Thursday, July 28, 2016

Flash update! Marble Lost! Marten Found!

Flash update! Just got back from hiking Bluff Creek and the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site with State Park Ranger Robert Leiterman and we ended up servicing all the trail cameras, repairing damaged stations, and installing new cameras. We were working for about eight hours down on the creek and got a bunch of work done.

So two weeks ago on July 9th we were able to retrieve the memory cards of the cams but the winter storms had drained most of the cameras and only two of the ten remained on through the spring. This was super disappointing since we were trying to capture a super rare and cryptic Humboldt Marten. While we were down at the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site, our project member Rowdy Kelley brought a single marble with him to hide down at the Patterson-Gimlin film site, we had no idea what he was doing but we just went with it. He ended up hiding it in a big tree that is visible in the 1967 film. This was to become one of the prized treasures of the Worlds Biggest Marble Hunt and was worth several hundred dollars. It would surely be a most difficult journey for any family that ventured to visit the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site! You can read more about the marble here on the Facebook Page:

Facebook Page for The Worlds Biggest Marble Hunt!


Here is Rowdy's clue video:




On today's trip, ranger Robert and I headed down to service the cams and do some much needed trail maintenance so no one could get lost down there. We could tell that people had been there from the trampled grass and when we got to the film site and checked the marble hiding spot, it was gone! Someone got it! When we check the log book the last person on the log had written that they were unsuccessful in finding it.

The missing Marble, about two inches in diameter.
Well, when I got home this evening about 10pm I went right away to check the memory cards to see who took the marble, I discovered we had captured some really great photos of a marten! He has been living at the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site! We also checked with the three other parties (via facebook) that had been to the Bigfoot site since we hid it, and they didn't find it! We had cameras on the location and they clearly show only three groups at the site! The hole the marble was in is the perfect spot for a Humboldt Marten to find an interesting new toy to play with... So for now the marble is lost! Displaced by some playful forest critter!? Perhaps a curious Bigfoot!? Can you help us find the lost marble? It has a value of several hundred dollars and is currently missing at the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site. Just be careful on your journey down to Bluff Creek! We recently caught another creature prowling the old road from the parking area that goes the creek!


















Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mystery at Elk Valley...

June 7th 2016

I had been in contact with researcher Wolfgang Moser for a few months and he had expressed interest in going to the Patterson film site in June. As we watched the countdown to the end of the seasonal Port Oreford Cedar closure we saw it was extended due to recent rains in the area. Our schedules lined up for a trip to the Klamath high country above Bluff Creek where we could make an attempt to hike into the remote valleys at the headwaters of Blue Creek and retrieve the three trail camera that we had installed last year with Robert Leiterman.

Bald Hills Rd looking out over Williams Ridge
I left Orick about 10am and headed over the Bald Hills, the location of many bigfoot sightings. The road is very pretty on top and I stopped to photograph some elk along the way. When I got into Marten's Ferry I noticed some recent graffiti on the stop sign that said "STOP forest service harassment". I thought this was interesting. I arrived at the Bluff Creek Lodge about 11:45 where I met Wolfgang and his friend. After talking for a be we proceeded to drive up to Orleans, about 15 minutes from the Bluff Creek Lodge. We headed up Eyesee Rd (the GO road) and stopped at the pull off for cedar camp rd to look down on Bluff Creek. We continued up to GO road until we got to mile marker 28 at the Elk Valley Rd. The gate to Elk Valley was open and we were able to drive in. There was a small camp there and a couple cars. It looked like a long term camp as it was well established with canvas tents. We continued in our vehicles to the end of the road which is the start of the Flatiron Lake trail.
Chimney Peak and Turtle Rock looking over Elk Valley in the Yurok High Country. This is the headwaters of Blue Creek.


At the trailhead we had some lunch before we headed out. We were unarmed as usual and had only walking sticks and bear spray. The trail to the camera location was greatly overgrown and was lost easily. Right away we noticed large track impressions on the trail that we had assumed to be from bears. The mud on the trail had hardened and the animal that made the tracks did so in the mud as the impressions were deep in the dry ground and our footfalls only produced compression of the grasses, which leads me to believe that the trackmaker was there at least a week before when it was raining. The tracks were indistinct and only a few registered, the width was about six inches at the ball of the foot and about four inches wide at the heel. None of the tracks that I saw had any clear indication of toes. Some of the better registered tracks measured over 15 inches in length dwarfing my size 12 heeled logging boots with no obvious indications of a composite register or "one track on the other one". I had assumed that there were bear tracks at the time as bears are common in the area. I didn't think much of them at the time and proceeded to check the trail cameras. This is where things got interesting.







