Episode 66: Hunting Bigfoot

Welcome back everyone to this episode of our Walking the Shadowlands podcast. Spring is here in New Zealand and we are seeing new life everywhere, a timely reminder that things pass and move on and new life, new beginnings will always return after things seem the bleakest.  So for those of you in the world who are still struggling to deal with our current pandemic, hang in there. Things will get better, new beginnings are around the corner.

For those of you, like myself who enjoy going for walks in the bush as we say here in New Zealand, or hiking in the wilderness, this is a time when our thoughts once again turn to heading out to those desolate areas we may love so much. But, are we alone when we are hiking, far away from so called civilization, or is that feeling of being watched, of feeling not alone a valid feeling? Or is it merely our imagination?

Throughout the world there are stories and legends of huge, hairy, ape-like creatures that have persisted over the centuries, through retellings of cultural myths and legends, and of actual reported sightings of such creatures, by those, such as perhaps yourself, out in these wilderness areas.

These beings go by many different names. In North America, they are called Sasquatch, or the more common name of Bigfoot. Across the ditch in Aussie, they are called the Yowie. In parts of Asia and the Himalayans they are call the Yeti, or the Meh Teh…. In Mongolia they are called the Almas. In Sumatra the Orang Pendek. In China, the Yeren. In the jungles of South America they are called the Mapingauri. On the podcast website www.walkingtheshadowlands.com you can see a link to a page that has a huge list of names for this creature.  So you can see that this being goes by many, many names throughout the world.

So far in past seasons, we have looked at New Zealand’s Moehau Man, and spoken with people who research these beings, here and in Australia. We looked at Australia’s Yowie. This episode we are going to talk with a gentleman who had an experience with the Bigfoot in the USA. This experience created an ongoing interest and desire to know more and to seek out this elusive creature. So the question is, are you willing to walk with me into this part of the Shadowlands and see what awaits us there? Then let’s begin.

Mike Familant

Mike a 31-year-old EMT, firefighter, graphic designer by day, is a bigfoot researcher, producer and lead investigator from North West New Jersey. He first got into bigfooting in 2011 on an expedition in North Florida, where he and a friend experienced rocks being thrown at them while sitting around a camp fire. Since then, he has made it his personal goal to find out exactly what is roaming the woods of America.

In 2016, after becoming frustrated with the lack of true research expedition shows on TV, he created his own show, called “In the Shadow of Big Red Eye .” The show is currently filming their 5th season. In 2018, Mike also created a docuseries called “Squatchables ,” which was created for people who are just getting into bigfooting, sort of a “Bigfooting 101.” With a passion for bigfooting and a history in video editing, he decided to make the first REAL show about what expeditions are truly about. You’ll see RAW, UNCUT footage of what bigfooting actually is. If there is one thing I hope people gain from this show, is for families and friends to get off the couch and outside into nature to explore what this amazing world has to offer,” says Mike.

I would like to welcome my guest Mike Familant

In my research for the shows that I did on New Zealand’s Moehau man. I did like about 30 hours’ research on it. I didn’t even realize we had one in New Zealand – oh yeah. Until I started doing research. So it was quite interesting. But, I discovered in my research that the similarities worldwide, are, are – they’re all the same. They’re the same sort of things that people see.  The same basic descriptions. So it’s quite interesting. For people who don’t know about Bigfoot, can you explain what Bigfoot or the Big Read Eye, as he’s known where you are you from is?

Sure. Yeah. So Big Foot is a tall bi-pedal, hairy hominid that’s of unknown origin. so averages like seven to eight feet tall depending on where in the country you’re, you’re living. It’s covered in like hair not fur, but hair. Goes anywhere from like a white, grey, tan, red, maroon, all the way down to like a deep, dark black. And you know there’s a lot of credible witnesses and sighting reports of from people like of all natures, you know from homeless people to doctors reporting you know seeing whatever they saw.

When I came across you and I looked up your YouTube videos I was quite fascinated, because, it’s a subject that I find quite interesting. So, tell us how you got interested this area of research? Which is Bigfoot, Yeti, the Moehau Man. Many names throughout the world for this creature.

