The “Jacobs Creature” Makes Mainstream News

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 26th, 2007

Elk County deer hunter sets off Internet firestorm with shots of creature

“We were just looking for a nice buck,” said Rick Jacobs, the Elk County deer hunter whose stationary tree camera caught images of an unknown creature, setting off an Internet firestorm of speculation.

“We have some funny pictures,” he said. “They’re in the hands of some experts.”

The pictures, taken by an automatic camera mounted on a tree on a game trail in the Allegheny National Forest Sept. 16, show what appears to be a dark, furry creature walking on four legs. But what is it? Jacobs admits he doesn’t know, and doubts anyone is more skeptical about the whole situation than he is.

“We hung on to them for a whole week before we did anything with them,” he said of the pictures. “We couldn’t figure out what they were. I’ve been hunting for years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

So he and his family decided to seek some help.

According to Paul Mateja, network administrator for the Buffalo, N.Y., Roman Catholic Diocese — and field researcher for the Bigfoot Research Organization — Jacobs’ daughter talked him into sending the pictures to their organization for an opinion.

Anthropologists and primate experts were contacted by the organization. So far, preliminary results from the experts are saying it’s a primate of some sort, said Matt Moneymaker, head of the research organization.

As it appears from the multiple Internet sites and forums where discussions on the “Jacobs creature” are being held daily, some people say it is a skinny bear; many say they just don’t know.

Majeta said he’s investigated, and believes he has some answers.

“My impression is that it is not a bear,” he said. “I’ve met with the gentleman who took the photos and I’ve been to the site. I’ve done some analysis.

“It appears to be a primate-like animal,” he said. “In my opinion, it appears to be a juvenile Sasquatch.”

A what?

“Our contention is it is a Bigfoot.”

In Northwest Pennsylvania. Neither members of the research organization nor the photographer himself have revealed the exact placement of the camera, wanting to avoid sending crowds flocking to — or away from — the site.

Mateja says that if the creature in the picture is what he believes it to be — a member of the legendary Bigfoot family — there’s nothing to be afraid of.

“If you treat them with benevolence, they will respond to that,” he said.

What about all the skeptics? What would Mateja say to them? First of all, it’s not a bear, he said.

He referred to characteristics of the creature in the picture such as the apparent lack of a tail and the length and shape of the legs, saying they are inconsistent with bruins.

“We have two people who are expert biologists. They want to do more analysis. They say it’s not a bear.

“We’ve all gotten into this because we believe,” Mateja said.

Why don’t others believe, even when confronted with a picture not easily explained, asks The Era.

“Some religious belief perhaps?” responds Mateja. “I work for the Catholic church. If it’s a flesh and blood creature, it’s one of God’s creatures.”

Skeptics say they’ve never seen a dead one and never found bones of one. “These are rare creatures. You don’t find bear carcasses in the woods. These are more rare than bears.”

Maybe it’s just fear of the unknown that makes people doubt that the creature in Jacobs’ pictures could be something as-yet-unaccounted-for in widely accepted science, Mateja speculated.

“They don’t believe there could be such big creatures living in our woods without people seeing them. People do see them. They are just written off as crackpots.

“In anything, you do have skeptics.”Marcie Schellhammer
Era Reporter

For more on the “Jacobs Creature”, see the following here on Cryptomundo:

Photos of a Juvenile Sasquatch?

More on the Juvenile Bigfoot Photos

When A Mangy Bear Is Just A Mangy Bear

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.

29 Responses to “The “Jacobs Creature” Makes Mainstream News”

  1. DARHOP responds:

    You gotta be kidding me? Well I guess that just shows me how much I can depend on (Experts.) I am not a skeptic. And I’m sure other non skeptical persons like myself, can see this is a BEAR. The 3rd photo gives it away. My computer must show better photos than these experts. Because I can see the bear’s head. Only in the 3rd photo mind you. But I still see it and so do others. It’s kinda hard to see because it blends in with the body. But it’s there. So to you experts I say, Primate? Whatever! And to the guy that shot the photo, I say keep trying, you never know.

    Time to move on to the next photo or video.

  2. greenmartian2007 responds:


    The Allegheny National Forest is not in western PA. It has parts of itself that is mostly in Warren, McKean, Forest and Jefferson counties, if my looking at the map is correct.

    But the Kinzua dam area is right smack dab in the middle of the National Forest there.

    Elk county, where Jacobs is allegedly from, is even further east into PA, on the eastern end of the counties mentioned above. I doubt he would drive all the way into Mercer or Crawford to hunt deer. It would take him quite a long time. And Mercer and Crawford are indeed in western PA.

    So quite frankly, this ISN’T western PA. I wish they would stop calling the area that.

    Linda Moulton Howe has put up her article on the Jacobs critter, and she insists it is 3 hours north of Pittsburgh. Which, of course, would be either Mercer or Crawford or Erie county. If there is a lot of construction on Interstate 79 (as there usually is), it would probably take 3 hours.

    And her map on her article doesn’t include Warren county at all.

