Monday, February 26, 2018

Finding Bigfoot Feet-On Futon or "The Shroud of Noti"






Noti, Oregon track print.  Photo courtesy of Chris Minniear.
    When you're Cliff Barackman, you don't have to go looking for bigfoot. Bigfoot will find you...or at least bigfoot footprints will find you.  Which is precisely what happened the other day when Cliff received a message from an alert rural Oregon resident who found a couple of very unique footprints while making an unscheduled pit stop on State Hwy. 36 about eight miles out of Noti (pronounced "no tie") in Oregon's Coast Range Mountains.
     As she headed into the bushes, this woman noticed an abandoned futon-style mattress that some "low life" had dumped by the side of the road, rather than pay the money to dispose of it properly at a  dump. To her surprise, this alert woman observed two very large, nearly perfect, muddy footprints that were impressed upon the dirty beige linen fabric that covered the abandoned futon.


The futon beside Oregon Highway 36. Photo by Thom Powell
     In this day of cable TV bigfoot shows, this unknown woman of Noti, Oregon  had learned that there are people, some who are quite local,  who really care about such peculiar occurrences as curiously large bare footprints.  After a little on-line searching this woman, whose name I do not have permission to use (yet) located the contact information of my favorite Bigfoot TV show host, Cliff Barackman.
     Curiously, all of this took place on February 16th, just two days after the sixth anniversary of the London trackway discovery.  The London trackway was a track find of well over a hundred track in a lake near London, Oregon on February 14, 2012. Oddly, this new track find near Noti was only forty miles distant from London and it occurred at the very same time of year. One wonders whether the big feet-on the futon might be a match for the London tracks, in which case we may be dealing with a sasquatch with exhibitionist tendencies.  If so, I think we finaaly have a cryptid who would be a good fit for regular TV appearances.
Big feet on futon.  Step: 48", Foot 13".  Photo by Chris Minniear
     Mind you not everyone considers the London trackway to be authentic.  Even Cliff, who collected seventy tracks from that site, doubts their authenticity.  I, on the other hand, am stalwart in my view that they are the real deal. My reasons are articulated on a another blog post that can be found in the archive of this blog (see: London Trackway, 2010 post). In any event, this possible connection to the London trackway is but one of a few weird coincidences that surrounds this new recent track-find near Noti.
    The local weather in the Coast Range was particularly foul all week, so Cliff correctly supposed that he needed to move fast. He knew he needed to preserve the evidence, however good or bad, before it was lost to the relentless rain and snow. So, Cliff, being the consummate field man, wisely called for back up help.  He contacted veteran local researcher and all-around great guy Chris Minniear and asked him to check this situation out, post haste.  Chris and his brother dropped everything and took off driving. Directions in hand, they travelled the local by-ways, trying to resolve the contradictions in the directions. They never did.
Futon with prints removed.  photo by T. Powell


     Coincidentally, Chris had noticed in his daily travels that some low-life had dumped  an old mattress (a futon, really) at a wide spot on the road along Long Tom Creek only a few miles east his home along State Hwy. 36.
    "How pathetic!" Chriss remember's thinking.  He certainly didn't make the connection immediately, but after a round of clarifications between Cliff and the original witness, Chris was amazed to find the site of the reported foot prints was indeed the very same place where the futon-style mattress lay abandoned, just down the road from his home.  Amazing!
     No time for wonderment, though.  There was work to do. Chris got busy and took photographs, then step-length measurements, then foot measurements, then a thorough search of the area. Then, like the good, science-based field man that he is, Chris cut the two foot prints out of the fabric that covered the mattress.  He took them home to dry.
      Nothing special caught his eye as Chris searched the immediate vicinity; just the familiar array human roadside detritus: beer cans, slurpee cups, empty whippet (nitrous oxide) canisters, and a whole bunch of other trash strewn along the highway and the banks of the Long Tom River and the adjacent highway.
    With the evidence safely secured in Chris Minnear's competent care, Cliff was able to wait until the weekend to make the 100 mile journey from Portland to Noti. That Sunday, three of us headed south and got with Chris Minniear and his wife Susan.
Motoring south to the scene.  (Photo by Melissa Barackman)
In a downpour, we again surveyed the scene and found absolutely nothing of additional interest.  But, the time spent scouting around in the rainstorm underscored the value of having Chris collect the evidence in a timely manner.  Had Chris not moved when he did, the prints would have been seriously degraded if not completely obliterated by the week-long deluge.
     As it was, Chris handed us, wrapped in paper, a couple of true  foot prints. Indeed, these impressions in linen fabric were prints, not casts. Unlike every other track find I have ever been involved in, there were not foot impressions that were cast in plaster. The were prints on a fabric canvas of sorts, and the artistic medium of choice was mud, not ink, oil, or acrylic paint. Amazingly, we were also being handed prints of both feet.  That almost never happens.   
     The coarse weave of the linen fabric covering the filthy futon seems to have precluded any hope of capturing fine-scale dermal ridge detail.  Still, foot size (13') and a step length  (48") were perfectly preserved. As can be seen from the photos, Cliff measured the foot size as 13.75" for the right foot and 13" for the left foot impression. Some may contend that these are within human range, although on the very high end of the human range. More telling, perhaps, is the surprising width of the feet ( 6" at the ball of the foot).  Even more interesting is the splay of the toes: this is indicative of a pair of feet that have never worn shoes. Note the particularly wide splay of the smallest (5th) toe on each foot.  By comparison, when shoes are worn, the little toe becomes permanently adducted (that is pushed in and folded) against and sometimes under the fourth toe. All the other toes get similarly scrunched together (adducted) by the confining nature of shoes. Conversely, feet that have never been bound by shoes have toes that are abducted (spread out) as is clearly seen in the two prints that Chis Minniear collect on Cliff's behalf.


