"I'm no Big Foot!"
As many people already know, there are reports all over the internet and in local papers about a "Big Foot" that was photographed in this area (Red Bridge In Allegheny Reservoir area of the Allegheny National Forest), near where we had our "Step It Up" gathering this spring.
The photo is what I called from the very beginning, a photo of a very skinny bear. Sickly or with Mange.
The Rick Jacobs photo was a bear with mange!
BUT *some people* are calling it a small primate, baby yeti, or juvenile Big Foot!
The photos were captured by a deer hunter (Rick Jacobs) who used an automatic camera mounted on a tree. He used a deer scent and a deer lick to attract animals. He intended to photo deer, but got photos of bear cubs and then the sickly, or skinny bear instead.
Because the animal in question did not look exactly like what one would expect an average bear to look like, some people thought it might be a baby Big Foot, for some unknown reason!
Besides the photos being questionable (only three photos are shown), there is no mention of the actual tracks of the animal.
Here is a bear track that looks somewhat "Big Foot-ish" I took
Why they didn't call in an expert tracker like myself to conclusively prove it was in-fact a bear, there is no mention of tracks or tracking in their follow up "investigation".
And it's being reported on some hunter message boards that the owner of the photos just sold them (two photos of the sick bear) for $6000.00!
DAMN! I wish I could sell my photos for that much! I should call all my photos "Yeti", "Big Foot", or "Sasquatch" photos!
I pride myself for taking un-staged, VERY close up photos of wildlife in incredible detail and I never got $6000.00 for a photo or small group of photos!
(My wildlife photos are HERE.
Here is the start of the local internet controversy, It appeared on Hell If I Care dot com, a message board in Warren Pa.
Oct 22, 07 - 5:27 PM Medea Posted this on the Hell If I Care Message Board:
Possible pic of Kinzua Bigfoot?
I found these pics that this gentleman from Johnsonburg states he took with a trail camera up at the Kinzua Dam recently. Take a look at them and tell me what you think?
Here is my response:
Somebody just posted a story and links about that same thing on the Talk About Bradford message board.
Here's the "skinny" on that.
This summer I was returning from a Zoar hike with some friends. I was the passenger in the front seat.
Up ahead what looked like a very strange animal crossed the road. It was very large, but skinny.
It was the biggest bear I ever saw in my life, in terms of length or height as it was walking, BUT there was nothing where you would expect to see the belly! It was a big lanky, skinny bear with "no body".
It was just a very skinny frame, it did in fact resemble a primate walking on all fours.
I DID have my camera on my lap and DID get some photos.
It WAS definitely a black bear, a very large one that did look like anything BUT a black bear!
This was a very "skinny bear" but in this photo, it's in a full trot and it's legs are crossed making it look more "normal"
This past week when my friend was camping in the Sugar Bay area, she reported that she and several of the campers with her saw what she said was "your same skinny bear".
It was down the hill from the Indian Run Rocks I hiked to last week and photographed large piles of what we called bear scat, but were closer in size to Elephant droppings. I insisted they were made by elephants, but those with me didn't see any elephants around and doubt there are elephants out there. Someone suggested it was Big Foot, Sash quash or Yeti dung!
This is likely Mountain Lion Scat
This is Elephant, Rhino or Big Foot!
This too must be either Big Foot or an Elephant or Rhino!
This is very strange, but still sorta explainable.
BUT it is on the verge of unbelievable.
THIS would sure bring in the tourists if we do have some kind of half-man-half-black-bear running around the woods!
The photos in the guys three shots do look like the bear I saw and my friends described to me.
Big Foot Reports
In the above link they are calling it a big foot .....
I'll go on record calling it a freakishly skinny large black bear. I hate to say it's a bear with mange, because the one I saw was very large, had a giant head, but had all it's fur and looked healthy to me. Bears with mange are more lethargic and missing fur.
This was a very "skinny bear" but in this photo, it's in a full trot and it's legs are crossed making it look more "normal"
On the Bradford message board, "Talk About Bradford" or TAB, there is a topic about Big Foot.
