Showing posts with label San Francisco Chronicle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Francisco Chronicle. Show all posts

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 24, 1999 | SF Chronicle Reports New Technology for Bigfooting

Freitas uses a huge speaker on his pick-up truck to blast recorded
 Bigfoot calls across the valley / The Chronicle Photo: MICHAEL MACOR
Over the past few years, the hunt for Bigfoot has exploded in a frenzy of high technology. New high-tech detection equipment abounds, dangling from trees all over the United States

On this day, January 24th, in 1999, The San Francisco Chronicle noted a change in the way bigfooters did their research. If today's technology trend is combining all your gadgets into a single hand held device (think iPhone), in the 90's it was all about turning any technology into something you could hold in your hand. Powerful cameras and audio devices were not only shrinking, but also becoming more affordable. Another revolution was on the World Wide Web. With the release of Windows 95 people were migrating from AOL, a "walled-off" online service, to the surfing the decentralized web through a browser.

In a world where an average article is usually 200-500 words, journalist Michael Taylor gives a rare treat of writing an epic 3000-plus words of the who's who of Bigfoot research. It starts out with the new technology of call blasting.
From the cab of his pickup truck, John Freitas takes out a camera, a tape recorder and a pair of binoculars and sets them within easy reach in the pickup's bed. Near the tailgate is a huge outdoor speaker, much like the ones you see suspended from the tiers of baseball stadiums.

Freitas fiddles with the tape deck in the truck's dashboard, and then suddenly the speaker booms forth with an eerie wail.

"Aaarrrrrgggghhhh," the voice screams for several seconds, arcing from low to high then low, a bit like an air raid siren, and then again, in a higher pitch, "Aaaaaaiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee." Freitas shuts down the tape and listens carefully, waiting for a response. Silence. More silence. We look around, video camera at the ready. Come out, come out, wherever you are.

"The theory," he says, nodding at the speaker, "is that if there's another 'Squatch in this area, this will attract him."

This is the hunt for Bigfoot -- the legendary Sasquatch, as he was known in the old Salish tribal language of British Columbia, where locals say he has been seen frequently. John Freitas may well be typical of the new breed of Bigfoot hunter that seems to be emerging in the never-ending search for the phantom ape of North America. Undaunted by the occasional snicker or rolling of eyes from his friends or co-workers, Freitas, like any good police investigator, is methodical and practical and willing to go looking for something about which precious little evidence even exists.

Over the past few years, the hunt for Bigfoot has exploded in a frenzy of high technology. New high-tech detection equipment abounds, dangling from trees all over the United States -- Starlight nightscopes, motion detectors hooked up to infrared still and video cameras, FM wireless transmitters dangling from fir trees and transmitting to tape decks up to two miles away.

In his bedroom at a cabin Freitas rents deep in the forest are a video cassette recorder, a three-foot-long telephoto lens, nightvision Starlight binoculars and a recycled siren switchbox from a patrol car, used to amplify the screams on his tapes.

And that's just the stuff in the field. At home and in offices across the country, the Internet has spawned a myriad of Web sites that have brought a sense of order and organization to a subject that for years has been disparate, fractured and, given the heated arguments over whether Bigfoot even exists, fractious in the extreme.

And there is still a smattering of oldstyle Bigfoot information: At the Bigfoot museum in Willow Creek, where Al Hodgson is the curator, nearly two dozen plaster casts of footprints seen in the Northern California wilderness are on display in glass cases. The best part of Hodgson's display is the collection of footprint casts donated by the estate of Bob Titmus, one of the most experienced Bigfoot trackers.

On the Six Rivers mountaintop with Freitas, though, all that counts is whether the elusive man-ape will answer these calls. The tapes were recorded in 1994 in a mountainous rural area of eastern Ohio by Matthew Moneymaker, a 33-year-old software engineer from Southern California who is also a longtime Bigfoot tracker. Moneymaker said there have been numerous sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures in that Appalachian area of Ohio, near Pennsylvania.

