Category: Analysis


Hoax-Spotting

Get your reading glasses out folks!!!

Something I study is criminology and psychology behind crimes. In this, I have observed a number of hoaxing characteristics and psychology behind them are very similar. Hoaxing is not necessarily a crime but the reason why it shares many common traits with certain criminal activities is that it relies heavily upon deception, concealment, misdirection and the air of trying to get away with something.

A great article came out a few years ago, “5 telltale signs of an online hoax”.

The article has some “real world” examples which I will provide if you wish in the future involving the Bigfoot Community. However, I would like to go into some detail on those points covered in the article.

1. Timelines don’t add up

“People perpetrating a hoax often have to construct a backstory in order to build credibility. This may involve creating a history for a company, person, or other entity. The farther back they go to establish credibility, the more likely they are to make mistakes.”

That is provided you are given a timeline. Many hoaxes lack a timeline which in of itself is dubious. I always say, “A picture, video and audio is only as good as the story behind it.


2. Names and people are problematic

“The names and people cited in hoaxes often have gaps in their history, and offer a very thin profile. This is because most of the time they simply don’t exist.”

The lack of any source material, lack of names and places aside from scene preservation should be suspect.


3. It appeals to a specific group or ideology or is too perfect

“Humans love to hear things that we already believe. It is immensely comforting for us to be told information that conforms to our existing beliefs and knowledge.”

As I have stated previously, there is always a target group. Whether it be particular organization or the community as a whole.


4. It has the trappings of authenticity

“A hoax has to find ways to convey a sense of credibility. Fake news articles often cite other media reports to back up their claims, but they will not link to these (non-existent) articles or they’ll simply inset links that go to the homepage of the website they mention. "

The term “con” is an abbreviated slang for confidence. Always remember that. A person’s charm, sincerity should be discounted in these situations because to sell a story, you have to be a salesman (or woman). 


5. It falls apart when you focus on the details

“Click all of the links, Google all of the names, reverse image search all of the images, run a Whois on the domains mentioned. This is how you’ll find the loose thread that untangles the whole thing. Every piece of information offered is a detail to be examined. Something that reads as real will quickly fall apart in the face of a few clicks and searches.”

Con-artists rely on our natural human nature to be trusting and on laziness to count on you taking their word, rather than doing your homework.


Motive

Now I would like to move on to motive. For every audience targeted there is a motivation behind the hoax. As the internet progressed it is difficult sometimes to get to the real motivation.

Let’s look at some of the motivational factors for hoaxing (From the Squatch-D Hall of Shame):

The Psychologically Needy Hoaxer 

  One who hoaxes due to a recent psychological event in their life such as divorce, being widowed, or general loneliness and do it for company and or attention. They need to feel special or have special abilities to a particular class of people and have to fell superior within that class. These are the folks we see constantly on Facebook live espousing their special abilities to communicate,  detect or otherwise be “in the know.” This type of hoaxing overtook the field over the Prankster or Jokester with the advent of Facebook live and YouTube. Often when facing critics they use the term “jealousy,” often because it questions their superiority.

    -Subclass:  The Unintentional Hoaxer 

 One who has a legitimate sighting and due to psychological effect of the sighting, every bump in the night becomes a Bigfoot. Often confused with misidentification, however differs due to frequency of misidentifications by the subject. The reason why this is a sub-class because it’s root cause is a psychological effect of a sighting on them.


The Prankster or Jokester

One who hoaxes for humor and enjoyment. There is a psychological need , however in some instances. While there is obvious parody, which should not be misconstrued as hoaxing, the person, as a prank, tries to hoax,  is trying to belittle others in some manner either privately or publicly. The hoaxer at times wants to feel superiority over a particular group. It should be noted that some parody can be utilized for the same purpose. This motivation can be muddled at this point, due to monetization of YouTube Channels however. But the main motivation is usually the former.


 The Profiteer

One who hoaxes in an attempt to garner financial gain either directly or indirectly. These are the folks which associate most with criminal traits. Narcissism, sociopathic tendencies among others can be at play. Remember a person who hoaxes for profit, is the same type of personality which others take with more defined “shortcuts” in life. They often espouse their position with overconfidence and power plays.


Hoaxing will always continue to plague the community. The more aware we are of how to research and understand some of the psychological factors and behaviors associated with hoaxing, the quicker we can put the garbage to the back of the line and focus on more genuine material being presented.

