Where Bigfoot Walks – Crossing the Dark Divide

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Aug 032017

Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide 
By Dr. Robert Pyle

One of my favorite bigfoot books (and one that has been on my list of excellent additions to any bigfoot library for a long time) has been reprinted this year with a new chapter!  The butterfly specialist and wordsmith, Dr. Robert Pyle, has updated his classic tome, Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide.  

This isn’t your average bigfoot book in that it isn’t full of sighting reports and evidence supporting the existence of an undiscovered hominoid species.  This book is from the perspective of an educated, open-minded skeptic who takes a personal journey into the mystery (which is more than most skeptics do).  His knowledge of the terrain and environment of the Dark Divide, an area deep in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, comes forth in his writing, as does his appreciation of the natural beauty of the area.  

This book doesn’t necessarily persuade the reader that bigfoot is real, but it does something equally important.  It persuades the reader that the possibility exists, and this is often the first step into a larger world for the uninformed on the subject.  Dr. Pyle takes you on his journey with him, and shows that the mystery itself is a valuable thing for us all.  The quest is worth the journey, though the final destination of that quest is uncertain.  

And, as an added bonus, the newest edition includes a few words from yours truly as well.  

I will be making an appearance in White Salmon, WA with Dr. Pyle on October 28th where he will be doing a reading from his book.  If you haven’t had a chance to meet Dr. Pyle, you really should make an effort to do so.  His thoughtful perspective on the subject is a delight to hear, to say the very least. 

Click on the link above to pick up your copy.

Disclaimer: This page was made possible by a partnership from Amazon Associates who grants me a small commission on what you buy through the links. But, all opinions and reviews are my own, and these products wouldn’t be featured if I didn’t think it could help you be a better bigfooter.  

May 162014

The residents of the Pacific Northwest are in for a treat this week.  On both Monday and Tuesday evenings (May 19 and 20), Dr. Robert Michael Pyle is lecturing, proudly sponsored by the non-profit organization Mount St. Helens Institute.

For bigfoot newbies, Dr. Pyle is a lepidopterologist, or someone who studies butterflies and moths.  Though this is his specialty, I would describe Dr. Pyle as a naturalist with a wide range of interests.  One of those interests is in the study of bigfoot.  In fact, he wrote an excellent book about his journey in bigfooting entitled, Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide (required reading for any bigfooter, in my opinion).  

Monday’s lecture will be at the Kelso Theater (214 S. Pacific, Kelso, WA), and Tuesday’s will be at the Loowit Brewing Company (507 Columbia St., Vancouver, WA). Both lectures start at 6:30. I hope to see you there!

Mar 282013

The Sasquatch Field Guide
by Dr. Jeff Meldrum
Finally, a concise and well-written field guide has been published to help the bigfoot field investigator document various types of evidence in an appropriate way. Dr. Jeff Meldrum has put together a field guide on heavy-duty, waterproof card stock that literally fits in your back pocket or backpack, adding little weight to those ounce-sensitive backpackers with an interest in collecting data from the backcountry. Seemingly thinking of everything, Dr. Meldrum has even included a ruler along the top margin of the Guide so the researcher will always have a scale item for any photos taken in the woods.
The Sasquatch Field Guide not only helps researchers with identifying possible spoor left by bigfoots, but it also helps him or her reduce the possibility of misidentifying signs of other animals for those of sasquatches. Also included in the Field Guide are easy-to-understand directions on how to gather and store data in the field in preparation for future analysis. The Guide uses colors and diagrams making it easy to read and understand, which could be the difference between successfully gathering data and blowing it when under the pressure of dealing with the real thing out in the field.
Sections in the Sasquatch Field Guide include information on visual identification, footprint identification, track casting, gathering footprint metrics, hair samples, scat samples, tree breaks, nests, cultural signs, stacked rocks, habitat and distribution, diet, vocalizations, possible origins, and taphonomy. This hefty brochure-style guide is densely-packed with valuable information that all field researchers should be intimately acquainted with.
Aug 162011

A close up of a chimpanzee’s face.  It is 
eerily human-like, especially in the eyes.
August 16, 2011 
Arlington, VA — The first global camera trap mammal study, announced today by a group of international scientists, has documented 105 species in nearly 52,000 images, from seven protected areas across the Americas, Africa and Asia. The photographs reveal an amazing variety of animals in their most candid moments — from a minute mouse to the enormous African elephant, plus gorillas, cougars, giant anteaters and — surprisingly — even tourists and poachers.