Moneymaker played the tapes for three scientists, including a zoologist who specializes in wildlife, and "they all said it was something really unusual" and could not identify the sounds. In the world of Bigfoot, that means it bore no resemblance to any identifiable mammal, and it was just what Freitas needed in the form of aural bait.
The article continues on to mention a new website that catalogs and stores Bigfoot sightings, the address is Known simply today as
Now, however, there is some consistency developing in the search for Bigfoot, particularly on the Internet.

For example, Moneymaker has helped create the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) and its inevitable Web site (, that purports to have one of the largest geographic databases of sightings in the world.
We have only shared less than a third of the article, the rest is definitely worth reading as most journalist don't give this much time and effort to the topic of Bigfoot. The entire article is at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tongue-In-Cheek Bigfoot

Another tongue-in-cheek article about Bigfoot. I guess any press is good press right?

Although I do like the addition of her five favorite cytptids.

To read the article expand post below or click here.

Do you believe in Bigfoot?
It is a creature that answers to many names: Abominable Snowman, Yeti, Yowie Man, Sasquatch and, of course, Bigfoot. It's also one that has served as fodder for campfire and supermarket tabloid stories for decades.

Frame 352 from the Patterson-Gimlin film showing Bigfoot (or a man in an ape suit).
Although thousands of people claim to have spotted the hairy hominoid (as nearby as the Oregon Caves in Grants Pass, Oregon, and mostly by men who were "relieving" themselves at the time — go figure), the evidence of its actual existence remains fairly fuzzy. There are few (if any) clear photographs or video footage of the grooming-challenged, bipedal beast, and what does exist tends to resemble a man awkwardly disguised in a gorilla suit. No bones have ever been found and countless pranksters have admitted to faking footprints.
When the well-known Bigfoot tracker Ray Wallace died in a California nursing home in 2002, his children announced that their prank-loving pop had used a pair of carved wooden feet to create a track of giant footprints in a northern California logging camp back in 1958.
But Bigfoot advocates remain undeterred by this lack of forensic evidence. A small but vocal group of scientists and cryptozoologists hypothesize that this mysterious animal is the offspring of an ape from Asia that wandered to North America during the Ice Age. They believe there are at least 2,000 ape men walking upright in North America's woods today.
An adult male is said to be at least eight feet tall, weigh 800 pounds and have feet twice the size of our own. Bigfoots are believed be shy, omnivorous and mostly nocturnal. Many encounter stories also describe a terrible stench associated with the camera-elusive, grooming-challenged beast. (Remember the 80s film classic "Harry and the Hendersons?" Check it out for a quick and entertaining refresher course on Bigfoots.)
Some consider the most compelling photographic evidence of Bigfoot to be a controversial short film shot by Roger Patterson in 1967, which appears to document a female Bigfoot striding along a riverbank in northern California. Even renowned chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall surprised an interviewer from National Public Radio in 2002 when she said she was sure that large, undiscovered primates, such as the Yeti or Sasquatch, exist. Yet oddly, no Bigfoot has ever been captured, dead or alive.
Do you believe Bigfoot is real?
Just for some Monday fun, here's a brief summary of my top five favorite cryptids:
• El Chupacabra - The name (from the Spanish words chupar, meaning "to suck" and cabra, meaning "goat") comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock. Eyewitness sightings have been claimed as early as 1990 in Puerto Rico, and have since been reported as far north as Maine, and as far south as Chile. It is supposedly a stocky creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail.
• Loch Ness Monster - This lake creature was "discovered" in 1933 and is believed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The legendary monster has been affectionately referred to as "Nessie" since the 1950s.
• Hodag - In 1893, newspapers reported the discovery of a Hodag in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. It had "the head of a frog, the grinning face of a giant elephant, thick short legs set off by huge claws, the back of a dinosaur and a long tail with spears at the end." Well-known Wisconsin timber cruiser and prankster Eugene Shepard displayed a "captured" Hodag at a county fair, but eventually admitted that the animal was a hoax.
• Kraken - These sea monsters of gargantuan size are said to have dwelt off the coasts of Norway and Iceland. The legend may have originated from sightings of real giant squid that are the size of an average swimming pool with 10 foot long tentacles and eyes the size of soccer balls. These creatures normally live at great depths, but have been sighted at the surface and have reportedly "attacked" ships.
• Jackalope - This animal is said to be a cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope. The tales of jackalopes may have been inspired by sightings of rabbits infected with the Shope papilloma virus also known as Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (eep!), which causes the growth of horn- and antler-like tumors in various places on a rabbit's head and body. For more entertaining info check out this link.
Which cryptid would you most want as a pet?
Posted By: Amelia Glynn (Email) | August 17 2009 at 05:22 PM

