Creative and Useful Bigfoot Research Techniques, by Don Campbell

This is a series of emails I received this week from Central California Bigfoot researcher, Don Campbell. Because the information in the emails is valuable to all Bigfoot researchers I asked and received permission to put it online. You’re welcome to make comments or ask questions for Don, and hopefully he’ll come by to answer them.

By Don Campbell – © 2009


Hi Linda

Just read my friend, Cliff Barackman’s blog and now have read your site. Cliff is trying out some of my bigfoot baiting techniques. I mentioned to Cliff and DB Donlon aka The Blogsquatcher that I had been using honey and sweet feed as an attractant to Bigfoot in the Carmel Highlands area of Monterey County.

You have undoubtedly read reports of people seeing bigfoot in berry patches. The rarest commodity in the forest or desert is honey. Bears and other animals will go out of their way to find it and risk getting stung to get it so I reasoned / theorized that bigfoot would do the same. My research area is near Mt. Pico Blanco. What I do is suspend a Honey Bee jar of honey in a burlap bag from a tree high enough up so it is inaccessible to the resident black bear population. I drip some honey on the lid of the jar to act as a scent factor. I also use a squeeze bottle of honey and go out in various directions away from the baiting area and periodically squeeze out a few drops leading back to the baiting area.

I know this works and bigfoot have discovered the the items I have been lacing in the burlap bag. I get the licked clean jar and lid replaced in the bag. A bear would rip the bag to shreds and damage the jar.

I also use glad containers with baklava or fruit filled pastry in them. I daub some of the contents on the lids which are snapped shut. Result: licked clean containers.

My fellow researchers have felt the sensation of being observed and have smelled the odors emanating from bigfoot. I think bigfoot is curious about us and tries to observe our endeavors. He / she might also be curious about me. I am 7’01” tall and weigh 300 pounds with a size 17 shoe. My friends are much shorter — Pete is 5’10” and Cuberto is 5’06”.

The reason for the sweet feed. It is extremely high in carbohydrates and vitamins. It is [if you aren’t familiar with it] like catnip to all ruminants. It is made with alfalfa and molasses. Comes in a cake form similar to a fat brownie. Your report of the woman who saw a bigfoot in Santa Cruz who was eating cypress shoots suggested the ruminant / herbivorous aspect of bigfoot.

One of our experiments regarding bigfoot is to use Ozium Industrial Room Deodorizer to act as a scent diffuser when we smell the presence of bigfoot. Ozium is made from orange rinds and it is used in large enclosures like warehouses or stadiums to eliminate noxious fumes. Ozium can/will cause nausea and headaches in unventilated places. I figure that if bigfoot uses scent to intimidate he should be prepared to get it back. Result of spraying is the occasional howl or grunt.

We are also trying to acclimatise bigfoot to camera traps by photographing ourselves and the animals of the area then posting blown up pictures [8 x 10] on a large board. Below the board we have placed soft soil to get footprint impressions. It seems to work as we have been getting some partials — mostly toe impressions and half foot.

I also had a sighting of bigfoot (2) on May 2nd, 2009 near Aptos, California. I have reported this to Mike Rugg who told me that his group had seen 2 bigfoot in the same area within days of my encounter. A friend and I were in Nisene-Marks State Park near Aptos, California. We were planning on walking to a defunct ghost town called China Camp or Hoffman which is in the park. We had barely gone in 3/4 of a mile when we saw some strange grave like cairns of piled river stones in a copse of redwood trees. The graves were in an out of the way place and there were no creeks nearby which struck us as being strange. As we were measuring the cairns we had some stones thrown at us. I thought I saw a dark figure moving away through the nearby brush and started after that person to confront them. Thought it was a homeless person but before I had gone ten or fifteen steps after the figure more stones were tossed at me from behind. The stones landed all around me so I returned to the trail. Since the stones kept coming we decided to forgo our journey to China Camp and walk back to my parked Chevy Tahoe. My friend thought he saw someone and he left the trail only to have stones tossed over me and near him. I yelled out a phrase in a First Nation language that I speak which basically means knock it off and the stones subsided for a bit.

