With the 2021 Memorial Day Weekend upon us, the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center researchers are gearing up for their annual expedition. Although last year with the pandemic, it wasn’t held, this is giving the group a chance to get back together and get into the field. 

I’ve been asked by a lot of folks, what all happens before an expedition, do we just grab our gear and run out into the woods? I wish it was that simple, but no. It starts off with deliberation of where the expedition will be held, taking into account, recent sightings and activity, the amount of human activity in the area, what the terrain looks like and most importantly, the weather for that weekend. 

This year, it was decided to have the expedition in the Ozark National Forest near Adair County, where previous expeditions have been held and some interesting activity has occurred in the past. Most notably, this is the area where the Project Silent Hills was conducted, to see how far wood knocks, vocalizations and other noises usually associated with Bigfoot could travel under various conditions. One of the incidents was a tree pushed down across the road during the night, after another had been pushed down about 150 feet from part of the project team during the wood knocks being tested. 

Now that we have the area picked out, we start reviewing aerial photos of the area, even if we’ve been there before. We look to see what changes to the area may have happened. Noticing key points where audio drop boxes will be dropped, points where cameras need to be deployed and where the thermals need to be pointed towards while in camp. 

As the time for the expedition gets closer, weather reports are checked and updated daily to the team. This makes sure appropriate measures can be taken as far as gear and other necessities, including knowing that if it rains a lot, going across creeks into areas may not be feasible if the water rises. 

Finally, gathering up the equipment to take on the expedition, making sure enough batteries are packed, and that first aid supplies, food, water and even toilet paper are packed for the expedition. 

For this expedition, plot watcher cameras are going to be mounted on tripods and placed to cover large areas, taking a picture a minute, to see if anything is caught out in the open. A thermal camera that records 24/7 to a DVR will be mounted on a pole and overlooking the camp and the area behind it, with several hand-held thermals available to scan the area throughout the night. 

Drop boxes, with audio recorders in them will be deployed anywhere from a fourth of a mile to over two miles away, to record any vocalizations that can’t be heard at camp. These audio recorders will record the audio the entire expedition and it will be reviewed when brought back from the expedition. 

With our objectives laid out on what we want to accomplish, and everyone knows their responsibilities, the team heads out to the expedition location and begins the work. I will have a short article for next week as the audio, video, pictures and more are evaluated, and once it’s all gone through, I will write up an after-action report for the expedition for the paper. 

Everyone have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend, and remember those who we have lost and those who have died so that we have the freedoms we enjoy today.