Be sure to catch Chris Bennett and I on Squatch-D TV Sundays 9PM Eastern, the “not clickbait” show where we present the truth…the good, the bad and the ugly!

See you Sunday!!!

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Till next time,

Squatch-D

A recent analysis of what has become known as the “NY Baby Video”  was done by Darren Lee, Director of the Mid-America Bigfoot Center (MABRC).

Now in this analysis Darren did work on a few misconceptions and I do admire Darren’s efforts in the field and consider him a friend.

In  February 2008 I was on “The Creature Chronicles” on WNYT Channel 13 out of Albany, where I am on record of saying, “we at least have something here on video that is not human.”

For sure whatever it was (because we shall never know with 100% certainty, is not a normal resident of New York State.

Know let me address Darren’s misguidance on what he perceived was “confirmation bias”

For those who know me, I am a real…well “prick” when it comes to evidence. Now please do not quote me on exact dates of the investigation, but even where the initial report showed up, it was incorrectly placed as well.

It was late 2003 when I saw a report out of Ulster County pertaining to a film. The initial investigator (not the follow up) was by Paul Kutscera. He blew the film off without even seeing it. (Now there is bias right there.)

I asked if I could reach out and see what the guy has and was extremely skeptical. When I observed the film I knew what I was seeing was not at all human, let alone a flag on an antenna (one other theory floating on the internet).

I was the only investigator. ONLY. For the folks that know me “confirmation bias” is not in my nature.

Even in the screenshot of my report for the BFRO you see what is around the word, “baby”.

cb

Now I will address some of the points in Darren’s write up…

Previous claims that the area has a history of encounters and activity have to be severely questioned with only 3 reported Class "A" encounters stretching from 1983 to 2004. 

I hate to say it, but the BFRO does not get the lion share of Bigfoot reports in New York and is not the only game in town.

modena map

I had personally in the same time frame investigated 3 sightings from Greene County (Which includes the Catskill Mountains) immediately to the north, and have heard of several in Orange County (Base of the Appalachin Trail) which an old research partner of mine was investigating. Historically, there was a late 1800’s account in Margaretville, NY which is almost dead center in the map above. These reports consisted of actual sightings of the creature, not track finds, audibles or the ilk.

The BFRO database as well, has been scrubbed of some older reports, because at the time there were way more than just one report for Orange County or Columbia County. Now I am not entirely sure of what was edited in the BFRO report, either added or removed over the years.

Which brings me to the point of Darren not knowing the Bigfoot history of the area. For example, the 1980’s “Kinderhook Creature” flap. Kinderhook is a community in Columbia County.

Sightings occurred on December 1978, 12/5/1979, April 1980, 9/24/1980, 2 in November 1980, April 1981, 5/8/1981, June 1981, November 1981, May 1982, July 1982, On the border of Columbia County –August 1984,  January1990. Seems pretty “rich” to me and considering the time frame 2003… they were a lot more recent than they are today.

The drop off in some volume of sightings in those areas of course could be due to urban sprawl.

What I do know is the area of the video upon visiting the site in 2012, was ripe with apple trees, (there was an orchard in the background) and wild berries of all sorts and colors.

Darren provided a satellite photo of the area in 1995 and went on to state:

The forest around this area is fairly sparse, with large open tracts of farmland and orchards with quite a few houses and other buildings spread throughout the area.  Not an ideal place for a female Bigfoot to raise a young one with all the human activity and habitat in the area.  The land where this event occurred was also a working orchard, among other commercial ventures that the landowners were involved in.

Here is a workup of where the sighting had occurred using Darren’s satellite photo.

Satellite

What Darren states is he believes that the premise is a baby being raised in the area. That’s quite an assumption. No where does it say one was being raised there. If you follow primate behavior models quite the opposite. It’s behavior was of a primate just passing through. No Sasquatch would call that area a territory. But as with all primates, they are opportunists.

Below is some of the closest sighting reports in Whitehall, NY. In the 70’s one was actually seen disturbing garbage cans in a more rural part of the town. Whitehall has not much changed in urban sprawl at all since the 70’s. In fact I have seem some urban shrinkage over the years. whitehall

Darren believes it’s grasping the tree trunk with it’s feet. Well given the quality of the video, the distance to the subject and it’s relation to sunlight, how in the world can you say it is “grasping” with it’s feet. Even humans use their feet to stabilize when climbing.

