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Wally Hersom picks up where Tom Slick left off


   
 

Nevada multi-millionaire Wally Hersom has officially picked up where the late Texas multi-millionaire Tom Slick left off.

Tom Slick was the legendary science philanthropist and financier of Yeti and Bigfoot expeditions in the late 50's. He was dedicated to solving the mystery of the Yeti and the American Bigfoot, and he might have done so, but for his untimely death from an aircraft crash at age 46 in 1962.

46 years later, bigfoot research finds another wealthy, dedicated patron. After attending a BFRO expedition in Wisconsin in the summer of 2006, Hersom began supporting the BFRO and purchasing, testing and then loaning out to BFRO members various state-of art optical devices, in order to identify the best technologies for acquiring images of bigfoots/sasquatches.

The initial tests of thermal imagers, and 3rd generation nightvision scopes, and high fidelity digital audio recorders, took place at his hilltop property in San Juan Capistrano. Once the best technologies in those categories were identified, Wally began to test various types of trail cameras.

In the process of testing different types of trail cameras Wally discovered that there was an amazing world of small wild animals on his own property.



Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) in Capistrano


The summer of 2008 brought forward two important milestones.

One of the BFRO investigators whom Wally supported and equipped for several months -- hunting guide Don Young in Wisconsin -- obtained some thermal video footage of what appears to be a sasquatch.

If the figure in the footage is indeed a sasquatch, then this particular clip is a historical prize -- the first decent thermal video clip of a sasquatch ever obtained.

By this point there have been roughly a dozen or so observations of sasquatches (some were extended observations) using thermal imagers, in different parts of the country. Most of those observations were on BFRO expeditions, and most involved Wally's equipment. None of those observations were recorded until Don Young recorded his encounter in Wisconsin.

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Wally's other score was his apparent discovery of an interesting anomaly which, if confirmed by other people, may be very helpful in obtaining photographs of bigfoots/sasquatches. Wally is now looking for other people who are willing to conduct their own experiments with their own equipment to help confirm the apparent anomaly.

The anomaly Wally noticed is the peculiar reaction by deer to a recently acquired type of trail camera. The trail camera is the Reconyx RC60-HO.

RC60-HO's are modified RC60's. They are modified to emit a very high dose of invisible 940 nanometer infrared light. The HO part of the model name stands for "high output". The base unit -- the RC60 -- is unique among trail cameras. Although many claim to use "invisible IR" LED illumination, all but this type of trail cam emit a very visible red glow when they trigger, which is thought to initimidate deer. The Reconyx RC60 has a filter which blocks out all the visible light light, so there is no red glow. The LED illumination is completely invisible to human eyes, but as Wally has discovered, some mammals can detect this "invisible" part of the light spectrum, somehow.

At two separate locations Wally noted that deer passed by normal RC60's without stopping, but did stop in front of a RC60-HO unit (hereinafter referred to simply as HO) and seemed to be particularly curious about it, but showed no fear.

In these two instances the deer were apparently transfixed by something -- most likely the illuminator. Some people surmised that the deer could not see the flashing light (because it would have detered them), but could somehow feel the flashing light -- perhaps a slight warmth sensation. Something about these trail cameras held the attention of the deer for nearly a minute while the camera took several photos of it.

One of those RC60-HO sequences is shown below. It was obtained near the Rubicon Trail in Northern California. The deer stopped along its trail, and moved closer to investigate the camera. The same deer passed by an unmodified RC60 and didn't even turn to look at it, but the modified unit which put out much more "invisible light" (which woud be accompanied by more heat) stopped the deer in its tracks, and brought it closer, instead of making it flee.

If this same reaction were to happen with a sasquatch (perhaps a curious and uncautious juvenile), then the trail camera would obtain several sharp images, instead of just a single blurred image as the animal passes by the camera.

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In order to help Wally to confirm this anomaly (which shall be called "the Wally effect" if confirmed) you must have a regular RC60 and also a RC60-HO. These two units must be set at least 50 feet apart and aimed across the same deer trail so that deer moving along the trail will pass within roughly 20 feet of both cameras.

Please contact Wally via email if you actually conduct this experiment somewhere. He would like to hear and see the results, no matter what the results are.

Wally's email address is Wally@BFRO.net

One of the reasons Wally is eager to hear if other people notice the same behavior with deer: Wally will be buying roughly 100 trail cams to deploy among BFRO investigators who are frequently in the field, or who may be able to respond to local reports suggesting repeat visits to rural properties. He will buy only these HO units from now on if the "Wally effect" is confirmed by several other people.




Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) devours dead
mouse (Peromyscus californicus) on Wally's
back porch in San Juan Capistrano, California.
His photographs showed that possums will gleefully
eat dead mice, but curiously they won't touch dead rats,
for some reason. (This image was taken with a Moultrie trail cam)



Wally examines a cast from the Blue Mountains of the Pac NW




Wally takes delivery of a custom made,
life-size, steel sasquatch statue,
hand made by Metal Worx Creations
in Western Washington State.


Multimillionaire Tom Slick, financier
of Yeti expeditions and Bigfoot expeditons,
shortly before his untimely death,
at age 46, in an airplane crash
while returning from Canada.


