Thursday, June 21, 2012

Game Cameras - The "Scurge" of Bigfoot Research

Reconyx Game Camera Retail - $600.00
When Game Cameras first became inexpensive and widely available we were all "licking our collective chops". Now we could get those pictures of that pesky Bigfoot once an for all. These handy little gadgets could monitor "squatchy" looking places 24/7 and we have this mystery all wrapped up in a few months. 

Fast forward fifteen years and we are still waiting. The best we have is washed out close ups, miscellaneous body parts (of what we do not really know), a back of something, and a few decent but controversial IR videos. We do not have the 60 second clip of the big guy himself strolling by the camera and making sure to put his face in the lens so we can see sweat bead up on his forehead.

IR "wash out" of a Bigfoot
Instead of being the great "break through"  to document a Bigfoot it has been turned against us and used by the critics who constantly drone "there are thousands of Game Cameras in the woods and not one picture!?"

I want to examine the weakness of the current game camera technology and explain why I think for the "average" Bigfoot researcher they are a waste of time to purchase and deploy. I will admit at one time I had 8 cameras in the field and have posted videos from them. I am also a fan of Derek Randles and the Olympic Project.

PIR Senesor (Passive Infrared)

When you study the technology you think wow, this is great. The sensor uses difference in the infrared (IR) temperatures to detect movement. It is "passive" so in theory there are no electronic emissions. It can "see" in most weather conditions and at night. Unfortunately it's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. The sensor is looking for the changes in the infrared heat signature. So when you first put up your camera the sensor sets the baseline based on the temperature of the surroundings. When a human or animal pass through this area their IR heat signature is hotter than the surroundings, if this difference in heat moves across the sensor then the sensor says "I have movement" and sends the signal to the camera to begin taking pictures or video.

This all sounds great but the Bigfoot in my area figured out very quickly how to place either thier body or another object directly in front of the camera lens. The camera would trip once, but during the "time out" period of one minute the PIR would set a new baseline. So as long as what was placed in front of the camera does not move the camera will not be tripped again. I have example after example of my cameras being tripped and there is nothing but a IR wash out. Then a few minutes the camera is tripped again but there is nothing in the cameras field of view but the food, rocks, and/or other things I had set out are moved or gone. Yes, believe it or not the Bigfoot figured this out and within a couple weeks of me putting the cameras out.

Infrared Emmitters and the "Wally Effect"

Wally Hersom
Wally Hersom, a Nevada multimillionaire, started experimenting with Reconyx Game Cameras. He discovered what I later found out as well, animals can see the infrared light from the cameras at night. There is a very good article about this on the BFRO website - 

The cameras also make noise. Some click, some make high pitched whining noises, and others make noise that humans can not hear but animals and in my opinion the Bigfoot can hear.

In this excerpt from the BFRO website article these noises are explained:

Reconyx asserts that their cameras make no noise at all, but they may mean only noise that humans can hear.

Some digital trail cameras make a very high pitched, but very subtle, whining noise when they are triggered. This is caused by an oscillator that regulates the power going to the LEDs.

So if the Reconyx unit makes a sound, it is definitely not a clicking sound, but rather a very high pitched tone above 20 KHZ -- above the ability of most humans to hear, but probably not beyond the ability of various wild animals to hear.


I think not only can the Bigfoot hear the cameras but they can see light in the infrared spectrum. (This will be a subject for a post in the future).

So what now?

I have taken down all but one of my game cameras. The one I do have deployed is being used as a decoy for a new type of camera called by its generic name "Plot Watcher". It is a time lapse design that takes a picture every 5 or 10 seconds. Then with a software application you can play the individual pictures back in a movie type format. This makes review easy and quick. I am using a camera manufatured by Primos called the DPS. The big weakness of the plot watcher cameras is right now they are only for day time use.

I have had some success with them and posted the results in my recent YouTube video and on this blog. Redchun has also had some success with his plot watchers. 

Unfortunately anecdotal evidence is suggesting the Bigfoot can detect these "plot watcher" cameras as well.

It is clear to me a new techology needs to be developed, but what worries me is the possiblilty of the Bigfoot having the ability to sense any man made object or better any technology we deploy no matter how stealthy and sophisticated.

The "Sonar" Theory

With all the recent developments I am thinking the Bigfoot has the ability to detect technology. Things that are made with plastic, carbon, integrated circuitry, etc. I think like a dolphin emits clicks constantly the Bigfoot is constantly emitting infrasound. When the Bigfoot enters an area where there is a game camera the infransound will cause the camera to vibrate or reflect back some of the noise. The Bigfoot can hear or feel this reflected noise. So he instantly knows there is something in the area that does not belong. I would postulate that the Bigfoot know the sounds or responses of different materials - steel, wood, nails, cars, homes, radios, recorders, etc., so they are not constantly on the alert. They learn very quicky the "singature" of a trail camera and avoid it.

This would explain how they appear to know where the camera is and peek or sneak up on it.

This is of course just a theory, but if there are any acustic experts out there willing to lend us their expertise I would be glad to get any information I can.

So in conclusion I would recommend you save your money for now and go buy that new putter or fishing rod that you have had your eye on.

Post by: Scott Carpenter


  1. Good article Scott. I am so with you on the infrasound theory. I wonder if longer range camera's would work? (kinda like telescopic lens, I think that's what I mean)

  2. Scott, while Blondie has a fine suggestion, I think based upon my limited experience with telescopic lenses
    they are expensive and won't take the elements. I would
    try a combination of cameras over a bait station. Try not to depend on just one camera. Maybe even place one
    in an obvious location as a decoy. He can't stand in front of all of them at once.

  3. Is it possible that he is always observing and see's you place the camera? Or at the very least see's unusual activity and does his homework before entering an area you have been active in?