Sunday, 1 March 2015

Finding Bigfoot goes to Loch Ness

The popular "squatching" series, "Finding Bigfoot", headed to the shores of Britain on a recent airing on Animal Planet. I, for one, was curious to know how they got on with the hairless cryptid that inhabits Loch Ness as well as their take on cryptid humanoids in Britain.

The first stop was London and that meant things like Buckingham Palace and, in the case of leader Matt Moneymaker, managing to bump into another car on London's busy streets. Well, perhaps he just mounted a pavement. Like some Nessie or Bigfoot sightings, the details were a bit vague.

Meeting primatologist, Dr. Anna Nekaris, at the appropriately named "Green Man" pub, she discussed the most likely habitats for large primates and the forms of ancient man that once inhabited these isles (namely, Homo Erectus and Neanderthalensis).

One such prime spot appeared to be Harwood Forest in the north of England where our team met Neil Young and an alleged photograph of a hairy hominid he took some years back. It is definitely a blobsquatch and not a lot could be deduced from it. Certainly, it made some Nessie photos as clear as day by comparison. It became evident that Bigfoot hunters have the same issues with getting close to their quarry as we do at Loch Ness.

Nevertheless, the staple night hunt ensued as the team acquired cricket bats instead of baseball bats to do their wood knocking and the thermal cameras scanned the opaque woodlands. Nothing was seen and it was onto their "Town Hall" meeting where they heard some people recount their "squatchy" experiences.

I noted a familiar name in the crowd and that was Adam Bird who, back in 2011, sent me some pics he had grabbed from the Nessie Webcam, you can detour to that article here. Also at that meeting, was a Hamish MacDonald  who invited the team to come further north and investigate the Grey Man of Ben MacDhui and therein lay an excuse to take a detour to Loch Ness.

Matt Moneymaker and Ranae Holland accompanied Adam and his father Paul to Sherwood Forest where they had an experience of knocking and thumping noises in an area alleged to have hosted Bigfoot type sightings. It seems Adam has had a subsequent Bigfoot experience where a footprint and figure were photographed.

Prior to this, the team had visited a 900 year old church with some greenman or wildman carvings inside. Are these carvings a latent memory of ancient encounters between Homo Sapiens and some of his more distant relations? 

Meanwhile, James "Bobo" Fay and Cliff Barackman had arrived in the Cairngorms to check out the Grey Man who reputedly haunts the mountain, Ben MacDhui. Now that may be a better word than "inhabits" since that particular phenomenon seems to have a more ethereal quality to it. Nevertheless, our duo met with the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team and their tale of two men they had rescued from a shredded tent with the connotation that something had attacked it (though some have questioned this story).

Now, to my surprise, I noticed a William Cameron amongst the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team. Actually he is a marketing man for the Loch Ness area based at the Clansman Hotel by Loch Ness. Methinks he was a plant to draw our dynamic Bigfoot duo closer to Loch Ness. Indeed, it clicked that the aforementioned Hamish MacDonald who mysteriously appeared in England was likely another link in the chain.

What Willie Cameron thought of  the Finding Bigfoot editorial team subtitling some of his Scottish accent, I may never know.  It's not surprising, though, when I was in California some years back, I had a hard time making myself understood to a fast food waitress. My wife eventually had to translate for me.

So, finally, Bobo and Cliff got to Loch Ness and a familiar face was there to greet them - Adrian Shine. They went out on his Deepscan boat and discussed the Loch Ness Monster in the middle of the loch. Cliff thought there was something to the mystery but Bobo was non-committal. Adrian took them through a brief, potted history and the things that can fool observers of the loch such as standing waves, etc.

Though Adrian thought anything unusual he had seen had a natural explanation, there were still some sonar readings that had no ready explanation. Cliff drew the parallel that a proportion of Bigfoot sightings were also explicable in their own way (but clearly this had not affected his belief in the creatures).

Now, I was hoping that the team would go out on the loch and do a Bigfoot-type search with those FLIR thermal cameras that I so covet. But, alas, I was to be disappointed as the hunt for Nessie amounted to no more that Bobo improvising one of his Sasquatch hollers with a kind of heavy breathing outburst!

In fact, Cliff and Bobo did do a night search at Loch Ness with Hamish, but it was up in the hills of nearby Abriachan. The first mistake they made was presuming there was a hairy hominid to look for in that part of the world, I am aware of no such stories from that area south west of Inverness. The second mistake was putting on kilts and going into a forest full of midges. Epic mistake, but we live and learn.

