Thursday, May 22, 2014

An Expert Sasquatch Account



 **Note from blog author:  Karl Sup is going to share another expert account of a Sasquatch encounter. I admonish anyone in the field to read this and learn from expert witness and documentation methods. These very details help us to get closer to understanding patterns, instigators, and methods by which the Sasquatch people have remained so well cloaked.**


Sasquatch Sighting (Nightvision) #1
Mogollon Rim, Arizona, 2009-10-14 10:00PM





It was Fall Break at school, and I loaded up my son (17), daughter (14) and nephew (12) for a one night-two day expedition to a location on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona's high country, mainly because of the activity it had during the 2008 BFRO Expedition (where vocalizations and chatter were heard) and the 2009 BFRO Expedition (close encounter, grunts, rock clacks, knocks and one massive tree shake). This was the exact location where my team was positioned during the latter expedition. I anxiously waited six months to get back up there. By October the graded roads get quite washboarded so the going was a little slower. This area is closed off by mid-November until late-April or early-May due to snowfall.




We arrived to the campsite at 11am, set up quickly then spent the remainder of the daylight scouting and hiking in the canyon complex. Scouting of the area always includes surveying all primitive camping areas and parking sites. There were no other campers in a 3-square mile radius. This canyon is approximately 7600’ elevation and channels water in a creek from several springs that run during the wet season, as well as snowmelt runoff in the Spring. By the Fall, the springs are not running and the creek bed was dry. The temperatures were a mild 73F during the hikes as we set up a game camera in a side canyon area, and remote recorders in various locations (see my future upcoming audio post for details on these remote recorders). All the recorders were set to turn on at 8pm and run until 5am. At dusk we returned to camp, started a fire, cooked dinner and enjoyed some fun and laughter. Temperatures began to drop. We toasted some marshmallows and made some mandatory s'mores. I reviewed the do's and don'ts with the kids about "squatching" as this was my nephew’s first time, and we discussed some of the theories and had a good question and answer session. It was around 9pm when we were set to drive back to the canyon to make some calls and practice patience with intent listening. It was at that time my daughter told me she wasn’t feeling so good. When we arrived at the location at 9:48pm, she did not want to leave the SUV, and didn't want to stay there alone either so my son volunteered to stay with her.



I turned the SUV around so it was pointing north on the road back toward camp. My nephew and I took a digital recorder, night vision monocular with IR light, and a knocking stick (a hickory sledge handle) and walked the 100 feet from the vehicle to set up at the knocking station;  a towering, bark-less, dead tree on the edge of the canyon. I started the digital recorder and leaned it up against the tree in the middle of the clearing. I handed the night vision unit to my nephew, and then we walked over to the knocking tree (right of center in above photo).

By now the temperature had dropped to 45F long after the sun had retreated on this moonless evening. Even though it was a cold night, there was no wind which made listening conditions ideal. At 9:55pm I did two knocks separated by two seconds. We waited three minutes in silence, and then followed to with a single knock. One minute later, there was a reply whoop from at least a 1/4 mile to the west that was very faint. I waited about a minute, and then gave a return whoop back in the same direction. We waited about 12 minutes then I did another single knock. The forest was silent as the echo from the knock dissipated. We waited 5 minutes then I did another whoop. This time, a return whoop was heard LOUDLY, and directly across the canyon to the west at a 300’ distance. It was VERY close and truly surprised me. I quietly stepped over to my nephew and whispered to him to keep a close watch. He asked if we should respond, I told him, “No... it knows right where we are!”


We kept the night vision (NV) powered up with its built-in IR light since there was no moon, only a star-filled, clear sky. I also made sure that my nephew kept the NV unit pointed to the ground unless he was looking through it. I whispered to him that I was not going to point, but would instead give him directions like a clock dial (9 o'clock, 1 o'clock, etc).



Within a minute we could hear a small scrabble rock slide in the creek bed below, and then all fell quiet. Within five minutes I could hear a VERY soft and quiet footstep in forest litter. The foot was laid down slow and deliberate. We were about 20 feet north of the knocking tree and six feet east and could see down the hillside a distance by starlight and very clearly with the night vision scope. I could hear the steps getting closer. No more steps could be heard but a shadow was seen moving or rocking in and out from the edge of the trees and brush.

I told my nephew to look at 11 o'clock, so he raised the NV unit and whispered that he saw an arm for a split-second and the brush moving. I asked him for the NV unit and kept it pointed toward the ground.  The next time I saw the shadow emerge, I brought up the scope. This time I saw a brief glimpse of the leg and foot from the calf down as it stepped back into the brush. The distance to the subject from our viewpoint was about 65 feet. The night vision unit did have slight magnification.