IN PHOTOS: See the images from the camera traps »

Analysis of the photographic data has helped scientists confirm a key conclusion that until now, was understood through uncoordinated local study: habitat loss and smaller reserves have a direct and detrimental impact on the diversity and survival of mammal populations. Impacts are seen in the form of less diversity of species and less variety of body sizes and diets (smaller animals and insectivores are the first to disappear), among others. This information replicated over time and space is crucial to understand the effects of global and regional threats on forest mammals and anticipate extinctions before it is too late.

The results of the study have been published in the article “Community structure and diversity of tropical mammals: data from a global camera trap network“, in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. The study was led by Dr. Jorge Ahumada, ecologist with the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network at Conservation International. Protected areas in Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Laos, Suriname, Tanzania and Uganda were researched, making this not only the first global camera trap mammal study, but also the largest camera trap study of any class of animals (not just mammals).

To read the rest of the article on Conservation.com, and to see more photos, click this link.

Apr 132011

John Green, the man of honor

As you probably know, the “Sasquatch Summit – A Tribute to John Green” was just held this past weekend in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. It was kind of a big deal for me because I had never had a chance to meet John Green, though I’ve been a fan of his for nearly two decades. It had also been a long time since I had crossed the border into Canada, and I knew I’d be seeing many of my Canadian friends and colleagues at the event. Besides, I love bigfooty events like this, and I certainly needed a vacation.

Craig Flipy was to be my travelling companion, and we left Portland, OR just before noon on Friday for the drive up north. After battling Seattle traffic for several hours, dropping by a friend’s house near Everett, WA, and being grilled by an unfriendly Canadian border cop, we finally reached our destination well after dark.
Immediately after checking in at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, I was greeted by the smiling faces of several investigator friends. We arranged a meeting place, and I went about bringing my personal items up to the room.
Craig and I walked down the street to a local pub where many investigators had gathered. I was thrilled to see friends such as Tom Yamarone, John Kirk, Thomas Steenburg, and Bob Gimlin.
The next day was a day of presentations by various names in bigfooting. A highlight for me was Dr. Jeff Meldrum’s presentation. It was injected with humor and lots of information on the casts obtained by John Green in the Bluff Creek region back in the 1960’s. He spoke at length about the consistency of the footprints from various parts of the country, as well as addressing many misconceptions about the role Ray Wallace played in that time period.

An original Blue Creek Mountain
cast from August, 1967

I was surprised that my name came up in Chris Murphy’s presentation in relation to the ongoing controversy about the location of the Patterson/Gimlin film site. I later spoke to Chris about my thoughts, and will be working with him to try to shed some more light on the matter.
Of particular interest to me was a room with many interesting displays. Among the artifacts laid out for us bigfoot nerds were several original casts from the Bluff Creek region (which I was later allowed to photograph to add to my online cast database), a copy of the Skookum Cast, numerous masks and displays from the British Columbian Museum (courtesy of Chris Murphy), and John Green’s original filing cabinet filled with his files. What a treasure trove!
John Green’s replica of the Skookum Cast
At the banquet dinner, the local Chehalis Indians shared a dance with us. Using a mask reportedly carved in the 1930’s, they performed a sasquatch dance that was not performed from the 1940’s until 2010. The musical accompaniment was made by hand drums and singing in the local Native dialect (the language that was anglicized to give us the word, “sasquatch!”). It was a beautiful site, and was a gift well-appreciated.
After dinner, various folks gave short tribute speeches to John Green, including several of his family members. Rene Dahinden’s ex-wife was in attendance, and she read from letters sent by Rene when he was on the Pacific Northwest Expeditions funded by Tom Slick back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.
The night ended very late after bouncing from place to place, room to room. Morning brought rain and grey skies, and after poking around town a little, Craig and I headed back home. It was a great weekend that ended far too soon. I met John Green, caught up with many good friends, and did a little social bigfooting. I even met some of you, my readers. Thank you for introducing yourself and sharing your kind words about my work. I appreciate it.

