Update: Mt. Hood Mystery Photo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 14th, 2007

Bigfoot or bear? That does not seem to be the source of most inquiries about this photo any longer.

With regard to the most frequent questions heard, they are about why more than one photograph was not taken.

The Mt. Hood trailcam owner has forwarded these specifics:

The fastest the camera can do is one picture a min. Then it takes a 30 sec. video. They are moition & heat responsive.The camera first takes a picture then about 1-2 seconds it starts a 30 sec. video. The video shows nothing [as] the animal already escaped; we try to put the camera up so the animal will go down the trail but that did not happen in this one.Dianna Martin

Following are two versions from many enhancements sent to Cryptomundo. In this case, the manipulation appears to at first show the head of a bear, but upon later examinations, some of have said, it does not. The image is most probably a bear, but as you can see, this is turning into a case of blobbear!

Mt. Hood Mystery Photo

Mt. Hood Mystery Photo

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

23 Responses to “Update: Mt. Hood Mystery Photo”

  1. Dragonheart responds:

    Most definitely a bear.

    As you can see, the head shows away of the trailcam, searching for food on the ground. It’s a little bit hard to find, because it is positioned somewhere between the two front legs.

  2. YourPTR! responds:

    Yup, that’s what I was gonna say…most definitely a bear! Not that there was ever much doubt. 🙂

  3. showme responds:

    Thanks for the follow-up.. Did Dianna mention anything about how soon the photographers can get to the site for further investigation (footprints, hair samples, etc.)?

  4. DWA responds:

    And one more illustration why the sasquatch is such a hard critter to nail down.

    The simple answer? Get an array of cameras, such that any visit yields multiple views from multiple angles at multiple times.

    The not-so-easy part? You pay for it.

    And find the time and the expertise to do it right. And get up there often enough to monitor the array, change the angles, add more cameras, reload them, etc. And hump some bait up there to see if that helps. And then HOPE that you attract what you’re looking for. In between…well was that a 40 or a 60 or a 100-hour work week? Oh, you have kids too? …

    The wolverine and the wolf and the cougar are being tracked by numerous full-time-paid biologists.

    The sasquatch? That would still be zero.

    Good luck to the amateurs. Because they need it.

  5. Richard888 responds:

    And as another suggestion why not install a bunch of these cameras in Sylvanic country also. Not just on Mt. Hood.

  6. Windwalker7 responds:

    I am an avid hunter. I have a couple of these trail cameras also.

    Some models are cheap as $100 and some as expensive as $600 each.

    Trust me, they get stolen often.

    Various models allow different pics. Some can be set to take one pic each minute to a 3 shot burst. Some take video of variuos lengths.

    Some have split second trigger time and some take almost 5 seconds from the time the camera recognizes movement until a photo is snapped.

    Some have a 15ft flash range, some have a 45ft flash range (night time photo flash distance).

    Some have an infrared flash that is not visible to game.

    The more and better the features, the higher the price.

    To set up multiple cameras at one spot would be very expensive not to mention if they were found by a thief.

    Mostly these cameras are used by hunters trying to locate and figure out game movements and patterns. If a hunter were to own several cameras, he would be wise to set them up in different areas to learn more about which areas are better for hunting deer and other game. To put all his cameras in just one spot isn’t going to do much to help a hunter figure out patterns.

    That is why people don’t cluster cameras in one spot. It is understandable if someone wanted to get multiple angle shots of a sasquatch but still they’d be better off spreading out the cameras to different areas.

    By the way, that is a bear in that photo.

  7. mfs responds:

    Always great advice here for those who want to get the ultimate cryptid pic. Nice shot of a bear too.

  8. jayman responds:

    It just goes to show that a clear and close photo can still be ambivalent. Probably a bear, but I wouldn’t bet the crown jewels.

  9. Neworderedworld responds:

    That’s it!! We need to install CCTV at every conceivable angle in all woodland around the world!! It’s the only way!… Sorry, I’m British, we’re used to making surveillance omnipotent!

    In regards to these pictures, I reckon it’s a bear ;-P

  10. mystery_man responds:

    DWA- Not to mention the fact that even if everything came together and by some stroke of luck you were to get a decent shot of a sasquatch, it would still be picked apart and debunked to the point that it still would not be considered evidence of anything. The pics would still have to run the gauntlet.

    The unfortunate resemblance of Bigfoot to a possible man in a suit is always going to provide an obstacle to acceptance of even clear shots. A rhino? Sure. A new type of civet? Right on. A clear shot of an apparent Bigfoot and people will be shouting hoax or something ridiculous like “mutant bear!”. It’s the nature of the beast with cryptozoology. I feel that in order for any cam shots like this to be really accepted as compelling photographic evidence, it will be important to catch the subject at several angles, over more than one frame. Even then, I don’t know, it might be seen as somewhat suspicious and will likely not be taken serious by everybody. Other than one walking up to the camera to the point where we can see the whites of its eyes, I am not confident in the prospect of any shots like this inspiring any serious mainstream inquiry or even agreement among the posters here.