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

5 Places

Spud Hilton
Sunday, April 26, 2009

The West Coast is the stomping grounds, literally, for the mysterious, elusive beastie whose aliases include sasquatch, yeti and ZZ Top guitarist. While most sightings and related sites are in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of places to get into the Bigfoot spirit, if not actually follow in big footsteps. And you know what they say about big feet - there's always a festival or a souvenir stand somewhere nearby.

1. Happy Camp (Siskiyou County)

Legend has it that Happy Campers have been spotting Bigfoot and his kin for more than a century, although in recent years most of the related action is at the annual Bigfoot Jamboree on Labor Day Weekend. Festivities include a parade, a concert and the crowning of the Bigfoot Jamboree Queen. The town, about 15 miles south of the Oregon border, occasionally holds the Bigfoot Summer Games on Memorial Day weekend. Visit the statue of the big guy (made entirely of donated scrap metal), and at night, bed down at the Bigfoot RV Park and Cabins, 112 Davis Road, (530) 493-2884. For more, call the Happy Camp chamber at (530) 493-2900.

2. San Diego Museum of Man

Unlike many "museums" with a Bigfoot angle, this one isn't a glorified gift shop that can be towed to festivals and county fairs. There's a curator, permanent walls and, most important, a reconstruction of a Gigantopithecus blacki, the extinct towering primate that is considered the closest kin to modern day Bigfoot. The full-size replica was built for the museum based on Giganto skeleton specs. 1350 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, (619) 239-2001,

3. The Bigfoot Lodge, Los Angeles

Not a lodge in the "lodging" sense so much as a hippish dive bar in a log cabin setting or, as one Yelp reviewer put it, what you get when you "mix Yosemite and Los Angeles." The waiters wear Boy Scout shirts, there's a huge sign for Sasquatch National Park and the drink menu includes the Toasted Marshmallow, the Sasquatch and the Girl Scout Cookie. Beyond that, there's not a lot of connection with the bar's namesake, although after a few Toasted Marshmallows, you probably won't care. 3172 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 662-9227. (There's a sister bar in San Francisco at 1750 Polk St., (415) 440-2355)

4. Willow Creek, Humboldt County

This tiny town lays claim to Bigfoot heritage and backs it up at the Bigfoot Museum (more accurately, the Bigfoot wing of the Willow Creek-China Flat Museum) and an annual Bigfoot Days event with a parade, live music and a disc golf tournament (which sounds UFO themed, really). It's also where the most famous Bigfoot footage was filmed. Museum: 38949 Highway 299, Willow Creek. (530) 629-2653, www.big Bigfoot Days are in downtown Willow Creek on Labor Day weekend (Sept. 5-7).

5. Bigfoot Discovery Museum

The last reported sighting of a hulking, hairy biped (other than surfers) in the Santa Cruz Mountains was 1980, but that didn't stop a Felton couple from starting the Bigfoot Discovery Project and related museum in 2003 "to encourage the nonexploitation and preservation of Bigfoot." The museum has plenty of high-minded resources about the study of Bigfoot - as well as kitchy, fun stuff and souvenirs for entertainment value. Get photos with the cool statues. 5497 Highway 9, Felton, (831) 335-4478,

This article appeared on page G - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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