Friday, August 17, 2012

One Man's Inspiring Story about China's Bigfoot

At age 62, Li Guohua, still looks for the Chinese Wildman.  
"Although I have seen the Wildman several times, I couldn't record it because it escaped too fast, and I didn't have a good camera to record faraway objects. Besides, it is too exhausting for a single man to search in such a large area." -- Li Guohua, Yeren Researcher

The Chinese version of Bigfoot is called YeRen (野人). It directly translates to Wild Man. Today at Chinese Daily you can read an article of a 62 year-old man who has been searching for the Wild Man for 30 years. This is a touching story unlike any Chinese-Yeren-Hubei Province-Shennongjia Region story we have shared with you so far. Its a little more personal.

In 2010 we shared the story about the Hubei Wild Man Research Association looking for 100 scientist and explorers. Later that year we shared the Yeti hair research by The Shennongjia Nature Reserve. More recently, earlier this year we announced China to Explore Virgin Forest Home of 'Bigfoot'

Now you can read a story about a man, not an institution, a man who's story is very similar to many Bigfooters here in the North America.

Cooking a meal in 1980. 
One man has made it his life mission to track down the mysterious 'Wildman' that is said to be roaming the mountains of Shennongjia. Wang Xiaodong reports in Shennongjia, Hubei province.

For the past three decades, Li Guohua has had just one mission in life: to find the legendary "Wildman" in the thick forests of Hubei province.

He can't recall how many times he almost lost his life to unexpected cold, falling into canyons or fighting bears. He was even mistaken by police for being an armed fugitive when trying to trace the ape-like Wildman in the mountains of Shennongjia, the scene of numerous witness reports of this elusive ape-man.
The retired 62-year-old firmly believes in the existence of Wildman and plans to organize an exploration team.

"Although I am not as vigorous as I used to be, I am still strong enough to climb mountains and with my experience I can guide young team members," he says. "I am sure I will find a Wildman and be able to provide solid evidence if I can get support from others."

Born in Yichang, Hubei province, Li says he has always been a curious person. "I was fascinated by the wilderness and forests when I was a child."

"When I was a boy, I would go to the woods near my home whenever I had a chance. I would roam there for hours, hunting birds and tasting different wild fruits, and hurried back home only when it began to get dark."

Li's first encounter with the Wildman was in 1972, when he found several "big footprints" while working in Muyu town as a logger.

"I had heard many stories about the Wildman. After I saw the big footprints my curiosity soared and I was convinced there must be such a creature in the forest."

Four years later he was working as an actor when he started his search.

"I heard five officials encountered a strange creature when driving on a mountain road. Locals talked about this for several days and I found it hard to calm down."

As his fellow performers in the troupe traveled to Wuhan for training, Li took off on his own up the mountain, with just some biscuits, a rope and steel bar.

He didn't find a Wildman but it was his first of many adventures.

"Whenever winter came, I just could not resist the temptation and would involuntarily find myself in forests. It was like I was enchanted," he says.

Li made his journeys of exploration mostly in winter as the light is better because the leaves have fallen, enabling him to find the creature's tracks. He spent days, even months, in the forest.

"To find a Wildman, you have to become a Wildman first. Like wild animals, the Wildman's senses are more acute than human beings and they can easily detect an approaching person."

Li pours scorn on the large-scale science exploration teams that are occasionally organized to search for the creature.

"These guys will never find anything new like a Wildman as they make too much noise, even if they are well equipped. To find a Wildman, you have to live in the mountains and merge with nature."

Spending time alone in harsh conditions comes easy to Li, who says he has been a loner since he was a child.
Speaking of being alone in the mountains, he says: "The solitude was so strong sometimes I became numb to the outside world. In addition, there was physical weakness caused by cold and fatigue. Sometimes, I was gripped by illusions and felt I could almost see Death."

Years of unrelenting effort, however, did bring some reward as Li saw the Wildman and its footprints on several occasions.

"It was the moment that I can never forget," he says of his first encounter with the beast, on Feb 28, 1980.
The Wildman appeared to be chasing him, Li says, possibly because it thought he was prey.

"I hid behind some trees and tried hard to contain my violently beating heart, closing my eyes for a while hoping I could see it more clearly later," he says.

As the creature came nearer, he could see clearly it resembled both a man and an ape. It was about 2.6 meters tall, with red hair all over its body, no tail, two arms waving as it walked like a man.

He was horrified but even so aimed his gun and pulled the trigger. But it failed to fire, as the charge was damp. He did not have a camera.

The creature turned around and ran swiftly toward a bamboo forest.

"Seeing the creature disappear, I collapsed on the snowy ground."

"When I returned haggard to the art troupe and saw my colleagues, I tried to say hello but could not remember their names, as I had been cut off from society for too long."

