Jan 152011
 

2005 Mescalero, NM


Year
2005
Month
January
Date
29
State
NM
County
Otero
Location
Mescalero
Found by
Dennis Pfohl
Collected by
Dennis Pfohl
Width (heel of palm)
16 cm
Width (midpoint of fingers)
14 cm
Width (heel of palm)
16 cm
Length
24.6 cm
Thumb width
4.6 cm



The year 2005 was a very bigfooty year in New Mexico. Several expeditions were held at various locations by the BFRO and others, some of which yielded sightings and footprint photographs. 

One of the more interesting pieces of data to come out of New Mexico that year was a handprint left on a mobile home’s weathered screen window on the Mescalero Indian Reservation. It was  found by Dennis Pfohl, a bigfoot investigator (and friend of the ‘squatch) from Colorado, who was on the scene investigating activity from the night before. The handprint’s size, height from the ground, and context all suggest that it is likely from a sasquatch. 

Mescalero, NM

Dennis collected the screen, and it is now in his possession. The handprint is still clearly visible and is housed in a picture frame. I had the opportunity to closely examine the screen in person at the Bellingham Conference of 2005.

The handprint has the appearance that it could have been made by a giant, dark mitten. The only digit that is clearly discernable is the thumb, which juts out of the palm area at a 54 degree angle. There is a muddy smear inside the “mitten” that is thought to have been made by the initial contact of the hand before the screen was distorted (see below).    



Thinking this was an interesting and fairly rare piece of possible data, I approached Dennis to ask him about including the hand print in my ever-growing online cast database.  Dennis not only agreed, he went the extra mile to write up a summary of his investigation to include with the photos.  


Thank you to my good friend, Dennis Pfohl, for helping out and being a model of cooperation for others to emulate!


Here is Dennis’ report:


I had been to Mescalero, NM several times in two months following up on investigations of reported sasquatch sightings in the area. On the morning of January 29, 2005, I got a call from one of the local investigators who lived in Mescalero informing me that a resident on the northwest corner of town had another disturbance early that morning.

We had already met with this young couple before, and they lived in a single-wide mobile home on private property that bordered the scrub oak and pine forest at the base of the mountain. Several times in the previous weeks they had complained about strange noises, rock throwing, and seeing unusual shadows outside after dark. The wife even reported having a quick, fightening glimpse one night of what she thought was a large hair covered head and face looking in through the corner of a bedroom window.  The family was understandably uneasy and upset about this prowler, or “visitor,” and was happy to have people who would take them seriously and investigate.

One evening while on location a neighbor came out to meet us and told us that they had seen a very tall, dark-colored, large man-like creature run between the mobile home and their house. They described its head as reaching the rain gutters of the garage, which was over eight feet from ground level.

On the morning of the window disturbance the husband had informed me that he works an early shift and was usually up by 2 am to get ready for his job. He stated that on that morning while in the bathroom shaving for work, he heard a noise outside the bathroom window. The glass in that window was the typical frosted glass, commonly used as privacy glass, so he was unable to see out easily, but did say he saw movement through it.



When we investigated later that day, I asked the husband to show me the window. The first thing I noted was its height from ground level. Then we found that the screen had been damaged. Upon closer examination, I discovered what looked to be an impression on the material itself. The husband assured us the screen was in good condition and intact before that night.

It measured seven feet to the bottom of the window frame,
and another nearly twelve inches to the bottom of the print on the screen,
placing it around the eight-foot level.



As we did a thorough search around the property, including directly below the window itself for any impressions, we found nothing of obvious interest. Unfortunately the ground was dry, and mostly consisted of crushed granite that made it resistant to footprints.


Further evaluation of the screen material evidence led me to the following summation:

First, to qualify my report I have to let the reader know that I have lot of experience handling screening material as part of my small business which includes building and installing new, as well as re-screening, residential and commercial screens. Often that includes replacing torn, damaged, and weather-checked, brittle screening material with new.



