Searching for Sasquatch – Using Ideas from Law Enforcement Part IV.

Posted by: John Kirk on October 24th, 2006

Part IV

How – I would recommend the following procedure from start to finish in investigating a sasquatch occurrence.

1) Secure the scene temporarily by using the caution tape to rope off the site where evidence may lie.

2) All investigators in the zone must wear shoe protection bags and gloves, and optimally filter masks as well.

3) Carefully lay out a grid using string and wooden pegs, then assign an alphanumeric value to each quadrant. 

4) Each quadrant should then be very carefully examined for traces of hair, tissue, bone and dentition. It is very difficult to see blood without an illuminating device expressly designed for that purpose, but if it is obvious to the naked eye, it must not be touched with a bare hand not only because your DNA might contaminate the sample, but is always dangerous to handle blood products without the proper protection from viruses, bacteria and toxins possibly contained therein.

5) If tracks are present each track must be measured length wise, widthwise and depthwise. Look very carefully in the track depression to see if there are any items you may wish to collect for analysis. Hairs in particular may have been dislodged from the skin of the foot when the implantation of the foot into the substrate takes place. If the track contains a rock and the maker of the track has very likely stepped on it, there is a good chance that the rock may have DNA of the track maker on its surface. In this case, use several cotton swabs to carefully run over the rock and then put the swabs in a paper bag and close it tight.

Tracks – no matter what condition they are in – need to be cast. What is not apparent to the human eye casting its gaze over the track, may appear in the casting. Those who have obtained dermaglyphs from casts in most if not all cases did not see the dermaglyphs in the soil prior to casting the print.

Even seemingly messy tracks may hold details that could assist us with determining the structure of the creature’s foot, how it plants it’s foot and steps off, the way it walks and the ratio of the creature’s weight to that of a human. If possible a human footprint or flat soled shoe print of the heaviest member of the investigation team should be made as close to the track as possible for comparative purposes. Photos of every aspect of this process should be taken and a video recording should complement the photo process.

6) If the witness was able to gauge the height of the animal by a distinguishing yardstick such the height of tree branch, a burl, a knot, the top of a hedge or a rock, then height measurements should also be taken. It is always a good idea to have a person with a long yardstick marked with a tag or a flag, to show the location of the top of the creature’s head, stand at the site and be photographed for comparative purposes. If the height is well beyond human range, this is a very effective way of ruling out people or bears as being responsible for what the witness saw.

Similarly if the witness saw a sasquatch walk across a road every effort at duplicating its actions as described by the witness must be attempted by the investigators. We often hear how they cross a road in two strides when it takes a human six, so film a member of your team doing their best to cross the road in the same number of strides and also time it.

7) One aspect of sasquatchery that always amazes me is the number of investigations that die at the site. For some reason unknown to me, some researchers examine the location where the sighting took place, but neglect to ascertain where the animal came from or where it was going. If the tracks are not helpful in guiding you in this area, then look around for telltale signs on the ground, in the bush, on trees, that may give you a clue as to where it came from or where it went. Bob Titmus did not merely examine the tracks left on the sandbar by the sasquatch in the Patterson film, but followed them for a considerable distance up a hill and as a result he even found a spot where it had sat down to look back down at Patterson and Gimlin. He followed them further until he realized that it was of no avail considering the tracks were now quite a few days old. An old expert tracker like Titmus was convinced that the animal had left the scene and headed away as it should unlike the spurious story circulating that this was a hoax perpetrated by Gimlin and Patterson where the hoax suit claimant says he stopped just inside the treeline.

We need to look at the big picture as following the trail of the subject from the contact site may lead us to more evidence and perhaps enlighten us about the purpose of the sasquatch’s presence in the area. This where a good nose hound would be an asset in picking up a scent and assisting in trailing the animal. This is easier said than done as I have heard of many instances where dogs react extremely negatively to the scent or presence of sasquatch. In a best case scenario, the dog would follow the scent as far is feasible and perhaps a secondary encounter including the investigators may result.

Using a dog does have drawbacks, they can be spooked, create a disturbance or flee from sheer fear. Be prepared for such consequences and have a secondary strategy in place.

8) What happens if you locate a sasquatch? This is a matter you have to settle in your mind before you even start investigating. For me personally, my intention would be observe the animal from a concealed position where my scent would not drift in its direction, therefore gauging what prevailing wind conditions are at the time will play a crucial role in your ability to stay on the scene undetected. In a sense this is what SWAT teams and surveillance crews do in the realm of law enforcement, they observe without being seen by the target.

