Behind the Scenes of Finding Bigfoot: “Mother Bigfoot” with Cliff Barackman

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on December 1st, 2012

Cliff posted his behind the scenes views for the latest episode of Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot entitled “Mother Bigfoot” on his website.

Cliff Barackman home Page

Vermont Trail Camera Photo Analysis

The Vermont Trail Camera Photo

The Vermont Trail Camera photo was obtained on September 3, 2010 by a man named Frank (last name withheld). Frank and his wife live on a rural property in western Vermont. They own several acres backed up against large expanses of privately owned forest. On their property, there are eighteen fruit trees specifically planted and maintained to bring in wildlife for Frank’s and his wife’s viewing pleasure. In their front yard is a decent sized pond which contains numerous trout, and just down the road from the property is another even larger pond several acres in size. The surrounding hills are steep and thickly wooded making the area excellent habitat for all sorts of creatures. On top of it all, the area has a history of bigfoot activity as well. Several years before the photograph was obtained, one of Frank’s neighbors reported seeing a sasquatch down the road from Frank’s property.

Frank’s wife remembers hearing strange noises in the woods the week that this photograph was obtained. Those noises included banging and strange vocalizations. After obtaining the photo, Frank asked the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department what is in the photograph. They didn’t know, but suggested it was an owl. Thinking this was a ludicrous explanation, Frank later went to Steve Kulls, a New York-based bigfoot researcher who did his own investigation into the photograph. Steve’s excellent analysis of the photo, as well as other background information on the picture, can be found here.

I spent several hours with Frank and his wife talking about the photographs and the surrounding area. I am utterly satisfied that Frank is not lying about the photographs or the circumstances surrounding them in any way.

One evening in August of 2010, Frank noticed that an apple tree near his driveway had a large circular perhaps five feet in diameter utterly devoid of fruit. The fruit was missing higher off the ground than seemed normal, which puzzled Frank. He decided to deploy a game camera to see what kind of creature was stealing his apples.

Over the next couple days, the camera recorded images of a coyote that returned on two consecutive nights to eat some apples that had fallen on the ground nearby. Around midnight on September 3rd, the camera took a photograph of what appears to be a sasquatch bending down in a squatting fashion and reaching towards the ground with its left arm. The creature’s head is to the left of the photograph, and its butt is sticking out to the right (complete with a hint of the natal cleft) with its legs bending below it, though the knee is obscured by the creature’s left arm. One can, however, make out the creature’s left calf at the very bottom of the picture.

The creature appears to be fairly light in color, but the actual color is uncertain due to the fact that the flash the camera used was infrared. Infrared light interacts with fabrics and surfaces differently than visible light, and often distorts colors making them lighter or darker in appearance than they actually are. For example, a black jacket could look very light in color when seen under an infrared illuminator. I bring this up because no matter what color the creature actually is, there appears to be a mass of fur underneath the creature near its chest that is of a distinctly darker color than the rest of it. The darker fur extends onto the creatures left arm and appears to end in what I interpret as knuckles or a clenched hand. I hypothesize that the darker fur is a juvenile sasquatch clinging onto the larger creature’s chest. This is the standard way all apes, including humans, carry their infants. If this is true, then this photograph shows two sasquatches, an assumed female and its young.

The creature appears to have white splotches on its back. I have no idea what these are, but several ideas have been put forth. One possibility is that the creature has a skin condition called vitiligo. Vitiligo is a depigmentation of the skin, usually in patches, that affects less than 1% of the human population. It is well known that humans and apes can often are susceptible to the same conditions and ailments, including heart disease, pneumonia, and many others. I see no reason why vitiligo would not occasionally show up in the sasquatch population, especially if they are closely related to humans as some speculate. Of course, these splotches might be something else besides vitiligo, but this diagnosis is at least possible.

When one considers these white splotches, it seems less likely that this is a human in a suit. Remember the point above about how infrared light can make different fabrics or surfaces appear darker or lighter than they actually are. If this is a person in a suit, those patches would represent different kinds of material that make up the suit. However, they are abnormally shaped, irregular in placement, and are not on where connections or seams would be in a suit. Why would someone make a suit and randomly place different fabrics on the shoulders and the back? There would be no function to this. Indeed, why would a hoaxer make a suit with these white patches at all?

