An analysis of the New York "Bigfoot" baby footage, by D.W. "Darkwing" Lee, MABRC Executive Director.
For years, many of the researchers in the Bigfoot Community have struggled with the past evidence of famous and infamous events, and some of the proclamations made about such evidence. With newer technology and software, reviewing these pieces of evidence is now even more critical so that we may either be able to debunk the evidence or at least confirm it as "probable" or "possible".
To that end, a recent post on my YouTube channel where a copy of the New York "Bigfoot" baby footage was placed, it stated that the so-called "Bigfoot" baby in the tree was a flag on an antenna on the white car in the background.
So that caught my attention and I decided to run the footage through the software I use to analyze video with, which does what is called deshake, a term for removing the shakiness of the camera operator and stabilizes it as much as possible and allows for better viewing. The second part is to run it through software that professional athletes and trainers use that allows you to slow the footage down and magnify parts of the footage so you can get a better look at it.
This software was not available until about a decade ago, nearly 10+ years after this footage came to light.
I studied the previous reports that was made when this footage was first brought forward, as it went through the BFRO and I looked at their map for New York to see if there were other sighting reports for that part of the state.
Ulster County is in the downward funnel that goes down towards New York City, and has 4 counties that have reports from. Ulster County itself only has one Class "A" sighting report of an encounter in December 1985, while Columbia to the Northwest has a Class "A" sighting report of a May 1983 encounter. To the Northwest, Delaware County has a Class "A" sighting report from March 2001-2004 of a multiple observation over a three year span. The other two counties have Class "B" encounters, which I have discarded as data for this analysis as most Class "B" encounters are not relevant.
So this is what the encounters list looks like on BFRO's Ulster County, New York sighting reports.
Previous claims that the area has a history of encounters and activity have to be severely questioned with only 3 reported Class "A" encounters stretching from 1983 to 2004.
I am placing the BFRO Report here with the investigator comments for everyone to read.
Report # 7514 (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Sunday, December 7, 2003.
Video footage shot at dusk shows a primate in a tree in the background
STATE: New York
COUNTY: Ulster County
LOCATION DETAILS: Lake near Modena, New York.
NEAREST TOWN: Modena
OBSERVED: Original submission from Doug Pridgen.
I have a tape you may want to see. It's that of a few friends drinking around a camp fire up state New York.
The tape was shot in 1997 and not looked at until a year or two ago.
My girlfriend was watching the TV while we were transferring the tape and said what is that in the tree? I had to rewind the tape ten or more times. I did not know what to make of it at first, but I knew it was not from the wilds of N.Y. state!
At first, you think "big monkey," but what the hell would a monkey be doing in the woods of N.Y.? The thing swings from one tree to the next and moves up and down it with ease! It hangs by one arm and pulls its self up and around in this tree at a speed you have to see. It looks to me to be about 5 to 5-1/2 feet in height, dark in color, very strong upper body and fast as hell in the trees.
ALSO NOTICED: Not a thing.
OTHER WITNESSES: None of us at the camp saw a thing that night. It was not till 5 or 6 years after the event that the thing was spotted on the tape. Everyone that was on the camping trip saw the tape and thinks it might be an ape or a baby bigfoot.
OTHER STORIES: I was at this camp site for 4 days. I never heard a thing about the spot before or after.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was at dusk. Clear sky, a cool night.
ENVIRONMENT: The camp site was in a apple grove next to a small lake that sat in a valley. All around it is farm land.
Follow-up investigation report:
After reviewing the tape, doing a frame by frame analysis, and speaking with the film maker for some three months, I have come to the conclusion that the tape was not hoaxed. The film was taken at dusk, and appeared to capture two unknown bipedal creatures in the background. Because of the lighting conditions, details of the creatures are silhouetted.
Weather conditions, including sunrise, sunset, and temperature, were cross referenced for the date of the video. They matched the conditions shown on the video for the time given.
