Explorer

Sésquac
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About Explorer

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    Bukwas

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    Hiking, backpacking, camping, reading, exploring new places - especially those with reported anomalies

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  • Have you ever had an encounter with a sasquatch-like creature?
    Yes

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  1. Report posted in this Premium Section area, FYI.
  2. For some reason, that is the impression I got from you back then and why that Dec-2014 report was never posted in BFF. Glad to know I can post. I will post that report shortly in another section; might as well share the use of that analytical technique and the kind of findings it yields.
  3. ^^ Thanks for the explanation. I now understand what the columns mean! Yes, that is definitely a pattern. On the Dec-2014 report, I thought BobbyO sent you a copy back then? My apologies if you did not receive it. But back then I only sent a copy to BobbyO via email and he was going to forward to you. Then that Christmas season my dad passed away, and I moved on and did not follow up. I don't think I ever posted here (or anywhere), since I wanted BobbyO to give me clearance (since I used all his SSR data) and he never gave the me clearance. If you have not seen it, then it is only two of us who have seen it.
  4. Gigantor, thanks for sharing. Looks like it is a wash. About half of night sightings with no visible moon light and the other half with visible moonlight. The last time I looked at this for WA, I found some moon phases that increased the likelihood ratio of a reported sighting. But we were using a moon-phase scale of 0 to 29. The table below is a summary from Bayesian statistical analysis done back in 2014. The likelihood ratio was 1.3 for Olympic Peninsula for moon-phase range 19-25. The likelihood ratio was 1.6 for South Cascades for moon-phase range 11-18. The likelihood ratio was 2.3 for North Cascades for moon-phase range 13-19. In the previous study, we did not distinguish between moon-phases and visible moon light. Thus, maybe the higher likelihood ratios on moon-phases is not that informative. BTW, we want likelihood ratios above 1. Otherwise the information does not increase the odds. The moon phases that I listed on the table yielded the highest LR. Other phases had numbers < 1 or less selected max.
  5. Just wanted to share the feedback from a friend of mine who grew up in that part of the country and is very familiar with the Gila. He is a wildlife biologist and used to work for National and State parks in Northern CA. He has seen BF in CA and OR but not in NM. Below are quotes from his responses to my inquiry on the Gila, just FYI and another POV. -------------------------------------------------- I know of not many reports. At least not online. I think I heard a few when I was a teenager occurring around the Gila cliff dwellings and Lake Roberts campground. The Gila is huge and I know they have had a "let it burn" policy in regards to wildfires for all these years. That place has lots of fires and they let them cover large areas. There may be several reasons from a biological point of view. 1. In winter very few people go there. This is when the BF might come off the peaks of the mountains. In winter they can have lots of free range. 2. In summer it is hot and dry and the BF likely go up into the tops of mountains where most people don't go. I don't know of many people who have hiked and explored it. Just not easy to get to those trailheads. 3. With so many fires, the place to go is where it hasn't burned and not easy to access for people. When you look at those areas on google maps, you will see there is no habitation nearby, just scattered ranches. It is more open country from all the fires cleaning up the land, so hiding is more difficult.
  6. In the book Fire Season, by Philip Connors (a Fire lookout tower ranger who spent 8 summers in the eastern edge of the Gila/Aldo Leopold Wilderness), he writes that occasionally a pilot from Holloman AFB on training will fly low over the Wilderness (and close to his tower) for fun, but that they are not supposed to. He writes that the usual procedure is to radio headquarters and issue a complaint to Holloman AFB. Yet, these incidents appear to happen frequently. My understanding is that Air Force training flights are not supposed to fly low over designated Wilderness Areas or National Parks. BTW, the Sacramento Range, which is right next to Holloman AFB and White Sands Missile Range, still gets BF reports. Although, I doubt the AF pilots will fly low right next to their neighbors (in Ruidoso and Cloudcroft).