So this happened when I was living down in Florida, and I was always like an inside kid growing up. Never really outdoorsy or anything like that. So I was living with my ex-fiancée, working at this beach resort, which is like the best job I’ve ever had. And I was finding Bigfoot was on TV. So I was bored and I went on their website and found they offered expeditions to the public, that they could go out with, you know these these researchers. And try to look for Bigfoot, and I was like; Oh my God that’s the coolest thing ever.

So you know I bought the tickets and stuff like that. And, and then me and my ex you know, we broke up. and you know I moved to Tampa. Well anyways, I still had these tickets, so and non-refundable.  Cost a lot of money. So I end up bringing one of my, one of my friends who I made, just made friends with from the [inaudible] I was working on. And yeah, then we went up camping north Florida and nothing happened the entire trip. There was like like sixty something people camping there. Yeah. So we, we camped away from everybody, because, like me –  and it was my buddy Jimmy that came with me, excuse me. We kind of like wanted –  we didn’t want to like. We’re like oh man they’re gonna be really weird. So we want to camp kind of like away from them.

But yeah, nothing happened the entire entire trip, until the last night.  It was me and Jimmy. We were up watching a meteor shower, which was really cool. We were up like super late. It was like 4:00 in the morning, or something like that. And we got rocks thrown at us from…. Well we – at first we heard like a tree knock, and I was like oh these people! You know we paid a lot of money to come on this, so these people must be – like you know, putting this on. Making this like, you know, whoever – just making us like….

That’s how they make people come back because they give them some action or something. And then over the course of probably the next 20 minutes or so, we had kind of like, may. And I was kind of still thinking it was like these people right?  So now my buddy is like I’m going to throw a rock back at it. And I’m like; oh no I don’t think that’s a good idea. Like, like you –  Like here I am still thinking like it’s these people. So I’m like, either you’re gonna hit somebody in the head Jimmy, or you’re going to piss off a big foot. And I don’t think either of them is, is probably a good way of going about it.

So yeah, he threw the rock back at it and it was at that second I knew it wasn’t a big foot, because, like you could hear just like like all the other rocks crashing, kind of like through the trees. You hear them come down, and this landed with a big thud. And it was probably a little bigger than like softball size. So like almost triple the size of these rocks that had been coming. And that’s when like I knew it wasn’t a person because nobody nobody could throw a rock that far.

Oh ok. You had me a wee bit confused , because before it wasn’t a – all good.

Yeah, yeah And then you know the next morning we took measurements and trying to be like you know, do the scientific stuff.  And we figured the closest that, that – ‘cause like, you could hear the rocks and like how they landed coming through the trees, and stuff like that. The closest place that, that could have came from like through the angles and stuff like that, was like one hundred and fifty- ish yards away. So I mean, you know I don’t know anybody that could throw anything that far. Let alone you know be that accurate. There’s, there’s no – I don’t know it’s impossible outside of human range.

That’s quite a distance.

And then yeah. So that got me like really into it, as like I kind of made it my like personal goal. I’m like, I’ve got to figure out what threw those rocks at us you know? So, so then I started researching and my friends, we started going out and stuff like that. And having our own little expeditions, and you know that that that one night turned it into, you know, here I am talking with you, doing a podcast you know.

How did you feel when you went on this group? It seems to me like it was more of a money making thing for – you know? Taking sixty people to search for a Bigfoot, that’s ah…. I kind of don’t like stuff like that, you know?

Well yeah I mean, it, it’s put on by the BFRO, by the B F R O and everybody over there is it really like, like they would –  you know I want to say they would never hoax or anything that, that kind of last part. It did seem that way. They would never hoax. But ah yeah some people you know it it depends. Depends on the expedition expedition oh I can’t speak today, the expedition organizer, to see like you know, how many people?  If he wants to put a cap on however many people. But yeah, I mean that’s, that wouldn’t be the way that I would try to find bigfoot.

I mean a group of 60 people that’s an enormous – two to three people I could understand; you know? But really, what self respecting Bigfoot is going to come out for 60 people and yet you guys had that experience….  so?

Yeah I mean I don’t know. It, it was weird.  It was I don’t know, no idea.

And when was that? What year was that?

That was 2011.

So in 2011. So since then in the past nine years, you’ve dedicated your time to researching?

