This post is a guest post by researcher Karl Sup and part of a series. The entire series can be found on the right hand side in the favorites posts (LINK).
I didn’t get out into the woods until after sunset late Tuesday night, June 28th. I decided I would try a technique that I’ve done in the past while driving on remote, dirt roads in Arizona using my thermal camera. I mounted the FLIR HS-324 Command thermal camera pointing into the woods through the open window as I drove slowly through the woods.
The optimal speed to produce a decent recording is between 3 and 5 miles per hour. Any speed faster causes the recorded images to distort, provide poor resolution and prove worthless. Obviously, having a camera operator to provide real-time review and feedback of the images captured during the drive is the best method. Flying solo, I usually end up reviewing these images later in detail, identifying anomalies to be followed up with further investigation.
During review of this thermal footage later that night, I did identify some heat signatures that seemed out of place. In going back to those locations the next day, each anomaly turned out to be either man-made structure or natural objects that retained the daytime heat. All were debunked.
After recording a thermal drive video, I stopped at the edge of a dirt parking lot to scan the wood line. A misty, light rain began to fall, creating a near-zero visibility condition. The thermal camera cut right through it. I stood in silence for 30 minutes, scanning back and forth. A heat signature 40 feet back in the woods caught my attention, but proved to be a family of raccoons leaving their den high up in a tree. Amazed, I watched a mother raccoon and her four babies make their way down the trunk of the tree until I lost sight on them in the undergrowth. I turn to walk back to the car when I saw that another raccoon had been sneaking up behind me to investigate my presence. He turned and headed for the nearest tree, climbed onto a high branch then relaxed.
I left the parking lot as the fog began to lift slightly, and drove down to the dead end where I usually parked for hiking. I stood in the middle of the road in total darkness and booted up the thermal camera.
I was not more than 30 feet away from the heat signature. The distance was comprised of 10 feet of open pavement/dirt and 20 feet of brush. I wasn’t certain if it was a mouse at first, but it seemed much larger and along the edge of the tree. At the same time I was focused on the heat signature, I heard twigs snap on the ground beneath it and behind that tree. It was at that inopportune moment, the batteries drained on the thermal camera. I stood there in the dark, deciding what I should do next. My extra batteries were back in the hotel room.
I turned to walk back to the car, and the moment I turned my back a large disturbance in the brush clattered and forest litter crunched through the blackness; then all was quiet again. Assuming that whatever was behind the tree was now gone, I headed out to dinner and a stiff drink to calm my nerves. I’ve included the full videos for your review (at the end of this post).
I went back the next evening after work to survey that location closer. I took a photo from the location where my footprints still were still visible in a thin coating of mud on the pavement. Circled in red is the approximately location of the heat signature. It was seven feet off the ground.
Even though it was already 8 PM, I decided to hike back to the gravel quarry and scan that immediate area with the thermal camera. In the waning dusk I didn’t notice anything out of place, any unusual tracks or ground glyphs. On my way back out, I did find some unusual yellow fungus growing on a tree that had been cut down near the path of the trail. Otherwise the hike had been uneventful and non-evidential.
By the time I reached the car, darkness had enveloped the woods. When I got to the car, I took off my pack and got a fresh water bottle to quench my thirst. It was now total darkness.
I decided to do a little more work with the thermal camera, and powered up the unit. I walked into the center of the dead end road, on the pavement, and scanned down the road to the north. I slowly started to rotate northeast.
At that moment, I heard what sounded like someone jogging up the driveway directly to my east. The driveway angled to the northwest before entering the road, and from my current position, a clear view was obscured by vegetation. I was certain a person was jogging up the drive, based on the noisy, human-like footfalls I could clearly hear tromping in my direction.
In the associated map below, I was standing in location 1 at this time and I estimate the ‘jogger’ was in location A when I first heard it. I quickly moved up to the entrance of the driveway to get a clear view of the intruder. Through the brush, I could not see a headlamp or flashlight bouncing as one would expect.
Just before I reached the driveway (location 2) I could hear a shuffle-shuffle-step and crashing into the brush as if from surprise and a quick redirection (location B), then all fell silent. The hair on the back of my neck stood up!
I stood my ground at the entrance to the driveway and scanned the woods. No heat signatures were obvious through the dense ground vegetation. I scanned up into the tree tops, but saw nothing anomalous either.
I spent a few minutes scanning the woods to the east until I heard what sounded like movement to the north (in retrospect I believe it was a stick that was thrown). I turned my attention to the north, and the moment I did, the ‘jogger’ ran from its hiding location to a new location south of the driveway (location C).
