A brief history of Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy, the guys who shot at Bigfoot

"Members of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC), the quest is for the truth"

Remember Operation Endurance? It was started by the TBRC, or Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy. They were the group who allegedly spotted a Bigfoot on Charles Branson's property and started chasing after it with a shotgun. You can read about the July 2011 event by clicking here.

Russell A. Graves has an article written in Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine about the TBRC. In it, he writes about how the group was founded and tells us a bit about their history.
TBRC (originally formed in 2001 as the Texas Bigfoot Research Center) is a federally recognized nonprofit group made up of volunteer investigators, naturalists and scientists from all over Texas and Oklahoma. The TBRC mission is, in part, to conduct research and investigate the existence of primate species in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

Here's the article below from www.tpwmagazine.com:
Texas Bigfoot hunters are on a mission to catch a glimpse of the legendary beast.
By Russell A. Graves

I can remember it as if it were yesterday, though I was only a boy. Eyes glued to the screen, hardly breathing, pulse pounding, I watched for a glimpse of a beast in those woods that looked so much like my own. No doubt about it, The Legend of Boggy Creek made an indelible mark on me.

The campy, early 1970s documentary-style film was set in the backwoods and bottomlands of Fouke, Ark. As the crow flies, Fouke was only about 130 miles from my home, and we shared the same Red River watershed. At the ripe old age of 8, I thought it seemed quite plausible that Bigfoot lived in Fannin County, maybe in the hardwoods I explored with my friends.

My dad would take us down to the creek bottoms in the dark of night and thrill us with wild tales of the Bois d’Arc Creek monster. His spotlight would catch a pair of glowing eyes in the woods, and he’d delight in telling us that those eerie orbs probably belonged to none other than Bigfoot.

Legend, myth, hoax or reality — call it what you will, but the story of Bigfoot has mystified us for generations.

In the northwestern United States, where the legend came of age, indigenous populations are peppered with legendary stories of Bigfoot. Each culture developed its own nuances about the traits of the mysterious creature. For example, in Texas, Bigfoot is also known as Southern Sasquatch.

Outside the Pacific Northwest, Texas is considered one of the hotbeds of Bigfoot activity with numerous reported sightings over the past six decades. Predictably, because of the forest density and the numerous waterways, the wedge of Texas between the Louisiana border and Interstate 45 from Houston to Dallas has the highest incidence of Bigfoot reports. Most sightings have been roadside encounters. Reports continue to filter in.

With a dearth of scientifically verifiable evidence, many people don’t believe in the existence of Bigfoot. Critics say that anecdotal eyewitness accounts are unreliable and that the chance of such a large animal living undetected is unlikely.

On the other hand, cryptozoologists (scientists who study not-yet-verified animals) believe in the presence of undocumented animals despite the lack of hard evidence. Some point to species like the giant squid and the mountain gorilla as examples of species once thought legendary yet are now part of the scientific record.

For members of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC), the quest is for the truth.

“While growing up, I was always interested in any shows about the outdoors or wildlife, but I was always greatly intrigued by the idea of undiscovered species,” says Chris Buntenbah, TBRC member and frequent research expedition participant. A professional videographer and photographer, Buntenbah parlays this fascination to assist the group with his particular skill set. In 2006 he headed up TBRC’s most ambitious research project to date: Operation Forest Vigil.

Operation Forest Vigil is a five-year project to capture photographic proof of the Sasquatch in East Texas, as well as the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma. TBRC has invested tens of thousands of dollars in rapid-fire remote wildlife cameras. The results, so far, have yielded no evidence of the Southern Sasquatch. Buntenbah points out that a known species in the area — the mountain lion — has also never been captured on camera.

“We have a very compelling piece of evidence in a dread of hair found by a hunter in East Texas that has come back [from the lab] as ‘nonhuman primate.’ We are also testing some evidence that could be a game-changer,” he says.

