Friday, July 29, 2011

Sasquatches in Central Oklahoma?

The Cimarron River, seen from an airplane.
At first glance, the open expanses and arid prairies of Central Oklahoma don't seem like viable sasquatch habitat. Having spent the bulk of my time conducting field research between the Southern Appalachians and the Pacific Northwest, Central Oklahoma provided a stark contrast to the wet, lush, forested mountains that I was used to exploring.

Over the last several years of traveling around the country interviewing witnesses, investigating sasquatch-related incidents, and conducting field research, I've learned a very valuable lesson:

Never make uninformed assumptions about where sasquatches might or might not occur. 


I'm usually involved in multiple sasquatch-related projects at any given time. I organize public expeditions for the BFRO, and I also investigate, proofread, and publish reports for the website. I worked on the first season of Animal Planet's "Finding Bigfoot", and will be working on the second season as well. I'm working on developing a few different innovative strategies for obtaining images and video of sasquatches utilizing Reconyx cameras and thermal imagers. Moreover, I've been accumulating material for this blog (which I've sorely neglected for the last few weeks). I digress...

One of the many projects that I try to work on the most often is a maintained field effort in my immediate area. I sincerely believe that one of the most important things that any researcher should do is spend as much time in the field as they possibly can. One of the best ways to keep yourself in the field is by maintaining a study area as near you as possible. If your primary study sites are hours away, you're going to have a difficult time maintaining any kind of active research in those locations. Time that could be spent in the field is spent driving to and from these places, and money that could fuel more field research ends up fueling the commute.

Central Oklahoma Study Area
Once I had established myself here in Central Oklahoma, the first thing that I did was to create a data set of sasquatch-related information for my immediate area (a 50-mile radius from my residence). I scoured databases like the BFRO's (both our public reports, and ones that remain unpublished in our internal system), John Green's Sasquatch Database, The Bigfoot Casebook, Ray Crowe's "The Track Record", the TBRC database, Bobbie Short's Bigfoot Encounters website, news/media archives, etc. I plotted all of the sighting/track find/encounter locations (over 50) in a Google Earth file. I created an Excel sheet with the names and numbers of the various witnesses, investigators, researchers, etc. connected to these reports.

After creating my initial data set, I was frankly astounded at the amount of activity that occurs so close to (and in any direction from) Oklahoma City. Central Oklahoma was proving to be a viable area indeed.

The area boasts multiple close-range sightings (many of which are daylight observations), track finds, repeated visits to homesteads, and compelling encounter testimonies. 

There are many interesting consistencies; seasonal patterns, behavioral patterns, etc. There are also interesting connections to certain human food resources.

I'll be expanding on these consistencies in future posts and videos, as I attempt to document confirmation of these emerging patterns.

The next two layers of data that I'll be incorporating into my study consist of factoring the population densities of other local fauna (specifically deer and feral hogs), and their relationship to the waterways in the region.


Oklahoma Rivers and Lakes

There are four major rivers (Canadian, North Canadian, Deep Fork, and Cimarron) which flow through Central Oklahoma, all which have yielded sightings and encounters.

Understanding these major waterways (as well as their tributaries and streams) is extremely important when trying to document the presence of local sasquatches. The USGS WaterWatch site is a useful tool for tracking the streamflow of the rivers and streams in a given area.   

-The Protein Factor-

Oklahoma hosts a deer population totaling over 500,000 individuals. It also has a large population of feral hogs in the area. These animals both occur in Central Oklahoma, and undoubtedly serve as important protein sources for the resident sasquatches. 


Now that I have a data set to start with, I'll be systematically narrowing down areas to focus on based on many of the aforementioned factors. I also hope to bring in a few other people from the area to assist in this effort in the following months.

All in all, I am incredibly excited about the prospect of studying a new and different habitat. There will certainly be inherent challenges and unique advantages that this region presents, but I am certain that thoroughly investigating this area will be rewarding and productive.

I'll be posting updates as time allows.

- Additional Information - 

One of the most fascinating and well-documented cases of sasquatch activity in Central Oklahoma occurred in the early 2000's outside the towns of Concho and El Reno, west of Oklahoma City. Multiple witnesses saw and encountered the resident sasquatches, tracks were found and cast, a handprint was collected from the roof of a vehicle, hair was collected and studied, daylight photos of a possible sasquatch were obtained, and a stunning bit of surveillance footage was captured. For the best presentation of information related to those incidents, please listen to the "Sasquatch on the Oklahoma Prairie" episode of Brian Brown's excellent Bigfoot Information Project Podcast series.

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