Thursday, January 31, 2013

Scott McClean

Scott in the Cascades in May, 2005

It is with great sadness that I share the news that researcher, witness, and friend Scott McClean has lost his battle with cancer.

Scott was the first and best at mining historical archives for newspaper reports detailing sasquatch encounters dating all the way back to the early 1800's.  His interest in the subject was spurred by seeing a juvenile sasquatch run across the road in front of his car while on a college road trip.  He described the creature as a "jawa" for years due to its coloration and pointed head.

Besides his bigfoot interest, his love for the Greenbay Packers was legendary, and he ran a website devoted to this love.  Whenever we hang out, good conversation, good beer, and good times could be counted on.

Scott, you will be sorely missed.

Bob Gimlin with Scott McClean in May, 2009

Craig Flipy and Scott McClean in Willow Creek in July, 2012

Thank you to Tom Yamarone for sharing his photographs with me for this blog post. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Finding Redfish - FL Field Notes... Sort of...

As you can probably imagine, working on the road nine or ten months a year almost exclusively doing bigfooting can really throw one's life a little out of balance. I do so much more than just bigfoot stuff, or at least I used to... When I get a chance to do any of my non-bigfooting hobbies, I grab the opportunity to escape my bigfoot bubble for a few minutes.

I was recently in Orlando, FL doing a speaking engagement for FLIR, so on my day off I called an old friend who recently moved to the area from the Pacific Northwest. His name is Darrin, and he was my manager at Angler's Tackle Box, my very first job back in 1986 in Seal Beach, CA.

Darrin now works for American Tackle, the second largest fishing rod component supplier in the world, so any chance to hang with my buddy is a chance to do some fishing. Florida is renown for its fishing, so I knew I was in for a treat.

Below is the article Darrin published in his blog about our morning spent together:

Cliff Barackman kayak fishing in Mosquito Lagoon, FL.

The MicroWave interest ranges far and wide. Cliff Barackman from Animal Planet's hit TV show, "Finding Big Foot" spent time in Florida's Mosquito Lagoon "finding red fish."

Cliff, an angler and custom rod builder, heard about the MicroWave Line Control System and wanted to experience it for himself. In between location shoots he arranged a meeting at American Tackle's FL headquarters and was hosted to MWG testing in the field for red drum.

Cliff is an accomplished musician and teacher by trade but has also been a dedicated Sasquatch field researcher for the past two decades. Known throughout the Sasquatch scientific community for his extended expeditions, he's been known to spend over 200 days a year in the field. Over the years he has managed to gather data supporting the hypothesis that Sasquatches are an undiscovered species of great ape that walks bipedal-ly and lives in North America. His adventures found him participating in several TV shows, attracting Discovery-Animal Planet's attention leading to his current role in that channel's 3rd highest rated TV show to date. Though finding and documenting data is a goal of Cliff's research, it is not the primary goal. The process of bigfooting is plain fun!

Cliff with a decent red drum. They get a lot bigger than this!

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Loren Coleman's New Blog

Author, researcher, and friend, Loren Coleman has centralized his essays and writings into a new platform for the cryptozoological world to enjoy.  His fans can now read his most recent essays, as well as his archived works, at the CryptoZooNews blog.

Being the most prolific writer in any cryptozoological field, (including my favorite, the bigfooting one) nearly everyone in this biz has read one or more of Loren's many books.  His tomes on Tom Slick and the early days of bigfooting set a standard of research rarely matched by other crypto-historians.  He has been researching his interests for literally decades, and knows, or has met, just about everyone else who shares his love for the unknown creatures that live in the dark corners of our planet.

I think it's fair to say that we can expect good things from Loren in the future as he pursues his passions on his own platform.  I have added his new blog to my blog list below, and will be reading it faithfully.

Click here to go to Loren Coleman's CryptoZooNews blog.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Finding Bigfoot Season Three - Colorado Field Notes

Cliff Barackman and Gary Bouvier

Colorado was supposed to be the last episode to be filmed on our last run at the end of June, 2012. However, there were raging wildfires throughout much of the area at that time, so we had to postpone the filming. We were able to go to the area the following September.

The evidence that brought us to Colorado was a piece of 8mm film footage that was taken in 1962. To my knowledge, this is the earliest footage that purports to show a possible bigfoot, predating the Patterson/Gimlin Film by five years. The footage is owned by Gary Bouvier, but he did not film it. His father filmed the footage while on a boy scout backpacking trip. Gary was on this trip, but he was just a 13-year-old boy at the time.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Finding Bigfoot Season Three - Louisiana Field Notes

The Finding Bigfoot cast posing with the mud bogging drivers.

Western Louisiana is an interesting mix of pine forest, hardwood lowlands, and swampy river bottoms. The various habitats offer a tremendous number of food sources for all sorts of creatures that call this area home. The food items on a bigfoot’s menu would include deer, hogs, snakes, fish, insects, and a multitude of plant species.

