Tag Archive: Darren Lee


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 Now please do not quote me on exact dates of the investigation, but even where the initial report showed up, it was incorrectly placed as well.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

An article caught my attention and once again a “journalist” makes a completely false statement:

Some cryptids have seared into our minds and have become pop culture icons. Bigfoot, the American super celebrity of the ape-man family, was made famous by the Patterson-Gimlin footage, the grainy, minute long film of Bigfoot walking through a clearing while rolling his shoulder to look at his audience…

Of course, both these visual proofs have been proven to hoaxes.

– Richard Worth

 Source:  https://theovertake.com/~full-moon/cryptozoology/

So let’s look at this from my perspective. He mentions the infamous Loch Ness “Surgeon Photo,” and yes, that eventually came out as a hoax including pictures of the model used to create the hoax.

But the Patterson-Gimlin film was never proven to be a hoax. Why does he claim it has been? The statement is very disingenuous.

 

352

Frame 352 of the Patterson-Gimlin Film

 

If the same standards of evidence is applied to the existence of Sasquatch it should be used uniformly for claims of hoaxes as well.

 

(Editors Note: That’s why sometimes we are, “not so quick” to call something a hoax, unless we do our due diligence and have something other than a flippant claim, or opinion (unless we state so) before calling something a hoax or leveling accusations. We do not call out things unless it is sourced and documented and evidence provided. We do this for pro-Sasquatch evidence as well )

 

One or two people making claims, which over time changed, providing no physical evidence,  does a hoax not prove. Hieronimous never provided any evidence that he was the person in the suit, nor did the late Phillip Morris ever produce a receipt for the one he claims to allegedly Roger Patterson bought.

 

 

 Hieronimous claims he was friends with Roger Patterson, and accompanied Patterson and Gimlin to Nor Cal with his costume. Patterson’s widow says he’s lying. Bob Gimlin says he’s lying. No one can corroborate Hieronimous’ claim that he accompanied Patterson and Gimlin. Various living witnesses near Bluff Creek say Patterson and Gimlin were not accompanied by anyone. No one ever saw Hieronimous with those two. Hieronimous doesn’t know where they went exactly, or which route they too…There are statements from people around Yakima who recall Hieronimous having some kind of furry costume in his trunk during that period, and remember his claims that he would try to fool some people with it. So there may have been a costume in his possession in the mid-1960’s, but he didn’t hang on to it, nor did anyone take a photo of him wearing it.

Source: http://undebunkingbigfoot.blogspot.com/2013/11/debunking-claimed-bigfoot-cosume-hoaxer.html

 

Mr. Worth does bring up some of the usual points about pseudo-science, etc, which every skeptic loves to bring up.However, Mr. Worth’s basic knowledge of a topic he mentions, the P-G film, his facts are incorrect when he calls “Patty” a “he.”

If you are going to call something a hoax, Mr. Worth, at least better have his facts straight about the claims and to show real journalism, not wave an accusatory statement that something is a hoax without at least doing the minimal homework required.

Further more why is Worth calling a Sasquatch a member of the “ape family?” Is this some of his own conjecture?  We know it is from the order primate, but we have no clue as to if it is Pongid (Ape) or Hominid, or even its own special branch off.

Now if people want to debate the authenticity of the film that’s fair. People can have their own opinions. But no suit, no receipts, no proof. Everything else is mere conjecture including Mr. Worth’s flippant claim.


This week on Squatchdetective Radio

darren-lee_orig

Till Next Time,

Squatch-D

The Bigfoot Media Machine

For the last year or so I’ve been sitting around and pondering questions to myself and to others, as to exactly what effect is the information super-highway having on real Bigfoot investigation.

After much consideration and thought, I see it digressing in much the way traditional media has come about.

Television came to full bear in the 1960’s and news reported just that news. Speculation was a rarity. By the 1990’s news on TV was evolving into a 24 hour service.

Today, speculation, pundits and opinions are the filler between actual news stories.

In the 1990’s the internet slowly began to change the way Bigfoot information was transmitted. By the middle of the 2000’s printed newsletters such as Daniel Perez’s newsletter and Ray Crowe’s newsletter (The Track Report), have became antiquated.

