Monday, November 12, 2012

Chasing White Rabbits

November 12th,2012

So much has happened since March that has cast further doubt on the true identity of my visitor it is hard to know where to start with it all. The last odd incident occurred in May. Nothing was removed from my brother's deck but my immediate neighbor had six yellow peanut M&M's left in a row on her front door step. Our homes face directly west so the morning sun hadn't reached them yet to melt them when they were found. They couldn't have been there long as the temperatures were already getting up in the high 90's by this time of year. One possibility is the repair man who was here recently to clean the gutters. I wonder what the issue is with yellow M&M's? It seems odd to leave them on the step like that but people are really strange as I've since found out. We have no small children in our community that wonder around unattended. Oh well...just more weirdness as usual.

I left the forum in general disgust this past May after suffering abuse from a garden variety sociopath that was also a member there, and I was subsequently banned at a later date for having the temerity to attempt to defend myself. I've since lost contact with anyone that I might, and might being the big IF here, have received assistance from in regards to equipment. Bigtex never came through, neither did any of the other researchers that promised to loan game cams. This seems to be typical of the community, lots of talk and no real effort applied to anything other than what is in their immediate area. I don't think you can depend on anyone very much in regards to bigfoot world. Maybe that's a lesson well worth learning as far as judging the validity of what little in the way of evidence ever gets put out for public inspection. We have very little to talk about these days as the hope for the DNA study steadily dies with no word or further progress in that direction and everyone waits for Dr. Sykes results.

I did happen to meet a biologist that teaches DNA extraction in one of his lab classes at a community college out west with some very good connections to reference laboratories for sequencing. We decided to utilize my facebook contacts and his contacts to solicit biological samples for free testing rather than waiting on everyone else's results to be published. Not one person followed through with the offer. My conclusions are that either the amount of evidence is not equal to the frequency of reported sightings therefore it puts many reports in question. My alternative conclusion is that there are deeper psychological ramifications to this phenomenon in that people don't want to take a chance and get confirmation that what they thought was a special relationship with something "other" really doesn't exist. One poor guy I spoke with is convinced that he has bigfoot living in a city park that he has visited since childhood based on a verbal DNA report he received about hairs he submitted for analysis; no history of a visual, no footprints associated with his find, nothing but some dubious stick structures that were attributed to bigfoot. It's really sad to hear these stories and there are many more of these folks out there just like him, please don't let me become one of them.

Another shocking blow occurred after I left the community in May. I managed to reconnect with one of the two remaining siblings of my father.After catching up I broached the subject of my father's sighting and according to my aunt it didn't happen the way I was always told. No one is sure exactly what happened to my father that day but it was her opinion that the stories of the boogers were created to protect my grandfather's still and the revenue he earned by taking shipments of moonshine to New Orleans during prohibition and the depression. So what is true? My foundation for belief is gone,  one more hole in the dam has been plugged to keep my sense of proportion intact.

So enough about history and politics, there have been some things that have occurred starting on October 6th. I was out on my deck past midnight looking at the moon rise over the river. It was at that perfect arc in the sky where it made the river look like a silver ribbon, just beautiful, so I stayed out longer than I intended until the affect passed. It was warm and muggy, no wind. I kept hearing rustling down below the edge of the cliff but it's time for the deer to migrate so I thought nothing of it. As I stood there looking at the sky I could hear acorns hitting the side of the building and observed a couple of them, one still attached to a small twig with leaves as it bounced off my neighbor's deck just to my immediate right. Still, it's fall and I really didn't think much of it until I went outside the next morning. The nearest oak tree is 30 feet away from me and to the right of my deck that is tucked back in behind my neighbor's deck. There is no way that acorns could fall in my direction with no wind. Something had to have been throwing them, then it made me wonder if it was coming from the tree. Was something up in the trees throwing acorns at me? Can squirrels do that? Needless to say the tree limbs got trimmed back and the brush cut from the cliff the next week. No more incidents  have occurred since then. 

On Nov. 1st  my brother discovered his storage room door had been opened again during the night. Hurricane Sandy had passed us by several days before then so there was no wind that could cause it to open, nothing seemed to be taken or bothered. On Nov. 4th , in the early hours after midnight I was still  up and my kitchen window happened to be open. I heard a distant scream coming from the northwest of me which is the direction that the Broad River flows from. It was LOUD and far away, it was quickly followed by coyote and dogs howling for miles around then nothing, dead silence. So that's it, nothing spectacular so far but just a few things that seem odd with no real explanation for them. 


