Monday, January 14, 2019
The MABRC would like to thank Don Lee for the help in recovering all the episodes of the Bigfoot Field Guide Radio Show, I have uploaded them to the Talkshoe page and also to the Google Drive folder where people can now access them. Let's give a big whoop to Don for his help, we couldn't have recovered the shows without his help.
Saturday, January 5, 2019
The Bigfoot Field Guide Radio Show archives were lost when Talkshoe did an upgrade on their system, however, I have been able to recover the first 23 episodes from my extensive data storage and have placed them here at the following link for now for those who wish to relisten to the old shows.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Written by Randy "Rebelistic" Savig, MABRC Missouri State Director
I’ve become fascinated with the Bigfoot TV shows and all the Facebook groups make it looks so easy so I’m going to start my own group! I’ve got a perfect location and I’m sure nobody is doing it there or it would be on Facebook right? And I’ve got a ton of ideas that I’ve came up with! I’m so excited to get into the woods and find their signs, collect audio, and most likely get one on video or a picture. Wow this is going to be cool!!
If I had a dime for every time I’ve seen or heard this, I’d be able to buy a ton of equipment to take into the woods. I think Bigfoot research has become what ghost hunting has. Let me explain a bit. If you just watch the TV stuff and think it is really what happens out there you need to reconsider your thoughts. Folks, this is for entertainment. PERIOD! Not every spooky looking house in the world is haunted by evil ghosts or demons. The ghost hunting shows made it look so easy that everyone wanted to try it. You could go on the internet and buy all types of fancy ghost hunting equipment to guarantee you’d find a ghost. And when folks went out there, they showed them with a camera filming themselves running out of a house screaming because the old floor creaked which they knew was a demon or evil ghost coming to inflict all sorts of ills upon them, just like they do on TV. Tons and tons of natural things became ghosts because well, it had to be. I mean they were out ghost hunting, right? Video and camera artifacts automatically became normal things posted as true and real ghosts. Every sound recorded was a ghost saying this or that. People wanted it so bad that they actually went out of their way to hear things in what was actually natural sounds or recording artifacts. So, what has happened? Something that I feel should be truly researched and documented and could have some real discoveries won’t be taken serious by science because of all the garbage out there.
So now that very few people think ghost are real and science won’t even look at the actual evidence of potential ghostly activities, it has pretty much fallen to the side of being a joke. All the serious researchers and even scientists that were involved in long time research have seemed to disappear. Some of the places that did have what appeared to be legitimate haunting activities have closed access because of all the negative experiences they have had from all these “groups of real ghost hunters” that came in. Some were even destroyed just to avoid the harassment and trespass that was going on. All that potential evidence gone forever.
Sadly, this appears where Bigfoot research is going if not already there. It seems like everyday we see or hear of a “new” bigfoot group that has all these “new” ideas and all these fuzzy, grainy pictures and shaky videos of the”real” bigfoot that are out there. Auto focus and facial recognition stuff in cameras is great stuff ain’t it? When looking for faces you will find them even if they aren’t there. All the audio that is collected out there that just has to be bigfoot because this “new group” is out there looking for it, so it must be. And the sad fact is people who want to believe in Bigfoot ooh and ahh it as absolute proof and stroke the egos of these “new group’s new ideas” that work every time they hit the woods. And folks wonder why people are wanting to hoax things so that they can be an expert? They want the oohs and ahhs too. Folks that strive for attention can sure get it when saying bigfoot no matter how outlandish it is. We constantly see pictures repeat themselves over and over that is supposed to be taken yesterday by a buddy’s game cam of a real bigfoot. Whether it is the one who posted it that was hoaxing it or one of his buddies is trying to trick him, the results are the same. Arguments, hurt feeling, name calling, and it usually ends with something to the effect of if you were got out and looked you’d know. It’s a complete waste of research time. I think that a lot of folks that want to do honest research are driven away because of this sort of thing.