Commonly found in residences are aluminum and fiberglass screening material. At this residence they had fiberglass screening on the windows. Over time, with age, fiberglass material will start to become brittle and weathercheck from exposure to the elements and UV rays. When this type of screening material becomes weathered, it is prone to marking easily.  If the oils in the skin come in contact with the material they will be absorbed into the material leaving the shape of the contact area. I had seen this before from handling old screening material.


My interpretation of the impression on the window screen is that something had pushed forcefully upward on the screen, tearing the sides and bottom of the screen free from the frame with only the top edge left intact.


This is how we found it.

At the upper end of the actual screen mark there is a series of small tears on the screen material. These are in alignment of where one would expect to normally find fingernails on the end of the digits. With permission, I took measurements, documented the find with photographs, and eventually got permission to remove the screen.  I later replaced the screen with a new one for the residents.

Dennis Pfohl 


Dennis measuring the window.
All photos courtesy of Dennis Pfohl.

In regards to the mitten-shape of the print, Dennis had this to add:

The large mitten shape on the screen material is a result of the force used against the screen when it tore. My best evaluation of what occured follows:

As the original unaltered screen is pushed inwards and upwards, the first light colored (tan) markings are left from the abrasion of the skin contacting the material that is still tight on the frame. This is also when the tears occurred at the area where we would assume the digits would be. Those could have been caused by fingernails, the fingertips, or even the tips of the dermal pads if it used enough pushing force.

Additionally the screen is actually stretched a bit.  There are four concave, large, finger-width grooves (approx 30mm) following the length of the imprint and leading to each tear. This is where one would expect to see just this type of damage from pushing on it.



I believe the lighter coloration was the first contact, but the screen didn’t tear completely from the frame. There is typically only around an inch of space between the screen material and the glass of the window. This small gap does not allow enough stretch to occur without breaking the glass itself.

The second attempt, and the larger mitt shape, is what tore the screen from the frame. The impression indicates it lifted its hand slightly before pushing upwards giving a better contact area against the material (this is probably the force that tore the screen from its frame) almost like a double strike. I have seen this in the past when working on similar material, and it is common. That is why I recognized what I was looking at right away.

Dennis
Dec 182010
 

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post on my attempted investigation of a fresh sasquatch trackway near the Skokomish River. An excellent photograph of one of these footprints has now been added to the ever-growing Cast/Impression Database located on my website, www.NorthAmericanBigfoot.com.

2010 Skokomish River, WA
Year
2010
Month
June
Date
18
State
WA
County
Mason
Location
Skokomish River
Found by
ID Withheld
Cast by
Not cast
Length
13 inches
Width (ball)
5.25 inches
Width (heel)
5 inches
Stride
Unknown
Depth
Unknown


While scouting for elk near the confluence of Church Creek and the Skokomish River in Mason County, WA, a state employee stumbled across an excellent trackway. There were many footprints, but only one was clear enough to photograph. The others were in thick forest duff surrounding a seep from a nearby spring.

Click here to go to the 2010 Skokomish River track page.
Oct 012010
 

The photographs purportedly showing a sasquatch on the top of Silver Star Mountain in southern Washington State have been weighing heavily on my mind this past year.  I have blogged about them once or twice, and they were the subject of my presentation at the Oregon Sasquatch Symposium (OSS) this past June.