Since retiring a few years ago, Li's family of three has been relying on his monthly pension of about 2,000 yuan ($313). However, Li still continues the search.

"Once I receive a witness report from the villagers, I immediately go to the scene with them to check it out."
He blames lack of equipment and manpower on his inability to provide evidence of the creature's existence.
"Although I have seen the Wildman several times, I couldn't record it because it escaped too fast, and I didn't have a good camera to record faraway objects. Besides, it is too exhausting for a single man to search in such a large area."

He has published a book about his travails, with the help of Beijing Book House Technology & Culture Co.
"Li is a little obstinate and not very sociable," says Wang Wei, a marketing manager of the company. "But he is very focused on his pursuit. It is not easy in modern society, when many people just follow the trends and frequently shift focus."

"I hope I can find a sponsor and some volunteers so that I can continue with the search," Li says. "I have devoted all my life to the search and I hope I can put an end to this mystery so that I can be relieved before the end of my life."

Contact the writer at
Zhou Lihua in Wuhan contributed to this story.
(China Daily 08/16/2012 page20)

CORRECTION: Initially we have stated that (野人) was translated as YaJin. We got this from Google translate ( If you click the audio is is undeniably "Ya Jin". A fluent speaker has commented that this is incorrect. However, for what it is worth, YaJin is the Japanese word for the Yeti spelled in katakana as (やじん)..

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Interview With Bigfoot Shooter's Polygraph Examiner

Jeanne Hobbs of NorCal Polygraph testing Justin Smeja.
Picture courtesy of Ro Sahebi, leave it to a bigfooter to take a blurry picture.
No wonder we can't get a clear  photo of BF.
"I believe he was truly scared for his life. His actions were based on protecting himself." --Jeanne Hobbs, Polygraph examiner

Yesterday afternoon (08.14.2012) I had the pleasure of interviewing the polygraph examiner that conducted the interview with Justin Smeja. Based on the the report from Bigfoot Evidence there were a few details I wanted to clarify. I was curious if the questions were designed by the examiner and if the questions were shared with the Justin Smeja previous to the interview. Both common practices and legitimate practices during a polygraph examinations. I was also curious to the format of the questions, knowing that in all likeliness more than 17 questions were asked.

Below is our conversation with Jeanne Hobbs, thank you Ro Sahebi for arranging this interview. Your a nice guy and have beautiful hair.

Jeanne can you tell me about your background and how you got into becoming a polygraph examiner?I used to work for a private investigator and we were always looking for polygraph examiner, they were hard to come by. Eventually I realized in 2002-2003 that it would be worth it to go to school, become an examiner myself and buy a state-of-the art polygraph machine. 
How many tests have you done in your carreer?Over 800
It was reported earlier that Bart Cutino and Ro Sahebi created the questions, isn't it more common for the examiner to prepare the questions?I did prepare the questions. Only the examiner creates the questions for the exam. Bart and Ro had a prepared general outlines of questions they wanted asked and I rewrote some of them as yes and no questions and there were some that I felt might have been redundant, questions about the Fish and Wildlife for example, so I omitted them.
While doing my research I read it is common practice in polygraph tests to share the questions your going to ask with the interviewee, sometime this is done as part of the pre-interview process. Did Justin get to preview these questions?Yes, this is normal during a polygraph examination. The test looks for significant involuntary responses, the physiological reactions that a person would have to be able to control or fake would take years and lots of practice to fake. These questions are not supposed to be "gotcha" questions, they are asked in a specific sequence to determine fluctuation in physiological activities. We create a baseline when the subject is asked to tell a known lie. 
There are 17 question on the report, how many questions did you ask all together? 40 questions were asked; four 10-question sets.  
Can you talk about the 10 question set?The 10 question set is what we use and is scientifically designed to be used in the exam. 4 Known Truth Questions, 4 Relevant Questions, 2 Know Lies (Control Questions) The "know truth" questions & "know lie" questions are what scores the "relevant" questions.
Was there anything different about this test and the test results?This test went like any of the many other test I performed. 
Prior to to this test did you have an opinion about  Bigfoot?My brother is a Sergeant for the Washington State Patrol and he has shared some pretty strange stories of bigfoot-like creatures up there. So yeah, it seemed like a possibility to me. there are lot's of strange things that I think are possible, even UFO's You know?
After the test was there a shift in your thinking? I mean not only did Justin see a Bigfoot, but he shot one!Yeah it has definitely reinforced for me that Bigfoot are out there.
One last question, after the interview was complete and the results were recorded what was your impression of Justin as a subject?I believe he was truly scared for his life. His actions were based on protecting himself. Overall he was extremely calm and did not seem to have anything to prove or gain. 
You can read the results of the 17 polygraph questions in yesterday's post, and images of the original document at Bigfoot Evidence.

