Friday, October 24, 2014

Retro-Friday: Speakers' Summaries from the 2009 Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up

A few months late, but here is my summary of the Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up...


The event began with Bill Munns giving an excellent treatise on the Patterson/Gimlin Film, describing his work on the film and some of the difficulties he had in working on it. He described his work with photogrammetry and how he applied it to the film, and how his examination of the size of the creature was initially inaccurate because he assumed that Patterson had used a 25-Millimeter lens on his film camera. Through time and error, he found that there was a 15-Millimeter lens available for that camera, and that made all the difference in Munns' examination of the film. He was able to create via computer graphics the landmarks on the film site and found that the new calculations helped him immensely to determine the distance between Patterson and "Patty"-it correlated with Chris Murphy's calculation of 102 feet between the man and the creature.


Presentation rating: ***** out of *****

Next, Scott Nelson, a crypto-linguist, gave a really good treatise on the work he has done on the Sierra Sounds and his analysis of what may be a language within the strange sounds. He played several samples of the recordings, then told the attendees that he seemed to hear some strange languages, almost Samurai-like. Ron Morehead also spoke of Scott's work and also of his perspective of being there when the recordings were made.

Website: Bigfoot Language

Presentation rating: ***1/2 out of *****

Finally, for the first night, Derek Randles gave a really terrific presentation on something called the Olympic Project which involves putting camouflaged game cams up to attempt to get a photo of a Sasquatch. He showed several photos of Cougars and deer and elk and bears taken with the cams.


Presentation rating: **** out of *****

Beginning the next day, Chris Murphy gave an overall presentation on the history of Sasquatch sightings as seen in his books Meet The Sasquatch and Know The Sasquatch/Bigfoot, basically skimming through the historical reports (Ape Canyon, Ostman, P/G Film, William Roe) and discussing some things found in Native American legends.

Website: Chris Murphy's Sasquatch Awareness Center

Presentation Rating: ****1/2 out of *****

Following Murphy was Dr. John Bindernagel, who presented on his upcoming new book The Discovery of the Sasquatch which carries on the themes in his previous book North America's Great Ape: The Sasquatch as well as addressing scientists who do not seem to be open-minded to the possibility of the existence of these bipeds. His presentation was not designed to bash his fellow colleagues, but instead to present them with the evidence collected and allowing them to make up their own minds. Bindernagel addressed a good deal of scientific resistance and said that when the mystery is solved, we will find that this was all just normal resistance and that we will get validation.

Website: Dr. John Bindernagel

Presentation Rating: ***** out of *****

Dmitry Pirkulov took the podium next and addressed the hominid situation in his home country of Russia, as well as sharing a message for Bob Gimlin from Marie Jeanne-Kaufmann. He mainly showed videos of Igor Bourtsev and other Russian investigators conducting research and interviews. He also showed video and photos of what appeared to be a dead lamb killed by something. The question was asked as to what killed it.

Website: N/A

Presentation Rating: **** out of *****

Kathy Strain was next and presented information found in her excellent book Giants, Cannibals and Monsters: Bigfoot In Native Culture on the Native American legends of the Sasquatch/Bigfoot. She talked of the commonalities with legends, especially the commonality of a basket-carrying hominid. She also spoke of the Hairy Man legend, the pictograph located in California from the Yokut tribe. She also presented a stone head which a man found on eBay which may represent a Bigfoot head or something similar.

Website: Alliance of Independent Bigfoot Researchers

Presentation Rating: ****1/2 out of *****

The final presentation was from Dr. Jeff Meldrum on the Patterson/Gimlin Film as related to the footprints, more particularly the mid-tarsal break which was photographed by Lyle Laverty and cast by Bob Titmus, as well as casts from Patterson which have some dynamic features to them even though they are flat. He also showed some of the early work from M.K. Davis (before his more recent colorful assessments) which showed the foot bending in the middle. Also the flexing of the toes was shown.

Website: Anthropoidipes Ameriborealis, a species named from Footprints

Presentation Rating: ****1/4 out of *****


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Summaries of Speakers' Presentations at the Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up 2014:

Chris Murphy/Thomas Steenburg:

Murphy spoke briefly of the Sasquatch Revealed Exhibit which started at the Yakima Valley Museum back in April and runs through December 27th. He started putting the materials for the exhibit together in 2002, with the main contributor being John Green,  but others, such as Rene Dahinden, Jeff Meldrum, Grover Krantz, Roger Patterson, Bob Gimlin, John Bindernagel and Bob Titmus also have an important part in the Exhibit. Chris highly praised the curators of the Museum, saying this was the best of the four previous exhibits he has presented. Later, he and Steenburg spoke of their friend Rene Dahinden, talking about the famous 1977 Mission, BC bus driver hoax (Steenburg was not shy in naming the bus driver, Pat Lundquist!). They showed slides of Dahinden's home and discussed what he did for a living, which was mining lead from skeet shots at the Vancouver Gun Club, and he would clean and polish the shot and sell it back to the Gun Club for poverty wages. Rene also had a place for returning swallows, safe from his cat, simply named "Kat."

Dr. John Bindernagel:

John presented some very interesting evidence and how the Patterson/Gimlin Film is important and ties into all the other evidence. He discussed footprint casts, tree structures, anomalous hairs and tree twists and also showed eyewitness sketches and noted the consistent similarities in descriptions from around the country and from Canada. He showed a small Sasquatch footprint cast which was given to him by Dr. Meldrum which illustrates that just as there are large Sasquatch, there are small ones too, but not very often are their footprints found or cast, but this particular one from southeast Washington was. Bindernagel is of the belief that the P/G Film is real and should be included in the canon of evidence and is the most important piece of visual evidence we have.

