rest of the commentary on CliffBarackman.com.  Also included in the commentary is the original Molalla vocalization recorded on site during this Finding Bigfoot episode.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finding Bigfoot - OR Episode Debrief


Today I returned from speaking at this past weekend's Oregon Sasquatch Symposium and getting into the woods for a night or two.  The break was well deserved and much needed.

I dropped by Craig Flipy's subterranean lair today to film an episode debrief on the most recent Finding Bigfoot.  The promised write-up has been penned, and will be posted tomorrow on CliffBarackman.com.  In addition to my weekly commentary, I will post the actual audio file of the Molalla River vocalizations.  The recording is the real deal, and is quite interesting.

In the meantime, here is my newest video debrief.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

OSS 2010 DVD

As previously mentioned, I am speaking at the second annual Oregon Sasquatch Symposium this coming weekend.  The first OSS was a big hit, and I have recently become aware that the DVD of last year's event is now for sale.  



Cliff Barackman addresses the crowd at the 2010 OSS.





Below is a description of the DVD as taken from the OSS official website.



Tribal Relations Programs Manager Kathy Strain discusses early Native depictions of Hairy Man and how the stories have survived to present day.

Long-term witness Sali Sheppard-Wolford shares stories from her book, Valley of the Skookum.



Kalapuya Elder Esther Stutzman breaks the silence and shares tribal knowledgeabout Sasquatch... and a powerful message.
                                           
Ron Morehead presents the Sierra Sounds and discusses his experiences with
Sasquatch vocalizations at their camp in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

For the first time, Dave Rodriguez recounts his multiple sightings and gives a fascinating presentation on the role of snow on tree break evidence.

                                          
Cryptolinguist R. Scott Nelson discusses his studies of the Sierra Sounds, offering a detailed, unique look at purported Sasquatch vocalizations using live transcription software.
Nelson also presents his paper on a proposed Sasquatch Phonetic Alphabet.

                                         
Researcher Cliff Barackman gives a detailed presentation on the Silver Star
Mountain photographs, including measurements and comparison photos.

Present during the filming of the now famous 1967 Bluff Creek Sasquatch, Bob Gimlin relives that day and the events surrounding it as only he can.

DVD bonus footage includes: Audience Q&A session with OSS speakers, live music performances by Lenny Green, footage from the OSS 2010 kick-off party, and storytelling by Sandy Jensen.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oregon Sasquatch Symposium 2011


This weekend is the second annual Oregon Sasquatch Symposium.  The organizer, Toby Johnson, has invited me to speak at the event for the second year in a row.  I am scheduled for 9 o'clock on Saturday morning.

The event is kicking off on Wednesday night at Ike's Pizza.  Several speakers will be on hand to hang out with, though my schedule is as of yet unclear.  I hope you can make it down because the pizza will be hot, and the beer will be flowing.



June 15th 
 6 p.m. Ike’s Pizza Bigfoot Bash Kick-Off Party

June 17th
10 a.m. start for package 1 & 2: check-in at CWB Main Lodge
12 p.m. lunch
6 p.m. dinner with Peter Byrne and Jeff Boiler
7:30 p.m. Bigfoot Ball & Brew at Main Lodge

June 18th
MORNING
7:30-8:30 breakfast
9:00-10:00 Cliff Barackman
10:00-11:00 Dr. Matt Johnson
11:00-11:15 intermission
11:15-12:15 Ron Morehead
12:15- 2:00 lunch

AFTERNOON
2:00-3:00 Thom Powell
3:00-4:00 Beth Heikkinen
4:00-4:15 intermission
4:15-5:15 Henry Franzoni
EVENING
5:15-6:30 dinner
6:30-? Campfire Discussion led by Lee Trippet/Henry Franzoni & Thom Powell,Q&A

June 19th
MORNING
7:30-10:45 breakfast and camp break down


I hope you can make it.  Click this link for ticket information.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Finding Bigfoot - Possible Sighting?


The Finding Bigfoot episode we filmed in North Carolina was the first of six episodes we shot this past winter. We were in the area to investigate the thermal footage obtained by welfare fraud investigator, long-time bigfooter, and friend of the 'squatch, Mike Greene that I believe shows a sasquatch.

Though the focus of our visit was Greene's video, we did several night investigations in the Uwharrie National Forest. On one of these night investigations, we focused on an area where a group of witnesses possibly encountered several sasquatches a number of years ago. The camp was a several hour walk by trail, but only a 40 minute walk across country.

After navigating thick woods for around three-quarters of an hour, we arrived at the location. The camp was located in a shallow, bowl-shaped valley. The surrounding hills were covered in trees and bushes, and a small stream trickled nearby. It was an excellent place for sasquatches to potentially hang out. The valley had water, cover, lots of deer sign, was sheltered from the winds, and was very quiet so any bigfoots could hear what was going on in their area. These bigfoots could also navigate the surrounding high areas and observe the activities of any intruders.