Some of Wally Hersom's
Trail Cam Trophies
of Elusive Mammals




A freakishly large western mountain lion (Puma concolor)
10m SW of OR Caves Nat. Mon. Notice the small size of the
head compared to the massive body. This cat was 60-70
feet from the trail cam in total darkness. The image needed
to be brightenned, which also increased the grainy distortion
of the image. The image btained with a special motion sensing
trail camera - the Reconyx RC60 ($600), which is the lower
powered version of the one used to take the deer photos below.



Bobcat (Felis Rufus) on Wally's back porch in
San Juan Capistrano, California. Once Wally started leaving
out food bait to attract rodents to traps, other types of
small animals came sniffing around as well, including small
predators such as this bobcat. Wally obtained other
photos of bobcats at a different location in Capistrano.
He now estimates that there are likely at least 50 bobcats
within the city limits of Capistrano most of which is still
open space. This short video was obtained with a
Moultrie Spy I-40 trail cam ($200). These types of
trail cams are now discouraged among BFRO people
because they make a red glow which is very noticeable
to the human eye in dark conditions. Thus they might
put intelligent animals on alert, and may even deter them
from feeding in a particular area. Moreover, they are
much more likely to be noticed and stolen by humans.
True invisibility greatly helps protect the trail cam from theft.


   
 
Photographic Sequence
   
  The sequence of deer photos below was obtained by Wally Hersom during a 2008 BFRO expedition in the California Sierra Nevada mountains. This sequence is signficant and potentially relevant to the pursuit of bigfoot/sasquatch photos. See the notes below explaining the putative "Wally effect".
   
 
 
   
  Wally had set out a special type of motion-sensing trail camera called an Reconyx RC60- HO. These brand new trail cams are special because unlike all other mass produced trail cameras which feature "invisible IR illumination", this model of Reconyx emits no visible light whatsoever, not even a slightly visible red glow, but they do emit much more than the normal amount of "true infrared" light, which is totally invisible to humans, and assumed by scientists to be even more invisible to deer. Deer are more sensitive to light than humans, but only in the bands of the light spectrum closer to ultraviolet, not infrared.
   
 
 
   
  The base unit is a Reconyx RC60. The company offers an enhanced version of the RC60 which increases the illuminaton range significantly. The enhanced version of this trail cam is the RC60-HO. The letters HO stand for "hight output". The base unit (RC60) costs $600. The enhanced unit (RC60-HO) costs $650.
   
 
 
   
  The LED illuminator panel on all other IR trail cams glows red when the camera is triggered. The red glow does not light up the forest like a white flash would do, but the red glow still quite noticeable in dark conditions -- noticeable enough to spook some animals..
   
 
 
   
  Hunters who use trail cams say that deer and most other wild animals appear to be intimidated and instanly deterred by white flash trail cameras. They also seem to be slightly deterred by red glowing trail cams. These special Reconyx trail cams show no visible red glow (visible to humans) thanks to an "infrared low-pass filter" covering the LED illuminator panel. The filter cuts out the slight bit of illumination on the lower part of the frequency-bell-curve. That bell curve strays slightly into the visible spectrum, resulting in the dim red glow.
   
 
 
   
  The regular RC60's have no visible glow whatsoever but the camera pumps out enough IR illumination to clearly light up subjects up to 35 feet away from the camera. Beyond that distance a focal subject is still visible in the photo, but not very well illuminated. The HO enhancement increases the illumination range to 50+ feet.

From what we have seen ourselves, deer do not seem to notice the RC60, even when the unit is in "rapid trigger" mode taking several photos. Occasionally a deer will look right at a regular RC60 while it is flashing (it flashes 940 nanometer infrared light once per second when triggered), but they will carry on doing whatever they were doing and not immediately walk away -- which means many more photos.

With the higher powered RC60-HO, deer seem be intruiged by the trail cam, and will curiously approach it, as evinced by this deer photo sequence. In this instance the same deer had just walked past a regular RC60 and did not even turn to look at the camera. Contrast that with the captivated reaction in this sequence.
   
 
 
   
 

Some people have suggested that the deer might hear the Reconyx, rather see or feel the infrared illumination. That is a possibility, but there are few things to consider:

Reconyx cameras are digital cameras, not film cameras. They do not make the familiar *click* sound of a film camera when they trigger.

Moultrie trail cameras, on the other hand, are digital, but they do make an audible click sound when triggered, as a filter is quickly moved from in front of the lens when triggered.

Reconyx asserts that their cameras make no noise at all, but they may mean only noise that humans can hear.

Some digital trail cameras make a very high pitched, but very subtle, whining noise when they are triggered. This is caused by an oscillator that regulates the power going to the LEDs.

So if the Reconyx unit makes a sound, it is definitely not a clicking sound, but rather a very high pitched tone above 20 KHZ -- above the ability of most humans to hear, but probably not beyond the ability of various wild animals to hear.

So the "Wally Effect" may be caused by sound, or by something visual (something which does not fit with the current state of knowledge about deer vision), or by something tactile such as a very slight warmth sensation that deer can feel on their faces.

In a certain practical sense, it doesn't really matter what causes the mesmerizing effect of the HO. We would like to know the exact mechanism involved, but we'll use these units no matter what the mechanism is, as long as it works.

If RC60-HO trail cams have better than average odds for eliciting this same odd behavior from other animals, then they are the way to go for bigfoot field research.

If the above sequence of photos had captured a bigfoot rather than a deer, and the bigfoot had exhibited the same amount of bold curiousity, resulting in such clear photos, then those photos would have appeared in every newspaper around the world, and would have shaken the planet.