This year marked the 48th anniversary of the historic Patterson/Gimlin Bigfoot Film. The film was shot in an area known as Bluff Creek, which has become a destination for bigfoot researchers over the years, including Cliff Barackman of Finding Bigfoot fame. But Cliff is the real deal. Long before Finding Bigfoot ever aired, Cliff was already on the hunt for this mysterious creature. Cliff has made numerous trips to the Bluff Creek area over the years, including just this past week. Here's his notes from this year's journey to the historic film site.
My first visit to Bluff Creek was in 1994. A good friend and I went on a naive and fruitless quest to visit the Patterson/Gimlin Filmsite. Having no idea whatsoever as to where to find the site, I chose a location just upstream from a tributary of Bluff Creek called Bigfoot Creek. I reasoned that perhaps the creek got its name from the famous 1967 footage. I was wrong, but that first excursion to Bluff Creek made me fall in love with the area, both for its historical significance as well as its natural beauty. (I found out many years later that supposedly Bigfoot Creek was named thusly because that’s where bigfoots would go to fish steelhead.)
I have gone back to Bluff Creek almost every year since that first expedition, and have learned a lot about the area and its historical locations over time. I finally located the Patterson/Gimlin Filmsite in about 1997. The pond on Onion Mountain where Bob Titmus cast his famous hand cast was located in the early 2000’s. The location of the 1958 Jerry Crew casts that gave American English the word “bigfoot” was found and visited in 2013. There are many secrets still untold in the Bluff Creek drainage, so I will continue to return there for probably the rest of my life.
Over the years, my trips to Bluff Creek were usually in July or August since I was an elementary school teacher and had summers off. This year, I elected to visit in October, which has a historically high frequency of events associated with it. The PG Film, Jerry Crew cast, and several other footprint casts were all taken in October. Bob Titmus used to spend a month or more at a time at Bluff Creek in October every year. If it’s good enough for Titmus, it’s more than good enough for me.
Since bigfooting does not guarantee bigfoot results, it’s always best to go for reasons other than those that are bigfoot-related. To those ends, I arranged to meet friends for this trip. Tom Yamarone, James “Bobo” Fay, and Terry Smith would be my camping companions on this expedition. With these gentlemen, I was sure to enjoy my time in the woods.
I arrived first at Aikens Creek Campground, our rendezvous spot, in mid-afternoon. In less than an hour, my companions started to arrive. By four o’clock, all members of our party had arrived. We were leery about camping in Louse Camp because we were so close to October 20th, the 48th anniversary of the Patterson/Gimlin Film, and we didn’t really want to run in to other bigfooters. We were all looking forward to spending a couple nights with bigfooting buddies in a spot that was and still is special to us all. This trip was for old times’ sake just as much as it was for research.
We gambled on Louse Camp, and were overjoyed when we found it vacant upon arrival. No activities were on the agenda for Friday, so we mostly just made camp and hanged out. Later in the evening, two other bigfooters showed up and stayed on the fringes of the camp. They were young men in their early 20’s wanting to visit the PG Film site. They turned out to be cool and non-invasive, so we hung out with them periodically until they left on Sunday morning. Personally, I saw a lot of myself in them. After all, I started visiting Bluff Creek in my early 20’s in search of the PG Film site. You gotta start somewhere.
Saturday morning brought rain, but luckily we were expecting it. After a breakfast, Tom, Terry, and I went uphill to the east. Bobo elected to hang out and nap in camp since he was feeling slightly under the weather. To help with Bobo’s rest, I took Monkey (Bobo’s dog) along with me. Xochitl (my dog) was with me, so she would have another dog to hang with and do dog stuff..
My group’s destination was Laird Meadow, about halfway up the mountain to the east of camp. Back in October of 1963, Roger Patterson cast two footprints on the road in this area. There were plenty of reasons to make this our destination, plus the spot was just a short drive away.
On the way to Laird Meadow was another destination I wanted to visit. Tucked away along an old forgotten road near Laird Meadow is a small pond hidden by a thick covering of brush. I believe it was here that in 1982 that Bob Titmus cast a handprint of a sasquatch he was tracking. The creature entered the water and scraped its hand across the pond’s muddy bottom and left a long streaky impression. Titmus drained this pond with the help of others and cast the hand print. The original cast, a rare treasure indeed, is on display in the Willow Creek/China Flat Museum.
Read the rest of Cliff's notes on his expedition by clicking here.