Thursday, June 18, 2015

Kathy Strain's Interview!

I would like to thank Kathy once again for taking time to answer questions from our forum!! Thank you my friend and may you be blessed with many more years in your endeavors!!


Bipedalist – (3 part question)
1) So with the upcoming fire season in your region upon us early, what is the plan for trying to get some good BF evidence of sightings ala the Battle Mountain Fire incident in Nevada?  What about that incident?  Any truth to it?  Ever heard a colleague in the Forest Service (or fire incident command) make mention of it?  
Kathy- The Battle Mountain fire incident (where a bigfoot was supposedly burned and they called in a vet) never happened.  I investigated it at the time it was reported.  I have never heard any former or current employee talk about it (because there is nothing to talk about!).
2) What is it like being a bigfooter and a proud grandmother both? 
Kathy- It feels pretty awesome! I hope that one day my grandson, Matthew, can get this Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a concentration in Wood Ape!
3) How close do you feel you (or Bob) ever got to a Bigfoot, what makes you think you were that close?
Kathy-  Before my sighting in 2012 (see below), I was probably no more than 30 yards from two wood apes.  My husband Bob nearly stepped on them (again, see below). (Just to be clear, I’m an archaeologist and we use metrics - my estimates on yards/feet isn’t great.  In a radio interview I gave last year I said the wood apes I saw were 100 yards from me without realizing that is a football field – my bad!).
Gigantor –
Kathy, your work with the pictographs which are over 1000 years old is important because it debunks the skeptical claims that BF is a modern myth created after TV aired the PGF film. 
Kathy- Thank you!
4) My question is, how are they dated?
Kathy-  Pictographs are created through ochre and clay – neither of which can be directly dated, so the age of the pictographs are based on archaeological and ethnographic evidence.  As noted in the article I wrote, the Hairy Man Pictographs are located within a village. Artifacts from the village date roughly to 500 years ago to modern contact. The pictographs are slightly older than the village, so a good estimate is 500-1000 years in age.  We know they were present in the late 1800s because we have photographs of them from that time period.
5) Please give us a narrative of how you became interested in the pictographs. How did you come across them and your feelings when you first realized what they signified?
Kathy-  The Hairy Man Pictographs have been known for a very long time. I first saw them when I was in high school and thought they were pretty cool.  It’s “significance” didn’t dawn on me until I was the District Archaeologist for the Sequoia National Forest. We were doing an archaeological excavation and I was working with the Tule River Tribal elders on the project. It was during that time that I was told the stories and my passion for traditional beliefs about bigfoot started.
That moment must have been sweet! 
6) Are there other pictographs that have come to your attention after your research paper at Mayak Datat? 
Kathy- Yes, I’ve been told that there are a few more but I haven’t visited them or confirmed that they are indeed pictographs of a “bigfoot”.
7) How do your First Nations contacts feel about you being part of a pro kill effort?
Kathy-  I don’t know that I have ever had a conversation about my pro-kill stance with any Native Americans. Generally when I’m doing work with tribes, we’re talking about them and what they believe, not about me.
8) From an anthropological standpoint studying Native myths about the creature?
Kathy- (I think this goes with the question below)
9) Is there any information that be gleaned from them that could be used to take a type specimen?
Kathy-  Yes, quite a bit actually!  Native stories talk about wood apes throwing rocks, doing tree knocks, whistling, being very curious and watching humans, climbing and being in trees, being very fast, and that usually only one is seen at a time (although there is some mention of groups, but it’s fairly rare).  Hopefully the stories about them stealing women and children for food are just a scary story!
I also want to say Kathy that I respect you greatly and thanks for all you do!!
Kathy- Thank you!
Thanks Kathy, for your willingness to do this interview! I have a great amount of respect for the work you do in the field, the books you have written, the work you do for this forum, and you as a person. 
Kathy- Thank you Chelefoot – but my only book so far is “Giants, Cannibals & Monsters: Bigfoot in Native Culture.”
10) Is there one incident in particular that makes you feel sure that this animal truly exists?
Kathy- Yes, my own sightings!  HA!  I was heavily influenced by “Legend of Boggy Creek” as a child. My interest in bigfoot is what caused me to go into anthropology in the first place. I think there are a lot of incidences that caused me to know the animal exists – probably the most important being the PG film.
I'm still on the fence, so I'd love to hear what things most influenced you to research this subject.
Kudos to you, as a scientist, for having the guts to actively, publicly research this and thanks for all the time that you put into finding the truth!  Kathy- Thank you for the kind words!
First off I want to thank you for your work not only in the BF field but with the forum as well. Kathy- Thank you! 
Myself, I'm a skeptic, but not a scoftic, I lean towards believe there is such a thing as BF.  I assume since you are associated with NAWAC you are of the belief BF is an ape.
11) So I would ask, are you open to the idea that these creatures could be relict hominids, or do you strictly believe they are a type of ape?  Kathy- I am open to the idea that wood apes could be a relict hominid. The only thing I actually know for sure is that they aren’t Homo sapiens.
12) I'd also like to add to Gigantor's question of dating and ask what is the earliest recorded date of the existence of the Hairy Man pictographs?
Kathy- Other archaeologists have date ranged it to around 700 to 2000 years old, but I suspect it’s around 1000 years old.
13) As the chair of the Alliance of Independent Bigfoot Researchers, can you provide examples of best practices or excellent research that is being done by Independent Research Organizations but that are not well known in the community at large? 