Now don’t get me wrong, we need people out there to help solve this mystery and I’m all for that. But like ghost hunting, folks are doing it without researching what is already out there. The invent of the internet has really been a double-edged sword. One side is it’s a great tool for learning what groups have done and using their experiences adding to the knowledge base. The other side is unfortunately where egos and popularity seem to be more important than anything else. Attention hungry people love to dazzle people with whatever they can pass off as real or get them the attention they seek. Facebook has not been beneficial to any type of mystery in my opinion. It’s only on Facebook where you can go from ghost, to bigfoot, to alien, to telepathic being, to interdimensional entity, to inner earth being, all in the same post by all who are self-professed experts in the situation. And the scary part is that they all have followers that will tear you to shreds if you dare ask how they came up with those conclusions. It’s really amusing of how the answer “I just know” seems to be acceptable in those cult-like situations. God help you if you dare question the Bigfoot gods of these groups! It seems real troubling to me that the search for what appears to be an undocumented animal has turned into a religion! WOW.
As far as these great “New” ideas that seem to recirculate with just a little research you can find out what results have been done in the past with them. One that was put out there again recently was the “Crying Baby” recording being played in the woods to attract a possible response. Yep. Its been done and definitely had results. The original poster had this thought that it may attract a female bigfoot through her maternal instincts. It sure could if one was in the area. However, with a little research you’ll also find out that the audio is very close to a fawn in distress, so it also could bring in predators looking for an easy meal. Bears, wolves, coyotes and even possible bigfoot could be drawn to your location so, IF you use it you had better be prepared for the outcome!
I recorded some vocalizations a few years back that I really think would draw them in, but I honestly am afraid to use it as it appears by the situation to be a territory dispute. I may be fairly gutsy out there, but I sure don’t want to challenge them to territory! So, as of yet we haven’t tried it.
Another recent “New” idea was walking with a camera mounted to see behind you. This gal went absolutely ballistic when she was told that it has and is being done as part of research. It was sad and comical all at the same time to see the responses on that post from folks. The ornery me wanted to post “yep, it was her New Idea that the captured interdimensional sasquatch we got last week was used to transport us into the future and steal that New Idea and transport back years ago and implement just so she couldn’t take credit for it!” I seriously fear that someone may have believed it as a fact! At the MABRC we have used for years the saying of thinking outside the box, but I think that has been taken as a challenge by some folks who don’t know what a box is.
So, if you aren’t into bigfoot to try and make a name for yourself, seek attention, or stroke your ego and just want to help try and prove the existence of an undocumented critter, what should you do? Join a group? If so what group? These can actually be easily answered. Do your research. How long has the group been around? What possible evidence have they shared? Are they close enough for you to easily participate? Do they have enough people to help with analyzing possible evidence you collect? What is the group’s goals in research? Don’t look for the perfect group because there are none. Each has folks with egos. Each has some members that don’t get along with members of other groups. Do they have info on their websites that shows what they do? What they have found? When you find one that seems to fit for you, humbly join it. My personal advice would also be to stay off Facebook unless you look at it the same way you do the TV shows, as entertainment! Don’t get me wrong there is some actual good information there, but you usually must wade through two tons of bull crap to find it and for me it is not worth my research time to do it.
What is wrong with a new group? Actually, nothing really, except that you’d be starting at ground zero just like every group out there did. Having the support and knowledge with a group of more seasoned researchers can be a huge asset to you. You can just get a quicker understanding of what seems to work best. You have other eyes and ears to help you understand what is what. Not every person can have a good understanding of possible tracks, tracking, possible structures, photo analysis, video analysis, audio analysis, etc., and so on. Another thing to consider. Is a group already actively researching the area your “new group” wants to research? The MABRC and APES holds a Fouke Expedition every year, that is one of those hot areas that a lot of folks want to research. It is one of the areas that anyone wants to experience where the Fouke Monster was as their curiosity of Bigfoot began from the famous movie. To keep from having contamination of the possibility of recording other researchers call blasts as possible evidence a lot needs to be done to try and assure it least likely to happen. Planning, research areas less travelled, being able to control access to the area of research all play part of making it a hopefully contamination free expedition.
