Working on Book Five, but had to take a break because I just got an email from a friend with some interesting Bigfoot news. Dr. Ketchum may have dubbed our bigfooted friends feral humans. She’s registered the website FERALHUMANPROJECT.INFO. I have a feeling that part of the problem with publishing the paper had to do with the use of the word Bigfoot or Sasquatch in the paper. A journal may have requested they make a change that would make it easier to read without giggling. So, now we have feral humans with big feet… and oh BTW, they’re reported to be 8′ tall. I have no idea what any of this means, but I do know that about five minutes after I post this someone is going to register the domain name Feralhumanproject.XXX.
Dr. K just posted the following on FB:
For all of the people speculating on the Erickson project, Adrian and I have agreed to set aside the NDA to tell you that his group is a successful participant in this project. His research project to obtain the DNA samples is separate from us. His samples will be in the paper along with all of the successful submitters. And, yes, his great footage will come out so lets let all of the rumors go, OK? And once again, please know that we are at the mercy of the journal as to when we can announce. Thanks!
UPDATE 12/03/2011: Dr. Ketchum just made a statement about Erickson on FB. You can read it here: Ketchum on Erickson
This week saw two separate developments that caught the attention of cryptophiles everywhere. First, The Erickson Project website went offline very quietly. No official word has been released by Adrian Erickson nor has any member of his team spoken off the record about the sudden vanishing. We are left with nothing but rumors. When you think about it, it’s a fitting end to the mysterious project because nothing but a constant stream of rumors swirled around Erickson and his team since word of the project first hit the crypto-world.
A story appeared in the Osoyoos Times that hints as to a major reason Erickson pulled the rug out from under the project. We of crypto inclinations have been so involved in the steady drip of stories surrounding Erickson’s documentary and project, we forgot that the man actually owns an honest to goodness development company. By all accounts, it was a very successful business. Unfortunately, ‘was’ is the key word here. Erickson, like most land developers, has taken a hit during these unfavorable economic times. Here is a quote from the Osoyoos Times’ story REGAL RIDGE UNDER SIEGE:
The letter acknowledged that Regal Ridge (Adrian Erickson’s development company) was undergoing restructuring and downsizing. Certain costs for infrastructure development, said Erickson, would have to be shifted. Causes for the shortage of funds was attributed to the decline in the economic climate, competition from crushed housing prices in the U.S. Sunbelt and “uncontrollable power infrastructure costs.”
The letter stated that three quarters of lots had services in place and the company was working to find a solution for the others, with support from its creditors.
This is not a fun thing for anyone to have to deal with. Jobs and livelihoods are at stake here, so I can’t really blame him from walking away from something that amounts to a hobby. The footage he has isn’t definitive enough to stand on its own. He made the decision to tie his documentary to Dr. Ketchum’s DNA study to give the film more validity. You have to admire him for sticking to his guns and not damaging the integrity of the work his team has done in favor of getting a quick buck. My feeling is that he pulled the website down simply because he’s trying to keep his development company solvent and there’s no reason to compound an already difficult task by being known as the Bigfoot guy. Closing down the Erickson Project was a business decision and nothing more.
On to Larry Surface. Larry is a retired gentleman who lives in Southern Ohio. I knew nothing about him until this week. He had a blog chronicling his research in his area surrounding what he calls the “Wild People.” You might know these wild people as Bigfoot. Larry announced this week that he captured one of the wild people on a camera he set up in a location he would like to keep undisclosed. The video made a brief appearance on his blog, and it clearly showed a humanoid subject from mid-back up walking on and off camera, and then on and off camera again. What he actually caught on camera is up for debate. Like most videos in this field, it’s blurry and grainy. Larry is convinced it is an undocumented bipedal hominid. This is normally where I would provide a link to the video, but Larry took the video down because he says he was asked to by none other than Dr. Melba Ketchum. It seems she has been looking for supporting evidence in the form of video or still images to accompany her study. Evidently Larry has provided samples to Dr. K’s study, and he says she has an interest in including the video in her study. Larry not only pulled the video. He shut down his blog because he was tired of the negative comments.
