The Bigfoot Expo
For its first turnout the Chautauqua Lake Bigfoot Expo turned out to a huge success. The Expo began on Friday with a town hall type meeting, which some witnesses came forward and recollected their stories to us, in an open forum and were extremely brave in doing such.
Me, fascinated with Larry’s African Desert Tortoise
On a brief editorial note, certain folks had taken issue with the “Number 1 Female Researcher” moniker given to Melissa. For those that believe Melissa had coined that, it is quite naïve of them to believe in that, as Peter Weemer, new to this, and putting on his first expo, coined the term. Peter is not a Bigfoot researcher, nor does he know all to often our touchy and sometimes anal community. Peter put out his own promotional materials, and none of the speakers, except Larry, whom did the artwork, had much to do with it. We were there to speak, take part in some of the activities, and all without compensation, or travel expenses, except a free stay at the lovely We Wan Chu cottages on Chautauqua Lake. To me, at least this was about educating the public, getting to talk with witnesses, and in some cases seeing their evidence.
Some of Larry’s less cuddly creatures, a South American Tarantula and a very unhappy, hissing juvenile alligator.
On Saturday night, for those who showed up, were treated to a free round of Sasquatch research in an area which Sasquatch sightings in the past have been documented, and it was not without incident, as several of the participants and researchers had some experiences, although fleeting. It was encouraging to see the levels of enthusiasm in people green to the field, that research is not all about the tree knocking or whooping that television so much loves to capture.
The conference hall was quite large and truthfully I was apprehensive about turnout. Just before the Expo opened I was encouraged to see the room half full, but the parking lot was beginning to overflow. Before you knew it the conference hall was populated quite nicely.
Conference room filled up nicely for the event.
The event went off without any major hitches and was streamed, via the internet, which will be available for the next year online at this link. Each speaker had an unlimited amount of time, followed by individual Q&A and finally a panel Q&A to wrap up the event.
(Left) Me pointing out the possible Sasquatch on the right, and the confirmed “Adirondack Skunk Ape” on the left. (Right) the panel Q&A. (Photo Credits: Jeff Thomas)
After the expo, myself Melissa Hovey, Wayne Larson and Jeff Thomas, were all off to a seven hour drive to the Adirondacks, in my research area for a four day three night expedition.
As predicted, it was a beautiful weekend when we left for the “Dacks,” but Mother Nature would not be smiling upon us very much the upcoming week as rain and lack of sunshine seemed to be our companions. But, nonetheless, we persevered.
Rain..oh lovely rain, we all thought it was “April Showers.”
We spent the first night, collecting wood, as Wayne and Jeff collected wood from the area adjacent from the parking area, across the dirt road, not within a couple of hundred yards from where I had my long 40 second night time sighting in October 2011.
The first night would not pass without incident. The moon was coming off being full for the weekend, and despite the cloud cover, the area was lit like a dark ambient nightlight would light a room. As I awoke from my slumber in the middle of the night, nature called, and I thought I observed what appeared to be a smaller sized biped, trucking through the forest not sixty feet away between us and the parking area. I rubbed my eyes at first, and thought maybe it was my eyes just playing tricks on me.
Needless to say all future times I went out, I carried my light. On my second trip out, several hours later, I distinctly heard my name, yet no one was awake. I’m not convinced that the creatures can talk, but I may have to rethink that just a little. After all I’m no stranger to camping and researching at this location, as I’ve been doing it there since 2000, following an aggressive encounter report from the same year.
The next morning, we were all still scrambling around, continuing to batten down hatches from the onslaught of rain, when Jeff went out to his vehicle, he immediately called us over. Placed behind his vehicle was a birch log, which obviously had been cut at some point by NYS ENCON, as they do each spring in anticipation of the upcoming tourist season.
The log placed behind Jeff’s jeep and the area from which it came, almost directly across the road.
I’d also heard of the term we use as “gifting,” and again, I’m not convinced, but this was just so unusual. Last year in the area, I’d seen an attitude change in the creatures, they often were very unsociable. For the last ten years through 2010, we’d through out nightly invitations, but no party crashing, or even a lousy RSVP. But last year, as if a curtain had been lifted, close visits, sightings not only from myself but several others in the party, audio, eye shine, and now this year the trend seems to be continued.
We tracked the log to across the road, in the vicinity of where Wayne and Jeff had been collecting the fire wood. Were they being watched and was this the creature’s effort to help? Sounds very unscientific to me, and a leap of faith, but knowing about primate behavior, not completely baseless.
The day passed uneventfully, as did most of the evening, however, when we all turned in late that night, the minute the last of us hit the rack, something beat most likely on the back of my car. Ker-thump. Loud, and most certainly intentional.
“What the hell was that?” I exclaimed.
“Wow!,” was Wayne’s reply.
“I’m up now,” was Jeff’s.
I decided to sleep in my car, for the rest of the night and Wayne and Jeff would hear footfalls and large tree breaks seemingly all around the camp, much like reported last year by our September-October expeditions. I fell asleep into a coma in my vehicle and didn’t hear a thing the rest of the night.
Well the next morning, I inspected all the cars and there was no damage or evidence that what we had heard was a tree limb falling on a vehicle. A pine cone falling from a tree last year put a small ding on the roof of my car, so something falling making that sort of noise would have been rather easy to find, in terms of a dent, but bupkis. Nothing. No damage, scratches, marks dings, or prints, and as far as biological evidence, it rained all night….again.
In the morning, we had found a good track potential, of all places, moving across the path from the camp to the parking lot, where I believe I had seen something on our first night there.
Track find, not a large one, but what I had seen on Monday night wasn’t very large either. (Photo Credits: Jeff Thomas-left, Steve Kulls-right)
That afternoon, Melissa and Wayne had seen something dark from behind a tree, or directly next to a tree spying on us from a distance, and just as quick as they noticed it, it was gone. After about five minutes they had retrieved our wonderful device loaned to us by FLIR, but nothing, which in retrospect, it could have been long gone anyway by the time they retrieved the item from my tent, I was at the parking lot at the time of the incident, as I was coordinating things with some special guests. When I returned, Wayne and Jeff were scanning to see if they could spy another look.
Wayne with the FLIR and Jeff scanning the forest for what Wayne and Melissa had seen.
Melissa later in the day got to casting the track, and did a masterful job of doing such, as it was in a really bad spot being lodged between a rock and a tree root, but nonetheless managed to extricate the casting without it breaking.
On right, the track marked and protected from more weather, on left Melissa examining the track with Jeff.
Wednesday evening, we did our usual and we tried a couple of new techniques while throwing out vocalizations, we did a dual vocalization which elicited a response and hopefully our guests caught that on their specialized recording equipment, and we are currently reviewing our H2’s for the same. Since mine was in the most northerly position, I suspect I have the response. (Which will be forthcoming in the very near future.)
Wednesday night was particularly uneventful. Thursday, while Jeff was scouting, he had something grunt at him, and the location of which was very close to where the 2006 track was found, coming from the area of the 2009 track find.
Thursday evening, base camp was broken down, as I returning to investigation work, had received an emergency case for the next morning.
All in all, it was a great week, not long to be forgotten by the participants and certainly not by me.
Till next time,