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Finding Bigfoot - Alabama Between the Storms==
The team began this expediton on the 12th of August. We began on the highest note we had ever known. We left home believing we were on our way out to pick up the first ever, "Body of a Bigfoot creature"! This was the most amazing feeling anyone could ever imagine. Unfortunately, what actually happened to us is now history and behind us.
By August 23rd, it was time for us to get back on the road and do what we know best... Follow the leads that people have shared with us and see if we can find the proof we need to end this mystery.
By this late in the month, the weather was working against us. But we had a job to do, so we got ready to do it. Do you remember or trip to Alabama back in May of 2008? You can read about it at; [[ALABAMA_05/08]]
'''The foot print Dr. Mike found in the swamps and the crew that came out to try to find what made it!'''
'''Ann Stinson with TJ, and her husband Loyd behind the counter of their local store'''
We had come out to look for the "Swamp Ape" and while we were here, we met Ann and Loyd, the people who had their hogs killed by something that the Florida and the Alabama departments of Fish and Game, could not explain. Ann had told us that what ever it was, came back every year around Labour Day. We had promised her, that we would be back to check it out.... So, here we are! We gave our word and we were not going to allow a little thing like Hurricane Fay stop us! We were unaware that before we left, we would meet Hurricane Gustav as well!
We left our "safe house" and headed out towards the swamps in Alabama. We had to drive through some very terrible weather and followed several different emergency utilities crews. The rain, wind, and debris on the road was terrible, but we had given our word and so, with the grace of God, we pressed through it all. We got to Alabama Saturday night, August 23rd. Our good friends, the Creel family (You will remember Chuck Creel from most all of our previous visits to Alabama). We hunkered down at the Creel house and waited through the storms... It wasn't until Thursday, the 28th, that we were able to get out at all. We made contact with Ann and Floyd and got an update from them about any "action" on their property, and we contacted our friend "Dr. Mike". Dr. Mike shared a plan with us to get out into the swamps and see if we could find a way back into some of the high ground islands that might still be above the new high water marks. He felt that the creature would have to make it to these places to stay ahead of the storms and the rising water. He introduced us to some of his local crew and we made preperations to get out that following morning.
By now, the news and weather stations were telling us that Hurricane Gustav should be hitting our part of Alabama by Sunday the 31st. We knew we would have a short window of safe passage, so we left as soon as we possibly could. Dr. Mike had built a canopy on his pontoon boat so we could get as much protection from any rain we might encounter. We dubbed Dr. Mike's boat as the "African Queen" and loaded it up. We also took two smaller boats, called "GHEENOES". They are similar to a canoe, but more stable. We thought we would need them to get back through the overgrown brush between the Choctawhatchee River and the lower swamp areas surrounding it. The hope being that the rising waters had openned passage ways from the river into the swamps.
'''Some picutes of our "yacht" the "African Queen" tied up on the sand bar we used as our base camp in the Choctawhatchee'''
The small sliver of land we found that was accessable to us by boat, was surrounded by thick woods on two sides and fast flowing water on the other two. The ground was swarming with insects and other "crawly things". It was thick with spiders, ants, centipedes, lizzards, mosquitos, gnats, flies, and other bugs of evey kind. I even got to see several of what the locals call "Cow Killers". These are large brightly colored ants that have a sting so powerful and painful, it is said to be able to kill a cow! We could see signs of alligators, coyotes, deer, and several other large animals traveling across our newly claimed bit of camp ground.
'''A local resident living next to our camp... The blue color behind her is the canopy over our dinner table...'''
The weather was surprisingly calm, however, the sun was bright and hot, with little wind. The air was extremely humid... keeping all of our equipment and supplies damp and dank. We were always hot and damp and looking for relief. We even set up a temporary shelter under the trees in an attempt to find a place where the heat was tolerable.
'''Our forrested "cool spot"... notice the fan we tried to run using batteries from the boat!... It didn't work...'''
We did the best we could and set up our base camp. We put up our tents, a large canopy covering our work center, and our cooking area. We did our best to make this primative area as comfortable as possible.
'''We did all we could to make ourselves comfortable'''
'''We went out into the woods surrounding our camp and placed our BUSHNELL trail trip cameras...
If anything will catch a picture for us, these will!'''
On our first night, we heard many strange calls and sounds, we could smell a "skunky" odor near the camp. We saw our field cameras flash several times, lighting up the dark of the nearby woods. We had very high hopes of this becoming a very productive expedition!