I will close this story with this. I was able to capture a frame from that video that I post here now without comment. It’s the same frame repeated a number of times from its original incarnation through various other incarnations with filters and tweaks applied to bring out details. You be the judge. If you do want to comment, be as supportive or as critical as you want, but please be constructive, as well.
UPDATE 11/21/2011: Larry respectfully requested that I remove the image from my blog.
Sasquatch the Quest is no more. At least the website has disappeared. I don’t know if it’s moved or if it’s just down temporarily, but as of this moment Adrian Erickson’s website is unavailable.
A Joerg Hensiek posted the following comment on Robert Lindsay’s blog:
I just received a mail from Mrs. Erickson, wife of Adrian Erickson (Erickson Project). I do not want to quote from that mail, but here are two points from her answer that make me “desperate”. In those moments I ask myself: could it be that the Justin Smejas (no condemnation of this man!) of this world are the only ones who can solve the question, if BF really exists??! By killing one of our “wild forest brothers”?!!
Back to Mrs. Erickson`s mail. There are two points which seem to frustrate Adrian Erickson – and certainly frustrate me:
1. All of the “experts” backpedal when it comes to support the project – because of fear of ridicule by their “peers”;
2. there seems to be no progress and therefore Erickson considers closing down the website “Sasquatch – The Quest” until there is some sign of progress (which probably means: at the moment there is NO progress at all!!).
Mrs. Erickson did not tell what “experts” she means, and she did not mention the Ketchum DNA project or any other people and projects.
However: I find it frustrating that such a groundbreaking and probably admirable project comes to a standstill because there is no support from the “experts”…Where is Jeff Meldrum et al? And does Mrs. Erickson`s answer to me also mean that we have to wait MUCH longer for the results of the Ketchum study – and therefore for the broadcast/release of the documentary, too?
I know, lots of polemics and emotions. And perhaps we just have to wait a little bit more for Ketchum`s or Stubstad`s or Ed Smith`s papers (or who else is out there..). And I am sure by tomorrow I do not want to even think about the killing of a BF.
However, at a day like this and a message like this I muss confess : Perhaps one day we will be glad that once upon a time a certain Justin Smeja did go hunting in the Sierras of California – because all serious and ethical efforts seem to get undermined in the end by ignorance and/or cowardliness.
Given that the website is now gone, I would say that Mr. Henseik is a fairly reliable source.
I realize it’s been Bigfoot central around here lately, but all signs are pointing to a major roll out of information over the coming weeks, and rumors, intrigue, speculation, etc. are at an all time high. I’ve never seen a frenzy like this before.
A few days ago, I emailed the North American Bigfoot Search (NABS) about their director’s, David Paulides, upcoming appearance at the Honobia Bigfoot Festival and Conference. I knew he had close ties to Dr. Ketchum and has even handled inquiries for her about the DNA analysis she’s doing (or has done depending on who you ask). So, I asked point blank what they plan to talk about. You can read their answer here: Updateon Dr. Ketchum’s scheduled appearance at Honobia Bigfoot Festival andConference.
In addition to that particular answer they included the following information:
In a past blog you had used the word “Erickson Project.” For clarity purposes, North America Bigfoot search did a due diligence search and found Dr. Ketchum and utilized her to start a DNA project for us. We worked with her for many months on several specimens, she was not working with anyone else at that time. Dr. Ketchum and NABS decided we wanted a cross section of samples from North America and David Paulides and Dr. Ketchum went onto Coast to Coast radio and solicited others who had bigfoot samples to participate in our study at no cost to them. Erickson along with dozens of others (Individuals and Research Groups) listened to that show and started to participate.
I had actually recognized my mistake on that particular issue a couple of weeks ago, and wrote a blog post about it (The Ketchum Report). To be frank, I’ve noticed a subtle effort on the part of the Ketchum camp to distance themselves from the Erickson Project. I don’t know why exactly, but I’ve seen it noted and corrected a few times that The Ketchum Report and the Erickson Project are two separate entities. I would go so far as to say that point has been stressed on a number of occasions.