  7. Mendoza, The lack of any BF report from this huge Wilderness and Forest does suggest that there might be no BF presence in the Gila Wilderness despite it being good black bear habitat. I also believe that we might learn something by exploring why BF is not present there but is present next door in Arizona (in the Apache NF which is connected to Gila NF) or in the Sacramento range in NM (which is an island range separated by vast desert from the Gila and from other ranges to its north). Maybe BF needs a minimum amount of precipitation and available water (at all elevations) year-round that the Gila NF does not provide. It would be interesting to do a comparative analysis of the key ecosystem parameters to other ranges believed to have BF presence in NM and AZ. On the precipitation issue, I found heat maps (put together by WRCC using NOAA data) for Arizona and New Mexico showing the annual average precipitation (1961 to 1990 average). When you look at the Gila and compare it to the Sacramento range, you don’t see a lot of difference. The Mogollon rim in Arizona, on the other hand, does show more precipitation. But, as I mentioned earlier, the Mogollon range reaches into New Mexico into the Gila NF. Thus, if BF was roaming the Mogollon, then occasionally is should visit NM and be seen. Source: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/precip.html I was surprised by the low population in Catron (~3,600) Sierra (~11,500) and Grant (~29,300) counties. So maybe the local ranchers and cowboys are not talking because it is considered weird stuff (it is a conservative community after all). I believe more tourists visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings and National Forest every year than the sum of the population of those 3 counties. I recall seeing a video of a ranger complaining that the visitors to Gila Cliff Dwellings went down from ~60,000/year to ~40,000/year. But most of these Cliff Dwelling tourists would not be hiking or backpacking deep into the forest. I found a 2002 study that estimated the number of visitors into the Gila National Forest (using samples and statistics) and it estimated wilderness visitors at 115,331 per year (with 65% error rate). This estimate looks too high. But maybe there is lots of hunting and fishing going on besides backpacking/hiking (I don’t know). https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum/reports/year2/R3_F6_gila_report.htm Below is some interesting background information on Gila Wilderness Ecology, from the Gila Wilderness: A Hiking Guide by John A. Murray (1992). "The Gila Wilderness is probably best known and remembered for the vast forest of ponderosa pine; which form its most prominent vegetative type. The upper elevations (from 9,000 feet to 10,895), for the most part in the Mogollon Mountains, are dominated by dense, closed canopy forests, primarily of Douglas fir and Engelmann’s spruce, with aspen groves, wet meadows, and grass parks scattered through them. Mid-range altitudes (7,000 feet to 9,000 feet), associated with the mesa tops and their network of streams and canyons, support a more complex and heterogeneous pattern of vegetation: ponderosa pine forests, small aspen groves, oak woodland, grassland, pinon-juniper woodland, some deciduous woodlands (riparian), and some brush. Lower altitudes (well below 7,000 feet) confined to the river canyons, support a riparian community of moisture-loving deciduous trees, evergreen oaks, bushes, grasses, cacti, flowers, and herbs. The single most significant factor in determining the ecology of the Gila Wilderness is precipitation which varies depending on location but rarely exceeds more than 17 water inches of rain per year on average. Running water is conspicuously absent in the higher ridges, peaks, and saddles of the Gila country, and in some regions, near desert conditions prevail. Areas over 7,000 feet normally receive sufficient precipitations, as evidence by the presence of trees and plants that cannot cope with the harsher conditions of lower elevations."
  8. Thank you very much, Redbone! I had not realized that you finished entering the cases for AZ and NM. Just took a look at the Google Earth maps for those states and it was very helpful for the question I have been studying in NM. Also, it was very helpful to see the cases you got for CA. Looking forward for CA to be completed.
  9. My usage of the word plenty was meant relative to the region (which is the arid Southwest). I meant that it has sufficient water for the habitat that it is sustaining. Also, every time that I have been there, I have seen water flowing on the different forks of Gila. The Gila NF contains the headwaters of the Gila River that flows into Arizona. The 3 forks of the Gila River (west, east and middle fork) contain water year round, but the smaller creeks within the forest might run empty during drought periods. The area does not get a lot rain (nothing compared to PNW). I spot checked the annual average precipitation for one of the Ranger Stations (Beaverhead RS) within the forest (stats shown below). It look looks like they only get about 14 inches per year of precipitation. Further northwest, in Mogollon-NM but within the Gila NF, the precipitation is higher at ~20 inches. Apparently that low precipitation is enough to keep the Gila forks flowing and to sustain bear, deer and elk habitat. But maybe that is too dry for BF? It could be.