To read the rest, click this link.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Finding Bigfoot - Florida Episode Debrief

To give greater insight on the various episodes of Finding Bigfoot, I will be producing short interviews on a weekly basis to fill in some gaps on some of the interesting items left out of the final edit.  Helping me along the way will be my faithful companion, Craig Flipy.  I hope you enjoy the behind-the-scenes information.  


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Herbert Jim

Cliff Barackman and Herbert Jim


Native American storyteller and culture and language educator for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Herbert Jim, assisted during the filming of the Florida episode of Animal Planet's series Finding Bigfoot. He welcomed us to the reservation and shared his cultural beliefs and stories regarding sasquatches.

Left out of the final edit were several stories about sasquatches that he told us that night under the chickee hut. His culture, much like other Native cultures throughout North America, believe that bigfoots are a type of people that have kept their wild ways. They are the masters of the night, while humans are the masters of the day.

One of the stories Herbert Jim shared with us about sasquatches took place during one of the Seminole Wars. The Seminole Wars were a time in US history when the United States Government was basically trying to exterminate the Seminole Indians because they, along with the Creeks and other local tribes, were strongly resisting relocation onto reservations. The Seminoles chose to fight their oppressors and were chased into the unoccupied wilds of the Florida swamps by the US military. Herbert told us that while the Seminoles were being pursued southwards, the "hairy men" would fight the soldiers during the night, but disappear during the day and leave the fighting to the Seminoles until dusk again. According to Herbert's story, sasquatches literally fought alongside the indians as they were forced southward!

With native beliefs like this, one can see how the Seminoles would have a great deal of respect for sasquatches. Herbert Jim's message was one of "live and let live." I took this message to heart, and I hope that the American culture will embrace the ideals put forth by Herbert Jim as we draw closer to the final recognition of sasquatches as our amazing cousin on the primate family tree.



Watch the video below to hear a story by Herbert Jim about the Seminole Wars.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Finding Bigfoot - Florida Field Notes


On last night's episode of Finding Bigfoot, the team and I headed to Florida. We investigated a property in the panhandle that has been reporting bigfoot encounters for nearly ten years. Bill and Carolyn Bridges were very open and gracious about having us on their property for the few days we were there. They fed us, made nightly campfires, and told us about the strange things that have been happening on and around their property for the last ten years. They were also very tolerant of us doing nighttime investigations on their property and in the adjacent forests.

Many weird things have happened on and around their property over the years. Some of these strange things could possibly be explained by a hungry bear, or at least it would appear so on the surface. Bears would definitely be capable of bending iron rods and making off with bird feeders, but I stop short of attributing them with the ability of wrapping rubber gaskets around tree stumps several times as we saw evidence of. Bears also could emit the growls that Carolyn heard outside her bedroom window that night, but the greasy handprint left on their glass window is clearly not that of a bear.

Being a footprint nerd, I was particularly taken by the handprint, and I managed to get a copy of the handprint film from one of the producers. In between shooting scenes, I took measurements of various parts of the screen door on which the handprint was left. When we were filming the scene about the handprint, I told the producers that I'd like to find out how big it was, and they gave me a little time to do so, but not much. In fact, the cameras were rolling on me as I did the measurements and the math. It was a high-pressure situation, considering the price of the high-definition digital tapes that those cameras use.



Now that I'm in a much more controlled and less-stressful environment, I wanted to go back and see if I could get some more accurate measurements. In the field, I used an actual ruler to measure the size of various things on the computer screen, but now I have the luxury to count pixels. I think that everyone would agree this should give more accurate results. The first step in finding the size of this handprint is to find some scale. Luckily, the door on which the print was left was still there, so I set about measuring as many things as I could. My notes from the field accompany this report. I then exported several frames from the video into photo editing software. In the first exported frame, I used the software's ruler tool to find that the door frame was 82.25 pixels wide. It measured 2.25 inches in real life. Using ratios to determine the approximate size of the handprint in real life, I found that the minimum measurements for the thumb length and the wrist width are 3.16 inches and 2.48 inches respectively.

Read the rest of my report on CliffBarackman.com.

"Cliff is an Earnest Nerd" - A Review of Finding Bigfoot

Hilarious. I loved it, particularly the apt descriptions of us all.



Finding Bigfoot
By Scott Von Doviak June 5, 2011


As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a Sasquatchologist. My childhood fascination with the mythical man-ape bordered on obsession. I had every bigfoot book and toy imaginable (including plastic Sasquatch snowshoes I used to make footprints in the neighbors’ yards), I saw every ridiculous bigfoot-umentary that played within a hundred miles of my hometown (and wrote a chapter about them in my book Hick Flicks), and when the bionic bigfoot guest-starred on The Six Million Dollar Man, I was in heaven. To this day, whenever I notice a bigfoot special is coming on Discovery or History or SyFy, I find myself hitting the record button on my DVR, almost subconsciously. It’s a sickness, I guess, but I can’t help myself.


Read the rest by clicking this link.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tonight on Finding Bigfoot - A Handprint from Florida


Tonight on Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot, join me and the team as we look into some very compelling data gathered in northern Florida from a property where the owners have been encountering sasquatches for ten years.  We will then travel to the Everglades to visit with members of the Seminole Nation to learn about their ancient native beliefs regarding these hairy beings.