Since I had the ear of the NABS, I decided to ask them a few questions I had on my mind. Nothing too probing, just stuff I’ve been thinking about. Here are those questions and answers for your own edification.
1. Generic DNA question: Is it your understanding that DNA without a living specimen is enough for the scientific community to recognize the existence of a species?
DNA is the fingerprint of life, it is what identifies species. If DNA has been generally accepted by science as being the key identification factor of any species, why wouldn’t this be enough….If the DNA in this study is unique…
2. From an outsider looking in, there appears to be a high degree of mudslinging and discontent among a few of the Bigfoot organizations and personalities. Would you agree and if so, what do you think accounts for this behavior?
NABS will not and has not slung any dirt, we won’t participate in that behavior. If you look at the history of bigfoot research going back 50 years almost all of the major books had “ape” in the title. What happens to the level of sales of those books if the DNA comes back as some type of human? Most of the “Big-Name” researchers from the last 50 years have bought into bigfoot being an ape and have leveraged sales of their books, websites, TV appearances and lectures on the ape theory, what happens to their ability to generate income if bigfoot DNA comes back as some type of human? We believe that many of these researchers are quite nervous about their position going forward if their hypothesis is proven wrong. NABS does not understand why these same researchers have completely ignored what Native Americans and First Nations People have stated, bigfoot is human and it is another tribe…David Paulides went into this topic and explained our hypothesis very thoroughly in “The Hoopa Project” and Tribal Bigfoot”.
3. Some in the community have expressed concerns over the NDA issue. There are those who have experience submitting peer reviewed material and say NDAs were never a part of their process. I’m wondering if you can address the need for NDAs concerning this DNA study? In particular, people have commented that this is an attempt to control the purse strings and keep all the profits. Do you anticipate that the study will lead to opportunities to make money or is that even a concern?
Prior to coming into bigfoot research David Paulides came from a technology background. All technology projects are covered by NDA’s, they are all considered intellectual property and all have value. The bigfoot DNA project has value as hundreds of thousands of dollars has been committed to the project. The people who committed to the project have the right to control whatever portion of the information they deem necessary. The reality, when scientists deliver white papers to science journals, these papers will not get peer reviewed unless the scientists reviewing the document have the first look at the facts behind science. If people are talking about the reality and facts behind the study, then those scientists don’t have the first look and peer review does not occur. Dr. Ketchum wants scientists who are not involved in this project to give the study their stamp of scientific approval (peer review) as this will quell much of the attacks the fringe element has tried to generate.
We have all seen fiasco’s occur in the way crypto research has been handled in the past, the bigfoot DNA project will not follow that path, it will follow protocol established in the scientific community.
4. Whenever contacted about his documentary, Adrian Erickson’s response has been that he won’t release the video until the DNA is released. Given that it was the NABS that initially brought Dr. Ketchum into the project and started the DNA analysis, can you confirm that there is no contractual link between the Erickson project and the Ketchum DNA report?
We have no idea if a relationship exists or what therelationship is between Dr Ketchum and Mr. Erickson.
5. The DNA study aside, there have been a number of eyewitnesses that attribute very human-like behavior to Sasquatch. If it is true that these creatures are more human than ape, yet not totally human, how do you think we should proceed as a society in dealing with their rights? One would think that habitat preservation won’t be enough. Won’t we have to take steps to ensure that their culture is preserved, as well?
We will go back to “The Hoopa Project” and “Tribal Bigfoot”. Witnesses signed affidavits to what they viewed and their signtings were recorded in Mr. Paulides’ books. The best law enforcement forensic artist in the world, Harvey Pratt was brought in by NABS to meet with witnesses and draw what they observed, it was shocking to us at the time. Witnesses described a very human looking biped, that is what Mr. Pratt drew and all of the witnesses validated the sketches in the books as what they observed. We will acknowledge that bigfoot has physical differences to the point that humans are different. If you were from a jungle tribe in the Amazon and were put in a room with an NBA player, then a first Nations person, a Chinese person and a Norwegian, the tribal member would be in total shock at the physical differences, these are the same differences you will see in bigfoot, again explained in Mr. paulides’ books.