  10. Waggles, thanks for the tip. I sent Brenda an email this morning. If she replies, then I will share her comments/thoughts on this question. Yes, Apache county in Arizona overlaps with Catron county in NM and both counties are within the Mexican Wolf Experimental Area. Per the Arizona BFRO map below, Apache county in Arizona has about 10 BF reports. While Catron county in NM has zero reports. I did not check where the Apache county reports were located, but Apache county is large and covers a lot of land north to south along the border with NM. The Mogollon Rim in Arizona is well known for BF reports, so I would imagine that from the Mogollon rim in the Apache-Sitgreaves NF any BF could easily travel south and east into the Gila NF. Yet, no reports from the Gila.
  11. Another potential hypothesis to explain the lack of BF reports in the Gila NF could be the presence of wolves. The Mexican wolf was reintroduced into the Gila NF back in 1998 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Keith Foster (a highly respected BF researcher from Colorado) posted these comments on the Joshua Stevens BF map website back in 2013. “One interesting thing found in my data was that there were no sightings from Rocky Mountain National Park by anyone, despite super habitat and lots of neophyte campers to misidentify a bear or make up a tall tale. Yet just to the south of that park in the Lost Creek Wilderness I have three sightings from professional bowhunting guides who should know what they are looking at in the forest. All were elk hunting at the time of their personal sightings, fully camouflaged and sitting hidden and quiet. Why no sightings from inexperienced campers in RMNP forests, yet sightings from experienced professional outdoorsmen in remote wilderness less than 100 miles away? If you want to see a sasquatch, find the biggest patch of unbroken forest you can in a western US wilderness area, avoiding human trails. Get at least a mile from any human trail or road on a topo map, sit down and hide yourself there and be very quiet for weeks on end. To increase odds, make sure there are elk at the fringes of your deep forest stake out spot. Also avoid any area inhabited by wolves, as a North American data plot of wolf population seems to correlate with a relative rarity of sasquatch sightings in spite of prime sasquatch habitat.” Source: http://www.joshuastevens.net/visualization/squatch-watch-92-years-of-bigfoot-sightings-in-us-and-canada/ Per the Mexican wolf tracking website, in 2015 there were about 97 wolves in the “Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area”. This experimental area includes both eastern Arizona and western NM (see attached map). But if you look at the map of radio collared tracking locations (updated in their website), most of them are in Gila NF (New Mexico) and Apache NF (Arizona). Source: https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/BRWRP_home.cfm I don’t think wolf presence explains the lack of BF reports in the Gila because: 1) Wolf reintroduction was recent (1998). It is believed that wolves in New Mexico went extinct by 1927. Thus, there is plenty of time when the Gila NF went without wolf presence. 2) Wolves were also reintroduced in the Apache NF in eastern Arizona (which is adjacent to the Gila NF), and yet this area continues to yield BF reports.
  12. Attached is a lightning strike density map put together by Vaisala. I was wrong in my statement above that NM is the 2nd state with most lightning strikes per square mile after Florida. It appears that Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and others have higher rates. I personally don’t think the high lightning rate in the Gila is the driver for lack of BF presence. The map indicates that both the Sacramento range and the Sangre de Cristo range have equal lightning density as the Gila, yet these other ranges have reports of BF presence. Below is an extract from some interesting information on lighting strikes in the US. Here are the states where that lightning hits the ground most often: 5 - South Carolina/Oklahoma: Each state has a yearly average of 14.6 strikes per square mile (one square mile is about 2.5 square kilometers.).South Carolina had an average of 451,841 strikes per year (1996 to 2008), and Oklahoma is hit by 1,017,989 strikes per year, according to data from Vaisala. Despite these states ranking in the top 5 for lightning strikes, they have not had any lightning-related deaths over the past two years. Over the past decade, South Carolina has been the deadlier state of the two, ranking 9th in the number of lightning deaths (12). In Oklahoma, lighting killed four people over the last decade. 