We got back to the parking area around 4pm and heard a horse’s snort like sound which made us turn around. What we saw were two tall creatures standing behind some bushes about 20 yards away. We could see their heads and shoulders as everything else was obscured by the bushes. One was black haired and about 7′ tall. The other was a little shorter and reddish brown in coloration. We could see their faces which weren’t hair covered. The thick brow ridge, the large dark brown eyes, nose and slit for a mouth. They were heavyset with no necks. Didn’t see any ears. We looked at them and they looked at us for about two minutes then they turned and walked away. My friend just said, “Shit, they do exist.”

We went to a bar and had a couple shots of tequila to calm down. In hindsight, we had been looking for ghosts and something we weren’t looking for found us. I want to go back but my friend doesn’t and won’t talk about it. He told me he had migraine headaches for 3 weeks afterwards. I had nightmares.

I later contacted Mike Rugg and told him of our encounter. I had the impression that the smaller one was a female. Mike wants me to go with his group back to the park. He wants me to try calling out to these creatures in the other language I speak and he thinks that my size may draw them in out of curiosity. Might work.

This was my second encounter with bigfoot. The first happened in your town of Happy Camp in 1975. It was a face to face encounter and we were both separated by the thickness of a sliding glass motel door. After seeing that creature which puzzled me I had nightmares and haven’t been back to Happy Camp since. At the time I hadn’t heard about bigfoot and didn’t find out about them until a few months had passed. The motel I stayed in had small patios that opened up to the forest behind the rooms. The desk clerk at the time warned me that they were having troubles with wild creatures roaming outside the rooms at night like coyote and not leave the rooms after 10pm. It wasn’t a bear as I had seen bears before in a previous job. Besides bears don’t have five fingered hands with opposable thumbs and then walk away for long distances on two feet.

Don Campbell


Go ahead. You may be right about Thompson Cabins as I found my old sales log and it mentioned that I stayed in some cabins near Happy Camp. At the time I was a traveling salesman selling rebinding to school libraries in the western U.S.. What happened back then I was up late rewriting my orders and it was around midnight when I heard an odd noise outside my room so I opened the drapes and ducked down a bit to look outside in order to see what was making the noise. I looked directly into a face of a tall dark haired creature standing on two legs that was ducking a bit to look inside at me. I think we startled each other as his eyes were or seemed to grow wide — heck I was startled too. We stared at each other up and down and then it put a large hand up against the glass as if to steady himself and I did the same. Why, I don’t know, but my bare hand was a few inches from his bare hand and we both looked at each of them. His fingers and thumb were fatter then mine but the length of the hand was similar. After a while he turned away and walked off on two legs. I closed the drapes and went to bed and promptly had a nightmare. We were about 18″ apart. I always wondered what it was thinking as it walked away.

In the fall of 2006, I was doing location scout work for a motion picture company and was asked to get some photos of bigfoot footprints for a movie that was in production. I went up to the Hupa Reservation and spoke to a few friends and to a Tribal Elder. They showed me some footprints near a creek. Being skeptical I took off my right boot and sock and stepped down next to the footprint. The length was about the same as my size 17 foot but the width was much wider at the ball and heel. As I was putting my boot on we heard a long drawn out whoop type call and my friends got agitated and started saying that Omah was near so we left. We came back a few hours later and there were other bare footprints around mine of various sizes and there was what I thought a large finger hole in the middle of my footprint. The Elder thought I had issued a challenge to Omah and felt that Omah had seen me with the much shorter Hupa. He speculated that Omah must have thought that “OK if those are humans [indicating the Hupa] then what is that? [indicating me]” and he later called me to tell that they hadn’t seen many Omah since.

The howl I heard kind of reminded me of the Howler Monkeys I heard in Belize and Guatemala but it also was coupled with the screaming eeriness of the mountain lion. Some monkeys will whistle and whoop as will some species of parrot. I think bigfoot’s whoops and whistles are much louder and longer in duration then what a monkey or parrot would make. Cliff thinks the knock sounds that are attributed to bigfoot may in fact be loud claps of slightly cupped hands. Bigfoot may do this as a way of announcing its presence and will search out the maker of the sounds. It could be a recognition signal among family members.



Ha’yu Linda

That ha’yu is a Hopi First Nation greeting which means “hello” and is pronounced phonetically like hahheh. The Hopi, by the way, have a name for bigfoot which is rather descriptive and seems to fit them quite well. The word is kononpaiochi pronounced phonetically as kono silent n pie ouch ee. It means the people of the north who don’t cut their hair. It is a much better name for bigfoot instead of sasquatch.

