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Friday, March 31, 2017

Shadows in the Night by D.W. Lee

The actual book is now available, I tried to get the price down lower, but the publisher put the price what it is.

As early as 1977, D.W. Lee had been introduced to the legend of Bigfoot, creating an interest that has lasted nearly his entire life.

Shadows in the night tells the story of D.W.'s encounters with the legendary creature, Bigfoot. While the experiences D.W. has accumulated over the years with Bigfoot would fill volumes, D.W. has written about some of his more memorable and standout encounters.

If you use the following code when you purchase the book, you will get 25% off the price. 233TYRUJ

To purchase the actual book itself.

For Kindle Readers and Kindle Apps. It's been released for Kindle, until I work out some issues on the printed version.

To purchase the Kindle version

Friday, March 24, 2017

Oklahoma speaking engagement May 20, 2017

For tickets, you can buy them online at Eventbrite or at the door, the day of the event.
D.W. will be doing two presentations, Bigfoot Research in Oklahoma and How to conduct Bigfoot Research on a budget.  Copies of his books will be available for sale and signing at the event.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Introduction to Time Lapse Cameras

An article by Contributing Editor Dave "TherealsuperDave" Jett, MABRC Senior Field Researcher.

In this discussion, a Time Lapse Camera is a type of camera dedicated to taking time lapse photos. A time lapse "video" is made up of a series of still photos over a period of time, stitched together to create a video that appears as though the video was "speeded up" and played back over a shorter period of time.

Time lapse videos are often used at construction sites to periodically record progress over the life of the project, and then show the entire evolution of the project, from start to finish, in the form of a short "time lapse" video. Also, astronomers use time lapse videos to record stars in the sky over a period of time, then replay the movement via a short video.

Photography enthusiasts often create artistic time lapse videos of clouds, flowers blooming, sunrises and sunsets, by taking a series of photos and stitching them together to create a short video.

Hunters have discovered that time lapse photography can be useful for recording deer movement in a particular area.

Many cameras, including some trail cameras, offer a feature for time lapse photography. These usually require familiarity with photography editing software.

There are several manufacturers that make cameras primarily used for time lapse and do not require additional editing software for creating and viewing the photos. Day 6 makes a time lapse camera named the PlotWatcher Pro and Brinno makes a line of time lapse camera, featuring the TLC 200 Pro.

According to Day 6's David Blanton, there are some significant differences from a dedicated time lapse camera and standard game trail cameras: "Time lapse cameras are different from trail cameras because they use time lapse photography and are specifically designed to pattern game activity over a larger area, such as a food plot, an open field, or a creek crossing. Trail cameras are designed to trigger on short-range motion or heat, and are limited to close-range movements. A time lapse camera captures images every few seconds in a much larger area, without any trigger mechanism and regardless of how far the subject is from the camera. The time lapse camera can record game whether they are thirty-feet or three-hundred-thirty-feet away. This greater field of view allows you to see game and their travel patterns, that otherwise would have gone undetected by traditional game cameras."

The PlotWatcher and the Brinno TLC 200 Pro are both designed to be easy for anyone without a lot of photography experience to use. The primary feature that was so compelling is the ability to set up a shot and let it run for not just a few hours, but for a few days or weeks on a single set of batteries, depending on the settings and how often you are shooting a photo to make your movie. Relatively short battery life has been the primary limitation with other cameras, such as a GoPro.

Some people favor the game camera because of its ability to record during darkness (aided by artificial lighting), while the time lapse cameras typically only recorded during daylight hours. The PlotWatcher camera is designed to work only during daylight hours, however the Brinno camera can capture time lapse photos day and night.

The Brinno camera allows the user to select from several settings, based on the expected lighting conditions, which alters the shutter/exposure speed. Regardless of the chosen setting, the camera automatically adjusts to a faster shutter speed if, for example, it is set for a nighttime setting and the sun rises, allowing the camera to continue taking properly exposed photos into the daylight hours.

Here is a photo of the Brinno TLC 200 Pro

Here is a photo of the Day 6 PlotWatcher Pro

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bigfoot Evidence or Propaganda

Written by Randy "Rebelistic" Savig, MABRC Missouri State Director

What are we doing in the woods?  Are we out there trying to collect possible evidence of Bigfoot?  Are we following where the evidence sends us?  Or are we seeing what we want to see?  These are questions that I think every field researcher needs to ask themselves every time they go into the woods. 