But I was indeed curious to see how their thermal cameras would have performed on the surface of Loch Ness. In fact, I am interested in acquiring such a device for my own research at the loch. The gadget I had in mind can't be that different from the Bigfoot team and is the Flir TS24 Pro (below).

It runs at 240x180 resolution with a 19mm or 65mm lens and can record up to 16Gb on an SD card (after all, I'll need to prove what I saw). It's a mere snip at around £3,500 and if anyone wants to lend me one or even buy one for me, just drop me an email!

The whole team finished with a night search amongst the old caledonian pine forests along the Moray Firth coast a few miles north east of Loch Ness. Deemed the most "squatchy" territory by our team, the most they got out of the hunt was a sound that may well have been an owl.

Finishing off their special trip to the United Kingdom, it was felt that there may have once been a hominid in Britain which inspired the old folk tales of wild men and green men, but even Bobo concluded that there may have been nothing in Britain for maybe centuries.

I, myself, am neutral on whether such bipedal creatures have appeared recently in Britain. I shall leave those arguments to such people as Adam Bird. For me, it's back to the Loch Ness Monster - with the odd glance at the next episode of Finding Bigfoot.

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  1. Who says Bigfoot can't be found at Loch Ness, see here:

    I don't blame the waitress GB, I had a hard time understanding you, in your interview with Tim Binnall on “Binnall of America” :-)

    1. I'll put that down to a cold. :)

    2. Och, Roland, that's a sin. Ah'm hoora sairy n' scunnurt. Ah promise ye, nae aab-dy in California is a pure dead fud what dinnae kin Scots!


      Storm in California

    3. John,theres simething wrong with your ears.i had no problem understanding Roland,and neither did binnall.
      From california

    4. Okay, maybe it's just me...or the waitress, but he does have a rather pronounced and thick Scottish accent, more than other Scots I've heard. Some words were difficult to decipher, maybe Binnall had a translator in the studio Lol :-)

  2. Geordie Sceptic1 March 2015 at 20:39

    Seems that Bobo and friends enjoyed a jolly :-)

    This article has an uncanny timing for me. Just last week I was at Bolam Lake wondering why on earth people have reported seeing a Bigfoot just a few miles north of Newcastle!

  3. The legends of the Grey Man of Ben Macdui and the Loch Ness Monster ain't all that dissimilar.

    Although Brocken Spectres likely account for many Grey Man reports, people have also surmised the phenomenon may be a psychological one triggered by a 'sense of place' on the exposed and remote summit. I believe some commentators have said the same of LNM sightings.

  4. Geordie sceptic at Bolam Lake afer a sighting of Bigfoot ? The plot thickens, or was there another perfectly normal reason for your visit?

    1. Geordie Sceptic2 March 2015 at 10:09

      Yes there was, "Peter". It was for personal reasons I won't go into here. If you think I went there to track Bigfoot, well I first heard of that nonsense at least 10 years ago, and I made my first trip there last week.

      Equally, any trip to California I make will not be to see Sasquatch, any trip to NYS will not be for Champ, and any trip to Ireland will not be for leprechauns.

    2. Geordie,you dont happen to own a gorilla suit or bearskin jacket perhaps?

  5. So there are sightings of Bigfoot at Bolam Lake then suddenly Geordie Sceptic arrives on the scene? The plot is thickening fast.

  6. That FLIR looks a tempting toy, but I have my doubts. If Nessie is cold-blooded, or even very well insulated, she won't show up well. An ordinary night vision scope might be better, and much cheaper.

  7. GB... "Flir TS24 Pro".... A nice toy for the £ but not to military specifications. In fact, one cannot purchase 'the real thing' from a UK home address. I might be collecting one (military standard) from my visit to Canada 2015

    1. Anonymous, are you getting it to help in the search for Bigfoot?

    2. No. Loch Ness 2015 and for future ufo sky watch monitoring which is not the remit of this site, so no more about that.

    3. The Dragon and the Disc :-)

    4. Good one! Anonymous # 2 or #3 or whichever. Yeah, it sounds silly, but there have actually been theories by some who have made a UFO/Nessie connection and even UFO/Bigfoot affiliation, i.e. Nessie and Bigfoot as alien pets dumped here on Earth. Sounds too wacky to even consider seriously! Ted Holiday wasn't the only one with weird ideas.

  8. Must say it surprises me that someone with so much spare cash for travel and cameras believes in lake monsters and little green men from outer space.