What is known is in the video the little one, “Unsub #1” climbs hand over hand into the tree.

Hand over hand

It is not uncommon for baby gorillas to take to the trees as they are nimble enough, and primates go through an exploratory stage with their hands and feet. Often we see human infants using their feet to hold things. And that’s also why in human culture, we have something called “monkey bars.”

 imagesbaby gorilla in tree'

In the second picture, the baby gorilla is not using his feet to grab the tree, he is merely using his feet for support.

depositphotos_125689516-stock-video-an-adult-male-hand-holding

Darren surmises that what we are looking at is a Gibbon owned privately and in New York illegally.

As Steve Kulls has pointed out, New York state has laws constricting private ownership of most exotic animals, including chimpanzees.  However, as with most laws, there are lots of people out there who violate those laws and this can be confirmed to be the case in New York simply by searching Google for the news stories of people being caught with animals. 

But what Darren failed to mention was, and I confirmed this with Mike Lembo, the owner of the property and event organizer at the time was, they were searching at the gate for animals and would not let anyone in because they were not insured for it.  Now we expect someone with a gibbon not to cause a commotion and keep it hidden during the entire event for the weekend? And common sense says you wouldn’t let your pet gibbon up into a tree unleashed would you?

Next we come to the behavior of what Darren believes to be the handler. “Unsub #2” in the video, seen walking from the right to the left, where Unsub #1 appears to leap off of into the tree. The behavior and characteristics of Unsub #2 are completely ignored in Darren’s analysis, an not to offend Darren, but he seemed to be predisposed to what it was and shows his own bias by omitting any commentary on Unsub #2’s behavior.

First, Unsub #2 is uniformly colored. One would expect that with the backlighting. However when it enters out of the area of the backlight, it almost becomes invisible, head to toe.

Next is the behavior. If your pet monkey jumps in a tree without a leash, you would expect that person to “about face” immediately and there would be some sort of commotion. There was no such commotion as when the videographer was interviewed, his party did not hear, see or notice anything. Common sense would have told you that there would have been a fuss, or a flashlight. But there was not.

Furthermore it does not explain why Unsub #2 continues it travel path for a while and then after some distance turns around and walks toward the tree Unsub #1 is and out of sight somewhere behind the tree. This is not consistent with someone who has snuck an illegal pet into a venue they are not supposed to have one.

1 -Unsub 1 Initial

2 -Jump Sequence

Distance before turn

Last point

As I have stated in the past, investigations and analysis run by Bigfoot Researchers seem often to be two dimensional. We are presented with a film or a photograph and we run with that alone. We forget to look at behaviors and testimony of eyewitnesses. To me in my opinion, that can suffice for about 75% of what we get, because it is so blatantly obvious. But in certain circumstances, we must look at behavior, motive as well. 

When I first got this video to investigate I had to rule out Motive #1; a hoax. First, given the time that had passed since the video was taken, over five years, I found it unlikely.

Second, Doug Pridgen never noticed Unsub #2 nor any of his party noticed any commotion of any sort.

Third, the people staying in the visible tent in the video, had asked Doug and his party to keep an eye out as they went to the festival across the lake. In the video our back is to the access to the area where Doug and company were staying. The did not return until well after the video was taken.

So do we now have a prowler with a pet monkey?

Next I contacted the property owner to confirm about the “no pet” rule and it was confirmed.

Then came the search for any escaped lab, zoo or circus animals in the area; Bupkis.

Mind you, I was looking for an out, for an explanation, and the norm, if you can call it that just did not seem logical.

I even let the case marinate for a few months, to cross my T’s and reevaluate, reevaluate and reevaluate.

To me the possibility of a Sasquatch with it’s young visiting a nutrient rich area at dark, especially when we have known them to do this in the past seemed more logical than a guy prowling around someone else’s tent after illegally bring in a pet primate into NY, and sneaking a type of primate that is usually cantankerous past people searching for such cantankerous things at the gate, the only egress to the area, and then allowing such illegal and not allowed primate to frolic in a tree unharnessed.

At least that’s the way I see it.

Is it proof, or is it evidence? No, the dang video just isn’t good enough, given the fact we are still debating it after 22 and a half years.

At least that’s the way I see it.