 The third of three photos possibly showing a sasquatch on
Silver Star Mountain.  Photo courtesy of Randee Chase.
The photographs were taken on November 17, 2005 by an electrician named Randee Chase.  I met Randee in 2008 and soon thereafter made a day trip to the summit of Silver Star together to take measurements at the site. On that trip, I intended to take some comparison photographs with a subject of a known height standing in the same location as the purported sasquatch.  My hopes were dashed due to a grey, drizzly day.  One couldn’t even see the hilltop where the critter was standing, so I only managed to walk away with some very rough GPS measurements of distances.  I didn’t know at the time that these measurements would start a journey that is still to be finished as of this writing.  
Sometime over the course of the next year, Bill Munns came onto the bigfoot scene.  After reading through his work on the Patterson/Gimlin Film, I because both impressed at his diligence and intrigued by his methods.  It soon occurred to me that this same optics formula could be applied to the Silver Star photos to determine the height of the figure.
The simple optics formula that can be used to determine
a subject’s height in a photograph.
I made another attempt to obtain measurements at the summit of Silver Star shortly before my presentation at the OSS, but it too was largely thwarted by inclement weather.  Still, I walked away with more measurements obtained with my GPS units, both of which are accurate to within three meters.  
Using these slightly fuzzy measurements, I found that the figure on Silver Star stood somewhere around seven feet, eight inches tall.  I stated my methodologies and reasoning in my OSS presentation, along with a plea to the bigfooting community to get out there and do some real amateur science using whatever means one has at his/her disposal.  
Cliff Barackman presenting at the Oregon Sasquatch
 Symposium.  Photo courtesy of Steve Streufert.
A member of the audience that day took my plea to heart and approached me offering his assistance as a professional statistician.  Jumping at the chance to collaborate with someone who actually enjoys doing the kind of math necessary for these nerdy pursuits, he and I have been working closely together over the last three months to refine my data.
Last weekend, I had another opportunity to scale the summit of Silver Star Mountain along with the witness, and several other bigfoot investigators.  This time, the weather was perfect.  Using some newly purchased equipment, more accurate measurements have been obtained dropping the margin of error from the previously mentioned three meters down to half a meter.  Angular separation measurements have been obtained to verify the focal length of the photographs.  Comparison photos of a subject of known height standing in the same spot have been taken using the same camera that took the original photos.  Photographs taken with the camera will be used to calibrate the camera, comparing the calculated focal length to the manufacturer’s specifications.  
Clearly, I have a lot of work to do.  It will be a while until I can get some results (mostly due to time constraints), but when I get them I will certainly share them with the good readers of this blog.  Keep checking back for updates on these excellent photos.
In the meantime, here are some photos from that day.  Enjoy!
Randee Chase and Cliff Barackman at
 the summit of Silver Star Mountain.
The view of where Randee took the photos
from the perspective of the subject.
Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier.
The rocks from where Randee took the photos.
Tyler Bounds standing at the subject’s location.
This photo was taken with the same camera used
 for the original photos.
Sep 272010
 

Background
On Saturday June 28, 2008 three men set out to make a fly fishing video on the Upper McKenzie River in the Willamette National Forest of Central Oregon. The three men either work at or are associated with a fly fishing shop called The Caddis Fly, located in Eugene, OR. They launched two drift boats from Olallie Campground in the late morning and started their float downstream. George R. was alone in one boat, and Chris D. and videographer Matt S. were in another.

As they rounded a left turn in the river, George’s drift boat was ahead of the other one. Trailing in the second boat, Chris and Matt positioned themselves to film George’s descent over the class IV rapids ahead of them. As the two boats’ oarsmen navigated the treacherous rapids, Matt did his best to keep the camera steadily on George.

Soon the boats had cleared the rapids and the group floated on to shoot other scenes for their video. The video was posted to Matt’s YouTube account on Monday, June 30, 2008. Click the following link to see the footage on Matt’s YouTube page:




A stabilized and zoomed version of the footage.
Copyright Matt S. Enhancement by 
KatHouse Video Productions





The Discovery of a Figure

Over two years later, two employees of The Caddis Fly were watching the video at the shop. One of the employees noticed what appeared to be a large dark figure moving on the shoreline in one of the scenes. After reviewing the clip several times, they thought that the figure might represent a sasquatch. One of the men, Clay, called the BFRO and left a voicemail stating that he had some interesting footage that needed investigating.