Here’s a scenario that would be devastating to the bigfoot community. Let’s say two groups both want to research X river basin. Most likely it happens on a Friday or Saturday evening. Each set up on opposite sides of the river. Just over the bank and into the woods where neither can see the other. Both do some vocals and knocks. Each think that they are interacting with a possible bigfoot, but in reality, they are interacting with the other group. Both post it as a highly active weekend and what a great place they found. Did either hoax anything? Nope. Is any possible evidence collected over the weekend valid? Sadly, no unless the two groups can meet and compare all the evidence the other has and anything that isn’t the exact sounds as they both did could be bigfoot related. But what would most likely happen is both groups would bad mouth each other making a mockery out of the others and themselves. Tempers would flair and anyone in the scientific community that had a fleeting interest in either of the groups would run for the hills laughing at the amateurs now convinced that they are no bigfoot, just bigfooters making other bigfooters believe in bigfoot. I know it has happened before. A “New” group came into an area of another group and started the one up’em routine. Not only did bad mouthing and tempers flare, but deliberate misrepresenting possible evidence and even try in hoax the other so they could discredit the other group. And folks wonder why science doesn’t take Bigfoot research seriously. Why would they?
There are a lot of groups out there that have been there for a long time. New blood in older groups is a great thing. Different perspectives from new folks helps keep the old timers on their toes. More ears, eyes, boots and equipment on the ground can take a mediocre expedition with minimal possible evidence and make it excellent just by adding fresh ideas. If you want to ask an old timer why they think the way they do, you can ask, question, and even challenge their ideas. It really is acceptable to do that. If you want to be respected, remember, respect is a two-way street. You have an idea. Share it. New ideas are always wanted. New possible evidence is always wanted. But it is paramount to be willing to change your perspective and thoughts if the evidence is there. Even if it is different than what you were expecting. Just because I think I know something doesn’t make it fact. Fact is based on available evidence. And proving the existence of an undocumented animal doesn’t happen by what we know, it happens on what we can prove as fact. And the reality is that facts don’t care about feelings.
So you still want to start a “New” Bigfoot group?
Monday, December 3, 2018
Saturday, December 1, 2018
BFG Note: Leroy was one of those individuals whose wild theories and beliefs about Bigfoot made a lot of folks shake their heads, but in the end, he was a member of the Bigfoot Community. The BFG Staff offers their condolences to his family and friends. Rest in Peace Leroy, you know the secret of Bigfoot now.
From Loren Coleman: Bigfoot skeptic/debunker/conspiracy theorist Leroy Blevins Sr, born 1967, died Dec 1, 2018. Author of Bigfoot in the Holy Bible, Revenge of Bigfoot (fiction), and various nonfiction JFK nonfiction books.
Monday, October 8, 2018
Written by Randy "Rebelistic" Savig
MABRC Missouri State Director
That is a good question. A lot of folks think that we just collect sounds and vocals. That is true to an extent. But can it be an invaluable tool with a real benefit to a researcher? Yes, it can. When I first started this adventure, I had one recorder and took it out set it up outside camp in hopes I would hear something cool that night and it would be recorded. One thing folks must remember, the time we have available to go to the woods is limited. Jobs and family’s come first as they should. The chances of being in an area that they are on that night is pretty slim. So, then we review the audio and hear nothing but normal night sounds just like we did when we were out there. Most of us love the woods and being in them so there is never a bad night in the woods, but it still doesn’t help us to solve the mystery we are after.
When I got into this I was able to stomp the woods a lot more than I can now. I had the ability to go out and look for the common possible signs we all hear about and it helped with knowing where what was I thought was the best place to set up recorders. Unfortunately for me that was pretty short lived. At one time I was even thinking about getting out of field research and go back to being a computer researcher. The woods and collection of audio desire was just too strong, so I had to figure out how to use the equipment to do the woods stomping work for me. It dawned on me that I may only be able to go out and do a listening post once every couple weeks or at times once a month. What happens if you have 3 or 4 recorders stretched out a few miles apart? That way you could hear what was going on in 4 places at a time when you do the audio review. The thrill of hearing the sounds that night in person doesn’t happen but it did one important thing. It gave you a date and location of where they were that night. Using this method makes it a lot easier to establish patterns of their movements throughout their territory. This can really be invaluable as once you get the pattern figured out you can set your listening post up where you will have a best chance of being there when they are. This takes a long time, even years if you are real limited on time to get out and collect audio. This in my opinion is how the best possible evidence is collected.
