Wireless Wilderness Project Update
by Thom Powell


Pacific Northwest
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The Wireless Wilderness project, as explained in the last newsletter, involves installing wireless web cams at locations of suspected bigfoot activity. It sounds simple but it's a big undertaking. This type of project can be broken down into two smaller, but still challenging tasks: Getting the expensive and elaborate equipment that is required is one task. Evaluating known sites that might be suitable for the project is the other.

Evaluating a known location is the more important task. One can't justify an elaborate installation at any location without good evidence that a sasquatch repeatedly passes by a certain spot, yet it is difficulat to establish that without monitoring the location. A 'Catch-22' if there ever was one!

The solution is preliminary monitoring of various candidate sites using devices that cost less and are easier to install. Wireless web cams are too expensive and complicated to use in the first phase. Less expensive hunter cameras -- sometimes called "camera traps" -- are much easier to install and capture clear images of any animals that pass in front of them. They use passive infra-red motion detector triggers to sense something moving through the field of view. In the day time they simply snap a photo, at night they snap a flash photo. Experience with other large wild animals shows that animals are not frightened off by the bright flash at night. They may interpret the camera flash as a lightenning flash, which is something they experience frequently.

There is far too much wild land in this country to go mounting camera traps around willy-nilly. The sites must be carefully selected. The most promising camera locations are those where circumstances suggest that a sasquatch makes repeated visits to a particular spot. Occassionally the BFRO hears about and investigates cases where saquatches periodically snoop around rural homes and raid outdoor freezers. These are refered to as "bigfoot magnet" cases. They receive special attention from the BFRO.

In southeastern Oklahoma, for example, residents in a remote mountain home were fairly certain that bigfoots were raiding a chest freezer in an outbuilding. Frozen deer quarters were being taken away at night, in conjunction with distinct vocalizations and sightings near the home. In Oregon and California, campers have reported things stolen from camping coolers, again in conjunction with bigfoot sightings. Based on reporting patterns, it can be assumed that for every such reported incident of this type, there may be many other similar incidents that go unreported.

Last month I was doing a follow-up investigation of a multiple-sighting report at a property in western Washington. The residents had reason to believe that a few bigfoots inhabited the forested areas surrounding their home.

During the course of my interview with the witnesses, it emerged that they had two outdoor freezers with venison, a quartered pig, and fish in them. Occasionally one of these freezers was opened at night and frozen foods, such as the pig, were missing. The freezer door was typically found standing open the next day and the remaining contents of the freezer had begun to thaw.

The residents had not made any connection between these happenings and the three sightings they were reporting. They were mystified as to where the food was going, and could only suppose that hungry neighbors were the cause, though it seemed unlikey, given their remote location and thier good relationship with their very few neighbors. The manner in which the freezer was left open and the kinds of things taken was further reason to doubt that humans were the thieves.

Can a bear open an upright freezer? Probably. A bear would also leave a mess, make a lot of noise, scratch the paint on the freezer, and eat at least part of the food on the spot. I am not suggesting that every disappearing item from a rural outdoor freezer points to bigfoot activity. I am saying that if large frozen food items are disappearing from an outdoor freezer in a remote location, in a stealthy manner, and human thievery seems unlikely, bigfoots may be the cause ... especially if the residents are seeing, hearing or finding tracks of bigfoots near the home.

The BFRO has provided a "camera trap" for this location. Should luck smile upon this project, we will have not only a good photo, but also justification to install much more equipment at this location.

We would like to simultaneoulsy test this approach at several other locations as well. If you know of a place where property owners are describing what may be evidence of bigfoots in the area, and they are describing missing items from an outdoor freezer or missing animals from animal pens, please contact the BFRO at Curators@BFRO.net

Should the western Washington location produce good photos, that evidence may or may not be seen as persuasive. But if similar evidence were gathered at more than one location, then we will have successfully replicated the experiment. That would lend much greater validity to this approach, and to this subject in general.

Are there any other types of "bigfoot magnets"? Probably. Rabbit hutches may cause the same behavior. The folks near western Washington who were losing frozen foods were also losing so many rabbits that they gave up raising them. Something was carefully opening the wooden catches at night and taking rabbits. No disturbance was detected and no tracks were ever seen (because of the soil conditions near the hutches).

In Oregon, the occupant of a remote homestead with vegetable gardens has reason to believe that a bigfoot raids his garden every summer. A seasonal location such as this offers decent potential for monitoring experiments, but obviously requires more time and patience to monitor. Ongoing situations are preferable.

If you live in a rural area where there are rumors of bigfoot sightings, please ask around to see if people are missing food from outdoor freezers, etc., under mysterious circumstances. If you hear about a potential situaiton like this please contact the BFRO at curators@BFRO.net and describe to us the situation.

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