Newly Hoaxed Bigfoot Video - Separating Fact from Fiction
By John Freitas with additional comments by other veteran investigators...
Mark Nelson's story gets better and better as time goes on. He originally told me via phone that he was camping at Lake Sonoma. When they left, he headed towards highway 101 for the return drive to his home in Oxnard, CA. On the way out of the park he located a large turnout, pulled over and found a game trail. He followed this trail up a hill and continued to hike about a 1 hours. At this point, he claims he and his girlfriend heard a grunt. He says he thought it was a bear at first, so they waited about ten minutes and started taking landscape video again. As he was taking a video shot, he heard something on his left side; this is when he captured this "thing"...
I asked him specifically where this turnout was and he said it was going towards Lake Sonoma 15 minutes from highway 101. He said it was private land and he had to climb through a three-strand barbwire fence to gain access to this game trail. I also asked him to send me a video file of a minute before and a minute after this event, Mark became nervous and said he would rather not do that. I asked him why, and he could not come up with any reason other than he didn't want to do it.
This conversation was cut short when he said in a whisper "I have to go now, my girlfriend just got home and she is really jealous of the time I am taking on this video". I explained that I would need to talk with her also, as she is the only other witness. Mark started saying "I don't know, she is getting real jealous". I explained to Mark that the film is worthless if is not authenticated, and he said he would try to talk to her. He said he was interested in selling this film, and I explained that I knew of one producer, national news reporter and a talk show host that would be interested in this video IF a few questions were answered. He promised to call me back in a day or two and then hung up the phone.
A few days past and after I had left several more messages on his phone, he finally called me back on my cell phone at around 8pm. This time I was on my way towards LA. I told him that I was having trouble locating the turnout 15 minutes from 101. Mark then changed the location and said it was 15 minutes on the south side of lake Sonoma towards the ocean. I asked Mark could we meet Sunday so I could see the whole video since I was coming to the LA area, he immediately started to back pedal on me saying that he promised to spend the day with his girlfriend and he just couldn't meet with me. I told him it would only take 10 minutes...then I asked for only 5 minutes...and he still refused.
Mark stated he is afraid to meet new people. This seems to contradict his claim of playing guitar in a local band, or holding a job for a temporary agency where you meet new people/employers on a frequent basis. I asked Mark what his landline phone number as it would be easer to get in touch with him if needed, but he refused to give it to me saying "that's my DSL line and I use it just for the computer".
I asked Mark what his girlfriend did for a living and he hesitated for a second and said "she works in a doctors office". I asked him what he does for a living, and again he hesitated and said "I work for a temp agency". I asked mark what he does for the temp agency and again he hesitated as if he was thinking about what to say, and said "I work in a office as a clerk".
After all that transpired, I told him if this was a hoax to let me know now and I would go my way, and he would go his; no harm done. There was silence for 10 seconds....(this is classic textbook behavior of deception) He became verbally flustered and nervously said "it really happened", and added that MAYBE we could get together at a later date, but said he was interested in knowing how much the film was worth. He then said out of the blue, he wanted to arrange a "group showing". When I questioned him about who is in this "group", he again hesitated and said "um, well, I mean you". I then said, again, I could be there Sunday. He again declined to meet with me, but said he'd call me by December 5th with a time and date and to have me go ahead and arrange the live radio interview. He then said he was at work and needed to get off the phone immediately. This, again, was after 8pm in the evening. A strange time to be working as a temporary clerk in an office. This was the last contact I had with Mark. He has not responded to my phone messages, nor e-mails.
Without going into more detail, Mark's statements during both phone interviews were consistent with omeone fabricating a story.
Yesterday (12-09-2005), I spent several hours searching for the area where Mark said the turnout and barbwire fence was. The entire fence on this road is field fence and nowhere is there three strand barbwire used exclusively. This is true from the park and 15+ miles south on the road. At one point, I thought I located the site because the terrain seemed familiar. I took a roll of pictures, but once developed I could not match the peak shown in the video.