Yeah. Yeah I got super into it. I got really into like the, the patterns when it comes to like sighting reports and stuff like that. And then you know, I got into getting all the gear and going out.  And It’s now like after doing it a few times you know, I actually like camping. That was my first time camping back in 2011. So you know I think, I think that you know, on top of everything else that happened, I think that’s icing on the cake.

Yeah yeah yeah. Well, to discover something that you never knew you liked before, that’s always a good thing.  So since that experience and you started going there out and actively looking?

Yeah, yep. So, moved back up to North Jersey. And I started networking with people up here and joining like kind of like local-ish Bigfoot groups up here, and then you know, I started to create a network of friends and then we would go out and Bigfoot. And then in 2015 I was like you know – I was all the research and stuff, I’m like, like hard, like hardcore into this now. So I’m watching everything on TV all the YouTube channels. Everything I could get my hands on when it comes to Bigfoot, and anything you know, you know cryptozoo …. Cryptozoo – oh my God.

I got you. It’s a big word.

Yeah crypto, the crypto thing.

Cryptozoological

Oh man. And so, so yeah I started started just researching it.  And we would start going out, and then I would, I kind of created like this, this network of people that I would you know –  we would just go out and do expeditions.  And then in 2015, like I would say and I was so, so deep into this.  I kind of was like, well I want to make like – I want to document our expeditions.  And you know that I think, I think it’d be really cool.  Because, you know we bring all this camera stuff out with us anyway.  So why don’t – you know I kind of was like upset with all the shows that were going on, because, like they were all for you know, for ratings and stuff. They’re not real, true expeditions. So I was like well you know what I’m, I was bored and turned, turned one of our private expeditions into a little short show, and everybody liked it. So I was like alright!  I’m gonna make a make a series, and that turned into in ‘The Shadow of Big Red Eye’.

Right. And why did you? And this series is available on YouTube. In the Shadow of the Big Red Eye. In the Shadow of the Big Red Eye. And that’s your YouTube channel. How many videos do you have on there now?

The channel’s actually Sussex County Bigfoot NJ.  But that’s the name of our show, you can get to, yeah, I mean you’ll find it either way. How many?  So yeah we’re filming our fifth season now. So we have all, all four seasons are up on our YouTube channel so you could see. I couldn’t tell you how many episodes there are, probably oh 30 or so.

Well, I mean if you’re into five seasons it’s a fair few, yeah.

Yeah. And then we decided to do like a, like a short docu series.  Like, kind of like a big foot one oh one.  If you, if you were just trying to get into big footing, like what what would you need to do.  Or what what should you do.  What what should you know, type of thing. And that’s called Squatchables, which is available on our YouTube channel as well.  And then, you could see like our previous podcasts that we’ve done. Present – presentations and stuff like that. So everything’s available over on our YouTube channel. Sussex County Bigfoot, NJ.

Right. So obviously you have a fair following now, to have gone into five seasons?

I know and I know it’s I think we just passed a thousand two hundred something in subscribers or something like that and you know it’s really cool because I never in a million years thought like – like this was just going to be like so we can sit down after an expedition and all laugh like this, you know what I mean? Now, it turned into you know five seasons of travelling up and down the East Coast. I mean it’s amazing I couldn’t I never would imagine that it would grow the way it has. I love all of our fans you know.

So what you do is is you go into places where there’s been reported sightings? Is that correct?

For the most part, yeah. I kind of don’t plan my trips and the locations on previous sightings, because, it’s I think like you need two things to have a big foot sighting. You need a person and a bigfoot. So I think like the deeper you go away from people, the further and whatever, where there’s say the population’s like 2 per square mile.  you’re not going to have as many sightings there, because, the population – there’s nobody to see a Bigfoot. So it’s an interesting like sightings in Montana. There’s not not a whole lot of them but you’d think that state would be you know I mean up there on the sightings list but, it’s just Montana is very desolate. You know, the same with, the same with Alaska.

Right. And one thing I’ve noticed in the episodes that I have done on the Bigfoot, the Yowie, the Moehau Man, or Big Red Eye, as you call him. Is that very often it is in isolated areas. It’s in forested areas generally, where there’s a lot of bush. Very rarely are Bigfoot seen in areas that are open.