If bigfoot has DNA confirmed as Homo Sapiens, laws are in place to protect the biped, nothing needs to be done.
If bigfoot DNA comes back as something different then us, then laws have to be written protecting the species from us….
And scene. I appreciate the NABS for taking the time to answer my questions. And now to step away from all things Bigfoot and get back to writing Book Five of the Oz Chronicles.
So, Adrian Erickson recently did an interview in the Maple Ridge News (which sounds so Norman Rockwellian). It is fairly interesting and contained some information in it that I was not aware of. Here’s a link to Part One of the article: Sasquatch:Is it out there? It came out in the online version and print version of the Maple Ridge News. That’s significant, because the print version had an added element to the story. They included a picture of a frame from the Erickson documentary that supposedly has clear HD footage of a number of Sasquatches or Sasquatchi or Sasquai or Sassy’s or whatever the hell the plural is for Sasquatch. Anyway, the frame grab is of a female Sasquatch sleeping under a tree. It appears (appears meaning I’m speculating) that Erickson did not want a clean digital version of the frame grab online, so they were only allowed to put it in the print version.
The problem is an industrious member of the Bigfoot Forums snapped a picture of the newspaper and posted the twice removed image in the forums. I believe Mr. Erickson would have been better off letting the paper post the original image on their website because a picture of a picture is fuzzy and unclear, and it’s also not protected by copyright.
I’m posting the picture here for no other reason than it exists. I don’t endorse it. I don’t decry it. I don’t weep over it and thank the god’s above or curse the demons below. It’s a picture of picture that’s not a photograph, but a frame grab. BTW – I tweaked the “creature” to bring out details. You can’t see her face. She is lying in the fetal position with her head ducked down under her arm to shade herself from the sun. That’s their description. Not mine. I will punch you if you accuse me of saying this image is legitimate. I don’t know if it is. I don’t know if it’s not. That’s the point.
One more thing, the original is not black and white. Remember this was a picture taken of a picture in newspaper.
Note: Someone’s already come up with a different interpretation of the image. They think the head is at the other end. That’s the problem with blobsquatches.
Note 2: The Bigfoot Forums member just sent me a note and let me know he got the picture from a Facebook group.
Note 3: The Oregon Bigfoot Blog has a interpretation of the photo that makes me doubt mine. Instead of the hand grasping its shoulder, they’ve made a pretty good case that hand is actually by the head. Same fetal position, but arm is different than my outline. Erickson Project Photo Release
Updated images on 8/20/2011
Is there a coordinated effort in the Tom Biscardi camp to try and discredit the Ketchum Report? And if not coordinated, is Biscardi manipulating associates into stoking the fires of doubt that surround the report? The question has to be asked because the man who will be forever linked to one of the most famous Bigfoot hoaxes has connections with three vocal critics of Melba Ketchum. Those critics, Bigfoot Hunter, Richard Stubstad and Tim Fasano, have all come out publicly in the last few weeks expressing mistrust of Dr. Ketchum and maligning her character either subtly or maliciously. They all seem to be unanimous in their views on Ketchum’s Nondisclosure Agreement in particular. The implication they present is that Ketchum is trying to unfairly control all the findings of the study and therefore reap all the profit (if any profit is to be had).
It’s unclear where Bigfoot Hunter and Fasano are getting their information. They are accusing Ketchum of some pretty serious unethical behavior without serving up much in the way of evidence. Stubstad is a horse of a different color. He was once involved with Ketchum’s study, but refused to sign what he considered a much more restrictive NDA. He, at least, has some connection to the actual project.
It is said the Stubstad delivered material to Ketchum that came from Tom Biscardi. Some have speculated that the material did not make the cut so to speak and Biscardi has felt left out of the ongoing study and therefore out of the ongoing discussion about what could be groundbreaking evidence in the arena in which he’s dedicated so much of his life. Rightly or wrongly, he has the reputation as a man who yearns for fame and attention at any cost. One only has to watch him in Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie to witness firsthand his skill at manipulating people. That’s why I am willing to give Fasano, Bigfoot Hunter and Stubstad the benefit of the doubt here. They may be mere pawns in Biscardi’s scheme.
