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How To Do Field Research


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#1 jayjeti

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 12:07 AM

I'm creating this topic for those who desire to engage in Sasquatch field research and have questions on how to proceed.  Although I've conducted research I'm one such novice squatcher myself who needs insight on how to proceed.  In early June I'm going back to an area where we previously encountered them in SW Oregon.

 

We have discussed trying to sneak in quietly, if that is possible, not announcing ourselves with tree knocks or howls.  My feeling is if we announce ourselves there is little chance of actually seeing or video taping one.  I would be interested in any thoughts on this.

 

How should we approach creating a feeding station? 



#2 SRA-Todd

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 04:14 PM

I'm of the opinion that squatches figure out pretty quickly when knocks and whoops are from humans.  I don't know if it's how we do it or the tone or pitch, but it seems that once they figure out they aren't talking to one of their own, they move on.  

 

We've basically abandoned that approach and simply come into an area as campers, making lots of camping noises, laughing, playing music, just normal activities and see if they come and check us out.  That doesn't mean a stealth approach wouldn't work for your area, so give it a shot.  

 

Unfortunately, there isn't a "correct" answer when it comes to techniques or else everyone would be doing it with success.  

 

I think they are curious and like to observe what we do.  Getting a good look at one is what we are all trying to accomplish, so good luck and let us know if something works for you.  My two thermal visuals have been sitting around the camp fire as they came in to check us out.  Have fun. 


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#3 SRA Kris

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:19 PM

I agree with Todd...There is no "correct" way to do techniques.  If there was, we would have safari-like tours (<plays the perfect whoop> anounces, and on the left you'll see a male Sasquatch banging on a tree)

 

There is however some discussion centered around how to record the research you have been doing.  There is where all 'correctness' starts to enter the question.  It is my opinion that regardless of what techniques your going to do, the MOST important part will be how diligent you are about the documenting the results your getting. an example might look like this:

 

Thursday, May 15th

 

Entered a trail head in a woods located at X,Y gps coordinates

I was wearing these clothes (take a picture of yourself if you can)

These are my research companions (give at lease a first name & description - a picture would be best)

 

We entered the area at 10:10am

we were talking and walking as a casual pace.

found a great tree located at X,Y gps coordinates

we knocked 3 times at 10:23am

we waited 5 minutes for a response - none came

proceeded walking until we took a lunch break at X,Y gps coordinates

heard a howl approximately 500 yards North and west of our lunch location away at 12:23pm

heard a response at 12:23 (perhaps 10 seconds later) much farther away 800 yds South and West of our lunch location

 

The more details you can capture the better.


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#4 jayjeti

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:27 AM

I was wondering what those who do field research thought about infrared LED illuminators?  Since animals with night vision can see in both the UV and IR spectrums, which humans cannot see, "IF" Sasquatches do have the ability to see into those light spectrums, are using cameras with infrared LED Illuminators like shinning flashlights into the woods if Sasquatches can see that light spectrum?  From a human standpoint we lack the brain receptors to discern IR light, and when we shine LED illuminatiors with night vision devices we are shinning a light that is invisible to us.

 

The "finding Bigfoot" crew always uses them.  Les Stroud used one to illuminate the woods around him when he was camped out and hearing noises in "Survivorman Bigfoot."  To underscore how ridiculous that might be, what if a species tried to hunt us using a light they could not see but we could; would we laugh at their ignorance?  So, I'm wondering if many people do Sasquatch field research and think since they can't see the infrared LED light they shine into the woods that nothing else can see it illuminating the woods either?

 

Has anyone noticed if they shy away from infrared LED light like they can see it or if LED illuminators tend to not be very successful  or at least not as successful as other modes of night vision?

 

Is it better to use night vision that lacks LED illuminators or use thermal imaging which they would be less likely to detect?



#5 SRA Andy

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 02:36 PM

I was wondering what those who do field research thought about infrared LED illuminators?  Since animals with night vision can see in both the UV and IR spectrums, which humans cannot see, "IF" Sasquatches do have the ability to see into those light spectrums, are using cameras with infrared LED Illuminators like shinning flashlights into the woods if Sasquatches can see that light spectrum?  From a human standpoint we lack the brain receptors to discern IR light, and when we shine LED illuminatiors with night vision devices we are shinning a light that is invisible to us.