Yeah. Absolutely I think it’s very, you know, very similar. It’s they’re not, they’re not going to be – you know, they’re smart.

Yeah, yeah. So, how many people do you have on new team that go on these expeditions with you?

About, say 30-35?

That’s a fair amount.

Yeah, they’re all over the country, so its not like they come out to every expedition. Normally we have 4-6 people per expedition, so….

That’s more what I was thinking, right.

But yeah. Generally speaking, you know active members –  there’s a good five or six people that usually come out to ‘em. So it’s um….

And how often do you, do you go on these expeditions? How often do you go?

Well yeah, this year kind of kind of was interesting, because, obviously covid.  And generally generally speaking, from the summer months.  From like April to say October, we’ll try to go out once a month for the like a, you know, a three-night long expedition.

Right. Well that’s, that’s a good trip. So, in all these places you’ve visited, have you ever caught a glimpse of Bigfoot? Or have you seen evidence of their nests, or where they live? Or that they’re around?

Sure yeah. So I don’t, I consider myself that I’ve never seen a big foot. There was one time in South Jersey, in the Pine Barrens that I don’t know? I saw something, and I I don’t know, I don’t know what it was? And we’ve got pictures of it. But it’s it’s so blurry, that I would never even think of like releasing them to anybody. So I don’t know I couldn’t, I couldn’t tell you.

But yep we’ve, you know, found footprints in certain locations. What’s interesting in New Jersey actually, there’s you could see like there’s a family group. So there’s like a mother or a father., and I think like two, like two younger ones.  And we go down to the same location each year down in the Pine Barrens. And each year you could see the footprints growing. Like the male and the female stay the same. But the kids, you could see them like growing!  Like, it’s really interesting.

Really?

Yeah. So you know for someone to hoax that is yeah, I mean, you’ve got to – you’re very dedicated! 

That’s actually interesting. I’ve never heard of family groups of, of Bigfoot being – well, of footprints being found before. So that has to be quite interesting. And, to go back and see the difference each year. Either, if it is somebody that is hoaxing then they’ve got a lot of patience, and they have to know when you are going out there every year.

Exactly! And that’s the thing. I don’t tell anybody where I’m going. Like you know, like only my my group of people know. So it’s not you know?  It’s just, it’s insane. Really. So they would have to get up early to, to run two miles into the woods, with no trail, to stamp footprints. Like that just – that’s not….

Yeah. It beggars belief, doesn’t it?

But yeah, we’ve also recorded vocalizations that I’ve sent off to like, an army linguist, and a military linguist. He’s, he’s like my go to guy for vocalizations. He’s a, does that for a living. He’s an expert., so he’s pretty good at it. And he’s reviewed the audio and it’s come back like this is not a person, because, of this, this and this.  And, this is no known animal because of this, this, and this. Like he’ll actually list it out and stuff like that, which is really cool. Because, of like pitch changes, or decibel changes and stuff like – he has this, like system. And a couple of them have come back like this is nothing that we know exists. So I think you know that’s where a lot of the evidence comes from as well, is like through audio recordings.

Quite interesting.

Yeah, yeah. Not a human. And you know no animal can make the –  no known animal, could make the vowel change like if you, if you hear in the audio it goes from A to to an like an O to an A. And animals can’t do that!

That’s very interesting. Very

So it’s kind of cool. Only primates can and we’re not supposed to have any primates up here in North America.

True, true. Wow. So how did you, how did you actually find this chap who does the audio for you?

Oh it’s just through networking. You know it’s there’s a lot of people in the Bigfoot community, and there’s a lot of really cool people. I know like, I’ve met some, some of my best friends now have come through online networking.  And it’s it’s crazy, it’s you know the people that you meet. I met a lot of cool people through this and it’s just neat.

In your, in your Bigfoot research, have you come to any conclusions as to what you feel Bigfoot might be?

Ooh, that’s a good question. So, yes there’s there’s kind of different philosophies when it comes to big footing. Some people are the thought pattern that Bigfoot is related to aliens. There’s people that believe Bigfoot is inter-dimensional so that they can make shape shift and and whatever. And there’s people like me, that say that they’re like an actual flesh and blood type animal. The reason why I believe that is because in my expeditions in the time that I spent in the woods that’s what would lead me to believe it would be the most. Meaning, I have not found evidence of any of the other thought processes. So I always challenge somebody if you can bring, show me some evidence that they can you know shape shift. Bring it on but no one’s no one’s brought it up to the plate yet. 