Thanks Darren however, you at least are in the camp that this is a biological and I thing it puts to rest that this is something on the end of a car’s antenna! On the rest we have to agree to disagree.

And of course it is more of an interesting debate than most possible Sasquatch videos out there.

Till Next Time

Squatch-D

Here is part three of my series on trail cameras.

In part one we talked about the IR flash only being active when the trail camera is active and some of the components of a trail camera.

In part two we explored whether a trail camera gives off electro-magnetic fields in passive mode, which it did where the motherboard component of the camera sits. The Passive Infrared Sensor, (The component that is on constantly, which receives did not.

In this segment we see just how far that electro-magnetic field travels and if it is feasible to be detected by wildlife.

Thumb2

Click on picture to open video

Till next time

Squatch-D

Yesterday I wrote about how a trail camera does not emit a constant source of infrared light, which negates the theory that the creatures can see the trail cameras citing they may have the ability to see in the infrared spectrum.

Veteran researcher Michael Greene suggested that the cameras emit an electronic field, which animals that are sensitive to those fields and magnetism they create, could sense the devices.

I did a quick experiment using one of my own trail cameras (A Stealth Cam STC-Q8X) and the results actually shocked me.

Here’s the video:

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Click on the picture for the video

Thanks Mike for the comment and the inspiration to test the theory out!

Till Next Time,

Squatch-D

All about trail cams

Happy New Year everyone!!!’

And what better way to bring in the new year with a little refresher course on trail cams.

First there has been a trail cam photo circulating on the web since the first or so of the month allegedly originating from South Carolina.

 

48944827_2276336735730182_13660534326951936_n

Let me very clear,

“No picture is worth any value unless there is a story behind it.”

Clearly this appears to be a hog. And yes hogs can be brindle patterned.

Problem #1. Here there is absolutely nothing. No story, no location, no date, no time, no source.

Problem #2. First of all this is a trail cam photo which is obviously cropped because there is none of that neat data you get with trail cam photos. We are missing part of the frame to the left, the right and the bottom which usually is where you find such information.

Problem #3. If the “face” on the hind quarters of the hog, was actually a face, where is the IR Eyeshine??? It’s not there!

eyeshine2

eyeshine11

We all know the propensity for Sasquatch reports to allege eyeshine, which I have seen myself in one encounter due to the distinct possibility of the creatures having a Tapetum Lucidum. So if that is a face? Where is the eyeshine?

Tapetum Lucidum

The diagram and eyeshine photos credited to https://blog.snapshotwisconsin.org/2017/10/31/the-science-behind-eyeshine/

The only proponents of this picture being a Sasquatch is that, there appears to be a face. Yet there are 3 facts (listed above) that contradict that mere observation.

I only fear the next counterclaim will be the Sasquatch was blinking or had its eyes closed!

                download (2)download (1)download


Sasquatch sees the I-R in trail cameras

Now this title is a little deceiving. Because I do not believe that for one second. First of all can anyone tell me what primate can see in the infrared spectrum? How about a mammal that can?  They cannot.

Also a trail camera does not emit a constant infrared beam or flash. The late William Dranginis believed the possibility that the Sasquatch’s hearing could hear the emission of an ultrasonic sound the sensors in the camera may emit. Which is plausible because hearing varies with species of mammals.

But a trail camera uses a passive infrared sensor to detect motion. Here’s the techno-babble courtesy of Wikipedia:

“A passive infrared sensor (PIR sensor) is an electronic sensor that measures infrared (IR) light radiating from objects in its field of view.

The term passive in this instance refers to the fact that PIR devices do not generate or radiate energy for detection purposes. They work entirely by detecting infrared radiation (radiant heat) emitted by or reflected from objects.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_infrared_sensor

Trail Cam

Therefore how can a Sasquatch avoid the trail cameras by sensing infrared, when they do not emit an infrared light until such time as the camera is triggered?

They certainly wouldn’t smell them, since most reports of a Sasquatch state their noses are flat indicating they would have scent sensory nerves much like us. Unlike the other critters with snouts, such as bears, hogs, deer and dogs which can smell stuff from very far.

The truth is putting trails cams in the forest is still like needles and haystacks. If you have six trail cams, that’s only 6 needles. Still a bit of luck is needed to get anything viable.


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Till Next Time,

Squatch-D

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