Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rest in Peace Edgar Mitchell, Paranormal Hero

Edgar Mitchell 1930-2016
     This week marks the passing of a pioneer of the paranormal, astronaut Edgar Mitchell.  Unlike most astronauts who retreat into obscurity, Edgar Mitchell never stopped pushing the boundaries of science and human understanding during his later years.   In 1971, Mitchell became the sixth man to walk on the moon.  Six others followed him before the Apollo missions ended, making Mitchell one of twelve human to set foot on an extraterrestrial world.  
     By his own description, Mitchell had a profoundly life-changing experience on his way back from the moon. “What I experienced during that three-day trip home was nothing short of an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness. I actually felt what has been described as an ecstasy of unity,” he said.  Mitchell kept his head down for a while, but eventually he went public with the assertion that the United States government has a great deal of information on extraterrestrials that they were not sharing.  He was very vocal about the need for greater disclosure, but his interest in the paranormal did not stop with his pleas for greater government disclosure.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Barackman Footage:

Did 'Finding Bigfoot' Succeed Without Realizing it?

Blobsquatch (top center) photo-bombs Cliff's scene
 in last Sunday's Finding Bigfoot episode.

     When you life is an X-files episode, the synchronicities just keep on happening. Here is yet another one:
     On Sunday night, I had a cameo appearance in an episode of Animal Planet's 'Finding Bigfoot.'  On Monday morning, I sat down at my cluttered desk at Robert Gray Middle School and opened an e-mail from a person named Connie:
I can't believe I am doing this, but I didn't know who else to contact.
On Finding bigfoot, the episode you were in, there's a point in which I think they filmed bigfoot.
Its just after Bobo speaks to Renae and it goes into Cliff solo investigation. Cliff is walking through the meadow and to his right is a line of trees, if you follow a line straight up from Cliff toward the top of the screen you can see it. Its a dark bipedal figure beside a tree.   
You know Cliff and I thought you might get a straight answer.  Until this episode I hadn't heard of your books, but I plan on reading them soon.
     I happened to to be conversing with Cliff by way of a group-text-thingy that included Guy Edwards, Mike Leone, and Kirk Sigurdsen. I told Cliff about the message from Connie and he replied to the effect that he gets about one of those blobsquqatch-in-the-camera-field-of-view messages every week.  Still, Mike Leone offered to try and isolate the shape when he viewed the episode which he had saved on his DVR.
      When he got home, Mike had absolutely no problem finding the blobsquatch using Connie's excellent directions. Mike was immediately impressed with Connie's sharp eye. He isolated the clip and sent us all a copy. Here it is:
                            (Pause  at the 4 second mark and go straight up from Cliff's head.)
                                           ****Apparently removed by the proprietor****

     Now, anybody who has been at this bigfoot game for more than a week knows about 'blobsquatches'; those indistinct forms that people are always finding in outdoor videos.  Sasquatch enthusiasts have their own form of pareidolia in which they interpret every stump and shadow as a sasquatch in hiding. Still, after after viewing the clip that Mike Leone isolated, even the appropriately skeptical Cliff agreed that it was certainly a bipedal form that briefly manifests itself on camera. Oddly, it did not get spotted by video editors, and despite the many hours of other footage that could have been used, the blobsquatch shot made the final cut!   Cliff was not certain, but speculated that it may be a crew member who accidentally ended up in the shot, which was taken from a helicopter, by the way. 
     OK, I've seen enough episodes of 'Finding Bigfoot' that I know what has to be done here.   
     They have to launch an investigation of what I'm calling 'The Barackman Footage." Of course, it starts with a Town Hall Meeting.  In this case, the meeting will be attended by all the cast and crew members who were on the scene.  They are going to watch the clip and figure out which yobo accidentally put themself in the shot. I'd be willing to bet nobody admits to it.  Hell, I worked with the Finding Bigfoot crew.  They were very professional and very aware of their surroundings at all times.  Everybody knew their job and did it well.  Would one of the crew or cast have stumbled into the shot and the video-editors missed it when they edited the shots? Cliff thinks it's possible, so this will have to be thoroughly investigated.  They'll have to go back to the exact spot and take measurements of the tree that the bipedal form is standing against. They will have to find the master copy of the video and enlarge and analyze the image as much as possible. At least this once, they won't have to negotiate a price on the raw video.  They already own it.
     I showed some students in my classroom the image and they speculated that the shape of the legs suggested a pair of baggy shorts. On the other hand, they puzzled over the broad frame of the torso and the lack of color and contrast in the putative clothing. The 'Finding Bigfoot' team needs to investigate this thoroughly.  After all, their reputation is riding on this.  If they can rule out humans, then Finding Bigfoot did what they set out to do at the shows inception: find bigfoot!  Oddly enough, if it is a bigfoot, it might be more accurately stated that 'bigfoot found them.' 
     The irony of that thought is certainly not lost on me, for one of the 'crazy Thom' statements I made on camera in that very episode was that, "I don't look for bigfoot. I let bigfoot find me."  Is it possible that such event actually occurred on the same episode in which I made that statement?  That seems too incredible to be true. Bear in mind though, that every time I'm involved in the show, weird things happen.  A couple years ago they filmed a bunch of shots in the woods at my house, then the tape containing all the shots they worked so hard to accumulate mysteriously disappeared! It was never found. They hade to reshoot the entire day's work. Bizzarre.
     Do I think the blobsquatch in Cliif's scene is the real deal? Not really. But I still say it needs to be investigated further, becauseethat is what the show is about: verification.  One of the many ironies of this event is the idea that they now have to investigate some footage from their very own show.  Another irony is the thought that bigfoot may have found them and shown itself just as they were looking in another direction, exactly as I suggested on camera. Another key idea that many contemporary researchers embrace, is the idea that the sasquatch can be in your immediate, but you cannot see them. The camera, however, faithfully records their presence,  As my buddy Ron Lewis would say, "The camera doesn't have a mind to trick." It's a 'woo-woo' thought, I know, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
     If the 'Barackman footage' does pass muster, that would be at least one 'Crazy Thom' idea that was not so crazy after all. Better yet, Cliff would have the Christmas card photo he alwasy wanted: he and a bigfoot in the same shot.
     I'm not living under any illusions. it probably won't rise to the level of authenticity but let's investigate this video anomoly and see where it goes. If it does hold water, it won't be the first time someone got photo-bombed by a bigfoot. And of course, there's the ultimate irony: Bigfoot found (and photo-bombed) the high-profile team that set out to find the bigfoot!

(It was a blast being involved in the taping of an episode. Thanks to the producers, but especially Cliff, for getting me involved. It was a pleasure to work with such a professional outfit. Now that you may have found Bigfoot, what are you going to do next?)