Kathy- I am actually the treasurer for the AIBR. I was the chair for many years but I got too busy with other work.  Our website has a great section on protocols that a researcher can use as well as a fantastic sound library of known and unknown animals.  You can find it at
14) Of the different strategies being pursued by the many different and diverse BF research organizations all over USA and Canada, which strategies do you think will be the most fruitful in obtaining physical evidence acceptable to the scientific/academic community? 
Kathy- I think it depends a lot on the location. In California, I like to camp and use call blasting to bring them in closer. In Area X, we do a lot of hiking and act a lot more aggressively.  There we also use hair snares which I recommend for all locations.
15) Why do you think these creatures are so cryptic? 
Kathy- It’s hard to know. In Area X, wood apes throw rocks and knock on wood in an attempt to get our attention, but the second they get seen by one of us, they bolt. Why do they do that?  I suspect it’s an emotional reaction and they can’t help themselves.
I'd like to say that I'm thrilled that our own Kathy Strain is affording us an opportunity to ask her questions related to our favorite cryptid. 
Kathy- Thank you!
16) (two part question) Since I'm not sure exactly how far back accounts of the creature by the Indians go, I'd like to ask if there is any evidence that the Paleolithic humans in North America (i.e. - Clovis) interacted with it or were aware of the creature's existence? If so, what? Please explain in as much detail as possible, and your educated opinions are welcome.
Kathy- We have no way of knowing if pre-Clovis or Clovis people interacted with bigfoot. There isn’t any artifacts, bones or petroglyphs that suggested they did or didn’t.  Their oral tradition didn’t survive. I would think that they did have interactions, but that would be a guess. The oral traditions and stories we have from Native Americans are only a few thousand years old.
17) An early BFRO report from out of California boasted to having the oldest petroglyph at the time (images etched in stone) do you know how old that petroglyph was estimated to be and do you know if the petroglyphs found in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Delta county are of the approximate period?  
Kathy- I am not sure what you are referring to. In general, petroglyphs (pecked into rock) are thought to be older than pictographs (painted on rock). There is a Hairy Man petroglyph at the Hairy Man Pictograph site, but it would be the same age as the rest of the art.
18) Can you tell us what other states these petroglyphs are believed to exist?  
Kathy- I don’t know of any other “bigfoot” petroglyphs. I would be curious if you know of some!
In both instances the engravings who found inside a cave structure as I understand it, and they both possessed some very crude but familiar drawings of what we would easily associate with Sasquatch today thank you.  
Kathy- Could you point me in the direction of these?
Doc Holiday
19) Have you received much static from scientific colleagues for your active participation in BFery? 
Kathy- Nope, not ever.
20) Have you ever experienced anything that you perceived as communication from any BFs, and was it verbal, physical (thrown objects etc) or other?  
Kathy- I have heard many calls, whistles, wood knocks, and rock clacks.  I definitely believe that wood knocks are a form of communication with other wood apes.  I heard what I like to call jibberish on one occasion. It was in 2012 in Area X and very early in the morning. I was awakened by a very frustrated animal that yelled out a sound like “Yoga” and then threw a rock at the roof of the cabin I was in. Was that a “word” that communicated something to someone or just a “sound”?  I don’t know. I have had many rocks thrown at me in Area X – I’m not sure if I would call that communication or not, but it sure causes me to communicate bad words towards the wood apes!
Kathy:   Thank you for answering questions.   
21) Is there anything similar in California to the ape like basalt stone heads found along the Columbia River in Washington?   
Kathy- Not that I am aware of.
22) Are California finds limited to rock drawing art? 
Kathy- As far as art goes, there are old California Native American baskets that have a bigfoot design in them as well.  The Pacific Northwest is probably the best known for their pre-contact bigfoot artwork – totem poles, masks, costumes, and dances. I have been doing work on bigfoot in South America and have found similar costumes and dances (as well as stories). 
23) Secondly I just became aware of a stone wall structure in Mt Hood National Forest that has been examined by the Mt Hood Forest Service archeologist and preliminary estimates suggest that the structure may date back 10,000 years.   Are you aware of that find and has anything like that been found in the mountains in California? 
Kathy- I have heard about it yes.  I don’t know that a conclusion has been determined yet though. We have 10,000 year old artifacts and archaeological sites in California. We don’t have anything like a stone wall that dates back that far.
Ok, so there may be a few Sasquatch pictograms, the one shown above being the best, showing probable ''eye shine'', or something symbolic. 
Kathy- The lines coming from Hairy Man’s eyes are tears – after all the animals created man, he was afraid of Hairy Man and ran away. That hurt Hairy Man’s feeling so he drew himself crying.
24) The ''Dogman'' is now sliding into ''mainstream'' cryptozoology; -do you know of any pictograms of a possible ''Dogman'' out there?  Kathy- I have never heard of a dogman pictograph.
Stan Norton
25) Is there any indication at Area X of sasquatch foraging evidence?  
Kathy- I have seen tubers pulled up – but any animal could do that! The most compelling indication were two nut cracking stations in X. Nuts had clearly been placed on the top of the rock and then crushed with a hand held rock and the meat eaten. It had to be a human or a wood ape and it seems like a strange thing for a human to do.
26) What do you postulate they are feeding on there?
Kathy- There is so much food, it is unbelievable – berries, tubers, nuts, insects, snakes, rats, squirrels, deer – it’s practically a super market!
27) Could you test your hypotheses?
Kathy-  It would be great if we could watch a wood ape eat something, but so far, no direct observance has been made.

28) Also, have there been any noticeable sasquatch behavioral responses to the clear cut forestry activities going on around X? (as detailed by Bipto on the BFS)
Kathy-  I think the clear cutting is affecting the wood apes greatly – I think it pushes them into smaller and smaller areas and likely reduces their food availability. The clear cutting is also replacing the deciduous nut-bearing hardwood forests with conifers. However, since we’re just starting our 5th year of a long term study – we’ll have to wait and see.
