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Ohio’s White Bigfoot Video, the Analysis

 

Brief History of the Video

At around 6:30PM on August 2, 1992, Don Keating, an Ohio Bigfoot researcher, inadvertently captured about 1 second of video of what many think is a large, white Bigfoot. About 16.5 months later, Don Keating discovered the video segment during a routine review. The video was first publicly shown to the attendants of an Ohio Bigfoot Conference in 1994. Since then, Mr. Keating has made several amateur video documentaries of the video segment and his supposed supporting evidence, and sold them to anyone interested. The video, filmed in Coshocton County, Ohio near a dirt road off County Road 6, has created much interest in further local research by many Bigfoot enthusiasts. The video has also been reported as being seen on some local news programs and cable TV shows. The video, by Mr. Keating’s own complaint, has never been thoroughly analyzed to prove what the object in the film is. Therefore, the object in the film has remained a mystery for over 7 years. See the Scaled Scene Drawing for a typical view of the event.

 

Claims Made by the Filmmaker

1) A light gray to white object was accidentally video-taped on August 2, 1992 with a GoldStar, 8:1 VHS camcorder, and was later discovered on December 21, 1993, which is said to be 17.5 months later.

2) The filmmaker was filming scenery in an area of possible Bigfoot activity, and claims repositioning was required for a better filming angle. During this period, the camera swung around to the side and recorded the light-colored object unknown to him at the time.

3) Virtually everyone who has viewed the film believes the object is a Bigfoot, and the filmmaker and others believe that the film is second only to the Patterson film.

4) References are made to other instances of light-colored Bigfoot creatures filmed or seen in the region to add credibility to the 1992 film.

5) The object in question appears to be 8 to 10 feet tall based on: comparison to a 12-foot bush across the road, its waist appearing even with posts that he measured as 49 inches tall, and that it would not be as visible if it was any smaller.

6) The object travels 28 feet in anywhere from 1.3 to 2.0 seconds; the 28 feet traveled is said to consist of four 7-foot steps, and the object just passes 3 posts during the time it is visible. This feat is thought to be nearly impossible for humans to reproduce.

7) The object in question was on the far side of the roadway at a distance of anywhere from 262 to 292 feet from the camera, and filmed at 1:1 zoom.   

8) No one has proved that the object is not a Bigfoot.
 

Goals of this Analysis

The goal is to apply scientifically acceptable reasoning to the analysis of the film to arrive at a factual and reproducible conclusion. Although the film is brief and badly blurred, there is a sufficient amount of relevant information that can be extracted for analysis. These results, which are not subject to the optical illusions of a human viewer, will provide accurate information and assessment of the claims made by the filmmaker. If the claims cannot be validated, then alternative explanations will be presented. The reader will therefore be properly informed and not subject to inaccurate information, opinions based on errors in analysis, or being forced to guess the identity of the tiny white blur on their TV screen. It is not our goal, nor would it be possible, to enhance the image for instant identification due to the resolution of the film. Improved images made from the film for analysis will not be included in this report due to copyright protection by the filmmaker. Another goal is to keep the presentation of this information brief and results oriented to avoid needless detail, length, and time expended in preparing the report. Therefore equations, derivations, intermediate data, and further elaborations will not be included. We will retain enough information to allow readers to understand the methods used to derive the results.
 

Analysis Methods Used

Three different video documentaries of Don Keating were obtained: his first from 1995, the 1998 version, and the latest 2000 version. After an initial familiarization period watching the films, the actual film site was visited to make measurements and film the area for other relevant information. The clearest video footage of the event was then selected from the different documentaries. Note, we did not ask for the original tape due to the extreme unlikelihood of obtaining permission to use it. The clearest video clips were a zoomed clip from the 1995 version and an un-zoomed clip from the 2000 version. The video clips were then captured and saved on a computer. Each frame was then numbered for reference and saved as a high-resolution image file. For future reference, the frames were numbered such that frame #36 is where the object just completely disappears from view at the end of the main sequence. Since VHS frames are almost exactly 0.0333 seconds apart, accurate time measurements are also easily obtained. The images were then imported into Corel Photo-Paint to uniformly enhance the contrast, brightness, and intensity of each frame. Points of references were defined from the image files, and X, Y measurements were made within Corel Photo-Paint for the relevant object positions in each frame. Trigonometric calculations based on site measurements, satellite photos, camera optics, complex filming angles, and camera movement corrections were made on the measured data. The resulting data was then imported into Microsoft Excel for scaling and to prepare graphs of the object’s progression on the roadway. Accurate body size measurements were performed by importing the clearest frames of the zoomed images into AutoCAD 2000. AutoCAD’s rulers and ability to increase resolution by interpolating pixels simplified accurate measurements of the highly zoomed images. The dimensions were then correlated to actual physical body size. During the image manipulations, the scaling factors were carefully maintained. The tools used made the task much easier and were more than adequate for completing the analysis. The analysis is based on measurements and mathematical relationships of 3-dimensional space, and therefore not highly dependant on image quality. A picture certainly contains at least a thousand words and even more opportunities to calculate unnoticed information.
 