Many more bigfoot reports come out of neighboring Texas and Oklahoma than from the Bayou State. This seems strange to me since most of the reports from both Texas and Oklahoma come from near the border of Louisiana. I suspect this is because of a human factor, and not a bigfoot one. Perhaps the culture of western Louisiana is less apt to share experiences with bigfoot for fear of ruining their reputation, or maybe for another reason that is unknown to me.

The mayor of Zwolle, LA, a man named GJ Pie Martinez, invited us to his small town to look into a cluster of reports from nearby. Some of the townspeople had reported running into bigfoots in the rural areas outside of town.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Finding Bigfoot Season Three - Olympic Peninsula Field Notes

The Olympic Peninsula is perfect bigfoot habitat.

Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is one of my favorite places to go bigfooting. Its thick rain forests, steep terrain, and abundant food supply make it one of, if not the best bigfoot habitat in the lower 48 states. Few people live on the peninsula, especially its north and west sides, but yet many bigfoot reports continue to come out of the area year after year.

I have been to the Peninsula on many occasions, and have had some interesting things occur on these trips. However, unlike Bobo and Matt, I cannot claim to have had bigfoot action on nearly every expedition. I have spent many dark cold nights alone in this vast rainforest listening to the sounds of silence. That’s bigfooting for you.

It was a recording obtained by Tyler Bounds along the Humptulips River while on a lengthy expedition that brought us to the Olympic Peninsula. This recording may not sound as dramatic as our description might lead you to believe, but any seasoned bigfooter knows that recordings always far fall short of hearing those sounds live in person. Despite this, Tyler has been kind enough to allow me to share his audio recordings in this report.

To hear Tyler's recording, see footprint photos and analyses, and to read more about this expedition, click here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Finding Bigfoot Season Three - Australian Field Notes

The view from the Sydney Harbor Bridge

I remember the entire cast being in a meeting a the New York headquarters of Animal Planet last year and being asked if we’d ever want to go international, and if so, where? We immediately said, “Australia,” as if it were the obvious answer. It was the obvious first-choice for our intercontinental excursions looking for bigfoot.

In Australia, they call their giant hairy bigfoot-like creature a “yowie.” As it turns out, there is a long history of sightings of not only yowies, but a smaller variety that they refer to as a “brown jack.” I was a bit surprised at this, but the consistency of reports clearly indicates the presence of both species. Yowies seem to match the description of the typical North American bigfoot, but brown jacks are smaller, rarely exceeding four feet in height.

We based our trip out of Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast of Queensland. Even though we were there at the onset of winter, it was a balmy 80 degrees nearly every day on the coast. The ocean water was 70 degrees and made for a refreshing swim before or after shooting each day. I tried to pay much attention to the shark nets that were bobbing just outside of the surf break…

Several things stand out to me from the trip. Gary Opit is a naturalist and cryptozoologist specializing in the fauna of Australia. I have rarely met someone with such an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and animals. He invited us to his rural homestead on the edge of a huge nature preserve where he encountered a yowie several years ago.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Finding Bigfoot Season Three - New Mexico Field Notes

The Valles Caldera outside of Los Alamos, NM

New Mexico might be one of the last states one thinks of when considering the possibilities of bigfoot. UFO's, sure, but bigfoot? As it turns out, New Mexico's dry, high, forested altitudes make for excellent bigfoot habitat. Swamps, forests, meadows, rivers, and everything that goes with these exist in bountiful amounts in isolated pockets throughout the mountains of New Mexico.

Our expedition was centered around the Valles Caldera, one of the world's six known land-based supervolcanoes. With a diameter of over 12 miles, this caldera is a sight to behold. Huge herds of elk and deer graze on the native perennial grass, and these ungulate herds maintain a healthy population of the animals that feed on them, including sasquatches.

The evidence that brought us to this part of New Mexico was a group of thermal videos of a possible bigfoot taken by Washingtonian Kirk Brandenburg while on a BFRO expedition in April of 2011. The location of the expedition was chosen based on a history of encounters doing back years.

It was seeming like a pretty slow expedition, as no sounds indicating the presence of saquatches were heard during the trip. On one of the nights, Kirk decided he was going to use his H-Series FLIR thermal imager to monitor some outlying tents near their camp in the case of a nocturnal visit by a bigfoot. Before setting up the gear, he took a few looks around camp. One of the sweeps of the outlying area showed what Kirk initially thought was a stump or some other inanimate object. Though the figure didn't seem to be moving, he zoomed in on the figure for a closer look for a second video. Finally, a third video of the object was obtained from a slightly different position, about twenty feet closer than the first two clips.

Click here for more on the New Mexico expedition.