BFRO / Official BFRO Question and Answer / Archives / 04-22-2009 / Tree/stick anomolies

Topie: Tree/stick anomolies
February 2nd, 2009 05:11 PM
rmcdaniel423 I've been reading about strangely broken trees and sticks and also strange formations that some attribute to BF activity. So today when I was out walking the dogs I looked around specifically for this type of thing. I saw all sorts of odd stuff. I think branches that naturally break off and fall, often land in goofy positions.

So my question is, how do you guys differentiate weird storm damage from possible BF involvement?

I took a couple pictures and opened a FLICKR account today. I will try to show a link here, but I'm not great with computers so I hope it works. I'm hoping you veterans can take a look and explain how weather effects and natural decay can create what I found. I doubt what I found is BF related, but I also can't explain it. I'm especially puzzled by "Tree 3" (2 photos) because the broken piece had to somehow be moved AROUND an adjacent sapling 6' away, turned 90 degrees to the direction of fall, and wedged up off the ground in an odd way. I'll be honest, I think it would be cool if Sasquatch roamed the U.P. of Michigan, but I'm nervous about him being in my own backyard. Help me debunk this so I can relax. :D

Here is a copy/paste of the address of my photoset on FLICKR:

February 2nd, 2009 05:20 PM
rmcdaniel423 I just tried the link and it seemed to work fine. Also, the smaller trees shown (tree2 and tree3) are both around 3" in diameter.
February 2nd, 2009 06:03 PM
Bossburg rmcdaniel423: Thanks for setting up the flickr account.

I've lived on various sizes of wooded land most of my life. Nature can do some amazing things - tree limbs can break, then bounce off other limbs before settling on the ground or up against another tree, or even hanging up in a tree for years until a wind knocks it loose. I live in mostly evergreens with a few deciduous and find all sorts of configurations of limbs, blow downs, old logging slash and some plain old dead, time to fall over, trees. My rule is: It's always caused by nature...unless something makes me believe otherwise. Very large footprints would be one of those things. A tree that's not natural in the area...something you might find 1/4 of a mile away next to a stream, but it's proped up against 3 other trees of a different variety off a trail on a hillside. Be critical. The more you take notice of what's natural when something isn't, it will jump out at you.
February 2nd, 2009 07:00 PM
rmcdaniel423 So the things that some people attribute to BF are not subtle and easily mistaken clues. They tend to be glaring oddities? That's pretty much what I expected. Like I said, I figured what I found to be caused by wind or heavy ice or whatever. But it takes a skeptical (or should I say "appropriately critical") person who is also familiar with the surroundings and the workings of nature to not be fooled.

I've read references to "stick structures", but haven't seen pictures yet. When researchers suspect it to be the real deal, what do they tend to look like?
February 3rd, 2009 01:15 AM
Bossburg I'm the same about stick structures. They are made by nature or a human unless I have reason to believe otherwise. Anything is possible but I'd rather be careful and critical. Keep pictures of what you find - maybe you'll see a pattern someday.

Again, learn what is normal/natural then when you see something unusual it will jump out at you.

February 3rd, 2009 02:05 PM
Andy It helps to know your territory like the back of your hand. Go over it a lot...after a while you will notice anything out of synch.
You will see that something has eaten all the blueberries that should be ripe today, or that the frog's eggs are suddenly gone (but there are no tadpoles). You will notice immediately that the cattails are missing their heads or that the lotus have been pulled up. You will see scats that form a pattern of behavior.
You will know without a doubt that some animal(s) have been busy & not just wind/ice/rain.
And then, like Bossburg says, you have to find out which one via hard, species-specific evidence.
February 3rd, 2009 06:23 PM
rmcdaniel423 Some more observations from today's walk. . . .

A tree or branch that falls can tear other trees and branches apart in weird ways. It can also bend and pin them down, forming strange arches. Once a branch is laying in an odd diagonal or horizontal manner, it is very likely to "catch" and accumulate other debris, making it look deliberately piled when in fact it is just a random occurrence. I also found more saplings that had the same extremely splintered breaks, but they were too high for even BF to reach. My best guess is damage from a heavy ice storm. The weight became too great for a frozen brittle piece of wood, and since it was pulled down by the weight (instead of standing naturally upright) it was even more vulnerable to a gust of wind finally snapping it. Spring comes and the rest of the tree rebounds to its natural position, leaving behind a weird looking break and an oddly placed limb. I think simple wind and thunderstorms in the summer are more likely to affect already rotted or weakened limbs. I think the summer storms are also more responsible for the built-up piles of smaller branches.