With the internet being the super highway of information all we have to do is click and read, all the knowledge is there right?  We can gloriously see everything we want about bigfoot and form an educated understanding of what bigfoot is, what they do, how they look, how they hunt, eat, and if you read the right article how they make babies.  But is this "knowledge" we've gain from evidence or propaganda? 

The bigfoot community today is made up from all sorts of people and personalities.  We have average Joes, wanna-be computer experts, self proclaimed experts, perceived experts, newbies, the old guard, the skeptics, and the want to believers to the scientific types.  And each of those could be broken into more sub-groups.  There is an unbelievable amount of people that since bigfoot mania has happened has added to the mix.  Each with preconceived ideas that we have gain from past life experiences and what they have seen or read about bigfoot.  We see everyday when we open Facebook, YouTube or Google with sensational titles like "The best bigfoot audio ever recorded" or "Definitive Video of a Bigfoot" or "Proof Bigfoot Exists".  Most in my opinion are good folks that have either misidentified something or let their imaginations run away with them.  Mark "Sawdustt" Newbill did a great video showing some of this recently that is worth looking at. 

Even though it can be frustrating for the researcher, most of these folks are just over enthusiastic.

The ones that seem to be more damaging to the community is the ones that seem to push an agenda.  Some paranormal folks turn them into spirits, apparitions, and ghosts to further prove what they are researching to be real.  Some of the UFO folks explain the rare sightings that happen in the same areas as "must be aliens".  They just don't seem to be able to be willing to think that there may be two different phenomena happening.  Unfortunately these folks seem to be taking credibility from both types of research.  I have spoken with researchers in both those fields and they too wish that folks would stop trying to combine the two.  It is hard enough to get science to look at possible evidence of any field of research that is not mainstream and when they are mixed together it makes it even harder.

Then you have the ones that seem to be way out there.  The shape-shifting, cloaking, portal jumping, mind speaking, I am chosen types that seem to get a lot of attention from the I wanna believe types to where there is an almost cult-like following that has happened.  Heaven help anyone if they should ask for some possible proof behind those claims.  Some have went down that road and it ain't pretty.  That is when the name calling and fights begin.  Personally I stay away from that.  I have better things to with my time.  But needless to say these are a real problem in the Bigfoot community.  Why you ask?  If we as researchers are wanting to help prove the existence of a species to science and find one open-minded enough to look.  After a day or two on Google looking at what these folks are saying the scientist will run from it so they don't get branded and lose their standing in the scientific community.  They never even get time to look at the real possible evidence out there as they are bombarded with so much of the propaganda as it is so popular.

The next thing we hear is that the old guard or old timers won't let anything new come out as they want to control the knowledge of bigfoot.  When I read this on the social media I couldn't help but laugh!  I hate to tell you newbies that are calling foul on the old guard, they will listen and change their standing on things.  But they will look into it with a skeptical eye.  If you post a picture saying this is a bigfoot just know that they will look at it from all angles.  With the software that is available things can be zoomed into more and detail brought out like never before.  After seeing hundreds if not thousands of pictures they know what to look for.  Same goes with audio.  I've been down that road before myself.  I had folks send me audio on many occasions of what they say is bigfoot that turns out to be a common critter.  Even when confronted with audio that proves it is a known critter you get all kinds of flack from them as they "Know" it was a bigfoot.  So any more unless someone does their due diligence and run comparisons for themselves I decline listening to it.  So what does it take to get the old guard to look at things?  First, is what you want them to review something, whether picture, video, or audio have you, do your homework with it.  What, where, and when are the first details that will be asked by them.  If you can't answer it most likely they will not continue to look at it.  Best advise for anyone is if you aren't ready for their honest opinion, don't ask and definitely don't make it out to be the best evidence that proves bigfoot is real.  You may not be really smart as you think you are.  They have see more misidentifications, enough blurry pictures, shaky video or two second audio clips than you can imagine.  Second, is it testable or re-creatable.  Getting one anomalous audio clip doesn't make it a bigfoot sound.  One blurry picture doesn't make it a bigfoot picture even if your mind thinks it is.  The latest one to come back out is the plywood cutout.  Amazing of how may of those come out in so many areas of the country.