Dr. Jeff Meldrum:

Jeff presented on the Sasquatch and other Wildmen, going over the history of various historical hominoids or hominins, such as Australopithecus, Gigantopithecus, Homo Erectus and other relict hominoids. He also showed how certain anatomical similarities between hominoids have a great deal of consistency. His studies of the anatomy of locomotion figured into his examinations of the footprint casts of Sasquatch, including those from Paul Freeman which seemed to show similar anatomical features to casts from 1967 and 1989 from Bluff Creek, California and China, and they all show the feature Jeff has been pointing out since the mid-'90's, the Mid-Tarsal Break. Not only these footprint casts, but also the Jerry Crew footprint casts from 1958 show mid-foot flexibility as well. He asserted that the footprints cast by Roger Patterson, even though they were flat because Patterson was merely looking for the best footprints, still displayed the long toes and the flexibility. He concluded by showing an amazing new innovative 3D model of a Sasquatch skeleton made from individual parts of printers' paper which was 8 1/2 feet tall. Truly amazing and ground-breaking material.

Bill Munns:

Bill's 7-year study of the Patterson/Gimlin Film has yielded some magnificent results which show the reality of the creature in the footage. He essentially gave a nearly hour-long presentation of his book When Roger Met Patty where he discussed how the camera model Patterson used worked, a Kodak K-100 which did not have a trigger on a pistol grip which had to be added to the camera. Bill presented a computer model of the filmsite, with an animated Patterson and Patty, which showed Patterson's positions as he was running to get closer to the creature, as well as Patty's positions as she quickly walked away from Patterson and Gimlin. Roger did have to cross the creek to get to the creature, and as a result, he did turn off the camera a few times, as white spots in the film show at several points (whether this was intentional or accidental is unclear). Bill made the point that the reason for the pistol grip was because that model of camera would have been difficult to hold running like Patterson was and there was a good chance of dropping the camera without a grip on it, which would have ended any chance of getting good footage. Bill continues to raise the bar on studies of this film, and I am sure his work is not done and if there is more to be found, he will find it and present it.

John Mionczynski:

A lecture from a wildlife biology consultant and botanist is a true highlight of any conference, and John's presentation was no exception. John discussed his beginnings in his profession, from a prospector to a consultant for the Government in Wyoming, but his work has also taken him to Colorado and Montana, mainly in the Rocky Mountains. His presentation focused on food habits and environment and how it relates to Sasquatch, and John has found that Grizzly Bears are not too much unlike Sasquatch in their food habits or their territory. John listed different fauna that large predators can feast on, as well as flora (different plants, even those that seem poisonous to humans and some animals, but Grizzlies can actually digest them, interestingly enough). He listed at least 82 different plants that can be eaten by even humans as well as mammals, including pine nuts which are rich in Vitamin C, as well as certain types of berries, obviously depending on what is in season. John also talked about how he and Dr. Meldrum are using cadaver dogs to try to find possible dead Sasquatch. Really great presentation.

Cliff Barackman:

One of the stars of Finding Bigfoot presented on recurrence of individuals in Sasquatch tracks, using as examples footprints from Paul Freeman in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Washington; Tracks in Northern California of the same individual casted by Jerry Crew, Bob Titmus and Roger Patterson in 1958 and 1963 and casts believed to be of the P/G Film individual, found by Al Hodgson, Bob Titmus and others before the film was shot. He noted some differences in sizes of casts, but he pointed out that sometimes there is a bit of slide in footprints and that footprints are not the shape of the foot, but the damage done to the ground by the foot. He pointed out similarities in the recurring individuals which seemed to be identifying marks, such as the toes and the slant of the toes downward rather than straight across as would be seen in hoaxed tracks. Cliff also made an interesting observation-the footprints with mid-foot flexibility not only flex up and down, but side to side vertically and horizontally! I found that to be rather ground-breaking and surprising. Cliff has based his observations on his 200-piece cast collection and admits he is a cast nerd. Really terrific stuff.

Ron Morehead:

Ron was one of the collectors of the Sierra Sounds after Alan Berry had initially come into the hunting camp in the high Sierras in the early-'70's, and got some really interesting recordings, especially after the creatures got used to the men in the camp. Initially, the creatures sounded hostile and menacing, but seemed to get used to the men and expressed themselves with almost happy sounds in 1974. Ron played several sound clips as well as discussing Scott Nelson and R. Lynn Kirlin's analyses of the sounds. He showed some interesting photos of a trackway they found when they went up into the Sierras a few years ago, with Scott Nelson and Ron's daughter Rhonda being present, when Ron got thrown off a horse and injured his ribs. He also discussed a trip to Peru he took where he seemed to find some evidence of skulls similar to hairy giants, skulls being elongated and shaped like cones. Ron has looked into the possibility that Sasquatch is related to ancient beings in the Bible named Nephilim which are more spiritual beings than anything else. He also is open to the possibility of an alien connection as well. All in all, a very good way to cap off the event.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Finally made it home yesterday

and want to thank my host for the weekend, Diane Cambron Jeffries, for her hospitality (and I promise, we will get that other matter taken care of). Also want to thank the Yakima Valley Museum for holding the event, as well as the organizers, Tom Yamarone, John Kirk III and the one and only Mr. Bob Gimlin. It was a true honor for me on Saturday night to get up and talk about Bob in front of the crowd (and thank you to the organizers for that opportunity!). It was great to see old friends and make new ones, and it was a tremendous time. I am not sure if there will ever be such an event like it again, but even if there is not, I was just honored to be able to come to this event in Bob's hometown. Kudos to all the organizers, speakers and others.