Posted by: John Kirk on May 22nd, 2006
My friend and Cryptomundo colleague, Loren Coleman, stated on these pages that there is the prospect that Malaysian biologist Vincent Chow has been able to procure several photographs of the alleged Malyasian Bigfoot, the Orang Dalam or as it is known in this case, Mawas. I want to be excited about this, but given the flops as far as earthshaking cryptid footage and photos of the past are concerned, I do not have much faith that they will be as revealing as one would hope.
Seventeen years ago, the news leaked out that a car salesman from Kamloops had videotaped the legendary Ogopogo of Okanagan Lake in all of its glory. This video footage was alleged to be the best footage of the creature ever obtained and it would put to bed, once and for all, the issue of whether Ogopogo exists. The car salesman was reluctant to allow myself and Jim Clark from the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club (BCSCC) to examine his footage. This sent up the red flags right away in my mind. Clark and I had both seen this creature and we were as qualified as any other witnesses to give our opinion on it. Jim was actually banned from a press conference where the footage was shown to the media.
I was contacted on the phone by a journalist who had seen the footage and she told me it was definitely an animal. I asked for more details and something she related to me in that conversation told me that the car salesman had not videotaped Ogopogo. She told me how the creature very quickly lifted its tail out of the water and then slapped the lake surface. I asked just how fast the slap was, she again emphasized it was very quick. Given that the car salesman said his creature was in the order of 12 – 15 feet long, it would be impossible for a beast that big to slap its tail very quickly as the reporter had described. In that moment, my brain said three words: beaver, river otter.
The journalist said it also had webbed feet. Again, my brain went: beaver, river otter. I heard about this footage in August, but it was not until October that I finally got to see the footage on Unsolved Mysteries. News of this footage had gotten out to the public and some people were positively salivating at the prospect of seeing the best footage of Ogopogo ever. One eminent researcher who had seen the footage said it was a “Rembrandt” compared to all the other footage shot before this.
My belief that the creature was a beaver or river otter was confirmed when I saw the footage. My initial belief that a 12 – 15 foot creature could not have executed the tail slap in such a short time was confirmed when I saw with my own eyes the animal do it on screen. Robert Lincoln, a British Columbia wildlife expert said on the program that he was pretty sure it was a beaver with an outside chance it could be an otter. As Joe Nickell and Ben Radford say in their newly released book Lake Monster Mysteries, this is the most expensive beaver footage ever as Unsolved Mysteries is rumoured to have paid the car salesman $30,000 for the privilege of showing it on their program. Ouch!
Then last year the Sasquatch/Bigfoot world was abuzz with the news that Norway House, Manitoba resident Bobby Clarke had secured the best ever footage of a sasquatch. It was said to be even better than the other seminal footage of a sasquatch – the Patterson-Gimlin film of 1967.
Having been through the whole ‘this-is-the-best-footage-yet’ business with the car salesman Ogopogo video I did not wait with baited breath as some of my fellow sasquatch investigators did to see this footage on A Current Affair on the Fox network. I was braced for disappointment and Clarke’s footage did not fail me.
I would say it is the best “Blobsquatch” video ever. It’s just a hazy dark figure walking by water. There is no scale, no sharp focus and nothing remotely to suggest it is a sasquatch at all other than Clarke’s word. Clarke seems a decent enough guy and he may have seen a sasquatch, but unfortunately there is nothing in his video to confirm that. I don’t know how much A Current Affair paid for Clarke’s footage, but noted sasquatch investigator Daniel Perez spoke to a lawyer with the network and the figure given was $5,000. That makes Clarke’s video the most expensive Blobsquatch video of all time so far.
I guess I have been somewhat immunized against the prospect that the Malaysian Bigfoot photos Vincent Chow intends to publish are going to be the Real McCoy. The disappointments of the past have just reinforced my tendency to not to get excited about any pictures or footage that are supposed to be that good.
I suppose I will do what Ray Crowe, founder of the International Bigfoot Society, has always cautioned people to do that and that is to “keep your skepticals on.” I will certainly be keeping mine on and will make sure that mine won’t have a rose-coloured tint to them.
You can bet I won’t be disappointed. I will not allow myself to be.