Bigfoot Killer Passes Lie Detector Test. What Does it Mean?

Justin Smeja passed a polygraph test 
Justin Smeja claims to have killed Bigfoot. He recently passed a lie detector test, or more properly, during a polygraph examination, there was no deception indicated. Does it progress Bigfoot research? What impact will these results have on the community. I was able to ask these very questions of four of the principle players; Bart Cutino, Shawn Evidence,  Ro Sahebi, and Carl Olinselot. Below is:

  1. The documentary directed by Ro Sahebi
  2. The seventeen questions/answers/results published in the examiner's report. Original documents at Bigfoot Evidence
  3. And then the answers to the three questions I asked Bart, Shawn, Ro and Carl. What was your role? What does this mean to the Bigfoot Community? And, What does this mean to you personally?

1) In late October 2010, at the site you brought for a "body Search" in July 2011, did you directly fire on two animals; one adult and what you believe one juvenile of a species others would logically term as BIGFOOTS" or "SASQUATCHES"?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

2) Was the first shot fired on-site, a direct hit to a bipedal animal you have never seen before?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

3) When you first saw this "animal", did you recognize it as a species you had never seen before or even knew existed?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

4) Did you encounter two animals that you believed were relative juveniles of the adult subject you shot?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

5) Did You shoot and fatally wound a juvenille "animal" that appeared to be a species that you have never seen before or ever knew even existed
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

6) Did you or Jack stop and purchase cigareetes in Sierra City on your way home after the "Sierra Kills" shootings?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

7) Are all of the statements you are making in regards to you shooting two bipedal primates, which incident is now being called the "Sierra Kills", true?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

8) Is this entire "Sierra Kills" story a Hoax
Answer: No Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

9) Would there be or do you have any reason why you would "make-up" or lie, about statements you have claimed to be true in regards to the "Sierra Kills"?
Answer: No Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

10) After conversing with Derek Randles, were you excited and confident about returning to the shooting site to succesfully collect the remains odf the juvenile subject killed, for monetary reward?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

11) Were you frustrated about not being able to to locate the carcass on your first return trip to the site?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

12) Do you truly beliueve that the piece of flesh you have processed, cut into pieces, and sent to various lab, is a piece of flesh from the unidentified animal you claimed to have shot from the "Sierra Kills" incident?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

13) Is the piece of flesh given to Wally [Redacted] from the same source as the piece of flesh you were instructed to send to a [redacted] lab by bart Curtino?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

14) has the Department of Fish & game taken interest in this "Sierra Kills" incident and questioned you on several ocassions?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

15) Do the artist renditions accurately depict the animals that you shot in the "Sierra Kills"?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

16) After the shootings of these strange animals, did the Department of Fish & Game show up at your house?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED

17) Did the strange animals you shot in the "Sierra Kill" incident, look like a large human dressed in a bear suit?
Answer: Yes Test Result: Passed NO DECEPTION INDICATED
(The order of the the interviews below are in the same order each was introduced to Justin Smeja)

What was your role?
My journey into internally investigating this "Sierra Kills" event began in July of 2011 at our "body/remains recovery effort" orchestrated by my great friend and researcher, Derek Randles, and has carried through today, partnering with Tyler Huggins and Justin to initiate independent testing of both the circumstantial (tissue) & non-circumstantial (boots) evidence retrieved from this event. In that time, I've gone from initially believing this event was surely a hoax (with some curious aspects) to now believing strongly the event happened as described by "both" witnesses consistent and unwavering accounts.

What do these results mean for Bigfoot research in general?
 In regards to how we, the proverbial "bigfoot research community," should perceive the results of Justin's polygraph, I think we should respect the fact that the lead witness in arguably the most unprecedented event claim in the history of the subject, aside from the Patterson/Gimlin film, had the courage to follow through and pass a significant challenge to his assertions that he's responsible for having shot two sasquatches on a late afternoon, in October of 2010 in the CA, Sierras. At the same time, we should recognize & respect some of the limitations and contentions of the medium used (polygraph) and keep appropriate "perspective," reserving judgement for the diagnostic testing and determinations (for both "circumstantial" & "non-circumstantial" evidence) currently taking place in multiple labs and now, initiated by multiple parties. I think other positives we can take from this completed polygraph process as researchers with shared a goal of "discovery," is that although we may represent different organizations (Ro with Team Tazer & myself with BFRO, AIBR & The Olympic Project) we can collaborate & work together by raising the standard and providing much needed transparency to this field. 

What do these results mean to you personally? 

