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 Bigfootforums.com. 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 cliff.......how 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, CliffordBarackman.com 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 www.lyleblackburn.com.  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 www.foukemonster.net

- Lyle

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bob Gimlin Interview!!!

   Due to the logistic problems of getting this interview with Bob, I had to ask the help of my friend Thom Cantrall. Thom is a very good friend of Bob's and has regularly scheduled lunches with him near Bob's home. The interview was actually videoed to insure accuracy and transcribed verbatim from Bob. In addition, the format is in a dialog form and I have included most excerpts from the discussion from both men as to add authenticity to the interview. Also, there are a few questions that have been changed or omitted simply because it was a live interview and with that, were asked by Thom as he saw fit. He either changed to help get a better clarification or some were just missed during the very interesting dialog.  I do think this interview was probably the most interesting interview I have seen Bob do and I hope all enjoy it. Thanks for the questions and again, apologies if your question was missed. I am sure we can do a follow up at another time.

1) norseman -  Bob, did you think the film would solve the mystery and gain public acceptance?
Bob:  I definitely did not think it'd solve the problem.. it did not even solve the problem with me.
And do you regret not shooting Patty which would have assured species recognition almost 50 years ago?
Bob:  No I don't... I had no intentions to unless I thought that I HAD to.
2) people booger - Bob, during the encounter, did you feel concern for your or your colleagues or horses safety?
Bob:  Yes, I did somewhat.  I didn't know how much or what to expect.
Do you feel you would have retreated or shot the creature if it had turned and threatened yall?
Bob:  Yes, I do... I've always said I feel I would have shot and I wasn't sure with something that size.  At that time I was an excellent shot.  And I had 180 grain... 30'06 180 grain and I'd shot a lot of elk with that same projectile.
 3) Terry - Bob, did you observe the tracks immediately after seeing the bigfoot?  
Bob:  Yes, I did.
Were the ground conditions suitable for it leaving tracks like that and do you remember thinking something wasn't quite right with them?
Bob:  the tracks were...
Thom:  I'm not sure what that means...
Bob:  I don't either what that means.  The tracks were well acceptable for tracks for what that type of soil was.
4) ptangier – Bob, have you had any other eye- witness events….have you had any close non-visual events?  
Bob:  Yes, I have.
 Thom:  Yes, one was on that trip... (The trip Bob took on the Pacific Crest Trail when he rode from Mexico to Canada the full length of the Pacific Crest Trail)
Bob:  One was on that trip... one was up at Bumping... (Bumping Lake in the Cascade Mountains, just east of Mt. Rainier in Washington)
Thom:  When was that?
Bob:  Around 6 years ago.
 5) WSA - Mr. Gimlin: Are there currently any active Bigfoot field/academic investigators that, in your opinion, are on the cutting-edge of research or worthy of exceptional credibility?
Bob:  I think that's a definite yes on that.
Could you explain why you feel this way about them?  
Bob:  OK, I feel this way particularly because I know the people individually and they are doing the very, very best they can in the field research at this time.  There's been some, uh, uh, tremendous things happen in my opinion.
6) HairyWildMan - Bob,...the old saying goes "Hindsight is 20-20"....is there anything(s) you wish that you had done differently...then,...... from the beginning of your search....to the end result of having the footage of Patty?
Bob:  Well, that's changed over the years... Yes, there’s a lot of things I would have done differently the first 35 years.  The first thing was, I wouldn't have been down there to start with!
Thom:  Chuckle... Yeah, I hear that!
7) Vafooter - Mr. Gimlin, Are there any videos that you have seen that you believe are real BF?
Bob:  I haven't really witnessed very many videos so the ones I have seen I leave an open book there of, it looks pretty good but, uh... and I'm not going to say, “not quite good enough,” but there's always that question now...
What would you consider to be the area most likely to encounter a BF these days?
Bob:  Well, I've always said the Olympic Peninsula (of Washington) in my opinion is a great area.  But, you're limited there for foliage and also for rain so I, uh, have changed my mind somewhat over the years.  I  used to say over the years I think the Olympic Peninsula is your best shot.  Well, I strongly believe that now, maybe back down in the Willow Creek area and that partic... that radius within a hundred miles or fifty is probably as good a place as any because of the way everything lies there... the mountain range and that close to the ocean and also the rivers and uh, the privacy.
