Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is global warming forcing Bigfoot to move north?

On Scientific American's Website in a segment called "60-Second Science, got a minute?" Ivan Oransky writes about a science called phylogeography: The biogeographic shifts, speciation, extinction and determinants of community assembly. Its a wonderful article with great Bigfoot links...
If you were a nine-foot tall animal covered in dense fur – say, Bigfoot – you would probably seek cooler climes if temps began inching up. That’s the hypothesis one Queens College biologist posed to me last night – without, I should note, acknowledging that such an animal exists at all.

First, a bit of background on why I would have found myself in a bar in Manhattan’s Alphabet City talking about Sasquatch. The biologist in question – Mike Hickerson, who studies “biogeographic shifts, speciation, extinction and determinants of community assembly,” a.k.a. phylogeography – and I had just been to Bigfoot Night. Bigfoot Night, if you don't know, was the latest installment of Kevin Maher’s Sci Fi Screening Room. (In the interests of full disclosure, Bigfoot Night’s co-host was M. Sweeney Lawless, a friend.)

Bigfoot Night was not quite a scientific conference, but it was entertaining nonetheless. We were treated to a number of videos: A 1984 CNN segment on a town in Washington State that became alarmed after a group of Vietnam vets there decided to hunt Bigfoot in the woods. (There was potential risk to “nocturnal agricultural pursuits” and “nocturnal distillation.”) An episode of TV's The Six Million Dollar Man in which bionic hero Steve Austin fought Bigfoot. (Spoiler alert: Austin ripped Sasquatch’s arm off.) An episode of Bigfoot and Wildboy. (Watch the intro here.)

Performers also read dozens of Bigfoot "eyewitness" accounts, many of which ended with some version of “This was not a bear.” And we were treated to a truly awful movie called Skunk Ape?! featuring a punk band whose leader was hell-bent on killing a Florida swamp creature in Chicago using a harpoon. (No Bigfoot porn, much to the chagrin of some audience members.)

But I digress. The night’s science quotient went up later, when several of us from the audience went out for drinks. There, Hickerson told me about his research into what’s called environmental niche modeling. The basic idea is that you correlate sightings of any organism, or evidence of that organism, with geographical and climate data, to try to figure out where you might find other such organisms.

That’s the idea behind this study of species shifting across Yosemite, led by Hickerson’s postdoctoral advisor, Craig Moritz. You can see how such work would be useful not only in trying to forecast where animals and plants might move, but also in predicting places we might find endangered species where we previously have not. Combine that with new tools like Google Earth, and it’s understandable why the field has taken off.

Hickerson told me that evolutionary meetings now feature hundreds of papers on the subject, compared to practically none just two or three years ago. He uses it to study a number of plants and animals, in particular those such as seaweed and barnacles that live in rocky intertidal regions.

But such modeling could also be used to study Bigfoot. So as a joke, Hickerson, who spent about eight years in Washington State working in forests (where, he says, he heard “some weird stuff” at night), and his colleagues are taking all of the Bigfoot footprint and sighting data to try to figure out where the creatures might be found. That is, if they exist, which Hickerson says is an incredibly big if. (Note to believers: He’s a open-minded skeptic, not one of you.)

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, he then told me that they still need more data, particularly from Canada, but his preliminary read is that there have been more sightings in northern parts of Sasquatch habitat lately.

“Maybe Sasquatch is moving up north,” Hickerson suggested sarcasticaly.

Watch out, Canada.

Photo of Dan Raspler in a Bigfoot costume – or not? -- courtesy Marian Brock
Read Original Article

Famous film of Bigfoot: Big hoax?

A Michigan paper named Kalamazoo claims to debunk the famous Patterson/Gimlin with the help of the cable channel TVLand owned by MTV Networks, a division of Viacom
Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Special to the Gazette

A Kalamazoo native's story helps to debunk the myth of Bigfoot tomorrow on TV Land.