The Esselen Indians who once roamed the Big Sur area of California referred to bigfoot as: the great hairy forest watchers. To the north the Costanoan and Rumsen Indians who lived near Carmel called them: the forest watchers who came to put out the fire. In my research studies that latter name was mentioned repeatedly in the early records of the Spanish Ejercito [army] explorers. Cabrillo and Portolla used this term.

If you are going to hang honey pots you need to suspend the burlap bag from a tree that is at least 12′ off the ground. I figure a black bear can reach up to 8 1/2 feet. Also dribble some of the honey on the burlap bag too as an attractant. Where we do our research is three miles from the nearest neighbor and ten miles as the crow flies from Highway One. The area is very rural and out of the way for hikers. The only problem that these rural mountain areas have is the marijuana growers. You need to go armed and be very vigilant. The animals and snakes are the least of your worries when these people are present.



You probably have wondered why I am willing to pass on what my group is doing vis-a-vis bigfoot. We couldn’t care less about notoriety or making money as we are curious and want to share what we have learned with others. If we can help some researcher find bigfoot that’s great. Here are some other helpful tips:

All animals [man included] produce a scent that can be smelled. To counteract or neutralize that scent there is a simple and fairly reasonable scent killer method:
1] Mix two (2) cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide and two (2) cups of distilled water [if you don’t have distilled use boiled water] with 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 ounce of an unscented shampoo. Pour into a one gallon plastic jug and cap it loosely. Let it sit for three (3) days.
a] if you tighten cap it tends to explode.
2] While the mixture is marinating fill a small lidded tub with brown or blue multifold paper towels [the kind that come in stacks].
a] available at Costco, Sam’s Club and chain drug stores or auto supply stores.
3] At the end of three days pour the mixture onto the paper towels and mush them down so the paper towels absorb the mixture. Squeeze out excess scent killer and replace the lid. You can now use these scent killer paper wipes to wipe down your body, your clothes, your binoculars, tape recorder, etc.

We have noticed that bigfoot is attracted to instrumental music. How — my friend/associate Peter plays piano at night and sometimes gets his cabin’s walls pounded on when he stops. He noticed that this also occurs when he has his friends over and they play their instruments. We have been experimenting with New Age Jazz, acoustical recordings; a tympanum drum or kettledrum which is beat in a rhythmical pattern; a didgeridoo; an aboriginal communication device [take a leather thong about three (3) feet long and tie a small board [eight inches long by four inches wide by 3/4 inch thick] to one end then swing the contraption in a circular motion by holding the thong at the other end — noise sounds like an airplane’s propeller engine revving; and a length of cut garden hose which is also swung. We get responses in howls or screams. I know this sounds wacky but it works for us.

Singing gets no response.

Remember the old adage of “Curiosity killed the cat?”

Sweet Feed; fruit filled pastry; baklava; rice krispie balls; honey soaked fruit such as apples; orange sections; salted peanuts in the shell or loose; peanut butter with nuts or just plain smooth; grapes; dark chocolate.

We tried bananas — a failure. Only worked when we sensed that we were being observed and had to demonstrate peeling and eating them then they worked.

We also tried whole oranges — another failure. Had to use same method as bananas and demonstrate peeling and eating technique.

We set up a display area with a 4 foot by 4 foot sheet of plywood [marine ply works the best as it doesn’t warp as fast as regular plywood when subjected to moisture]. We took pictures of ourselves and the local animals both domestic and feral. We enlarged the photos to an 8″ by 10″ size and posted on the board. Below the board we prepared the ground by digging down four inches and replacing soil with sand. The area in front of the board was dug out six (6) feet and two (2) feet to either side of the board. RESULT: toe and half foot impressions. In another area we set up a camera trap about six (6) feet off the ground. Too low attracts bears and deer. DO NOT FORGET TO USE YOUR SCENT KILLER ON CAMERA AND STRAP.