The recreation that was done on Finding Bigfoot was brief and not as in-depth as I wanted, so I found time to return to the site to do my own analysis. One of the things we do not know about the photographs is how far away the creature was from the camera. Since this variable is pretty important if we want to compare the creature’s size to a known size, I decided to take numerous photos using the same game camera, but all from different distances. I felt this would give me a range in possible sizes of the creature. The first comparison photograph was taken at just four feet from the camera, which is obviously much closer to the camera than the creature was. I then took photographs at distances that increased by one foot per photo all the way out to nine feet from the camera.

Frank knew exactly where he placed the camera, and in fact had a wooden marker on the tree. This enabled me to put the camera right where I needed it. Since Frank wedged a piece of wood behind the camera to prop it up to the right angle, this was the only real variable in the camera’s placement. I compensated for this by simply superimposing my comparison shots over the original photograph and lining up the road in both pictures since it is static in location.

~ Cliff Barackman

See Cliff’s other photos and the rest of the report here.

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.

9 Responses to “Behind the Scenes of Finding Bigfoot: “Mother Bigfoot” with Cliff Barackman”

  1. PhotoExpert responds:

    For God’s sake, it is an owl! I don’t see what all the hub-bub is about. Any rational thinker with a basic knowledge of nature and some photography background can determine it is an owl.

    It doesn’t surprise me that Cliff Barackman would think it is anything other than a Bigfoot. Of course, every sound, every image and any sighting that Cliff reports on is a Bigfoot. To say Cliff has a belief system that Bigfoot exists is an understatement. That is not to say that Bigfoot does not exist. But when one determines everything is a Bigfoot and states Bigfoots are known to do this or that, when Bigfoot has not been proven to exist, screams “belief” rather than science. Plus, Cliff had a vested self serving interest. He is on a show called “Finding Bigfoot”. As critical thinkers, we have to take anything and everything Cliff says with a grain of salt.

    I have already analyzed this photo in a previous post. It is most likely an barred owl.

    Others who independently analyzed this photo agree with my analysis, although at the time I analyzed the photo, I was unaware of their conclusions. But as their conclusions have come to light, we are in agreement with independent and separate analysis.

    The Finding Bigfoot show fell short of science on that episode. Yes, they did a comparison by having Bobo fill in for Bigfoot, which seems to be a staple for the show. But what they did is exclude other possibilities. My question for them would be, why not get a taxidermy owl and put it in front of the lens with movement? The answer is because the result would approximate this photograph closely. It would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that indeed, it was an barred owl we are seeing in this photograph. Geesh! When science goes out of it’s way to exclude more simple and probable explanations, but excludes or omits data that could be in contradiction of their own hypothesis, it is not science!

    So Cliff’s opinion is just that. And since he is not really an expert in the field, it is just that, an amateur or layman’s opinion. You can not call yourself a scientist or a follower of scientific methods when you do not follow that course.

    If your argument is that it looks “Squatchy”, that statement in itself clarifies my argument. When you declare that unproven animals or hominids are known to do this or that, when they have never been proven to exist, you are a “believer” and not a “scientist”.

    With that being said, we have to go with the most probably scenario. Do barred owls exist in that area? I asked that question before. And if apples are on the ground, would there be certain prey animals of barred owls feeding on those apples? So a barred owl swoops into frame to pick off one of those prey animals feeding on an apple and Cliff Barackman declares it is a mother BF with baby in tow? Really? LOL Yes Cliff, that would be the explanation. Or let’s make up yet another less probable explanation of someone in a suit because according to Cliff, it could not be the most simple and probable explanation or a barred owl. Did you hear any barred owls while you were there Cliff?

    Unbelievable! I am not sure who causes more damage to Cryptozoology, believers or hoaxers. In my opinion, the fallout is the same when you throw out science altogether. When one throws objectivity out of the equation in favor of a belief system or a self serving television show, they should consider not calling themselves a scientific investigator. That is not opinion. That is fact! I know it may be unsquatchy to say, but I am objective like that.