Here are some other pictures from the event.  Enjoy!

John Kirk improvising a song about me
as I walked by.
Harrison Hot Springs is a very
‘squatch-friendly place.
Cliff Barackman and Dr. Jeff Meldrum

Cliff Barackman and a friend
Apr 022011
Ticket sales have now ended for next weekend’s Sasquatch Summit – A Tribute to John Green.  I’ve had my ticket for a very long time, and I hope that many of you managed to get one.  This event might end up being the most fun and important gathering since the Yakima Bigfoot Round Up of 2009.
I’ll will arrive on Friday evening with field partner and friend of the ‘squatch, Craig Flipy.  If you see either of us lurking about, feel free to introduce yourself.  
This is going to be epic.  Look at the agenda:
Sasquatch Summit
A Tribute to John Green
April 8 – 10, 2010

Friday, April 8, 2011
4:00 p.m. . . . . . . . . . ..Registration Begins
Sasquatch evidence displays open for viewing
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. . . . . . Meet & Greet
7:45 – 8:30 p.m. . . . . . Round table discussion (tentative)
9:00 – ? p.m. . . . . . . . .Sasquatch Songs (location TBD)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

9:50 a.m. Conference Convenes – Welcome to the Sasquatch Summit

10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m. presentation by John Bindernagel “The Prolonged Discovery of the Sasquatch as explained by the Philosophy of Science”

11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. presentation by Jeff Meldrum “On The Track of John Green”

11:50 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. Lunch Break (on your own)

1:20 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. Question and Answer Session with John Green

1:50 p.m. – 2:25 p.m. presentation by Christopher L. Murphy “A Review of the Classic B.C. Sasquatch Accounts”

2:35 p.m. – 3:15p.m. presentations by Thomas Steenburg and Bill Miller “Investigation Reports of Recent Sasquatch Sightings”

3:20 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. presentation by Loren Coleman “John Green’s Legacy Beyond the Pacific Northwest”

5:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Sts’ailes (Chehalis) Traditional Welcome & dance performance

6:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Sasquatch Summit Group photo (Grand Staircase in Lobby)

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Tribute Banquet in honor of John Green
Tribute in Song: “The Ballad of John Green” by Tom Yamarone
Tributes by Bob Gimlin, Al Hodgson, Jeff Meldrum,
John Bindernagel, Adrian Erickson, John Kirk, David Hancock,
Loren Coleman, Igor Burtsev, Gerry Matthews,
Ron Morehead, Lesley Solunac and others TBA.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Late morning: . . . . . Informal gathering in display rooms
Tentative . . . . . . . . picnic lunch in Sasquatch provincial park;
privately arranged vehicle convoys to
sighting locations on map
Dec 282010

While I was out of town for the holidays, I received this important email from the Jane Goodall Institute.  The cable network, and friends of the ‘squatch, Animal Planet, have generously offered Dr. Goodall a matching grant until the last day of this year!  That means for every dollar any person donates to the Jane Goodall Institute, Animal Planet gives another dollar, make each private donation worth twice as much!  Hurry, though.  This offer from AP is only good until December 31st!

Please consider giving something, no matter how small, to this worthy cause.  Also, consider watching a lot more Animal Planet in the near future.  It’s good for the brain!

Here’s the original email I received:

Dear Cliff,
With just over a week left in 2010, we have an exciting matching gift opportunity from Animal Planet!
Animal Planet’s  R.O.A.R. program has partnered with Roots & Shoots members in support of their endangered species youth campaign to raise money for our chimpanzee conservation efforts in Africa.
Animal Planet will match your donation, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $25,000 until December 31, 2010. 
As you know we have an incredible task in front of us to build the supplemental sanctuary site at Tchimpounga. You donation right now will help us in these efforts and ensure that we receive the full $25,000 offered to us by Animal Planet.
Your ongoing financial support is one of the main reasons why we continue to be successful in our mission to protect chimpanzees and foster global conservation. I can’t thank you enough for your support of our work in 2010, and I hope you will help us make the most of this special matching gift from Animal Planet by making a year-end donation today.
Thank you so much for your support.
Best Wishes,
Maureen Smith, President, the Jane Goodall Institute
Maureen P. Smith
the Jane Goodall Institute