So, then what? You’ve established a pattern and have a good idea where they may be there and when. Now is when things can get interesting. You move all your audio equipment into that area. Set up 3-4 recorders within a couple of miles at the most from each other and record. This will help you zoom into the areas that are closest to them. Adjust listening posts to where the suspected audio as close as you can. From experience they are usually in the areas that are hardest to access without walking in a lot or even to other private property that you don’t have permission to be on. The game isn’t over if that happens. Researchers have for years used different methods to try and lure them closer to where they are instead of going where they are. Curiosity does seem to be their downfall, or they wouldn’t be spotted close to camps. Scents and sounds seem to do the trick. Cooking at camp, using spray deodorizers, scented candles, even flashing lights have had success in drawing them in. Of course, sounds can also peak their curiosity. We’ve all seen that on TV where they howl and knock waiting on a hopeful return. Just remember the data from the Silent Hills Project, sound doesn’t travel as far as one thinks it does.
One other method I use frequently is with the use of parabolics. There are two areas where I can’t physically get to and set up drop boxes. I can however get on 2 and at times 3 sides of that area and let the parabolics get me closer. With parabolics being directional as well as good amplifiers you can get a lot more distance than with open mics, kind of like being there. This is where knowing your equipment’s abilities and limitations come into play. I can not over state, know your equipment! One important thing about using both drop boxes and parabolics is that they are passive. I feel that they can collect audio that is more natural for the critters whether it’s a known or unknown critter. Every animal acts difference in the presence of people. In my opinion this is how the neatest vocals are collected and a way of trying to understand behavior is done. There is quite a difference of how they wander through the woods naturally than when they are around camp. From my experience they really don’t try and be quiet when wandering through an area verses when approaching or avoiding camps during our research outings. Another huge benefit of using this method is that when you have 2 or more recorders aimed to an area from different directions it is much easier to hear and see the difference in the spectrogram of the sounds and vocals. It is a lot easier to know what environmental distortion is. It sure does help in identifying known and what could be possible bigfoot sounds and vocalization.
I have one ridge in my research area I call Pine Ridge. Here is a few of links to the audio collected from there.
I have pretty much determined that this is a normal area of either travel or possibly where they stay in the area. I came to this determination using audio. Let me explain. I’ve set up my big parabolic on the ridge to the east of that area pointing west. Several times I have gotten some interesting audio collected like the ones above when I set up this way. The trouble is there are two ridges within a mile and a half from the parabolic so, which one is the sounds coming from? What I do to try and narrow it down? I set up my largest parabolic pointing the usual west direction in my normal spot for it. In each of the 2 hollers that are on either side of the ridge, I set up smaller parabolics as close to the bottom as I could, pointing north. After doing this set up about a dozen times over the course of about 6 months I had results. From the audio collected it appears that they came in from the southwest side of the western most holler and onto Pine Ridge. Again, this was only found out after the audio review a week or so when I reviewed that recorder. I collected the recorders the following morning after that was recorded and there was nothing recorded that would indicate that they left the area that night. So I suspect that at least that night they stayed on that ridge. It can be real amazing of how sounds go over the hollers when recorders are near the bottom verses when they are put on ridge tops.
I think any of us that have a love for the woods and wilds would much rather be out stomping and exploring. I know that I’m that way. But when that isn’t an option, audio can get you there if you let the equipment do the work. There is a real thrill for me when I review audio and find out that woods came alive with activity whether I was in that exact location or not. Hands down, I’ve recorded most of the interesting audio when I wasn’t there by using these methods than I have from a camp recorder. Just the man hours needed to be in 3 or 4 spots at the same time to learn patterns would make it nearly impossible to gain the knowledge one can get from remote audio set ups in the woods when nature can do as nature does. Sure videos, thermal, and personal experiences are the ultimate thrill when doing this. But audio does play a crucial role in research if we use it. Many group expeditions have used the audio to help determine where the hotspots are, and that data is used in the following expeditions of the area with some noticeable results.
Sunday, September 23, 2018
By Randy "Rebelistic" Savig
One really important thing to remember is our ears can play tricks on us just as our eyes do. There hasn’t been a time where I have been in the woods where I had a camp recorder running and heard what I thought was one thing just to do the review it is apparent that it was something else. That is one reason that using a camp recorder has such value. Not only can you use it to verify what you are hearing at camp such as movement around camp, but it keeps you grounded because it also disproves what you thought it was. Using a camp recorder also gives a way of adding possible evidence to any experiences you have at camp. The first one that helped give more than just a story was a rock throwing incident that happened a few years back. Without a recorder at camp this would been nothing than a cool story and personal experience.