Thom:  Just to add.. of the places I've been that I've found, that southeastern Oklahoma area is absolutely alive with them.
Bob:  See, that's it, I've never been east to some of those places that I hear about so I don't really know.  I've been to the Olympic Peninsula, I've been to Bumping Lake and I've been in California and those have always been.. uh... we've heard sounds... and somewhat... of course, the film footage itself speaks for the California area.  uh.. So that's my opinion as far as that part of it goes.
Other than your own encounter, what is your favorite BF report or incident?
(didn’t ask this one)
8) Salubrious – Mr Gimlin, did seeing Patty change anything about how you see the world?
Bob:  Oh, definitely.  'Cause I never... I was a … Basically I'm telling the truth, I was a skeptic up til that time... That they must exist but I was kinda like old Harry Truman, I had to see to totally believe.  (interruption)  Anyway, at that particular time the only thing I was going by was what Roger had talked to me about and played those cassette tapes (Roger used to play cassettes of people's testimonies about sightings when he and Bob were camped on their trail rides) that other... the testimonials of other people.  I thought Yes... they are probably there... there must be something there but I wanna see it!
9) lightheart - Mr. Gimlin did you hear Patty make any vocalizations of any kind?
By this I don't necessarily mean screams or yells typically associated with Bigfoot but also grumbling noises at having been disturbed, snorts, etc.?
Bob:  If she did, I never heard it... there were so many things were happening so quickly... uh, and the horses moving... Roger moving... me trying to get settled in to help him in case I had to...
Thom:  It's like the case of the old adage, when you're up to your tail in alligators, it's hard to remember your initial objective was to drain the swamp...
Bob:  Chuckle... That's right... Exactly Thom... that is exactly it
10) Will – Bob, have you been following the work of Bill Munns and what is your opinion about it?
Bob: uh.. Well I.. When I met Bill Munns and found out what he was doing... I met him and was really impressed... and for what he's doing at this present time... I don't know exactly... I will know this weekend but I take my hat off to Bill Munns for what he's done actually for my credibility part of it and so, to me, Bill Munns is really high on my list.  Very very high on my list.
Thom:  I'll echo that... very high on mine too... He has done fantastic work...
Bob:  He has indeed.
 Have you seen any other BF photos that look a lot like what you saw?
Bob:  Well, some have come about as, uh, close as I that I could still identify that and I, uh, really, uh, most of the ones I see show a face and, uh, and the body part of it, uh, will deviate a little and I understand that there is going to be differences in body of bigfoot, so therefore, I say whatever they saw and took a picture of or described is probably as accurate as my description of … of … of Patty, and... but I did she her face very clearly and some of those are very, very close.
 11) Sunflower - Bob, Have you seen anyone, at any time, able to duplicate exactly what you saw that day in 1967?????
Bob:  No, I haven't seen anyone that totally duplicated it because with... when Patty walked away with that tremendous amount of muscle underneath that hair moving, uh, it's pretty hard to duplicate that, uh, in a picture or anything else in my opinion.
Thom:  You're right, that was...
12) Bi-pedalist - Mr. Gimlin, besides  the adrenaline rush and fear factor operating did you still get the hair on your neck rising that day in 1967?  
Bob:  Well, I definitely did, yes, I, uh, uh, I finally realized these creatures do exist and here's one right in front of me... walking away from me with a size and muscle that I never dreampt that any creature could ever have..
 Also, you have been to many conferences and have met many people and have many friends in this field many with eyewitness accounts.  What do you make of the "high strangeness" accounts that people share with you, especially those that occur before and after sighting events?  
(Didn’t ask this one)
13) simplyskyla - How many bigfoot sightings has he had in his lifetime?
Thom:  We covered that... (We had covered the question of the number of sightings he's had... three.. Patty, the one on the Pacific Crest Trail and one at Bumping Lake)
Was patty the closest he ever got? 
Bob:  Well, es.. this is an estimated distance... the closest I got was when I first saw her and I'd say that was probably 60 feet... uh.. just a ball park figure was 60 feet or less.
14) Chelefoot - Mr. Gimlin, Have you ever had any doubts that Patty was anything other than 100 percent real?
Bob:  Never have... Uh, with all the litigation that's come out about that... with the different people saying they were in a suit down there... I knew in my own mind and watching that and being right there that if couldn't have been a man in a suit.