Analysis Method Details

This section will step you through the basic process and reasoning used to obtain the stated results. Comparisons, to the information claimed by the filmmaker, will also be discussed.
 
1) To arrive at accurate positional information and grades of the area, topographical maps, USGS online satellite maps, and sun angle data were first consulted. The following data is important for further calculations: Roadway direction, at the objects location, heading away from highway C6 = 317°, Sun azimuth at 6:30 PM, 08/02/92 = 274°, Sun altitude at 6:30 PM, 08/02/92 = 23°, Camera filming direction = 263°, Main road grade downhill towards C6 = 8.7%, Up hill slope of the woods beyond the main roadway = 20%, Altitude drop from roadway to camera = 10 feet. All directions are referenced to true, geographical north, as being zero degrees. Refer to the Aerial View below for illustration.

2) Actual site measurements were used to confirm the above data and prepare size and positional information of the trailhead gate, posts, utility pole and other landmarks in the area. The location of the camera as stated by the filmmaker, of 282 feet from the 12-foot bush opposite the parking area, was located and the general view seen on the documentaries confirmed. The original camera position and time of filming stated by the filmmaker is considered accurate, and can be verified by combination of the following: the angle of the trail visible in the documentary, the angle of sunlight shadows of nearby bushes, the apparent size of the utility pole when filmed with the stated camera, the general view of the pond at this location, the view across the pond of a utility pole and tree in some of the video clips – allowing triangulation, and the general view of the roadway landmarks such as posts and poles. The distance from the camera, in the direction of the object in question, to the far side of the roadway will therefore be = 282 feet for further calculations; however, an error of 10 feet here only affects the object size by a few percent or 2 to 3 inches. Incidentally, present day measurements, of the fence posts along the roadway and partially visible in the film, do not all agree with the 1992 positions even when rotated to the proper viewing angles. Either, at least one post has been altered in the last 8 years or what appears as a post is the film is really a result of poor resolution. Other more suitable objects were chosen for size reference due to the questionable accuracy of the post positions in 1992. It is indicated in the documentaries that some alterations have been made to the soil surrounding the posts to keep out ATVs.

3) The exact position of the object in question can be located by agreement of the following deductions. See the illustration of the Cross-Sectional View of the area. Note, the sun altitude is only 23°, the 12-foot bush that the object is stated to be adjacent to will therefore cast a shadow 28.2 feet long across the roadway. Since the object is obviously being illuminated by sunlight (see section 4) below) from at least the waist up, the stated 8 to 10 foot tall Bigfoot cannot possibly be closer than 16 to 20 feet from the bush. When the shadows of taller trees on the hillside are accounted for, their height calculated by reference to the utility pole and the known hill slope, and also viewable onsite, the shadows extend a minimum of 40 feet across the roadway. The observed object’s lighting conditions then place it at a minimum of 30 to 40 feet from the far side of the roadway, which is in the parking area. Of course, the exact shadows are not the same as in 1992, but the general figures obtained from the film make it impossible to place the object at the far side of the roadway. Additionally, the zoomed images clearly reveal that the side of the individual is seen and that it had to turn to look in the direction of the filmmaker. Referring to the illustration of the Top View Drawing, it is easy to see that the individual would reveal a much larger frontal profile if walking at the oblique angle of 54 degrees on the roadway. In contrast, the area near the posts is perpendicular to the filmmaker resulting in the side profile evident in the video. The individual would be about a foot taller if it were located on the far side of the roadway instead of at the posts. The accuracy of the size measurements indicated in section 7) below add even more certainty that the object is located by the posts in the parking area. We will therefore use 225 feet as the distance from the object in question to the camera in further calculations; again noting that a 10-foot error would only result in a 2 to 3 inch size error.