So I haven’t heard of the shape shifting.  I have heard of the inter-dimensional. But inter-dimensional doesn’t mean they shape shift it just means they move from one reality to another. But shape shifting, I haven’t actually heard that one.  that’s a new one to me.

Yeah. Yeah. Down in – I think it happens a lot like Arizona and Nevada.

Ah, but then would that not come under, not Bigfoot but that might come under ah what’s the word? Oh, and I did an episode on them as well. The Navajo call them um Skinwalkers.

Skinwalkers, yes.

They would more likely to be a Skinwalker than a, then a Bigfoot.

Yeah. No absolutely.

They can shape shift. Yeah, and Skinwalkers are – and also the area is more desert, rather than forested. So, that would be out of the bigfoots natural habitat that he’s generally found in. So for me, I would tend to feel that that would more be a skin walk with the shape shifting. Definitely not inter-dimensional. From my understanding anyway.

Sure. Yeah I mean, I’ve heard it all.

I can imagine.

But and also, another reason why I think there are more animal than anything else is, because, like you look at them like their traits and their patterns, and stuff. Like if I, if I was inter-dimensional or intra-dimensional whatever, you know, whatever. Then why would I leave footprints for people to find? And why would I make these vocalizations? And why would there be? Why would I leave hair and stuff?

But then, but then, inter or intra-dimensional doesn’t mean, that they’re not physical while they’re in this dimension.

You lost me?

It just means they can travel from one dimension to another and, and – but then there’s so…. there’s so many questions aren’t there?  So many questions about this subject. My minds going over the place, like for example why, why are there never any bones found?  Or remains found of these creatures?

Yeah. That’s a very good question.

If they are flesh and blood creatures, ah this dimensional creatures, yeah.

You’re right. That’s it. That’s it. That’s a very good question. I answer that by saying like we have it – I’m hiking and camping all the time. I have never come across the skull or remains of a black bear

Oh Interesting.

But, we live in an area –  where I live, is the most highly dense densely populated Black Bear County in the northeast. So I mean and you know same way with like, with places where there’s moose. I ask people –  you know people come up and they’ll challenge me on that. Well why haven’t we ever found a dead one. I’m like well you go find me dead black bear and then we’ll talk.

Yeah that’s a valid point, I can see that.

And you, and you add intelligence on top of that. So it’s like I think they go way out in the middle of nowhere.

And who knows that they don’t have some sort of grieving funeral process like we do?

Yeah…. I don’t believe that, because, I think that by doing that you add religion and then you add a belief system.

No no no I’m not. I’m talking about like crows have kind of like a funeral service when somebody dies. They all go around in a circle around that, that crow that died. Elephants mourn their dead. So there’s no reason why a Bigfoot if he’s a, a biological creature, doesn’t have some sort of thing that they do? Maybe they bury their dead?  Or cover them?  Or put them in a tree, or something that you just don’t know?

Sure, yeah I mean it’s very well possible. I don’t even even if they didn’t even if you didn’t bury your dead though I think it would still be you know you have an intelligent creature that knows you’re going gonna die where these big foot are seen are in places where there’s a lot of scavengers that come along there’s you know the Ravens and everything you know everything eats something dead in the woods so there goes your meat real quick and then the the bones are easily explainable because like where you find Bigfoot sightings. Are also places that are you know the same exact areas that bear are which are cool. And Florida is a perfect example of that but where there’s bear there’s also a porcupine. So the porcupine eat the bones for the bone marrow.

Oh seriously? I didn’t know that.

You know you can go from – Oh also you know too, bigfoot live in these soil, acidic acidic rich soil so that that speeds up the deacon decomposition process and everything. So you can go from like dying, dead, day one to being completely nothing like you were never even there in like 20 days, I think.

20 days? That’s pretty fast. Yeah that would be interesting too to get some scientific studies on it. You know to see how it actually does take to, for a regular, for any sort of animal corpse to break down.

