Erickson Project

What the Erickson Project keeps under wraps

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The Erickson Project is one of the modern legends in the murky and highly controversial world of Bigfoot research. A multi-million, multi-year research project from 2005 to 2010 that allegedly collected video and DNA evidence of Bigfoot in Canada and the United States. But not much is known. Adrian Erickson, a Canadian businessman and Bigfoot research sponsor who led and financed the project, has kept much of it under wraps. Check out my interview with Erickson from 2016 for basic information. Much is rumour and hearsay, especially when it comes to the video footage.

What has been shown is highly dubious and looks like it was staged. The creature in one of the very short clips that was released bears strong resemblance to a Wookie mask. Erickson told me that he plans to include the best footage in a documentary. Some people saw those clips, most of them signed non-disclosure agreements (NDA) though. One who claimed to have seen them and who was allegedly not bound to an NDA is Mary Green, a now deceased Bigfoot researcher. She conctacted me in 2006 and told me about the footage.

Green was a Bigfoot researcher from Tennesse. She died in 2016. She became known inside the Bigfoot research community because of her book 50 Years With Bigfoot: Tennessee Chronicles of Co-Existence. It focuses on the now infamous Carter Farm in rural Tennessee where a family claimed to have had regular visitations by a whole family of Bigfoots. However, Tennessee author and cryptozoological investigator Jerry D. Coleman found most of the claims made by Green and Bigfoot “contactee” Janice Carter were groundless.

In 2006 Green contacted me because she had found out that I was interested in gathering information about the Erickson Project.

Unfortunately I couldn’t ask her before her death if the released footage corresponded with what she had seen. Apparently it does to some extend. She describes longer sequences of video clips that are now publicly available. Check out the “Sleeping Sasquatch” video and the “Matilda” footage in the gallery below. She describes also the Wookie-like appearance of the creatures.

This interview was conducted via email. It was published previously, for example at the Bigfoot Forums. It is reposted for the sake of completeness and because I like to inspire further inquiries into the mysteries and questions surrounding the Erickson Project.

The Erickson Project was either a big hoax in which a group of university scientists was involved – including wildlife biologist John Bindernagel, Idaho State anthropologist Jeff Meldrum, University of Minnesota microbiologist Curtis Nelson and evolutionary biologist Leila Hadj-Chikh –, or there really was something unusual going on at that location in Kentucky. I’m trying to find out the truth. So any help and additional infos are appreciated.

Several things should be noted for a better understanding of the interview:

1. Dennis Pfohl was the lead researcher at the Erickson Project. He is also associated with both the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organzation and the Olympic Project. He lives in Colorado.
2. Leila Hadj-Chikh was the lead scientist at the Erickson Project. She is a Princeton-educated biologist and now works as a software developer in New Jersey. Not much is known about her. Allegedly she’s no longer involved with Bigfoot research.
3. “James” and “Sissy” are the former owners of the property in Crittenden, Kentucky where much of the video and DNA evidence was gathered. It all started with them. Check out DB Donlon’s in-depth report here. They sold their house and some video footage to Erickson who subsequently turned the property into a research station. To this day I have not found out the full names of James and Sissy. It sure would be interesting to talk to them about the situation.

But now, the Mary Green interview. Please keep in mind: This all could be untrue and part of a big hoax.

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Mary Green, you have seen some of the video footage from the Erickson Project. Can you tell me about it?

Mary Green: Yes. Dennis Pfohl showed me several videos, some of them taken in color and daylight. I watched them on his laptop screen one by one.

Why did Dennis Pfohl show you these clips?

I believe he did so because he was hoping to win Janice Carter over and have her work for Adrian Erickson. They wished to have another habituation case to help back up the Kentucky project. But I think Janice was never able to furnish any videos or other proofs to Adrian Erickson.

Who had taken these videos from Kentucky?

I just know that Sissy had taken the close-up videos of the female and was told by Dennis that James had taken a couple of good videos of the male. I did not get to see any videos of the male. Dennis did say that there was a resident male around at times and that he thought this female was its mate. I did not get to see any video of the baby either.

Can you tell me about the “pancake video”? It was the only video that was available on the internet for some time.

The video was leaked out by Craig Woolheater who had no rights to place it up on the Internet. I do not know how Woolheater got a hold of it. In the video a small sized bigfoot came up to this woman after she had placed the plate of food down on the ground after dark. Little could be seen of it to make much judgment about it.

I saw the video. There are still screenshots somewhere on the internet. The creature looks strange with it’s big head. What are your thoughts on this?

Yes, the head did look very odd to me also. It was like a basketball in its roundness except for the flat front of the face. One reason could be that she had a lot of hair on her head which made it look rounder.