Hearing the movement in the dark but unsure of exactly where the sound stopped, I swung the camera back in that direction and slowly started to walk back down the road toward the car. I finally reached a spot about eight feet behind the car, but 12 feet east of it smack dab in the center of the road (location 3).
I could hear some movement in the brush, and faint forest litter crunching. I then heard a noise from the driveway area that sounded like a kicked rock (likely, it was thrown).
The instant I turned my head in that direction with the camera, the woods erupted with crashing and heavy footfalls moving southwest. I estimate that it stopped near or behind, what I’m calling, ‘The Sentinel Tree’ (location D). It covered that distance of 80 feet incredibly fast, through brush, in about 2 seconds. I also must have passed through the opening in the vegetation at the end of the road, however attempting to track the sound in the dark I didn’t get turned fast enough to capture it.
I was still turning toward the Sentinel Tree when I began to get woozy. It felt as if I was trapped in a bubble that was floating on water. I was dizzy and disoriented, and the feeling kept growing stronger. It felt like my knees were going to give way. My hair started to bristle.
I realized I was in the grip of an infrasound blast.
Infrasound is sound waves with frequencies below the lower limit of human audibility. It is a sound frequency that is lower than 20 Hz (hertz) or cycles per second; the “normal” limit of human hearing. Hearing becomes gradually less sensitive as frequency decreases, so for humans to perceive infrasound, the sound pressure or volume must be sufficiently high. At higher intensities it is possible to feel infrasound vibrations in various parts of the body.
Natural occurrences of infrasound include meteors, storms, wind, earthquakes, avalanches as well as animals that use it to communicate over long distances, such as elephants. A tiger’s roar and purr contain infrasound, and scientists believe that homing pigeons use infrasound for navigation. Octopus, squid, cod and cuttlefish can actually hear infrasound. Helicopters, cars, planes and trains can also generate infrasound. In the case of Sasquatch, it is believed that they can generate infrasound to stun or disorient prey such as deer or elk.
The first time I was hit with infrasound during a BFRO expedition (see my Sighting #3 report), I was disoriented and had partial amnesia.
Later, I had the privilege of assisting M.K. Davis clean up and enhance audio from VHS tapes he had been studying and discovered the presence of infrasound within those recordings. In studying these and other recordings of reported infrasound events, it appears that the frequency used by Sasquatch fall in a range between 17 and 19Hz. When I edited these samples and added +10Hz to the recordings so I could hear them, it oddly sounded like the rhythmic thrum of a didgeridoo. Unfortunately for this encounter, I didn’t have an audio recorder with me.
With my knees wobbling and my head spinning, I managed to shout out in my deep, but now wavering voice, ‘Enoch!’ followed quickly by ‘Friend!’ Almost immediately the symptoms began to subside, as the intensity was no longer increasing. I still felt like I could crumple on the pavement. Oddly enough, just as the infrasound was affecting me, my thermal camera stopped recording. I don’t recall turning it off during the event. I will chalk that up to an odd coincidence.
I walked in stunned silence over to the car and got in. I locked the doors and sat there for about five minutes until my head cleared. I waved toward the area of the Sentinel Tree and swung a U-turn.
Even though I was still woozy, on the drive out I thought I saw something on the side of the road so I picked up the thermal camera from the passenger seat. I found it was turned on again, and had been recording shortly after driving away from the encounter (with the lens cap flipped up). The ‘Black is Hot’ setting was also turned on. I wonder if I turned off the camera in my dazed state by pressing every button on top.
I made another U-turn and watched intently along the roadside. What I found was an opossum dragging road kill from the narrow 2-lane road (see video at bottom of the this post). After taking its picture, I decided to drive to a nearby restaurant to get some take out and a beer. It took several hours and a nice, hot shower before I truly started feeling normal again from the infrasound blast.
I had some final thoughts on this event. Based on the thermal encounter I had had the prior evening that was almost 90 minutes later by the ‘Sentinel Tree’, I believe that the sentinel was, more or less, ‘reporting for duty’ when I surprised it. I had been very quiet, and from its approach the car was shielded from view by thick vegetation. When it saw me, I put it on the defensive while it struggled with evasive maneuvers. Once it had gained the upper hand in positioning itself by the tree, it went on the offensive. My quick action in talking to it certainly stopped it from continuing its infrasound blast. This is very important: always give a Sasquatch perceived control of the meeting. Encounters such as this are very notable, as there are no known animals in the forests of North America that can induce such infrasound effects.
I didn’t get back into the woods until July 11th, and I was very anxious to get back out there in some daylight. I hiked back toward the quarry and found that the wild raspberries were starting to ripen. I snacked on a few and left the rest. The first thing I found was a missing rock hole from the trail that was approximately three inches in diameter. The ground around it was undisturbed, so it was plucked from the ground and not kicked out. I headed into the bowl of the quarry and saw a series of footprints up the graveled slope.
