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

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 29th, 2011

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

Cliff Barackman home Page

Finding Bigfoot – “Frozen Bigfoot” Commentary

The Washington episode of Finding Bigfoot was filmed in the middle of March, 2011. It was the last of five episodes we filmed during February and March, so we were well polished and comfortable with the gig by that time. I believe it shows on screen.

The centerpiece of our investigations in southwest Washington was the Silver Star Mountain photographs. Avid hiker, and friend of the ‘squatch, Randee Chase took three pictures of what might very well be a sasquatch sitting on the top of Silver Star Mountain, just east of Vancouver, WA. He didn’t know what he photographed at the time, and honestly still doesn’t. Randee and I have become friends over the last couple years, and I have had the opportunity to go to the top of Silver Star with him on at least three occasions. The more I look into his photographs, the more I am convinced that they indeed show a bigfoot. These same photos where the subject of my presentation at the 2010 Oregon Sasquatch Symposium, and that presentation can be seen on the DVDs. It should be noted that I have since taken more accurate measurements and have slightly reduced, but I still firmly hold that these photographs show a sasquatch.

The trip to Silver Star on the 1962 huey helicopter was one of the most spectacular experiences of my life. The helicopter had been restored to near-mint condition. I have to say “near-mint” because there were still bullet holes visible in the interior from its service in the Vietnam War. The top of Silver Star that day had epic seeing conditions, but a nasty wind that brought the temperatures down to below freezing with the wind chill factor. Though I had four or five layers of clothing on, they did little to shield my face from the biting cold. Having a second helicopter there to take heroic shots didn’t help keep me warm, either. More than once, the second helicopter zoomed up to us and almost knocked us off our feet with its prop wash.

Landing on the saddle of Silver Star was sketchy, to say the least, but not nearly as much as taking off. When it was time to leave, we hovered about five feet off the ground, moved fifteen feet forward, and plunged downwards 500 feet until we circumnavigated the two peaks of Silver Star and flew back to the airport on the Lewis River.

As usual, we filmed so much more than could ever be shown in the 44 minute episodes. We spent several hours filming the two hunters’ encounter, including where they finally had had enough of being stalked by this loud, growling creature and turned tail back to the vehicles. James’ fishing encounter itself took three or more hours to film, but he received little screen time. Such is television, though.

Our adventures on the lake were interesting, to say the least. The remote controlled goose cam idea was fun, but technical problems nearly stopped us from being able to deploy it at all. I also found the electric motor to be too loud for my taste. I keep joking that perhaps for season two we can get crayfish cams, since a fully submerged motor would be harder to hear.

The canoe blind was also a good idea in premise. It turned out to be a little to bulky to easily navigate. Though the thing had two stabilizers and would be fairly difficult to capsize, that didn’t alleviate much of the fear Ranae and I felt. The water was bitterly cold, and with all the blind and camouflage material ready to entangle us if we went in, we knew we were floating in a death trap. It helped our nagging fears to have my regular field partner, Will Robinson, a minute or two away in his jet boat monitoring us on a thermal imager, ready to save our lives if needed.

Overall, I don’t have any real complaints about this episode. What you see is what you get, and all of it pretty much happened the way it was shown. The howls were real. The mumbling voices at the base of Silver Star really were heard by Matt and Bobo, but time didn’t allow us to investigate the area for two nights. Southwest Washington still has bigfoots in it, and not far at all from Vancouver, WA. That’s why I live a stone’s throw away.

Cliff Barackman

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.

2 Responses to “Behind the Scenes of Finding Bigfoot: “Frozen Bigfoot” with Cliff Barackman”

  1. Redrose999 responds:

    It is really nice to see Cliff’s take on things. I suspected he researched the photo for quite some time when it first showed up. I would like to know what he did with it and how he eliminated the “human” possibility of the photo, besides measurements and such.I would like to know if he considered the lighting and different clothing angle Renea brought up.

    Pity they couldn’t investigate the voices. Will they follow that up some other time?

    As for the canoe blind, if they experiment more with it and work on a more stable boat for the foundation for the blind, I think it is a darned good idea. But I for one don’t blame Cliff being a little concerned about the canoe safety factor.

  2. Massachusetts responds:

    I had the same reaction to these images as I did to the Greene thermal image candy bar footage. It looks interesting, but the re-enactment looks awfully similar to the original–so similar that it seems to suggest inconclusive results at best, and makes me lean more towards “human”. I can’t comment on the metric analysis that was done. I’m not sure if any were published?

    But my gut reaction, as an intelligent layman, watching the show, is that there isn’t a significant difference between the two sets of images, unfortunately (I really wish there was). Serious mathematical analysis may suggest otherwise, but on that front, I’m thinking that it is hard to take accurate comparative measurements from the images: are you really sure you are measuring a feature like the width of the head, or are you also including some part of the clothing in your measurement as well? Is the guy, or Squatch for that matter, twisting a bit this away or that way in one set of photos, but not in another, which changes the angle a bit and gives you different measurements? It’s hard to tell exactly from small, dark, somewhat globby images like the ones in that episode. That’s not so in Patterson-Gimlin footage (regardless of what ever conclusions you draw) but these images were far less clear. So measurements might vary depending on exactly what assumptions you make about where things start and stop, etc.. Therefore, I’m thinking that would place the images into that dreaded uncertain category. But the team, with the exception of Renae, seemed to feel it was a Sasquatch.

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