If you look on the section "Allegheny Outdoors" you will see the thread "Bigfoot".
I included a photo there of a foot print I found in the woods near Marilla Springs Trail. It was an impressive track and might well be a "big foot"!
Bear or Big Foot? You tell me!
From the Bradford Era (Friday Oct 26th):
Elk County deer hunter sets off Internet firestorm with shots of creature
By MARCIE SCHELLHAMMER
We were just looking for a nice buck,” said Rick Jacobs, the Elk County deer hunter whose stationary tree camera caught images of an unknown creature, setting off an Internet firestorm of speculation.
“We have some funny pictures,” he said. “They’re in the hands of some experts.”
The pictures, taken by an automatic camera mounted on a tree on a game trail in the Allegheny National Forest Sept. 16, show what appears to be a dark, furry creature walking on four legs. But what is it? Jacobs admits he doesn’t know, and doubts anyone is more skeptical about the whole situation than he is.
“We hung on to them for a whole week before we did anything with them,” he said of the pictures. “We couldn’t figure out what they were. I’ve been hunting for years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
So he and his family decided to seek some help.
According to Paul Mateja, network administrator for the Buffalo, N.Y., Roman Catholic Diocese — and field researcher for the Bigfoot Research Organization — Jacobs’ daughter talked him into sending the pictures to their organization for an opinion.
Anthropologists and primate experts were contacted by the organization. So far, preliminary results from the experts are saying it’s a primate of some sort, said Matt Moneymaker, head of the research organization.
As it appears from the multiple Internet sites and forums where discussions on the “Jacobs creature” are being held daily, some people say it is a skinny bear; many say they just don’t know.
Majeta said he’s investigated, and believes he has some answers.
“My impression is that it is not a bear,” he said. “I’ve met with the gentleman who took the photos and I’ve been to the site. I’ve done some analysis.
“It appears to be a primate-like animal,” he said. “In my opinion, it appears to be a juvenile Sasquatch.”
“Our contention is it is a Bigfoot.”
In Northwest Pennsylvania. Neither members of the research organization nor the photographer himself have revealed the exact placement of the camera, wanting to avoid sending crowds flocking to — or away from — the site.
Mateja says that if the creature in the picture is what he believes it to be — a member of the legendary Bigfoot family — there’s nothing to be afraid of.
“If you treat them with benevolence, they will respond to that,” he said.
What about all the skeptics? What would Mateja say to them? First of all, it’s not a bear, he said.
He referred to characteristics of the creature in the picture such as the apparent lack of a tail and the length and shape of the legs, saying they are inconsistent with bruins.
“We have two people who are expert biologists. They want to do more analysis. They say it’s not a bear.
“We’ve all gotten into this because we believe,” Mateja said.
Why don’t others believe, even when confronted with a picture not easily explained, asks The Era.
“Some religious belief perhaps?” responds Mateja. “I work for the Catholic church. If it’s a flesh and blood creature, it’s one of God’s creatures.”
Skeptics say they’ve never seen a dead one and never found bones of one. “These are rare creatures. You don’t find bear carcasses in the woods. These are more rare than bears.”
Maybe it’s just fear of the unknown that makes people doubt that the creature in Jacobs’ pictures could be something as-yet-unaccounted-for in widely accepted science, Mateja speculated.
“They don’t believe there could be such big creatures living in our woods without people seeing them. People do see them. They are just written off as crackpots.
“In anything, you do have skeptics.”
There were two articles in the Bradford Era Saturday Oct 27th discussing our local "Bigfoot"
What about Bigfoot?
By MARCIE SCHELLHAMMER
A Bradford resident who spends his free time studying out-of-the-ordinary topics told The Era on Friday that photos such as the ones Rick Jacobs of Elk County captured with a trail camera “open up the discussion” on the unknown.
“Pennsylvania has always been an amazing, interesting place for Bigfoot sightings,” said Scott Corrales, cryptozoologist — one who studies animals believed to exist, but there’s no conclusive evidence on their existence.