4) Video quality is another important issue to discuss. The type of camera used cannot horizontally resolve better than about 3 to 4 inches at a distance of 225 feet. This is due to the limited video bandwidth and CCD imaging device used at the time. The vertical resolution at the same distance is also limited to a few inches due to the number of scan lines used in the VHS format. With the resolution of the individual being such and also in motion, there is little point in attempting to see more detail by using image enhancement techniques. VHS camcorders also have a dynamic range for contrast of less than 40dB; this means that dark to light ratios of only 100:1 can be resolved at best. Brighter levels simply remain white and darker levels remain black. To further complicate matters, the camera will adjust its average brightness to compensate for the light available. When filming a darker area the lighter regions will become white, making it impossible to judge the absolute brightness or color of these regions. The darker shadow visible in the videos near the object in question is a result of overshoot in the video amplifiers, as the image makes a transition from white to dark. In order to avoid these problems, the human eye has evolved vision with much more dynamic range. Therefore, the fact that the object on the video is white has no relationship to the actual color, but only indicates that more sunlight is reflecting off it relative to the background lighting conditions. The approach taken in this analysis was selected because it is not subject to these issues, and the blurring only results in a minimal and known measurement error.

5) The next important step, after all object positions have been deduced and verified, is to find a way to correlate the object size and position on the video images with actual physical dimensions. This requires a known-sized object that can be identified on the film, unless the original camera used is available for inspection. The selected object should be as large as possible to avoid errors in measurement due to blurring of the video images. The blur or edge definition based on the specifications of the camera in use at 225 feet is 3 to 4 inches.  A 35-foot long object would be required to obtain 1% measurement accuracy. The height of the viewable portion of the utility pole, up to the top insulator, which is gleaming in the sunshine, was selected. A viewable distance of 43.0 feet was measured while onsite; this was also verified with our onsite video recordings made from the position of the filmmaker – using a technique based on camera angle. After a few calculations including a correction for viewing angle error, the scale factor of our captured images is 0.04418 inches/foot at the poles distance. As a quick check, the pole diameter of 12 inches at the height compared to on the video agrees very closely with this figure. At the 225-foot object distance, the scaling factor is 0.05341 inches/foot. Now it is easy to zoom the captured image as needed, and use the computer tools to measure the object in question and the distance it moves. Since the images were digitally captured, the aspect ratio is perfectly maintained and not subject to the height and width adjustment uncertainties of a TV or monitor. Another technique that can work almost as well is to make a few calculations when the camera’s viewing angle is accurately known. Although the original camera was not inspected, the viewing angles that correspond are very typical of video cameras of their class. For example, our latest Sony has a 34°H and 26°V as measured for reference right off a wall with a tape measure.

6) Most of the raw measurements made above will require some additional processing before actual results are available. Some of the data was taken from the zoomed portion of the documentary as mentioned above, so it was necessary to find the magnification used during the process. Simply by taking a visible reference from a zoomed and un-zoomed frame, this can be calculated to be = 2.1428 for future reference. Incidentally, the un-zoomed portions of the documentary were actually filmed at a zoom of 12%; this becomes evident from viewing the end of the last un-zoomed clip in the ’95 version. All object positional data was referenced to the insulator on the utility pole; this prevents camera motion from causing optical illusions and errors in measurement. The furthest point away from the camera is also always the best reference point; nearby objects will move with the camera position creating optical illusions. In addition, the image data points were corrected for camera rotation from frame-to-frame. The center of the objects head was used as the measurement point to best determine its position. The center is best due to the blurring associated with the edges. The distance the object traveled must also be corrected for the angle difference between the objects path and the camera’s viewing direction. In this case all evidence indicates this angle is less than 10 degrees and only a 0.5% error results if the effect is ignored. It should be pointed out, that by carefully plotting the scaled data on a large sheet of paper, and graphically solving by making measurements directly off the paper, one could avoid many of these calculations and not require computers or training in mathematics. Now, the objects path can be transferred to the map that was prepared onsite of the area. It is now evident that the calculated results agree perfectly with the view from the filmmaker’s video. This important test can reveal a calculation, deductive, or measurement error if agreement is not obtained. When your deductions and data agree with the viewable information, the hypothesis is thus confirmed.  See the illustration of the Object Path in the Top View Drawing.         