The beginning of the new millennium public forums and discussion groups about Bigfoot were the rage. Now that too is slowly fading from view.

By the beginning of this decade, information has spun so far out of control, there is little hope to keep much under wraps.

Why is this? Because on a daily basis just as in the mainstream, there is very little real information to write about. So these sites, my own included, have to use speculative content to fill the time. In some cases some blogs have gone to vitriolic hyperbole to  fill the time, others report rumor, rather than fact for some of the time.

Since the popularity of “Finding Bigfoot,” there has been an influx of new researchers and media that has entered the fray. The problem is, they come in and some don’t know anyone from anyone. 

They report things such as captures, killings of Sasquatch, sensational footage, or blobsquatches, that this type of thing is new. It’s not. Far from it.

Look up the names of Kerlow, Marx, Wallace and Crook just to name the few.

Look up the names of the researchers that had to make the calls on these things, and had to report on them, such as Byrne, Green, Dahinden. What would the pundits be saying about them today if the technologies today existed then?

Do the new folks even know who the Four Horsemen are or were?

It seems to me, after watching a few documentaries, owning the box set of season one of “Finding Bigfoot,” and having the ability to create a Blogger, Word Press or YouTube site, some of the “noobs”  feel they are some sort of authority to speak on the daily happenings on the community.

I take pause to wonder if this is what the older generation thought of us.

The majority however have been great, and have integrated nicely, however as usual it’s the exceptions that usual create the loudest noise.

As does every once in a while something brilliant does come out, but so often it can be twisted by opinion or naivety, I’m not sure which at times, but the problem is the point gets lost by hyperbole.

My mission has always been one of truth, so when I see opinions in spite of the truth that I’ve investigated, which in this case is not yet been made public, until now, it makes me cringe.

If we can’t get the truth in real life right, how can we even get close to solving the mystery of the Sasquatch?

While some do move with trepidation at first and exercise caution, some do not, and they act without restraint, in essence doing more damage than assist.

The old school way was to write letters and later telephone. That eventually graduated to blogging and email, and now has to digressed by some to the easy way out and just blog about it.

There is a hell of a lot of reporting, just no investigating.

The end result is people writing things with no real knowledge of anything, except what was written by others, speculated and talked about on a forum, and regurgitated in some other format.

The Melba Double Standard… 

Remember 2011 everyone criticizing Dr. Melba Ketchum for not saying anything public about the study and results? Now the criticism has turned to she DID say something about the project, for whatever her rationale.

My original criticism was wrong that she made a statement, and I myself felt swayed by public opinion. My criticism still stands however, for including a political statement at the end of such.

But she was standing, at least in 2011 on scientific reasoning for not saying anything and we weren’t happy, now she did in contradiction to 2011 and now we’re criticizing her for it.

Stages of a Bigfoot Hoax…

Guy Edwards has written about stages of a Bigfoot Hoax, which he was spot on and brilliant, but unfortunately there is a major component missing.

And my points here are not to discredit Mr. Edwards, as he should be complimented for pointing these stages out in his model, but as an alternative to his opinions based on his model because it lacks a stage.

The essential component missing from Mr. Edward’s stages of a Bigfoot Hoax is the very first step. In every hoax, con and the like, there is a mark. The target. Remember that.

So the next time someone comes a knocking that says they have seen a Sasquatch, have them running over their property, have a body, a live one, and they are a hoaxer, YOU, not the public, not the community, are their mark.

As in every con, they prey upon the mark’s beliefs, naivety and faith in people. People have said to me, “but they were so confident I thought for sure…”

Hence the term con. It’s an abbreviation for confidence.

Now I don’t want to digress into, an argument of “The Boxed Bigfoot,” but some have forgotten Occam’s Razor, and this I feel duty bound to the truth to address.

Mr. Edwards’ last stage, “Claiming you are victim of a hoax” he is directing, or it appears such at the MABRC. No….NO… that should be directed at Ed Smith. That could have been Smith’s exit plan, which didn’t take.

And there’s a problem with Smith’s exit plan… Smith has no evidence that he was hoaxed. None..zip. And whatever did happen to “Smith’s Documentary?”

