The other day, I had the chance to hang out with Cliff Barackman as he passed through town after producing a new Minnesota episode of Finding Bigfoot. I’ve only ever been with Cliff out in the woods: Twice near Skookum Meadows and once in Northern California very near the Oregon border.
As I’ve said on the show many times, it’s hard not to like Cliff. He’s enthusiastic and earnest and eager to share his thoughts and knowledge regarding bigfoot. But I haven’t seen Cliff since he became a big TV star and I stepped up my association with those trying to collect a wood ape specimen. Theoretically, this could have been a prickly conversation. For all I knew, he wanted to meet so he could take me to task.
But no. Cliff Barackman is just a great guy. Period. And while we don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, I respect him and his positions.
Cliff related to me that he doesn’t think people should bother bigfoot. They should be left alone. He then quickly follows that up by acknowledging he, himself, can’t follow his own advice, so why should anyone else? He also thinks they’re doing just fine by themselves and don’t need official recognition or protection. He actually thinks recognition would be bad for them (but I never got to the bottom as to why). Obviously, he doesn’t think one should be turned into a type specimen. Most important to me, he does not think they’re “human.”
Regarding how their population is doing, he may be right. Or, he may be wrong. We just can’t say (and I don’t think we should take their population’s health for granted). On pretty much every other thing mentioned above, I’m on the opposite side of the fence (including his take on the Jacobs Photos and the Oklahoma Prairie Photos, for what that’s worth).
But our conversation never became contentious. Quite the opposite. We talked well past midnight and I would have happily stayed longer except I had to get to work in the morning. As my experiences have accumulated while looking for hairy bipeds in the woods, my appreciation of those who have had similar experiences has also increased. I really enjoyed picking his brain and comparing notes and speculating about things. And, of course, gossiping about the show and the weird world of bigfooting in general.
Our evening left me with three lingering thoughts. One, you should be a fan of Cliff even if you don’t like Finding Bigfoot and even if you don’t agree with all his positions. I am and I don’t. Two, life is generally better when we’re not dicks to one another and it’s so much harder to be a dick to someone when you’re sitting in front of them with a couple of beers between you. I recommend it. Three, I hope to be able to take him up on his invitation to spend time in the woods near his home, sooner rather than later. Sounds like a grand time.
Regarding the fact that he had just shot a new FB in Minnesota and the rumor (discussed on our show) that FB has been cancelled, Cliff said those rumors were always overblown. While the show is renewed on a year-to-year basis and, as far as I know, hasn’t been renewed yet for a new season, it’s more popular now than it’s ever been.
Oh, and I learned there’s another Bigfoot Roadtrip in the works with Craig Flipy. If you haven’t seen the first one, you should check it out. It’s a bucket of fun.
Cliff is an underrated analyst particularly by those who hear “Finding Bigfoot” and react: dreck. (If his analysis of the FL Brown thermal doesn’t get you thinking nothing but a bigfoot threatening your life will.)
FB is just another example of significant people in the field making the decision about getting the word out. Strange Bedfellows are always part of it; and as you say the challenge is peaceful coexistence and joint effort in pursuit of the objective.
Must’ve been a great time and wish I’d been there. As long as there was beer I’m not even picky about what kind.
I can sort of understand the idea that the wood apes would be better without official recognition. At this point they are looked at as a myth and a majority of people laugh at the very thought of their existence. Tell all these people that this thing is real and the amount of weekend “bigfooters” would skyrocket. We’d be dealing with an overabundance of wannabe monster hunters bringing carcasses out of the woods, but also a decline in safety from accidental shootings. The search for the hairy guy should only be done by semi-professionals who understand gun safety and conservation.
nice article, now when is the next podcast??? :-)