Saturday, May 17, 2008

Speakers' Presentations at the 20th-Annual Ohio Bigfoot Conference

Eric Altman

He gave a short history of his beginnings in research at a young age, and discusses the beginnings of research in Pennsylvania. He goes into the Native American Legends of Bigfoot, including the Native American Tribes in The Keystone State. The Susquehannock Indians called Bigfoot the Apple Snatcher, Albawich. The first documented sighting in PA was in 1838 in Bridgewater. Investigators Stan Gordon, Dr. Paul Johnson and the late Joan Jeffers have looked into reports since the 1960's. The Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society was founded in late-1998 by Steve Anderson and Henry Benton (no relation), and Eric became director in 2000. The PBS has received over 250 reports, some of which are hoaxes. Recent activity in the Keystone State began in December of 2005 in Montgomery County when a family reported activity in their area. Other reports came from Allegheny County, Chestnut Ridge, Wysox Bradford County (where screams were heard and a dead deer was found with its front leg wedged into a tree), Derry Township, Parker Dam State Park, Settlers' Cabin in Allegheny County and Latrobe, all between December '05 and December '07. The Jacobs Photos are also discussed and deemed basically inconclusive.

Rating of this presentation: **** out of *****
Jeff Meldrum

He began his presentation by saying he appreciates enthusiasm, but cautions against losing objectivity and wants to see critical thinking take hold with reports. He has just returned from China for filming an episode of Monsterquest to investigate the Yeren. The origins of Bigfoot were discussed, as to whether it is Gigantopithecus or not (Meldrum says it is at least a strong candidate). Dr. Meldrum hooked up with Zhou Guoxing to research the Yeren, which lives in the Hubai and Shennogjia Provinces where there are vertical mountains (!). Grover Krantz also went there in Southern China several years ago on an expedition. According to Dr. Guoxing, the Wildman is not the same as Sasquatch so far as size (it is a little shorter, ala Orang Pendek). Shennong was a God interested in herbs in the mountains, and built a ladder or scaffold to reach the herbs, prompting the name Shennongjia, which means "Shennong's Ladder." Meldrum's working hypothesis is that the Giganto is our North American Ape, and Meldrum went into the work of Russ Ciochon and his appearance on Giganto: The Real King Kong. Dr. Meldrum commented that the fossil record is biased when it comes to Giganto. An interesting observation was made about an orangutan which took a catfish out of a net and ate it, and other orang followed suit. Meldrum also said that there is a bit of a misconception about the entire Bering Straits Land Bridge being a frozen tundra, when in fact some parts of it were temperate jungle. Dr. Guoxing is not convinced that the Yeren and Giganto are the same thing, and the official position of the scientific community is cool and somewhat nonchalant. Meldrum showed a slide of a Chinese footprint cast which resembles a cast made in Washington State by Paul Freeman. Meldrum discusses the Anthropoidipes Ameriborealis, the North American Ape footprint, the archetype of which is the Patterson/Gimlin Movie casts. Meldrum said he would eventually put all his virtual cast collection online.

Presentation rating: **** 1/2 out of *****

Igor Bourtsev (paper read by M.K. Davis for Igor, who was unable to come due to political unrest in Russia)

Ralph Izzard led some of the initial Russian Wildman Expeditions, and Boris Porshnev believed the Russian Snowman was part of a relic species of higher primates, mainly Neandertals. The USSR Academy of Sciences sponsored much of the efforts of Hominology. Marie Jean Koffman was originally from France, but moved to Russia and began researching Hominids, as well as going on Expeditions in search of the Almasty. Igot is editor and founder of CryptoLogos, a publishing company which has published three books by Dmitri Bayanov-In The Footsteps of the Russian Snowman, America's Bigfoot: Fact, Not Fiction and a new book, Bigfoot Research: The Russian Vision. There are several names for Hominids in Russia, and Igor has done a good bit into Zana and her sone Khwit, the skulls of which he has. He also researched the P/G Movie along with Porshnev and Bayanov when Rene Dahinden came to Russia and brought it with him. Igor sculpted a statue of Patty in the '70's, most of which have been destroyed except for a copy of the bust which is owned by Janice Carter. Igor has also been involved in research on the Mongolian Almas, and the Russian word for Wildman is Leshiy. Zana has a still-living granddaughter named Raya (Zana was actually captured and habituated and had several children by human males, most of the children died when she attempted to wash them in cold water). Igor does follow the scientific method, and also wrote of braiding done on horses by wildmen. The last part of this presentation was devoted to the findings Igor made in Tennessee at the Carter Farm of markers and also teepee formations, along with a clayball which was used as a playtoy by the young ones.

