Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jeffery Pritchett. He is the host of The Church of Mabus radio show-- Bringing you unique personalities in the paranormal and high strange always and forever til death do us part. You can join his Facebook group, The Church Of Mabus Radio Show.
Fascinating to have an interview about The Falcon Project which is basically an aerial drone to help map out areas visually in search of Sasquatch. I contacted William Barnes who is the founder of the project for an interview. I was surprised to have the interview come back via Jeff Meldrum who helped out. Becoming a delight to get to work with Barnes and Meldrum at the same time. So this interview embodies both of their knowledge and backgrounds. As well as everyone else who is involved in the project. They also have a convention coming up March 30th which promises to be a hoot nanny. Presenting.
1. Could you give us some background on how The Falcon Project came about origins wise?
William Barnes had an encounter with a sasquatch in northern California, in 1997. He observed it come down the canyon and approach to within feet of his camp. This so affected him that he began considering ways to get the definitive photographic evidence of sasquatch to resolve the mystery. After researching and consulting with engineers and designers, an aerial survey approach was settled upon.
2. What sort of technology are we talking about when it comes to the aerial vehicle?
The Aurora is a helium-filled airship, with 50-foot dual cells, arranged in a catamaran-style for greater stability of the spanning platform, which supports the thermal-imaging and video equipment.
3. How exactly did Sasquatch get intertwined into this project and what researchers are involved?
Sasquatch was always integral to the proposal, but the technology will certainly have other interesting applications. We have been in communication with foresters about employing the aerial thermal imaging to collect data on forest health, and insect infestation. Conservation groups have contacted us about the prospect of utilizing the Aurora to survey for other rare and/or endangered species.
Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Professor of Anatomy & Anthropology at Idaho State University was contacted about the possibility of operating the project through the oversight of the university as research and educational project. The proposal was approved in principle and an account was set up with the ISU Foundation to receive and manage donations for the Falcon Project.
A panel was constituted to vet all evidence gathered by the Falcon Project. Under the direction of Dr. Meldrum, it includes Ian Redmond (primatologist), Dr. Jim Halfpenny (tracker, naturalist), Dr, John Bindernagel (wildlife biologist), John Mionczynski (wildlife consultant, ethobotanist), Bill Munns (film analyst, photgrammetrist), Peter Aniello (GIS specialist).
4. What is the main goal of the project exactly when it comes to Sasquatch? Is it to capture one and if so how exactly?
The initial goal is to systematically identify a sasquatch from the air, and confirm by coordinated ground verification teams, involving Derek Randles and RidgeWalkers Unlimited, and track and document its movements and behavior. Detection from air will be confirmed by the collection of trace and possibly physical evidence from on the ground. We are optimistic that the surveillance technologies with permit the capture of definitive images of the species. Once this is accomplished, we would undertake to deliver a subdermal tracking device. No capture is contemplated at this point.
5. Who exactly will be going out on the flyby missions and how many people can the vehicle hold at once?
The Aurora is an unmanned drone, piloted remotely from a mobile command center.
6. I see the Kickstarter project didn't go exactly as planned for funding. What is the next step to raise funds to continue the project?
We are in discussions with several corporate sponsors and private doners. We are also working with a major network news production company on a proposal for sponsorship via a documentary series. We also are planning a fund-raising symposium to be held in Seattle on March 30, with speakers including Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Dr. John Bindernagel, and John Mionczynski.
7. When can we expect the Falcon to be fully developed and functional?
That depends on the status of the fundraising. This is clearly an ambitious undertaking and will only succeed with the combined efforts and support of those interested in pursuing this intriguing question.
8. Can you tell us about your convention coming up with speakers who are involved with the Falcon Project?
The symposium is slated for March 30, in Seattle. The speakers will include Dr. Jeff Meldrum, an anthropologist at Idaho State University, and author of Sasquatch Legend Meets Science; Dr. Dr. John Bindernagel, a Canadian wildlife biologist, and author of North America’s Great Ape: The Sasquatch; and John Mionczynski, a Wyoming wildlife consultant and ethnobotanist. They will be discussing the evidence for sasquatch which motivates the undertaking of the Falcon Project.
9. So what are some of your personal thoughts on Bigfoot. Were you strictly all about the aerial vehicle at first then Bigfoot got introduced to the project?
The Falcon project was born of the curiosity over the enigmatic encounters with the legendary sasquatch, i.e.with something “that is not supposed to be there.” Sasquatch represents one of those remaining mysteries that lurks in the depths of the forests. It may be a creature more human-like than any previously discovered. It is clearly one of the most intriguing natural history mysteries on Earth.
10. What else can you share with us from the heart about the Falcon Project for our readers? Thanks.
The Falcon Project will involve all interested explorers, either in the field or from their living rooms at home. They will be able to log in and see the images captured from the Aurora as it is happening, and witness the process of exploration and discovery themselves. What an adventure!
Jeffery Pritchett is the host of The Church Of Mabus Show bringing you high strange stories from professionals in the carousel of fields surrounding the paranormal.