    Could the owl hypothesis be correct. Well, without going into my own analysis, I will use the data we have at hand from other experts. They say it is a barred owl. The camera had a very shallow depth of field, with an f-stop of 2.6. That narrow depth of field would give any subject outside the focal plane a blurry effect. Add in motion blur because of the 1/6 of a second shutter speed, and you have a recipe for making feathers look like fur. End of conversation! Does the outline of the supposed Bigfoot that Cliff sees, does it resemble an owl? To a T!

    But if Cliff says it is something other than a barred owl and want to throw out all of the objective analysis and not try to disprove that theory in favor of his own “belief”, so be it.

  2. mcw2112 responds:

    I absolutely don’t see an owl – I see a hunter in Ghillie suit, bending down to pick up some apples. Why? Probably to bait some unsuspecting deer or elk or whatever he’s hunting. That’s precisely what I see. I certainly don’t see a Sasquatch and I don’t see how anyone could draw that conclusion in the absence of a face or any other features.

  3. bigfootbuster responds:

    This is not only the M.O. of the individuals on the show, it is the M.O. of the BFRO. Scientific investigations are not conducted as part of the “research”. Speculation guides the process while ruling out of common animals is not part of the vetting. I observed this on multiple occasions first-hand and have observed it on numerous occasions by visiting the website.

    The Finding Bigfoot show is for entertainment; there are no professionals conducting scientific research and this is one glaring example. While an owl, perhaps a barred owl is the most likely explanation for the game cam photo – there are numerous areas of blurring that would indicate speed in the direction away from the camera towards infinity.

    What Cliff “sees” and what the commentor above “sees” are totally irrelevant to what has been captured through the lens on the “film”. It is a 2 dimensional portrayal of an assumed 3 dimensional object or creature frozen in a single frame in an unknown position, flight pattern/movement sequence. Inadequate data prevents the mind from correctly conceptualizing what the creature/object would look like as it would customarily be presented in a recognizable format (i.e. typical view of owl in frontal roosting view or profile in-flight view).

    The photo is almost worthless, unless the reviewer is well acquainted with observations of many similar type creatures/objects having been analyzed in similar type cameras.

    Having only seen a few birds caught in game cams in similar type cameras, I can observe, though not scientifically validate, that the photo has many of the “ear-marks” of a bird in flight.

    Having never seen a bigfoot in a similar type game cam, I cannot say, nor can anyone that I know of, say that it resembles a bigfoot. Further, anatomically, there are no distinguishing features that could be clearly identified as primate-type hands or a head. If Cliff “sees” this, he obviously has a very active imagination combined with a faulty understanding of primate anatomy.

  4. dconstrukt responds:

    i dont know what it is, but if you’re gonna sit there and say its a bigfoot, you gotta be a moron…

    its continually amazing the crap that passes as evidence in this community.

  5. Goodfoot responds:

    I’m also going with owl. If that’s a hunter in a ghillie, he’s bending over and kissing the ground. Who knew Squatchery could be made so crushingly BORING? The name of the show should be “Spreading Boredom”/

  6. hopkarma2 responds:

    What happened the next night? If someone/thing was taking apples for a while, and noises were heard during the previous week, did all this activity stop after this photo was taken? And if so, why? Were there still apples to be picked up? Seems to me a hungry Sasquatch is not going to give up good apples that easy.

  7. mcw2112 responds:

    @Goodfoot – I what I see is a guy in a Ghillie suit squatting down- with the head being the large protrusion on the left – quite a few feet off the ground. His knees would be obscured by his body and he probably is balanced by his rifle which could be at an angle going away from his body – in fact, there is something under the main mass that looks like it could be a stock. I’m not saying that it’s not an owl, I’m just not seeing the shape.

  8. bobzilla responds:

    I don’t actually see an owl in that pic, but I’m leaning toward thinking that’s what it is. Or, at least some type of owl or bird.

    If you increase the contrast in the area that people say looks like the juvenile sasquatch hand, it looks a lot like feathers. More like feathers than hair or fur, to me.

    The image in general looks a lot like the pic that was taken a while back in someone’s back yard and it turned out to be a crow in mid flight.

  9. Goodfoot responds:

    bigfootbuster: “very active imagination”?? I assume you HAVE seen the show, right? A couple of them probably think there are monsters in their bedroom closet.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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