Finding Bigfoot Season Three – Bigfoot Merit Badge

 

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.

The footage is not of high quality, but it clearly shows either a human or a bigfoot. As the camera pans around the opposite side of a small valley, a figure can be seen making its way across a snow field. This figure is upright, and it seems to be hopping from rock to rock as if it was trying to avoid stepping in the snow. The camera is only on the figure a few moments before it pans to the woods again. The film resolution is very low, and this is compounded by the fact that it was transferred to digital format by showing the film on a screen or wall and having it video taped.

Despite the low quality, a couple details can be seen. There seems to be something hanging off of the figure in a couple of the frames as it leaps from rock to rock. This could be hair hanging from the figure, but it also could be a long winter coat of some kind. As the figure reaches the last rock, it seems to turn and face the camera briefly before walking up the hill to the left through the snow.

Unseen in the footage on the show was some slight movement in the tree line nearby. Gary noticed this movement when watching the film on a large projector screen at his home, and he hypothesizes that there was another figure there that caught his father’s attention.

When we met Gary at the location, we found that the film site could have been anywhere along a 10 or 15 mile trail that pushes into the Rawah Wilderness Area. It was impossible to do a recreation at the actual site, so we did our best trying to recreate the movements of the figure. There were some slight differences that I observed between Bobo’s movements and what can be seen in the footage, but nothing conclusive.

I think the context of this footage is more compelling than the footage itself. Gary remembers that his father and the other scout leaders sat all the boys down one night on the trip and had a very stern talk with them about not leaving camp, especially at night. Gary said this was most unlike his father to act like this, so he knew something was up, even as a young boy. Also, Gary commented that his father referred to the figure in the video as an “animal,” and not a man. Though Gary’s father didn’t really like to talk about what was in the footage, he maintained that it was a “creature” until his death a few years ago.

What was most interesting was something that was not shown in the episode (although I understand this segment is in the Canadian version of the show, as Canada has fewer commercials than here in the US, and the episodes are a bit longer). We were able to take the footage to a company called CinemaLab, based out of Englewood, CO. They are a film laboratory that specializes in media restoration, preservation, and analysis. They have done media forensic work for law enforcement agencies including the FBI.

Due to the way the file was transferred to digital format (see above), little more info could be squeezed out of the footage. However, they verified the presence of another possible figure in the woods nearby, as well as the trailing “coat” or “hair” that was mentioned above. They said that if they had the original film, much more could be determined from the footage. Since the episode is now in its final form and has already been aired, I will be taking this on myself to get the analysis done. I have contacted Gary about this and have his blessing to do the follow-up work. I will announce any further findings on my blog in the coming months.

A very compelling encounter that I had the privilege of investigating was that of Amber and Gabe. Amber is visually impaired, so her account of what happened gave an interesting perspective. Amber’s visual impairment affects the cone cells in her retina. Cone cells are used to see color, so she has very poor daytime vision, but her night vision is quite good, as is her ability to see shadows and contrasting brightnesses. She is more attuned to sounds, as is often the case with the visually-impaired.

Amber and Gabe were on a week-long backpacking trip with Amber’s guide dog, Phoenix. Before any sounds were heard at all, Phoenix started acting strangely. He would stay close to Amber, seemingly trying to steer her away from the treeline by blocking her movement in that direction. This is also what Phoenix does when keeping Amber away from unseen dangers and obstacles when they are out for a walk. Amber said that the specialized guide dog training that Phoenix has undergone makes it very rare for him to act strangely in any circumstances. Phoenix would sit and watch the treeline, as if listening.

About four miles up a narrow canyon, they started hearing knocks at night while camping. Not knowing what the sounds were, the couple ignored them. After a night or two, they started walking out, camping for a night here and there on the way out. At only a mile or so up the canyon, many strange things started happening. A variety of sounds were heard over a couple days at this location, including knocks, whistles from various locations (as if answering each other), foot falls running through forest debris, yelling, whoops that were joined by coyotes, and a weird chattering. This chattering would come from different locations and from different sources all within a few seconds. She described it as very speech-like, but she couldn’t understand anything it said. There were three distinct voices of different pitches and speed that would shoot back and forth to each other.

Something of note is that while Gabe was out hiking around during the day, she would sing and dance around in the meadow. It was while she was doing this that she first started noticing rocks being thrown her direction. The computer-generated bigfoot in the show implies that the bigfoot was throwing baseball-sized rocks at her, and doing so quite fast, but this is not the case. They were mostly small pebbles, though a few bigger ones did come in. Amber was actually hit by a number of these smaller pebbles, which annoyed her. The larger ones only landed nearby. While it might be a bit rude for bigfoots to shower intruders with pebbles, I think it was most likely done with play in mind. Play is an important part of intelligent animals’ lives. I can speculate that when the bigfoots encountered Amber singing and dancing, they knew that she was not a threat and decided to interact with her on this level. This same behavior has been reported to me on other occasions by other witnesses.

On one night, eye shine was seen from a nearby hill, perhaps 50 yards away. Gabe shined a light on it and both Gabe and Amber saw a large dark shadow move through the trees. Both said it was clearly upright, and not a bear. When Amber told me this, I asked her how she saw anything if she was visually impaired, and that was when she told me her condition and how she was good night vision. Gabe verified that her night vision is better than his.

Zack and Trinity are a father/daughter pair of witnesses that observed two possible bigfoots walk across an expansive open meadow. The creatures were at a large distance, easily a couple hundred yards, but their sighting was so long that they had more than ample opportunity to observe the figures. The area where their encounter occurred has several Native American archeological sites nearby, and there are no less than seven different springs that feed a swampy area in the low-lying areas of the valley.

The creatures were moving from the more forested side of the valley towards a V-shaped opening that leads to an adjacent valley. The previously mentioned swamp is near this opening, and a small creek flows into the lower valley. Our recreation indicated that the two creatures were approximately 9 feet and 7.5 feet tall. Besides their size, humans can reasonably be ruled out because they didn’t break their stride at all as they easily stepped over a 42.5 inch-tall barbed wire fence.

Our night investigations didn’t turn up anything too interesting, but it was a lot of fun to have the girl scouts making crazy noises all night long. They seemed to enjoy the whole experience as whoell.

Colorado is a huge area that has very few roads heading off into its most remote corners. There could be quite a few bigfoots lurking around the Rockies that have never even laid eyes on a human. To go to this state for only a week and not find a bigfoot isn’t surprising to me at all. There’s just too much land. Sightings and encounters continue to come out of the state, as recently as January of 2013. I hope to make a return trip there soon.

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