Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cams Retrieved! June 13th - 15th, 2017

By Jamie Wayne

Humboldt marten
     Just got back from a great and epic trip down to the PG film site! We were able to service all of the Bluff Creek cameras. Robert Leiterman and I had done a preliminary scouting trip up Cedar Camp rd on Sunday 6-10-2017 and discovered all the gates were open and we could now access the film site. We were lucky enough to be accompanied by a small group of Southern Californian and Washington Bigfoot (and Bigfooter) researchers who had been planning the trip for some time. They were Ernie Alonzo, Ben Hansen, Mark Hopkins, Ed Day, Chris Bader, You might recognize Ben from some of his TV shows, Chris Bader  and Ed Day are professors from Chapman university in Southern California. Mark is a professional photographer. And Ernie helps run paranormal tours in Southern California. They were there to look into the nature of bigfooters themselves and witness the Mecca of bigfooting, the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film site.

Ernie Alonzo, Ben Hansen, Mark Hopkins, Ed Day, Chris Bader, Jame Wayne

Our best photo from over the winter, a pair of marten.
     We had originally planned on servicing the cameras the week prior but recent storms delayed the opening of the gates to prevent the spread of Port Oreford Cedar Disease (POCD). As it turned out the stars aligned and we were able to combine the trips into one great big excursion. After reviewing the photos and video footage on the memory cards from this trip we are very pleased to announce a great success in capturing clear images of the highly threatened cryptid Humboldt Marten. Despite this great accomplishment we were all saddened to see that we had lost several trail cameras to water damage. The snow had been too deep and several cams were buried which is almost always a death sentence for trail cams. While we were down there I filmed a small series of clips with a 16mm phone app. You can watch it below:

June 13th - 15th, Tuesday-Thursday trail camera retrieval trip...

After Robert and I scouted the roads he came and set up a ten in my backyard on sunday night. The crew was set to meet in Willow Creek on Monday June 12th in Willow Creek. They all met up and had dinner and rested in preparation for Tuesday's trip to Bluff Creek. Robert Rowdy and the crew left WC that morning and proceeded to Louse Camp to set up. It took them a while as the road had not been cleared yet. They were all able to do a preliminary hike into the film site and lay eyes on the creek.

One of the new trail cams 

I on the other hand was stuck installing an engine in my Subaru. I couldn't get a ride out there so i had to finish up an engine install after I rebuilt my motor. I was running late and did not get the motor in my car until about 8pm on tuesday evening. I fuelled up and pulled into Louse Camp about 12:30am when everyone was just getting ready to go to sleep. They were all still up and we hung out around the campfire for a bit.

In the morning I gathered my gear and proceeded to prepare the batteries, memory cards, and replacement cameras for the hike into Bluff Creek. We made it to the trailhead around 11am and proceeded to hike in, the crew didn't want to ford the river so Robert and I hiked downstream to the MK Davs site by ourselves. We noticed that the creek had incised quite a bit into it's channel and had exposed some buried logs, no doubt laid down in the 1964 flood. It's always fascinating to see history being exhumed.

View of the abandoned creek channel
Beargrass flower
We reached the MK Davis site and had discovered that the stream had abandoned it's channel and moved north about 20 yards. This created a sort of gravel highway through the dense forest It was truly cool to see. I took a bunch of photos and we serviced the two trail cams that were down there. We relocated one of them and installed two more on the newly created dry streambed. It's a wide open area so we hope to get some good shots of animals. It was a bit too barren so we added a sticks and stumps in front of the camera to make good shelter for small critters. When we get martens they tend to bound out of view really quick but if we add a few small arm sized logs they like to explore them a bit before moving along. 

We hiked back to the Plug cams and removed the Moultrie and serviced the Bushnell. We then continued all the way to the PG film site and met up with the crew. They had been flying a drone and were doing some photography of the area. When we got back they interviewed Robert while I serviced the trail cams. Three had been malfunctioning so I removed them. After 90 minutes or so we decided to hike out. On the hike up the hill i serviced the two junction cameras and discovered that they both had been destroyed by snow. We all met up at the cars and parted ways, Robert had obligations at home so he left for Fortuna and I headed back with the Crew to camp at Louse camp.

We hung out around the campfire and shared Bigfoot stories over some beers. We did a little bit of target practice on some cans in the forest as well. In the morning we packed up and said our goodbyes and ended a great trip to Bluff Creek.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

New "Bigfoot" Audio from Humboldt Redwoods

A clip was just passed to me of a purported Bigfoot vocalization from up in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The clip which first appeared on YouTube on Jun 21, 2017 and is about 2 minutes long and contains an enhanced audio rip of the original clip. It appears to show a camper in a tent who is awoken by vocalization coming from the nearby forest. At first glance the video clip has all the good hallmarks of a legitimate clip. It appears to portray an immediate emotional reaction to an event, the person is excited and startled, the video is fairly clear and has good audio, it comes from an account which does not appear to have been previously used for Bigfoot clips. At face value it appears to have been taken by a legitimate person who is not associated with the bigfooter or prank community. At face value I can reasonably conclude that the clip itself is probably not a hoax or some sort of gaff.