The track way was comprised of 16 inline prints heading upslope, originating from the edge of the woods in the quarry basin and ending near the lip of the quarry within 40 feet of where I found the footprint and knuckle impressions earlier. Each print was 12 inches in length, 5 inches wide and 1 inch deep. They were fresh. Attempts I made to replicate the prints in the substrate only dented the ground one-quarter inch. One left footprint was particularly odd in that the front portion of the foot angled to the left of the heel plant.
The angling of the forefoot would indicate that these were not created by a foot restricted in a shoe, but a live, bare foot. As the prints neared the rim of the quarry, only the front of the foot was used to push up the hill without any visible heel strikes. Where there were full prints, only one of them showed traces of toes. All of the full prints showed a delineation of material across the center of the print (commonly referred to as a mid-tarsal break). Once the track way reached the rim, there were 5 or 6 prints that appeared to be pacing or indecision on which direction to head. (see additional photos of prints).
As you can see, every print has unique characteristics in placement, weight shift and flexibility but are consistent in size and nearly consistent in depth across different terrain. The one thing I did know, is that they were very fresh. So fresh in fact, that some of the edges of the prints were calving with gravel tumbling into the prints.
I surmised that whatever had made the prints might be close. As I was finishing photographing and documenting the prints, I heard very subtle movement in the brush to the north, below the rim of quarry. I walked to the northern edge of the trail. Whatever was making the slight brush movements I could hear was definitely heading my way. I got out my phone to record (see video) whatever was coming up the hill. As it turned out, it was only a raccoon. I was standing so still, that he wasn’t sure what I was and came within 10 feet of me. As it continued approaching I started wondering about it being rabid, but as it turned away from me and took a wide berth around me, my fears were alleviated.
I felt honored to experience that. I put away my phone, and decided to check out the other forked branch of the trail on top of the quarry (the area where I previously encountered that horrific stench). I found another rock had been removed near the edge of the trail, with an oak twig laid out and purposefully bent near the tip. The twig must have been green when it was bent and twisted. As I was taking a picture of it, I heard large brush movement 100 feet away from me down below the ridge. This was no raccoon.
I jumped up like I was launched with springs and turned toward the source of the sound. All I could see was dense brush and shadows. Other than road noise, the woods were silent. I stood there watching intently for about three minutes, then decided to take out my camera to take some photos of the location. I took one photo (below) and in the second that I glanced down at the screen to review the image, the woods erupted in crashing heading from west to east along the floor of the hollow. The vegetation was so dense I could only see glimpses of the subject.
It was about the size of a large dog, like a mastiff, and with dark hair. It was moving extremely fast on all fours from point A to B (see diagram). My field of vision only allowed me to witness it for less than half of its estimated run. Almost as quickly as it covered that distance, it abruptly stopped (location B) and the woods fell into silence again. Location B was denser vegetation, and any attempts for me to see anything from the trail in the fading dusk was in vain.
I know what it wasn’t: It wasn’t a person in dark clothes. It wasn’t a deer bounding. It wasn’t a bear. And it wasn’t a dog, unless dogs understand the concept of hiding and deep cover. What I do believe it was, based on the fresh track way and this sighting was a juvenile Sasquatch as its movement was fluid and linear, and incredibly fast. I did try to see through the vegetation with the thermal camera, but the density of the foliage was simply too thick. Unfortunately for this event, I didn’t get a good enough look at it to consider it a Class A daytime sighting.
With my body still pumping adrenaline, I raised my hand and breathlessly said ‘Friend’, then started hiking out of the woods. Darkness was now gripping the forest, and before I was half way back to the car I had to resort to using my thermal camera to site down the trail.
I almost paused a moment to tell them, ‘If you really want to see something, there’s a juvenile Bigfoot down then trail!’ At least, they were getting some exercise and out into nature even if they were still connected to their electronic leashes.
Two days later I returned to the woods at night, but that will be covered in the next installment!
**Karl is talking about Bigfoot this morning on the radio on The Long Version with Fletcher Long 10 am to noon EST, 9 am to 11 am Central, and 7 am to 9 am Pacific.**
Karl Sup is a software architect, developer and analyst, and an avid Bigfoot researcher working in the mountains of Arizona for many years. During this research and in other states including New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Georgia and Wisconsin, he has been fortunate enough to interact with and view multiple subjects over the years. Karl also has had decades of audio analysis and editing experience, and assisted in helping M.K. Davis clean up and enhance audio from VHS tapes he had been studying and discovered the presence of infrasound within those recordings.
**Another installment, Long Island Bigfoot Report #10 next Monday!**