29) Might those activities have displaced animals into/away from X? 
Kathy- I would think it would have displaced animals into X rather than away.  That may be the reason the area has so much activity.

Keep up the good work! 
Kathy- Thanks!
(Referring to Kathy’s sightings)
30) Oh, Kathy, why didn't you take a picture or video? 
Kathy- Actually there were surveillance cameras deployed in the area and a motion sensitive camera aimed very near the area of the sighting. All it captured was my behind as I ran towards the animals (and it’s really hard to manage both a gun and a camera at the same time…).
31) Were out in the woods looking for BF without a camera?  Kathy- I always have a camera on me. Up until last year, the area was blanketed with plot watchers and motion activated cameras and in 2013 we even used a surveillance system around the cabin. We have go-pros as well. None have captured a photo of a bigfoot.  But again, our intent isn’t to get a photo of a bigfoot – it is to get undeniable proof – a body. 
32) One more, have you seen the hands? 
Kathy- The hands were balled up into a fist so I didn’t see the hands nor fingers.
33) Do they have an opposable thumb?
Kathy-  No idea, but since they can grasp rocks in order to throw them, I’m guessing they do.
34) Kathy, please tell us about the baby sighting. No Mom around?  
Kathy- In June 2013, I and some other members of my team, were sitting on the side porch of the cabin to get out of the sun.  I looked up and noticed a tree shaking and saw a roughly 30 pound dark brown animal with no tail climb to the end of a branch, “bounce” the limb, and use the momentum to jump across a clearing to another tree. I thought I had just seen a chimpanzee.  I told Brian Brown what I saw and we ran to the location and it was already gone.  The tree it jumped into appeared to have been jumped in before – the higher limbs were broken – I hypothesize that as the baby wood ape put on weight, it broke the limbs it was jumping to and moved down to the next limb.  I didn’t see any other animal.
35) How close?  
Kathy- Roughly 60 yards.
36) Did the baby see you and how did it respond?
Kathy- I don’t believe it saw me.
37) Kathy, do you and your husband plan on going to Area X this summer? 
Kathy- Yes.
38) Any news about this year's operation? 
Kathy- Nothing that I can share at this time.
39) Also, are there native legends that confirm or mirror specific aspects of BF behavior as theorized today? 
Kathy- Yes, see above.
40) If I understand correctly, most native people considered BF to be a type of person.  Is that true?  Kathy- Yes, most Native Americans (past and present) believe bigfoot to be a type of person – a brother to us, but most Native Americans believe all animals to be a brother of some sort.
41) Have you heard anything that would make you think that BF is viewed differently than other animals?
Kathy- No, most Native American believe all animals are sacred and a brother of some sort. They attribute powers and significance to many of them.
WV Footer
Kathy, Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. I would just like to hear more about your sightings
Kathy- (This is the quick, painless version).  In May 2012, me, my husband (Bob), and three other NAWAC researchers were in Area X. At about 6:30 pm. we heard a rock throw and they left to go investigate the sound. I stayed behind at the cabin.  I was just looking around an area called “the bottleneck” when I saw what looked like a branch being slowly let go in a nearby bushy tree.  I noted at the time that there was a dead tree lying on the ground that went through the same tree. When the guys came back I asked them to check the area and they casually looked and said nothing was there. They then left to go investigate another rock throw but Bob stayed behind with me.  I asked him to look more thoroughly in the bush/tree. He pulled the limbs apart and looked really hard – even thought about stepping on some additional logs on the ground to go through to the other side – but instead he just yelled back at me that there was nothing there but a couple of logs.  When everyone came back, we sat down and started talking. My chair was situated so I was looking right down the bottleneck. Brian Brown was on one side of me and Bob was on the other.  The other two researchers were facing each other.  At around 7:45 pm. (although I swear it feels like it was just after we sat down), we started hearing some footfalls.  One of the guys said that it sounded bipedal.  Just then I see two black figures, one big and one small, come down the bottleneck along the hillside.  I yelled “there they are”, then I jumped up and ran at them, keeping my eyes on the big one. They bolted up the hill like nothing I have ever seen before. It was like they had been on a bungee and were suddenly pulled upward.  The big one had muscular legs and to get up the hill, it had tucked in its arms and bent itself over slightly (like a power runner).  I can’t tell you anything about the second one other than it was smaller.  The next morning when I came out of the cabin, everyone had a horrible look on their face and Bob asked me to repeat what he had said about the bushy tree the day before. I said “You said there was nothing in there but a couple of logs.” He said “Guess how many are there now? There’s only one.” We all believe the wood apes hadn’t left the area but had stayed in the bushy tree, lying down on the ground to hide.  Bob had assumed they were logs due to the shadows. Why did they come towards us instead of fleeing away in a safer direction? Maybe they thought we were gone…or maybe they wanted a closer look. I really don’t know.
The other sighting was of the baby wood ape that I already mentioned.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cliff Barrackman Interview!! By KBHunter

First of all I want to say thank you to Cliff for taking a few minutes out of his very busy schedule to answer our Forum questions for our Blog page. I must say that Cliff’s name has come up for questions often in the last few months I have been doing this blog. Cliff, did you know the only other Finding Bigfoot cast member’s name that has been asked for is James “Bobo” Fay? I think that is a testament to the fact our forum relates more to you.

 Thank you for the kind words and for the opportunity to interact with the folks at I'm always happy to answer questions based on my experiences and speculations, but please remember: I'm not a bigfoot expert, though I play one on TV. There are no bigfoot experts. I'm just a bigfoot learner, like everybody else.