I was lucky enough to have a great mentor when I chose to deal with audio. I was told by MedicDon that the most important things in audio collection.
1. Know your equipment.
2. Use an easy and good audio editing program to review your collected audio.
3. Always, ALWAYS verify with known sounds of nature and known animals.
4. When in doubt… Throw it out!
Even though these topics could make a long post in their own right, I’d like to touch a little on each of these points.
There are numerous choices of audio recording equipment out there for people to choose from. Some like a specific brand for specific reasons. I have my favorite brands, but it is a personal preference and not what this is about. No matter what brand you choose you need to learn the advantages and the limitations of the unit. Not all recorder mics are the same. If you decide to use external mics, they can really vary, some are mono, stereo, cardioid, powered, etc. Each have their own qualities and limitations. Then you add parabolics to it then things even get more complicated.
When I finally decided to build my first parabolic it was a 12” “salad bowl” mic. No, they are not a true parabolic, but it still does give a lot of directional control amplifying sounds from a certain direction giving adding to the distance of the mics collection. The way I compared the parabolic to the open external mic recorder was to set them up together. I hung the drop box external mic set up at the bottom of the parabolic and let them record for a night together. During the audio review it was easy to see the difference in the spectrogram as far as volume, signature, and contamination levels. At this point I usually quit using a parabolic in the summer as yes, it is better for hearing further distances, it also amplifies every tree frog and bug in the forest.
One critical thing in using parabolics is what I call an echo effect. If the sound comes from the side or rear of the dish it does distort the audio giving what at times sounds like an echo. When I first ran into that I didn’t know what was causing it and that it was an artifact of recording with a parabolic. When I suspected it had to do with the dish as the mic didn’t do it when it wasn’t in the dish I did a little experiment. I set up the parabolic in my yard went out about 150’ from the mic and even though it may sound crazy, I made the same sounds as I walked around the mic. Now if I had a neighbor see me they would have known I was nuts! To try and keep the tones, volume, and to take out any variances, I walked around singing “Row, row, row your boat”! It may sound funny or stupid, but it was an eye opener for me. This is what I’ve been willing to do to get to know my equipment. Any new additions to your equipment I would highly suggest doing this kind of thing to learn your new equipment.
Each of my recorder setups whether drop box with external stereo mics, to drop box with powered external mic, to 12” parabolic, 36” parabolic, to the H2n. Each record different and has benefits depending what you are trying to accomplish using your audio.
My second point is being able to use editing software for audio review. Why is that important? The plain fact is our ears do play tricks on us. If you are in the woods trying to record possible Bigfoot vocalizations, guess what? You can easily interpret things wrong. We can’t help it, it happens to all of us. Personally, I use Audacity. Primarily because it is a free download and easy to use. There is a quite a learning curve to learn it but once you do the filters and other parts of the program help immensely especially the spectrogram. Each vocalization and sound has a signature. Each has consistent way that the sound and form that does not change. When using the spectrogram during reviewing new audio makes it easier to identify known sounds and vocals.
When first using the spectrogram, I used the gray scale as made it easier to see the signatures and learn to read the spectrogram. After getting used to seeing the signatures I switched full color scale as it is easier to see how the signature is formed as well as volume changes in the vocalization as it is being formed. It is easy to see if vocalizations are possibly moving. Once you get to where you identify signatures of known animal vocalizations even when there is distortion do to echoes or ambient contamination, it saves time in running filters of what would otherwise be unidentified by hearing it only. When reviewing hundreds of hours of audio a year, time does make a difference. Audacity also makes it easier to clip out possible Bigfoot vocals to either clean up and post or to save in a file for future comparison. In science repeatability of possible vocals can add a lot of weight to prove that it was not just some anomalous vocal cause by distortion of the audio.
The third point is probably the most time consuming especially when you first start. Where do you find verifiable recordings of known animals? YouTube? Other researchers? Those are better than nothing, but many times I have listened to stuff from YouTube where the author of the video says it’s a bobcat and it is a fox. Us researchers are also at fault in doing this if we haven’t done our due diligence. Just because it sounds weird doesn’t make it a bigfoot because you were out looking for one. More arguments and bitch sessions have started because of that than you can shake a stick at.