Now on to what is heard, we hear several short calls or vocalizations followed by some longer vocalizations which sound like they may be coming from a different individual, that is my best guess. As for the vocalizer or call maker's identity, I can definitively say that at first listen that this appears to be a common vocalization from a barred owl. Barred owls are common in the area and produce a variety of calls ranging from short trill "whoo"s to more complex "whoo cooks for youoo" sounds. It is the opinion of the author and the opinion of the Bluff Creek Project that the clip is just a recording of a common barred owl.

Here is a small quote from Steven Streufert on the clip; he is the owner of Bigfoot Books in Willow Creek, and the local expert on Humboldt's local Bigfoot history:

"We hear these sounds regularly up in Bluff Creek. Neophytes [a person who is new to a subject, skill, or belief.] are constantly saying they are Bigfoot, along with other things like acorns falling from trees. That is an owl, and nothing more than an owl. It's always best to study and know the known and real wildlife of an area before one starts assuming unknown monsters."

Above, a clip from youtube.

That being said there are numerous Yurok texts that allege that their Bigfoot or Indian Devil legends can imitate owls and other animals. The one that comes to mind is from the Lucy Thompson Book, To the American Indian.

Thompson, Lucy. 1916 . To the American Indian: Reminiscences of a Yurok Woman.

I would caution anyone from associating the "Indian Devil" (Om'ah), "Creek Devil (ra'k ni uma-ah), Brush Devil (ka'p ni uma-ah) legends with the creature known as Bigfoot as there are several creatures or people that tend to fit the description. From my research it seems that there are several different stories of Om'ah which seem to refer to them as just "wild indians" or bad medicine persons. Often the creature or legend of the Yruok, Karuk, and Hupa refer to them by other names like "ridge walker" or "upslope people" (maruk-ara'r) which seem to refer to more of a hairy monster as opposed to a feral human like the Indian devil. The text I base this on is an academic paper paper titled:  Monsters and the Quest for Balance in Native Northwest California which appeared in the book, Manlike Monsters on Trial; which is exceedingly hard to get these days. I will post a few relevant pages here which I consider not to be a violation of copyright law under the doctrine of fair use for purposes of review.


I find the best way to learn about native Bigfoot legends though is just to go and talk with some tribal elders and ask them for yourselves. A lot of them will tell you that the books are wrong a lot of the times, and that Bigfoots are just the protectors of the forests. That they punishing those who harm people and nature and reward people who are pure of heart and prove themselves as outdoorsmen or outdoorswomen.

*****Update, Matt Moneymaker from Finding Bigfoot has chimed in a said that he believes that it is a Bigfoot making the calls. We disagree as the caller clearly sounds like a Barred owl, but we concede that there are historic reports of Bigfoots mimicking owls.

Buckley, Thomas. Quest for Balance in Native Northwest California, from the book Manlike Monsters on Trial. UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA PRESS, Vancouver and London. 1980. ISBN 0-7748-0119-0.

Thompson, Lucy. 1916 . To the American Indian: Reminiscences of a Yurok Woman. Heyday Books Berkeley, CA. (1991 edition). Page 130.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

All Roads Open!! Bluff Creek day trip Sunday 6-10-2017

This small day trip by Robert Leiterman and I was just an attempt to scout the Bluff Creek area

On Sunday 6-10-2017 Robert came by my house around noon and picked me up. Our mission was to scout the roads around Bluff Creek for openings and to service the two trail cams we had at the two lakes. We drove up Bald Hills rd and at the top of the hill we saw a large bear. We made it out of the Bald hills and fueled up at Piersons grocery in Weitchpec around 13:30. We continued to Cedar Camp rd and proceeded to drive the 20ish miles to the lakes. After a 45 minutes of driving we arrived at the Lakes.


We were interested to discover a few 4x4s parked at the camping area, after briefly chatting with the three guys we learned they were researching western pond turtles. They were researchers Jamie Bettaso, Don Kerry (?spelling), and Chris West of the Yurok tribe's wildlife's office.

They were employed by different agencies and we learned we have many mutual friends, including James "Bobo" Fay of Finding Bigfoot fame. They showed us a nearby turtle that had dug in to nest by the rd. I was amazed to learn that the turtles have been nesting right in the campsite! We hung out for a while and let them get back to their work. We parted ways and finished servicing the cameras at the bear wallow. 

12N13 gate is open
We decided we would drive Cedar Camp rd north to the GO rd. It was very rocky and covered with hazards. We eventually reached the green gate and were very surprised to see that it was wide open. We decided to investigate further and try our luck to see if the film site rd was accessible. The rd was rough but we bade it to the berm in one piece and proceeded to drive home via the GO rd. 

Snow on 12N13 just past the gate.
The GO rd seems to have sustained some damage and a bit of subsidence in areas but it totally drive-able. We headed home via Bald Hills rd and made it home around 9pm, Robert camped out in my yard and left for Willow Creek Monday morning to meet up with the out of town Bigfoot researchers to prepare for the return trip the next day on Tuesday.