With all evidence currently being processed at multiple North American labs, I was admittedly tentative on Justin's behalf regarding him taking a polygraph at this time as I felt there was very little to gain by perception and much to lose in the way of more hardships for him and his family. However, Ro was very proactive in initiating this process and requesting my help with the questioning because of the intimate knowledge I had internally and Justin insisting he always wanted this opportunity. With the assistance of Tyler Huggins (BFRO), we formulated questions that weren't meant to protect Justin, they were meant to catch him being deceptive as we are under no illusion that for this process to have any objective value it needed to be completely unbiased and with an emphasis on transparency. Although I preach "perspective" with the understanding from my collegiate background and experience that polygraph examinations are not 100% foolproof, come highly contended and are used primarily by law enforcement to elicit confessions out of suspects, I'm very proud of Justin for both his full cooperation in the last year and courage to step forward and clear his name at any cost. Based on my familiarity with polygraphs, the experience of a reputable examiner, the machine and questions used, and with consideration how well I know Justin on a personal level, I'd be lying if I said I thought he could beat this test lying. The true test now will come in the form of determinations from highly reputable diagnostic labs and their directors.....nothing to hide... let the chips fall where they may.

What was your role?
When I went out to the Sierra Kills site with Ro Sahebi, Carl Olinselot, Nadia Moore, David Badorf, and Justin Smeja, I didn't truly understand what my role was until we were actually there. I was there as a journalist and it felt good to part of something that could possibly turn the world upside down.

What do these results mean for Bigfoot research in general?
The polygraph results will help move the discussion forward, and hopefully remove some of the doubts people have about Justin's story. He has been as open as he can, and I believe he's being honest about what happened in October 2010.

What do these results mean to you personally? 
I started to befriend Justin Smeja to see who he's really like as a person. I have visited him at his home numerous times and each time, I get blown away by his honesty. He has been extremely open and forthcoming about everything that I have asked. For example, when I asked to see a piece of the Bigfoot tissue in his freezer, he had no problems with it. Honestly, I don't know what else a guy can do to prove to that he's telling us the truth. I'm at the point now that I really have no choice but to believe the guy.

Do I believe in Bigfoot? Yes. If I'm going to believe Justin, I have to believe that there is a bipedal hominid lurking in our woods.

RO SAHEBIWhat was your role?
My job is to tell Justin's story. It's the most fascinating story I've ever heard. No matter how this ends, or how much of it you believe, the story is incredible. In the Bigfoot world, people want content, and there's not enough good new content out there. I'm just trying to fill in a little bit of that huge hole.

What do these results mean for Bigfoot research in general?
The results are important to those who understand the whole situation. To most, the polygraph by itself, is not much. Now if the DNA study come up with something and you listen to the drivers story, then add credible players like Bart Cutino, James Bobo Faye, and Derek Randles to the situation... you start get something. Sure none of it is definitive, but at the very least, you have to stop and take a look.

What do these results mean to you personally?
The results were the icing on the cake. I had started to spend a lot of time talking to the players involved and it slowly changed my view on the situation. Before the polygraph test took place, I had already told Justin that I believed him. The problem, it is a hard story to defend. So this just gives me a little bit more ammo to fight with.

What was your role?
My role on this trip was to assist Ro Sahebi in the filming and documenting as both a cameraman and organizer. My job was to film all the behind the scenes footage. When Ro's camera was turned off my camera would turn on. I recorded the casual moments in between the polygraph, before and after, the conversations about when to release the results, and everything that was not a structured part of the documentary but still important to understand how events in between occurred. I also assisted in paying for the polygraph, coming up with the phrasing of questions for the polygraph, and overall just assisting Ro with equipment, charging batteries and anything that needed done.

What do these results mean for Bigfoot research in general?
For the people who already know the existence of Sasquatch it will only reinforce their confidence and resolve to do fact based research. For the skeptics it probably won't mean anything. People are prone to not trust polygraph results and that's fine, but it is a shift from the typical bigfoot "research" where someone tells a story with no evidence. The polygraph focuses on more objective and fact based results rather than just taking a persons word for it - and that's a major step.

What do these results mean to you personally?
For me personally I was very skeptical about Justin's story. After talking with him and spending time with him I was much more convinced he was telling the truth before the polygraph. Knowing that he had no time to prepare for a polygraph and that many of the questions were added just minutes before the test was administered added to the credibility and greatly reduced the chances of Justin being able to lie his way through one. After passing the test and discussing the results with the Polygraph administrator I was 90% certain that Justin is telling the truth. His reaction to being told he was taking a test and his reaction to having passed the test. Being there to witness these events and then having him pass completely was strong confirmation that Justin and the driver are telling the truth about the events of that day.

We would like to thank Bart Cutino, Ro Sahebi, Shawn Evidence and Carl Olinselot for providing their perspective. Stay tuned later this afternoon as we publish our interview with the examiner herself. 
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