The New York Baby Footage was taken by Doug Pridgen back on May 23, 1997. The footage shows Doug and his buddies around a campfire goofing around, but in the background one can make out an upright, bipedal figure moving along the base of a tree. At one point, a small ape jumps off the shoulders of this figure and makes its way up into the branches of the tree and swings around in a very dexterous manner. Its movements are undeniably apish, and clearly outside the abilities of any human.
The footage was obtained on accident as Doug filmed his friends around a fire at a music festival on a parcel of private land. It was Friday night and Doug and his friends took a remote campsite on the other side of a large pond. As more concert-goers arrived, the campsites on the close side of the pond filled up, but only one other group was camped on the far side where Doug and his friends had set up camp, and they were the property owners. When the footage was obtained, the property owners were not in their camp, but were on the other side of the lake enjoying the concert.
This private land was once an extensive apple orchard, and when the footage was obtained there were still many apple trees on the property. When I was there, most of the trees had been cut down, but there were still survivors, some of which were bearing fruit.
It is clear that the footage shows some sort of ape, so I was eager to ask Doug about any strange pets that were observed at the festival. I was surprised to find out that no animals were allowed at the festival because apparently there was an incident the year before where a dog bit a concert-goer. People who were bringing dogs were turned away from entry (but a neighbor set up a kennel right down the road), as were folks who brought other pets. Doug remembered other people being turned away at the gate for bringing animals, most notably a parrot and an iguana. I asked if there was any way that someone could have sneaked a gibbon into the festival unnoticed for the duration of the weekend. Doug laughed and said that it was absolutely impossible that such a person would have gone unnoticed. Besides, it is illegal in New York to own an ape as a pet.
The camp area where Doug took the footage was still there, but unfortunately, the tree in the video had been cut down. There was a large pit where the tree once stood, so I took a measurement from that location to where Doug was standing when he took the footage. It was 48 yards away. We found a tree at that same distance that would be moderately easy to climb, so I took to the branches to play the part of the figure in the footage in hopes of shedding some light on what Doug filmed that evening. We filmed our recreation with the same camera that Doug used for the original. What we found was that I was utterly unable to even come close to replicating the movements of the creature, firmly establishing that it was not a person in a costume. The figure also turned out to be much smaller than I am. It is clear that whatever it is that Doug captured on video is an ape, and based on the context, I am leaning towards it being a juvenile sasquatch.
Since it seemed possible that Doug had filmed a bigfoot swinging around in a tree, and seeing just how much food there still was at that location, it made a lot of sense to do a night investigation there. The remaining apple trees were bearing fruit, there were numerous deer lays and tracks, geese and ducks could be seen and heard flocking around the lake, frogs and fish were clearly in abundance, and worms were wiggling in the puddles of the recent rains. That’s not even to mention the numerous species of edible plants growing in the thickly tangled meadows. There was a ton of food here. Besides, I’ve observed again and again that where sasquatches go once, they very often go again. Food, water, and cover are basically what sasquatches need, and this spot had it all.
For the night investigation, Bobo and I headed towards the woods, but stayed in the meadow near the tree line. The vegetation in the meadow was often over six feet in height, well over my head, and nasty, thorny vines wound their way through it at all levels making it impassable in many areas. We found that it was particularly thick near the tree line, but there were a few animal trails that snaked through it at strategic points. Another interesting discovery was that the apple trees that were nearest the forest were practically stripped bear up the the 12 foot level, while the trees further away from the tree line still had many apples left on them. I speculated that creatures in the forest would forage on the apple trees closest to the tree line in order to remain close to cover. Several apple trees we encountered seemed to confirm this.
At one point while Bobo and I were puzzling over how to proceed through the thicket of brambles, we heard two clear knocks coming from the woods. I would guess they came from about 75 or 100 yards away, but this is uncertain. (The sounds in the show are in fact the real knocks, by the way.) They were very loud and crisp, and in my opinion were obviously made by a bigfoot.
Bobo and I headed into the wood line to see if we could catch a glimpse of the sasquatch on the thermal imager. We found that the woods offered much easier traveling than the meadow, and in fact an old road snaked parallel to the meadow, putting any prowling bigfoot in a very strategically advantageous position of being able to see into the meadow without revealing its location. It would also be able to quickly and quietly escape deeper into the woods. We found an area where it appeared that something bipedal recently made its way through some tall grass and headed into the deeper woods, and we did our best to follow the trail, which we soon lost.
As we made our way through the woods, we noticed a prevalence of worms squirming about in shallow puddles left from recent rains. Worms are a very nutritious and plentiful food supply for any animal willing to take advantage of their presence, and certainly bigfoots would utilize this food supply. An investigator in Ohio told me that he found a place where it appeared that a bigfoot was probing a muddy area with a stick to forage on worms, which were plentiful in that area. I’m guessing that the saquatches in this area would use worms as a nutritional source as well, and were probably doing so right now. I do not think an animal with the caloric requirements of a sasquatch would turn down a yummy food source like worms, especially when they were in abundance as they were.
Seeing the sheer number of worms in this area made me curious about the nutritional value of this obvious food supply. Just as a guess, I would say that there was, on average, a little less than one worm lying around per square foot of forest floor. After a little additional research, I found that the dry weight of a night crawler is a little less than one gram. There are approximately 3.75 food calories per gram of food, which would mean that (on a rough average) each square foot of forest would provide between two and three calories of food value. It doesn’t take any fancy math to figure out that there are literally thousands of free calories lying around the forest floor in this area after a good rain.