The sausage

For those interested in how we produce the show (and I know there’s at least one), here’s the gear and services we use to make The Bigfoot Show:

  • Yeti Pro microphone by Blue
    Awesome mic. We were able to get them for all of us via the generosity of our listeners. This is the mic I use whenever I’m recording in the studio (rather than out in the field).
  • Edirol R-09 by Roland
    This is my main go-to field recorder. Dead simple to use and accepts most external mics (though it has a built-in mic so externals ones aren’t totally necessary). Great little workhorse. I’ve bought more expensive and complicated units to replace it, but I always find my way back to the R-09.
  • Headphones
    Don’t really have a particular favorite here. I currently use an in-ear set from Bose. The key thing is to have headphones that don’t leak sound.
  • Skype
    I honestly hate Skype, but it’s ubiquitous and has reasonably good sound quality assuming everyone has a good internet connection (especially the person recording the show, usually me). It’s free to call other Skype users but, I think, costs to call phones.
  • Audio Hijack Pro by Rogue Amoeba
    This software records all the sound coming out a specific app (like Skype). It doesn’t record other sounds being made by other apps (like the system or your web browser or whatever). I use this app to capture all the music and such I use for intros and outros.
  • GarageBand by Apple
    This is the app I use to mix and edit the show. There are other options out there, but this is one I know. I can export directly from GarageBand to an MP3 file.

A note about recording and exporting: I tend to record the show as an MP3 using a higher bitrate. This makes a larger file, but it sounds better. Then, when I export, I use a lower bitrate. This makes a smaller file for downloading. If you use a low bitrate format to record, it will further degrade and sound less good when it’s exported for download. 

  • Podcast Maker by Lemonz Dream
    This app is what I use to write the show notes and upload the shows to the server for the entire world to enjoy. It’s basically a fancy RSS feed editor and FTP client rolled into one. Of all the apps, this one’s not strictly necessary, but it makes publishing the show really easy.

That’s about it. As the show evolves and we move to different tech, I’ll come back and update this list.

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PGF debunking debunked

I don’t recall ever having heard of the TV show Making Monsters so I obviously didn’t know they tried to tackle the Patterson-Gimlin figure. And by “tackle” I mean “show to be fake” since the star of the show, effects maker Ed Edmunds, says, “I’ve been wanting to debunk this bigfoot thing forever.”

The set-up is this: Our old friend Phillip Morris apparently goes around and tells people what a load a hokum the PGF is based on how he made the costume and all. In order to make his little talk more effective, he reached out to Edmunds to make him a “state of the art” bigfoot suit. Think about that for a second. This is the guy who made the original. In 1967. But to help demonstrate how the PGF figure is a dude in a suit, he turns to a professional costume and effects manufacturer to make him one using 21st century technology and techniques. OK. This thing is, I bet, going to be pretty awesome.

Here’s the PGF-related segment from the show:

Pretty cool costume. Too bad it looks absolutely nothing like the PGF figure. Hell, it’s not even half as good as the Jack’s Links sasquatch. Also, note the size of the head on the thing and consider that in the context of what Bill Munns told us on BFS 50: The head has to be huge in Edmunds’ suit to fit the head of an actor. The head of the PGF figure is freakishly small.

Here’s some screen caps showing the suit in action.

Newest Morris suit

You can also see all the typical props Morris drags around (including Bob Heironimus) like a monkey mask, football shoulder pads, and what might be a big rubber foot. What I’d rather see Morris do is assemble these bits and pieces into a suit that even passingly resembles the PGF figure. I’m not even talking about replicating the realistic ways the skin and musculature in the movie moves and folds. I’d just like to see Morris, Edmunds, or anyone make a suit that just looks like Patty.

That fact that they can’t — Morris or any other professional — but apparently an out of work miniature stagecoach craftsman like Patterson could speaks volumes and is much more revealing than the neat-yet-totally unbelievable product shown on Making Monsters.

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Posted in Miscellaneous sasquatchery

Hell hath no fury like a Melbite scorned

Long-time friend of the show, talented illustrator of our fantastic cover art, and guest from BFS 037 Daniel Falconer said this on our Facebook page in response to our posts on the sudden media blitz conducted by Melba Ketchum (emphasis mine):

I honestly get the impression Melba thinks she’s fighting the good fight. I don’t think, as some do, that she is trying to scam anyone, nor am I happy to see her being ridiculed. The destructiveness of this all is the worst part. She is just trying to prove what she believes she already knows. But, the study doesn’t do that. What she calls results, other scientists call errors, and her conclusions just make no sense. I don’t for one minute buy the ridiculous notion that other scientists are trying to discredit her for reasons of jealousy or some other agenda. That’s fantasy land. Folks like Disotell would like nothing better than to be part of a discovery as monumental as ultimate proof of bigfoot, but this study doesn’t provide that. It’s flawed, which is why it didn’t pass peer review and why every other scientist with relevant expertise who has looked at it since it was published has called out the same problems. There’s no conspiracy here, just a big mistake that is being compounded with every new piece of publicity it gets. Meanwhile the whole field looks even more foolish.