7) Another important value that can be determined from analysis is the object’s size. The object size was determined by making careful measurements of the various body parts visible in only some of the zoomed frames. The measurements possible were head height, head width, upper arm length, body side width, head to shoulder, and head to wrist. Care was taken to avoid measuring the blurred regions, but this proved to be difficult in all but one type of measurement. The best data points would normally be those that span the greatest distance. In this case, only the head-to-shoulder measurements were considered accurate due to the blur cancellation they afforded. Human anthropometric data from several sources were compared for accuracy, and then used to form scaling factors for converting the body segment lengths to overall body height. Note, that the use of Ape or other data would result in a much smaller height due to the proportionally longer arms and head. Also note, the head position relative to the shoulder is consistent with human values. The data was then imported into an Excel spreadsheet for scaling and statistics. As an indication of measurement accuracy, the standard deviation was also calculated for each body part from the multiple frames. The height of the post where they intersect the body of the individual was also used in the body height calculations, using the proper anthropometric data. The post-intersection technique resulted in a slightly taller individual, but the method was more prone to error. The true post heights, referenced to the parking area soil, were previously measured onsite. Based on the above data, if the object is incorrectly located on the far side of the roadway, it would be a foot taller as noted in section 3), but then the head would still just barely protrude above the post tops. The posts appear about 6.3 feet high when projected to the far side of the roadway, due to the camera’s up-hill line of sight. Since the waist level, in the video, is in line with the post tops, the 7-foot tall creature would have legs almost 6 feet long – ridiculous proportions. Note, the upper body proportions are not abnormal in the film and agree closely with normal human proportions. The only other possibility is that the creature is over 10 feet tall, but the measurement accuracy obtained cannot support that possibility.  The head of a creature that large would be almost twice as wide as the utility pole when blur is accounted for, which is not evident in the film; other body parts would likewise appear much larger. These observations are more very good reasons to exclude the possibility that the object is on the far side of the roadway; this can also be demonstrated onsite. See the Cross-sectional View for illustration of these effects. Placing the object beside the posts in the parking area avoids all of these types of contradictions.

8) Another observation with potential merit was made by watching the film clip before and after the object was seen. On most versions, the film was clipped before one can ascertain what the filmmaker was doing before and after the event. On the 1995 version of the documentary and for sure on the original, on the last un-zoomed clip, the video continues for an extended period of time. As stated by the filmmaker, just before filming the object, he backed up for a better view of the pond. This is evident in about 6 seconds and about 6 steps of movement for an estimated 15 feet of travel to the S-SW. The distance of travel can be confirmed by triangulation and agrees with simply counting the steps taken. On the single video clip mentioned above, it is revealed that the filmmaker returns, in about 6 seconds and 8 steps of travel, to essentially the same location and view and continues filming the pond – what happened to the better view. During these time intervals, the camera would normally follow the forward direction of the upper torso; this indicates that he was looking in the direction of the object in question for a period of 2 to3 seconds. For a little over 1 second, when the object is centered and in perfect view, there is little change in the camera’s position, as if the filmmaker is intently observing something. Although the camera cannot resolve the individual, a normal human eye would have little difficulty identifying them.  

Analysis Results

This section will present the analysis results and also compare them to the claims made by the filmmaker.  Over a period of almost exactly 1.00 second, the object is seen to move into viewable position from the right side, behind the foreground bushes, and proceed to the left until becoming obscured by roadside brush. After 0.33 seconds, the object reappears at the same location for an additional 0.166 seconds until the camera is rapidly moved away from view. About half of the time the object is visible, the camera motions causes considerable blurring. The object is very small and appears white when viewed on a TV screen; a 27-inch TV will produce an image about 0.55 inches tall.

