February 10, 2009

Breaking News!!!!!!!

For weeks we have been watching videos on YouTube, which are offering "skills and tatics" for hunting bigfoot to the researchers in the field.

We are all wondering who RyanTheHunter is, now find out for yourself in this 1 hour satirical look at the field of Bigfoot Research.

RyanTheHunter, the man behind those YouTube videos, will be on "The Grey Area" Wednesday February 18, at 8pm Central/9pm Eastern. This is an exclusive interview, you do not want to miss.

RyanTheHunter will be on the show, answering our questions, and yours. Has he seen a bigfoot? How did he develop these "highly skilled" techniques? Can RyanTheHunter figure out why Monica and myself have never seen a bigfoot? How did he discover "bigfoots rhythm?" Why is a Tomahawk so critical to a successful field expedition?

This is your chance to ask RyanTheHunter those questions burning deep inside your soul.

Our chatroom will be open a half hour early, so log in and get your questions ready. Tune in, and have some fun :)

The Grey Area

February 9, 2009

Speaking of Volcanic Ash.... Redoubt

This is a scary story for those living in Alaska. Redoubt, a Volcano in Alaska is about to explode.

Which is unfortunate and I am sure very scary for those who live in its shadow. It is strange how something so beautiful and unassuming, one minute, can be so violent and dangerous the next.

This is not the first time this Volcano has let loose its fury in recent years, and most likely will not be the last time.

Redoubt Reported Activity

For those who may read this blog and you are in this area, the USGS has a number of links for information on health and general preparedness. Please be prepared, and be safe.

USGS Ashfall Preparedness Website
Red Cross
Office of Emergency Management, Anchorage Alaska

Among Other valuable links for your safety.

The USGS does manage and maintain a webcam, which updates a picture of this volcano (I think it's every half hour). The images so far have been less than exciting, but that must be good news for those living near this volcano.

Let us all hope it stays that way.

February 6, 2009

Article 4 Casting: VolAsh/Pumice

As you seen in the articles posted thus far (in reference to my casting) I have yet to replicate "artifacts". As you will now see, that has changed.

Sometimes in life,

when your trying to solve a mystery, you can really think too hard. You can get bogged down in details and facts, that mean nothing to the work your doing. While I was concerned with the Pumice, I forgot how very important it is to not be distracted by "issues" that mean nothing to the overall end result.

Investigating what this VolAsh/Pumice really is, was very important to the work ahead of me. I needed to know just how fine this product would be. That question was answered by not only CR Minerals, but by myself as I touched and felt this specific product. Why is this important? It is my firm belief "artifacts" will only happen in substrates which are of a small grain size. Why is that? Well, if you have been following my work to date, you will know I was able to cast my own dermal ridges in the Onion Mountain Soil sent to me. I was not able to create "artifacts". It is my opinion, that is due to the grain size of the substrate being larger, and not as easily moved by the casting agent. But, I would not know for sure, until I was able to create artifacts.

I received my bag of Pumice,

and I immediately went to work. I was casting until the early morning hours, doing everything I could think of.. Water Temperature was 100 degrees, using my hand (with a latex glove) to mix the casting agent. I mixed the casting agent to the consistency of pancake batter, and pouring straight into control casts. 5 casts, and nothing.

I was (to say the least) frustrated.

Sometimes it's ok to take a break and just relax. I needed to do that. I was very angry and frustrated that I was not able to replicate "artifacts". This was supposed to be so easy. Why was this not happening? I took a few days to relax. Then I decided to go back to the beginning. I spoke with a few friends, and it was during one of these conversations I had an epiphany.

In my very first articles, do you remember what I was told by the gentleman with How air bubbles can have such a horrible effect on casting?

I then decided to go back and read everything, and I mean everything. When all the sudden, I had a realization that (in all honesty) was so obvious, it actually made my head hurt. I could not wait to get home after work and pour my next cast.

As you can see in this photo, I have been able to create artifacts.

Now, I will tell you how I did it.

Water Temperature: 100 degrees
Casting Agent: 1 1/4th cup
Water 2 cups
Wood Spoon used for mixing

As I went back and re-read all those old posts, one item kept popping out at me, "Chopsticks". I never really gave it any thought. I just figured chopsticks was that persons preferred method of stirring the casting agent. As it turns out, the chopsticks are key to creating artifacts.

Why is that?

I'm glad you asked. Think about cooking. When you use a wire whisk, you are incorporating air into whatever you are mixing. Take Whipping Cream for example. Without the introduction of air, you would not have that fluffy light consistency that is desired. This is due to the introduction of air during mixing.

