Having just walked in the door from an 8-day bigfooting trip (details coming soon, so check back in a couple days), I was thrilled to find that I am included in the Willamette Week’s “Best of Portland 2010” list of what’s cool in the coolest place I can imagine living. I was bestowed the title of “Best Believer,” which was a little surprising because I did mention to the journalist who interviewed me that it’s not a matter of belief, but a matter of evidence. I guess that didn’t make the article, but nonetheless, I’m super excited about the tip of the hat for the ‘squatch!
Here’s the article:
Many Portlanders like to spend their weekends doing something recreational in the outdoors—fishing, for instance. Cliff Barackman prefers to spend his on a less conventional pastime: Bigfooting.
Bigfooting, Barackman says, is actually a lot like fishing: It requires a lot of baiting and waiting, and one must be in the right place with the right tools. Barackman, though, isn’t searching for something simple like steelhead. No, he is after much more elusive prey—the North American Bigfoot.
Barackman isn’t your average Bigfoot believer. Although he admits to being a bit eccentric, the 39-year-old schoolteacher describes himself as “intelligent and well-rounded.” He isn’t zany or crazy. He isn’t a hack like the two Georgia men who perpetuated a worldwide hoax when they tried to fabricate a Bigfoot corpse back in 2008. No, Barackman relies only on the facts—facts he says leave no doubt that Sasquatches are real.
For the past 16 years Barackman, a member of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization,
has spent much of his free time collecting evidence from the field and interviewing Bigfoot witnesses. His research can be found on his website, NorthAmericanBigfoot.com
, where he stockpiles photos of footprint casts, possible audio recordings and an interview with Jane Goodall saying she’s sure an undiscovered species like Bigfoot exists. He also writes a Bigfoot blog that he updates twice a week.
Although Barackman has not yet seen a Sasquatch, he is positive that he will run into one someday—and hopefully he can record the evidence, even if it means risking his life. It wouldn’t, he muses, be such a bad way to go: “If a ’squatch picked me up with one hand and threw me 80 feet—yeah, that’s a great way to go,” he said. “When you find my corpse, just make sure you uncurl my hands so you can get the hair samples out of it.” -PETER GRIFFIN.