 

The "finding Bigfoot" crew always uses them.  Les Stroud used one to illuminate the woods around him when he was camped out and hearing noises in "Survivorman Bigfoot."  To underscore how ridiculous that might be, what if a species tried to hunt us using a light they could not see but we could; would we laugh at their ignorance?  So, I'm wondering if many people do Sasquatch field research and think since they can't see the infrared LED light they shine into the woods that nothing else can see it illuminating the woods either?

 

Has anyone noticed if they shy away from infrared LED light like they can see it or if LED illuminators tend to not be very successful  or at least not as successful as other modes of night vision?

 

Is it better to use night vision that lacks LED illuminators or use thermal imaging which they would be less likely to detect?

 

Actually, I believe you are mistaken.  Nocturnal animals can see in UV, but not IR.  At night there is almost no IR light for anything to see by, being the first color of the spectrum to go away as the sun sets.  Nocturnal creatures tend to see best in greens, blues, purples, and UV light.  Very few mammals can even see orange or red, much less IR.  The higher up the NM scale you go, the less likely that a nocturnal creature can see it.  That is actually one of the reasons we do use IR and need IR illuminators at night.  IR tends not to disturb nocturnal animals, but there is so little around at night that we need illuminators to add more to the environment.

 

Some of the only mammals that can see Red are the primates, and Squatches do not seem to be the exception to this rule.  They obviously pick out red things.  So the question is more whether squatches can see further into the IR spectrum that we can.  IR 840 still appears as a dim red glow to us when concentrated, I presume they see it similarly to us.  IR 920 and higher is dead black and our eyes cannot perceive it at all.  Being nocturnal, there would be no advantage to Squatches seeing in IR, so I am skeptical of claims that they can.

 

In my research on this, squatches tend to duck out of sight and stay hidden when you point things at them, especially things that look like they might be flashlights or guns.  If the IR is camoflauged to look like something other than a light or gun (i.e., helmet mounted for instance), they do not duck and cover unless it looks like you are looking at them and seeing them (i.e., pointing).  They do duck and cover when you point Thermal devices at them too, especially handheld ones that look gun/flashlight like, and those have no IR.

 

Some people think that they avoid trail cameras based on the IR emitted, but we believe that that is simply not the case.  We've proven that almost all trail cameras make a ton of noise, just above the levels of human hearing. We think they hear the cameras.  Deer do too and you can often get pictures of deer with their ears perked up orienting on the cameras as they blast away with noises.  Unlike deer, squatches tend to avoid what things we add to their environment, especially when it has a nice round eye in the middle of it and is literally screaming at them.

 

So, no, I do not think squatches see IR any better than we do, but they do see us clearly and are VERY afraid of our guns and flashlights.  Any use of IR equipment must take that into account.

 

Andy


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#6 SRA Andy

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 02:44 PM

As to your last question as to whether IR or thermal is better, I have to go with thermal.  Thermal negates the sasquatches hiding abilities.  Even in pitch dark, squatches still conceal themselves.  An IR viewer and illuminator just lets you see in the dark, it does nothing to defeat the squatches innate camouflage and hiding abilities.  If it is still and quiet, it will still just appear to be a dark bush, no matter how good your IR is.  But a Thermal on the other hand sees the heat differences, and it can be masked by brush between you and the squatch, but if any part of the squatch is visible, it will be glowing like a light bulb.  THAT is the advantage of the thermal.  

 

That said, sloppy thermal use will also cause them to hide and recede, presumably if they think you are pointing something at them that hurts them like a gun or possible light, thus helmet mounted thermals and ones that look like binoculars are better than ones that are hand held that you point at them like a gun.


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#7 jayjeti

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 05:28 PM

Thanks for the correction.  Before posting I read an article theorizing that deer avoid power lines because they omit a UV radiation but Sasquatches tend to follow power lines somehow attracted to the UV radiation.  I have no idea if whoever wrote that knew what they were talking about.  But the article said that animals with night vision can see into both the UV and IR spectrum.  I then started thinking about all the IR illuminators people use and how that would effect Bigfoot and so I wrote a post asking about that, but I should have verified the statement that animals with night vision can see IR.  It seems someone was talking out their rear and I followed suit. 