    Perhaps I am being overly negative. Trying to cut down to half a pack a day will do that to me. The PG footage is still more of an oddity to most than anything else, and the world outside of cryptozoology widely thinks it is a proven hoax. What kind of cam shots like this do you really think it is going to take to change people’s minds? I wonder.

  11. Daryl Colyer responds:

    Deploying and employing an array of high-quality remote cameras is an extremely expensive, very demanding endeavor. The TBRC is involved in just such an ongoing operation and factoring in ALL expenses (equipment, logistics, resources, etc.), I would estimate that the cost of the project is well into the tens of thousands of dollars. Close to half of the expense is just in cameras and security boxes alone. Early on, we lost an $850 rig to a mischievious bear; he completely totally demolished the unit. We know it was a bear not only from physical evidence, but another of our cameras, which he also tried to eat, survived to get him on film as he made sure the $850 unit would never see the light of day again.

    So as you can imagine, much effort and expense is expended in just protecting the cameras. Also, much effort is required in simply maintaining that the camera traps have no down time (battery replacement, data extraction and analysis, repair, redeployment, etc.).

    The camera traps are in areas of our region that are certainly among the most remote. The places are miles from the nearest highway, and require hours of difficult hiking just to get to them. The operation, involving around two dozen camera traps to this point, already is quite taxing. It is hard to imagine what it will be like once our longterm goal of 100 camera traps is reached. The expense and effort required to maintain the operation at that point will be extreme.

    Some things we have learned through this project:

    It is very difficult to film wildlife, out in the wild – period.

    We have learned that black bears have an affinity and appetite for all things plastic (or petroleum-based products).

    We know that, in quite a few cases, the animals seemed aware of the presence of the cameras.

    Also, just conducting maintenance operations can be very physically demanding, but at the same time, quite mundane. Sometimes, even though deployed for 60 – 90 days, a camera may not film or photograph anything.

    One other very important thing we’re learning: the camera’s trigger speed is everything.

    This may be one of the reasons why elusive rare animals rarely or never show up on game cameras; trigger speed of wildlife cameras has been incredibly slow – until just recently.

    Some of our old cameras would sometimes take 5 – 10 seconds to trigger. These new Cuddebacks, which form the backbone of our camera inventory, trigger in about .5 seconds. They’re much more effective.

  12. DWA responds:


    George Schaller, while coming out strongly in favor of a “hard-eyed look” into the sasquatch, appears to think that this look either should, or of necessity will, be done by “dedicated amateurs willing to spend months or years in the field with cameras.”

    What you’re saying is, I think, largely what informs that.

    We’ve talked time and again about how science operates on bets. What seem the likely avenues for new discoveries? Right now, completely unrecognized mouse lemurs, marmosets, and tree frogs trump almost any of the postulated cryptids. Any professional scientist, looking at debates like this, and maybe wondering what the heck P/G is because it doesn’t look human to her, has to wonder: what could I produce that could tip those scales, if nothing else has for fifty years?

    The Bornean rhino was considered a solid bet because no one doubted what was creating the sign they were seeing. The sasquatch? That’s some guy with a track stamper…and dedication trumping anything we’ve ever seen…impervious to heat….cold….wet….the densest brush…the deepest snow…unlimited travel budget….whatever.

    The most likely scenario, to me, is: amateurs converge to join forces in pursuit of a very-likely-looking photo, or photos, with good supporting stories.

    Or not.

    Maybe Schaller was thinking, Jane Goodall, with a game camera.

    I’m thinking TBRC is more likely.

    Either way, if a group isn’t fully funded to research an area, or areas, of recent sightings over a long period of time, you are talking big odds.

  13. mystery_man responds:

    Yes, that is part of my point. Rhinos, lemurs, frogs, and so on are all basically based on known and accepted animals that would be difficult to hoax. there is nothing about them that seriously challenges accepted norms. When a shot is presented of one of these, it is easier to take it at face value since it is obviously not a man in a suit, and there isn’t a database polluted by hoaxes. Now try Bigfoot, not only an animal that is far from what most of mainstream scientists would expect to exist in the Pacific Northwest, but an animal with a proven history of people hoaxing it. I think it is going to take some pretty jaw dropping photos to encourage funded research. This is largely what I feel is the main gist of “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” A trail-cam shot of, say, an Ivory Billed woodpecker or a new type of deer is far more likely to get serious attention simply because it is not a stretch for scientists to accept as being there and far less likely to be seen as a malicious hoax.

    I think that if photos clear enough to eliminate doubt were produced, the TBRC and other researchers would see a large influx of funds and support from the mainstream scientific community. So what are these photos going to be required to show? I just wonder what it would take. Jane Goodall with a camera would help. 🙂

  14. DWA responds:

    mystery_man: I don’t know what the photo would be required to show. And yes I have said here more than once that a good one would be compelling.