The Scene of Interest

Though the film is quite shaky throughout the few seconds the subject is visible, a small amount of detail is evident. It appears that two dark figures walk behind a rock pile from left to right, then the leading figure ascends the rock pile. The leading figure can only be either a human or a sasquatch. It stands erect and two arms are clearly visible hanging to its sides. After a brief glimpse of the leading figure standing bipedally, the two figures are lost to view.




Bigfoot or Human?

Most pieces of footage purported to show a sasquatch are either hoaxes or are misidentifications. This footage had no signs of being a hoax. None of the men in the video knew the figure was even there. The clip was shot over two years ago, and most hoaxers want attention much sooner than that. To this day all of the men involved think that the clip is interesting, but don’t really care much if it shows a bigfoot or not. It was clear from the beginning of this investigation that this was unlikely to be a fabrication. If it is not a sasquatch then it would have to be a misidentified human.

Due to the low quality of the YouTube footage, little can be determined by examining it. However, it has been discovered that the original footage could still exist. Matt, the videographer, uploaded his footage onto his iMac computer for editing after the men filmed that weekend. He later gave this computer to his brother, Nate, as a gift. I met Nate in person at the film site, and he told me that he has never erased anything off of the computer. He then told me that he would look into it. This was two weeks ago as of this writing.

The whole question of what the figure actually is could be solved by a quick glance at the original footage if its quality is good enough. No real detail can be objectively determined by what is currently available online, but this is likely to not be the case with the original footage.

I have called Nate several times, but he is a hard guy to get a hold of. To me, this is entirely understandable. Nate is a professional fisherman and spends much of his time in the field angling. When he has days off of work, he is also on the water. In fact, the day I met him he was to take his boat 20 miles offshore to fish for albacore and did not plan to return until late the following evening.

When I was young, I worked in tackle stores for nearly a decade. I had the same lifestyle, so I understand the angling life very well. It is similar to the bigfooting life in that one is always chasing their quarry, and spending a lot of time in the wilds doing it.

I will continue to patiently pester Nate for the footage and update this report as new information comes to light. Getting a hold on the original footage has been the sticking point with the publishing of this report. I have only recently decided to publish what I have as a preliminary report.




The Site

The McKenzie River has a long history of bigfoot encounters. The terrain is steep and wild. Few people venture far off of the roads and trails that criss cross the landscape. Food, water, and cover are all abundant, and in general this river valley is an ideal habitat for sasquatches.

That is not to say that this area is isolated. Several hikers and cyclists were seen on the roads while driving to the site, and one kayaker made his way down the rapids while we were there. The [wider] recreational corridor is well-traveled by sportsmen, tourists, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

The actual film site is accessible by turning off of the main highway onto a smaller dirt road. This road winds a short ways to a well-used campsite which is perched a short distance above the film site. From the perspective of the camp, the site is largely obscured by riparian foliage.

The view from the camp above the filmsite.


Much to my pleasure, there was a power line cut a very short distance from the film site. Many bigfoot researchers have long noted the correlation between sasquatch activity and power lines. Some hypothesize that it is easier to travel along these routes, but I find that not to be the case. I suspect that sasquatches frequent power line cuts because it offers one of the few places in the woods where sunlight reaches the ground, thus producing copious amounts of food for deer and other prey animals. It is thought by many that sasquatches not only eat the herbivores, but also their food. Either way, this spot offered easy access to a power line cut, which might offer any wandering sasquatch a steady food supply.

The rock pile that the figure is seen to stand on is at the upstream end of a small side run in the river. On September 11, 2010 when I visited the site, there was standing water behind the rock pile that was perhaps a foot and a half deep at the deepest point. On that day, the river was flowing at a rate of 744 cubic feet of water per second. At the time the footage was shot, the river was significantly higher, flowing at a rate of 1650 cubic feet per second. It is unknown how much higher that would put the water level behind the rock pile. This becomes significant when one considers the figures’ movements behind the rock pile as the boats approach the rapids.