I think unfortunately that that would vary too much for each.  You know?  Depending on if it’s raining, if it’s, if it’s humid.

Of course. So in your, in your research, in your studies have you heard?  What stories have you heard that have really caught your attention about bigfoot encounters?

Oh that’s that’s a good one. I think my favorite story and this just kind of it hits close to home, because, one what we’re dealing with right now in the United States which is all the wildfires going on and oh my god the people that have –  we’ve lost churches. It’s insane. You know I’m over on the East Coast in New Jersey and we, it’s all hazy from all the smoke out in California, and Oregon, and Washington

Yes. So one of these stories and there’s there’s paperwork to back it up and stuff like that but I think it was out in Colorado I couldn’t. Don’t quote me on that. But there is a big wildfire going on a big forest fire and there’s firefighters taking a rest like in like a group or whatever. And they have you know the fire trucks right there and whatever. And then I guess it’s like some kind of a rest post or something? And a big foot comes out of the woods like singed, like you could see it like smoldering. comes out of the fire area and crawls up to these firefighters and they take them they put him in the ambulance they get the guy who whose story this is you know saw them start an I.V. saw the blood drip down onto the floor of the ambulances is all written by him you know I don’t know. They don’t take it for if anybody wants to research it. You know I can get you the information but yeah and then the ambulance then the government came. Some army trucks or whatever. Which wasn’t uncommon because it was like an army corps thing help them with the fire. But then they like caravan this ambulance who knows where? so that’s really super interesting. And I like that story a lot.

It is interesting and was that with, was with these recent fires? Or was that sometime…?

No. No that I forget the year it was all I’ll look at it. Yeah I’ll look it up and send it to you.

OK that’ll be really cool and I can put the link on this episode’s page on our website. www.walkingtheshadowlands. com. So anybody who’s interested can follow that up. But, that kind of goes into a whole pile of different areas. That this podcast really doesn’t cover, like government conspiracies and cover ups and stuff like that.

Yeah, I don’t, I can’t tell anybody like especially at presentations that kind of gets a little bit political and stuff. And I don’t talk, I don’t talk conspiracy theories or anything like that. There’s that there’s a whole group of people that do. I’m not I’m not part of it.

Yeah I know.  This podcast isn’t about that either.  This is more about the unexplained, and the unknown, and the mysterious. And so, where do you think your team is going to go from here? What’s your next expedition that you have planned?

Well the next expedition that we have I guess after this airs is gonna be next year. We don’t have any set expeditions because for the winter it just gets, you know?

Of course, right!

It’s just kind of like our relaxed time and you know kind of time to get reset and stuff like that and work a lot so he gets paid time off.

Yeah I forgot that you’re in the northern hemisphere so of course we’re coming into summer now.

So. So you’re going in to spring then right now?

No. We’re in spring. Well, spring formally started on the first of September. So yeah, well into spring, although it’s been pretty cold lately.

So what’s cold for New Zealand?

Oh well it depends, well…. It’s not cold what you have for sure. I mean, I never, ever saw a snow actually, until I went to live in North Carolina.

Yeah? Welcome.

I loved it. Oh it’s so beautiful.

Right that makes one of us!

Because, I’ve never experienced it you know? And to be there in the snow. Although it does snow in New Zealand, just not where I live. It’s kind of like the center of the north – of the East Coast of the North Island. It’s a fairly warm climate here where I live.  Comparable – gosh, I don’t know, to perhaps Florida in winter when it’s a bit cooler.

You got me sold!

Yeah, it’s beautiful.

When am I coming? I’m packing my bags.

Yeah it’s lovely here. So let me see, I’m just trying to think what else. Do you have any have any? Have any of your team members had any experiences in any of your expeditions?

Yeah I mean, I think what’s cool is, is we all contribute to, I think.  Like, like sometimes one team will have a lot of activity and the other team won’t have any activity. That’s if we like split apart. But that’s I think what’s kind of cool about it. It’s like it’s all luck. Like people you know I’m going to go this way because I think the big foot did this and this and this and travelled this way. So I’m going to take my team this way and it’s very interesting. It’s cool but yeah they’ve all got really –  I mean if we don’t get activity every time ….

