Leading sasquatch researcher opens Oregon’s first Bigfoot Museum. We got a glimpse.


Cliff Barackman wants to show the world his BILF.

It means “Bigfoot I would like to film”. His official name, however, is Murphy. Measuring 7 feet 6 inches tall and the centerpiece of the North American Bigfoot Center, the Barackman Museum is about to open in a dilapidated shopping center in Boring, Ore.

Made by a professional animatronic studio in Ohio, it features all the details of what Sasquatch is supposed to look like: bare knees, giant browbone, thin hair, a huge ass. It’s hard not to fall into a fetal position while looking this thing in the face. Barackman says it’s the most accurate replica of the elusive cryptid he’s ever seen.

He would know. For seven years, Barackman traveled the world looking for Sasquatch on Animal Planet’s Find Bigfoot. Now he’s bringing all of his research together under one roof, just 45 minutes from Portland.

“We’re going to wow people,” he said.

Barackman and his wife, Melissa, live in Clackamas County, the area with the most Bigfoot sightings in Oregon. There are a few other museums related to cryptozoology in Georgia and Maine, but none here where the legend of the monster is most prominent.

Right now, the Bigfoot Center, which is soft launching open to the public this week, is a bit messy. But Barackman and museum director Scott Minton have big plans.

“When we started to work on the concept and tried to figure out what [Bigfoot Center] gonna do, ‘Is this a museum? Is it an interactive space? Is it a retail space? Is it a community space? Minton said. “Yeah, it could be all of that. “

The plan is that the museum visit takes place chronologically through different eras. Visitors will begin by learning about the importance of the Sasquatch to Native American history, and then explore the post-colonial era, when explorers began to document the sightings in historical writings.

Then you will have your own Bigfooting experience.

Part of the museum will soon be transformed into a simulated forest, where vision and hearing are obscured by trees and squalls of wildlife. What you think is a Sasquatch may just be a bear hiding in the trees. Do you follow Bigfoot or does Bigfoot follow you?

The goal, says Barackman, isn’t necessarily to make believers, he just wants visitors to open their minds to what’s possible.

“That will be the value of the museum,” he says, “to show the depth and seriousness of the work that has been done on this fantastically entertaining subject.”

It will take another year before the museum is fully built. But there is plenty for visitors to see right now, including Murphy. Here are five of the most fascinating artifacts currently on display.

Mattress tracks

In extremely rare cases, throwing your trash in the forest can lead to great discoveries.

Last February, a woman in Cheshire, Oregon, fell on a futon mattress in the nearby woods with two giant steps on it. His friend emailed Barackman that night, and the next day he sent his research partner Chris Minniear to pick it up.

It took two days to find, but of course, the footprints aligned with the peculiar bone structure of a Sasquatch foot. The tracks are framed in the gallery, the only prints, to Barackman’s knowledge, that are collected from fabric. If only the creature had decided to take a nap.

Nutella jar

In the summer of 2017, Kentucky-based Bigfoot researcher Tom Shay experimented with hanging an 8-foot-tall jar of Nutella in a forest where a Sasquatch was believed to reside. Returning to the pot a month later, he discovered it upstream from where he had placed it, open, with four large finger-shaped spoons in the spread. He quickly kept it to make a cast.

Using the cast, Melissa Barackman made her own silicone pot that replicates the prints of the original. The cast even seem to have fingernails. Museum goers can put their hands in the jar to compare the size of their fingers to that of Bigfoot.

Crooked trees

Sasquatch is believed to twist tree branches from time to time during forest walks, and some of the recovered branches are amazing. The Bigfoot Center has loaned two of them: one is tied like a pretzel, bark bursting at the seams, while the other is more subtly mutilated, but no less impressive.

It’s hard to imagine how much force would have to be exerted for the inner pressure of a 3-inch-thick branch to visibly twist it, but seeing the manipulations up close is weird.

Native masks

The Bigfoot Center will display authentic Native American masks as part of the museum’s planned Native Wing, but some are currently on display in the gallery. The masks, sculpted by First Nations master artist Alfred Robertson, depict Bukwas and D’sonoqua, wild men and women of the woods who some say are the Kwakwaka’wakw tribe’s interpretation of the Bigfoot.

“We’re trying to be really aware that we’re not culturally appropriating anything,” Minton says. “We want to open the door for aboriginal people to come and see these things.

The Paul Freeman collection

The late Freeman was a manager of the Blue Mountain Watershed in Walla Walla, Wash., And a polarizing figure in the Bigfooting community. Some believe his catalog of fingerprint boxes, videos and photographs are sophisticated hoaxes – his most famous video, a 1994 clip of an alleged Sasquatch family in the Blue Mountains, is still under control.

Minton and Barackman will let visitors judge for themselves. And they’ll even have original 35mm photographs that only a few Bigfoot researchers have laid eyes on, a pretty difficult medium for Photoshop.

GO: The North American Bigfoot Center, 31297 SE US-26, Drilling, North Americanbigfootcenter.com, opens Friday August 2.

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