A view of the side channel from
the subject’s position on the rock pile.


The rock that the figure is standing on was easily identified. It is the only place that a man-sized creature could possibly stand and be seen in that position from the boat’s vantage point. The rock that the subject was standing on is four feet in diameter, and only two horizontal feet from the apex of the rock in front of it. Such small distances would not interfere with the very approximate measurements obtainable from this investigation.

A photo from behind the rock pile. The figure stood on
the rock to the right and below the backpack which is
marked with a red “x.”




Analysis
Until the original footage becomes available, the best that can be done is to make some effort to determine the size of the film subject. I have determined two methods of getting an approximation of the subject’s height. If the results of both methods converge on a certain height, then we can be reasonably sure that this is the approximate height of the figure.

Method 1
The most common method of determining the height of sasquatches in films is to put a person of known height in the same position and compare the two. This has been done for several pieces of footage (e.g. PG Film, Marble Mountains Footage).

Wearing waders, Will Robinson waded into the river to a gravel bar next to the left-hand channel that the boaters went down when filming. He then photographed me standing on the same rock that the subject was standing on. Though Will was not standing at the exact same place, nor was he taking photos from the exact same height as the videographer, the comparison photographs are close enough for our purposes.

A photograph of me taken from the
approximate position of the camera.




Below is a composite photograph made from a frame of the footage and the above still that Will took of me standing in that same location. The incongruence in the rocks’ positions is at least partly due to the tilting of the boat as it traversed downstream, and also due to a discrepancy in the boat’s position compared to where Will stood. However, it is clear that the rocks line up very well, thus indicating that our positioning was fairly good.

The two photographs superimposed.




The method I used to line up the rocks was to use the highest points of the rocks in the photo. Superimposing one photograph over the other, I lined up these peaks until their locations matched. I then verified that the rocks’ sizes were the same, tweaking it as seemed reasonable. The vague outlines in the YouTube version were not very helpful in this regard, but similar comparisons will be made when the original footage becomes available.

As can be seen in the above composite photograph, the size of the subject is not much different than my own (I stand at 68 inches tall). However, the subject seems to be hunched over at this point since very little of its head is visible above the shoulders.

The footage frame used for the above
comparison. Note the stooped posture.


Method 2
Using measurements from the site, I found the difference in heights between two rocks visible in the footage to be 29 inches. Finding this difference in pixels in the photograph yields a total of 59 pixels. Dividing the two gives 2.034 pixels per inch.

I used this information to determine how tall the visible part of the figure is. Drawing a line from the top of the figure to where the figure becomes obscured by the rock gives a height of 79 pixels. Dividing this by 2.034 pixels per inch gives a result of 38.84 inches for the approximate visible height of the subject.

Using photographs of me standing in the same position, I found that approximately three feet of my height is behind the rock pile and is not visible. Adding 36 more inches to the above result for the hidden height gives 74.83 inches, or just shy of 6 feet 3 inches.


Tentative Conclusions
Using two methods to determine the approximate size of the figure, both seem to indicate a height of around six feet tall. It is possible that the figure is actually a bit taller than this because of the apparently stooped posture. While six-foot-tall sasquatches certainly exist, this happens to be a rather average height for most adult male humans.

The general size of the figure seems rather large, but not beyond the possible size of a human. It was noted that the figure seems to be much broader than myself, and I am a fairly broad-shouldered man for my height. The figure’s general dimensions are certainly distorted due to the pixelization of the YouTube video. This might be contributing to its seemingly large shape, but this is uncertain.

The behavior of the two figures is also worthy of note. When I was at the site, a kayaker made his way down the rapids. When he came into view, a member of our party went to the very same rock that the figure went to in order to gain a better view of the kayaker. If a camper saw a couple boats floating down river heading towards these dangerous rapids, it is likely that he/she would stand on this same rock to gain a better vantage. However, in June when the water level is so much higher, I have to wonder if the area behind the rock pile would be possible to safely traverse. It’s quite possible that the water level was 20 or more inches higher when the footage was shot. The fishing guides who met us at the scene commented at how the side channel would be heavily flowing and largely white water at that time of year.