Right, of course not.

that’s you know it’s not so that’s another thing that the TV – the reason why I made the show is kind of you know wanted me to create the show is because, yeah, if we don’t have any. If you know, if we don’t have any activity you know we’re still going to make the episode but it’s not gonna be a long one. But that’s you know it’s not about finding Bigfoot. That’s what people you know, a lot of criticism that I get from the show is like oh you know what happened when you guys are on your investigation? Or you didn’t go too deep into this and whatever.

And because it’s not about like us actually big footing it’s every every show has every episode has an underlying theme of like let’s get out of the let’s get off the couch and into the woods and see something that we wouldn’t see every you know, on a normal day. And that’s what I hope people are able to do and kind of take from the show is like even if you’re not in a big foot. You know what that means nothing. You know just getting outside and even just taking a you know a leisurely hike through the town park, or something like that. Something you wouldn’t normally do get outside and experience it with friends and family.

Yeah exactly. Oh that’s awesome. So, for you personally, where do you see yourself going with this in the future? Are you just going to….

Oh, I don’t. I don’t know. This year has been really tough. It’s hit us you know, very hard financially. And I was at the point even though like we don’t outsource anything like that it’s just you know it’s my time and it’s. And you know my gas going to these locations looking you know and it’s you know it hurt us. So I want to say that we’re gonna be back at it as hard as ever next year because we obviously you know for season five I think we’re gonna have two or three episodes. Which stinks, but that just means we gotta do it twice as good for season six. Right?

Yeah, but you know what? Everybody is in that situation at this point in time

That’s true.

And I don’t feel if there’s anybody in this world who wouldn’t understand that. We’re all in this together. Even even a little New Zealand down here, in the South Pacific. You know, we’ve been lucky. Because, we are an island in the middle of nowhere. Two island in the middle of nowhere. So we’ve been able to shut our borders and keep ourselves relatively covid free.  Compare – in comparison with other countries –  even Australia. So – but, but we’re not immune to the financial repercussions of what’s happening in the world. And, I understand that for you and for many, many people this is a terribly difficult time. So I can’t see that your viewers are going to take anything from that. It’s just what it is now.

No, no.  And that’s what I like about you know all of our fans its you know it’s I designed the show and it’s filmed in kind of like a non-professional I don’t want to say it’s not professional but it’s it’s filmed as like you were actually on the expedition yourself. Right. So it’s not you know there’s no, you don’t generally use tripods, because, you know it’s too heavy to carry around in the woods. You know this is, it’s a true expedition. It really is. It’s like you’re like you’re right there, rolling along with us.

And, as I was saying before we started. I was watching your episode where you knelt on the snake.

Yeah. Those. Yeah. Those are like little short short solo hikes that I did and stuff and yeah that’s one of the things I should have been aware of especially well where I was kneeling. But, lesson learned!

And fortunately nothing happened to you, which you know?

Yeah. No I think it was just a little garter snake

Oh that was lucky.

Which you know is was good but I mean still it’s really been one of those poisonous ones you were talking about before, the venomous ones.

Yeah, it could have been, and of course it could have damaged the poor snake as well.

Oh true. Absolutely.

So now there was something that was going to ask you about – oh that’s right.  Before we started this episode, we were talking about the New Jersey Devil.

Oh yes.

So, you’re from New Jersey. And have you? You’ve heard of the New Jersey Devil?

Oh of course. Yeah. The New Jersey Devil is a very interesting story. It all started I think it was like 19 0 2 where their,  where their, you know schools were closed. Because of the sightings of the Jersey Devil was you know so rampant and you know it was picking people off the streets and you know it flies off into the night and all that good stuff. And while I don’t disbelieve and discredit any of those stories the sightings kind of died down after that that like craziness the pandemonium if you will, and then the sightings still to this day are kind of sporadic here and there.

What is an unpopular opinion that I have, is that the Jersey Devils actually a misidentified Bigfoot. and I think that because if you look at –  first of all the Jersey Devils in the Pine Barrens we go down to the Pine Barrens all the time. There’s a lot of Bigfoot sightings and there. There’s also a lot of Jersey Devil sightings down there. But anyways the sightings of the Jersey Devil are glowing eyes glowing red eyes at like seven eight feet tall and screams in the night. And I don’t know, I think that’s what a Bigfoot does? So I’m kind of putting the two and two cryptids together and you know now we have you know one that you know two out of the three characteristics big foot doesn’t fly but you know.