From this point forward, we could hear it softly walking but could not see it through the brush. I handed the unit back to my nephew and had him keep watch while I listened intently. I find that not using your eyesight in darkness enhances your hearing. After a few minutes it stopped its quiet steps. From my perspective and thought, it seemed to be a standoff.  It had positioned itself to view us, where we couldn't see it. There were three instances of eye glow during this time we thought, but very dim through the brush. I am not sure if it was in response to the dim red glow from the IR light as it was brought up by my nephew to scan the area, then pointed back at the ground.

It’s tough to know you are being watched in the dark. After what seemed to be eternity in silence, I decided we needed to get it on the move again. I whispered to my nephew that we should walk back toward the vehicle slowly and pretend we didn't care or know it was there. He would keep the NV/IR on but pointed at the ground and I would listen as we walked. I reminded him about a wide gap in the tree line that gave visibility all the way down to the creek, and that we’ll hopefully get it to walk into that area to watch us. He nodded his head. I told him if I hear it there I’ll tell him ‘NOW’ for him to turn back to look with the NV/IR.



We turned and walked casually for 30 feet and I told him to stop. I wanted to discern if our guest was paralleling us or not.  I heard a small crunch of forest litter. I whispered to my nephew, ‘You heard that?’ and he nodded his head. I nudged him forward and we walked slowly for 30 feet more to what I thought was the area of the clearing in the underbrush. As we reached that point, I thought I heard a footfall in the clearing. I told my nephew, 'NOW'. He spun around, and I initially stayed facing the same direction toward the SUV. He brought the scope up to his eye in the same motion as he spun. He simply said, 'Yep, there it is.' I said, 'Really? What's it doing?' My nephew said, 'looking at me!' (see below for my nephew’s description)

I quickly took the scope, and had a look. Just as the scope reached my eye, it was stepping back to the tree line. I saw the left shoulder, left arm, breast and upper left leg. It was an obvious female. As she stepped behind the tree, she grasped the side of the tree with her left hand and kept it there. She was 25-30 feet away. 


(recreation)

I could clearly see four fingers of her left hand, the hair, fingernails and forearm to the elbow. The thumb was not visible. The IR light reflected off the fingernails which were large, chipped and rough. The hairs on the fingers were not long, maybe .5 to .75 inches long. The hair on the forearm was much longer, 4-5 inches in length. The hair was not matted and individual strands could be seen free flowing. There was no obvious odor. I was watching in awe for about 20 seconds when she peered around the opposite side of trunk. I could plainly see her right eye for a second, large and round through the NV viewfinder as it reflected the IR light. Her fingers adjusted their grip slightly. It looked human, only much larger. I would estimate the finger size to be the width of a Ballpark Frank. I handed the scope back to my nephew, and while he was observing her, she peeked out once more and he saw what I had witnessed as well.  She did not peer out again. The total encounter was so lengthy; we passed the night vision unit back and forth several times, commenting on the fingernails and hair to each other. The hand and forearm where in view for a total of three minutes. She then withdrew her hand, and completely lost sight of her.
 




Photo showing terrain, path of Sasquatch, location of rock slide, first viewing, and viewing of hand (in orange), our initial location (in red), hand viewing location (in pink), SUV location (in white).



We then simply sat down where we had been standing. I tried a couple of rock clacks, soft (deep) grunts, and tried my best to mimic the Sierra Sounds/chatter. At one point it sounded like a light rock clack but we were uncertain. About this time we heard a twig snap up the hill behind us across the road. A little paranoia did set in, and I decided it was time to head to the vehicle. I scooped up my audio recorder, got in the SUV and scanned the tree lines on both sides of the road. Nothing moved, the forest was still.

I started the motor to warm up the SUV. My kids woke up from my nephew’s excitement, which he had been holding in through the entire experience. I asked my nephew to describe what he saw when he first swung around with the NV unit. He said “it was standing in the middle of the clearing, and it had a look of surprise on its face. The mouth drew open and eyes widened.”  “In fact,” he continued, “it turned and looked behind it... as if it thought we were looking at something behind it, then turned and looked back at us.” My nephew said its head was more 'oval-shaped' with a high brow and appeared to have no neck. He did say there was some movement to the head when it looked back, but rotated its body at the waist to look downhill, then looked back at him. It was at that time I asked to see the scope, and by the time I brought it up, she was headed behind that tree. When I mentioned that ‘it’ was a female as I clearly saw her breast, he seemed a little disappointed. He said staring into the face and the adrenaline rush locked his focus on the face. 

The entire stop from first knock to departure was around 57 minutes!  My nephew was a real trooper for being just 12 years old!  We got back to camp, restarted the fire, and then climbed into the tent by 11:30pm. Throughout the night, elk bugled all around the campsite. Some coyote were howling, but the elk calls came from all directions. Otherwise, the night was uneventful.