Regarding rampant speculation that the creature in the pictures is a bear with mange, Corrales didn’t discount the possibility, but said, “We have so many black bears in our area, we just want to say ‘it’s a bear’ and go from there.
“If we had witnesses and photos, it would be more convincing,” he said. “The bar for claiming the spectacular has been raised. People are saying ‘a photo isn’t enough to believe you.’”
He said an argument between skeptics and believers exists now and likely always will. That debate will probably continue until a “dead Bigfoot” is brought in for study.
“But what if it’s the last of its kind? Ultimately it will have to be a piece of Bigfoot or nothing at all,” Corrales said.
However, he warns against scores of people running off into the woods to see what they can find — after all, Pennsylvania is known for its hunting seasons.
“Starting some kind of panic in the woods with all the hunters would be a mistake,” he said.
Whatever is in the woods — a Bigfoot, a bear with mange, whatever is shown in the photos — there is a possibility that it’s always been there, Corrales said.
He explained Bigfoot sightings have been reported in the Laurel Highlands and Pittsburgh areas for years.
“If these are migrating creatures, why can’t they migrate north? Has the drought in southern Pennsylvania sent them north? You can’t dismiss it out of hand.”
And neither can one easily dismiss a person who seems to be seeking answers — such as Jacobs, who told The Era Thursday he just wanted to know what was in the pictures.
“Most stories center around the individual ... self-aggrandizing — ‘there I was surrounded by these things’,” Corrales said, adding Jacobs doesn’t appear to be doing that at all.
“Bigfoot has become such a recognizable icon that it no longer matters if it is real,” he said, explaining the image of the creature has appeared in television, movies, advertising and on products. “The Army Corps of Engineers has even declared it a protected species in the Pacific Northwest. There’s a fine if you kill one.
“I have to give it the benefit of the doubt.”
What is it?
By MARCIE SCHELLHAMMER
It’s a fisher, a bear with mange, a bear that just took a swim, a dog bear; these are some of the suggestions that flooded into The Era on Friday to define what sort of creature was caught in a photo by a stationary tree camera in the Allegheny National Forest.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission also contacted The Era about the photos taken by Elk County man Rick Jacobs’ camera, which had been mounted in September to try to record photos of deer.
“I shared the photos with the bear biologist,” said Jerry Feaser of the Game Commission. “There is no question it is a bear with a severe case of mange.”
He explained the wildlife conservation officers routinely trap and mark bears, and see the condition often.
“When people see something that doesn’t appear normal, they are confused about what they see and mistake it for something else,” Feaser said.
He even went so far as to chastise The Era for reporting the story of a questionable photo which some said may be a juvenile Bigfoot.
“Somebody may mistakenly identify something and the news media helps spread the rumor causing more concern and panic than necessary,” he said.
Feaser explained mange is caused by mites that live in hair follicles or burrow into the skin. If the bear’s immune system is weakened, “these mites can proliferate and mange develops.”
It may appear as dry, scaly skin around the eyes, or swollen, hairless, thickened skin, he said.
Referring to the first of three photos that are posted together on the Web site for the Bigfoot Research Organization, which contains bear cubs, Feaser said, “It is pretty clear to us this is probably a group of bears, an adult with young.”
The third of the group of photos shows the creature with its head towards the ground.
“It could be contorted,” Feaser said. “One of the things bears do is they will rub their heads on the ground just like dogs do.”
He added that mange is not considered “prolific to the point of concern” at this point, but the Game Commission is studying it.
Meanwhile, Matt Moneymaker, head of the Bigfoot Research Organization, said he agrees with Feaser on one point.
“Of course we want to know if it’s a bear with mange,” he said. If it’s proven to be such, “OK, then, mystery solved. We were wrong.”
So, the organization is setting out to replicate Jacobs’ photos.
“The debate now is whether it’s a mangy bear or a primate. There are decent arguments on both sides.
“If it’s a known animal, we should be able to replicate it,” he said. In doing so, members of the organization are seeking to obtain photos of bears with mange posed the same as the creature in the photos.
