I’ve bit my tongue until it’s bled. Sorry… can’t do it anymore.
Apparently, there has been quite an uproar for some time now regarding some purported Bigfoot photos taken by a team of little-known bigfoot researchers near Sru Lake here in Oregon.
It all began several weeks ago, when a local gal by the name of Linda Newton Perry (she lives a stone’s throw down the road from me, if you’re throwing rural stones) began reporting on her blog, Bigfoot Ballyhoo, that a team of field researchers led by a man named Bill Emery had captured “clear and compelling” images of a Sasquatch.
For months prior to this, the blog discussed the Sru Lake Bigfoot with a sort of hysteria… witnesses writing in that they had been scared whilst camping at the lake and were subsequently considering suing (yes, SUING) the forest service… claims of official signage warning that bigfoot was in the area… signs, mind you, that “cannot be photographed” due to the “material” they’re made from… discussion of a Sasquatch so vile, so aggressive, so dangerous, that it would be a travesty for the forest service NOT to warn people… and all the while the blog writer cheering it on, claiming that we have a “right” to know what’s in “our” woods.
I wanted to know if this Bigfoot was really as dangerous as everyone was saying. So I went to Sru Lake. Twice.
It’s about a 3 hour drive for me. The first time, my daughter and mother and I took a day trip up there. (“Autumn!” you might say, “how could you?!! Why on earth would you take your 3 year old to a lake where people are reportedly being attacked by a Sasquatch?!?!?” Well… read on.)
Our first visit occurred two days after the “ESP” Team has claimed that they had photographed this creature. While there is an in-depth write up on our trip in the OB members’ archives, I’ll give you a brief rundown here.
This is Sru Lake (which, to my knowledge, the blogger mentioned above has never visited…)
This is the spot where all of the signage is posted. Please note that there are no “un-photographable” signs warning of a rabid Sasquatch in the area. In fact, the only warning sign I saw was on our second trip. The was blue-green algae in the lake and you were warned not to eat the fish or let your pets or children play in the water.
There was no damage to the campground, fire rings, etc. as claimed, caused by a rabid Sasquatch. In fact, the campground was one of the most well-maintained primitive campgrounds I’ve visited.
Here is my daughter and my mother. Note the lack of rabid, 8′-tall hairy beasts in the background. This may be due to the fact that I sprayed my daughter liberally with an anti-Sasquatch repellent containing penny royal and garlic. (It also works well against vampires.)
Our first trip was uneventful, save for one interesting vocalization, recorded on my digital recorder, which may have been an early-season horny elk. Or a Sasquatch. I’m not sure which, but the recording is in the members’ media archives, if you’re interested.
On my second trip, I decided to bite the bullet and stay overnight. Twice. Far be it from me not to investigate reports of a place so close to me in which I’m assured of getting screamed at, hit by flying objects or having my arms torn from my body by an angry Sasquatch. Heck, maybe I could talk some sense into him… tell him to tone it down before the mob shows up with cameras and guns.
A bigfooter friend of mine came to visit from the south. He’d never been to the Pacific Northwest. I decided to take him to Sru Lake. I figured, heck… he can see some gorgeous old growth AND possibly – hopefully – get the shit scared out of him in the process.
So we camped at Sru Lake for two nights, in the camp spot at the very back of the campground. Here it is.
We had the campground to ourselves. Aside from some beer drinkers who parked and stayed about 5 minutes, and two Forest Service trucks who stopped by briefly, we didn’t see another living soul all weekend.
Nothing. Nada. No screams tearing the night. No angry Sasquatches throwing things at us or tearing up our tents. My arms are still firmly attached to my body. In fact, my friend put up audio recorders all over the place (that’s his thing… he likes audio recorders) and got zilch, aside from what sounded like a bear rummaging around in the brush and one “wood knock” that could have been anything. Game cams? Yeah. He put those up, too – far away from camp. Fifty-some photos of raccoons eating corn and peanut butter. We hiked. We sat. We played guitar. We looked for bigfoot sign and found NONE. It was a quiet, peaceful campout in a beautiful location. With absolutely no bigfoots, angry or otherwise, as far as I could tell.