If you could change one thing about that day in Bluff Creek, what would it be and why?
Bob:  That people earlier on the film footage would have accepted it... what's been proven in the past and left me and my wife alone for the first 35 years.
One last question from me... Do you think there is any possibility that there is a question about that day at Bluff Creek that you haven't been asked yet?   :) 
Bob:  Not really.  It seems like I have been asked so many different questions.  … I meant... I think possibly that I have forgotten some of... some of the most basic events because of my age and because of the injuries I have sustained over the years 
15) Kitakazee – Mr Gimlin, there were sources that said you had Bob Heironimus’s
Horse name Chico at Bluff Creek, can you confirm that?
Bob:  Okay... I did have Bob Heronimous's horse because Roger had, apparently, borrowed that horse from Bob Heronimous.  'Cause I never got the horses together to go.  Roger gathered up the horses... I had the transportation and I knew the horse.  I'd been around the horse before... Big, stout... good roping horse and I think Bob used him back in those days to rope on but Bob Heronimous actually had that horse early in some of the work he was doing for Roger as well as myself where Roger was trying to get together a film to generate revenue to go on an expedition.
(rephrased question) Mr Gimlin, you look amazing for your age, what do you eat and how do you stay this fit?
(Not asked, but Bob stays very busy and still cowboying!)

16) Rockape - Bob, did you ever consider the possibility that Patty was trying to lead you away from her young?
Bob:  Well, I never had enough time to even think about that.  I just knew she was walking away... didn't even know that they suspected a young or other one in because at that particular time, I knew about the three different sizes of tracks we'd been called down there for but I hadn't... I wasn't … I was tired from the long distances we'd been riding at the time we'd been down there... so I never gave it any thought about her trying to lead me away from anything...
The PGF is considered the gold standard of BF evidence, is there any other video, photo, etc. that you find impressive evidence?
Bob:  No.
 What would you say to the people who think the PGF is a hoax?
Bob:  I say you ought to take a good look at the film footage and realize that there is gonna possibly be people out there try to make a story out of this.  Forever that they're gonna say they were in a suit in northern California when Roger and I were there... and it's been done more than one time as far as I know... in fact, I didn't even realize that Greg Long had had somebody... a big guy, uh, 6 or 7 years before he got ahold of Bob Hermonimous and tried to prove he was in a suit down there.  So, You know, it kinda is a... a two sword, double sword or double edged question for me because I don't really know... the thing is... is... I just know that's what happened and I'm going by what happened.
Thom:  Right
17) WV Footer – Mr Gimlin, Upon seeing "Patty", what was your first thought? What were you feeling at the time, Fear, Awe, Excited,...?
Bob:  There's a great big thing and they really do exist.
Thom Chuckle... yeah... that is the first thought, isn't it?
Bob:  that's the first thought I thought of...
Thom:  The first... first time I saw one here to there and yeah... standing there looking at him and said “where are the experts now?...”
Bob:  Exactly, Yeah... Well, I thought “All doubt is gone...”
 18) bf2011HBMay -  Even though you and Roger agreed not to shoot a Sasquatch, did you ever think in the back of your mind that it would benefit the world to have a specimen for scientific study despite the agreement? Thanks. (Question not asked, apologies Henry)
19) AaronD – (Slightly rephrased) Bob, have you had any encounters with anything that even COULD be a bf since 1967? (Covered this above)
You have already said it was NOT an ape he saw in 1967 (PGF subject), could you have guessed what it was?
Bob:  No... uh.. you know I, I.. could not... all I knew was it was a big, hairy covered human like creature walking away with a... with a great stride and a great, uh, amount of muscle mass and so, that's the only thing I could come up with.  I had no idea...
Thom:  It's mind boggling, isn't it?
Bob:  Yes it was... definitely was...Still is to my...
Thom: Right...
Bob:  after all the evidence... all the sightings that people have had, and all of the... all of everything that has happened since 1967 that's given me more strength about that than uh, than prior.
Do you have any idea why your 47 y/o piece of evidence is still the most convincing of any that sasquatches exist? Like why hasn't something been since found to better prove?