The sad fact is once we go into the woods looking for bigfoot we actually expect to find it and our minds programs itself to see it/hear it.  That is just how it works.  Our minds are geared that way.  Even the old timers had to grow as a researcher to get over that.  It's the way it works folks.  Being the worst skeptic of our own evidence is what has to be done.  Even now after doing audio for a few years, I still regularly  find myself mis-identifying sounds I hear in the woods.  Last Memorial Day weekend during an expedition is one example.  We heard and recorded at camp what I originally thought was a bigfoot vocal.  During that weekend Superdave listened to the audio and put it on a spectrogram and said it was just a coyote.  Even though I thought he was incorrect at the time, when I put it up on a spectrogram to review it did match 80% with a coyote vocalization except a bit off tone to it.  To me it did sound different that night than it did on review.  That is why I need to see what I hear.  And NO it wasn't something paranormal with it, it wasn't an ET, nothing was speaking to my mind, it was just my mind/ears playing tricks on me.  After all we were in a hotspot looking for bigfoot weren't we?  I would of really looked like a fool if I would of posted that as absolute proof of bigfoot wouldn't I.  ALWAYS do your homework before you post ANY possible bigfoot evidence.

One time that I know of that the old guard did change the way they thought was the Silent Hills Project.  We all knew knocks were long distant vocals.  Until a happenstance situation came up I was also of that mind set.  After I recorded what to me is proof of mimicking by a probable bigfoot, I decided to play their own game and started trying to mimic them with howls and knocks.  One night which was especially dead in the woods (which happens more often than anything) I decided as the night ended I would knock with my new shiny pick-ax handle on three different types of trees to see which sounded more like a knock that we hear out there.  I had a recorder set up about a half mile as the crow flies from camp.  I did three howls, and knocked three times on three different trees.  That way I could see which tree had a better sound. I mean I needed to know what tree made the best sound, right?  Upon doing the audio review the howls came in great, but none of the knocks were heard at all!  I shared my findings with the MABRC folks and an experiment was put together to see what the data showed.  The data can be seen here: Project Silent Hills as well as on the MABRC forums.  It proved that knocks in the woods does not travel as far as once was thought.  It is possible that in different terrains like out west it may travel further but as of now I don't think any group out there has followed the experiment to have the data to that.  It is possible to teach old dogs new tricks if you can prove that what you are saying is true.  Again, testable and repeatable.  And with the new data from the experiment some have changed research methods.

So the same questions remain.  What are we/you doing in the woods?  Are we/you out there trying to collect possible evidence of Bigfoot?  Are we/you following where the evidence sends us/you?  Or are we/you seeing what we want to see?  Evidence or more properly put, possible evidence is difficult to collect as these critters aren't there all the time so you have to spend a lot of time out there without results.  Otherwise all you have is what you think, or have read, or heard some guy talk about on a blog radiocast.  That is how misinformation is spread.  Anybody can tell a story, but without some possible evidence to back it up it's still just a story.  Propaganda is used to gain notoriety and attention, trying to get others to think your way.  The sad fact is that less people want to listen to the real stuff because it isn’t entertaining.  Monster!  Spooky Scary stories!  And the Way Too Far Out Fantasyland is where the action is.

But is that Bigfoot Evidence or Propaganda?   

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hoaxer busted!!

With the aid of Bruce Kelley, a hoaxer was busted on YouTube.  A YouTube video was posted by a user named Paul Howard with the following comments:

"Published on Mar 3, 2017
I have put together a compilation of my grandfathers Bigfoot pics that my family found in his farmhouse and barn after his passing.

This includes 5 photos that were already posted plus 2 more that were recently found and not yet posted.

My grandfather lived in the house in New York state all his life and never mentioned he was having sightings of a Bigfoot. We believe he was afraid of what people would think of him if he talked about it. He was the local postmaster and everybody knew him and respected him.

My grandfather was a very serious man, not the type to pull a bigfoot hoax. I don't believe he even knew what a bigfoot was. He took these pictures in the early to mid 60's before bigfoot was popular.