I was going to mention that yeah.

Like like I say if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck you know it’s probably a duck.

Well that’s very interesting.

And what’s what’s interesting about that is so, so we did an event down there and this guy interviewed me from like this newspaper Burlington County Times and he interviewed me on that exact sub subject of why I think a big foot the Jersey Devil. And let me tell you the people of South Jersey the pine-ies we will call them. They, they like their Jersey Devil. I actually got death threats from. Yeah. Yep, yep, yep. So that doesn’t change my opinion of what I think. You know the Jersey Devil actually is. But don’t go to South Jersey and say that there’s no Jersey Devil.

Wow that’s pretty scary. Did didn’t the X-Files do an episode on the Jersey Devil?

I believe so.

It just brought that to mind. Funny how your mind works isn’t it. OK. So that’s really interesting. But you know, people do have very strong beliefs then and they don’t like their beliefs being questioned. Which I guess is – well some don’t like their beliefs being questioned.  So I guess that’s why, but to get death threats, that’s pretty yeah, pretty strong.

What can I say?

Do you have a website?

We are in the process of making an actual Web site. Yes. However, it’s not finished yet but we’re on Facebook. Shadow of red eye or I’m sorry In the Shadow of Big Red Eye. Instagram is Shadow of Red Eye. YouTube our channel says Sussex County Big Foot NJ, and our show is called in the shadow of Big Red Eye.

Brilliant!

And, I’m the producer and director of them.

That’s wonderful, so there’ll be links to all of these on this episode’s page on, on walking the shadowlands podcast website. www.walkingtheshadowlands.com so you listeners can all go there and click out the links and check out – and check Mikes work out, Mike and his teams work out.  This has been quite an interesting chat Mike.  I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s a bit different. I wasn’t sure what to expect actually when we started. But this is, this is really interesting.  And to me, this is a subject that I really like, because, it’s it’s a mystery.  I like mysteries. I like mysteries. I like things that make you think. And question what’s real and what, what is our perception of reality.  And I’ve had like, several episodes on –  we’ve done a new Zealand’s Moehau Man which is your version –  our version of Bigfoot.  We’ve done – I had, I interviewed a chap on –  who was a major researcher in Australia on the Yowie, which is the Australian version.  And, I’ve wanted for a while, to speak to somebody who is researching the American version. But of course there’s versions all over the world. There are so many different names for Yowie, and I first developed an interest in this when I was a kid and I heard about the abominable snowman. And Sir Edmund Hillary, who’s a bit of a New Zealand hero and an icon.

Oh yeah yeah.

Who had an encounter with one –  can’t remember exactly how that happened.  But anyway, that got me interested in it.  So yeah, it’s been a fascination for me ever since.  So Mike, thank you very much for your time today. I really appreciate it.

Oh thanks for having me on.  I, it was awesome.

With the Bigfoot sounds provided by Mike, from one of their expeditions.  I did repeat the calls twice at the end of the clip, in case any of you listening were wondering. I understand the human nature to want to solve mysteries, to seek out answers to perplexing questions that have puzzled humankind for eons. After all, this podcast is an offspring of the curiosity, that desire to know more, to understand the unexplained, the unsolved mysteries on this planet. It’s part of our human nature to be curious to want to be able to categorize things, or events and place them in neat little boxes. This is a human trait that my Star People friends have often commented on. It is a source of amusement to some of them. Much as we dote on wee kiddies when they are discovering new things.

So I fully understand why people like Mike go bigfooting. Absolutely I get that. What bothers me though, with these companies that were taking huge numbers out in the field, is that these creatures are living, sentient beings and I hate the exploitation of anything like that. That’s just a personal bugbear of mine. I have no issue with small groups of people going out looking, heck, I’d join them in a heart beat. Just not groups out to profit from this. That’s my rant for the day.

I really appreciate Mikes time and the energy he puts into his expeditions and video channel. I hope you all have enjoyed listening to Mike as much as I have.

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This episode’s bumper music is called Man in the Arena by Kristian Leo. I really like that driving beat.

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