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April 22, 2006

WHAT A WEEK !!

Well, new information popped up this week on the Sonoma Footage. For those of you who are not familiar with this video of an alleged Sasquatch in California - here is a link to the video to start out.

Mark Nelson's Sonoma Footage

Scroll down the page to the link that says VIDEO.. There are stills on this angel fire site as well.

Now, this "Mark Nelson" claimed to have filmed a Bigfoot while he and his girlfriend were taking a casual stroll out in the California Country Side one afternoon. Now, he sees this alleged Bigfoot - and grabs his camcorder - and gets the find of a lifetime on film. He then sets up this website - posts the footage and I think - then contacts various Bigfoot Research Groups. An Investigator out of California agreed to try and make contact with this "Mark Nelson".. Mr. Nelson was contacted - but was very evasive and would not agree to meet with the investigator. You can read much more about this investigation - look for the username "MasterBlaster" who is John Freitas, on this website: Bigfoot Forums

In the end John Freitas declared the footage and the story a hoax, and life went on as normal in the Bigfoot Community -- although -- the BFRO soon picked up this footage and published it and a full story on their website. To be correct in this I will say - the BFRO (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization) became involved before Mr. Freitas had ended his investigation into the situation. The BFRO even went so far as to posting a statement about contacting Mr. Nelson through their website, although the BFRO already knew this was being investigated by someone - they jumped feet first right in the middle of things - and refused to listen to what Mr. Freitas had uncovered.

This in fact is the Statement put out by the BFRO on their website regarding the Sonoma Video;
_________________________________

The Sonoma Footage - 11/14/05

This amateur footage is blurry, shakey, and frustratingly short, but it's recent and it's better than the Manitoba footage.


It was obtained by a hiker on November 14, 2005, off Rock Pile Road in Sonoma County -- Northern California.


The BFRO will be managing the use of this footage, at the request of Mark Nelson.


For inquiries about the licensing of this footage,

please email Mark_Nelson@BFRO.net

or leave a message at 949-278-6403


There is no practical, objective way to determine with absolute certainty that this figure is a sasquatch. The same applies to any footage, but the public should still be able to see the footage when there's reason to believe it is authentic.


Various people in the BFRO have seen sasquatches in the field and know what they look like. This looks like a real sasquatch.


We've seen plenty of hoaxed footage over the years -- footage of people in costumes (here's a recent example of hoaxed footage).


We don't think the figure in the Sonoma footage is a man in a costume. We would not be able to duplicate the anatomy of this figure, and we doubt anyone else can either.


The average person will look at this footage and dismiss it as a man in a dark costume who is pumping his arms in an exaggerated manner.


We see a skeletal anatomy that is not consistent with a human. For various reasons, the Sonoma figure would have to be a fairly simple costume. Yet a simple costume doesn't change the limb ratios of a human, only its surface appearance.


The young cameraman, Mark Nelson, was not looking for a bigfoot when this incident happened. He wasn't even interested in the subject before it happened, but he thought the thing he videotaped might be a bigfoot, so he let his girlfriend make a web page for the clip on Angelfire.com. He posted his phone number and email address on that web page also. Consequently, he received many phone calls. A few of those people were very pushy and tried to interrogate him, as if he had done something wrong. He didn't deserve that kind of treatment.


Nelson's story is consistent if you account for a few minor mistakes about the location description.


The location is on private land, in Sonoma County. Nelson got confused about the road name, stating that it off was Skaggs Springs Road. Driving the route he refers to in his description, the road begins as Skaggs Springs Road and then becomes Rock Pile Road. It's very easy to think, if you're not paying attention, that you are still on Skaggs Springs Road after it becomes Rock Pile Road.


Nelson also said he was fifteen minutes from the "recreation center" when it was actually a "visitor center". These are mistakes that someone might characterize as "evidence of deception," but they are simple mistakes that anyone might make who is casually driving through the area.


"We were driving west on [Rock Pile] Road. We were about fifteen minutes from the [Sonoma Lake visitors center] looking for a place to pull off the road and go hiking. We found a big pullout and stopped there. There was a cattle fence along one side of the pullout. There was a deer trail on the other side of the fence heading away from the road. We were hiking along that deer trail when we saw it."


Mark first noticed this figure as it was moving away from him. He had his small camcorder with him in his daypack. He pulled it out and ran toward the fleeing figure and continued videotaping.


At the beginning of the clip Mark is looking around trying to figure out where it went, when he saw it down below him on the hill. In the footage the figure moves to the left at first, then squats down trying to hide in the grass. It gets up and moves to the right, toward thicker brush and trees. Mark tries to zoom in but looses focus just before the figure is out of view.


An important lesson in this clip, and the Manitoba clip : Don't try to zoom in if you've got something like this in frame. Instead concentrate on aiming the camera and holding it steady if you've already got it in focus. It's easy to lose sight of a moving object when you zoom in, and you will lose focus for a few seconds at least.


Also, if you get footage of a bigfoot, we recommend you do not post your phone number on a public web site, unless you want pushy jerks to call you and interrogate you and threaten you. Instead you should report the incident to the BFRO, and provide your contact info only to us. We will protect your contact info and treat you respectfully.


The entire clip will be posted eventually. The clip available at present cuts off right as Mark zooms in and looses focus. There's only a few seconds more, but you don't see the figure any longer. The camera swings down to the ground right after the last frame in the present clip.


We've asked Mark Nelson to provide the full sequence. It will be posted when received, but we expect it won't show much more than what you see in the current clip.



Well, guess what... This week Showtime announced their new season for a show called "Bullshit" starring Penn and Teller, you can view the promo Here. Guess what will be airing on that program - The "Sonoma Footage". Penn and Teller are taking full responsibility for this video and even state as much in their promo for the show "We wanted to see how far a free website and a video would take us" or words very close to that. Well - they got the attention and publicity necessary to complete their hoax compliments of the BFRO.

But - will the only people who take a hit in this be the BFRO? I don't think so. I am sure the BFRO will take the largest hit - but other serious researchers will suffer, as we always do and move on.

Question - is it easier to create a hoax than it is to actually do the work involved in helping to solve a mystery such as this? I have a message for Penn and Teller - yes, we already knew it is possible to fake Bigfoot footage - Just ask John Freitas aka "MasterBlaster", as he didn't fall for yours. People outside this research seem to think, Bigfoot Researchers just believe whatever comes along - we do not. But, we do investigate sightings seriously.. Its not for us to decide based on a phone call or an email whether a claim is legitimate, you must speak to the person first and evaluate the area in question. We know its possible - as many videos have been exposed by the Bigfoot Community themselves as a hoax.. No one is harder on the Bigfoot Community than the researchers themselves.

What have Penn and Teller proven? Well, nothing in my opinion. We already know some research organizations are anxious and want to be the first involved in something ( bill gates would be proud of this thinking). We already know its possible to create a fake video - we have seen many blobsquatches and fuzzy pieces of footage before --

So, what have they proven?

I guess we will just have to tune in to find out. I have always liked Penn and Teller, and this will not change my opinion. I just hope they can be fair to the investigators that didn't fall for their little game. :)

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