I produced “The Bigfoot Recordings” (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2) and formed the partnership in Sierra Sounds with Al Berry. The following is my account of how I got involved with this phenomenon.
Bill McDowell and I were serving as board members for a church in Merced, CA., and we had became good friends. Bill, a part of the Sierra camp hunting group, had recently told my wife and me that they had been experiencing some unusual sounds and seeing large five toed foot impressions around their camp. I was intrigued by his account. I knew Bill as being a highly ethical, honest and credible individual. Bill is soft-spoken and when he talks, most want to listen.
When I was asked into the Sierra camp I jumped at the chance. It was late in October 1971 when Donald, Bill’s brother-in-law, had a concern that his hunting buddies had not returned from the mountains as scheduled. He had previously fled the remote camp the morning after an evening of frightening displays from these creatures. He did not want to make the long return trip to camp alone and asked me to join him.
I thought I was in good physical condition, however, I had no idea that the journey into this remote camp would be so physically taxing. We arrived in early afternoon just as the men were packing to leave. Bill gave me a quick tour of the camp area and lead me to a huge 18″ five toed barefoot impression. The men were in a hurry to leave because of the daylight remaining. Fortunately Bill suggested that I ride his horse back. Bill may never know just how much I appreciated that gesture.
The snow came and the camp was inaccessible for the winter– not that I could have found it again anyway. I am a private pilot and the men wanted a view of the area from the air, looking for a possible migration path these creatures may have. After circling the area many times on many occasions and having been allowed to sit in on the discussions of this phenomenon I became part of the small group.
During the winter of 1971 it was decided that what had happened in the Sierra camp should be disclosed to someone who could possibly help define the situation. Warren wrote a letter to Ivan Sanderson. Peter Byrne, a recognized Bigfoot researcher in Oregon, was eventually contacted. Peter asked Al Berry, a California resident, to interview the men involved. Al was an investigative reporter from Redding, CA., and was invited to the camp in 1972. We all agreed that the camp’s location should remain protected.
For over 25 years I have been traveling to purported Bigfoot sites and interviewing people claiming to have seen these creatures. I believe my knowledge of this phenomenon is continually being fine tuned, coupling years of credible witnesses with my own experiences. I attended a symposium in Vancouver, B.C., “Anthropology of the Unknown,” in 1978 when the results from the study of Al Berry’s recordings were first given. I thought it strange, but not really surprising, that during the 20th anniversary of the event in 1998 people still showed a lack of interest in our evidence.
Many believe that Bigfoot has both feet on the ground at all times– just an undiscovered ape. I find others believe in the paranormal, mystical side. Remaining open for the answer to this mystery is my way of receiving input from a wide range of people. Many interviews I conduct are considered unreliable and some I believe to be credible.
Most all Bigfoot reports are of a singular sighting, a large foot impression, or perhaps an unusual odor–never a prolonged series of events, especially with a report of interaction. Even though the recordings were studied by the University of Wyoming and showed no sign of fakery, most folks could not believe the account.
What does all of this add up to? Nothing, other than that I will offer my input to any serious researcher wanting to learn about these creatures. Perhaps we, collectively, can come a step closer toward a resolution to this mystery.