- Note - The following is an analysis of the latest 'Bigfoot
video' controversy as submitted by veteran researcher John Freitas...
- Mark Nelson's story gets better and better as time goes
on. He originally told me via phone that he was camping at Lake Sonoma.
When they left, he headed towards highway 101 for the return drive to his
home in Oxnard, CA. On the way out of the park he located a large turnout,
pulled over and found a game trail. He followed this trail up a hill and
continued to hike about a 1 hours. At this point, he claims he and his
girlfriend heard a grunt. He says he thought it was a bear at first, so
they waited about ten minutes and started taking landscape video again.
As he was taking a video shot, he heard something on his left side; this
is when he captured this "thing"...
- I asked him specifically where this turnout was and he
said it was going towards Lake Sonoma 15 minutes from highway 101. He said
it was private land and he had to climb through a three-strand barbwire
fence to gain access to this game trail. I also asked him to send me a
video file of a minute before and a minute after this event, Mark became
nervous and said he would rather not do that. I asked him why, and he could
not come up with any reason other than he didn't want to do it.
- This conversation was cut short when he said in a whisper
"I have to go now, my girlfriend just got home and she is really jealous
of the time I am taking on this video". I explained that I would need
to talk with her also, as she is the only other witness. Mark started saying
"I don't know, she is getting real jealous". I explained to Mark
that the film is worthless if is not authenticated, and he said he would
try to talk to her. He said he was interested in selling this film, and
I explained that I knew of one producer, national news reporter and a talk
show host that would be interested in this video IF a few questions were
answered. He promised to call me back in a day or two and then hung up
- A few days past and after I had left several more messages
on his phone, he finally called me back on my cell phone at around 8pm.
This time I was on my way towards LA. I told him that I was having trouble
locating the turnout 15 minutes from 101. Mark then changed the location
and said it was 15 minutes on the south side of lake Sonoma towards the
ocean. I asked Mark could we meet Sunday so I could see the whole video
since I was coming to the LA area, he immediately started to back pedal
on me saying that he promised to spend the day with his girlfriend and
he just couldn't meet with me. I told him it would only take 10 minutes...then
I asked for only 5 minutes...and he still refused.
- Mark stated he is afraid to meet new people. This seems
to contradict his claim of playing guitar in a local band, or holding a
job for a temporary agency where you meet new people/employers on a frequent
basis. I asked Mark what his landline phone number as it would be easer
to get in touch with him if needed, but he refused to give it to me saying
"that's my DSL line and I use it just for the computer".
- I asked Mark what his girlfriend did for a living and
he hesitated for a second and said "she works in a doctors office".
I asked him what he does for a living, and again he hesitated and said
"I work for a temp agency". I asked mark what he does for the
temp agency and again he hesitated as if he was thinking about what to
say, and said "I work in a office as a clerk".
- After all that transpired, I told him if this was a hoax
to let me know now and I would go my way, and he would go his; no harm
done. There was silence for 10 seconds....(this is classic textbook behavior
of deception) He became verbally flustered and nervously said "it
really happened", and added that MAYBE we could get together at a
later date, but said he was interested in knowing how much the film was
worth. He then said out of the blue, he wanted to arrange a "group
showing". When I questioned him about who is in this "group",
he again hesitated and said "um, well, I mean you". I then said,
again, I could be there Sunday. He again declined to meet with me, but
said he'd call me by December 5th with a time and date and to have me go
ahead and arrange the live radio interview. He then said he was at work
and needed to get off the phone immediately. This, again, was after 8pm
in the evening. A strange time to be working as a temporary clerk in an
office. This was the last contact I had with Mark. He has not responded
to my phone messages, nor e-mails.
- Without going into more detail, Mark's statements during
both phone interviews were consistent with someone fabricating a story.
- Yesterday (12-09-2005), I spent several hours searching
for the area where Mark said the turnout and barbwire fence was. The entire
fence on this road is field fence and nowhere is there three strand barbwire
used exclusively. This is true from the park and 15+ miles south on the
road. At one point, I thought I located the site because the terrain seemed
familiar. I took a roll of pictures, but once developed I could not match
the peak shown in the video.
- Some other facts:
- 1. I asked Mark if he has ever heard of Art Bell and
he said "no" , although he posted his so-called experience on
Art Bell's message board 11-16-2005
- 2. Marks prefix is Santa Maria, CA although he states
he lives in Oxnard, CA
- 3. Mark wrote another investigator and said he was in
San Luis Obispo, CA
- 4. I located a picture of a peak in San Luis Obispo County
that looks almost identical the mountain peak in the video
- 5. Mark now states he was on a fire road (as per Moneymaker's
website), although Mark clearly stated he was following a "deer trail"
ready to cross a gully
- 6. Mark claimed to be an expert with a compass, although
he could not tell me the name of the peak in his video (this is taught
in basic map reading)
- 7. There is NO distinctive peak that was displayed in
the video in the area he claims he obtained the footage
- 8. Where is his girlfriend's voice when this happened?
- 9. Why are there not two sets of footfalls when he runs
after this thing?
- The rampant inconsistencies with Mark's story, his inability
to answer questions freely, his contradictory statements and his unwillingness
to show the video in the original format all have raised large red flags.
The fact that the scene does not match the terrain is in itself deception,
and therefore it is my professional opinion this video is a hoax.
- -- John Freitas
- The Bigfoot Research Organization (BFRO) still believes
the video to be authentic.
- See: http://www.bfro.net/news/sonoma.asp for more details.