Finding Bigfoot’s Cliff Barackman on Wood Knocks and Thermal Footage

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 6th, 2011

I spoke to my good friend Cliff Barackman after last night’s episode of Finding Bigfoot.

Cliff Barackman

Cryptomundians are already talking about the thermal footage featured in the “Swamp Ape” episode, so I asked Cliff some questions and he was happy to answer them.

In regards to the figure on thermal that ran off, just before it cuts, you can see it move slightly. To me it then appeared to be on four legs. Something tells me it was a deer and the producers cut it so we could’t tell. They also cut any of the cast’s discussion/analysis of the footage, as they probably concluded it was not a “squatch” as well. After all, a deer doesn’t make for an exciting conclusion on a TV show. Just my opinion.bigyeti

It was a much better episode than last week. But I do wish the footage of the critter running away had been shown. I think it was either a deer or a cow. It did take some guts for Moneymaker to go forward towards the object, but I wanted to see the thing run away rather than just take Moneymaker’s word for it.Henry May

The image they showed standing out in the field. Why didn’t they show it walking off into the trees? Makes you wonder what they really saw since it wasn’t shown. I have one question for Mr. Moneymaker. Do you plan on going back to the house where Skunk Ape has been visiting, after you’re done taping the series?MuskieSquatch

The “thermal” at the end was ridiculous also. Why didn’t he walk up with Moneymaker with the thermal? No, instead he just waits for Moneymaker to walk up to it. And then they just say it just ran off. Well let me see the thermal of “it” running off.gatorgaffney

Cliff told me the the object captured on the thermal footage was a horse. He said that it was obviously a quadruped after it turned to run off. The production company obviously chose to cut that part out for dramatic effect.

Cliff said that he did not know if the thermal footage that Bobo took before he fell off of the porch was the footage that was shown on the episode.

Before anybody starts crying foul, remember that the production company has the final say as to what to include or not to include in the final product.

Cliff also advised that he has stayed in touch with the Bridges, the couple that had the activity and handprint at their property.

They have had continued activity at their property since the filming there, and Cliff will be sharing it at his website.

Cliff Barackman home Page

He will be posting updates during the week about this episode, so stay tuned.

He also advised that he has a first generation copy of the cast that was taken from the print found at their property, and he will be featuring it at his Bigfoot Print Casts Database on his website.

screen shot of Cliff Barackman Bigfoot Print casts Database

Regarding the wood knocks that have been heard on the show, this is what Cliff had to say.

Regarding the Georgia episode, the wood knocks played on the show were the actual ones recorded. They were boosted several times as the recordings were faint, but they were the ones recorded at the scene.

Cliff also said that the team did hear wood knocks while on the overnight field outing at the Bridges’ property. He believes they heard three seperate sets of knocks.

Two were in response to the teams’ stimuli, either wood knocks or calls, one set were heard randomly, with no prompting stimulus.

He does not know whether the wood knocks heard in the episode were the actual ones recorded that night however.

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.

15 Responses to “Finding Bigfoot’s Cliff Barackman on Wood Knocks and Thermal Footage”

  1. Loren Coleman responds:

    The response that the “Swamp Ape” thermal at the end of the episode was a horse is clear. Sorry, but this program’s production company is guilty of viewer manipulation. As for other scenes and the wood knocks, I find the other answers confusing, unspecific, and unclear. Since Cliff is not a member of the production company, he is merely trying to remember and recall what happened vs what seems to be on the program. The resulting programming, through no fault of Cliff’s, is not scientific and the ultimate outcome of this programming may not be the scientific advancement of hominology. For all of the lack of excitement that people might have talked about on MonsterQuest, the production company making that program never enhanced field sounds, added in thermals, and/or allowed for false viewer manipulations with noncryptid footage to be used, without clearly identifying what objects seen or heard were re-creations, during the program.

  2. CDC responds:

    I would like to thank your friend Cliff Barackman for being so upfront and honest.

    His approach is professional.

    The show loses more and more credibility with every edit, but at least Cliff Barackman’s integrity is still in tact.

    Wish him luck in his search for Bigfoot.

  3. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Leaving viewers with the impression that the last thermal image was unidentifiable is beyond manipulation, it’s outright fraud.