“The tale is going to be told in the photos,” he said. “We will have some comparison photos of skinny, mangy bears from behind and chimps and apes from behind.
“I think it’s going to be striking how different they are,” Moneymaker said, referring to pictures of bears.
Referring to the “Jacobs creature,” he said, “that thing does not have a tail. It doesn’t have any ears. If it was a bear with mange, you’d see that tail a lot more.”
From all the comments received via e-mail, the calls to The Era and the talk in the public, it seems that just one thing is certain — whatever it is in the photos, it has made people curious.
Here I'm pointing to scratches made by a bear TEN FEET off the ground!
My final comments:
It's bad enough that yesterday the Bradford Era did an article about the reports of a "Big Foot" in this area, based on ridiculous photos that are flying around the internet. But today they added to it! TWO times over! Not one, but TWO articles in todays paper talking about the "possibility" of a "Big Foot" out there in the woods some where.
The photos that started it all was a photo of a bear with mange.
But now, thanks to the Era, people are thinking there is a Big Foot out there.
Already on several different hunting websites there are the usual gun nuts talking about shooting it.
What troubles me about such foolish and irresponsible reporting is that perhaps after reading several stories about Big Foot being out there in "our" woods ... is that some "gun nuts" or hunter types might believe it, and be out in the woods looking for something that walks on two legs and resembles a large man!
In the interest of being the first to shoot the first Big Foot in the world .... we may end up with trigger happy "not so bright gun owners" wanting to shoot to kill something resembling a human that "may be big foot".
I'm afraid there might be a rash or rush of gun wielding Big Foot seekers all wanting to be the first one to shoot a Big Foot for all the international fame it might bring. And they will all be looking for something that resembles the shape of a human!
IF some people are SO STUPID that they see a photo of a bear with mange and think it's a baby yeti or young Big Foot, don't it worry anybody besides me, that the ERA now sent all these "nuts" into the woods AROUND HERE with guns .... itching to be the first to shoot one?
Apparently since out on the west coast there are so many "nuts" who wanted to be the first to shoot one, the forest service or The Army Corps of Engineers has even declared it a protected species in the Pacific Northwest. And will issue a fine if you kill one.
Kind of sick passing a law to protect an imaginary "animal" or "beast", but that shows how much of a problem "yeti hunting" must be out there.
Let's all pray the Era didn't start something like that in our neck of the woods!
What were they thinking?
A BIG FOOT!
Oct 29th- Found on a popular site on the internet:|
For all of the night owls out there...the Kinzua bigfoot is going to be featured on countdown on MSNBC at midnight tonight.
why cant people just leave this alone. if it is a bigfoot whats going to happen to it now. theses pics on now on several websites and this morning they were even on the erie news. so now there will be all kinds of people out there searching for it and many will have guns so they can be the first to shoot him/her. better leave it alone for who knows what might happen to those who try to harm it.
Well shooting a Bear out of season is going to do nothing but get them in BIG trouble. I know of at least 2 people that have seen this skinny bear and I'm willing to bet that is what the pics are of, a sick bear. Time will tell. I actually hope I'm wrong and it is a Bigfoot and we can put this to rest along with the Coyote's that everyone said weren't here either until one was shot.
I was told there was something about our new fuzzy friend on the Erie news last night. Might have been the MSNBC though.
Thats just all we need around here though. A bunch of hap hap happy gun toting twiterheads running around in the woods looking for bigfoot here.
Hopefully people will use good judgement when checking things out.
An open mind, and common sense would be a good thing to take into the woods if you are looking for this animal.
I watched the msnbc report last nite and the anchor really made fun of it. I thought he was quite an ass about it.
The regular guy on WICU out of Erie was snickering too,
but that's just because its Halloween I'll bet. Alot of
people's first inclination is that its a hoax. You're right! If its a real critter I feel sorry for it ~~kind of like King Kong. If its a guy in a suit, well ~yikes!
Update Friday November 9th
Looks like the Bigfoot hysteria is dying down.
This "Bigfoot page" got over a thousand hits the first day I posted it and then tapered off to 700 hits a day for a while and now it's down to only 100 hits a day or so.