When I started this thread I was just curious about stick structures. My position now is one of great skepticism. I can understand how anticipation and hopes of finding evidence could lead to misidentification. And like some of you said: "I'll know it when I see it." Until then, I will simply enjoy the woods .

Some of the ghost hunters on TV use a strategy that I've come to realize should apply to Sasquatch hunting as well. Upon finding any anomaly, one should first make every effort possible to debunk and/or explain it in normal natural terms before even thinking of uttering the word "evidence". That's one thing I like about the folks here at BFRO. You guys aren't just "looking" for bigfoot, you're looking to "prove" what you keep finding. You realize that simply finding is not enough. It has to be explained scientifically.

I hope someday I can convince my wife to let me go on an expedition.
February 3rd, 2009 07:14 PM
Steve Moon I've been looking at two areas near my home where I am certain that I've found sasquatch sign. They are complicated areas to track however, because there was a catastrophic flooding in both areas, and extreme wind damage in one. I have been looking at arch structures and asking myself if maybe some of them aren't the result of flooding. When you see four small arches that are about the same height tucked under a log at regular intervals, all leaning in the same direction, and the big log that is pinning their tops down is resting against a slightly bigger sapling, what is it? Is it a natural structure formed by the flood water? The log is on the down stream side of the saplings that are pinned down. Is it a sasquatch structure? There are other structures in the immediate area that I'm fairly certain are made by sasquatch, and the location is significant. The structures are at the point in a bend of an oxebow lake, and there is an old road or lane cutting behind them. I've walked all over this area and not found structures like this in the rest of the timber. The structure is realy amazing looking, but it might just be the result of the flooding that occured last year. So, I'm not totally convinced that it's a sasquatch structure, even though I want it to be. I think it's very important to be skeptical.
February 3rd, 2009 09:46 PM
JPaul Okerlund Around a week ago, I was reading another thread about stick structures and there are some great pictures on it. The following saturday I went on a 75 mile snowmobile ride and saw at least 100 arches. Now these particular ones were obviously caused by the heavy snowfall and winds we get in this area, and were not all caused in this season, but over years. I can't stress this enough, I AM NOT saying that this is the explanation for other arches or structures that people, who are actively researching this subject, and have experience (which I do not) have seen. What I am saying, is that after seeing the pictures, these arches really caught my eye, whereas in my previous rides through the same areas I didn't really notice them. So keep studying other peoples' work as well as doing your own. It might help you see something you otherwise would have missed.
February 3rd, 2009 10:40 PM
Eric Squatcher
rmcdaniel423 wrote:

When I started this thread I was just curious about stick structures. My position now is one of great skepticism. I can understand how anticipation and hopes of finding evidence could lead to misidentification. And like some of you said: "I'll know it when I see it." Until then, I will simply enjoy the woods .

Words to live by :)

Skeptism is healthy, and I've become much more critical of signs that I photograph. When investigating Arches - Look to see if there are any trees that fell down and pinned the arched tree. I look closely at ones that are "pinned" by a heavy tree that didn't fall nearby. I have two pics of arches in my gallery (photo # 444921 & 444923) that were taken within 100 ft of one another. Directly beneath the arch of #923 was a bone from a deer leg. To the left of the arches was a fire road that had a line of tracks. Those are things that I look for to collaborate my findings. This area was also the location of a posted report on the BFRO website. I was there last Thursday night, and had howl reponses and one single loud knock response that came from within 200 yards I would say. I was there again on Saturday night without any response. This is what reinforces my belief that some structures are not simply made by humans or by nature alone. JMO
February 3rd, 2009 10:53 PM
rmcdaniel423 Arches are cool, no matter what caused them. My little 2.1 acres of property backs up against a Christmas tree farm of @ 35-50 acres. That land owner also owns several hundred acres of undeveloped woods, steams, and swamps, with roughly cut access roads through parts of it. I can walk my dogs for hours and not see anyone or anything but wilderness, even though I am only 10 minutes from a metro area. Across one of those roads there is a big old tree that is half fallen and gracefully arched over the road. It's at least 24" in diameter and all across the upper side of the arch there are smaller "sprouts" at regular intervals that shoot straight up. It is so bizarre and beautiful and inexplicable. It looks like architecture. But somehow, it is simply the way it grew, deformed, and kept growing. Who knows.

