24 February 2009

Physical evidence: finding tracks in winter conditions

Winter conditions provide some of our best opportunities for finding physical evidence of BF creatures.

During the warmer months, compacted clay or rocky ground does not yield good track impressions. Yet tracks are readily made and preserved in the snow.

The image shown here is a detail photograph showing one of the snow tracks found by Rene Dahinden near Bossburg, Washington in December 1969. This individual creature left a track line totaling 1,089 tracks in the snow-- alternating right foot and left foot impressions-- in the vicinity of the garbage pit at Bossburg, Washington along the Columbia River. The track series crossed railroad tracks, a roadway, climbed a steep hill and stepped back and forth over a 43-inch fence row.

Beyond the rarity of finding tracks left by these creatures, it is indeed a challenge for investigators to document the existence of physical evidence found in snow. The evidence does not last long and must be documented quickly-- snow tracks easily melt and the details distort in direct sunlight. Plus, making a footprint cast of such impressions requires advanced casting techniques and different materials.

Some of the best track casts ever which reveal skin detail (namely, dermal ridges) have been found in wet pliable clay along stream banks. Perhaps the second best circumstance I've seen is that of a warm-blooded track impression melted into the surface of ice.

On the 23rd of January in 2005, Illinois investigator, Stan Courtney, found an unusual track impression melted into surface of a frozen creek in the woods. He was able to show the track to some folks who were skeptical about the presence of BF creatures in this vicinity and documented the find with photographs and measurements.

The "hourglass" shaped footprint measured over 13 inches long and some 6 inches wide. Toe details can be seen along the front edge of the track. Apparently the warmth of the creature's foot melted into the frozen surface. Though much of the track is "flat-footed," the contours where its toes melted the ice are preserved. It is clearly not the impression of a barefoot human.

It is unknown how long the creature must have stood at this spot for the warmth from the bottom of its foot to melt the ice in this manner.

I am unwilling to stand barefoot on ice to find out.

Other photographs taken of this particular "ice" cast are found in Stan's portfolio posted at http://www.stancourtney.com/portfolio/bigfoot.php

In January 2009, ranch owners in Saskatchewan, Canada found the above long track line in the snow crossing their property.

The gait distance (measured from step to step) varies between 4 and 8 feet. The track line began at a fenceline on one end of the property, crosses the field and is lost among multiple deer tracks at a game trail on the other end of the property.

The ranch owners became alert to the presence of a BF creature in the vicinity following a daytime sighting last spring. Hair samples-- one found snagged on a nail near a shed and the other on metal fencing-- have been tested and found to be red fox and black bear, respectively. This track line is neither fox nor bear.

The ranch owners are posting blog entries on their ongoing investigation work at http://saskencounters.blogspot.com/

Creatures which hunt and forage under the cover of darkness may remain undetected at other times of the year-- but nothing crosses the snow without leaving evidence.