Some of you may be familiar with Jaime Avalos’ YouTube videos. I came across them fairly recently, around the same time that Jaime had contacted me through the website.
Our initial contact was brief… he simply mentioned to me that he felt he was able to anticipate where to find tracks and was having great success.
My curiosity was piqued. Watching Jamie’s videos, I found myself fascinated. Honestly, my intial reaction was that he was simply finding and casting human footprints. The footprints appeared very humanlike in size, shape and morphology. They appeared to have been found, in many cases, in areas where humans frequent. But as I continued to watch, I was deeply intrigued – not so much by the evidence, initially, but by the calm deliberation with which he approached his work and the careful documentation of what he was finding.
Our subsequent telephone conversations made me want to meet Jaime… to see the evidence that he was collecting firsthand and try to further understand this seemingly credible man who was spending so much time documenting something that appeared, at first glance, to be nothing more than… well, people prints.
Jaime is an ex-marine and a traveling nurse. His job affords him time to travel, and he was able to make the journey up from California for a few days to visit.
We had an amazing time. Throughout his stay, I was continually impressed by his calm demeanor, the lack of sensationalism – and his innate refusal to make any claims about what he was finding. Rather, he simply presented the evidence to me in the form of dozens of casts, showed me videos of his time in the field, and spent hours explaining what he was finding and how.
As the long weekend drew to a close, I found that I was still somewhat on the fence about exactly what Jaime was finding. The casts, though they looked very humanlike, did appear to be so similar as to come from the same individuals – despite the fact that they were cast, in some cases, hundreds of miles apart. Was Jaime simply casting human tracks that appeared similar in size, shape, and detail? Or was he actually following three barefoot individuals across the Sierras? Would three rather small, possibly young creatures be traveling together? The tracks were, respectively, 8″, 10″ and 11″ in length. – certainly well within the range of human tracks. Yet the behavior and gait of the trackmakers was not humanlike.
Were the subtle details that Jaime was noticing in the tracks and trackways a result of over-interpretation or the mark of an incredibly perceptive tracker?
I have uploaded an in-depth video interview with Jaime in the members media archives. In it, we discuss his initial sighting, his work up to this point, and he addresses many questions that I have about the tracks he’s finding.
Regardless of exactly what is responsible for the tracks, I find myself feeling that Jaime’s approach to field research and documentation is golden.
I had asked Jaime to try to give more of a visual and audio CONTEXT of the areas he’s finding the tracks within his videos, in order to answer a question that has nagged at me… is he simply finding human tracks of someone walking around barefoot along the lake shores, or is someone barefoot the entire time, walking INTO an area that would be comfortable on our feet and then walking OUT of it onto harsh or jagged substrate, still barefoot?
In his latest video, I’ve noticed that he’s begun to take a lot more time putting things into context for those of us who aren’t there with him.
Jaime, YOU ROCK. *grin*