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beware the Ides of March

    Well whatever is visiting is back again. Odd things have been happening around here for the last couple of weeks. My constant state of denial keeps me from trying to read too much into these events. They don't seem sasquatch related until you look at them in total, taken separately, they mean nothing. That may be the problem with those who think they are being visited by bigfoot. One thing leads to another and builds upon the last event until this bigger than life drama is swirling around in your mind. Everything begs the question, is this really significant or just random?
     I'm disillusioned by everything that is the bigfoot world. I realized that after awhile the company you keep will rub off on you further creating that sense of isolation and disorientation.  I think it really hit home in the past month that this is something I'm going to have to figure out for myself, there will be no help, no one has any answers that you didn't already figure out for yourself no matter how much they beat upon their chest and claim otherwise.
      So on with the story, two weeks ago the lady who lives alone at the end of our row of condos suddenly decided to move. She commented as she was loading her moving truck that this was the weirdest, darkest, most horrible place she had ever lived and she couldn't take another minute of it and was leaving. She took the basics, left the rest, locked up, and I've not seen her since that Saturday morning.  I attributed her frantic behavior to her emotional state at the time since her father had just passed away. None of the neighbors or I had ever had any problems with this person so I thought it was an odd remark to make regardless of the reason, bigfoot did not immediately come to mind.
     Last Friday I was out on my deck at 10:30pm smoking a cigarette before heading up to bed. As I was out there I happened to catch a flicker of light down on the river bottom at the edge of the water. I could hear rustling and the plop of something in the water. I had a moment of courage so I started whooping at whatever it was to see if I would get a reaction. The two lights swing around in my direction, duck, and sway as it tries to see where the noise( me) is coming from. I go over to my brothers to get him to look for it but he sees nothing. Unfortunately, once I cut into the howler monkey call the neighbor steps out on the deck next door to see what I'm doing. I just told him that someone was down there fishing at night. If it was a person, I'm sure my calls intimidated him into leaving the area immediately. One can only imagine if the shoe were on the other foot, so to speak.
    Early that morning a hard rain hit at about 4am totally obliterating any prints I might have found so I wait until the afternoon to go check on things. I walk down the game trail until I get to a point where I can see my deck from the river bottom. There is a rock there covered in fish scales, two beer cans are at the base of the rock so I just dismiss this as a night fisherman that had an LED flashlight. I'm kind of relieved to know that humans are actually down there at night since it means that there is a stronger possibility that the bigfoot hypothesis is null.
    This past Wednesday afternoon I was visiting my brother. We were watching all of the bigfoot shows that they were running on the channels that afternoon/evening and drinking coffee. We were actually talking about other things and only half way listening to the television. I left after about an hour and walked back to my place. Five minutes later John comes running into my house because it seems there was a strange earthquake at his place. I didn't feel or hear anything in my house. He said it was a vibration that slowly built into a crescendo and vibrated his windows in the living room. I suspected the plumbing but our pipes are PVC and they don't vibrate like that. We investigated outside, under the decks, under his condo, went and looked in his bathrooms for leaks, flushed toilets, and even went up into the attic to look for the source of the vibration, and we found nothing obvious.
     Today, my brother calls me at work and asked me to come home for lunch, he didn't want to get into it on the phone so I assumed some kind of "house falling apart" emergency had developed because of the noise he heard the previous afternoon. I get there and he is upset, it seems something had finally taken the cigarette bait I left out the previous October. Ironically enough, I had just e-mailed Bigtex to see if the camera set up was ready but it wasn't. I was going to go ahead and try to get things together before their return, it seems with the warm weather, they have arrived early. The plastic cover I used to cover the bait was knocked over, whatever it was pulled the magnets off of the sasquatch refrigerator magnet and stuck them to the metal plant stand. The ash try had also been cleaned out.
      I had been thinking through a back up plan. I will try to borrow some game cams from my coworkers. There was an interesting you tube video on how primates like their reflections, assuming bigfoot is a primate, I was going to try improvising something like he did in the video to capture this thing or person's attention and hopefully get a picture. Here is the link to his video if interested:


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ponderings While Waiting

  Hello family and friends!! I got the pine straw down a week and half ago with no mishaps or run-ins with any flora or fauna in the process. However, there was a baby copperhead on my brother's front walk yesterday evening that neither of us was brave enough to kill. We are such cowards. I have no idea how we will cope with the discovery of our intruder, regardless of what it turns out to be, if we can't even handle a snake the size of a spaghetti noodle, albeit a poison one.
    I've checked into the weather on the days that I've been tracking the cigarette theft. The following dates are what I have so far: July 13th, blustery and light rain, a full moon; August 27th, overcast and windy because of Hurricane Irene, 1 day before the new moon; a big "maybe" on September 21st as the wind was strong, also raining, so I didn't really count the container being turned over and the cigarette missing on that occasion, also a waning moon; and then sometime between Oct. 20th-Oct.26th, it was raining when we left for vacation that week, it was overcast until Saturday, also a waning moon. The only common denominator I see here is cloud cover that would make it extremely dark.
     I need to track this more before I can definitely say that the weather has anything to do with the circumstances. I am starting to anticipate another visit so that I can see if the intruder will be put off by the pine straw. I figure if a manicured lawn doesn't bother them, certainly pine straw won't be a hindrance. I will keep the weather in mind because the view for where I am planning to put the camera may be obscured by a wet window. I may need to think of some alternative positions and/or possibly a back up camera of some sort in the hollow tree across from the deck.
     The taping is going miserably, in my opinion, but I tend to get bored easily. I am still having a hard time adjusting from the old fashioned tape recorders to the new digital ones that go all the way back to zero when you rewind, I hate that. So far, I hear owls, and crunching leaves, my cat pitching a fit to come inside, and trains, lots and lots of trains going by on the track across the river. I believe I liked the Sony brand better than the Olympus I exchanged it for but the Sony had no way to transfer audio to my PC without me actually taping on the computer. The quest for a good digital recorder for under $100.00 continues and the wait continues.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Much Ado about Nothing

   I called the SC Department of Natural Resources on Thursday to discuss what might be walking down by the river that could knock over trees. Amazingly, I found out we have bears that wander through the green belt in downtown Columbia. Who knew?? I've never seen a bear where the rivers converge downtown but I suppose it's possible. It seems the bear population in South Carolina has exploded over the last 15 years. There are now 1500 bears above Hwy. 11 and 600 over by Myrtle Beach in Horry County. They tend to follow the river basins down into the lower part of the state, especially the males at this time of year. Evidently a bear was sighted twenty miles north of me on the Broad River earlier this summer. A bear supposedly made it all the way to Lexington last year, meandered over to Orangeburg, before heading back to North Carolina in the fall. The biologist I spoke with thought I was very fortunate to have had one walk by, but I believe that is a matter of opinion. Just this year eighty bears were harvested during our ten day bear season. That doesn't sound like they knocked a very big dent in the bear population of South Carolina.

    The  tree incident may have nothing to do with what took the cigarette a week and half ago, or any other time prior to leaving the bigfoot magnet standing up under a plastic cover. My plans are starting to take shape. Bigtex recommended ground cover to get the culprit used to it before I buried the pressure pad for the camera set up that he will be sending shortly for surveillance. I bought a couple of bales of pine straw today to use over by the air conditioner and around the bushes thinking it would look more natural as that is what is used by the landscaper. I can't wait to test out my stealth abilities crawling under the decks dragging my pine straw bales with me as I try to be discreet tomorrow. Bigtex says the sasquatch are a lot smarter than we give them credit  for and they must not see me laying out the straw. I'm dubious, but at this point, I think being super cautious can't hurt even if it feels and sounds ridiculous. I'm waiting for the neighbors to go to church before I do this simply because I can't think of a logical explanation for why I would be under their deck, should they discover me there, on my way to my brother's deck. I hope I don't run into a water moccasin in the process.

   I took Steve Kull's and Stan Courtney's advice and bought a recorder. I don't think it's going to work for what I want to use it for so I will be taking it back. However, I did try it out and got an extremely loud barred owl call the first night of recording at around 1:30am, so loud that I nearly dropped my coffee cup. I had placed the recorder in one of John's potted plants with the display side down in the pot with the microphone sticking up above the lip of the pot. In my opinion, the bird had to be sitting on the deck for it to have picked up so clearly on the recorder. If it had been in a tree  I believe I would have heard it as I sleep with my window open. There was a lot of footsteps which could be the deer herd that comes through here between 10:30pm and midnight. It was either that, or leaves blowing on the deck.  I was very pleased at what I could hear on the recorder as I was concerned about the white noise caused by the rushing water of the river. That about sums it up for what I've been doing the past two weeks. The roller coaster highs and lows are a little hard to take but I think if I keep questioning things, rather than connecting dots to other wrong dots,  I'm on the right track.