Also experimenting with a mirror and a heavy comb or cheap hair brush. Mirror to get reflection. THEORY: if we can get bigfoot curious about reflection in mirror camera won’t scare it. Hair brush and comb — we demonstrate use when we sense we are being observed. Camera trap focuses on mirror area. If nothing else we are getting bigfoot into good grooming habits —LOL. Did note that a lot of brushes have gone missing. 1] we get small colored stones or feathers as payment for hair brushes.

Experimenting with greetings in First Nation Languages [American Indian]. We only do this when we sense that they are nearby. We have been calling out in Hopi and Navaho:
Hello in Hopi is: Ha’yu pronounced like HAH HEH
Hello in Navaho is: yatehe pronounced like YA TEY HAY

Results — inconclusive but we have hopes. I have read some reports that bigfoot speaks a form of ancient Algonquin or Salish language. Stan Courtney [] has recordings of their murmuring language — you might want to listen. So does the BFRO [].

Linda — hope this helps your readers.



Back in 2006, I read a now defunct bigfoot site called Central Ohio Bigfoot Research Group. They mentioned that if you have a group of people and suddenly get the sensation that a bigfoot is nearby to loudly laugh out loud then abruptly stop. Result you may get a chuckle from the nearby bushes as if bigfoot had enjoyed the joke. Being skeptical about this I mentioned it to my research partners, Peter and Cuberto. We tried it and darned if it doesn’t work. The chuckle we heard was brief and loud.

The same site mentioned that if you play a tape recording of children laughing and playing you will attract bigfoot.

Something more for you to pass on. I figure that the researchers who are looking for bigfoot aren’t using their imagination. They hear of the basic techniques and follow them. If bigfoot is an intelligent creature you have to use just as much intelligence to find him and that means use your imagination. The researchers I told about the use of honey and sweet feed laughed a lot and thought I was nuts but now they are trying it. They obviously have forgotten that it was innovative / imaginative thinkers that created the every day gadgets that most people use otherwise a string and two tin cans would still be our cell phones. As an aside from this, when I was a traveling salesman selling tools my boss was mad at me for selling to the competition. He changed his mind when it proved successful. My reasoning was that the competition had to buy it from somewhere. If I had a product that they couldn’t get and which they wanted then why not. My use of my imagination catapulted me from just one of a hundred salesmen into the top five of salesmen within one month on the job. I stayed in that monthly sales position for eleven years.

The whole point of looking for a supposed intelligent creature is to use your supposedly technologically superior intelligence to either find him or attract him. 99.9% of the bigfoot researchers in the world use the old tried and supposedly true methods ie hitting a tree with a stick or bat to make the wood knocking sound. They forget that all trees are different [this includes trees of the same species] and make different sounds when struck. The knocking you hear in the forest is usually consistent in sound. Cliff Barackman believes it is from clapping but like many innovators he is getting laughed at even though he is dead right on the subject. See for his clapping article.



Speaking of South American music we also tried using a rain stick. What it is is a piece of cactus in which the thorns have been removed then re-driven back into the cactus and small stones are added. When upended it makes the sound of rain or water rushing. Supposedly the indigenous shamans of the Peruvian highlands shook their rain sticks to attract thunderstorms so their people would get water.

A better way to get water in a drought area is to hang sheets of fabric from two poles and collect the dew that develops. It can also be used in foggy areas to collect the moisture in the fog.



Just read your posting about clapping by bigfoot and it made me think of an alternative method for you to duplicate the noise consistently.

Years ago I taught a music class as a substitute teacher and there were a bunch of two blocks of polished mahogany sets about six inches square and three inches thick. We used these in class to make a clapping noise. The blocks had finger grooves in the sides so one could hold them. They were slapped together. Some of the blocks had leather straps on the back so one could slide their hands inside them. The finger groove method was tiring after awhile.

I think that this might be a method for making a consistent noise similar to clapping. What do you think? The noise equates the clapping of two hands and equals the wood knock.


5 Replies to “Creative and Useful Bigfoot Research Techniques, by Don Campbell”

  1. Hi Linda – no books yet, but the mail doesn’t come in until after 4 here. Sometimes I have to wait until the next day for packages to be processed. One of the drawbacks of living in a remote mountain town.

  2. Great information! I’ll use some of it in my newspaper column next week. (I’ll of course give proper credit.) I write a Bigfoot column for my local paper, Douglas County News, Sutherlin, Oregon.)Linda, did you get the children’s books?

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