I am planning a weekend backing-packing trip in April into the area where my grandfather used to hike and camp. I will have my video camera and hopefully will be able to tape somthing (foot prints,or enclosures) that will prove his Bigfoot pictures are real."

And with some reservations that by posting the video here, it just gives him more hits, I do it so people can see what we are talking about.

So what is the hoaxing part?

As soon as I seen the video, I recognized that it was a well known Bigfoot costume that is available for sale, in fact, it was the same type of suit used in the Georgia Bigfoot Hoax.

The screen capture of the "supposed" first photo stuck out like a sore thumb.  Why you ask?  Check out the photo below of that costume.  Notice anything?

The guy didn't even use the costume for the picture, he copied and paste the picture above into his photo and put it in the video.  Want to see all the matches to confirm this?

Thanks to Bruce Kelley for making the above graphic, if you take the costume and move it over to cover the "Bigfoot" in the video, guess what, it matches 110%.

The second photo then pops up in the video, and guess what?
It matches the same costume, just flipped over horizontal.
Points match the costume to the figure in the video.
Once again, thanks to Bruce Kelley for his graphic above.  Just moving an overlay of the costume over shows it's a perfect match.  Hmmm, two different pictures showing a Bigfoot in the same stance as a picture of a Bigfoot costume.

While there are three other pictures in this video, one also resembles a photo found on the Internet, complete with stance and easily matched up.

The YouTuber has hoaxed the entire thing.

Friday, March 3, 2017

2017 Arkansas Bigfoot Conference

Join the Arkansas Primate Evidence Society (APES) next month for the Arkansas Bigfoot Conference in Vilonia, Arkansas.

So far, speakers have been announced as Lyle Blackburn, noted Bigfoot author who will talk about his new book, Beyond Boggy Creek, and show the documentary The Boggy Creek Monster by Small Town Monsters.  Randy Savig discussing audio recordings from the woods.  Jim Whitehead will speak about what to look for in the woods.

Mark Newbill will talk about being a relative new comer and how to get involved, and myself, Darren Lee, speaking about finding a research group to belong to.

This has become a very nice event to attend, and of course, you can also get a copy of Laughsquatch Robert Swain's books too.

Come join the fun on April 22, 2017.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Animal Eyeshine

One of the more interesting discussions that appears to pop up in discussing Bigfoot is the eyeshine that many researchers encounter while out in the woods at night.  There is a lot of debate about what color of eyeshine Bigfoot displays, or if Bigfoot even has eyeshine at night.

Let's discuss eyeshine first, and it's so much easier for me to refer to an article posted on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website about it.

"Until primitive man discovered fire, making it possible for him to light up the night, he probably was unaware that certain animals have eyes that seem to glow in the dark. Imagine how frightened he must have been the first time he looked beyond the comforting circle of his campfire light to see a pair of shining eyes watching him from the darkness. With his limited knowledge, he didn’t know the glowing eyes were the result of reflected light—not the work of demons or supernatural creatures.

Perhaps you shared his twinge of fear the first time you saw glowing eyes in the woods, especially if you were sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories or listening to those strange night noises that stir the imagination. Even though some of you may not have had the opportunity to see a wild animal’s eyes shine, you probably have caught a glimpse of this reflected glow in the eyes of a pet dog or cat.

Animals that display the brightest eyeshine, such as the bobcat, have more rods (light receptors) and fewer cones (color receptors) in their retinas than animals with no eyeshine. As a result, they have excellent night vision, but most are color-blind.

Eyeshine occurs when light enters the eye, passes through the rods (light receptors) and cones (color receptors) of the retina (image surface), strikes a special membrane behind the retina, and is reflected back through the eye to the light source. This special mirrorlike membrane, called the tapetum (ta-PEA-tum), is not present in the human eye. We have dark-colored cells behind our retinas, which absorb light rather than reflect it.

The majority of animals displaying eyeshine also are nocturnal animals.

Most of the animals with eyeshine are night hunters, and their ability to use the available light twice, once on the way in and again on the way out, gives these nocturnal animals additional light to see by. The majority of these glowing eyes belong to mammals, but spiders, alligators, and bullfrogs are a few other creatures with reflecting eyes. Some night birds also have eyes that glow in the dark, but their eyes do not have a tapetum layer. Scientists are still trying to solve the mystery of their source of eyeshine.