1) David NC;
         I would like to ask Cliff that with his travels around the country is the realization that Sasquatch is more widespread in the United States readily accepted now?
It is certainly more accepted that sasquatches have a wider range than was previously thought a few decades ago. As recently as the 1980's, many prominent bigfoot researchers thought this was largely a Pacific Northwest phenomenon. I think this view is now widely recognized to be incorrect. As far as I can tell, sasquatches live in suitable habitat throughout most of North America. (Their presence below the Mexican border is not well-documented, and is based mostly in historical newspaper accounts and heresay) Sasquatches, or at least closely related species, seemingly are, or were, present on all the other continents (except for Antarctica).
 2) PBeaton;
First off, thanks for your work an time, it's appreciated.
·         Besides the P/G film and tracks, what is the most compelling piece of evidence for you, be it a video, audio, sightin' report or track find?
 For me, I find the congruency of all the available data to be the most compelling thing to support the reality of the species. The inferred structure of the foot based on footprint evidence is congruent with what can be observed in the PGF. The anatomy and behavior noted in historical newspaper accounts coincides perfectly with what people continue to report to the present day. The hand and foot impressions on record seem to be morphologically similar whether from WA, KY, MI, or elsewhere. Congruencies abound, and in fact seem to be the norm. If this was all made up, there should be some notable discrepancies, but there really aren't. I find that impressive.
·         Is there one such piece that fascinates you to no end? All the best! Pat Beaton...
 Not so much one piece of evidence, but I'm really into the repeat appearances of one individual sasquatch over time. There are some excellent examples from the footprint track data that show one or two individuals popping up again and again in a general area as the years progress. This information gives insight into possible habits, range, and seasonality of the creatures, as well as rare glimpses into the social structure of bigfoots.  
3) bf2011HBMay;
·         My question for Cliff is; will you be doing any follow-up work on the site of the London Trackway when he is not busy with the show?
Yes, though my time is limited. I have started experimenting with fake feet in order to learn more about the tell-tale signs of hoaxing. I have also enlisted the help of a USGS soil geologist to help with possibly determining the mass of the track maker.
I'm not so sure anymore that the London Trackway is the real deal, so I'm working on the “null hypothesis” approach: trying to prove it is not real. If I can do this, then I have my answer. If not, the question is still open. My confidence in the trackway is about about 50/50 right now.
 4) Chelefoot;
·         Hi Cliff, on the show, you guys do a lot of calls and wood knocks. I realize that it is necessary to get responses to make the night investigations more exciting and "TV worthy" (whatever that means!).  But how do your own methodologies differ from those used on the show?
·         Do you do the same types of things when you are not being filmed?
On Finding Bigfoot, we necessarily have to take the kind of approach that I refer to as “quick and dirty.” We only have a couple nights at a location, and calls and knocks are an effective way to get a response and make some television with some real possible bigfoot action included. However, I don't really take that same approach when I'm working my own spots outside of Portland, OR where I live.
I do knock and call at times, but I use these techniques sparingly. It seems pretty clear to me that you can't trick a bigfoot for long before it catches on and learns that humans are doing the calling. They will soon recognize your calls, and they might just leave the area if they figure out that it's just you again.
I think a better approach is to frequent a certain location as much as possible doing the exact same thing every time. I recommend that one drives the same car, wears the same clothes, does the same routine, goes to bed at the same time, etc... Just assume that you're being watched when you are at the location.
My goal is to become a predictable feature in THEIR environment. They need to learn about me if I'm going to be allowed to learn about them. They need to learn that I am not a threat, and I am interesting enough to come around and watch for a while.
The problem with my preferred research method is that I'm on the road for eight or nine months a year, so I cannot become that predictable feature in their environment. They might recognize me at the Blueberry Bog, but I'm not predictable yet. Maybe once the show's over I can do a better job at this...
·         Do you think knocks/calls could alert them to your presence and cause them to move away, or do you feel like it peaks their curiosity and draws them in? Thanks, and I really enjoy the show - Never miss it! Michele
I think that knocks and calls could do either of these. It depends on the sasquatch. They are as individual as you and me, and they don't conform to our expectations. Some bigfoots are just more curious than others, and some are more shy. Some are probably just plain jerks. They seem to be very people-like in this way.
5) lightheart;
·         Hi Cliff, since you have begun working with the Bridges what conclusions have you drawn about the Sasquatch in Florida as compared to those living in the PNW?
  I don't see any significant difference between the sasquatches in Florida and those found in other parts of North America. They have the same foot morphology and general behaviors as described elsewhere. They may live in a different habitat, but so do the bigfoots that live in South Dakota and the Pacific Coast. I don't think the habitat makes for a different species when pretty much everything else about them is the same.
 6) Doc Holiday;
       So for about, how often do you have to fight the urge to smack MM on the back of his head and ask   " what are you thinking ??" LOL
To be fair, I think we all can be difficult sometimes, not just Moneymaker. We spend a tremendous amount of time together, and we all have strong personalities, so we wear on one another. I liken it to going on a roadtrip with your significant other. They will eventually annoy you, though you get along fine. I feel that we have a good balance and understanding of one another now. I wouldn't smack anyone on the head, and I could ask eitherMoneymaker, Bobo, or Ranae, “What are you thinking?” and they would not be offended.
     But more seriously,  if you could do things different on the show what would you change?
I would probably change the bigfoot that comes on before and after the commercial. It roars and growls and drools, giving the viewer a skewed perception of what a sasquatch is. It is made to frighten, but this isn't fair to bigfoots. I understand why they do it, though. A bigfoot silently walking into brush isn't nearly as dramatic, unless you've seen this yourself.
