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

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on December 4th, 2012

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

Cliff Barackman home Page

Finding Bigfoot Season Three – CSI Bigfoot

When I first heard that Finding Bigfoot would be heading to Oklahoma, I immediately assumed we would visit the southeast corner of the state where there are mountains and thick forests. I was a little surprised when I found I was incorrect, and that we would be going to Oklahoma City instead. Certainly there was more bigfoot activity around Honobia and the other small towns down in the southeast. However, the evidence that was bringing us to Oklahoma City was compelling enough to make me very excited about what we’d be doing.

We were to meet with a man named Roger Roberts who had been looking into bigfoot encounters on a nearby Indian reservation. This reservation had quite a bit of activity over the years, including rumors of a video taken on a surveillance camera from the parking lot. This video purportedly showed a bigfoot raiding the grease trap behind a casino. The video is reported to had been destroyed at the direction of the tribal elders, though a number of witnesses had seen the video before it disappeared. The elders were rightly concerned because after word leaked out that bigfoots were being seen on the reservation, several horses were shot dead. Apparently, people would drive onto the reservation at night spotlighting the woods, and when they saw eye shine at a good height above the ground, they would shoot to kill (This is just one of many, many reasons I strongly advocate NOT trying to kill a sasquatch.). Roger had some footprint evidence, as well as some hair samples that he collected from the same time period that he strongly suspected was of sasquatch origin.

The footprint evidence was interesting. While the photos and the cast were a bit blobby due to the substrate the creature walked in, there were some interesting details that were visible, including toe impressions and a nicely rounded heel. The impressions measured over 17 inches, but the cast indicated that the foot was somewhere between 15 and 16 inches in length (the impressions do not necessarily indicate the length of the foot, but rather the length of the damage done to the ground by the foot). The step length was up to 57 inches. Ranae tried to duplicate the step length, which she did successfully, but failed to replicate this step length in combination with the lack of straddle that is so commonly found in bigfoot footprint trackways.

Of most interest to us was the hair sample. The hair sample had been found by a tribal game officer on an animal trail leading from a location where a bigfoot had been recently seen. It was found on some broken branches more than eight feet above the ground, which would seem to rule out that it was buffalo (which are kept nearby), bear, deer, or human hair. Roger had in his possession enough hairs to spare some for us to have tested for DNA material. In hair, all of the viable DNA is found in the medulla, or hollow center shaft of the hair. This is a bit problematic because bigfoot hair tends to have fragmentary medullas, if any is present at all. However, a DNA lab in Oklahoma City called DNA Solutions offered to test the sample to see if any material could be extracted for testing. If nothing else, they could examine the hair and tell us what animals the could eliminate as a possible source for the hairs. Also of value is that they could get the results back to us in about a week.

Dr. Brandt Cassidy of DNA Solutions was unable to extract any DNA material from the hairs. He said that the samples were just too old and had not been stored in the the optimal way to prevent the gradual breaking down of the DNA material. However, he was clear about a few things. While superficially similar to a person’s hair, the hair did not appear to be human in origin. First off the hair shafts had tapered ends which would indicate that the hairs had never been subjected to a hair cut. Another difference that was found was that the medulla width was different than what is commonly found among humans. I was supplied with photographs of his microscopic analysis, and I was interested in the fact that the hairs showed to have a reddish tinge when lit from behind, even though the hair appeared to be black when viewed against other backgrounds. This reddish tinge is another distinct characteristic of bigfoot hair. No other results were obtained by future testing of this hair, though Dr. Cassidy has provided me with some interesting articles about proving unknown species by DNA barcoding.

While the data we worked with in Oklahoma turned out to yield no definitive results, the trip was quite eye-opening. The flat lands around Oklahoma City do in fact hold bigfoots, though if you would have asked me ten or twenty years ago, I might not have thought that. Bigfoots continually surprise me with their ability to adapt to a wide variety of habitats. They live practically under our noses and in our backyards, and do so without being detected except for the rare glimpse by a lucky few. The more I learn about bigfoots, the more in awe of them I become. I hope you share my respect for them.

~ 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.

7 Responses to “Behind the Scenes of Finding Bigfoot: “CSI Bigfoot” with Cliff Barackman”

  1. dconstrukt responds:

    Cliff seems like a cool dude…. he says the oklahoma flatlands hold bigfoots….

    but they have no proof. lol

    so how does one come to this conclusion?

    Because right now, to me, without proof, its just a bunch of people making assumptions based on what they want to believe to be true… and the human mind ALWAYS works to justify it’s beliefs.

  2. CDC responds:

    I am very dissapointed with Cliff Barackman.

    Last Sunday’s Finding Bigfoot was similar in every way to every other Finding Bigfoot episode, a fact we all accept at this point.

    The producer Keith Hoffman once again, edited a show to attract viewers, with NO substance, to yet another show.

    What dissapoints me about Cliff is his communication with the public that follows this show.

    In this episode, once again, the viewing audience was mislead. While doing a night investigation, Matt Moneymaker picked up an object on his flir camera that looked like a human on a hill across from him. The show went to commercial break at that moment leaving the audience to wonder if the image was a Bigfoot. When the show returned, of course it was disclosed as Cliff being the flir image.

    That image was used in previews, commercials for the show, and made to appear as if that unknown object was a Bigfoot on that flir…it was Cliff.

    Every episode of Finding Bigfoot was filmed months ago and all the members of the cast and crew know exactly what was found in each episode.

