Sunday, August 26, 2018

Althea (Caution! Information in this post has been refuted by a more recent post. See above!)

     As bigfoot photos go, ya gotta admit, this one's pretty good.  Far better than average. It also has what I consider to be a pretty good pedigree. Some folks , like my friends Suzanne Ferencak in Ohio and Barbara Bangs in Palo Alto, feel that it looks to be a female, perhaps even a pregnant one.  Consequently, Suzanne and I dubbed the subject of this photo "Althea" since we are both Grateful Dead fans, and "Althea" is a well-known Dead tune.
     My familiarity with this photo began with an appearance at a bigfoot conference hosted by my friend Patrick in Kingston, Washington, way up on the Kitsap Peninsula, which adjoins the Olympic Peninsula, in the far northwest corner of that state. Kingston is a pretty small town just north of the larger town of Poulsbo, which is north of the still larger Navy town of Bremerton, WA.  In any event, I was asked to speak at this conference in mid-August, and while I was manning my table in the corner and peddling my array of paranormal literature (The Locals, Shady Neighbors, and Edges of Science), I was approached by a congenial fellow named Dave.  As bigfoot devotees are inclined to do, Dave E. pulls out his smart phone and asks if I want to see a bigfoot picture.  (As if he had to ask.)

      Then Dave presents me with this photo:
The original photo, completely unmodifed.
     "Wow, Dave, that's pretty decent, especially compared to the usual 'blobsquatch' photos."
     Dave went on to explain that the photo was obtained by his friend who lives near Poulsbo, WA.  This friend was setting game cameras (also known as trail cams or wildlife cameras) on his property in hopes of locating deer hang outs.  The guy has absolutely no interest in bigfoot, Dave hastened to add.  He was just looking for deer to hunt. But, much to this fellow's surprise, one morning, he found this photo on his trail cam and shared it with Dave, whom he knew to be a 'bigfoot believer'.  Dave, in turn, shared it with me at the conference.  Dave also offered that, by way of scale, the grass in front of the subject was measured by his buddy to be four feet high, making the subject behind the grass roughly seven feet in height, maybe more.
     I explained to Dave that even though the photo was pretty respectable, any putative bigfoot photo is invariably assumed to be a fake, especially since most people still assume that the whole bigfoot phenomenon is fake in the first place.  Therefore, the best move that one could make, so as to dismantle the allegations of fakery, is to share the photo freely and generously, with no attempt to monetize or copyright it.  Any bid for fame or fortune by the owner of the photo would bolster the suspicion that the photo was faked for a presumed profit motive.
     "No problem," Dave agreed. "The guy who got the photo isn't even a follower of the bigfoot subject. Heck, he doesn't believe in bigfoot, and he doesn't want fame. "He doesn't even want his name associated with the photo," Dave explained. "He's just a deer hunter and a friend."
     "That's perfect,": I said. "Can I share it around?"
     "Sure," Dave agreed. "I hope it helps."
     So there it is, folks. A photo of what appears to be a bigfoot, although neither the owner of the photo, or his friend Dave, are totally convinced that it is a sasquatch in the photo.  All that they feel is that it is a photo of what appears to be a bigfoot, and they would both be interested in knowing if there was a consensus, one way or the other, among the bigfoot researcher community, as to what exactly that is in the photo. Experienced camera trap users may wonder why there is no time stamp on the photo.  I must confess that I did not notice that missing item at the time I was given the photo. I guess it isn't super important but it does suggest that, if it was a conventional game cam that was used, it was an older model. I will offer that I have hundreds of game cam photos that have no time stamp on them.  Newer units display time and manufacturer info on every photo, but older models did not do that.
     As an aside, it is my considered opinion that bigfoots are smarter than most people give them credit for being, that they definitely understand what cameras are all about, and they absolutely hate having their picture taken.  It may even be a sort of rule in sasquatch culture that getting your picture taken is a bit of a screw up, maybe even a big screw up. While I actually endorse this highly controversial view, it cannot be denied that screw-ups do happen and sasquatches sometimes do get photographed, even if they are trying to remain in the shadows.  It that is true, then this photo seems to be one of those happy bits of luck, this time for to a guy who happens to live in a perfect location (rural Washington) state and who diligently worked his camera traps.  Clearly then  the old saying rings true: "Luck is really just meeting opportunity with preparation."  Perhaps the fact that Dave's friend was not a sasquatch enthusiast improved his chances of 'getting lucky.'
    Anyway, I know better than to jump in with both feet and declare it to be the undeniably real deal. Faking and misinterpretation both occur.  Time will tell, but, dang, that image looks really good to me.  Further, I'm saying that the potential validity of the photo is bolstered by the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of this photo, not to mention the open and unselfish sharing that has been demonstrated along the chain of custody of this photo. I would be very interested in the opinion of others, even in disagreement.  To me, the overall circumstances support the view that this photo is an image of a sasquatch that was caught off-guard by a totally honest and unsuspecting rural resident and hunter.  And with such open sharing being demonstrated by Dave E. and his nameless friend, I feel it is my duty to similarly share it around free of any charge and free of copyright restriction, just like the Grateful Dead have done with all of their music, including the song, Althea.
     And call me paranormal, "woo", or even crazy, but I also feel that this is the way the sasquatch would want it. The profit motive is the absolute bane of our human existence and, along with overpopulation, the root cause of all environmental destruction. And while the profit motive is probably here to stay, at least for the time being, that doesn't mean we all have to live by it all the time.
     So there you have it, friends.  A pretty decent photograph of a probable sasquatch that I am cautiously calling legitimate.  And, just like your Grateful Dead music, copy it as often as you like and share it where ever you like, but not for money or profit, please. And when you're copying it, please consider including the message that I have captioned to the photo below, because I'm told it is a message that the sasquatch are eager to deliver to humanity.  Even if I'm wrong about that, it's still good advice.




     "I told Althea I'm a roving son, and I was born to be a bachelor.
      Althea told me, okay that's fine, so now I'm trying to catch her.
      Can't talk to you about talking to me, we're guilty of the same old thing,
      Been talking a lot about less and less, and forgetting the love we bring."
                                                                       -from Althea, by the Grateful Dead


  1. I hate to say it, but the high forehead and receding "hairline" look on the head really reminds me of a type of Bigfoot costume I see used in commercial and fake youtube vids a lot. Look up "Adult Bigfoot Costume" at the Party City website to see what I'm talking about, not sure I can leave a link here. Thanks for putting this up though!

  2. I'll try to leave the link here:

    What do you think?

  3. Thanks for tha, Digby. I did check it out. The high forehead is a bit similar. The eyes on the costume are very pronounced, and not at all like the ones I’m seeing in the photo. The body is completely different. A whole bunch of padding would have had to be added. The image, in my view is MUCH bulkier. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just that there are marked discrepancies. I guess I would invite others to weigh in on the comparison. I have an open mind and no particular investment in the truth or falsehood of the photo. Thank you for your awareness, critical thinking, and above all your politeness.

    1. No problem Thom, just my initial thoughts. I like seeing all the photos out there, even the iffy ones. Keep up the good work!

    2. Ya, they’re all iffy, when you get right down to it. Which is why photos will never prove anything. Bones, on the other hand...and I have a few ideas on how we might obtain them. See the previous blog post about the giant skeletons. Keep you eyes on Jim Vieira and Hugh Newman. they’re doing some great work.

    3. Oh cool thank you for the tip! I've not heard of those guys, good to know who to keep an eye out for in the future.

  4. Hey! That was 'my' idea! :) "Diggin' up bones."