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Symposium, fundraiser for sasquatch Falcon Project with Idaho State University’s Jeff Meldrum set June 22 in Portland, Ore.

Posted June 12, 2013

An all-day symposium event to kick-off fundraising for the Falcon Project, billed by organizers as "the most penetrating search for the legendary sasquatch ever undertaken," will be held June 22 in Portland, Ore.

Olympia Beer will host the event in the Bossanova Ballroom, located at 722 East Burnside. The symposium will feature multimedia presentations, panel discussions and exhibits. Admission is $25 in advance or $30 the day of the event. Visit www.bossanovaballroom.com/event-details/?The-Falcon-Project-72-Portland to purchase tickets.

The Falcon Project proposes to conduct an extensive aerial search for an unrecognized North American primate, a.k.a. sasquatch or Bigfoot, using a helium-filled airship carrying a platform supporting thermal-imaging and high resolution wireless videography equipment. The Aurora Mk II airship offers major advantages over similar applications with helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft platforms, foremost, stealth and maneuverability, according to Jeff Meldrum, Idaho State University professor of anatomy and anthropology, the Falcon Project principle investigator.

The airship permits approach and observation with minimal or no disturbance of the subject's natural behavior.  The latter is critical for surveying in areas of dense stands of forest where a sustained vertical perspective is essential for locating animals on the forest floor, Meldrum said.

The unmanned, 45-foot dual airship is equipped with a proprietary propulsion system that can carry the airship at speeds of 35-45 mph and maneuver with the degree of precision necessary to track a fast-moving animal. The construction, instrument integration, and flight training is being provided by Remote Aerial Tripods Inc. of Canada, (www.ratsinc.net) with Stephen Barkley as lead designer of the Aurora Mk II.

The airship, gyro-stabilized camera mount, and ground operations equipment have been designed specifically for the requirements of this task. The sleek, quiet, never-before-used technology eliminates the noise produced by conventional aircraft and on the ground investigators, allowing stealthy approach to wary reclusive species. The challenge of locating a solitary, nocturnal far-ranging, intelligent primate is demonstrated by the dearth of definitive photographic evidence. The Falcon Project offers a novel approach employing the latest technologies, Meldrum said.

Meldrum has been probing the question of sasquatch's existence for nearly 17 years, since examining a line of inexplicable 15-inch bipedal footprints in southeastern Washington. Meldrum is author of one of the most authoritative treatments of the subject, "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science." He has published a number of scientific papers examining the footprint evidence.  He now edits an online, refereed journal, The Relict Hominoid Inquiry (www.isu.edu/rhi) examining the global phenomenon of relict "wildmen."

This initiative gets underway even as a critical DNA study is being conduct by the Oxford-Luassane Collateral Hominid Project is examining a number of hair samples attributed to sasquatch.  This project is led by Professor Bryan Sykes, a human geneticist from Oxford University and director of Oxford Ancestors Ltd. Sykes's books include the New York Times best-selling "The Seven Daughters of Eve."

"Even if definitive DNA sequence data point to the existence of a novel species," Meldrum said, "it will not suddenly become easy to study such a rare and elusive primate in the field. That's where the Falcon Project comes in. Aerial reconnaissance holds the greatest potential for locating and observing the range and the behavior of the sasquatch."

William Barnes (williamallenbarnes@yahoo.com; 435-230-0351) is the Falcon Project founder and manager, with more than 25 years experience operating his own businesses, including gold dredging and marketing.  Barnes said he had an encounter with a sasquatch in 1997, and is motivated by the challenge of bringing definitive image evidence before the scientific community for the purpose of finally resolving the mystery of sasquatch. 

Funding and tax deductible donations for ongoing operations of the Falcon Project will be handled through the ISU Foundation, to the attention of Janet Schubert, development officer for the College of Science and Engineering. For further information contact Meldrum  at meldd@isu.edu or 208-282-4379.

In addition to Meldrum and Barnes, speakers at the Portland symposium will include John Bindernagel and Bill Munns. Special guest will be Bob Gimlin, witness to the famous Patterson-Gimlin film of a Bigfoot in northern California in 1967. 

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