An interesting sidelight is that animals with the brightest eyeshine generally have more rods and fewer cones in their retinas. As a result they have excellent night vision, but most are color-blind.

Eyeshine coloration varies from the glowing reddish orange of the alligator to the yellows and greens of the deer and cat families. Just what causes these color differences has not been documented.

Although eyes with eyeshine are said to glow in the dark, they actually do not glow – they reflect available light. Light enters the eye, passes through the retina, and strikes a mirrorlike membrane called the tapetum. The tapetum reflects the light back through the eye to the light source. Eyeshine coloration varies with the species, amount of light, and the direction from which the light strikes the eye. Alligator eyeshine may vary from a bright reddish orange to an iridescent pink.

Because eyeshine is directed back to the light source, you must be in the right spot to be able to see it, usually directly behind the light. To increase your chances for seeing eyeshine, watch the roadsides carefully when riding in a car at night. The headlights often are reflected in the eyes of animals by the sides of the road. While walking at night with a flashlight, shine it in an arc around you and try to catch its reflection in the eyes of night creatures just beyond its circle of light. At times dozens of spiders’ eyes will reflect from patches of tall grass. Notice the eyes of your pet dog or cat as it approaches a lighted patio area, and you may be at the right angle to see its eyes reflect.

Those of you who have a cooperative cat might like to try this experiment. On the back of a small hand mirror draw a one-quarter-inch circle. Remove the silver from the circle to form a peephole. Get as close to your cat’s eye as possible while looking through the peephole. The reflective side of the mirror should face the cat. Turn off all lights except for one small lamp located across the room from you or let a friend shine a small flashlight in your direction. Tilt and adjust the mirror until the light from the lamp or flashlight is reflected into the cat’s eye. Since the light striking the eye comes from the mirror, rays from the tapetum will be reflected back to the mirror. Through your peephole you should be able to see the red blood vessels of the retina against the sparkling surface of the tapetum.

Cat eyes vary from yellowish gold to bright green.

Information on eyeshine is very sketchy, but perhaps one day further research into the subject will reveal some of its secrets. In the meantime we can but wonder about eyeshine, another mystery of nature.

Additional Information:
Ilo Hiller
1983 Eyeshine. Young Naturalist. The Louise Lindsey Merrick Texas Environment Series, No. 6, pp. 40-42. Texas A&M University Press, College Station."

So now that you have read up about eyeshine in animals, let's talk about how it affects Bigfoot research.

One of the most spoken comments I hear from people who report seeing eyeshine is that "it had red eyeshine and it was 10 feet up in the air, no animal can be that high and have red eyeshine."

Most people will adamantly stand their ground and claim that it was Bigfoot, even when you try to get them to understand, that it could possibly be a small animal sitting on a branch of a tree at that height.  I personally have nearly gotten my head knocked off by people who were completely believing that what they saw was a Bigfoot standing in the dark, and all they could see was it's red eyeshine.

Well, let's take a look at the following chart about what color certain animals have when the light hits there eyes.

From the chart, we see that the following animals have red eyeshine, Owls, Whip-poor-will, Black Bears, Opossums, Porcupine and even domestic cats sometimes have red eyeshine.

Now let's step back for a second, and think about each of these animals, they all tend to either be in trees, or climb in trees.

See, animals that reflect red eyeshine do indeed climb up in trees and go out on branches, even the porcupine climbs into trees.

If they are in trees, that could mean that they can get up over 10 feet from the ground, and the smaller animals can get out on branches away from the trees to appear as if they are in mid-air.

As researchers, we have to debunk everything we can, before we can even say it's "possibly" or "probably" a Bigfoot making the eyeshine, or whatever else we encounter.

Unless you can shine your flashlight on the animal making the eyeshine and confirm that it is a Bigfoot standing there, all you can do is assume what is making the eyeshine.  And we all know what assume means, "When you ASSUME means that you make an ass out of you and me".

The skeptics will and do tear you apart when you ASSUME anything in this field of research, you literally have to take the scientific approach, investigate your claim, try to debunk your claim, and when you have exhausted all avenues, then, and only then, say "possibly" or "probably".  Being absolutely definitive about anything will come back to bite you.