In the morning, I cooked some breakfast for the kids and we loaded up the SUV and went out to collect the remote recorders (see photo on left) and the game camera. We had some good photos of us setting up the camera, and picking it up. There were three photos during the night where leaves in the wind may have tripped the activating trigger. When the five remote audio tracks were analyzed later, there were no unusual anomalies. The coyote and elk calls throughout the night were captured clearly. Two of the recorders prematurely ended their recording cycles due to dead batteries. The remote recorders were not close enough to record the knocks or whoops from our encounter. 

This was certainly a night of lessons. The handheld recorder that I had placed on the ground stopped recording after the third knock I did. Apparently half-battery life plus a cold ground with a bare recorder are not a good mix. I’ve since upgraded my arsenal so all handheld units have a neoprene sleeve to insulate them from the cold, and every recorder gets fresh batteries on deployment. Also, all of my remote recorders are now insulated and have been tested down to 22F without overnight failure. I’ve had people ask me why I did not have a night vision recorder along for the trip. I do own a Sony Handycam with Nightshot capabilities; however the IR light attachment drains the battery rather quickly in 20 minutes or sometimes less when cold. In addition, the IR light claims an illumination range of 10-75 feet; however its realistic range of quality illumination is 5-20 feet. So unless you are anticipating a close-range, long duration sighting during the short time while you have this camera powered up or the subject patiently waits while you power up your device, it is quite an ineffective tool. I have since developed a tool that would allow use of the camera without the IR attachment, but that is for a later, technical discussion.



We reenacted the encounter the next day. The above photo shows my nephew (on left) and my son (right at the top of the hill) with the location circled (center) where the female Sasquatch was first seen, and the arrow (far right) pointing to the tree where she took refuge and (thankfully) placed her hand for us to see.


We determined that the location where the hand was visible on the tree was 69 inches from the ground at the base of the tree. Since the hillside was very steep here it was necessary for me to grab the tree to avoid falling down into the canyon due to the angle of the ground. Some variables do exist in height calculation, mainly the distance of body from the tree versus slope of hillside and the height of a female Sasquatch from shoulder to top of the head. Based on the angle of the forearm, as viewed, we did determine that the arm was held out nearly perpendicular to the body as a human would physically display in the same situation. I am 6’5”, and my height from the shoulder to the top of the head is 11.5”. Assuming a larger skull structure for a Sasquatch I factored this calculation at 15”. It was impossible to determine how far away from the side of the tree the subject stood so I estimated based on body width/arm length and placed the feet about 1.5 feet from the tree. At this precise location the sloping drop in 18 linear inches was 8.5. Therefore, the estimated height of this female subject was 92.5 inches (8.5” ground base + 69” shoulder height + 15” shoulder to head) or 7 feet 7.5 inches.


Due to the steep slope of the hillside and our position on the flat area at the top, it was obvious why we could not see the knees or below in the open area. The lip of the hillside obscured our viewing angle. It was very possible, based on the height difference between my nephew and I, he may have only been able to view her from the waist up.




We did hike down to the bottom of the canyon and found a partial left heel print on the upslope directly below the knocking station. The partial footprint was approximately 7” long by 3.5” wide by 2” deep. The ground was very hard from the dry conditions in the region during September and October. When we stepped across the hard pack, it did not leave any impression. The soil near the heel print was loose and dislodged.




There was also a very intriguing tree break towards the base of the canyon at the bottom of the hillside below the knocking station. It would look like any other tree fall, except the stump of the smaller tree was nowhere to be found in the trunk’s proximity. It had been wedged against the taller tree into the nook of the branch with some force. The trunk was approximately 14’ tall and 5” diameter.

Across the creek bed, to the right of where the tree is wedged against the larger Ponderosa pine, was an area of fresh disturbance where we surmised the subject crossed the dry creek bed. While it did appear that numerous elk and deer and also traveled down that slope, there were no fresh prints of any sort. There were, however, small rocks that had been dislodged and overturned.
Many more reports to come!



Karl Sup is a software architect, developer and analyst, and an avid Bigfoot researcher working in the mountains of Arizona for many years.  During this research and in other states including Maryland and Wisconsin, he has been fortunate enough to interact with and view multiple subjects over the years. Karl also has had decades of audio analysis and editing experience, and assisted in helping M.K. Davis clean up and enhance audio from VHS tapes he has been studying and discovered the presence of infrasound within those recordings.


2 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this account. Clearly, you were as interesting as you were interested. Well shared and well done!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well told story sticking to the facts.

    ReplyDelete

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