      The clarity of the prints and the foot anatomy on display says to me that these prints are the real deal, and a prints impressed onto a relatively clean piece of white cloth.  Truly a remarkable, one-of-a-kind find which only happened as a result of a  coordinated effort by experienced local researchers Cliff and Chris.  Team work at it's finest.
     On a different note, am I the only one who finds myself wondering whether this was a totally random event? Or, might it be that these prints have something to do with the fact that Chris and his lovely wife Susan live only a couple miles down the road?  Might the discussion by Toby Johnson of the anniversary of the London trackway be somehow related?  It has been said that there are no such things as coincidences. Or, it is also said that,"coincidences are God's way of remaining anonymous."  Here I go again, showing my paranormal tendencies.  In any case, the real credit should go to the swift and effective action by not only Cliff and Chris, but also the original witness, whom I would love to name but whom I do not yet have permission to name. 
      I have a feeling we have not heard the end of this story, but it sure was a worthwhile way to spend a really rainy winter day in Oregon.  Most of the way home, as we motored north on I-5, we made up titles for the chapter I might someday write about this episode.  "Finding Bigfoot's big foot-on futon",  "Big Foot-on futon," and several other combinations of those syllables had us laughing.  Readers are invited to submit other combinations.  One of mine was 'The shroud of Noti'.  Is that too obscure and too religious of a reference?. I have a lot of religion in my background.  Are folks still generally aware of 'The Shroud of Turin.' Is it blasphemous to apply that religious reference to a bigfoot situation?  If so, I apologize.
      As we motored north in the waning daylight, windshield wipers slapping the rain aside, I reached into the back of the jeep and pulled out the two pieces of cloth with their breath-taking impressions upon them, so dutifully cut and dried by Chris Minniear. As I cradled them delicately in my lap, trying not to touch them with my bare hands, I was momentarily awe-struck. The only think I could think of was that this must be what it felt like to hold in one's hands an item of huge significance like the Shroud of Turin: that being cloth that presumably wrapped Jesus' body after crucifixion.
   Cliff Barackman and Chris Minniear were kind enough to share with me the photographs seen here of the Shroud of Noti.
Enjoy.

Foot print with Bic lighter for scale (3 1/8").  This photo was taken by the reporting witness and forwarded to Cliff.

19 comments:

  1. Superb review Thom. Just watched Cliff in action in Nebraska and plan to obtain more of his prints/casts in time. Looking forward to reading more of your work. Thnx for the overview. Steered here by the Nebraska page. Dan Nedrelo

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  2. This was left on purpose, either for humans to find or for other Sasquatch. Possibly a “I went this way” sign for other members of its clan.

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  3. Would not a muddy foot which sinks down into a soft medium like a futon mattress leave an impression which appears larger in all dimensions in comparison to a print on a harder surface? And I would expect to see indications of great weight. Did anyone think to look under the mattress for heavy impressions in the ground?

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    Replies
    1. It's evident that you've never slept on a futon. :)

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  4. Shroud of Sasquatch Too weird of coincidence , Thom its a cosmic conspiracy !!! Maybe were on to a new research technique laying down mattress in the woods and maybe they'll get curious and jump on it, maybe get some DNA too :) M Leone

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  5. oh my god you posted again I'm shook

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  6. Someday someone, lord or chambermaid, will put to bed the issue of the nightwalkers and fastwalkers in this house of many mansions rather than simply throwing a cover over it. Until then, we’re all sleepwalkers unfortunately.

    PTD

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  7. Matt Moneymaker says this is not real. What do you say to him?

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  8. I live in the area Bigfoot is very common and known in the area ... we don't bother him he doesn't bother us.

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  9. Now that we know Bigfoots have a weakness for futons people will have an "excuse" to leave them all over the place. What will they leave us in return?

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  11. Better spray coat it with a fixer, to keep the dirt from falling off.

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