Posted by: Rick Noll on October 18th, 2005
Thank somebody for inventing the iPod… A 4-hour flight from Seattle and a 3-hour drive from Dallas, with a short stop at a Hitchcock set Dennys dinner later, I finally arrived at the Plantation Inn Ennis, Belle suite – thanks to Lee Murphy and crew. I hitched a ride with them to the conference site.
My room is adjacent to Dr. Jeff Meldrum, John and Montra Freitas, Kathy and Bob Moskowitz-Strain and Loren Coleman, who has yet to arrive. The inn that Craig set up for the guest speakers is at a supposed haunted Bed and Breakfast. Originally the place burnt to the ground and restructured with 1890 buildings from somewhere else. We arrive a little late for not much more than a quick hello, a quick couple of not ready for prime time videos and crash in a mosquito netted four-poster bed.
Two days before I was at my day job and had a slight accident and cut off the tip of my ring finger, which should make it a little easier to slip one on when needed. I now have a white gauze bandage and five stitches, one through the fingernail, encircling it’s tip. Makes it kind of hard to lug all the equipment onto a plane and travel any distance to video an event and speak. Just taking a proper shower is taxing, but Craig has assured me that I will be getting all the help I need. You know, I don’t think I have met a more sincere or nicer man than this big hearted Texan. He must get it from his Parents and daily reniforcments from his lovely wife Marcy. He would do just about anything for anybody, I know because I’ve seen him do it.
Morning brings a 9:00AM home cooked breakfast in the main dinning hall and conversations with those long time friends sharing the common interest of Bigfoot from around the US. This year brings a new addition from Australia, the author Paul Cropper. He is great to listen to with that accent belying intelligence on par with anyone I have met.
I am kind of sad… this will be one of my last speaking engagements on the subject and I am going to miss it. Next years Idaho Bigfoot Rendezvous and possibly the San Antonio Museum series will be my last. I am not leaving the subject but will be a bit occupied in field research. I have some major plans that will soon have me too busy to do much else.
That’s really what its all about for me anyway, the field, bush, woods, sticks. I think I have found that talking till your blue in the face that this subject deserves serious scientific inquiry is better put to test by living with the beast instead of the other way around.
This afternoon we are informed that a luncheon with a reporter from the AP that Craig set up at a local Jeffersonian Mexican restaurant is going to take place around 1:00PM. There will also be members of the TBRC attending. People I have met at last years event greet me with smiles and handshakes. The reporter takes many pages down from Loren, Kathy, Jimmy, Chris, Jeff, Craig and myself. Maybe even from more people because I see her later on still conversing with other speakers… in fact I think I saw her for the duration of the conference.
Tonight at the Ennis Inn, we have a dinner with several news crews running about and around 100 conference attendees wishing to get some one on one time with their favorite speakers. Group pictures and story telling fill the grounds of the Inn. It is quite interesting and rather fun to go from one group to the next and listen. So much so I don’t even remember eating.
I am not only here to present, as are many others, put also to document the conference through a set of DVDs, produced with my eyes and ears. There will probably be 6 of them. I know I won’t be able to help but interpret what will be happening here. I am not a machine and have all the faults to prove it. They will find their way into what other people said and did, even on documentary tape. Sorry folks.
Believe me… these people are genuine and all one has to do is look into the eyes of the people attending and know that they are in Bigfoot heaven. The people, the stories, the things one can take back home are not going to be quite as burned in the mind as with those memories of what their own eyes relay.
I try to have a camera with me at all times. There are too many things going on in little discussion groups here and there. Thinking about it now, what a shame… the voices I hear walking the grounds with camera in hand in the pre-conference afternoon and night fall on only the ears present. The story gems sparkle within the rapt listeners eyes, but for no one else will it be as pure.
On Mysterious Encounters, during one of the shoots I was involved with a few years ago, one of the camera operators came out of the forest as Doug Hajicek and I were sitting and monitoring a sound recording unit and call blaster. Loud goofyness ensued with him and some other members and when it became too much for me to once again SHOOSH them as we were recording any return sounds, Doug turns and asks rather loudly if Bigfoot field research is suppose to be this fun, because if it ain’t then we are doing it all wrong.
What could I say?
Rick Noll has been actively searching for the Sasquatch since 1969 and continues his pursuit with extended field trips into the Pacific Northwest's most remote regions. Rick has worked with Peter Byrne, René Dahinden, Grover Krantz, John Green, Jeff Meldrum and the BFRO during all this. He helped with many documentaries on the subject including Animal X: The Skookum Expedition and Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.