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BFRO Thermal Imaging


Since the summer of 2006 the BFRO has been acquiring various high-tech optical devices which extend visual perception in darkness. These technologies are provided by the chief sponsor of the BFRO -- multimillionaire Wally Hersom in Nevada.

Expedition attendees have consistently favored the smaller hand-held thermal imaging units. In dark forests, when sounds are heard nearby, thermal imagers allow the user to quickly determine whether a large animal is close by, and will reveal the exact type of large animal.

Through the eye of a thermal imager, any mammal, large or small, is revealed as a bright, glowing figure among a dimmer gray-scale background. Many different mammals have been observed and recorded during the expeditions. One surprising revelation was the quantity of rodents that traffic through forests at night -- something which was unseen even with starlight scopes.

At least ten people have observed sasquatches with thermal units (in NC, VA, OH, KY & CA). In most of those cases, images were not recorded because the units were not attached to recorders. This has happened most often when the user was serving as a scout/spotter for the people carrying the clunkier recorder-attached thermal systems. We consider those non-recorded observations to be minor victories, rather than missed opportunities. They are the natural precursors to future victories, where clear thermal images of sasquatches will be recorded.

Prior to the emphasis on portable configurations, we used both the larger thermal units and the smaller units in "surveillance mode." The units were set in a fixed position and allowed to record for hours through the night. The batch of clips mentioned below were obtained in surveillance mode. The clips below demonstrate the basic effectiveness of thermal viewers in dark forests. They also show the heat patterns of humans in clothes (humans in costumes would reveal the same heat patterns) compared to actual fur-bearing mammals.



NOTE: The images below were originally (when first posted on this page) linked to downloadable video files. The links have been disabled for the time being due to the excessive bandwidth drain caused by these large files. We still have these video files, of course, and can provide the links to anyone who has a need or desire to see them.

Madison County, North Carolina, September 2006

Deer walks by and shows no reaction to the surveillance system. The surveillance system was not de-scented in any way.

Stationary setup: L-3 Comm. Handheld Thermal-Eye; connected to Mini-DVR; each powered by a lead-acid, 12-volt alarm battery.



Deer Walks By (4 MB)

Orange County, California, August 2006

Raccoon on Wally trail. This is an uncut clip. It demonstrated the delayed triggering on the motion-activated DVR. This is why we use both a motion-activated DVR and a continuous-recording DVR, so as not to miss anything.

Stationary setup: L-3 Comm. Handheld Thermal-Eye; connected to Motion-activated Mini-DVR; powered by a lead-acid, 12-volt alarm battery.


Raccoon Delayed Trigger (1.5 MB)

Pocahontas County, West Virginia, October 2006

Surveillance camera at the Portage camp. The lateral motion of the rabbit across the screen is what caused the pixel-change-motion-detection-system to be triggered. The raccoon above only triggered the camera once it was close enough to the camera to show the lateral motion on the screen. There was not enough lateral motion to trigger the system when the raccoon was further down the trail.

Stationary setup: L-3 Comm. Handheld Thermal-Eye; connected to Mini-DVR; each powered by a lead-acid, 12-volt alarm battery.

Rabbit Trips Motion Detector (2 MB)

 


Del Norte County, California, November 2006

California State Park Ranger Robert Leiterman wearing the helmet-cam thermal system developed by Ernest Fehr. Leiterman spots a black bear leaning against a tree and peeking out from behind it to look at the expeditioners.

Helmet-mounted L-3 Comm. Handheld Thermal-Eye; connected to Mini-DVR; powered by a NM-hydride, 12-volt pack (D cells).

Black Bear Peeks Out (15 MB)


Price County, Wisconsin, June 2006

Either a coyote or a wolf. During this expedition the Wisconsin DNR had hired hunters to kill some nuisance wolves in this area. This may be one of those wolves.

Stationary setup with a Raytheon 250D thermal imager connected to Mini-DVR; cam powered by a single 90 amp-hour deep cycle marine battery.


Coyote or Wolf (3 MB)


Pasco County, Florida, December 2006

A cow wanders by in the distance.

Helmet-cam worn by Florida BFRO investigator Caroline Curtis.

Helmet-mounted handheld L-3 Comm. Thermal-Eye; connected to Mini-DVR; powered by a NM-hydride, 12-volt pack (D cells).



Cow Among Trees (13 MB)

Price County, Wisconsin, June 2006

Partially clothed people at the "Green Gate" camp. In the video, left to right, Don Young, Don's girlfriend, Dave Johnson, and Luke Molloy.

Don is wearing a sleeveless shirt. His girlfriend is wearing tight jeans and a strapless tank top. Luke is getting dressed behind the vehicle and is not wearing a shirt. Notice the detail pattern created by clothing.

Stationary setup with a Raytheon 250D thermal imager connected to Mini-DVR; cam powered by a single 90 amp-hour deep cycle marine battery.


Partially Clothed People (9MB)
 
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