As always, check out CliffBarackman.com after the show airs for exclusive behind-the-scenes shots and information about the episode.  This week, I'll closely examine the hand print featured in the above video.  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cliff Barackman gets Heckled on The Soup

Yesterday morning at work I received a text that Finding Bigfoot would be briefly featured on the E! Network's pop culture commentary show, The Soup.  Talk about a mixed blessing!  On the up side, I guess that means we're getting noticed.  We did, after all, score a huge ratings victory for Animal Planet with over 1.3 million viewers.  On the downside, well...  We were likely to be ruthlessly heckled by one of the sharpest wits on television.  Considering all that we said on the first episode of Finding Bigfoot, I figured they'd go after Moneymaker, but boy was I wrong. The Soup came after me with both barrels blazing. 

 

 While watching, my emotions went from "Oh crap, that's me," to "That could've been way worse."  Though, I wish they included my last line of, "My neighbors hate it." 

I thought it was hilarious.  As far as practicing calls in the shower bothering the females in my life, I only date women who think that sort of thing is hot anyway.  Everyone can tell I'm on a date for miles away. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Finding Bigfoot - "Swamp Ape"


The second episode of the new Animal Planet series Finding Bigfoot will air at its regularly scheduled time of Sunday night at 10 pm e/p.  This week, we will be travelling to Florida to investigate a property where the family living there has had sasquatch encounters for ten years, and to meet with members of the Seminole Indians to inquire about their native beliefs regarding sasquatches.

Be sure to check out this blog and CliffBarackman.com for information on what didn't make the editing cut, my opinions of the show, and special behind-the-scenes photographs.

Please remember to check your local listings so you don't miss the show!

Cliff in a swamp buggy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More on the GA Episode



On Monday night, I tuned in to Animal Planet to watch the sneak peek episode of Finding Bigfoot.  I had not seen any of the episodes, so I was a little nervous how I would be portrayed.  I was also wildly curious as to what the editors would choose to show and what they would leave out.

Let me start by saying that filming a television show is quite a different experience than bigfooting on my own.  We spent seven or eight days in each location, working between 11 and 18 hours a day.  Much of that time was actually spent filming things, such as interviews or night investigations.  That equates to hundreds of hours of raw footage that need to be whittled down to 44 minutes of viewing time.  Obviously, things that are important to bigfooters like me will end up cut from the show.  

Bobo and Janet doing an on-site recreation.


As far as the Georgia episode goes, I was pretty pleased.  The editors pieced together a concise version of what happened out there for the American public.  They opened a door into the bigfooting lifestyle that I writhe in on a daily basis.  It seems that people are intrigued by what they saw.  The educator in me was satisfied.  

Then there's the bigfoot-nerd side of me.  He was left wanting a bit more.  If it were up to me, the tracks alone would have filled up 40 minutes of the show, but I can see how watching plaster dry might not be good for ratings.  I'm learning that there's a balance between bigfooting and TV making, but I believe our producers are doing a pretty great job striking that balance.  

However, I write this blog for fellow bigfooters who aren't necessarily the average American public.  We tend to want more information to satisfy our sasquatch-thirst.  I intend to give it to you, and I have permission from Animal Planet to write about the episodes after they air.  

Following each episode, I will give you insight into what happened out in the field.  Behind-the-scenes glimpses will be given into the weird world of television production from a bigfooter's perspective.  I will write about the witnesses we spoke to and the evidence that we came across.  I will always do my best to give measurements when they were taken.  I will focus on what I found most interesting, but I am also interested in what you might find interesting.  Feel free to contact me with suggestions and questions.  We are both part of the same bigfooting community, and you might want to know something I can help with.  

Bobo celebrates a successful karaoke rendition of
Barry Manilow in Helen, GA.  It was as beautiful as it sounds.


Let's start with those prints.  The promos all had me yelling about them being the best prints I'd ever seen.  This is true, but only because footprints are so amazingly rare.  Sure, I have better casts in my collection, but as far as prints in the ground...  Well, these were the best I'd seen.  

Bigfooting production assistant and friend of the 'squatch, Tyler Bounds found those prints while I was tied up doing an interview at the footprint investigation location.  I wrote about the circumstances on my website, and you can go directly to my account by clicking this link.  

I have added the witness' footprints that we were investigating, as well as the casts we took of Tyler's find, to my online cast database.  I am still transferring over all of the casts from my old website (which is still up as of this writing), and I will be adding more on a continual basis.  

For now, enjoy these behind-the-scenes photographs from our Georgia location.  Please tune in for the next episode of Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet.  The show will air at its normally-scheduled time of Sunday nights at 10 pm.  Please check your local listing, though...  Time zones are misleading things.

Cliff and Janet, the witness who stared down a
9-footer in the middle of the highway
on Thanksgiving a few years back.


Cliff Barackman and Tyler Bounds waiting for
plaster to dry.  Who says that's not exciting?


Print #1 before casting.  I am using cross-lighting
to accentuate the toe impressions.



Tyler Bounds holding his find like a newborn.