Buntenbah isn’t alone in his fascination with the unknown. TBRC (originally formed in 2001 as the Texas Bigfoot Research Center) is a federally recognized nonprofit group made up of volunteer investigators, naturalists and scientists from all over Texas and Oklahoma. The TBRC mission is, in part, to conduct research and investigate the existence of primate species in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

For Buntenbah and other members of the TBRC, the chance to explore the unknown is what draws them afield.

“I saw The Legend of Boggy Creek movie back in the 1970s, and I vowed to research the subject,” says Jerry Hestand, lifelong resident of Grayson County in North Texas and a fourth-grade math teacher in Bells. Hestand is a founding member of the group and helps organize its annual conference in early October in Tyler.

Like Buntenbah, Hestand heads out on research trips when reported sightings bear enough credibility to warrant the group’s time. He hasn’t always been a believer.

“I have seen two items of ‘hard evidence’ in the last two years,” he says. “I was somewhat of a skeptic until June of 2011. Then some evidence came forth that is compelling. I feel our group and another group of scientists are close to solving the mystery of this evidence with indisputable proof.”

During our day together, Hestand wouldn’t reveal the exact nature of the evidence other than to say that it’s “good.” Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but be intrigued.

We traipsed around together in the woods of north-central Fannin County, and I took them to a spot where I saw an unknown figure on a winter’s night back in 1986. My brother Bubba tells them of another mysterious encounter back in the ’80s just about a mile away. While we’ll never know exactly what we saw, we both know we saw something. After we relate our stories, Lyle Blackburn tells me of his experiences.

“I spent a lot of time as a kid hunting deer and turkey with my dad around the North Texas area,” he says. “Once I watched a show about Bigfoot and realized that there might be a real monster living close by in Arkansas, my imagination ran wild.” I was beginning to see a pattern here.

Blackburn is a creative type who lives in Bedford and spends his time as a Web/graphic designer, writer and rock musician. A newcomer to TBRC, he has been an active investigator for only two years, but he participates with zeal.

“I’ve read a lot books and watched documentaries on the subject over the years, but it wasn’t until about three or four years ago that I had time to look into the phenomenon more closely,” he says.

Blackburn is finishing up a book on the Fouke, Ark., legend.

“As an adult I have a more rational approach to the subject,” he says. “Nonetheless, I still feel that sense of childlike wonder when I’m out there in the dark woods at night trying to get my own glimpse of a legendary creature.”

[via www.tpwmagazine.com]

Comments

  1. Conservancy--chasing after BF with a gun? Hahahahaha Sorry, had to take a breath, hahahahaha

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  2. I wonder if, since the apparent taxonomic designation by Dr. Ketchum (or Stubsatd's results, of Ed Smith's) as clearly within Homo spaiens species (even if sub-group), the TBRC board has reconvened to reexamine thier recent "policy" shift to allow shooting/killing for a "voucher specieman?"

    Is it just me? Does anyone else feel killing or capturing a Bigfoot, a "hairyhuman" is still a good idea?

    We don't even have to consider the tragedy of "proving Goorillas" (59 adults were killed to get at 11 infants all of whom died but one in transit to UK - 1958 or so) do we? Even if Bigfoots were "apes" should we still be behaving like it's the 19th Century?

    I read recently in BFF glowing discussion of Wally Herson - the "New Tom Slick." The posters talked eagerly (well it might have been just Smeja and Randles..) of the Book that will come out...by Wally...chronicaling all the "good" he has done for Bigfoots - good we all don't know about!

    So, something more than teaming up with BFROback in that day (or various amateurs- don't think he hired a field anthropologist and worked it that way)? And he appears to have bailed on BFRO recently when it is was apparent it aint' happening for them?

    Now Hersom bankrolling OP and it's inclusion of the hunter that intentionally shot two Bigfoots (a baby even!). Paying for the legal advice of OP as well probably?

    I am not feeling it on so many levels.

    This is 2011, 21st Century, where books about high power rifles and pursuit of wildhumans..well, it's worse than Ishi isn't it?

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  3. sorry gorilla tragedy is around 1858

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  4. I went to Taxidermy.net to see if I could find the famous "deleted Sasquatch thread."

