Showing posts with label research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label research. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

London Trackway: Over 120 Sequential Sasquatch Prints Found

One of the first measurements taken by Toby Johnson 15-16 inch print
South of Eugene, over 120 footprint tracks were found in a clay-mixed substrate that was a perfect material to capture and record footprints. We believe the tracks were made as recently as Saturday February 11th, although the first few prints were not discovered until Sunday the 12th.

Quick run down of events.
  • (SUN Feb 12th) Max is a retired man who once worked in the auto industry and now spends his retirement restoring cars, he happened to be looking for cars in the London, Oregon when he is approached by a man walking his dog. 
  • (SUN Feb 12th) The man walking his dog mentions to Max there are three Bigfoot prints near the tree line. Max checks it out and is surprised to see the three good tracks
  • (MON Feb 13th)  Max can't sleep, has to go back to  site to take pictures.
  • (TUE Feb 14th)  Max remembers Toby Johnson's Sasquatch-mobile, it had been decorated with large Bigfoot stickers resembling footprints. He had also recalled reading an newspaper article of the first Oregon Sasquatch Symposium Toby had held in 2010 at Lane Community College in Eugene. The Sasquatch-mobile is now owned by Toby's ex-wife, sans stickers, but Max, the car afficianado that he is, recognizes the vehicle non-the-less. So when Max went share the Bigfoot prints he contacted Toby's ex-wife first. Max gives his contact info to Toby's Ex
  • (TUE Feb 14th)  Toby calls Max and max sends the pics of the three prints via phone.
  • (WED Feb 14th 8:00pm ~ THURS  Feb 15th 7:00am) Toby goes to the site with his friend, an avid hunter and a local. Since Toby's friend wishes to remain anonymous, we will call him Tracker. Both Toby and Tracker see the original three and few others that were not photographed, these other tracks were in heavy vegetation.
  • (THURS  Feb 15th afternoon) Toby goes home and Tracker ges home. Toby tries to return to site later in afternoon, due to obligations he can not stay long, as he leaves Tracker returns. Tracker is with his daughter's boyfriend, and continues to follow the tracks on his own time. Tracker follows the tracks out of the vegetation into a clay-like substrate and realizes there are at least a hundred prints. He calls Toby.
  • (THURS  Feb 15th 3pm-ish) Toby calls Cliff Barackman, co-host of Finding Bigfoot and a self-described "track/cast-nerd". Cliff drives 2 hours to investigate the scene. Cliff also contacts Chris Minniear who picked up most of the casting material, did about half of the 65 cast made. Chris also documented the evenings events on video.
  • (FRI Feb 16th 6pm) I am able to get a ride with Thom Powell, we meet Beth Heikkinen and Toby Johsnson and see the tracks ourselves. 
  • (SAT Feb 17th 6am) Our original count was around 118 sequential prints. Cliff Barackman was able to count 122, we will confirm if his count are the sequential set or total prints in the area.We made two set of measurements recording step length stride length.
Step length is the distance between the point of initial contact of one foot and the point of initial contact of the opposite foot. In normal gait, right and left step lengths are similar.
Stride length is the distance between successive points of initial contact of the same foot. Right and left stride lengths are normally equal.
Below is a rough illustrated diagram of the the general path and the measurements we took. Knowing how difficult it is to get exact measurements, I added a third column titled Calculated Stride Length to compare against the Measured Stride Lengths. The numbers in the calculated column are based on the recorded step length. the numbers I am interested in are the average and means. 
The mean is the usual average,
so in Series A: Step Length average is 47.29:
(45 + 48 + 46 + 45 + 46 + 54+ 47) ÷7 = 47.29
The median is the middle value, so I'll have to rewrite the list in order
so in Series A: Step Length median is 46:
45, 45, 46, 46, 47, 48, 54
As you can see in the two sets, Series A and Series B, there average numbers and the means for the step and stride are relatively close.

Click to Enlarge
Below is a chronological slideshow of London Footprints (possible sequence of 120+ Sasquatch tracks). Photo compilation from Max Roy & Toby Johnson (initial discoverers), and Cliff Barackman & Thom Powell (first seasoned researchers on the scene) and yours truly, Guy Edwards (Bigfoot fanboy).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bigfoot Field Researchers Do Not Collect Enough Data

Fiona Stewart, a post doc student at Cambridge University
pioneered a new way of understanding our closest ancestors.
Collect data, any data. Record what you observe. These are tenets, we believe, are missing in Bigfoot field research. Fiona, in the picture above is a great example of how simple data collection can be pretty revealing. The data she collected spanned only twelve nights, and yet, yielded some interesting results.

In an article On catching up and new primatology methods ERUDEF cites Fiona Stewart's published research on why wild chimpanzee sleep in nest. At first the article comments on what is very familiar in most of the Bigfoot research we have come across.
The early primatological field researchers valued highly personal, anecdotal evidence; they did not separate it from quantitative data collection.
Then it goes into the data driven era of modern research, which, we believe has rarely happened in Bigfoot research.
However, the discipline today, like many scientific disciplines, is legitimized predominantly by the objective analysis of quantitative data.  A methodological approach is only considered valid and reliable if the scientist removes the personal journey experienced while attempting to answer a research question.
There is a third way, to combine subjective experience with objective data. In order to understand why chimps sleep in nest, Fiona slept in them herself.
Understanding why chimpanzees choose to sleep in nests has been a difficult question for many primatologists to answer. Nest building is a complex and time-consuming activity, yet all weaned chimpanzees do it every night. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this ubiquitous activity pattern: antipredation, antipathogen and thermoregulation. However, nobody has ever had the opportunity to empirically test any of these hypotheses for both logistical and ethical reasons.
Chimpanzees hanging out in a nest. Photo courtesy of Fiona’s new approach was unorthodox, but it seems to have yielded interesting and intriguing results. For 12 nights she slept in either an arboreal chimpanzee nest or on the bare ground, all the while collecting data on her core body temperature, sleep duration, external and internal sources of disturbance and number of parasitic bites.
She then compared the data from her nights sleeping a chimpanzee nest with night spent sleeping without a nest structure. The results provided the first evidence that arboreal nests provide protection from parasites, assist with thermoregulation and improve overall sleep quality.
Chimps nesting.
Although Fiona gets credit for pioneering this "type" of research, it is important to note, according to a Grover Krantz obituary, "Once, in order to find out the advantage of huge brow ridges to Homo erectus, he made himself a replica of a homo erectus brow ridge that he strapped above his eyes [for six months]."

Fiona's example makes two arguments for us; one, we are not collecting enough data, two, data collection is simple and does not require a lot or time or effort to come to a conclusion.
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