Now did the MABRC play things out as I would? Probably not, in some areas but they’re not me nor, I them. And so is no one else for that matter. They will be rethinking their methodology for sure, and rightfully so. We all do that on a constant basis, or should. It’s all too easy to be an armchair quarterback in these instances.

Mr. Edwards also brings out the point that Dr. Meldrum alone should have been enough to validate the claim. HUH?

If this hypothetically turned out to be real, the good Doctor would have come back and reported to the community, it’s real and his ass would have been barbequed as being bought, or some insidious plot how he was likely extorted, to say that, or worse yet, and unfortunately the most likely, the pundits would have attacked his good reputation by saying, he just wants to get his name in the paper and statements of that ilk.

That’s a lesson I learned the hard way even when you report something as a hoax. In these public debacles, NEVER, EVER go it alone. That’s also a lesson learned by some of the vets, and in my opinion, hence the BRG team, consisting of folks outside the MABRC, was formed, before anything was put into motion.

Smith named Meldrum and Hovey, and Darren Lee, Director of the MABRC chose Kathy, Abe and myself also to be part of the independent team.

We all knew that if Mr. Smith was lying, the public announcement of the team would be the quickest resolution to ending the claims. Darren, myself and a couple other members of the group spoke of that privately shortly after the announcement of the group was made. The clock was ticking for Smith.

The group was formed for four days prior to the public announcement and nothing Smith stated to Darren indicated that this would not move forward. Within hours of the public announcement, Smith called Darren with a potential problem and a day later, the group wasn’t needed. Yeah, go figure.

Let’s stop scapegoating, and put the blame on the real person, the VERY REAL Ed Smith.

YES… Ed Smith is real…

It’s very simple in my professional past to determine if someone is real or not. With Mr. Smith, a common name we needed something more, and we got one in a middle initial. With that info, I hit my resources hard, burning the midnight oil.

If he was fake the information would have been inconsistent., incomplete or more likely nothing at all. After I got the potential suspect, I pooled some information on what was known about Mr. Smith and confirmed this was indeed the very real Ed Smith, the phone numbers and email being the clincher.

ESWEB

Page one of a contact report confirming the existence of Ed Smith.

We know the names of his parents, siblings, his residence history, all consistent with the information known, his date of birth, phone number, which has been confirmed by sources as his own, his email, again confirmed.

The MABRC knew 75% of the information we uncovered, which helped greatly in verifying the data we collected was valid and consistent with the person they were dealing with the last several years.

What we did uncover they did not know, were the things that go against Smith’s claims, such as the lack of owned property, or any recent business ownership and work history not consistent with his previous claims and a purchase history, forensically indicative that this was a made up story from the get go, in 2008, when Smith first burst upon the scene claiming to have done this for ten years prior.

Matt Pruitt deserves the majority of the credit to this, as he has been researching the background of Mr. Smith for the last two years. Awesome job and hats off to him for his diligence.

I’d also like to thank Matt Knapp for obtaining property searches in the area as well.

My own involvement in the search was getting Mr. Smith’s work history.

So I hope that puts that issue to rest.

As to the impact of the MABRC…

A History Lesson…

There was a hoaxer that infiltrated a group of researchers.

They even paid him to track the activity in areas of the creatures. He came through with sighting reports and eventually led them to evidence that was hailed as great new convincing evidence.

He gave them frequent updates, which got the group excited that they were getting close. There should have been a lot of tell tale signs, which became apparent after the fact, that he was a hoaxer. But he seemed sincere and convincing so they believed him and even the evidence he had led them to.

He had been with them for about four years when it all came crumbling down for him.

They even were going to pay him $25,000 for his new ground breaking evidence.

The year was 1971, when Ivan Marx, (Biscardi’s mentor) claimed he had a film, which was obvious what it was.

The men associated with Marx before his claims, Roger Patterson, Rene Dahinden, Peter Byrne, Bob Titmus, John Green to name a few.

Oh and by the way… that wonderful piece of evidence that Marx led these men to?

The Bossburg Cripplefoot, the cornerstone of Dr. Grover Krantz’s thesis on Bigfoot evidence and he proudly displayed on all of the In Search Of… episodes and other documentaries.

 

Till Next Time,

Squatch-D

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