Wednesday, December 18, 2013 

"Willow Creek" the movie by Bobcat Goldthwait - BEST BIGFOOT NEWS OF 2013

When I think back on the year, one thing stands out above all the rest when it comes to bigfoot news and experiences - Bobcat Goldthwait's bigfoot movie "Willow Creek"!!

It's been exciting and a breath of fresh air to see someone with substantial Hollywood clout get involved with the subject in his own way - but most of all, he's WELL INFORMED!! He knows the subject and the lore that surrounds the major historical events. He got informed like anyone else would - read the right books, sought out information on the internet (but filtered it with a base knowledge) and even went to a conference.

with Bobcat Goldthwait at the Arcata, CA premiere
(photo copyright Tom Yamarone)

And so that is what shines through in the original script he wrote for "Willow Creek". It's an intelligent take on bigfoot and the Patterson-Gimlin film - and the interaction between the two main characters is real, witty, very funny at times and, in the end, characterized by hair raising tension and terror.  I say all this from a somewhat biased viewpoint as I have a cameo in the movie and have gotten to know Bobcat and Aimee, the producer. This has been unlike any other experience I've had with a bigfoot production for television or film.


It all came about because of a chance encounter in the summer of 2012. I was traveling with Bobo, Scott McClean (RIP amigo!), Terry, Todd, Cliff, Flipy, Bart, Rowdy, Bill M., Steven, Jamie S. and some others to Bluff Creek to perform some essential measurements at the Patterson-Gimlin Film Site.  After 5 days in country, we spent a night in Hoopa for some R & R in Willow Creek. There Scott & I were having lunch with Al Hodgson and decided to visit the musuem. We ran into this highly energetic (nay, manic) girl who was asking us if we were the ones with bigfoot stories. :-) We politely said we didn't have any but were very interested in the subject; introduced ourselves and I mentioned I had some bigfoot songs. Well, we set up a time to meet at Bigfoot Books and the rest is history.

Shooting the scene for movie
(photo by Todd Hale)

"Roger and Bob (Rode Out That Day)" - my song about Patterson & Gimlin - fit right into the story of the film. The scene was shot in the woods around some local cabins and involved the actors interviewing me about Bob Gimlin, the film and then asking me to play the song. It was all done in a matter of 30 minutes - maybe less. Just very low key yet professional - and it was awesome to do it with Scott, Terry and Todd watching. I am usually a "one-take wonder" but ended up needing 3 to complete the scene. I messed up (mixed up?) the lyrics on Take 1 and had to cough at the end of Take 2. After enduring some intense glares from the director, I pulled off Take 3 without a hitch. So, that is how it went down.

Tom meet Bobcat!
(photo by Todd Hale)

It wasn't until a few months later that I got a phone call and some emails and worked it out to be part of this great bigfoot film project!  I am beyond excited and it was a thrill to attend the premiere in Aracata, California last May 30th.  We can reminisce more about that later. For now, keep your eyes peeled in the coming year for "WILLOW CREEK"!!  The best bigfoot movie ever!!

 Saturday, December 14, 2013 

Finding Bigfoot - Lake Tahoe / Sierras episode - Notes and Photos

Just like old times...Bobo, Bob, Tom (Yams) and Cliff.
(all photos courtesy & copyright Tom Yamarone)

FINDING BIGFOOT "Sketching Sasquatch" aired last Sunday, December 8th (2013) and a recording I made in the Lake Tahoe area was included. My good friend, Bob Strain, and I appeared at the beginning of the episode meeting up with some more good friends, cast members James "Bobo" Fay and Cliff Barackman along with Matt Moneymaker and Ranae Holland. All in all, our appearance was brief but the sound that was played was cleaned up and came across as very intriguing.


Lake Tahoe vista from Hwy 50.
We were at the right edge of this photo.

Shooting the interview scene for Finding Bigfoot

THE SHOOT:  We met in early April 2013 at the location where the recording was obtained  in South Lake Tahoe, California. This is just outside of Meyers in the national forest. Bob and Kathy Strain met me and we drove over to the shoot location to meet up with the production crew and cast. After a brief review of what they wanted to shoot - and where - we began the on the spot interview. They were interested to know what brought us to this location and how we obtained the recording. 

In the fall of 2003, a recent recording had been obtained by Kathy that we refer to as the Tahoe Scream. A local resident had recorded sounds from his property which abutted the forest. The recording featured two distinct screams - one a "typical" howl (much like a tarzan call - and like the Ohio Howl) and the other was the distinctive, high pitched scream that occurred in a sequence of 4 calls (to me the Tahoe Scream almost sounds like a sonar ping.)  There were also sightings that had occurred nearby on Highway 50 just south of the Agricultural Inspection Station.

Meeting up with Finding Bigfoot in South Lake Tahoe.
Fancy meeting you here, friends! 

Another shot...
Thank you, Kathy for taking photos with my camera!

We recreate the night of the recording with the crew.

The expedition in October 2003 was organized to see if there was any on-going activity in this area around South Lake Tahoe. The plan was to meet up and camp in the national forest at a spot that Kathy and her friend Montra had previously experienced sound events. And there were indicators in the forest of possible activity - dramatic tree breaks, for one. We met on a Friday afternoon and scouted the area for any sign. That evening we call blasted through a Fender Twin guitar amp with much success. The first call we did at 9:30 p.m. that night resulted in a very long (12 seconds by my estimation) return call very similar to the Ohio Howl. At that time we had a cassette recorder operating at base camp and I was using my Hi-8 Sanyo camcorder to record audio in the field. Neither picked up this first return call unfortunately.

We were operating with a strict protocol that night of only blasting every hour. The next two calls did not result in any returns. We then decided to try one more call at midnight. As soon as that call concluded, all hell broke loose. Coyotes began to sound off nearby and with those calls were two high pitched screams that I was able to record with the camcorder. Sure, not GREAT audio but it was something. During the event, I whisper to my partner, "Let's go back to camp." I did so because the sounds seemed to be coming from that direction.  That is how we obtained the recording.

As Bob Strain reminds me, the screams continued on throughout the night around our camp. Now, it never got close enough to be intimidating but I do recall waking up in the middle of the night (say 2 am and 3 am) because of sounds near our camp. 

This was all very exciting for me. Did I mention it was also my first bigfoot expedition? Well, it was.

Time for a group photo with the guys...
"Great to be here!" I heard one say.

With Bobo, Bob and Ranae after the shoot.
Nice to be back in the woods with friends!

After the set shot of meeting the cast and discussing the recording, the field producers had Bob and I change some clothes and recreate some of our activities the night we obtained the recording. None of this was included in the episode.  It was fun to do.  Also, much of the discussion we had with the cast about the Tahoe Scream and what they thought of the sound was not in the episode. That's how it goes with editing hours of material into one hour of television. 

Overall, it was great to be with our friends as they were working on their show. We have a long history of investigating bigfoot together. Bob and Kathy were my mentors; Cliff and Bobo early and on-going field partners and I had been on several expeditions with Matt and the BFRO. Our friendships continue to this day and we have all spent many nights out in the woods together looking for bigfoot evidence and experiences. 

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed the backstory to our appearance on Finding Bigfoot!

all for one and... what the hell are we doing?!!

Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up Tom Yamarone - Songs For A Bigfoot World