If there even is a scheme. This is all speculation on my part. I have no inside sources. Unfortunately, Biscardi’s past behavior conjures up a swarm of suspicion and mistrust and sends onlookers head on into a messy world of conspiracy theories. I know one thing about the world of Bigfoot, you have to keep one eye on the lookout for the big fella and one eye on the lookout for Biscardi.
Welcome to a weird philosophical rant today. It will meander. It will test the boundaries of comprehension and logic. And, it will make you roll your eyes. But, I’m a writer who sits around thinking about imaginary crap all day, what do expect?
My recent post about a face in the woods (which is most likely just shadows and light) coupled with the recent spate of discussions about the Erickson Project in several cryptozoology groups has me wondering if we’re prepared for the discovery of a bipedal non-human species that demonstrates advanced cognitive thinking. Far more advanced than known apes, and maybe even as advanced as Homo sapiens.
For those of you who don’t know, the Erickson Project concerns Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, if you prefer. The people involved claimed to have been studying several family groups of the creature in the wilds of North America. They purport to have clear video evidence and DNA samples to back up their claims. The project started in 2005 in Kentucky and has expanded to include areas throughout the US and Canada. They say it has taken them some time to collect viable DNA samples for testing, and since there is no matching DNA in the current database, it has taken a lot of patience and effort to verify the results and officially identify Sasquatch as a new species. They either have or are planning to submit their findings for peer review and a documentary is in the works.
Everyone in the Bigfoot sphere of interest is highly skeptical. Not so much because of the people involved with the Erickson Project, but because of past claims of clear video evidence and DNA samples made by others over the years that all proved to be bogus. It’s because of these past experiences the Erickson Project folks are being so methodical and quiet about their research. I sent an email to the contact address on their website inquiring about the release date of the documentary and got back a curt response saying nothing would be released until the DNA evidence is officially verified.
So, for the time being we are left in the lurch. The Erickson project could be the real deal, or it could be as real as the tiger blood coursing through Charlie Sheen’s veins. But let’s pretend for a moment that the Erickson Project does reveal without question that there are non-human bipedal creatures roaming the forests of this continent. They have been stealth and smart enough to remain hidden for hundreds of thousands of years from humans, or at the very least since recorded time. They may even have a primitive language, a culture, a cooperative existence, etc. They are not super natural beings. They are wholly natural beings, and they’ve made a conscious decision that the key to their survival is to stay away from humans. It is in their nature to distrust us.
Unfortunately, it is in our nature to discover them, so we have to ask ourselves how we’re going to classify them when we do. Are they people? Do they have the same rights as us, or since they are a different species are we going to try to dictate the state of their existence from the time of their discovery on? Remember, we’re not talking about an animal that lives by instinct alone. They think things through. They communicate to others within their species. They consciously respect the borders of civilization and choose not to cross them. In effect, they live as primitive humans.
Admittedly, I’m extrapolating a lot for the sake of this discussion, but I feel most of what I have said is fairly reasonable based on eyewitness accounts and current theories. They are not simply an animal. They are an animal with an intelligence we’ve never encountered before outside of our own species. The question remains what does that make them and how should we treat them when they are discovered? I suggest we don’t make them adapt to us. We should adapt to them. We shouldn’t treat them like people because frankly, we don’t have a great history of treating people who are different from us very well in this country. Just ask the Native Americans. In fact, perhaps we should take this opportunity to adopt the strategy we should have adopted with the indigenous people of this country when we first landed on the shores of North America. Let this new species be their own nation within our nation. They’ve lived harmoniously with the wild since their beginning. Let’s keep it that way. Let’s not try to manage them or change them. Unfortunately, we will have to protect them from us because our history has also shown that we don’t really respect the things we discover. Our curiosity and fears tend to drive us to do stupid and selfish things. But the laws we make should pertain to our species not theirs. They’ve never threatened us or required anything from us. Let’s keep it that way.
Okay, now you can stop pretending. If the Erickson Project turns out to be nonsense like a lot of people fear, then it’s all a moot point. Just keep it in mind in case they actually do come through with conclusive proof.