    Cliff Barackman you know that NO EVIDENCE was found once again this season! NONE!!! Footprints, howls, wood knocks, all can be hoaxed or replicated by producers on your show…as was done in seasons past. Evidence like that, shows NOTHING new the viewers at this point…as it proves NOTHING!

    Cliff, it is a lie at this point for you to make the outright statement that “the flat-lands around Oklahoma City do in fact hold Bigfoots”.

    Cliff you, Matt, and Bobo, make that claim on almost EVERY show with NO SUPPORTING EVIDENCE!!!!! I for one am tired of hearing it from each of you, so much so, that I challenge you to “put up or shut up”!

    Dr Melba Ketchum made a similar claim last week, but she has a paper and reported DNA evidence to support her claim. She will be proven right or wrong based on the evidence within that paper.

    You Cliff on the other hand, make wild claims EVERY WEEK with NOTHING to SUPPORT YOUR WILD CLAIMS!!!!!!! To me sir, that displays a level of cowardice, and in my opinion, you, Matt, and BoBo, lack chilvary, honor, and principle, EVERY TIME you make a WILD CLAIM without supprting evidence.

    So I challenge you to “PUT UP OR SHUT UP”. Show the audience ANYTHING that would support your claims or don’t make them.

    With all the time you have invested in the show Finding Bigfoot, the locations, the stories, the evidence, you Cliff, should have something to show your audience by now…WHERE IS IT?

    In my opinion, Finding Bigfoot is becoming exposed for the moneymaking farce that it is. Keith Hoffman is laughing all the way to the bank, and Cliff, Bobo, Matt, and Ranae, are driving him. You are all sideshow barkers getting nice folks to step on into the tent where you give them a show of NOTHING.

    “Bigfoots are in _____” Cliff? Yeah, right, we hear that every week. Funny, you would think if they were everywhere, you would be able to prove it wouldn’t you?

    “Cliff Barackman Behind the Scenes of a Hoax”…that is my opinion Cliff…prove me wrong.

  3. dconstrukt responds:

    YES….YES…. YES!

    CDC… you hit it right on the money dude.

    this is what i keep saying too.

    how can they keep coming out and saying this stuff without any proof/evidence?

    their credibility is shot.

  4. bigyeti responds:

    First off, I know everyone would like Finding Bigfoot to be a facts-only no-nonsense show, but that is not what it is. It never was, never will be, so I just cannot understand why everyone on this forum seems so surprised by every episode. Commercials are designed to grab your attention. A FLIR image of a bigfoot-looking shape gets your attention. At no point in the ads or on the show did they show the image and say “This is for sure a bigfoot!”. Its called suspense. Matt didn’t know immediately that it was Cliff, neither would the viewer. Its a “what if?” moment, which was quickly answered. Like I said, its about the suspense, not trickery. That’s what makes cryptozoology/bigfoot fun: wondering “what if?” Go ahead and stick to cynicism if you want, but it can sometimes be more fun to experience excitement.

    Regarding the “bigfoots definitely live here” comments they make, I agree that they are often overzealous with their claims. I feel like they could save a lot of trouble if they just add “might” or “probably” in every sentence. I’m sure some of it is down to editing. The title sequence of the show has Cliff saying “Bigfoots do in fact exist”, however I believe that it was taken out of context and the statement was “IF bigfoots do in fact exist…” So its easy for editors to make some of the comments sound more-wild than they were.

    But no, it isn’t all editing. When Cliff or Matt close the shows stating that “Bigfoot lives here”, they’re basing their claims off of eyewitnesses and evidence from the past, not just what they found on the show. Oklahoma has had numerous sightings, tracks, hair, sounds, etc, so its not out of line to make assumptions. Cliff & company use the phrase “in fact” fairly loosely, and they usually mean “in my opinion”. I personally like their confidence, but its not for everyone.

  5. mcw2112 responds:

    I kind of straddle both camps here. I watch the show for the sheer entertainment value and I like the cast, for the most part. I also feel that while the show aggravates the hell out of serious researchers, it also does stir up interest in people that would otherwise dismiss the subject out of hand. Having said all of that, I do tire of the proclamations made by the three men on the show as being facts. We “know” this about Sasquatch and we “know” that. I’m with the above commenter: put up or shut up! Please stop stating your beliefs as fact unless you have some proof. Do us all a favor and preface these kinds of statements with “I believe” or something akin to that.

    I will probably continue to watch the show, and I will be aptly entertained, but I will also share the frustration of others who want the cast to be a little more scientific. I, for one, appreciate the input of Ranae for precisely that reason; she doesn’t seem to take anything for granted – as it should be.

    One more thing, I would like to see them take the search more seriously by actually spending a reasonable amount of time in one place. The go to an area that has had multiple sightings and spend one night there hoping to get some evidence seems like wishful thinking in the extreme. If you were looking for bears, as an example, you very well may have to spend a week or two in the wild to actually spot one if the population wasn’t substantial enough. Personally, I think they (or someone) should go to area that the P/G film was made, (around the Klamath river) employ some deer stands and motion-activated cameras and spend at least a month there.

  6. Goodfoot responds:

    I’m simply gonna take it as an article of faith that it’s just as tedious behind the scenes as inside of ’em.

  7. corrick responds:

    CDC, you forgot to add the narcissm and celebrity to the money part. Matt and gang are really just “Ghosthunters” except with BIGFOOT! And how long has that nonsense gone on?

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