We got up at first light to see what we could find. We found fresh tracks of alligators in the sand just behind our camp. We could see tracks from coyotees and foxes, and we even scared up some deer fawns in the woods behind us... Our Bushnells captured pictures, but nothing unusual, but no signs of the subject of our expedition. We would have to get deeper into the swamps if we were to find a "Skunk Ape". We loaded up a chain saw and other tools that we thought we would need to cut through the underbrush so we could get into the swamps. Because we had to use the smaller boats, only a couple of people could go on this forey. We picked the two best guides, our own TJ Biscardi and a local man who spent most of his life out in these swamps, Krome. Each man took two other men with him in each of the GHEENOES. They set off to find a way into the swamps.
'''The two "GHEENOES"'''
Within a few hours of leaving, one of the smaller boats failed. The trolling motor, needed to fight against the strong currents, quit working. The teams came back and re-organized. They tried again with Khromey at the helm, TJ cutting brush and JC Johnson as observer and designated security. The three men went back out and spent nearly four hours cutting brush and searching. When they returned, they were totally exhausted, they all had deep scratches all over them. It was clear they had put in a full days work to support the rest of the team. They had found a way into the swamps! They went ahead and searched the areas for any high ground that might support a creature.
'''The road way into the swamp. Here is where the men actually came out of the swamp...'''
The total distance these men were able to travel in nearly four hours was probably less than five linear miles. What they found was not what they expected. They said there were thousands of very large spiders everywhere, there were many large alligators... some of which were actively hunting birds in the trees by shooting up out of the water after them... What they didn't see that they expected to see, were snakes! Everyone thought there should be a concentration of snakes on any of these islands out there..., but not even one snake was seen... The islands we expected to be able to find were only a couple of feet out of the water and small in area. There were no signs of any large animals. The large wild hogs we had seen the last time we were out here were gone... Only gators, birds, and bugs??? We could only speculate that the water came up higher than any of us could have known. The larger animals had moved to even higher grounds. With another major storm coming, they had left these areas and headed for even higher ground. The men never saw any signs of prints, but they did see markings in trees... scratch marks too high to be a bear or other animals, but nothing that appeared to be fresh.
We all got together to discuss our next step... The weather window was closing fast and we had decissions to make quickly!
We decided to go back out on the "African Queen" and scout the area a little more before deciding our next course of action.
'''Our guide, boat captain, and camp cook, Krome piloting us down the Choctawhatchee...
...while Leonard Dan and Chuck Creel enjoy the ride'''
We could see the beauity of this area as we cruised along. The weather was changing as we went. It was becoming obvious that our window of time was coming close to an end. We documented all we could along the way...
'''Brian Mazzola, our videographer trys to get some video as the sun begins to set on our expedion'''
'''Some of the beauty we got to see.. a hornet's nest.. dangerous logs and snags in the river.. the thunderheads forming...'''
Later that evening, we made the decission to leave because of the weather... Leonard Dan told us the rains would come by 2am. Our experience with "Chief Dan" has demonstrated that he is 100% accurate in his ability to call the weather. We are very thankful to Dr. Mike and his friends, Krome and Wormy. These men are all very knowledgable of the local areas, they are brave and supportive and we are glad to have had this opportunity to make new friends... This trip may not have produced the evidence we were looking for, but it did produce new friends and a greater knowledge base for all of us... I would do it again in a heart beat!
'''Doc and Wormy in our "cool spot"
The entire team (except Brian who took the picture!)
Left to right:
JC Johnson, Chuck Creel, "Wormy", TJ Biscardi, "Doc Mike", Java Bob, "Krome", and Leonard Dan'''
Thank you to each and every one of these wonderful people who believe in what we do and the need to go out and find the truth.... Our friends and partners...
- Team Leader and CEO of Searching For Bigfoot, Inc.
Searching For Bigfoot -- THE TEAM
C. Thomas Biscardi III - AKA Tom Jr. or TJ - Director Of Field
Operations, Director of Field Security and
Live Capture Team Leader
Rocky Slavens - Assistant to TJ - Sharpshooter extraordinaire with superb tracking and survival skills
Rob Price - Head Tracker
Chico Martinez - Navy Seal/Survival Expert
Jim Snell - Field Response Team Member and
Founder of Granite State Paranormal
Jim Dawson - Documentarian, Photographer and Film Crew Leader
Doyle Halcomb - Forensic interviews, investigations, weapons and field medic specialist. A retired State Trooper Officer
Lee Joyner -- North Texas Lead Investigator
Larry Woody – Technical Specialist and Field Investigator
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