#8 SRA Andy

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:47 AM

I really wasn't trying to shut you down, I hope it didn't come off that way. I'm not saying that I couldn't be wrong, but I spent a quite a bit of time studying this about 5 years ago as I worked to develop a better IR system for the BFRO.  The UV thing makes a lot of sense, as there is a lot of UV at night to see by.  There are animals that see well into the IR spectrum, though not usually any mammals, mostly fish.  The problem that you get on the internet, especially in Bigfooting circles, is that people will take a truth like "some animals can see IR" and make a jump to "Bigfoots can see in IR!" without looking at the phylogeny behind it.  There really are no higher order mammals that can see very far into the IR spectrum, and the more nocturnal the animal is the LESS likely it is that they will be able to see IR because their eyes will need more rods to see in the low light so color vision is reduced and it is the color vision cones that see the red wavelengths.  Rods, which are inverted in nocturnal animals and are 10 times more sensitive to light than cones or non-inverted rods (what we have), tend to function best at the blue and green light wavelengths, which of course makes sense because that is what most of the light at night is.

 

So can squatches see IR?  That is hard to answer.  If their eyes work similarly to other nocturnal animals, then likely no.  But we also don't know of any higher order primates that have nocturnal vision either, so...who knows.  Higher order primates do have Red vision and if the cone cells in a squatches eyes that detect Red are enhanced by some unknown mechanism (like the inversion of the rods in Nocturnal animals), then Yes it would be possible that their eyes would be more sensitive to all forms of red light and they might see it.  There are a few problems with this though, primarily being that we have no other known animals with such a trait tends to lead us away from speculating a new trait for squatches.

 

However, we do know that they have excellent night AND day vision.  I don't think we can rule out that they may have far superior vision to other mammals, IR included.  Until we have a captive/dead squatch to study, we really won't know any more than our observations can/have shown us.

 

So from a research aspect, what do we do.  Here are my thoughts:

 

1. Avoid active IR if possible.

2. If using active IR, use the highest wavelength possible, preferably higher than 900nm.  Definitely avoid anything under 840nm.

3. Camoflage your emitters and devices so they do not look like flashlights or guns.


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#9 jayjeti

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:32 PM

No, you didn't come off as putting me down.  I appreciate the correction.  That's why I pose these questions.  It's like on the infrasound thread I wondered if ear plugs would help and you said no since infrasound goes into your body and effects you that way.  I like learning these things.  

 

I just commented that before I origially posed questions about Sasquatch seeing the IR illuminators that people use I should have confirmed what someone wrote about animals with night vision seeing into both the UV and IR spectrum.  It goes to show how people can write anything in an article and post it to the internet.  I've since read some and most purely nocturnal animals lack cones for color, and most animals don't see the rich spectrum of colors that higher primates do with the exception of fish, most reptiles, and birds.  Most animals only have two sets of cones for color, unlike humans that have three and can see a fuller spectrum, and if a hunter wears bright orange in the woods a deer cannot distinguish that color from green.

 

Since animals with good night vision have more rods than cones, I'll guess that Sasquatches might do the same.  Here's an interesting article about primate development of Trichromatic color vision (three cones).  It comments, "“Today there is no mammal we know of that has trichromatic vision that lives during night.”  I wonder if Sasquatches could be the exception, although they are really diurnal but seem to be more active at night.  

 

http://www.nytimes.c...night.html?_r=0



#10 SRA Andy

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:12 AM

Excellent article find! Thanks.  That is really cool.  Like I said, we do know that squatches see red; they seem to gravitate toward it much like we do.  Their eyesight, to me, is one of the most fascinating mysteries surrounding these creatures.


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#11 TruthHunter

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:00 AM

Zoos use red light with their nocturnal animals. Its night time for them.

IR led's have essentially no emissions in the visual spectrum. If they

react to your tech, it's for other reasons.

 

I think Jay was hoping for specific tips for his area. The Full moon is June 2,

so you will be there duringa waning moon. 2-9 will have a fair amount of

moonlight late at night.

 

What other constraints? Are you with other researchers? Family that's not

quite as interested?  

Suggestions:

Pre-survey with google earth

 What's the geology? Caves  or grottos? Ponds, streams and swamps?

How much human activity? What patterns?

Game habitat? Hunter info about the area? Any clues from the reports?

June is too early for berries, except possibly wild strawberries, what food

are they likely to be seeking?

 

When you get there, survey likely habitat. Look for stick markers, broken, bent trees. If you do

find sign, back off. You might just get them to shift out of the area.

Do things to attract like cook/bake in the middle of the night.

 

Gifting or bait is problematic. In a short term situation, there is the trust issue. If they

come around, hanging some of our food where they can reach it close to camp may work.

FP kids may dig the handouts, but the adults likely would be

more comfortable with trades.  You may have to be a good salesman; create demand. Give 

them something they didn't know the wanted!   B)

 

I would try gifting. PBJ sandwiches are well liked. Try to let them know you eat them too.