    It’s a pity the production company chooses to resort to such tactics. Once a show gets a reputation for being staged it ruins all their credibility for years. That’s sad. I found the on camera cast actually quite engaging. I wish they could excercise some clout and demand full disclosure in regard to evidence. Honesty would go a long way toward making this show can’t miss television.

  4. Redrose999 responds:

    I thank Cliff for being honest with us….Most of this stuff was suspected by me, I can’t imagine how it feels to be the BFRO reps being filmed here. It must be dreadfully frustrating for them. I appreciate Cliff’s honesty and politeness on the matter especially in light of how serious the bigfoot community takes their exploration (which in light of how the press approaches them, I do not blame them). The very fact the production company changes evidence and manipulates the audience with cuts and such, the community is going to feel cheated. I’m sure Cliff as a researcher, feels the same way.

    [Edited, per TOU.]

  5. Ulysses responds:

    In reality, the whole show could have been based on the thermal images alone! Seeing it was 10:58 PM and they were on commercial, I thought, “two parter or Destination Truth collapse and run away”. They ran away and did not even present the image to a scientist or image specialist for some kind of confirmation. Perhaps a game warden could tell them what it was as to the particular group of animals we have here down South. The whole thing is fascinating to say the least and makes me wish I were part of the team. Going out and getting it done is the only was to do this and all of these shows seems to fall short. “STAY FOR ANOTHER NIGHT, INVESTIGATE, MAKE IT A TWO PARTER! STAY DAMN IT STAY!

  6. Redrose999 responds:

    @ Ulysses


    My husband and I were saying the same thing! OMG why do they have to pull a destination truth and run away after they get interesting hits in their research??? Bad used of tv formula as far as I’m concerned.

  7. flame821 responds:

    Since you are staying in touch with the North Florida couple, can you tell us if any trail cams have been put in place? If the visits are that frequent this would be the quickest, easiest way to verify what is making sounds, disturbing their home.

    And if they are using trail cams or other means of documentation, who does that film belong to? As in, does it belong to the Bridges who can do with it as they please? Does it belong to the production company due to some contractual agreements? I would love to see what is on film, but only if it is real. I would hate to have the production company get first rights to the film and then manipulate that as well.

    I would also like to thank you, Cliff, for taking the time and effort to explain what is going on behind the scenes. It is a welcome and refreshing change to see a TV personality approach a situation with honesty and tact.

  8. Kahil responds:

    Ok, as someone who works in the TV/Film industry…..production companies do not have the end all be all say over what gets released. On reality TV shows such as this, the people being followed have a strong say and some creative control. If, and I mean if, these guys have no clue what the production company is doing and the production company is misrepresenting them by falsifying information, then they do have legal recourse. Now, if Moneymaker and his team signed away their souls to give the production company full creative control, then they are fools and it would just go to show that they were just looking to be on TV and get a paycheck.

    Loren is very much correct. This show is not based on facts of any kind. Moneymaker states everything about Bigfoot as though they are absolute, indisputable truths. We all know that when it comes to cryptozoology, there are very few things based on absolute facts rather than educated guesses. Until we find a particular cryptid to exist and studied, any info out there on it is just a good guess. The same logic and truths apply to claims of “expertise” on a cryptid. No such thing.

    Now that there have been two episodes, here is what you can expect to see on every single episode… Moneymaker’s ego and bragging… So called great footprints… Thermal images… Screams/grunts… Wood knocking… all of which may have been faked. These guys seem to get every single one of these things no matter where they go. Other groups who have spent years or decades searching for Bigfoot have only seen maybe one or two of those items throughout their entire careers. These BFRO guys are making a mockery of the field. Why do skunk apes smell bad? Well according to BFRO, they smell bad because they wallow around in alligator f*rts. **rolls eyes**

    Loren, if you don’t really want to do the whole network TV show or documentary, then maybe just do a web series. Would be nice to see someone who knows what they are doing and who does so from a logical, scientific POV. Rather than just making things up as you go, faking evidence and cashing a paycheck from Animal Planet. Just sayin…

  9. j stewart responds:

    I have to say I agree with most of what is being said. Cliff is a stand up guy. I have had a few e mails with him about this and he is very honest and polite. It makes one wonder what this show and the BFRO in general might be like if Cliff were in charge. Cliff is upfont honest and open about the whole thing. You gotta respect that.