Subject one is a large bipedal figure . It appears to have a conical shaped head. A second smaller subject apparently springs from the back of the big one and climbs into a tree, hand over hand, with great speed and agility. Subject one moves to the left of the screen perhaps fifteen feet, returns to its original location, stands in a wooded area, and apparently enters it after several seconds. All of this is in silhouette.
The "baby" appears to have no tail. After climbing the tree it swings out on a large branch approximately 20 feet in the air.
The big one is on film for approximately 10-14 seconds; the "baby" for approximately 40 seconds.
The property is privately owned, but allows camping, fishing and hosts ATV races. No pets are allowed on the property.
The campsite in the footage was set on the opposite side of the lake from the other campers.
There was a small outdoor music festival (100-200 people) happening on the property when the footage was shot. At the entrance of the property, vehicles were searched for glass bottles and pets. One man tried to bring in a parrot and was turned a way. A chimp or gibbon would have been difficult to miss ... even if someone dressed it up and put a Raiders hat on it ...
The property owner did not know about this footage, and has not heard of any anomalous events on the property.
See feature on the BFRO homepage for more information on this footage and follow up efforts.
The initial follow up was by investigator Steve Kulls. Further follow up was done by investigator Paul K (lawyer - NYC).
In terms of historical information, I also used Google Earth to look at the overall area from different times in the past, starting with March 1995 shown below:
Then an aerial view from 2006 as shown below:
Then the current view:
The forest around this area is fairly sparse, with large open tracts of farmland and orchards with quite a few houses and other buildings spread throughout the area. Not an ideal place for a female Bigfoot to raise a young one with all the human activity and habitat in the area. The land where this event occurred was also a working orchard, among other commercial ventures that the landowners were involved in.
In my previous blog post about this footage, I noted that I made three clips out of the footage that showed the "figure" in the tree, out of the 2+ minutes of the footage, this was the times that showed the "figure". Those times are listed here for a refresher.
00:01:23 to 00:07:64
00:10:08 to 00:26:32
00:47:20 to 01:19:17
The footage was slowed down to 25% speed, and the magnification is set to 2.5x in the larger square viewer window.
The screen captures below are close ups and concentrate on a short section of the video in which the subject swings back and forth between a branch and the tree trunk. Upon viewing the video in slow motion and one frame at a time, it becomes apparent that the figure is grasping the branch and the tree trunk with it's feet. Take a few minutes to preview the pictures below:
As Steve Kulls has pointed out, New York state has laws constricting private ownership of most exotic animals, including chimpanzees. However, as with most laws, there are lots of people out there who violate those laws and this can be confirmed to be the case in New York simply by searching Google for the news stories of people being caught with animals.
I bring this up for a reason, the figure in the tree is clearly grasping the branch with it's feet, before swinging back to the tree trunk and clutching it with it's feet. If this is a baby bigfoot, it's feet would more resemble this below:
Based on what we speculate about Bigfoot feet, they do not have the ability to grasp things the way monkeys and chimpanzees are able to with their feet as shown below:
The claims that this is a baby "bigfoot" is not supported by the evidence presented by the analysis of the footage, it does support that this is a monkey or small chimpanzee as it swings more in common with one of those types of animals than what is known about bigfoot.
Jim Whitehead, MABRC Oklahoma State Director, and biologist noted that it could also be an Eastern Hoolock Gibbon, or similar type animal as shown in the YouTube video below:
With all due respect to my colleague Steve Kulls, this is not a baby bigfoot and I do believe that all who were associated with the initial investigation went into the investigation with confirmation bias that this was indeed a Bigfoot. I am the first to admit, that when I got into Bigfooting back in 1991, I suffered from having confirmation bias as a beginner, but once I seasoned up and was shown the right way to investigate by the old timers with a skeptical view of the evidence and allow the evidence to produce the results. While some may shout that I am skeptical of Bigfoot evidence overall, I am searching for the answers and if I have to debunk some of the long-standing evidence that others have presented in order to bring forward the evidence that is truthfully presenting a Bigfoot.