During the period of travel, the object moves a total distance of 9.4 feet at a distance of 225 feet from the filmmaker. The path of the object is nearly perpendicular from the camera’s view as illustrated in the Top View Drawing and also graphed. The position of the object allows it to catch the direct sunlight accounting for the white color. These positions are in disagreement with Claim 7) of the filmmaker for reasons discussed above in section 3) and 7); the camera was also at a zoom of 12%, not 1:1 as stated in Claim 7). The average velocity is therefore 9.4 feet per second or 6.41 miles per hour. The velocity is also graphed, but appears perturbed, due to the short intervals between frames, camera movement, and motion of the individual’s head. These velocity variations seen in the graph do not affect the accuracy of the average velocity, depicted in the graph by a straight red line. Claim 6) of the filmmaker, concerning the object moving 28 feet in 4 steps at a speed nearly unobtainable by humans is completely incorrect. The actual speed, which is also downhill, is a fast walk or slow jog – about a 9 to 9.5 minute mile in jogger’s terminology. The only guess of how the 28 feet was arrived at, may be related to another error made by the filmmaker in calculating the elapsed time since filming: The filmmaker continually states as in Claim 1) that 17.5 months elapsed, but 16.5 is obviously the correct value. The filmmaker also considers the apparent posts in the film to be 9 to 10 feet apart and the object is said to just cross 3 posts. Is he making the same mental error, 3 posts X 10 feet each = 30 feet, instead of the correct answer of 20 feet in this example? Try this, often confusing issue, on a piece of paper to better understand the point being made. However, the apparent posts visible in the video are not 10 feet apart, but more like 5 feet apart to further confuse the issue. This is why a proper reference object was carefully selected in part 5) of the Analysis Details section.

The size of the individual seen in the documentary, based on the techniques of section 5), 6) and 7) above is in the range of 64 to 73 inches tall, head-to-foot, with all error factors accounted for. A height of 5-foot 9-inch is the mean value and is a very good fit for all the techniques used. Incidentally, 5-foot 9-inch is also representative of much of the adult male population. Claim 5) of the filmmaker, that the object appears 8 to 10 feet tall, is also incorrect. The 69-inch tall object, in the position stated in our results above, will appear 105 inches tall, due to the camera’s up-hill line of sight, when projected across the roadway onto the bush. Of course, the projected image is not a valid measurement. See the Cross-sectional View for illustration of the effect. The 12-foot bush is very difficult to see properly, not a good reference, and therefore not used in this analysis; there is also much doubt of its height in 1992. Claim 5) also states that the waist of the individual is even with the 49-inch post tops, and therefore about twice as tall or 8 feet; Anthropometric data has the waist or elbow region at more like 0.64 not 0.50 of the body height – measure yourself with shoes on for a quick check. The post height claimed as 49 inches is either the wrong post or not referenced to the ground properly, further exaggerating the height of the object. For another quick check, one can look at the film and note that the individual’s head is not any wider than the posts. The posts are 8 to 9 inches across and subject to the same blurring as the individual’s head – the size of a person’s head.  

Summary

The white object in the documentaries cannot be considered to be a Bigfoot based on this analysis. There is nothing evident in the film of the white object that an average sized person with normal skills could not account for. The individual in question is about 69 inches tall, and walks about 9 feet at a slightly hurried pace, near the posts for 1 second. The claims made by the filmmaker cannot be supported by proper analysis, in other words the filmmaker’s values cannot be made to correlate with the observations. The large number of errors made in the filmmaker’s claims does not contribute well to his credibility either. A more plausible scenario is as follows: Someone arrives in the parking area which is just out of view of the camera, see the Top View Drawing; many frequent this popular public fishing, hunting, and walking area. The filmmaker hearing them arrive, maybe expecting someone, walks over to see who it is; the new arrival does the same, walking across the parking area in order to see towards the pond. After the filmmaker sees who it is and decides the individual requires no immediate attention, he returns to his original position and resumes filming. After 16.5 months when the film was reviewed, all this was accidentally or maybe even deliberately forgotten. Refer to section 8) in the Analysis Details for more information on this issue. It remains bothersome, why the filmmaker would edit these clips to exclude this important detail; a complete disclosure would help to eliminate this type of scrutiny.