New reinforcement on the 12N13 gate

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Update on the impending PG film 50th anniversary disaster...

So as you may know this October 20th marks the 50th anniversary of the PG film. Many people have contacted us about possible festivals or conferences in Willow Creek or Humboldt at that time, as well as their intentions to visit the film site on that day. We opted to have a small celebration during Labor day weekend instead of in October simply because there will be no access to Bluff Creek. The roads that go into Bluff Creek close at the beginning of October every year due to the Port Oreford Cedar disease control measures. At this time there will be now way to legally access Bluff Creek and the PG film site during the anniversary. That is why we have opted to host our celebration during labor day weekend and the Bigfoot Days festival. The weather will still be warm and we will still have access to Bluff Creek.

It has come to our attention that there are several groups planning their own celebration in Willow Creek and are planning to visit the film site. This is fine but be advised that the roads into Bluff Creek will be closed for the winter and there will be no access to the area.

Apparently local hotels are already booked for the week of October 20th and many are still planning to come. At this point we think that we should still do some sort of conference during the actual 50th anniversary even if we can't access the site. It occurs in the week before Halloween and many places would likely be willing to host some Bigfoot related activities.

I will try and plan at least a few local activities for visiting Bigfoot enthusiasts during that time. We have a local pulp theater that can host large crowds and i will be contacting them to see if they would be willing to screen a few Bigfoot related films. Likewise I will also contact the local breweries to see if they can host some Bigfoot parties during that time.

I would like to have it be sort of a Bigfoot week celebration with small events held around the area culminating in a small conference or meetup. I will also attempt to gain permits to allow us access to the PG film site on October 20th itself.

Bluff Creek roads status update

Bald Hills in Redwood National and State Parks
Landslide on Slate Creek rd two miles up.

Extensive damage and downed trees.
Downed alders snapped about eight feet up the stem.
The road was like this the whole way.

On Friday 3/31 Rowdy and I headed up to the Bluff Creek area to scout out the road condition. The forest is a disaster to say the least. The winter storm have caused unprecedented and utter devastation across the entirety of the area we traversed. I counted one in ten large trees have been blown over by the wind of the hill-slopes greater than 25 degree. It was surreal.

I went over Bald Hills and met up with Rowdy after i attempted to get to Twin Lakes via Slate Creek rd. At about 3pm I attempted to access the Twin Lakes area via Slate Creek rd and was met by many downed trees and small slides that had been cleared informally by locals.

At mile 2.2 I encountered a large landslide that completely blocked the road. It will require heavy equipment to clear. That was only after two miles up the road.

We then headed up Cedar Camp rd in an attempt to get access to Slate Creek rd, again we were met by heavy road damage. It appeared that trees have been knocked all over the area. Many large oaks and firs were on the ground. There is a lot of private property up there and a small logging operation at about mile four. The loggers had cleared the road with heavy equipment up to their operation. We proceeded past and encountered the road sagging in several areas and multiple trees over the rd which had been cleared by locals.

At mile seven it appeared the locals had given up and we encountered many obstacles and more downed trees which had to clear via chainsaw. We summited the ridge above the town of Orleans and had a clear view of the town and the GO rd, this was about mile marker nine. At this point there were many large rock piles covering the entirety of the rd and I had to just roll over them with my truck. 

At around mile ten we had broken the chainsaw chain and could not cut anymore large trees. We stopped at the next large tree and turned around to head back.

We went to Orleans briefly but opted to not attempt a run up the GO rd because it was now about 6:30pm.

I fear the roads into Bluff Creek and the entire Bluff Creek drainage might have suffered catastrophic storm damage. At this point to do not think it will be possible to access the film site for some time. Likely not before July, the forest service has many miles of roads to clear.

During the past years it was not uncommon to encounter a few downed trees here and there but it was never anywhere near this level of destruction. I also anticipate heave losses to our trail cameras down on the creek. Most of the cameras were attached to alders which do not weather the storms very well.

Large pile of fir trees

Rocky debris at mile nine.

View of the Marble and Trinty Mountains looking East/NorthEast.

View of Orleans from the top of Cedar Camp rd


Rowdy on rocky debris

The big Klamath River bridge in Orleans

Beautiful memorial for a young girl overlooking the Klamath river

Klamath River from the Martin's Ferry bridge.

Clear blue Slate Creek running into the muddy Klamth

Native Karuk art mural at Orleans

Returning to Redwood National and Start Parks via Bald Hills rd.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bluff Creek July Trip

Here is the infographic for the July trip. Basically the trip is scheduled for July 7-9 with everyone arriving at Louse Camp on the 7th. Most of us will be coming on Thursday the 6th in the evening with a couple of us planning to explore the area the whole week starting on the 3rd. We usually just camp at Louse Camp on Bluff Creek and everyone just shows up whenever. This is an open invite so all are welcome just let us know if you are coming. There are no fees or charges, no camera project donations requested, we do ask that you contribute to the expedition in some way like bring some beer, food, gear, etc.