    “Young Sasquatch”? Infrared Images On September 16, 2007

    And she basically interviews Matt Moneymaker. Not Jeff Meldrum. She has some comments (for the greatest part, non-direct quotes) from Meldrum at the bottom, that deal with this PA stuff. But more so just on alleged Sasquatch behavior in general.

    She should have interviewed the Jacobs guy directly. I wonder why she did not.

    But the pictures she has with her article are a bit clearer than the ones on BFRO’s site.

  3. bill green responds:

    hey craig , very interesting new update article about the jacobs creature. i hope everyone else agrees as well. thanks bill green 🙂

  4. cmgrace responds:

    I’m glad this is getting so much attention. I just hope scientists from both sides of the fence, and those who don’t have a side, get a chance to examine the photograph. It would be exciting if it is found to be a primate of some kind.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    And around and around we go. I find it interesting that Moneymaker references two expert biologists that say it is a primate, yet makes no mention of any biologists who thought it was a bear and I find this conspicuous. Even the references he makes are vague. Not everyone is going to come to the conclusion of primate with these, yet he conveniently chose the ones whose opinions supported his own hypothesis. Is he failing to mention those scientists who disagreed with him? Seems a lot like cherry picking his expert opinions to bolster his position to me. He should at least mention the conflicting opinions of other experts of which I am sure there are more than two.

  6. richcap responds:

    There are many things about this article that bother me.

    1). How many times the word “believe’ is there. Nothing irritates me more than referring to sasquatch, and “believing”…it gives the subject a fairytale quality or supernatural feel. I wish “sasquatchers” would utilize the word “evidence” much, much more.

    2). How vague M.M. is. The BFRO always seems to have new information that is vague – the trouble is, it stays vague until the end and then the entire story gently blows away in the breeze.

    I guess press is press and its doing some general good, somewhere.

    In the end, I am sticking with Meldrum on this one.

  7. Sergio responds:


    So, the only “biologists” quoted by the BFRO are the ones who are supposedly claiming there’s a primate in the photos? Forget about all the ones who have said it was a bear.

    This is totally ridiculous.

    At first, the BFRO made mention that Meldrum was looking into it to demonstrate that it was not a bear. Once Meldrum said he thought it was a bear, well then the BFRO removed any references to Idaho State and Meldrum, and now, they’re making references to these anonymous “biologists” and “bear experts” who supposedly claim that it’s a primate of some sort.

    Ridiculous. Patently absurd. Laughable….and sad.

  8. showme responds:

    “My impression is that it is not a bear,” he said. “I’ve met with the gentleman who took the photos and I’ve been to the site. I’ve done some analysis.

    I’d love to hear Mateja’s “analysis.” Corroborative evidence is the only thing that would change my mind from the sick bear theory.

  9. jrenn responds:

    First, Who are these “experts”?

    Second, during the Penn and Tellar hoax video the BFRO went pretty big with it and their “experts” had said that film was a real bigfoot as well.

    Perhaps they need new experts.

    What is to be gained by promoting obviously misidentified and misinterpreted data? There is something off about the whole thing.

  10. captiannemo responds:

    Bring on the next set of mangy photos already!

    Chupacabras turn out to be foxes or dogs, juvenile sasquatches turn out to be bears and so on and so on.

    Are there REALLY any photos that can’t be written off?

  11. Ceroill responds:


  12. noobfun responds:

    yes but the experts are looking at it

    and dont forget the word expert is made up of 2 words conjoined

    ex = useless no longer current or ‘has been’

    spurt = drip under pressure

    so the ‘has been drips that are under pressure’ will prove us all wrong and that its baby bigfoot looking for his rattle and pacifier he lost a few day earlier

  13. mystery_man responds:

    jrenn- I agree. Maybe they do need new experts, that is if they can find more than two that support their conclusions. That or at least weigh their “experts” opinions against those of people who don’t necessarily agree that the photos are of a baby sasquatch. That would be the open minded thing to do. Are they only going to listen to the ones that agree with them? And there is something off about this whole thing in my opinion. It is a biased, rather unscientific attempt to cherry pick expert testimony (if their experts even exist) and fit a square peg into a round hole with these photos. They are simply convinced that those photos can be nothing other than a juvenile sasquatch despite the rational arguments against, and are trying to fit the “evidence” to fit that conclusion. It is amusing to me that they then go on to paint a broad picture of skeptics “not believing” and being close minded, nevermind that many who think bigfoot could exist think the photos are of a bear.

    By the way, what exactly are the “samples” that Majeta found? There is only a brief, vague mention of them. And what is with the seemingly random odd comments? “If you treat them with benevolence, they will respond to that”. huh? And I’m not sure what to say about the jarring references to religion and his Catholic beliefs. What does that have to do with anything? Is he implying that anyone who doubts Bigfoot is unreligious? I can’t see how that pertains to this scientific endeavor. The whole article seems disjointed and strange to me.

  14. easternbigfoot2 responds:

    I’m LEANING toward bear, but at the same time it looks primate. I’m on the fence.

  15. Alton Higgins responds:

    The precipitous pronouncements regarding the Penn and Teller hoax footage and the Pennsylvania bear pictures reflect the fact that the BFRO is Matt Moneymaker. There is no board of scientists who approve content before he posts it for public consumption.