Air, by the way, is one of the worst things you can introduce into your casting agent during mixing. When I mixed the first batch of casting agent, I used the spoon portion of a wooden spoon (I had no chopsticks on hand) and I mixed it fast. The amount of air I had introduced could be visualized by looking at the top of the casting agent in the bucket - they were visible as hundreds of little dark spots on the top. I noticed this, because I had not seen the top of the casting agent look like this.

But now here is the interesting part.

Water Temperature: Room Temperature 75 degrees
Casting Agent: 1 Cup
Water: 2 cups
Wooden spoon handle used for mixing

As you can see in this photo, using the Manufacturers specs for the amount of casting agent, and water just as I had done roughly 70 times prior, had created "artifacts".

The difference this time?

I used the handle of a wooden spoon. Using the handle of the same wooden spoon was narrow enough in width to introduce enough air to create "artifacts". I was able to create "artifacts" also while pouring straight into the track, or multiple pours.

Changing the direction of the pour (after initial contact with the substrate) did create more pronounced "artifacts", which I find interesting.

I did go back and try this on some of the remaining soil I have from Onion Mountain. Using this method I was unable to produce "artifacts". Why? It is my contention the soil grain size in this area is too large to be affected by the air bubbles in the casting agent. Grain size of the substrate is very important. It is also my contention the mineral type has nothing to do with the production of "artifacts". If the mineral in question is of a small enough grain size and dry, it may in fact produce "artifacts". I have no reason to doubt the information given to me by the same person with, that the mineral type has no effect on the casting agent.

It has been said,

due to the large amount of forest cover (leaves, pine needles etc) in the Onion Mountain Soil that was sent to myself and another researcher, "artifacts" are not possible. I would respond by saying, I am pretty sure there has always been pine trees, leaves and other forest cover in this area, it is a forest.. I would imagine if I could jump in a time machine and go back to the day the Onion Mountain Cast was collected, and took a sample of the soil then, it would have the same type of forest cover "contamination" contained in the soil.

So, the information I received from the nice man with was correct. Air is not your friend. You should not mix your casting agent with anything smaller in width, than your hand. He recommends your hand with a latex glove, or a paddle (you remember the paddle ball game, just remove the ball it will work fine).

We must avoid the introduction of air in the mixing of the casting agent.

Tapping the sides of your bucket will also help release the trapped air in your mixed casting agent (but not all, so be careful during the mixing process). Remember to add the casting agent to the water, slowly sprinkle it in. Doing this allows the water to "take in" the casting agent thereby releasing trapped air within the casting agent. Do not begin mixing until all of the casting agent has been added to the water. You will actually see the trapped air come to the top of your bucket as an air bubble.

Chopsticks or wooden spoons used to mix casting material, do not rock.

There are some in this field of research who have a habit of doubting what is said to them by people who have advanced knowledge in various areas, germain to our research. In this specific situation, had I payed more attention to the expert with, this may not have gone on so long. Instead I allowed myself to be bogged down in arguments over water temperature and pancake batter. I should not have doubted this man from's 25 years of experience with this product he has such an incredible knowledge of. We really should listen to those who have expertise in areas, especially when that expertise or knowledge can help us.

It should also be noted. No one (to date) has been able to reproduce "artifacts" in a wet substrate (mud). So far it would appear the substrate must be dry in order to produce "artifacts"

Heeding these warnings is so very important, and can help you feel more confident in the outcome of your field casts. In the end, isn't that what matters?

February 4, 2009

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".
Tonight, on "The Grey Area"

Jordan Warner is a young man who lives in Buffalo New York and has produced several Bigfoot and Cryptozoology documentaries, some of which are on the internet. He has produced a short Sasquatch documentary called Bigfoot: America's King Kong and another called Sasquatch Hunter. Currently he has a Cryptozoology series out called "Cryptid Hunt", available on youtube. The current episodes include America's Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch Encounter, Giant Squid Caught, Mothman, Bigfoot, Beast of Gevaudan, Swamp Creature, Russian Snowman, and Phantom Black Panthers. Jordan says “I am doing this series because I want to show viewers what’s going on in the world today. I really want to show younger viewers the subject of Bigfoot and Cryptozoology research. I also am passionate to find answers to these mysteries. So I am doing my best to find these hidden animals.”

Don't miss it. The show will start at its usual time of 8 central/9 Eastern. Chat opens a half hour before the start of the show.