Presentation Rating: ****

M.K. Davis

M.K. described his ten+year journey in researching the P/G Movie, and is attempting to clear the name of Roger Patterson. He began by showing a panoramic view of the film, and moved on to an artifact which appeared to be a braid which shakes with the head. He says he is an observer, not an analyst, and he observes bangs and a topknot and ponytail on Patty which blows in the wind and indicates no sagittal crest. He also shows the back muscles evident as well as a comment about someone who thought the breasts were air sacs. M.K. also shows filtered images of the breasts which appear to show nipples. A writing on the film says American Bigfoot, which meant the copy used on National Geographic's Bigfoot special was a one-inch tape scan of the original, which they obtained from American National Enterprises. M.K. also showed the teeth pretty clearly and compared that shot to one David Hancock has, and the one Hancock has is massed over, almost deliberately, as is a shot showing a good deal of skin detail. The Hernia is also discussed, the one on her right leg as she steps down in Frame 352 and found to have a large concentric circle in it which could be a bullethole. It turns out there were also two other researchers in the area that day.M.K. discussed that Bob Gimlin and Bob Heironimus were better friends than Gimlin and Patterson. M.K. showed a frame where she appears to scrape her foot on the ground, almost as if she is attempting to hide it. A pool of water is shown which was dug out by a backhoe and appears to be red, like blood or something. It is unknown where the blood is from, since Patty does not appear to be injured. M.K. revealed that Patterson was actually filming from the hole with the red water in it, and this is why you sometimes see in the opening frames where Patty appears to be higher up. M.K. stated that Patterson did not have to die in vain, and that he is attempting to find closure and announced that it is over for him. He closed with a music video tribute to Patterson.

Presentation Rating: *****

I would like to thank all the speakers, Don, all the folks I met and the group I came with for this opportunity to be here and to have an absolute blast. I had a ball. If there is another one next year, you can bet your bottom dollar I will be there.

Full Review: 20th-Annual Ohio Bigfoot Conference 2008

This was a TREMENDOUS Conference, a lot of fun and absolute enthusiasm. I had an absolute ball. I hope this is not the last, as Don has said. I hope there are more. I got to meet so many wonderful people, most of which treated me as equal with Meldrum, M.K., Eric and Don. Half the time I would have someone come to me and say, "Aren't you Henry May?" and they would want a handshake, hug or picture. I did meet all the speakers and Don, and they were all warm and friendly. See next post for photos and a full report.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Update 2:

I had dinner with several folks (John Cartwright, Joyce Kearney, Tom Lancaster, Billy Willard, Creature Seeker, Diane and Donna Stocking (twins) and Shboom2). Then, we went to the Meet and Greet, and I got to meet Eric Altman finally, as well as see M.K., met Don, Dr. Meldrum, met Don Monroe, and ran into old friend Bob Daigle. I also got several autographs and bought two shirts for the Conference. I also went out to listen for calls about a mile from here with several folks, including Eric, the Stocking twins, the Seeches, the Frick Brothers and several other folks. We heard nothing more than a deer snort and several birds. More updates later today, and photos will be forthcoming soon.


After a grueling 12-hours+ trip from Tennessee to Ohio, where we drove all night through Kentucky, reaching Portsmouth, Ohio and Dallas Gilbert's home at 6:00 A.M. and accompanied him to one of his research areas and had some interesting activity, including a possible 'Squatch playing peek-a-boo with me and a wood-knock, we made it to Salt Fork State Park around 2:45 EST this afternoon. I ran into a few Bigfooters as well, including Marc Dewerth, Diane Stocking and Joyce Kearney. They are very nice folks (Mark gave me a warm handshake, and Diane gave me a warm embrace). The Dinner is in about a half-hour and the Meet-and-Greet is at 8:00 EST. More developments as they occur.