4 - Alabama: As a yearly average, Alabama has 15.9 strikes per square mile and 824,171 strikes per year on average. Alabama is the sixth deadliest state for lighting, with 17 deaths in the past 10 years. In the past two years, lighting killed four people in the state, including three in 2010. 3- Mississippi: It sees an average of 18.0 strikes per square mile and 856,384 strikes per year on average.That state had one death in the past two years and is the 14th deadliest for lighting strikes, with 10 deaths in the past 10 years. 2 - Louisiana: 20.3 strikes per square mile and 942,128 strikes per year.Lightning in the state killed two people in the last two years. Louisiana is the 16th deadliest state for lighting, with nine deaths over the past 10 years. 1 - Florida: A whopping 25.3 strikes per square mile and 1.45 million lightning strikes each year, on average. The state is also the deadliest for lightning, with 62 deaths over the past 10 years. Florida's lightning shows are due to its location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. These bodies of water provide the moisture needed for the state's notorious thunderstorms. Sources: http://www.livescience.com/14714-lightning-prone-states-110620.html http://lightningsafety.com/nlsi_info/lightningmaps/US_FD_Lightning.pdf
  13. My recollection when I lived in that area, is that the Gila Wilderness and NF did not have an illegal problem. Most of the illegal crossings took place further south closer to Columbus, NM, Las Cruces, NM and El Paso,TX. Once they get to Interstate Highway 10, it was over. The US Border Patrol used to have a tethered aerostat around Deming, NM. I checked the Border Patrol website (see link below) and the map indicates that they still have it in Deming. Deming is directly south of the Gila NF (guessing 20 to 30 miles south). https://www.cbp.gov/frontline/frontline-november-aerostats Another possibility for that area not being attractive to BF is that, after Florida, New Mexico is the state with the 2nd highest number of lightning strikes per square mile in the US. The book I referred above, about fires in the Gila, mentioned that lightning strikes are the main cause of fires there and before NF used to fight them, they were big. The problem with that idea, is that the Sacramento range to its east and the Sangre de Cristos also get lots of lightning yet they both have BFRO reports. Granted, I have not researched the areas in NM with most lighting strikes (I am sure there is a map out there for that). In fact, I once visited the Langmuir Lightning Research Lab on top of the Magdalena Mountains in NM and it was a crazy drive up there and not a place to hang around when lightnings are striking (see link below). These mountains, however, are further north and east to the Gila NF and are part of the Cibola NF. http://langmuir.nmt.edu/
  14. Norseman, thanks for checking and posting. Unfortunately, that case is near Ruidoso in Lincoln County, which is not the correct location for Gila Wilderness. That location is within the Sacramento range, that includes both good bear habitat and multiple BFRO reports. The NM counties of interest that cover the Gila NF are Grant, Catron and Sierra. Cryptic Megafauna, thanks for looking for cases and posting the 2 Youtube Videos. Unfortunately, neither of those cases took place in the Gila Wilderness. The first video took place near Cuba, NM in Sandoval County (a county that BFRO does show BF reports) but it in Northwestern NM. The 2nd video did not disclose location, but the eyewitness is Navajo and the terrain appears to indicate that it took place in the tribal lands of Northwestern NM. This makes sense since the area in NM that the Crypto Four Corners group tends to focus on covers the San Juan and Rio Arriba counties.
  15. BTW, I am curious about the Gila Wilderness because I lived in the region for about 5 years and backpacked it several times. It is a beautiful area that is seldom visited (although not as spectacular as the Sangre de Cristos). During my visits there, I saw bear twice and plenty of deer but no BF (it was not even a possibility in my mind back then). Recently, I read the excellent book titled Fire Season by Philip Connors, who spent 8 years as a fire lookout on Hillsboro Peak (part of the Gila / Aldo Leopold Wilderness Complex). Besides describing his experiences there, he also gives an excellent history of the Gila NF and Wilderness from a fire management point of view and from a wilderness management POV. He wrote about plenty of wildlife he saw while he spent 8 summers there, but never mentioned of hearing/seeing any anomalous signs of BF presence. Maybe he dismissed the idea/possibility or maybe BF is not there. Hiflier, Thanks for checking and sending the NM extract of JGD. Looks like the majority of those counties are consistent with BFRO (San Juan and Taos in the northwest of the state) and with a few (Eddy and Dona Ana) adjacent or on the Sacramento Mountains.