It was 1967 when costume-maker Philip Morris got an unusual phone call from a guy asking about a gorilla costume. ``We had been advertising our costumes in a lot of trade magazines, so I was used to getting phone calls, but this was different,'' said Morris, whose costume company Morris Costumes in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest in the nation.

``The man on the phone, who said his name was Roger Patterson, wanted to buy a gorilla suit and asked if it looked like a real gorilla,'' said Morris, a Kalamazoo Central graduate. ``I told him that it looked like a Hollywood gorilla, but he said he wanted something that looked more like a Neanderthal. What he wanted was Bigfoot.''

Intrigued, Morris asked Patterson what the costume was for. ``He said the costume was for a prank, but I thought that was pretty odd because these were expensive suits,'' said Morris. ``Our customers were movie studios and famous magicians, the suits cost $450 back then. That is like over $1,000 today. I thought it was odd to spend so much on a prank, but I sent him the costume.''

Two weeks after sending out the costume, Morris got another phone call from Patterson. ``He asked me to send him some extra fur and asked how to hide the zipper in the back and how to make the person in the costume look larger,'' Morris said. ``I told him to brush the fur over the zipper and use hair spray to hold it, and then get some football shoulder pads and sticks for the arms to give the illusion of being taller, and use stuffing to get more bulk.''

Two months later, Patterson was all over the news with a video he ``captured'' of Bigfoot while hunting in northern California. ``I was watching TV when I saw Patterson and his film on the news,'' Morris said. ``I called my wife from the other room and said, `Look it's our gorilla costume.'''

The film has since become the most famous footage of Bigfoot and has ignited a controversy over its authenticity. With a large clientele of magicians, Morris decided not to tell anyone that it was his gorilla costume in the film.

``As a costume and special-effects producer, I have an ethical code I have to uphold,'' Morris said. ``I couldn't go out telling secrets and expect magicians to trust me with their props. That is why I didn't say anything. Plus I thought he would come clean in a few weeks.''

Patterson never admitted it was a hoax, but after his death in the 1980s Morris decided it was OK to tell people it was his suit in the film.

``Most people believe me, but there are people that are very hostile to me when I tell them it is a hoax,'' Morris said. ``It is like telling them Santa Claus doesn't exist. They grew up believing it was true and do not want to admit to themselves it's fake.''
Read Original Article

Reality Films Releases Wildman of Kentucky DVD

Title: The Wildman of Kentucky, the Mystery of Panther Rock
Genre: Bigfoot, Supernatural, History
Buy At Amazon
Buy At Reality Store

The Wildman of Kentucky, the Mystery of Panther Rock

There is probably no other unknown creature that arouses more curiosity than the Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Yes, there is the Loch Ness Monster, the Chupacabra and other great beasts of Lore but the Bigfoot remains the most compelling as it pulls us towards ourselves…shadowing the unknown X factor of our very origins. The case files contain thousands of reported sightings, yet no actual specimen has ever been found. Hundreds of photographs exist, but the creature has not been identified. Still, the clues accumulate year after year. In the words of one Bigfoot investigator, “It is an extremely complex phenomenon with no starting point and few geographical limits.” If this creature does exist then it most certainly must be a relative of man.

Species? Unknown at this time

In the heart of Kentucky there is an ancient and sacred ground known as Panther Rock. For many years tales of strange events have been reported but never investigated in full. Now, for the first time an intrepid group of explorers ventures into the unknown to discover the truth. Join the Reality Team of Special Investigators as they uncover new Bigfoot witnesses and historical tales. Journey with them into the dark woods of the Frazier Land and witness amazing paranormal and often terrifying events.

Computer Generated Recreations – Music by Freakhouse and other Reality Artists- Exclusive Footage and Expert Witnesses – New Interpretations of Strange Phenomena Footage of the Unknown in Anderson, County KY

The Wildman of Kentucky, the Mystery of Panther Rock

120 minutes, 24.95 USD RYE 1036
Please read our terms of use policy.