  10. Shelley responds:

    If every show is going to have one or more of these revelation interruptus, I’m giving up watching it, it’s just too frustrating! What WAS real about that show? The handprint? The footprint? Anything else? They used that thermal image as the defining moment of the show and it was a horse?!!! I wondered why it was holding so still and not bothered by the approach of a human.

    It must be mega frustrating for the bigfoot researchers, to spend so much time hunting down real evidence and having the broadcast bozos insert fake shots because it looks better. If they had put fake plastic squid limbs in on the search for the giant squid, it would still be the laughingstock of marine research, instead of an accepted addition to our knowledge of the oceans.

  11. Craig Woolheater responds:

    You mean like this Shelley?

    Finger Tentacles


  12. Fausta responds:

    If the producers are so eager to fake things what is stopping them sending a team out to make sounds and such in the field while you are there?

    It must be frustrating to work in this kind of environment so my sympathies Cliff!

  13. j stewart responds:

    @ Craig

    that my friend is funny right there..

  14. alcalde responds:

    I have to disagree with Kahil’s first comments.

    “ok, as someone who works in the TV/Film industry…..production companies do not have the end all be all say over what gets released. On reality TV shows such as this, the people being followed have a strong say and some creative control.”

    You’re stating this as if it were a rule. It’s not at all, especially not for these low-budget cable productions. My brother was part of a cable channel documentary series, in this case looking for ghosts rather than Bigfoot. The first contract they were offered was so bad a lawyer told them not to consider signing it, but the second they did sign wasn’t much better. I believe the participants only made $1000 an episode and the producer did indeed have control over how the material was (mis)represented.

    ” If, and I mean if, these guys have no clue what the production company is doing and the production company is misrepresenting them by falsifying information, then they do have legal recourse. ”

    What legal recourse do you have if the producer has final cut (or in my brother’s case, complete control)? Please inform me of a case where a reality show participant successfully sued for being presented in a bad light. If that was winnable, most reality show “villains” would have filed lawsuits by now.

    “Now, if Moneymaker and his team signed away their souls to give the production company full creative control, then they are fools and it would just go to show that they were just looking to be on TV and get a paycheck.”

    Anyone who does this is looking to be on TV and get a paycheck. They’re also promised the world by the production company (which really is only interested in the paycheck) and have a story woven about how this will help their field, they will be well-represented, this won’t be like other reality shows, etc., etc. They also don’t have much choice. Whether we’re talking cryptozoology, “ghost hunting”, etc. there is no accreditation and anyone can be one by calling oneself one. There are also many, many “groups” who do this for fun, any one of which would jump at the chance to appear on tv and make money if offered the chance from a sweet-talking producer. The producer is also most likely looking for the group with the lowest desired compensation and most easily controlled.

    In my brother’s case, producer decided that each case would fit a narrative. There needed to be precisely two different ghosts at each haunting location, etc. Evidence of more was left on the cutting room floor, and sometimes initial guesses that were later ruled out were left in. Certain discussions and meetings were recreated for drama and to fit the narrative. Incidents like my brother determining a noise over microphones was due to interference from a walkie-talkie was left out and the viewers were left believing it was paranormal in nature, etc. No phony evidence was added in, but sometimes the final product bore little resemblance to the results of the original investigation – as some participants would later complain about on their own web pages. A little bit of Internet investigation (including staff who quit) would confirm for the reader what I’ve heard from people involved that some of the more popular programs in this genre do indeed manufacture evidence.

  15. jvanley responds:

    This is how bad this is: I was on the fence about bigfoot after watching both episodes, I firmly believed they existed. Aafter reading this, I firmly believe they DO NOT exist. Why, you may ask? Well, what we saw on TV was fake it turns out. The knocks, the howls and the thermal images. Yet Moneymaker and the crew say they really happened and it was the producers’ faults.

    This takes us RIGHT BACK TO WHERE WE STARTED, little evidence and eyewitness accounts with nothing firm to back it up.

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