 7) Rockape;
·         Cliff, you say you were once pro-kill to obtain a specimen for scientific confirmation of the species but are not anymore, what made you change your mind?
Compassion made me change my mind. The more I learned about the species, the more I realized that no individual bigfoot deserves to make the sacrifice to be shot for the sake of the species. They are not humans, but they are so human-like that it seems to me that it would be morally wrong to kill one. I feel this same way about the other great ape species, and I would feel that way about any other hominoid that might be discovered elsewhere in the world. To sum it up in one sentence: It is very rude to kill an individual in order to satisfy our curiosity.
    What would you say is the worst part and the best part of doing the Finding Bigfoot series?
The best part about doing Finding Bigfoot has to be the amazing opportunities it has given me to learn about the species in different parts of the world. Sure, the adventure stuff is awesome. Who doesn't like riding ATVs, crashing in hot air balloons, and traveling the world? But still, at the end of the day it is really cool to see the similarities between bigfoots in different parts of the globe and to compare them. It has given me an understanding of the species that I don't think I could have obtained just by working my spots in Oregon and Washington.
 The worst thing about being on Finding Bigfoot is the time I have to spend away from home. It's hard to tell from watching the show, but I'm basically an introverted home-body. I love to be at home, and I love to be in Portland. When I hit the road, I leave behind my dog, girlfriend, garden, guitar, fish tank, friends, and everything else that makes me Cliff. I miss my life, but this won't last forever, and you have to make hay while the sun is shining, so they say.
·         Am I wrong, or does Renae seem a bit less skeptical lately?
 It's hard to say. I can't really figure her out. She speaks and acts like bigfoots are real, but then she says she doesn't think they are and never has. I think you'd have to ask Ranae about this, as I'm not qualified to answer for her.
8) clubbedfoot;
This is a loaded question and if you can give a hint to the answer that would be pretty awesome.
·         Has the Finding Bigfoot show ever left out any evidence of Bigfoot that was determined to have been too frightening or disconcerting for the viewing audience?
 No, this has never happened. Something that has happened, though, is that bigfoot stuff has occurred that wasn't included in the show because it didn't happen on camera. Television is a visual media, and if the cameras didn't capture something, it cannot make the show. It makes sense, but it can be pretty aggravating. For example, in Virginia while the cast was out trying to encounter a bigfoot on a night investigation, a bigfoot or two came around base camp where the crew and PA were hanging out in the cars watching movies or doing whatever they do while we are working (they have to sit there with their walkie talkies on in case we need something in the field, but they basically have nothing to do for the four to six hours we are out walking around) and started throwing rocks at the cars. Several rocks hit the sides and tops of the U-Haul van, but the crew didn't realize what was going on at the time. This obviously couldn't make the show since it didn't happen to the cast, and it wasn't on camera.
9) peoplebooger;
Cliff, enjoy your work, attitude and openness.
·         Do you have a youtube channel which displays any of your music?
 No, not yet. I am slowly getting my music website back in order, though, and will be offering downloads of my original music there when things get going. Eventually, will be up and running and will offer my recordings for free, or whatever you'd like to pay me for them. This business model is called “Pay what you want,” and it hits a chord in me that I like. I don't plan on making a living on my music, and I really want people to enjoy it, so the Pay-what-you-want model makes a lot of sense to me. A little extra beer money is never a bad thing, but I won't have to depend on it to pay my mortgage.
·         From your viewpoint, what new technologies and/or methodology do you see coming to, or happening in the Bigfoot Research field?  Thanks
 I think the most important technological innovation that will change bigfooting is that thermal imagers and night vision will get cheaper, thus putting this technology in the hands of more and more people. This has already started to happen, but when the gear is within reach for hobbyists and laymen, we should see a lot more video clips of possible bigfoots coming in. This, of course, will raise questions on how to authenticate the clips, but that's a good problem to have.
As far as methodologies for bigfooting, I hope that more rural people will recognize that they share the woods, and even their own properties, with sasquatches. These people could then obtain some of this inexpensive thermal or night vision surviellance gear and install it in likely locations to get more footage. I think the most effective method of studying bigfoots is to empower the locals/propert owners to do the ground work and get footage. After all, they are the ones that actually live there full time with the bigfoots.
10) kbhunter;
·         Hi Cliff, in the years since 2008 I have changed my opinion of the BF totally. It started from fear because my son had been chased by one and it really scared him terribly. At the time he was 16 years old and was stalking coyotes with a shotgun on our hunting lease. We then found a series of tracks, very large ones and smaller ones on the road bed where this happened. That made me realize it probably could have been defending a younger one. Also, I have no doubt if it had wanted, it would have attacked him because it was within 50 feet. Was there ever a time you feared them or thought they were more like monsters so often portrayed on TV movies?
No, not really. I figured that if they were dangerous or aggressive, they would have been “discovered” by now, probably by an angry mob with pitchforks and torches. That's not to say that I haven't been unnerved by their presence once or twice. After all, they are large hairy ape-men, and that in itself is kind of creepy. But still, logic tends to prevail in me, and I don't really fear them any more than I would another wild creature.
 ·         As I began spending more time learning about them and several glimpses of them in the woods around our camp. I began to change from fear to more curious of what they were. After several interactions and very good visuals including my wife seeing one look around a tree, we saw the face as much more human like that I even thought they were. Do you think as I do after much more evidence and interaction that the BF is a type of person?
