Monday, October 1, 2012

Who is Derek Randles?

Derek Randles of Ridgwalkers Unlimited and The Olympic Project


Derek Randles has been looking for Sasquatch since the mid 80's. In September 2000, he was a principle investigator in the Skookum Cast. The Skookum Cast is named after the Skookum Meadows area of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It is believed to be a cast made from a full body print of a Sasquatch laying on it's side and reaching for an apple that was left out the night before. 

Illustration based on the imprint of the Skookum Cast
Derek Randles was also part of the Dr. Jeff Meldrum's North American Ape Project. The North American Ape Project is a grant-funded multi-year sasquatch research project directed by professor Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University. According to a university announcement, "The North American Ape Project (NAAP) seeks to detect and collect evidence through support from the Mayfield Foundation. This will be undertaken primarily by means of hair snags monitored by camera traps. In addition, fieldworkers will record vocalizations, document tracks and sample associated scat. Habitats will be analyzed for availability and distribution of food resources.

According to the Acknowledgments section of Meldrum's book "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science" (2006), participating members of the North American Ape Project included Ron Brown, LeRoy Fish, Derek Randles, John Pickering, Rick Noll, Owen Caddy, Brian Smith, John Mionczynski, and Julie Davis.

Derek was also one of the first investigators to interview the two bear hunters involved with the Sierra Kills and has been instrumental in getting specimens from the possible killing Dr. Melba Ketchuim's DNA study. It is important to note that Derek Randles does not condone killing Bigfoot, even for the sake of science.

Recently Derek Randles investigated investigated the Elbe Trackway, now a known hoax. Prior to the discovery of a hoax Derek Randles was one of the first investigators on the scene carefully documenting every detail.

My first chance to do field work with Derek Randles
(Left to Right: Derek randles, Cliff Barackman, and me, Guy Edwards)
Now you can catch Derek Randles working the Olympic Project. According to OlympicProject.com:
The Olympic Project is an association of dedicated researchers, investigators, biologists and trackers committed to documenting the existence of Sasquatch through science and education.  Through comprehensive habitat study, DNA analysis and game camera deployment, our goal is to obtain as much information and empirical evidence as we can, with hopes of being as prepared as possible when and if species verification comes to fruition.  Our studies are conducted in a non-invasive manor with respect and sensitivity to probable habitat we believe this amazing species inhabits.
From my personal experience, Derek Randles is one of the most prepared field researchers out there. He had a tool for everything, and not just a tool, but the best tool for everything; measuring tape that measured yards and yards, casting materials, etc...His planning and thoughtfulness is apparent when you are out in the field with him and he is extremely generous with his knowledge and giving you an opportunity to collect your own data and research. 



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