    Send the pics to Lynn Rogers. If he says they cannot be a bear, then you might be getting somewhere. However, I really doubt that anyone recognized as an authority on black bears will support the BFRO (Matt’s) position.

    The pics show a bear. The frequently referenced thread at the Bigfoot Forums provides lots of support for this argument.

  16. silvereagle responds:

    And let us not forget history. That history being the Memorial Day footage, of which the BFRO knew was a hoax and put on by a known hoaxer, from the get go. And then the BFRO proceeded to advertise it on their website as compelling footage. All bfro persons present at the filming of Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, knew that the film was a hoax because the participants gave it away, and were recorded on tape while doing so.

    In this particular case, MM appears to have implemented his emergency backup plan to salvage BFRO reputation, which is to “utilize an unimpeachable spokesperson for the BFRO, to present their case”.

  17. red_pill_junkie responds:

    It appears Jacob’s creature is fast on its way to becoming an article of faith to some people.

    Kind of like Jacob’s ladder 😉 Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

    Well, I like the rest, want to know who are these experts, and on what they are basing their conclusions. This is probably gonna be the case of the month, so we’ll have to stay tuned.

  18. Kathy Strain responds:

    As usual Alton, you have hit the nail on the head.

    What’s sad is that one of these days he’s going to cry wolf and will really have something, but who is going to listen then?

  19. jrenn responds:

    10 to get you 20 that the BFRO has an “expedition” in NW Pennsylvania, this is just drumming up business.

  20. Rappy responds:

    What’s sad is that one of these days he’s going to cry wolf and will really have something, but who is going to listen then?

    That would be pretty sad indeed, and all because of a few bear pictures.

  21. elsanto responds:

    Whoa! Did I miss something? When was the Memorial Day footage shown to be a hoax?


  22. windigo responds:

    I have personally done research with Paul Mateja, and I can confidently state that he is a person of impeccable character and sound research procedures. If he believes the creature to be a Sasquatch, then it is because the information/evidence that he has collected support that belief. He is not the type to allow his work to be swayed by anyone or anything, that wasn’t related to the facts of the case.

  23. greenmartian2007 responds:

    I have only found one place (that I am aware of) about the “Memorial Day” footage being a hoax. It is at But I think it is cumulative.

    Scroll down the left hand column of subjects, and click on “Hoaxes and Rumors.” Then click on “The Memorial Day footage” with its “new” marker. It has updates from 2006 and 2007 on it.

    Apparently three main things rule against this footage as being authentic. Unlike the other piece of video footage that has sound (the 1994 forest ranger material, which I think is the best visual recording evidence for a large, bipedal pongid up to this point), the “Memorial Day” footage had its audio cut out for its presentation in the DVD “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.” The actual missing audio transcript is provided (the comments are troubling to be sure), as well as an mp3 of the voice on this webpage.

    Also, there is additional examination via computer enhancement of the colors in the video, which purports to show that the fur is giving off a “green sheen,” which would indicate a fake fur is being used. Real fur would not provide this color.

    Additionally, the gait of the “creature” in this footage gives off every indication that it is a human. There are stills purporting to show this, on this webpage too. There is commentary of the movement upwards of the “creature”‘s elbows as it steps across the ravine, and that a real Sasquatch would have had no such characteristic but would have a flowing movement as it would have done so (without having to move its elbows up as it would run).

    There may be other websites about this, but this one has all the stuff in one place.

  24. Mike Smith responds:

    I have looked at this picture, this is something strange. I have seen bears in the wild, and this doesn’t look like a bear, but I could be wrong. I hope that I am.

  25. Unknown Primate responds:

    This whole story was on Coast To Coast last week after I already read about it here on Cryptomundo.

  26. bill green responds:

    hey craig & loren, geraldo was talking about the jacob bigfoot photos briefly on his show geraldo at large on fox news channel tonight toward the end of the show. he seemed very interested in the photos but confused at same time. the segment might be on later or on youtube maybe later. thanks bill green 🙂

  27. jodzilla responds:

    The picture got a mention from Paul Harvey this morning. Yeesh. It makes me want to fake a photo just for the easy attention this bear is getting.

  28. bill green responds:

    hey everyone these conterversal new photos are still makeing headlines in online newspapers etc still. im sure we will see more articles about these photos in weeks etc to come. thanks bill green

  29. RastaLife32 responds:

    DARHOP is completely right, in the third photo there is absolutely a bear face. I’ve actually used some tools on my computer to outline the bears limbs, eyes, nose, and even ears. The bear appears to be primate because it is simply leaning backwards, and may be even sitting with a stretched left front limb. I am considered an expert on bears. Even though I mainly study grizzly bears, I do know a fair share about black bears, and this is 100% a black bear. I also am NOT a bigfoot skeptic. In fact, I support the idea that a large primate could be roaming the North American wilderness. There are places that humans still rarely tread, and a primate would be smart enough to evade human contact. As much as I believe Bigfoot to exist, I am not buying into this picture, and it is without a doubt a bear. Sorry guys!

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