No, I don't think they are a type of person. They are a different species with different needs, thoughts, desires, and ways of interacting with their environment. We probably share many of the same emotions, fears, and impulses with us, just like we do with other species, particularly the great apes. However, to simplify them into another type of person I think is to not do them justice. They are sasquatches. That is why I respect them and love them. Just like many other species, they are very human-like in some ways, but are not human. This does not imply they should be treated as inferiors in any way. They should not be hunted. They should not be disrespected. They should not be eaten. They should be learned about and respected for what they are: sasquatches.
·         Have you had any clear sightings of their face and if so, what was your thought at that time?
No, I have not.
·         Do you have any current projects besides the Finding Bigfoot show you can tell us about?
I think the most important thing I'm doing is the Orang Pendek Project. I am working with the locals in Sumatra to obtain physical evidence in the form of footprint tracks and hair samples of orang pendeks in Kerinci National Park. Before I started this project two years ago, there were two or maybe three orang pendek casts in the world. Now I can proudly say there are nearly forty in my collection, and more coming in all the time (I literally got an email this morning that there was another sighting or track find with footprint casts made). I am working on sharing the finds with the public via my website, but my time is short because I'm on the road filming the show.
·         Last question. Do you think they will be proven to science any time soon?
 Soon? I don't know. Since they are in fact a real species, I do think it is an eventuality, though. My opinion on when this might happen fluxuates back and forth, but when it comes down to it, I kind of don't care when science figures out they're real. Since I am not pro-kill, I cannot advocate them being “proven” to science because that necessitates a dead one. There is no other option because that is the way science currently works. One will eventually be shot, hit by a car, found dead, or something like that. Will it happen soon? I have no idea. In the meantime, I'll be here trying to learn as much as I can about them and trying to obtain footage so people can share our enthusiasm for the creatures.

Again our thanks to your time and we look very much forward to your answers. Please feel free to post any links or mention any future appearances here. We feel very honored that you agreed to take the time to help us continue this series of very informative Blog interviews.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Interview with Lyle Blackburn
by KBhunter 

1) Gigantor;
Hey Lyle, I was reading your excellent blog and was surprised by the number of bigfoot related movies I never knew were out there. It seems that most are in the horror category, which prompts my questions.
·         Do you think the on-screen bigfoot resembles the real animal (if it exists). 
Lyle: I think in terms of physical description, the creatures of the movies generally resemble what people describe in real life.  Of course they often exaggerate some aspects, but overall it’s basically a large, bipedal ape with varying degrees of human traits.
In terms of attitude and demeanor, however, the movies typically stray from typical eyewitness encounters by making the creatures far more aggressive and dangerous.  Whereas the majority of actual eyewitness accounts describe a more reclusive animal that is there one second and gone the next, the horror movies usually involve a pissed off Bigfoot ripping people to shreds.  There have been instances where real-life encounters suggest the creatures can be aggressive (a prime example being the “Ford attack” of 1971 which was made famous by The Legend of Boggy Creek movie – and documented in my book, The Beast of Boggy Creek), but these aggressive incidents are far less frequent than the typical brief sighting, as I’m sure you know.  It’s only natural that the horror movies play up this angle though, since entertainment and scares are their goal.
·       Do you think bigfoot in movies advances the quest for discovery or does it hinder it?
Lyle: That’s a good question.  I think there’s two ways we can look at it.  On one hand, we could say that movies which play up the sensational aspects of Bigfoot and make the creature into something of a pop-culture icon are hindering the possibility that mainstream science will embrace the subject.  (This would apply to beef jerky commercials as well.)  But on the other hand, if someone were to bring forth some piece of irrefutable evidence – an actual body, a finger, a chunk of hair, skin, etc. – then it doesn’t matter how many Bigfoot movies have been made.  At that point the reality would eclipse the entertainment version and scientists would be all over it (and eating their words, perhaps).
2) WVFooter; 
·       Have you had any type of encounter that makes you a knower that Bigfoot exists, and if so, could you share your experience? 
Lyle; I’ve never had a visual encounter.  It’s certainly not from lack of trying or from not being in areas that could potentially yield a sighting, so perhaps it’s just not been my lucky day yet.  My father is an avid hunter, so I grew up hunting with him all throughout Texas.  I also camped and visited many areas such as Arkansas and East Texas throughout my childhood, so I’ve definitely been in many areas over the years where sightings were reported.  And, of course, as an adult I’ve gone out in many states for the purpose of Bigfoot investigation.  I’ve heard a few weird things, but I’ve never seen anything that I would definitively claim to be sighting of an unknown creature.
·         In your travels, where is the most active and rewarding, (Regarding Actual visual or other evidence obtained), place that you have ever been?
Lyle; The most promising area I’ve experienced would probably be southern Arkansas.  Specifically in the Sulphur River Bottoms where I’ve gone many times, there’s been some excellent footprint finds, and I myself have heard a strange howl that I cannot explain (see more below).  As well, I’ve interviewed numerous witnesses over the years that I felt had legitimate sightings in the area.
3)  Kbhunter;
·         Exactly what made you decide to get involved in Cryptids and the paranormal?
Lyle; Ever since I was young, I was fascinated by the subject of unexplained creatures such as Bigfoot, Yeti, and Loch Ness Monster.  I think it was partly because I liked the subject of “monsters,” but also because I had a love for the outdoors.  Since these creatures were reportedly seen in the woods, mountains, or lakes, it sort of combined my fascination for the unknown and my passion for getting out into nature.  Of course seeing the PG-Film on television and seeing The Legend of Boggy Creek movie when I was a kid helped fuel my interest.  As an adult I have a much more scientific and rational approach to these creatures – which are obviously not “monsters” in the implied sense of the word – but there’s still plenty of that inner child-like wonder that rivets me to the subject.