    I didn't find it, but I did find a conversation discussing the deletion (so it did happen) and the odd post below by "General Lee" who is I beleive "the shooter."

    I also found a conversation on October 26, 2010 by a taxidermist who seems genuine when he says a man called and wanted a Sasquatch stuffed...

    here are the links to those conversations

    General's posting on about the " 1st anniversary" of the alleged shooting, Oct. 8, 2011.

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,281639.0.html

    And the Taxidermist's post in October 2010:

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,237280.msg1657636/topicseen.html#msg1657636


    What do I think about that? I don't know. I know I thought the "Siera Kills" story was absurd when I first read it, I don't anymore.
    Perhaps better minds can figure it out?


    It is as possible Justin returned to a partial carcass, skinned it, saved the met, shipped or flew with the skin to Indiana and had it taxidermied? Is that why now he seeks one w/o nicks? OMG..who the F knows?...I am so sick of the secrecy and this long promised study...at what cost?

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  5. I am arriving at this opinion (reserving the right to change it with additional true facts):

    Dr. Ketchum on recieving tha Sierra KIlls sample should have, witnin a month or two, issued a full disclosure of the Kills and her analysis of that sample.

    It would have accomplished so much at that time..around January 2011 at the latest.

    Perhaps it may have made that one sample too public for inclusion in her study..so what?

    She has a reputed 20 BF individuals from which to Begin (and that's all it can be with this Mythical and statistically elusive species) the long process of proving.

    Waiting, even after the leak in June 2011 until today....with no public statement, Yeah or Nay on the Sierra Kills story reeks of self-interest.

    We have a still non-believeing world and a BF community in tatters of bubbling rumors and passions...

    and disclosure of this one event..and those results..placed in GenBank... and the mother and child given names...the first to die for our knowledge....seems a most appropriate step for a true scientist and humanitarian?

    She can still do that, better late than too late...before another death, maybe by TBRC this time?

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  6. @Autumnforest

    I'm with you on the no-kill thing, although I'm coming to the conclusion there's nothing to kill. :(

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  7. Chances are, shooting one of these creatures won't make you rich. But it will get you some nice vacation time, in prison.

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  8. It has been illegal to shoot a Sasquatch in the county I live in since 1992

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  9. Because of this group's stance on Bigfoot with regards to kills,I will not visit their site,I will not buy ANYTHING they sell,and I could care less what they have to say.
    I won't even get started on the clown who did the shooting.........

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  10. I felt disgusted and really sad when I read about the guy that shot the Sasquatch. That was just so hard to read for some reason. Makes humans seem so brutal and awful and crass. Really makes you realize there's an ugly side of us.

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  11. 100 years ago the stories of mountain men being pursued, injured or killed either by stealth or "gang fang attacks" seemed much more common. I believe the reason for that is obvious. Back then everyone in the deep woods was armed and they probably fired on any critter that may have yielded meat or pelts, and certainly any critters that frightened the men.

    Now that the critters are not met with gunfire every time they show themselves they don't seem as aggressive. But, you can bet that every Sasquatch that's suffered injury or the loss of a family member from gunfire will be less inclined to live and let live.

    And, needless to say some poor slobs who wouldn't harm a thing may pay a price when encountering critters that have been driven mad from constant pain resulting from gunshots.

    Ask yourself this question: How many times would you have to be attacked by a Sasquatch, a feral dog or a rabid fox before denying all you see the benefit of the doubt? Bigfoot aren't stupid and they can associate pain, crippling injuries, heartbreak and greatly diminished quality of life to humans, and react accordingly.

    I don't wish the TBRC any misfortune but if they are set upon in retaliation for shooting that critter they may achieve the notoriety they seek when their wedding rings and/or dental work are found in piles of otherwise unrecognizable mush.

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  12. Bigfoot can smell a gun 10 miles away. These beings are old souls much like the Native Americans. They can also recognize old souls in the wild. An old soul is one who bushwacks, explores and survives in areas where the average lazy hunter/hiker is afraid to venture and avoids. Bigfoot hears and smells you long before you would even think they were in the area.

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