Northern California Expedition 2006

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November 2-5, 2006

Open invitation expedition; People returning from March 2006 Nor Cal expedition pay no fee.

To sign up for this expedition see the BFRO Expedition FAQ.

Northern California is the epicenter of bigfoot country. The region has the highest density of historical sightings and track finds. It is also where the Patterson footage was obtained.

On prior BFRO expeditions in Nor Cal rainforests we operated at night, assuming that our luring techniques would only get responses after dark. They usually did yield results at night, after checking enough valleys, but the darkness always prevented us from getting any daylight footage.

On the last expedition in March 2006 we had no choice but to try some things in daylight. The heavy winds and torrential rains in the evenings made it impossible to hear the sounds that we needed to listen for. When we had breaks in the weather during the day we sent out groups into some of the valleys we had previously identified for night-ops.

The first group to head out on the first morning was a father with three teenage sons. They were all strong hikers and covered a lot of ground quickly. After a long hike, just before they reached their vehicle, the last boy in the pack asked his brothers if either of them had thrown a rock at him. He said a rock hit the ground behind him and skipped into the brush. He assumed one of his brothers had thrown it. They all said they had not thrown anything. The boy said the rock seemed to come from the side of the trail, apparently from the trees. This happened in broad daylight.

The father of the boys mentioned this to us at breakfast the next day. His comment raised some eyebrows and we asked him to repeat what he said. He described the incident again and we immediately pulled the boys aside and grilled them a bit.

It was clear they were being honest. The only issue was one of interpretation. The boy who had the observation was adamant that it was a rock thrown laterally, and not something that had fallen out of a tree. He was very familiar with thrown rocks, because back home he and his brothers, like most boys their age, often threw rocks. Because of that he felt strongly that he was qualified to make the call. We eventually agreed. All of them, including the father were certain that the specific spot had no rock faces or steep slopes nearby, from which a rock could have fallen and ricocheted sideways. For those who were able to question the boys, there was no other obvious explanation.

We decided to direct our best equipped participants to that valley as soon as the rain stopped. Luckily the valley was conducive to unseen, quiet entry. This allowed us to attempt some luring protocols from hidden positions in the daylight. We went in to the general area where the rock had been thrown. We settled in for 20 minutes or so, until the normal animal activity sounds (birds, etc.) resumed. Then we slowly began with some sounds. We waited and listenned, then repeated and raised the volume until the sounds echoed through the valley. Within 15 minutes one person was reporting "home run" knocks from a ridge above. The sounds were intermittent but moving down the slope. Other people were directed by radio to his position and confirmed the sounds of movement on the hillside.

The people with the best camcorders were asked by radio if they could move toward the sounds on the hillside. They agreed to try for it, and moved in, but it didn't take long before they radioed back and said it was a bad idea. The rainforest brush was nearly impenetrable, and the noise they were making while trying to penetrate it was apparently alerting the animals they were pursuing, which seemed to be moving back up the slope.

We directed everyone to come off the hillside and move back into concealed positions, so we could try more of the sounds that had brought them around in the first place. It didn't work the second time around. We waited and tried, and tried some more, but nothing responded.

It was getting dark and it was starting to rain again, so we asked people to move out in small groups.The plan was to return in few hours, after the rain band passed, to see what would happen at night in that same valley. People exited the area in small groups and made their way back to the road, not far from the base camp. Four of those people heard loud "home run" knocks from the hill overlooking the trailhead as they exited.

We prepared for another forray after dark, but the winds kicked up and were strong. The park ranger who was with us strongly discouraged us from walking among the big trees while gale force winds were blowing. The titanic branches that fall off the giant redwoods during high winds are large enough to flatten a car. So we backed out and headed back to camp. We radioed in a request for a thermal camera to monitor the area around the base camp that night.

As the roof-mounted-thermal-camera-vehicle entered the camp, the driver (Steve Willis) saw the thermal image of a very tall figure moving toward the camp, from the direction of the trailhead where the knocks were heard earlier. The figure stopped, looked across the base camp, then quickly walked back into the trees. Steve attemped to hook up his comcorder to the system before the figure was out of view but it was too late.

Getting to the stage where these types of opportunities will arise, has been a progressive learning process. We've learned valuable lessons each time we've pursued these animals. We've seen clearly and repeatedly that certain things will elicit responses and approaches, but these animals won't fall for the same tricks twice. In Northern California compelling things will happen when we're in a new area for the very first time. We have to find a new zone every time we need to trick some of these animals into approaching us, so we can try new things when they do approach. Luckily, in regions like coastal Northern California, there is so much rich, rainforest habitat, we can usually find another habitation zone as little as five miles away from an area that yielded results before.

Because of what happened in March of 2006 in Northern California, we are very eager to try some daylight camera strategies in November. You are invited to attend if you are interested in participating or seeing this for yourself.

If you attended the March 2006 expedition you are cordially invited (for no fee) to the November trip. The storm that bedeviled us during that expedition was the worst storm of the entire season. It is very, very unlikely that the weather in the first week of November will be as bad as it was during that trip. It will very likely to be much better weather.

See Also:

The Robb Report article about the March 2005 Expedition in the California Redwoods.

Comment about the May 2005 Expedition in the California Redwoods.

If you are interested in attending this expedition, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page.


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