Exactly right (except for the scam part — the jury’s still out on that one, IMO). The Melbites out there are defending her by attacking the entire world around them. It’s the Galileo Effect. It’s because she’s a woman in a man’s field. It’s because we’re all truth-fearing luddites. Because because because.

No. It’s because her science sucked. Period. End of line.

I would have loved for her to have proven the existence of bigfoot (as would people like Disotell, as Daniel points out). Truly. If you go back and listen to the shows we did early on, we totally gave her the benefit of the doubt in all this. But she failed. Terribly. And now, she’s compounding the failure by making herself known to the muggles of the non-bigfooting world and, by association, making us all look like idiots. She’s gone from an entertaining sideshow to a liability for those of us who want to be taken seriously (getting in line, to be fair, with a long cadre of bad actors who came before her).

Note that I’m setting aside the totally absurd ill-fitting Wookie costume she claims to be a video of a real sasquatch. On the merits of her argument, she’s a loser. The Wookie thing only seals her sad fate.

I think Willy Wonka said it best…

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Posted in Miscellaneous sasquatchery

Monkey whispers

Late one night this past summer, while in the NAWAC’s Area X, I was approaching my truck to put away some equipment I had been using in the course of wood ape research. As I approached the vehicle, parked about 100 feet away from the cabin in which most of our team was staying, I heard the distinct sound of a bipedal animal stepping away from me from within a thicket of brush and trees.

CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH

Then I heard something I couldn’t really process. I thought maybe I was imagining it because it seemed too odd for me to comprehend.

Whispering.

At least, it sounded like whispering. Not words. More like a very low volume and breathy version of the “Samurai chatter” members of the group have been hearing in the area, off and on, for a couple of years now and has been reported as suspected bigfoot vocalizations. It took me a while to even mention it to my teammates since it was just so freakin’ weird. Luckily for me, Monica Rawlins also heard some similar low volume vocalizations later in the night.

This has been one of those weird-as-hell things people looking for bigfoot sometimes experience and I filed it away as such until today.

The tamarins of New York City’s Central Park Zoo have been caught telling secrets. In the first recorded evidence of whisper-like behavior in non-human primates, the tiny monkeys were observed making very quiet, almost inaudible vocalizations in the presence of zoo supervisor who they found threatening.

That’s from a Popular Science post reporting on Zoo Biology study that’s recently been published. From the report:

Although it is unclear what the motivational state of the tamarins was when in presence of the supervisor, it appears that they were responding to him as an ambiguous threat and may have been investigating the situation by cautiously approaching him to determine the actual level of threat and communicating to each other the appropriate behavioral response to take.

Remarkable. Based on my own personal experience, I think it’s safe to add whispering to the already long list of analogs between reported wood ape behaviors and those things observed in other primate species.

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Posted in Miscellaneous sasquatchery

Episode 54: Further adventures in the land called X

bfs_054_cover

This time around, Brian talks to members of the North American Wood Ape conservancy regarding their efforts to collect a bigfoot holotype.

Bag this one on iTunes, Stitcher Smart Radio, or by setting your crosshairs on the direct download.

Click the jump to see pictures of the Overwatch tent, before and after…

Read more ›

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Posted in Episodes

Dahinden talks sasquatch

Cool old radio interview with René Dahinden from 1957.

He talks about the Ruby Creek incident, among other things. René was one of a kind.

Interesting to me that I don’t believe they ever use the word “bigfoot” in this 10 minute conversation.

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Episode 53: Chickens on your keyboard

BFS 053: Chickens on your keyboard

Episode 53 of the Bigfoot Show — Chickens on your keyboard — has pecked its scrabbly clawed feet across the internet like a technologically disruptive fowl. On the show this time is Scott, Sam, and Brian talking about Joe Rogan’s bigfoot fetish, Cliff Barackman’s summer project, creepy non-bigfooty stuff we’ve experience in the woods and…several other things. Probably. I stopped taking notes at some point.

Snatch this one on iTunes, Stitcher Smart Radio, or by scratching out the direct download.

Show notes after the jump.

Read more ›

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Does a bear dance in the woods?

I don’t know much, but I do know a few things.

  1. Bears are real
  2. Bears can be trained to do tricks
  3. Russians trainers seem to be especially good at it

happy ol' bear

So imagine my surprise when a video of what appears to be a well-trained bear from Russia appeared online and, along with it, speculation that it may have been faked. Amazingly (at least to me), just over half of those who viewed the video said they thought it was fake.