·         What do you think that Bigfoot or Sasquatch really is?
Lyle; It’s a tough question to answer without having seen one myself or having examined a body.  So simply based my research and countless interviews I’ve done with people, I believe they are flesh and blood beings.  Perhaps a relic hominid or some species of ape with a higher level of intelligence than other animals.  However improbable, they have managed to elude capture for all these years due to their exceptional expertise at evasion and survival.

4)  Rockape;
·         I'm from North East Texas. Are there any locations here you would consider a hot spot?
Lyle; I’m certainly familiar with this area, since I live in Dallas-Fort Worth.  I would say that there’s several hot spots within a reasonable driving distance.  First would be the area of Fouke, Arkansas.  This is, of course, the famed location of The Legend of Boggy Creek, and one that I’ve spent years researching and writing about.  I’ve investigated many credible sightings in that area, one as recent as January 2014. 
Another area would be along the Sulphur River where it originates in Texas.  Areas near the town of Commerce have a long history of sightings in the area, and according to a few recent tips, activity is still going on there.
There’s Marion, Harrison, and Panola Counties in East Texas where there’s been some very interesting sightings in the last decade.  I’ve personally interviewed several witnesses that claim to have had close encounters in these counties.
Going north, there’s the Ouachita Mountains which span from eastern Oklahoma to western Arkansas.  Based on my research and travels there, I consider it a prime and likely spot for Southern Sasquatch habitat.
·         Do you associate Bigfoot with any paranormal activity, such as UFOs, teleporting, telekinesis, etc.?,
Lyle; There’s no doubt witnesses who claim, and fully believe, that the creatures possess some sort of “paranormal powers” such as the ability to “shimmer,” disappear, or to even communicate with humans using telepathy, but this, to me, is even harder to swallow than the notion of an undiscovered ape itself.  I’m not saying that it couldn’t be possible… just like Bigfoot itself, I can’t disprove it, but I just personally don’t think this is the case based on my knowledge at this point.  A good many witnesses have also reported seeing creatures fitting the description of Bigfoot in the vicinity of UFOs, so that’s another branch of the puzzle.  While I align with the theory that they’re flesh and blood animals, I still remain open minded about the mystery until more solid proof is available.
   5)  Doc Holiday;
·         what steps are necessary to become  a cryptozoology advisor ?
Lyle; If you mean “cryptozoology advisor” as in my role at Rue Morgue magazine, I was brought on board at the magazine since they cover many cryptids in film and I have both a vast knowledge of cryptozoology and horror film history.  In terms of being a “cryptozoologist” there’s no specific academic qualifications to that title.  I was reluctant to call myself any such thing at first, but after awhile it was something I was already being referred to as, and it certainly helps when classifying my research and books.  Personally, I consider myself something of an investigative journalist meets cryptid researcher, as I think my books reflect.
·         given the popularity of BF in TV  that  comes and goes ,  which has been a  more lucrative pursuit over the long term , BF or the paranormal /  horror topics?
Lyle; For me, they’ve both been about equal, although “lucrative” might not be the most accurate term.  My work at the horror magazine Rue Morgue has helped me make a living with writing and it’s been a fun way to combine my knowledge of cryptozoology and horror pop-culture.  But the subject of Bigfoot itself, in terms of the search for an actual creature, has been more rewarding since I’m passionate about that subject and my books seem to be popular.  I don’t make much money per se, but the great reviews and feedback I get from readers is rewarding unto itself.  So I don’t look at either “horror” or “Bigfoot” as one being more lucrative or trendy than the other, I just try to do what I enjoy in life and hopefully scratch up enough of a living to support my family along the way.  
6)  People Booger;
·         Who, or what group of researchers/enthusiasts/hunters do you feel has/have the best chance of finding/collecting/acquiring definitive proof of the species, if you believe it will be done at all?
Lyle; If we compare this to the successful field of archeology, then chances are it will be some unexpected person who finally brings in the proof.  A deer hunter, wildlife photographer, or field biologist, perhaps.  Oftentimes it seems like the person who goes in search of a specific thing comes up empty-handed.  But a person who happens to be in the right place at the right time will suddenly stumble onto the discovery of a lifetime.
7)  Bipedalist;
·         What scared you so bad you did not want to visit that cluster again?  
Not sure about the source of this question.  I can’t recall ever being scared so that I wouldn’t return to a place.  I like the thrill of the outdoors.
·         What about eyeglow and Samurai Chatter? What does it mean? Does it tell you more about Human perceptions or about EBE’s or Bigfoots?
Lyle; It’s certainly a good question to ponder as to whether human perception is involved in either of these reported phenomenon.  I’m not convinced that the eyeshine is purely bioluminescent, but no doubt a Bigfoot’s eyes could reflect a light source just as other animal’s eyes can.  The chatter that’s been alleged as Bigfoots communicating is extremely interesting.  If the sounds are indeed coming from these creatures, then it would strongly suggest they have some form of language.  But without observing a Bigfoot actually speaking, it’s hard to say for sure.
8)        The Parkie;
Hi Lyle,
·         Have you had a clear, unambiguous daylight sighting of a Bigfoot - if so can you describe your experience please?
I haven’t.  Please refer to the answer in question 2) above.
·         Can you also please describe the most compelling sighting by another you have come across and why?