Claims 3) and 8) of the filmmaker are no longer valid, as a result of this analysis and those who choose to read and understand it. The viewer should not be expected to reach a correct conclusion when not provided with accurate information, nor can a correct analysis be made by simple visual inspection. As made evident in Claim 8), there also appears to be an incorrect, underling opinion that the burden of proof is upon someone other than the person purporting the said evidence.

The supporting evidence, of other Bigfoot activity in the area as in Claim 4), is questionable and requires some additional comments. In the 1998 version of the documentary, a white dot is shown on a cliff over a mile away. The filmmaker has made contradictory claims of this film, at first saying someone else filmed it and later that he filmed it – all in writing. The cliff is said to be inaccessible and is incidentally confused with another cliff in the area. When the wrong cliff was once approached, yet another, dubious Bigfoot video was made by a member of their group. Anyway, at the time the white dot was filmed, an oil well was being installed nearby on the ridge, and workers frequented the area. The area was easily visited with a SUV, and the cliff is then just a few-hundred-yard walk from the trail – a nice view for anyone in the area at the time. This barely visible, white dot is certainly not supporting evidence. Another example of a tendency to exaggerate multiple witness sightings is found in the 2000 documentary; an alleged sighting of a large white Bigfoot is referenced from 1985. The filmmaker again stated that “an individual” saw the Bigfoot; however, it is well known that the filmmaker was the witness. To our knowledge, the filmmaker’s group has presented no scientifically credible evidence, despite numerous claims made over the years such as: the Piney Lake video in 1995, footprint finds, odd sounds, the Christine Chapel cemetery shadow video in 1991, and more. To the contrary, we have observed and been informed of considerable confusion and misidentification by their group. Another example of misidentification is a rude joke made about another researcher in the 2000 documentary. The filmmaker heard what he mistakenly thought was a turkey in the woods, and said the other researcher must be nearby because he hears a turkey. However, even the extremely common call of an Eastern Chipmunk, which is audible in the video, was mistaken for a turkey – how can more difficult identifications be made properly – maybe this habit of misidentification contributes to the Bigfoot “evidence” being found in the area.

Closing Comments

If there is a Bigfoot creature in the region near Coshocton, Ohio, much better evidence needs to be obtained. Time would be better spent finding new conclusive evidence, maybe even in other areas, than attempting to convince others with the current questionable findings. Continuing on the present course will likely damage the credibility of the filmmaker’s group and eventually other researchers as well. Any contrary analysis to these results should be presented in writing, using similar format and detail, for review by those concerned.

References

The above information is based upon deductions and calculations and information from the following sources:

Fitting The Task To The Man, 1988 Etienne Grandjean: Human segment sizing.
Anthropometric Source Book Vol. I & II, 1978 NASA reference publication 1024: Human segment sizing.
Human Dimension & Interior Space, 1979 Julius Panero & Martin Zelnik: Human segment sizing.
U.S. Naval Observatory, Astronomical Applications Dept., Washington, DC: Sun and moon altitude and azimuth, plus magnetic declination and inclination data.
U.S. Geological Survey: Satellite photos and topographic maps.
Don Keating Video Documentaries: 1995 In the Shadow of the Sasquatch, 1998 Sasquatch… the Evidence Mounts, 2000 Sasquatch Lake... the White Bigfoot Video
Toward a Resolution of the Bigfoot Phenomenon, 1998 Jeff Glickman, North American Science Institute, Oregon: Human segment dimensions.
The Monthly Bigfoot Report, E.O.B.I.C. newsletter: May 1995, October 1995, June 1995, November 1997.
Web site: Spiritual Insights, http://www.ednet.co.uk/~spirit_insights/keating.html, 08/01/00.
Web site: Sasquatch Lake… The White Bigfoot Video, http://www.angelfire.com/oh/ohiosasquatch, 11/06/00
Web site: “Ohio’s Abominable Snowman?”- A Video Review, http://www.herper.com/BFvideo.html, 01/17/01
Web site: The Evidence, http://wnybic.freeyellow.com/evidence.html, 01/17/00
Web site: ABSRG Mail Archive, http://www.mail-archive.com/absrg%40onelist.com/msg00172.html, 01/17/01
Web site: ABSRG Mail Archive, http://www.mail-archive.com/absrg%40onelist.com/msg00022.html, 01/17/01

 

Ó2001 Ohio/Pennsylvania Bigfoot Research Group, All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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