If you get responses, stay in the area, if not keep surveying.

 

There is a report of a guy who drove slowly through a wild area in the Carolinas every night at

about 2 am. He got their attention after awhile, eventually, giving them food. The regularity,

slowness of travel, and turning lights off when stopped brought success. He found another population that

was "unfriendly", ie, didn't want to interact with him.

 

Success comes from breaking out of normal human activity. They know how we behave and mostly 

avoid us. If we come into an area and don't quite behave like other hunter/hiker/campers/birders,

they will wonder what we are up to. 

 

If one took a 4 wheeler, put a much better muffler on it and drove very slowly in the middle of the 

night using night vision(you'd have to drive very slow!), I bet you would quickly get attention,

if they are in the area.(this would only work if there are roads/trails without car traffic and off road

vehicles are allowed)

There is a toy night vision product that is simply a tiny tv with a camera set to night mode for 

$85 bucks, it  works very well. Its chief disadvantage is narrow field of vision.On ebay, there

is a surveillancecamera for about $20 bucks. Its good in the dark to about 30 feet and has

an 80 degree field. It works off 12 V. I would hook it up to a small TV. Turn down the brightness

or filter it, so that it doesn't interfere with night adaptation. Voila, a surprisingly effective night vision

system suitable for trails and even ground.

Be sure to take pictures of yourself, your friends/family and pets if you think they see you.

 

I agree that whoops and knocks can be counterproductive.  Trying to trick them damages what

we need the most; trust. Patience is better. If they are in the area, staying up and listening is better.

 If we do use such, we should do it in a way that lets them know its us. It might work to use some

similar signal with each other, so they knew we communicating with each other using a similar

method.

 

Cooking late at night to provide tantalizing smells, may work, especially if you camp

downwind from where they may be. Follow their schedule. Survey etc early, then sleep during

the day, early evening. Get up and sit around the camp without light through the night.

 

Likely

they hunt about dark. In early summer they may be eating more new vegetation, so behaving

differently.

After they are fed, they interact with each other, check us out, etc

 

When I was younger, I used to walk without

a light at night quite a bit(not in habitat). With a little care, it was doable on trails.

(I didn't do this in treacherous

areas). If you can see at all in the dark, walk around leave the lights off, slow down and listen.  

 

Most researchers lack patience. Jane Goodall took at least 9 months before she could

do more than catch glimpses of the chimps. If you aren't retired or have a research

grant that's impossible.  In a week or two, if you come away with more than zero, your doing

great.

 

 

I'm thinking, since they like to spy on us, help them. Set up a large screen tv hooked to a camera

pointed to our camp. Help them get the connection. Put the tv near cover where they can see

the camp(or house) without being seen. Use

a similar angle, only much closer. In areas close to human habitation, they likely have some understanding of tv.

 Turn the brightness way down so the tv doesn't illuminate the area much. I bet they would love it.

 

Chimps in captivity love TV, why not wild Squatches? How much do they watch tv through

our windows at night?  

 

To me, the most difficult thing is to give them a reason to relate to us. We are at best from a "hostile"

tribe. Humans are mostly enemies. If we break that pattern, there is still a lot of trust to develop.

We need to pay careful attention to anything that teaches us about their social rules. Are

we often very rude to them?

 

Several years ago, a group of researchers found what appeared to be a nest with a baby.

They weren't equipped to take a pic of the baby in the dark, so its inconclusive. That night

they were attacked. A stick was  rammed throught the side of a storage trailer.  The FP

mommy showed remarkable restraint.

 

I've thought about gifting  them with knives. What kind of knife do you give to a Person who has

hands twice as big and is 10 X as strong?  I used to make knives when I was a kid, maybe

a handcrafted one... 


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#12 SRA Andy

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 09:13 AM

You are spot on TruthHunter.  Building a rapport with them has been our mission for several years now (ever since the debacle with the FB episode I unfortunately participated in).  We have a couple groups of squatches, one in particular, that are beginning to warm up to us.  We visit them once or twice a year.  We announce our presence in a specific way so they know we are not trying to sneak up on them, but also so they know it is us (I blow a Conch horn).  We do activities to draw their attention and curiosity.  They really seem to like music, especially native flute. When we leave, we thank them for their hospitality and leave them food (usually apples).  Each year they have been coming closer and closer to us, trusting us a bit more.  I hope someday they will accept us and show themselves openly.

 

Speaking of that, we need to try to get out there this spring as we missed going last Fall.


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