The places I use the most is college sites, animal research centers and zoos. Yes, a lot of them are on YouTube but you must stay with reputable sites. What I have done is make a file with the known sounds and spectrograms to use as a quick reference that I look at during audio review if I have any doubt of a sound or vocalization. To collect comparison audio I keep it simple. I have often plugged into the headphone jack on the computer into the mic of the recorder and recorded whatever vocal I am wanting to collect and send that file to Audacity. Once on Audacity I can either take a screen shot of it or make a short video screen capture so that I always have the audio and spectrogram together. I store all these in a file for easy access.
That works great for animal vocalizations in the woods but what about the other sounds that we hear in the woods that could be attributed to possible Bigfoot? Footfalls, rock clacks, knocks, movement in the leaf litter are all things that we hear in the woods and are so easy to misidentify. One amazing audio clip I heard shortly after joining the MABRC was one that TEXLA http://www.texlaresearch.com/ collected. It was of a possible Bigfoot coming up to a recorder and licking it where the entering bipedal footfalls, the licking sound, coughs, and the exit was all recorded. They had put peanut butter on the recorder as a draw and this time it had results. You can check it out here. http://www.texlaresearch.com/coughing_sequence_5-4-08.mp3
This is one of those real grey areas in audio collection that can easily make us post this as evidence without doing the proper home work to insure it isn’t a known critter. So, I hear movement in the leaf litter what now? First you must try and figure out if it is four-legged or two. Deer can even sound bipedal if they step in their own tracks. What I did was head out to the woods and set up a recorder and went for a walk around the recorder. I also made the effort to record walking from about 100’ from the recorder, passing by the recorder, and another 100’ past it again to see what the limits of the recording distance of my footfalls could be heard. The fall is the best time to do this as the leaf litter is fresh and easiest to hear. What I do when I hear what I think is bipedal walking is listen to it several times and try to listen to the ground. Sound weird? You’d be surprised at how many times you can hear rocks hitting hard hooves. There is also how you can hear the size of the foot by the sound it makes in the leaf litter. The bigger foot the more leaves are crunched in each step. There can be other subtle clues also that can be heard if you take the time to really listen.
I also did that with knocks and rock clacks to get a baseline of the structure or signature of the sounds. This is how the whole Silent Hills Project started. Different types of sounds travel different distances. When dealing with skeptics, being able to provide a baseline with known sounds goes a long way towards ending unnecessary arguments. I can’t count the number of times I have heard the line “I know it was this or that because I hear it all the time”. Again, our ears do play tricks on us. Arguing doesn’t make a stronger case for us. Evidence does. Having a file of baseline sounds keeps us grounded which brings me to the next point.
The fourth and final point of this post is when in doubt, throw it out! There is no bigger hit to your credibility and the Bigfoot Community than posting possible bigfoot audio evidence that is easily dismissed because it’s a known critter or sound that could have been prevented by you doing your due diligence. The only thing that will make it worse is if you argue it without some baseline evidence. The sad truth of the matter is you can post 100 good things and 1 bad and folks will only remember the one. That just seems to be the way it works.
One thing that I do want to point out is that I never actually throw out anything when it comes to audio. I have kept all the raw data that I have recorded since day one. If at any time someone wants to hear the context surrounding any possible audio clip I have the data for verification or authentication. If I have a doubt on a sound or vocal I clip it and put it into an “Unknown File”. If that sound or vocal repeats or is recorded clearer at a time in the future I have it there for comparison. One such occurrence that I had with this is early in my research I recorded what I thought was something handling my drop box. However, there was no footfalls and virtually no sounds before or after it. Even though I was super excited and wanted it to be my TEXLA moment, it wasn’t. I kept the clipped file and hoped for another that would back it up. Low and behold, a few weeks later it was recoded again. But this time there was definite wings buzzing before and after the recording. It was a bug crawling on the external mic. Luckily at that time I was pretty computer illiterate, so I never posted that as possible Bigfoot playing with my recorder. Lesson learned. When we are trying to help scientifically prove the existence of Bigfoot it is vastly important to be able to back up our evidence and show repeatability. That can not be done if we don’t do our homework.