Bob:  Well, yes, there's questions in my mind about that, but, you know, there's no way to really address them, 'cause in my opinion, uh, there's been a lot of effort to... to get more evidence.  The only other thing I could come up with.. I have no proof... their ability to stay away, uh, from the camcorders, whatever, and basically I can figure out a little bit of my own personal opinions why they avoid human beings so much now... especially modern human beings... whereas we've heard the native Americans had close contact with them as if they were just part of the, uh, they wouldn't bother, uh... they were there, they belonged to Mother Earth... And we start shooting at them or we start to gather evidence they really exist and they're just trying to live their own life and be left alone.
Thom:  And, well, look... look at our society... who's want to be a part of that if they had a choice?
Bob:  Well, I can't... I'd like to be the first one to the moon if I could to get away from all this.
Thom:  Chuckle...
20) Pbeaton – Mr Gimlin, I know you told me in the past her tracks went across the entire sand bar. My question is do you recall roughly how many were relatively good clear tracks ?  12 to 20 ?  20 to 40 ? 40 plus ?
Bob:  Good tracks?
Thom:  Yeah...
Bob:  Oh, I'd say roughly, 50 to 60...
Thom:  50 to 60?
Bob:  or maybe even more than that.  I covered as many as I could with all the material I covered as many as I could with all the material I could gather off the dead tree.  There was a pretty good line of tracks there... uh... Matter of fact is, I can't recall just how long that, uh, type of soil was there but I'd say probably, uh, a hundred yards almost... at least 150 feet of that same type of soil (silted in) that had gathered up underneath that logjam or behind that logjam.
Thom:  Uh huh... before it got into the rocky stretch?
Bob:  Before it got into the gravel.  … You know, and my error was then, I wished Roger and I would have measured that... but, you know, you just don't think of all that...
Thom:  and then you have the film to take care of...
Bob:  Exactly.  Plus, you've got a lot of other issues and October 20th the day's a little short already... and you're dealing with darkness early.
Thom:  That's right... and none of us are professionals...
Bob:  I was the furtherest thing from a professional and... and.. and apparently Roger was too... We did what we thought was the best thing at the time.
21) Gigantor - Mr Gimlin, There have been claims that there were other BF type animals at the sighting location. Did you ever see any other animals in addition to the one filmed?
Bob:  No I did not.
22) Drew- (Rephrased) How many days did you and Roger spend at Bluff Creek?
Bob:  Yeah... My estimation was about 21 days down there.  I never could decide whether it was the last day or so in September or the 1st of October because we'd been down there approximately 3 weeks.
Thom:  Right
23) Sweaty Yeti – (slightly rephrased below) Mr Gimlin, I would like to ask if you recall any additional little things that Roger said to him...(that he hasn't previously mentioned)....the night of the filming...and on the following day, on their way back home?
Thom:  I'd like to ask if you recall any additional little things that Roger said to him that (you) haven't previously mentioned on the night of the filming and on the following day on their way back home.. uh, you know.. Personal type of things... what were his feelings?
Bob:  Well... okay... the next day on the way home, uh, ok.. that has to be explained because there was no “next day”.  That next day was trying to get out of that area with a storm in there... and then, all night I drove and Roger slept most of the time while I did the driving.  So... the only thing that was talked about that night after we got back to the truck is that, uh, what... what really happened that day and what he saw through the camera and what I felt I saw and smelled.  So, Therefore, each thing that we talked about varied just a little and then, of course we went on to sleep... the next morning it was raining and, uh, things just kind of broke loose from there.
Thom:  Was there an odor associated with her?
Bob:  a what now?
Thom:  Was there an odor?  Did you smell her?
Bob:  Yeah, yes, there was an odor... I thought it had kind of a... a skunky, mest... musty, skunky type of smell... Pretty stinky but with a must to it.
 Thom:  That's cool... Uhm...I think I have a couple I wrote that I wanted to ask too...
If you were to have that happen today, what would you do?
Bob:  If that happened to me today, I would not ride across the creek with the horse... I would try my best to act real submissive and get as close to her as I possibly could instead of all the scramble that went on that day.  Because if... if that happened to me again, I would hope that Roger didn't have a camera and was running after her to take a picture and I could try my best to get as close as I could and act submissive like... I want to be a friend... That's what I'd like to do and that's what I'd like to do today if I ever get another opportunity to get close to one again.
Thom:  Do you have any regrets about the publishing of the film to the world?
 Bob:  Oh yes, I do... so many different issues on that it would take me days to go through all of it