Lyle; For me the most compelling sighting is one that a friend of mine had in East Texas back in 1989.  In this instance, he had a very close look at the creature, which offered him a good chance to study it.  The encounter is fully detailed in my book, The Beast of Boggy Creek, but to summarize he was walking down a dirt road one afternoon near his grandmother’s house when he heard something approaching through the leaves.  He stopped, figuring he was about to see a large buck run across the road.  But what emerged from the trees was not a deer, it was an ape-like creature approximately seven-to-eight-feet tall with dark, reddish-brown hair and weathered looking skin. At first it was running on all fours, but upon seeing my friend, it stopped and rose up on two legs. He could then see that it was, as he described it, “more human, than ape.”  The creature stood there, within 9 yard of him, for about 10 seconds before it turned and ran back into the woods.
It’s a significant encounter to me since I know they guy personally and I believe him to be telling the truth, and also because he got such a close look.
9)   WVFooter;
·         What is the best evidence that you have come across, which really made you think a particular creature existed?
Lyle; The best evidence I’ve personally investigated is a footprint cast taken in southern Arkansas near Mercer Bayou.  It’s a large, five-toed track with a good amount of detail that strongly suggests it was made by a Bigfoot.  I also give this piece of evidence a high credibility rating because of the way it was discovered and subsequently handled.  A local man and his son were out hog hunting when his son noticed the trackway.  When his father looked at the tracks, he knew they weren’t made by a normal animal.  They didn’t have any sort of casting material with them, but the father felt it would be a good idea to come back and make a cast.  I had heard about this cast from some locals in the area, but the guy had never sought publicity or showed it to very many people.  I was finally able to track down the guy and examine it.  Because he had the track in his possession for about six years without ever seeking publicity that told me he wasn’t trying to pull a hoax.  Plus, he was not out specifically looking for Bigfoot.  He is simply a local guy who found something strange in a place where it would be extremely unlikely that a hoaxer would plant a trackway.  His story was actually featured on the Fouke Monster episode of Monsters and Mysteries in America which I also appear on.  In this case they did a great job of recreating his account.
10)  See-Te-Cah NC;
·         What was the absolute weirdest experience you've ever had that you attribute to Bigfoot?
Lyle; I was once canoeing with a friend in a bayou around 2:00 am in the morning when we heard a series of very distinct and evenly spaced howls.  At first it was hard to tell just what it could be, but as it continued to howl at 45 second intervals, we concluded that it wasn’t a typical animal.  My partner is a former trapper from Mississippi, so between the two of us, we were confident it wasn’t a coyote, fox, cougar, bird, etc.  After it stopped howling, we canoed about one mile back to our camp.  Upon arriving at the camp, suddenly the animal howled again three successive times.  In this case it was right across the bayou channel from our camp!  Had it followed us??
·         Are you armed when you investigate in remote locations? If so, what do you carry?
Lyle; Yes.  This is not for the purpose of shooting a Bigfoot, of course, but for protection against other potentially dangerous animals.  In the areas we frequent, there are numerous wild hogs, gators, and even cougars.  In fact, just a few months ago about a dozen wild hogs came within 20 yards of our camp at night.  Luckily they were too busy fighting amongst themselves to be concerned with us.
I carry either my Smith & Wesson .357 magnum or Colt .45 1911.
11)   chelefoot;
Hey Lyle, Way back before my interest in Bigfoot was sparked, I read a blog you did where you discussed your opinion of Paranormal Reality TV (which was a great post, BTW.) In fact, it may have been your blog that lead me to start researching the Bigfoot phenomenon! Thanks! (I think lol)
·         What is your opinion of the Bigfoot reality shows and do you think they have helped or hindered efforts to obtain the truth about Bigfoot? (If you even watch them).
Lyle; In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think television can significantly hinder the discovery of the truth, if it is truly out there.  In other words, if the creature is real, then proof will surface one day regardless of how many of these shows air and what they cover.  That being said, I think they can have some influence on the subject of cryptids.  On one hand, by making the subject of Bigfoot more “socially acceptable” it might lead a witness or person with good evidence to come forward whereas in the past he/she would not.  But on the other hand, I’ve noticed that with the proliferation and popularity of these shows, suddenly everybody is running around saying they saw a Bigfoot.  This can muddy the waters of legitimate research because I have to wade through more witnesses to find the ones that are genuine.  But in the end, the truth is not about finding the right witness; it’s about finding tangible scientific evidence.  If I’m hiking in the Olympic Peninsula, for example, and I run across a huge bone that looks like it could belong to a Bigfoot, I pick it up and have it tested.  If it comes back unknown primate, it doesn’t matter if Finding Bigfoot had one season or ten seasons.  The bone is either from an unknown animal (Bigfoot) or not.
I myself have participated in some of the shows such as Monsters and Mysteries in America and Finding Bigfoot, which get their share of criticism, but in all cases I’ve tried to present good quality commentary and witness referrals which I think add to the subject.  I don’t always have much control with television productions, but I do my best.
But ultimately, I love the subject of Bigfoot and one reason I’m doing this today is because I used to watch a show called In Search of… when I was a kid.  The same way that program inspired me to dedicate time, money, and passion to cryptid research, is the same way something like Finding Bigfoot will inspire a new generation and that can’t be all bad.
·         Have you ever had an experience where you felt you could have been in danger?
Lyle; A fellow researcher and I were canoeing very late at night in a swamp when a huge gator came up and rolled over right next to our canoe.  The canoe was 14 feet long, and it appeared the gator was around the same length.  I’ve been around gators plenty and I don’t spook easily, but that’s one time I pulled in my elbows and paddled the other direction!


Thanks to everyone for the great questions and to Keith for compiling them.  If you want to find out more about me or my books, check out my site at  I often speak at events around the country, so check my site for dates and places.  If you can make it out, it would be great to meet in person and discuss more Bigfoot!

Also, if you want to know more about my work on the Fouke Monster / Legend of Boggy Creek case, please visit my Fouke Monster site at

- Lyle