I think when it comes to BF research, you would have to look at something and think to yourself, "There is absolutely no possible way this could have happened naturally. Not in a million years. It HAS to have been made by someone." And then you have to find a way to rule out humans as the "someone". Then you might have something worth sharing with others.

Bear in mind, I am a complete newbie who has never ever seen, heard, nor smelled Sasquatch evidence in my entire life.
February 5th, 2009 05:46 AM
bigfoot7776 Ive got one.

In a place where Ive experienced intense activity before I was looking around and found this

Stick Pile

Its hard to reach in thorny trees.
February 9th, 2009 11:09 AM
MultipleEncounters Here is a paper I wrote last Spring in respect to identifying the cause of most Tree Breaks and a link to the associated thread. Rmcdaniel, I notice from your photo that you are in snow country too, but not knowing even which state, its only guessing as to what kind of snow accumulations you receive. After reading my paper, I think you and other new members here will develop a better interpretation on many of the tree breaks you have come across. A number of your photos are classic fits to the phenomenon I analyzed, but can be from simple ice buildup too. As Bossburg inferred, unless you identify associated evidence of sasquatch as at the location , assume the damage is naturally caused until proven otherwise.
It should begin downloading when you click.

Here is the original thread as well:

For those who do live where the snow depths accumulate many feet/yards during the course of a Winter, I would suggest your own verification of my findings this Spring.


February 12th, 2009 02:28 PM
rmcdaniel423 Thanks for the article. I live in West Michigan. We don't get nearly as much snow as your photos and research indicate. Although we do get occasional "lake effect" snowstorms in early winter that involve massive snowfalls in a short time, due to the prevailing wind picking up lots of moisture from Lake Michigan. Not so much in late winter because the water and air temps are lower. We do get a couple really heavy ice storms each winter and strong wind storms periodically all year. I believe most of the breaks I find are not from accumulative effects (like you found) but are more likely from storm-related damage.

By the way, how cool that you've had so many personal encounters!
February 22nd, 2009 06:56 PM
wasscallywabbit Hi Everyone ,

I found these in Freetown , Massachusetts

I took some pictures Friday 2/20/09 . probably nothing but figured i'd take picutres of them .
I started a flicker account here is the link to them .

I leave it to the exprienced people to decide if they anything Squatchy or not.

these are of 3 different clusters and are close to one another , they're off of rt 140 , between exit 7 and exit 8, on the north bound side at mile marker 8/2 , they are also about 200 meters north of the gas lines that intersect with the highway . These gas lines run to the Quiticus drinking water supply area (Lakeville/Middleboro area) and runs south west through Freetown to Faunce Corner Rd in Dartmouth .ma . the gas lines also intersect with power lines, railroad tracks and the Freetown State Forest.

February 22nd, 2009 07:48 PM
ravellette Nice pictures, I am no expert but could these have been from the ice storm we had 2 months ago?
February 22nd, 2009 08:01 PM
wasscallywabbit it's possible it could be storm damage of a sort.. but this area didn't get hit by the ice storm , that was north west of this area.

My brother lives in Lunenburn and had to drive to Worcester. that area was hit.

My Step Son and nephew , work for ABC trees service , which has the national grid contract , they were sent to that ice storm area for 2 weeks .

I'm new to this ,, I seen them and figure I'd post them here. I know all the investigators have experience seeing tree/ stick structures.

The one with the arched tree in it is very interesting.

February 23rd, 2009 08:14 AM
Hound As kids we made "arches" all the time in the woods.
I'm sure if bf is making them, as I've not heard ANYONE say they've seen them do it, they do it the same way.
We'd pick a gray birch about 5"-8" diameter and just shimmy up the tree. Once you started getting higher the tree would lean over and the higher you went the faster the bend would happen and ultimately take the top right to the ground.
No magic here. AND we weighed about 100lbs soaking wet when we did this.