    Just no one ever asked me what that meant before. 😉 I might just have to take the Felix Frankfurter position: we’ll know it when we see it. For sure, all main characters are going to have to be visible, probably from multiple angles (and yes, I’m thinking video would be better): hands; feet; oh and don’t forget clear “landmarks” allowing measurements (although watch people jump on those); good closeups of the face…I think you get it. You’ll need to go to sightings, check against the visual, and say, yep, that’s the animal…or the clever hoax that incorporated all those reports….LOTOH* will getcha every time…

    And it’s a high bar to clear that the sasquatch gets the kneejerk label “implausible.” It’ll be as funny to look back on this someday, I’m sure, as it is now to look back on the reaction to the first reports of the gorilla. It might be even funnier, actually, with everyone wondering how LOTOH ever got started in the first place. Why didn’t those dummies just LOOK? Why did they wait until everybody had seen one?

    Oh, and while we’re on money and game cams: anyone notice how long it’s been since the TBRC announced the “Conservancy” change? The website hasn’t changed, a jot, since then.

    THIS, scoftics, is what we mean by too few people, all doing this part-time for free. So could you stop the hoary chestnut about how that’s such a hoary chestnut?

    *Legend of the Omnipotent Hoaxer

  15. DWA responds:


    Did you say black bear?

    Did I miss the part about their now being documented for East Texas?

    Or did you just do that? 🙂

    Not sure you’d call that payback on investment, with almost everybody suspecting they were around, but hey, little victories.

    And notice my mention of your website. I had a feeling you’d come on with an explanation of what’s up. Just didn’t think it would come BEFORE my post. 😀

  16. Daryl Colyer responds:

    Hey DWA:

    I am very sorry to disappoint, but those pesky black bears routinely wreak havoc with our cameras in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma, where they are quite common. We’ve yet to film or photo Ursus americanus in Texas; however, our fingers are tightly crossed.

    Sorry about the delay on the new website; it’s quite a chore, and as you so eloquently pointed out, we’re a group of volunteers with families, careers and financial obligations. We were hoping for a launch at the end of June, but frankly, that’s looking to be too soon.

    We promise it’ll be up and running before too long, but it now appears it will be some time toward mid or end of July. Rest assured that even though the old site is mostly dead, we are very much alive and kicking like never before.

  17. KenMD responds:


    Is it really hard to deploy all those cameras?

    What does it take, a few hours or do you spend all day?

    I hear there are lots of mosquitos, ticks and spiders?

    I don’t know if I would be up for all that.

  18. silvereagle responds:

    In the PNW, the bigfoot immediately vacate areas that have as few as one single trail camera. Maybe the bigfoot are not as smart back east. And then again, maybe not.

  19. shumway10973 responds:

    hey, say what you will, I put this thru photoshop and the best I can say is a furry blob. I would say that it is a little fat for the average description for sasquatch, and the hind legs seem a bit short for sasquatch. The rear end does look a little primate, but if not a bear I’d say person in costume who really thought this one out. As for no other pics, unless this camera made noise or produced a strong flash, I don’t see why there wouldn’t have been more than one photo. Bears can move quickly when just wandering around, but I rarely have seen them move too fast for the camera to get another rear shot (at least not without reason). The more I look at it, the more I’m thinking it doesn’t make any sense at all.

  20. shumway10973 responds:

    I printed out the pic with everything lightened and I could finally make out the head. definitely a black bear. Its head is almost directly in front of the camera with its nose sniffing something in/on the ground. The reason it looks so funny is because the front legs are hidden by the head and the leg sticking out is its right hind. I’m wondering if the reason it didn’t stick around for another picture is because it is sniffing a bee’s/wasp’s nest.

  21. mystery_man responds:

    Shumway- I certainly would be interested in the enhancements you did on this. Any chance you’re going to share those here?

  22. onetimer responds:

    I believe this is a wolverine. If you doubt me, just Google “wolverine animal” and check out the pictures. Find one of the black ones and you’ll see what I mean. They look more like the mystery animal than any bear does, IMO.

  23. hetzer88 responds:

    Ok folks, I believe i am the only one to log in this particular view of the ‘animal’. I also see how people might think that the bears head is sniffing the ground, but if that were the case, when the 30 second video kicked on, it would still be there. No bear that I know of, would be able to suddenly blast away in the 1 to 2 second time it takes for the video to begin. If it heard a noise, it would look up first, sniff the air, and then maybe take off. That would be a good 5 or 10 seconds worth of being in front of the camera. Here is my take on it.
    The creature is already hailing across the lens from left to right on a disgonal. The head is at the upper right of the ‘blob’ and you can see that the ‘nose’ is of coloured with the blackness of the rest of the head. The eyes are slits, exactly the kind of slits that would be associated with a creature running full tilt as the wind-air blasts into their face.
    It is running fast, that right rear leg is pushing off the ground for propulsion, which is why it is stuck out at a weird angle. The weirdness in all of this is that, when studying the nose, is doesn’t look like a snout. It looks more smashed in, like a gorilla nose. That’s not to say it is a gorilla or a ‘squatch’ , but the nose is very odd looking.
    Anyway, I would not definitively just call it a black bear, but i would not label it as a ‘squatch’ either. It is a mystery, and it will probably remain a mystery. And so it goes!

Leave your comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.