Would I do it again? You bet. It’s a gorgeous place.
All of this, however, is not the point of this blog post, but rather a bit of additional perspective from a blogger who has not only been to the location and but camped there overnight.
Now… on to these purported photos.
Nevermind the fact that I completely disagree with Ms. Perry’s crusade to “out” the Sasquatch. I, like anyone else, have been sitting back with mild curiosity, waiting to see what is unveiled. They’ve certainly been hyped up long enough and Linda Newton Perry assures us that Bill and his “team” have assured HER that they are clear and compelling.
So they release the first photograph. You can see that here: http://bigfootballyhoo.blogspot.com/2010/09/here-you-are-folks.html
Despite the fact that I crossed my eyes, stood on my head and blinked several times, I could not make out any details in the photo. Since we have no frame of reference for size aside from the arbitrary eyeball measurement of the old growth cedar stump in the photo, it’s pretty much a “hmmm” sort of photo. But “Remember,” Linda reminds us, “Cole said the other photos are sharp and clear”…
So I did what I do. I withheld judgment. And waited, along with every other person with an interest in this subject who’d caught wind of the photos. I don’t know Bill Emery. Heck, maybe these guys really had done what they said they’d done. Maybe the Sru Lake Bigfoot liked them and hated me.
Well, last night, Linda Newton Perry posted another photo from the “Emery Team”.
I’m posting it here. Am I concerned about copyright infringement? Nope. Why, you ask? Well… we’ll get to that.
This is the exact file uploaded at Ms. Perry’s site. You can view the blog post, and excited reader comments, here:
The file name is Sru-Bald+Mnt–Emery.JPG Pretty much states that Bill Emery shot this photo on Bald Mountain, near Sru Lake, right?
Something about the photo set off a little jolt inside me when I saw it. Somehow it looked… familiar. And NOT familiar as in “Gee, that looks just like the bigfoot I saw when I was a kid!”
I received the following email this morning, and it all fell into place.
Tommy’s screen captures:
I’m not too concerned about copyright infringement here. But Bill Emery might want to read up on it. ;)
You can find the original movie in the Sasquatch Horror Collection on Amazon.com here. It was produced by Ron Olson in the late 1970′s and is a hard-to-find docu-drama.
Here’s a link to a clip on Youtube. You can see the shot in question around the 5:07 mark.
UPDATE: Apparently, Bill Emery will no longer be posting on Bigfoot Ballyhoo.
Linda Newton Perry writes: “Mr. Emery now believes that someone held up a photo to the trail cam to discredit the teams endeavor.”
Ballyhoo, despite Linda’s assertion that she would shut it down if the photos proved to be a hoax, remains online and will continue, I suppose, to propagate… well… ballyhoo.
The American Heritage dictionary defines “ballyhoo” as follows:
NOUN: 1. Sensational or clamorous advertising or publicity.
And finally… this, from a reader:
Thanks for your latest blog entry regarding the rabid sasquatch of Sru Lake. Hmmm, that sort of has a ring to it if someone is looking to do another movie! At any rate, after viewing the photograph from Bill Perry (sic) of “Big Clyde”, I was frustrated with the outline provided to help us see the subject better. Something just seemed out of place.
Being an amateur photographer my whole life, plus having worked with dozens of photos for publishing over the years, both on and off the web, I decided to redo the outline to what I believe is a much better representation of the subject. Upon my conclusion, I must confess I was totally shocked, but then, what can be expected from one pissed off, previously shot, rabid sasquatch of Sru Lake.
Attached are the results of my findings.
Remember, I have done nothing to this photo other than added white marks to help you see it better.
Warning – viewing of this photo may cause permanent damage to children under 13 years of age. Please proceed with caution.
You have my permission to post this picture with commentary if so deemed.
Thank you, Mark. It’s all so much clearer now.
Photo reprinted here under the fair use act of US copyright law for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research. And parody. Don’t forget parody.