Photo of the Reconyx after it had been recovered
When I approached the first camera i did not see it on the tree from afar like i should have been able to. That was the Reconyx HC500 that Bart Cutino had donated to us. When i got close enough i saw that the camera had been spun around the tree 180 degrees and was now facing backwards. The plastic buckle had been snapped. It was only attached to the tree by the security knot i tied with the excess strap. It had also been opened up and was exposed to the elements. The memory card was intact and the camera had not been fouled by exposure. The batteries had been strewn on the ground as well. Only after i cut the strap with my knife did i think it necessary to start taking pictures (hindsight is 20/20).
The location of the Reconyx camera

Second Camera on ground as found
I left my gear at the first camera location and proceeded to look for the other cameras. I located the second camera location but the camera was missing. I could see impressions and compressed grass all around but no sign of the camera. After a bit of searching i found it under an adjacent tree on the ground. The connecting buckle had been snapped by great force. The camera itself was facing up was covered in a light coating of mud, dirt, and dust. It had remained sealed and there was no major damage to it. A quick inspection revealed no obvious damage to the the camera itself.

I then attempted to locate the third camera, a Bushnell Trophy Cam. Once located i could see that the buckle had been snapped on this camera as well, it was held on to the tree only by the safety knot that tied the two end of the strap together. It was spun around the tree about 60 degrees and resting on the ground.I was able to locate a small hair attached to the third camera that had been stuck in a spiders web. I was able to save the hair and secure is in a band-aid for testing at a later date.

I had not expected to be in this position of having to possibly deduce an encounter. I had assumed we would check to footage and see a bear clearly assaulting the camera. I cannot explain what happened or why it happened to all three camera at once. In the five years that the Bluff Creek Project has been operating I have never seen a bear snap a buckle like that, let alone three in such a short period of time. I am not a believer in Bigfoot but i struggle to explain what happened.



Monday, June 6, 2016

Bluff Creek campout! July 7-10!


Hey all! We are hosting an open invite camping trip to Bluff Creek and the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site! The trip is scheduled on July 7-10 at Louse camp. The campground is great and is only three miles from the PG film site. No donations are necessary but we ask that everyone contribute to the trip in someway, beer, food, equipment etc. This is an informal trip and it it should be a blast! Lots of beer, barbecue, and Bigfoot right on Bluff Creek! Bring the family and friends! Plenty of spots to set up and there's even a swimming hole in the creek! Please send a message to me Jamie at bluffcreekproject@gmail.com to let us know you are coming! Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 6, 2016

On the trail of Sasquatch: The Sierras footage

     This is the full investigation of the Bart Cutino thermal footage in 2012. During the encounter Bart filmed multiple Sasquatch individuals observing the camp at the alleged Sierra Bigfoot kill site. There was a subsequent investigation of the footage done by ranger Robert Leiterman. This is that investigation.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dr. Richard Stepp speaks on Bigfoot, Freshwater Grange 4/15/2016

Recently HSU professor emeritus Dr. Richard Stepp spoke at the Freshwater grange hall about the existence of Bigfoot and how fringe science is often viewed as crackpottery. Here is a recording of that lecture:


Friday, November 20, 2015

October 10th camping trip report.


10/10/2015
The Last Bluff Creek Trip of The Season

I left Orick around noon and took Bald Hills Rd to Weitchpec. On the way to camp I stopped at Big Bar campground/boat launch on the Klamath River to let my dog swim for a bit. After some swimming and sun we headed up to Orleans and on to Bluff Creek. We arrived at Louse Camp around 4pm and the Maple Trees were turning yellow and red which made the creek and the fairy pond look really pretty so I took a lot of photos. There were a few tents up but nobody was around. Robert, Rowdy and Mike Meraz had hiked into Deer Lick Lake around 3pm and removed the camera at the lake. They didn't have a key to the lock so they just removed the whole camera and hiked out. Robert cast a few bear tracks around the lake.

Somebody left us a present on the picnic table at Louse Camp.

My ride in left about 6pm and left me alone in camp until the guys got back from Deer Lick. They showed up around 6:30 and it started to rain a bit, it was pretty cold as well. We all waterproofed camp and setup a shelter over the picnic table. We opened some beer and hung out around the campfire after the rain stopped around 8pm. Steve showed up with his friend Mike W around 9pm. Mike W is a notable skeptic and a Patterson-Gimlin film researcher. He was a really cool guy and he joined in the campfire conversation with ease. Rowdy brought some wine and fancy 22oz bottle of craft beer so we had a good time talking Bigfoot around the fire. I was getting married the following weekend so it was a bit on a Bigfoot bachelor party. I was told they had hired patty to provide the night entertainment but she didn't show up. C'est la vie!

Kipp has been teaching me how to take a proper selfie.
The next morning we headed out to the film site. We had been meaning to do some trail maintenance down there for a while so we brought a chainsaw to clear some of the logs from the historic trail. Over time the historic trail had become overgrown, forcing people to boonie-crash through the alder thickets. By maintaining the historic trail we hope to keep people from trampling all over the place.We cleared about 300' of trail from large fallen alder logs and arranged the logs on either side of the trail. This way we hope to minimize damage to the forest. After about 300' the trail merges with the social trails and heads toward the end of the gravel bar. This is the "ankle breaker" segment that trails up the rockslide a bit. From there you need to just hike up the creek 1/4 mile to the filmsite.

Copying data to our mobile unit.
After working on the trail we headed to the PG filmsite to service the cameras. This took a long time. We removed a few of the cameras in July to diagnose malfunctions so there were only three left running at the filmsite. The "North Site" camera, the "South Site" camera, and the newly installed "Razorback camera" which was a brand new Bushnell Aggressor installed during the July trip. We had packed in four cameras to install at the film site: two Bushnell Essential cams, a Moultrie A5, and the Moultrie Panoramic 150. This brought us back up to seven camera running at the film site for the winter.



Film site cameras:

1)
Razorback Camera: A 2015 Bushnell Aggressor overlooking the gravel bar just to the west of the filmsite.

2) The North Site Camera: On the the north end of the PG film site between Patty and the big tree in frame 352.

3) The South Site Camera: Bolted to an alder on the cutbank above the trail on the south side of the filmsite looking north.

4) The West Site Camera: This is a new camera location we are trying out. It's on a tree on the west side of the film site looking east toward patty at frame 352.
The film site looking west, we stash our gear he while we work.
5) The East Site Camera: We tried this position a couple years ago and it was pretty successful. It's on the East side of the site looking west.

6)
The Creek Camera: We reinstalled the panoramic camera in a new position. Hopefully it will get better shots than it did last year.

7) The Bowling Alley Camera: Rowdy installed this camera looking out over the bowling alley. We used an A5 to test this position. Battery life is only three months on this camera.


The Rocky Plug, location of the Marten sighting
A motley Crew! From left to right:
Steven Streufert, Robert Leiterman, Jamie Wayne, Rowdy Kelley
We took a long time to installed the cameras and it was approaching 5:00 when we started to hike out. Mike W had been working with Robert and Steve taking measurements to confirm some of his sun angle calculations. This took up a bit of time but was worth it. Once we got to the bat boxes Rowdy had to leave to head home. Mike W, Steve, Robert, and I continued west to the Plug and MK Davis site. It was starting to get dark at this point. We installed a new camera at the plug looking downstream. This camera is a gamble, we might lose it if the creek floods but the shots will be awesome. We repositioned the Plug camera with negative angle  to look down on the gravel bar where we caught the Humboldt Marten. We serviced the west plug camera as well and fortified the bear box. Unfortunately after reviewing video from this camera (back at camp) we found that the shot angle was crap and looks down the creek where nothing is likely to walk to trigger it. Robert and Steve went to service the MK Davis site camera. When they came back Robert wasn't sure he had set it right since it was a new camera with different settings menu. At this point it was approaching 7pm and getting dark. We thought it best that Steve and Mike W hike out ahead of Robert and I while we hiked back to the MK Davis site to check the settings on the camera. I inputted the proper settings and we started to hike out. This is when we noticed that we were at the location of the famous MK Davis "croucher" video. I took a short video on my iPhone to poke fun at the absurdity of MK Davis's claims.


When we finally got to the trucks it was about 8pm and pitch dark. When we got back to Louse Camp we were called out by Mike Meraz for taking so long and not checking in. We had kinda forgotten about him and he thought we had died since it had been dark for hours and we weren't responding on the radio. We are going to work on a better emergency plan for next time to better stay in communication.

We hung out at camp for a while and reviewed the camera footage. We caught some cool stuff. I'll post it below when I get around to uploading it all. Steve and Mike W headed out about midnight leaving just myself, Robert, and Mike Meraz. In the morning Mike headed out early and Robert and I headed out around noon after we cleaned up camp. We drove over the Bald Hills and he dropped me off in Orick about 2:30pm on Monday. Overall it was a very productive trip. We were more focused on doing work and camera maintenance instead of "squatching" so the trip felt a bit rushed, but it felt good to get everything done before the rains hit.


Watch for the Videos Soon!




The Portal to SOHA at Louse Camp...