Making Sense of Nonsense

I've always believed that bigfoot existed because my father had a sighting when he was ten years old and several other family stories, that on hind sight, could be attributed to bigfoot. However, bigfoot was something that existed out in the remote wilderness, my frame of reference for their habitat didn't include urban and suburban areas. Until the last few years, my interest went as far as watching the occasional documentary about bigfoot until I moved to my present home here in South Carolina.
    It wasn't too long before it dawned on me that many odd things happen when living on a river. I had never been lucky enough to be able to buy a place on a body of water. I was thrilled to find my condo with the magnificent view of the Broad River on the outskirts of a small city back in 2008. No scenic vacation spot  that I have since visited equals what I have in my own backyard. That said, the strangeness begin my first night in my new home.
    Do I have proof that bigfoot is behind it all? Does anyone ever? Usually not enough to convince the world, but after the last few years, I do have enough proof to convince myself. There is a small community of researchers and enthusiasts doing their very best to try and prove to mainstream science that this creature exists. Far be it for me to think I can accomplish what no one else has been able to do in decades, but I'm going to give it whirl. I might make an ass of myself in the process but it won't be the first time. We can all have a good laugh at my delusions and epic fails along the way.
   Proof began to arrive for me on October 26th, 2011. My brother, who happens to be my neighbor, had been having a visitor that raided his ash tray on his deck for cigarette butts for well over a year. Each time the ash tray was moved, butts were scattered everywhere, and his storage room door would be open. Sometimes a pile of duck down would be left, or beer pull tabs, once a lovely red glass star shaped planter. After he received the beautiful planter this past July, I decided to leave this visitor a whole cigarette. The cigarettes would be missing but you were never certain whether an animal or the weather was responsible.

      I continued my game and like clock work every 3-4 weeks, the bait would be taken. The last gift of tobacco was left before we departed for a trip to Pennsylvania to check out our first Bigfoot/UFO conference. This time, I decided to leave our visitor a sign. I placed a bigfoot refrigerator magnet on top of the clear plastic cover over the cigarette. When I checked the offering after we returned, the cigarette was missing, the magnet was placed with a smaller clear plastic cover over it and standing upright. Now I knew without a doubt that an animal or weather was not responsible for taking the bait. Something with fingers arranged the magnet and covered it as the magnet was not designed to stand and was balanced on uneven deck boards. I already suspected that it must be something unusual since the deck is a good six feet off the ground with no ground access. In order to get to the ashtray and storage room door one would have to reach over the air conditioning unit and around through the deck banister to reach the door knob. It just did not seem likely that a human could do this without making a lot noise in the process. Then I found the prints on the beach and along the river on my hike the next Sunday.

So thrilled as I was by all of this, I reached out to some of the researchers in the community for advice. Knowing something with fingers is sneaking up to your deck at night is not very reassuring regardless of who or what it is, at this point it was time to get a little more aggressive.  It has taken almost two years for this creature/person to develop a habit for visiting. I don't want to do anything in the process that will scare it off  while trying to figure out what he/she/it is exactly. I'll probably only have one shot at this and I have to get it right the first time. I feel like I'm planning to go to war although no weapons will be involved, the only casualty will be trust. I will keep you posted as the project evolves.
The Wednesday after my hike  my brother had an unnerving incident shortly after lunch, I had come home but left to go back to work. He went out on his deck a little after 1:00pm to water his plants when he heard stomping and huffing coming up from the river bottom. Then trees began to crash, at this point every dog in the neighborhood is barking. So my brother tried a whoop. The tree smashing stops, he tries another with no result. Next try was an owl call and what or whoever it was returned another owl call in answer as it continued south down the river. It couldn't have made it very far as there is a construction crew rebuilding a bridge south of us. My thought was that our visitor was caught between us and that activity, forced to wait it out until nightfall. At the time this did not occur to me as I raced down to the river bottom to get my pictures of the damage, my proof that none of this was our imagination. The first photo is a suspected footprint found on the game trail, then pics of several broken and damaged trees, followed by what I thought might be a hand print. Then a log that was freshly rolled over. Maybe this creature was looking for termites or grubs, I don' t know. All I can say is these trees were intact when I walked there Sunday, we've had no storms or floods, you be the judge: