Finding Bigfoot Exposes a Hoax

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 2nd, 2015

Cliff fills us in on the photo evidence presented on the episode Bobo’s Backyard and the fact that it is a hoax.

My field notes for last season’s Humboldt County expedition have now been published (better late than never!). Learn how the photo hoax was uncovered!

~ Cliff Barackman

Finding Bigfoot Season Five – Bobo’s Backyard

The Humboldt expedition was one that I was looking forward to for many reasons. Much of my time bigfooting in the 1990’s and 2000’s was spent in Humboldt County, so I am pretty familiar with it and love the area. Over these two decades, many nights were spent in various areas of the county, so it is always a pleasure to go back to this part of Northern California. But this trip was going to be special because of good friends on the show and some interesting photographs surfaced from the area of Avenue of the Giants. Analyzing photographs is a special challenge, and one that I enjoy engaging in.

The photographs in question came from a friend-of-a-friend of Bobo’s. “Friend” might be too strong a word, though. Perhaps “acquaintance” would be more accurate. Maybe even “a guy my friend met” would fit this one. Anyway, three interesting photographs surfaced that were worthy of investigation.

Long before this episode was filmed, Bobo met with the John Johnson, the witness, at the location along the 101. Bobo went through the recreation with Mr. Johnson and found that if the witness was telling the truth, the creature had to be close to ten feet tall. He assured us that there were no mossy stumps in the area where the thing walked, so a misidentification was unlikely.

When the team and I arrived at the scene with Mr. Johnson, he took us to where he shot the picture and told us where he heard the creature coming down the hill. The witness said he was sitting up in the fork of an ancient redwood tree when he took the pic. Bobo said that Mr. Johnson’s story was the same that day as it was several months earlier when Bobo came here for his first recreation. There were no obvious stumps in the line of sight from where the witness said he was standing.

After our first shot at recreating the photograph, we could not come to agreement about what the photo shows. I was trying to make sense of where the background trees were in the picture compared to what I was seeing in person. Something was not adding up.

During the filming day of Finding Bigfoot, individual cast members are taken aside to do interviews about what we just did. These appear in the episode as us talking to the camera. After this recreation, I asked if I could be taken for interviews second. I often do this so I can return to the sighting location and photograph the scene for field notes such as this one (the producers all know that I take bigfooting pretty seriously, and they allow me this extra time to satisfy myself with the investigations). In this case, something was not sitting right with me, so I returned to the site with park ranger and bigfooter, Robert Leiterman.

Robert and I scoured the area with a copy of the photograph to uncover any clues about where we might have gone wrong. We noticed in only one of the original pictures that there was a yellow line to the right of the figure that seemed out of place. Upon closer scrutiny, we discovered that this was most likely the dividing line of a road! The only road visible from this location was downhill to our left, but Mr. Johnson told us the photo was taken looking uphill to the right. That was when I saw it.

While sitting in the crotch of the redwood tree, a strange looking stump covered in moss was in plain sight, but only if it was seen from up in the tree and looking down in that direction. That is why the entire team missed it on our first go round. From the side, the stump does not stand out at all. Nobody saw this because I was the only one to get up in the tree, and I was focused in the other direction!

The stumpsquatch from the side view. This is why we didn’t recognize it at the time.

Read the rest of Cliff’s field notes and see all of the photos here.

#AnimalPlanet #FindingBigfoot

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

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