Hopefully I was able to convince a bunch of "Bigfoot Believers" that the now infamous "Jacobs photos" were nothing but a sick bear.
The only really strange thing about the whole deal was missing giant piles of "animal scat" we found on two hikes.
We did a hike in a very remote area where some strange things were reported. We found and photographed some giant piles of unidentified scat. Too big for a bear, deer, coyote or other "regular" animal you would expect. The piles looked to be Elephant or Rhino droppings.
We photographed them one Sunday, and I wrote about going back to recover one particular pile I thought or "know" was mountain lion. I had GPS numbers of the one pile. I expected to go during the week to recover this one pile to have DNA tested to prove it was mountain lion. I shouldn't have mentioned it on my website.
As it turned out I didn't get out during the week. I led a hike the following Sunday and to our amazement the pile in question was gone, AND all the other giant piles of the "elephant scat" were also all gone! What the heck? How did all these (several) giant piles of scat, stuff that should have been there a year later, disappear? Who, besides US would have taken many piles of animal scat?
I did report my findings to the ANF (Forestry wildlife biologists).
Some of my "less scientific" minded friends insist that the piles of scat were "proof there are Bigfeet out there" and "the government" confiscated all the piles!
UPDATE NOV 13TH 2007
Yesterday the Bradford Era, ran not one, but two more articles about the Kinzua Bigfoot!
I don't know how long they will have them up, but here they are:
No sign of Bigfoot on excursion into the woods and, Jacobs family discusses fame
Here are my comments:
Well, according to information provided in yesterdays Bradford Era, "Bigfoot creatures live in a colony and use the knocks for communication". Unfortunately this is an exact quote found on the front page of yesterdays paper!
Instead of pre-facing with the words "some freakin' nut job said", they instead report it like it's factual news that "Bigfoot creatures live in a colony and use the knocks for communication".
Great! Last week we had one Bigfoot to deal with, now we have colonies living out there knocking lathe turned kiln dried wooden billets of exact dimension's to communicate much like we might use cell phones. Their wood devices are, and I quote again: "two and a half three inches thick, eighteen inches long and really cured".
Not to shoot holes in this nut jobs theory, but where did the Bigfoot(s) get hard, dry wood cut to exact dimensions just walking through the woods?
I doubt you can pick up branches off the forest floor and knock them together to produce a sound.
Why is it every single Bigfoot or yeti out there ever spotted was a male? Nobody ever spotted a female Bigfoot or yeti .... strolling through the woods (can you guess where this is going? LOL!) with her giant, floppy, droopy, HAIRY, swinging in the breeze ..... Well, let's just say she would be bra-less! IF everything on the male yeti is proportionally larger than a man in comparison, so wouldn't a female yeti be proportionately larger also?
Her gigantic, obviously noticeable, hairy, "attributes" should be very apparent to an observer. But yet we only have eye witness reports of a male yeti or Bigfoot!
If they are out there living in colonies, why do we never see child or woman yetis?
The other question that arises about the log banging .... IF you go out and try to attract or communicate with a yeti by banging wooden sticks together, and wait for a response, how do you know the response is not another human trying, like you to call a yeti?
The yeti often throw rocks at the Bigfoot investigator teams. Around here in the woods, you would be hard pressed to find rocks! From years and year of trees shedding their leaves each year the forest floor for the most part is a very soft, humus, mulch like, soil nearly completely devoid of "rocks". One would have to be near a rock outcrop or stream bed to find rocks. IF our Bigfoot team is out in the woods, it's unlikely they will get rocks thrown at them, UNLESS it's by some other humans who carry rocks with them!
I didn't believe that ONE sick bear was a Bigfoot, now our local paper is telling us there are "colonies" of Bigfoot(s) out there! LOL! Where does it end?
UPDATE JAN 22 2008
Here is a photo of a "bigfoot" that appeared on the internet on Jan22 taken in the Sugar Run area. The poster named the photo "bigfoot", but it does appear to have a bear like head to me.
One I took in the Marilla area: