Article 3 Casting: VolAsh/Pumice
Before I continue on to the next article, I wanted to take a moment and have everyone catch their breath and relax. I want everyone to understand my purpose for these tests.
While it has been said I have neglected to follow the work of another to the letter. I feel it necessary to address the fact that my casting work was never intended to be direct commentary to any work being performed by another. The series of articles I have been working on for the last couple years, was not intended to be in direct competition or even a comparison to work done by anyone else. I have, however, felt pushed in that direction, as such I did complete some testing in reference to the work of another.
Yes, I have used the "Onion Mountain Cast" as a reference. I use the "Onion Mountain Cast" because it is the best reference I (or anyone has) for either potential dermal ridge evidence preserved in an alleged bigfoot track, or potential evidence of "artifacts".
My very first cast was an attempt to prove to myself that casting dermal ridges could be done. I did not think it would even be possible. Human dermal ridges are so fine, I did not think it was possible for something as fine as dermal ridges, to hold up and maintain their form under the weight of something like Plaster of Paris. I was actually shocked when I in fact did cast my own dermal ridges. I was wrong, it is possible. I still do not understand why the casting agent did not destroy the dermal ridge pattern in the track of my foot, but maybe down the road I can figure that out.
It should be noted,
the information I was given (to try and follow through with a request) was very limited. The information was not exact in any way. I'm not sure how anyone can try and replicate something of this nature without exact information. I did try (using the limited information I was given) and thus far failed. I expected at some point to have results (in the form of artifacts) but again, I failed. As you will see in the next articles, that has changed.
I did remain true to the work I originally set out to do,
only because my work has nothing to do with whether "artifacts" can happen. I keep saying this, but for some reason (unknown to me) this same criticism keeps coming up. So, I will respond to that criticism.
What is my work about? Why do I continue to experiment with casting?
My casting work is a deliberate attempt to find the causes of artifacts, and share those results with others in this field of research. I am also trying to discover how we as researchers can have some level of confidence, that these artifacts will not be an issue, for researchers. These things can only be discovered, if we delve deeper into the issue, and do the work ourselves.
I suppose I could complete the work,
and not say a word. Then I would be no better than those who have information that might help other researchers, who never discuss it, or share that information.
I have said from day one,
yes artifacts are possible. So, having said that, I have no need or desire to prove they are possible, or validate the work of those before me. Why? Because given enough ingenuity and a good amount of imagination, anyone can make anything happen. I have never had any doubt artifacts are indeed possible. What I find more amazing is that others found that piece of information surprising. Anyone can create anything. But, the question in my mind is "how do we keep this from happening". The question of "can artifacts happen" has been asked, and answered. There is no need to continue that line of questioning. It's over... We have not however answered a very important question "How do we stop artifacts from happening".
Once we as researchers discover the question of "how" artifacts happen,
we can then work to discover "how" to keep it from happening. Once we answer those questions, and have those solutions, the issue of "artifacts" in your casting work can be minimized, because you will have the information to keep artifacts from happening.
Another important factor to consider is this. If something was created via man made manipulation, there is usually a way to detect manipulation. That is another question that I have, and would like to find the answer to.
Those of us who call ourselves "Bigfoot Researchers",
can not depend or rely on skeptics or anyone else for answers to these types of questions, nor should we. Those of us who identify ourselves as "Bigfoot Researchers" should be willing to look at these issues, and find answers on our own.
Just because something "can" happen,
does not mean it "must" or "will" happen, as long as we are willing and able to arm ourselves with information. Casting tracks should not be thrown out as a tool in the collection of evidence for this animal, but we do need to be aware of the fact that artifacts are an issue.
Is my work "Scientific"?
I don't know. I am, however, recording as much information as possible. In my various tests I have recorded everything from water temperature, to humidity levels. I have heated water to 120 degrees and chilled soil to 30 degrees. I (like President Obama) have made my apartment so hot, I could grow Orchids. I am not a scientist, nor have I ever claimed to be. I am however doing everything possible to record the work I am doing, and bringing it to other researchers.
I will make mention of the fact that none of the criticism leveled against my work has been on the "Scientific" level. The criticism has come in the form of personal attacks, and taking the words I have typed out of context. That's fine, just because someone types comments on the internet, that does not make the words true.
Why would that happen?
The answer to that is simple: To get the researchers to simply not care, or pay attention to the idea that your casting may not be worthless. As long as you (the field researcher) continue to think casting is of no use, you will not even consider field casting.
It has worked.
I have been told by a few researchers to simply stop this work They feel there is no reason to learn or even collect tracks found in the woods by casting, now that artifacts are an issue. If I had any information that even implied casting is of no use, I certainly would not waist any more time on this issue.
My answer to that is simple.
Instead of not casting, why don't we (as a community) do whatever we can to find out how artifacts happen, and what it takes to be certain they won't happen when you pour a cast in the field? There are more in this community that want this necessary information, than don't..
Lets not "throw out the baby with the bathwater". There is no need.
We should always be willing to investigate,
and try to obtain answers for ourselves. That is what I am attempting to do. I will not be swayed by personal attacks or off topic criticism. This is too important to those who spend countless hours in the field, looking for and trying to document the animal we call "Bigfoot".