Due to the behavior of the subjects, as well as the calculated approximate height, I believe that the footage most likely shows two human figures trying to get a better view of the boats as they headed down the rapids.

The first figure put itself into a position where it could easily be seen, coming from a place where it was hidden. This strikes me as unlikely behavior for a sasquatch in full daylight, but that is not to say that this sort of thing never happens. Sasquatches do very unexpected things, and indeed their very existence is unexpected. One should not be so quick to impose human expectations on sasquatches.

I could very well be incorrect in my assessment. There are things about the footage that look very squatchy to me. The width and girth of the subject seem pretty massive, even if it is only six feet or so tall. Also, its apparently stooped posture combined with the high shoulders looks very ape-like.

It will be very interesting to see the original footage. It is quite possible that it will be good enough to see clothing, or even facial features, clearly indicating that these figures are human. It is also possible that a close examination of the original footage might show two hairy bipeds doing something unexpected. I, like you, can’t wait to see it.


My Thoughts
This investigation and the time it took to do it was well-spent no matter what its conclusions or what the eventual viewing of the original footage determines the figures to be. Good times were spent with great friends in a beautiful place, but even more importantly, we were doing amateur science by obtaining data.

All compelling evidence should be closely examined using whatever means one has at his/her disposal, and an effort should be made to bring back some form of data to share. That is the very nature of science: to look into things to see what seems to be the truth, then to share it with others for review.

Until more professional scientists step up to the plate, whatever science that is possible in bigfooting must be executed by amateur scientists like us. Bigfooting is a form of field primatology, yet one in its infancy. Its our job to help it mature.

This article can be permanently viewed (including downloadable photos) on my website by clicking this link.  








.

Sep 052010
 

When Matt Moneymaker and I were in Pennsylvania at the end of August, he received a voicemail indicating that new possible footage of a sasquatch had been obtained.  He immediately put a call to the BFRO‘s video expert to make contact with the reporting party to see if the footage was anything more than the usual blobsquatch.  


We soon received news that the footage wasn’t too bad.  Matt asked me to investigate it for him since I live only a few hours away from the location.  Of course, I was happy to oblige!





The best stabilization and enhancement of the footage
so far was done by KatHouse Video Productions.




As information started slowly trickling in, we found that some of the information and assumptions made about the footage were incorrect.  For example, the reporting party was neither the man in the boat nor the videographer.  He was just a friend who put us in touch with the other parties.  Secondly, the footage was not recently obtained, but taken over two years ago in June of 2008.  These facts don’t take away from the image of the figure in the video.  In fact, the lapse in time would indicate that it isn’t a hoax, since hoaxers tend to seek attention soon after their dirty deed is done.


Clearly, the figure in the footage is either a man or a sasquatch.  If the size of the figure can be determined, it might show that the figure is too big to be a man.  (At least that is my hope at this point, but we’ll see where the data brings me.)


I am currently undertaking the task of trying to determine the size of the figure using several independent methods.  My reasoning is that if I arrive at a similar height using three or four independent means of determining the figure’s height, it is most likely fairly accurate.  


A visit to the site is now being planned.  Consultation with experts in statistics and anatomy is also underway for use in my analysis.  After sufficient data is gathered and analyzed, I will publish all of my results and methods for peer review.  


This is going to take a little while, folks.  I’m going to do the best and most thorough job I can, and I refuse to pump out shallow garbage for your consumption.  Please be patient with me.  If the footage surfaced in the middle of summer, it might be a different story, but my students come for their first day of school on Wednesday.  A teacher’s obligation weighs heavily on his mind this time of year.  I’ve been distracted with things of a less-than-squatchy nature (even though that seems atypical for me).  


More soon, I promise!