Some other facts:
1. I asked Mark if he has ever heard of Art Bell and he said "no" , although he posted his so-called experience on Art Bell's message board 11-16-2005
2. Marks prefix is Santa Maria, CA although he states he lives in Oxnard, CA
4. I located a picture of a peak in San Luis Obispo County that looks almost identical the mountain peak in the video
5. Mark now states he was on a fire road (as perMatt Moneymaker's website), although Mark clearly stated he was following a "deer trail" ready to cross a gully
6. Mark claimed to be an expert with a compass, although he could not tell me the name of the peak in his video (this is taught in basic map reading)
7. There is NO distinctive peak that was displayed in the video in the area he claims he obtained the footage
8. Where is his girlfriend's voice when this happened?
The rampant inconsistencies with Mark's story, his inability to answer questions freely, his contradictory statements and his unwillingness to show the video in the original format all have raised large red flags. The fact that the scene does not match the terrain is in itself deception, and therefore it is my professional opinion this video is a hoax.
The Bigfoot Research Organization (BFRO) still believes the video to be authentic.
Review is copyright John Freitas
Additonal comments on the Sonoma footage:
The arm swing in the Sonoma video seems exaggerated and fast when combined with the slow walking speed of the "thing". Arm swing is a natural action that helps maintain the body's center of gravity, as you run faster, the arm swing is more pronounced. In normal human walking,
If the "thing" in the video was running as indicated by the arm swing, the camera operator could not react fast enough to record the event. If this was a real creature, the arm swing and stride would have appeared as a natural fluid motion. It is my opinion that the footage shows a human in an ape suit trying to imitate the Bigfoot creature in Patterson film.
I am also very disappointed that the BFRO (Matt Moneymaker) used this footage to promote the thing in the video as a real Bigfoot creature and a survivor of the Gigantopithecus line of apes. How in the world can he extract that information from this bad video? The only way to back up his statement is to have the body of the thing; I seriously doubt this is the case. The BFRO claims to be the only scientific research organization exploring the Bigfoot/Sasquatch mystery.
Where is all the scientific evidence to back up his statements, how did they determine the 7-8 feet height and the 1,000 pound weight of the "thing" in the Sonoma video. Maybe I'm wrong and they will soon have a press release with all the information we're looking for and put the matter to rest.
It is my opinion that the actions of the BFRO are nothing more than a novice attempt to generate national press coverage for their "so called" Bigfoot Expeditions. Why else would the "Only Scientific Research Organization" do something like this?
William M. Dranginis
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1. What is the peak in the background of the opening shot?Nothing in your suporting information enables the viewer to verify the location. A friend I know who lives near Sonoma cannot identify the peak. I am sure it has a name. Rocky Peak is the only possibility according to my information. Is this correct. If so, which side of the peak is the video taken from. The view better match the video or you have a fraud on your hands. You NEED to address this concern. The background of the video definitely does not match the generic pictures of the area that you post on the webpage. The grass is too long and the trees are too numerous.
Something is very wrong here. I won't even get into the fact that this all
2. Why is the camera stationary and focused on this peak, despite the claim on your webpage that he pulled out his camera in response to the nearby disturbance, and then hustled after it? The actions of the camera operator do not appear to match the published claim on the webpage. This NEEDS to be explained. Specifically, why such a long pause on the video before the camera operator hustles after the subject.
3. How on earth can a person be so close to the subject and yet completely blow it with respect to operation of the camera and losing sight of the subject? How could you lose sight of a subject that is so close that you lose focus of it when you zoom in then lose track of the subject altogether? In the PGF, the creature walked away. In your purported video, the subject is so close to the camera that you lose track of it. How is this possible?
Backgorund on the owner of the footage is necessary. Credentials of SOME sort are necessary to establish minimal credibility. No one expects a rocket scientist, but do you even have a job? If the owner of the video cannot offer background details, then the possiblity of a money-grubbing hoax looms as large as an eight thousand pound gorilla atop the Chrysler Building.
Regards, Thom Powell
This film was introduced to the world by the videographer "Mark Nelson". It was supposedly shot in Sonoma, California on Sunday, November 13th, 2005.
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