I would strongly suggest if you are seriously going to track a sasquatch, locate it and observe it, you take some precautions before setting out. Do not wear any scented fragrances or deodorants as these are a dead giveaway to your location to any animal with a good olfactory sense. We know nothing about the sense of smell of a sasquatch, but we should practically adopt the view that they have the best sense of smell in the universe. Do not drink alcohol before setting out as that alien smell to a sasquatch lingers for a long time, conversely try and maintain a neutral odour from your mouth by not having mouthwash or toothpaste odours. It is advisable to use scentless deodorant and no fragrances either when in the field as these will certainly alert any animal to your presence.

To be continued.

Part I is available here on Cryptomundo.

Part II is available here on Cryptomundo.

Part III is available here on Cryptomundo.

John Kirk About John Kirk
One of the founders of the BCSCC, John Kirk has enjoyed a varied and exciting career path. Both a print and broadcast journalist, John Kirk has in recent years been at the forefront of much of the BCSCC’s expeditions, investigations and publishing. John has been particularly interested in the phenomenon of unknown aquatic cryptids around the world and is the author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters (Key Porter Books, 1998). In addition to his interest in freshwater cryptids, John has been keenly interested in investigating the possible existence of sasquatch and other bipedal hominids of the world, and in particular, the Yeren of China. John is also chairman of the Crypto Safari organization, which specializes in sending teams of investigators to remote parts of the world to search for animals as yet unidentified by science. John travelled with a Crypto Safari team to Cameroon and northern Republic of Congo to interview witnesses among the Baka pygmies and Bantu bushmen who have sighted a large unknown animal that bears more than a superficial resemblance to a dinosaur. Since 1996, John Kirk has been editor and publisher of the BCSCC Quarterly which is the flagship publication of the BCSCC. In demand at conferences, seminars, lectures and on television and radio programs, John has spoken all over North America and has appeared in programs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, TLC, Discovery, CBC, CTV and the BBC. In his personal life John spends much time studying the histories of Scottish Clans and is himself the president of the Clan Kirk Society. John is also an avid soccer enthusiast and player.

7 Responses to “Searching for Sasquatch – Using Ideas from Law Enforcement Part IV.”

  1. fuzzy responds:

    Another point about tracking with dogs: keep them on a lead and under control at all times.

    Loose dogs can trample tracks and other evidence, and will sometimes run right up to a target animal. Bigfoot is known to hate dogs, and will toss them up into trees, or chase, batter and kill them!

  2. Ole Bub responds:

    Thank you, John…for another installment in the Sasquatch investigator’s handbook…excellent points about ingress and egress…JMHO

    seeing is believing…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  3. joppa responds:

    Your outline on the “CSI” techniques of collecting evidence from a “Cryptid” encounter was excellent, however the art and science of tracking a wild and unpredictable man-beast deserves a whole other series of posts. Tracking is serious and dangerous business. I would treat tracking a Sasquatch like tracking an escapee from a maximum security prison, the subject will not want to be tracked and found, and you best be prepared for anything. You are not stalking a prize buck for next weeks open season, but a creature that may indeed take your life. I look forward to a series of posts on proper and sane tracking techniques.

  4. VoiceOfReason responds:

    I propose doing what cops do in big cases where they want a piece of overwhelming evidence that cannot be disputed. Find a body!

  5. CamperGuy responds:

    Seriously doubt if domestic dogs will track a Bigfoot.

  6. Ohio Cryptonut responds:

    Gonna agree with joppa here. When tracking a bear, the hunter has been known to become the hunted. I don’t scare easily but the thought of being hunted by something 8ft tall and possibly 600-700 lbs.? Yikes! As with anything else being prepared and using your better judgement is recomended.

    I personally believe that Bigfoot isn’t out to hurt people and neither am I. But, what if it’s momma with her babies? Even the most docile creature can become extrordinarily violent and agressive when protecting young. If I thought someone was coming after my son, well you get the picture.

    Plus, the fact is we just don’t know enough about the behavior of these creatures to say what the reaction might be. I don’t know if I’d want to be the one to find out.

    Like fuzzy said about the dogs, I don’t want tossed into a tree or battered to death. I’m not that dedicated.

  7. Ohio Cryptonut responds:

    Oh, by the way, voiceofreason, the police have been known to take a LONG time to find a well hidden corpse. Also, that’s dealing with the most populous biped on the planet.

    Example: Homo florensis. What was that, a couple of thousand years before the bodies were found?

    You make a good point but.

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