You don’t need to be a nuclear physicist to see how the moral of this story can be applied to those of us wondering when and how the existence of bigfoot might be proven. This is a lengthy video of (an admittedly very talented) bear doing what bears have been trained to for generations and half the people who have seen it think it’s the result of some kind of digital legerdemain.

How good will any future bigfoot video need to be in order to be taken seriously?

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An open mind is a terrible thing to waste

Brenda Harris photo

Image shown to listeners of the MN.B.R.T. podcast, aired July 29, 2013

Yesterday, a woman named Brenda Harris was on the MN.B.R.T. Radio podcast. Brenda, according to the show’s notes, is a bigfoot researcher living on a reservation in New Mexico. While on the show, she discussed an interesting image of what appears to be figure dragging a log across a hill. It was shown on-screen to those listening to the show live (of which I was not one — I received this from a friend).

Simultaneous to my finding out about this image, a video surfaced on YouTube purportedly showing a bigfoot-like figure walking around on a hilltop at some distance near Mission, British Columbia. The video was from the same source as the “Chinese tourist” video that came to my attention about about a week ago and is from a company who sells an app for mobile phones that “augments reality” by placing a cryptid in otherwise mundane nature footage.

I’m not saying one way or another that either of these is legitimate. Obviously, the connection of the video to a product that essentially makes hoaxes is pretty damning, but let’s pretend for a moment that we didn’t know that bit. The reason I bring this up is because we, as a community, are either too prone to accepting new evidence at face value or immediately dismissing it as bullshit. There just aren’t that many people in between, based on my experience.

My personal brush with this phenomenon was when the North American Wood Ape Conservancy published the “Oklahoma Prairie” photos of a purported wood ape captured in central Oklahoma. The images were originally taken in 2000 by a Native American who had been working with the BFRO and were pretty thoroughly investigated at the time. You can learn more about them on the NAWAC website. As soon as the article about the images was posted to Facebook (literally, a minute or two later), the first comment (removed since the commentor became belligerent) suggested they were fake. This person couldn’t possibly have read the accompanying article and formulated an informed opinion on the matter in that time. He just looked and judged, investigation of the claim be damned.

Way back in 2004, Alton Higgins wrote an article for my Bigfoot Information Project website in which he laid out several criteria to use when evaluating purported images of bigfoot. One of the points he made (and I’m paraphrasing) is that no image can stand alone. All an image is is a moment in time. Without context (like the story behind the image, access to the photographer by third-party investigators, and an evaluation and investigation of the scene in order to establish scale, etc.) all a picture of bigfoot without context can be is a curiosity. Thin evidence, at best.

Detail from the "Mission video"

Detail from the “Mission video”

Getting back to the Mission video, we know nothing about it except where it was supposedly shot and that it’s claimed to be from a hiking couple who submitted it following the company’s solicitation of “bigfoot videos” and that it was posted by a company that sells a product that makes hoaxed videos. It’s true that pretty much all the stuff posted to YouTube is crap. But how do we know that everything posted there is or forever will be? Even this? Personally, no, I’d never introduce my awesome and authentic bigfoot video to people that way, but it’s totally plausible that someone will someday shoot something (with their phone or camera, that is) and it will be real and the first thing they’ll do is put it on YouTube because that’s what a whole generation of people have grown up to do. And if that time ever comes, I know that 90% of the bigfoot enthusiasts out there will either eat it up like they always do or shoot it down like they always do.

And yeah, I know, the Mission video is probably just a dude on a hill.

At the end of the day, every piece of evidence needs to be judged on its merits. Nothing should be accepted at face value. And, if that’s true, it’s entirely acceptable for us to either not have an immediate opinion regarding a newly presented piece of evidence and, in an effort to properly evaluate its veracity, continue to leave the book open until such time that determination can be made (if ever). The same goes for the inverse. Rumor has it that the Oklahoma Prairie photos are thought to be a hoax by some investigators. If and when their reason to think this is ever made public, it should be weighed just as thoroughly as the original claim was.

Of course, even the best image will never be more than evidence, not proof (but that’s a topic we’ve already covered quite extensively). Moral of this story is, don’t let your fear of giving something that’s a hoax or misidentification the time of day (i.e., appearing to be wrong) override the need to give new evidence the attention it deserves.

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Posted in Miscellaneous sasquatchery

The more things change…

Here’s an awesome old clip from Bigfoot: Man or Beast? of a discussion between René Dahinden, Robert Morgan, and John Green where they debate perhaps the classic bigfoot conundrum. Striking similarities to the very conversations we’ve had on the show.

Skip ahead thirty seconds to avoid the ominous intro.

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