But this wasn’t the only video Dennis showed you.

No. The next video, in color, showed several minutes of the young female sleeping on the ground. It was a bit dark in the woods but the filmer did an excellent job of capturing her while she slept. The female hominin was not curled up tightly, but rather laying mostly on her back. She looked very relaxed.

What was the color of the creature?

The female had very thick, soft and silky looking black hair, with maybe a slight reddish hue at times, but that could have been from maybe the sunlight coming through the trees and reflecting a bit of red in the hair.

What else did you notice?

A bit of a zoom-in was next done by the person filming. The creature was thick around the middle. I don’t know if this was before she had her young one or not. The camera then focused along her arms and hands and fingers. Her hands were very human looking and the thumb looked to be at about the same place as a human’s would be, maybe only slightly lower. I did note that the shoulders and upper arms, and the forearms were extremely muscular. The hair all over the hominin was long and wavy across the chest area and the stomach area and down the shoulders and arms. The forearms hair was maybe a little bit shorter.

Did you see muscle movement?

Her muscles moved as they should in the arms and hands and fingers. I did note that the young female began to move more and more and stir like she was waking up and that whoever had the camera was backing off some.

Can you tell me about the third clip?

This was the best of all. The creature, probably the same female, was slowly walking through the woods and coming closer to a couple of trees. She went out of sight behind two of them and then appeared on the other side of them, stopping and standing still as she peered around the woods. You could see her from above her forehead somewhat and then down to about her waist. Clearly, the camera had been zoomed in. Her right side was against the tree and it left her left side free and you could see her shoulder and some of her upper arm too.

This one was of the same color as the first. It had curly, sometimes wavy hair all over her body, on the back of her hands, on the top of her head, and along down to her shoulders and chest. Her hair was from at least 3 inches to possibly 8 inches long, with the longer hair mainly on the head hair and shoulders and upper body.

How did the face look like?

Her face reminded me of a wookie from Star Wars, with a rather flat face in some respects. Although she was totally black skinned, her face did look a whole lot like an Eskimo’s face. But this is just my own impression. Her head looked to be more rounded and not one of those with a pointed head at all. Her eyes were of a beautiful dark brown, almost black color. There were a lot of the white areas like on our eyes. They were set deep in their sockets. She had very bushy eyebrows. If I remember correctly, she had soft hair all over her face, and maybe a very small portion of just hairless skin around her eyes and nose.

How was her nose like?

Her nose was like ours, very much so. It began and ended where our noses do. But it looked more like a black person’s nose, a bit wider on the base where the nostrils are. Her nostrils were big also.

And the lips?

Her lips were lightly rosy in color and more plump on the lower lip. It may have looked plumper because her upper lip came down over the lower lip due to the eye teeth which were grown out on each side of her mouth. The eye teeth were pointed and not flat like ours are. They curved backwards. They looked exactly like small fangs. The inside of her mouth was pink like ours and the rest of her teeth looked very white and more like humans’. Her cheeks were fat and rounding.

How did she move and act?

Very cautious. She displayed a look of wild cunning as she looked slowly around. I did not see her blink at any time, but this video was also fairly short. She was an intelligent creature in my own opinion. She did move her lips and opened her mouth a little, and turned her head from side to side very slowly every now and then.

Did you notice any similarities to the Patterson creature?

Both had hair on their heads, faces, and bodies. But Patty had far less hair than the one in the video. Patty was probably much larger than this one and looked a bit more human.

Do you think the creature in this video was real?

I don’t doubt that this was not a person in a suit, or a hoax of any kind.

But does it really show a sasquatch? I heard of a rumor that these creatures were orangutans.

In my honest opinion it clearly shows a sasquatch. There is no doubt in my mind. I know what orangutans are and monkeys, great apes, bears, cougars, and many other type creatures. This was an unknown creature to mankind.

Were there any other videos Dennis Pfohl showed you?

Yes, he showed me another video. Leila Hadj-Chikh was with Sissy in this video. They were driving. Then they stopped the car. I was told at this point that the female sasquatch was calling to the two women from across a strip of field at the wood line. You could barely hear something making some noise. Then the video showed the two women talking to the sasquatch and trying to entice it closer to them. The two eventually went on to town. The next morning, as I was told, someone found that Sissy’s car windshield had been struck rather badly. The video showed it. It looked like two or three big fists had broken it in. The hood of the car was bashed in all over. Even the front bumper was bashed in in a few places.

Do you know why they are holding back the clips?

Dennis said they don’t release the videos until they have at least many hours of it. They were wishing to have much more video of all three of the bigfoot that had been seen in the area in Kentucky. It included a large, older male and a young one that the female had. And they want to do it scientifically. They brought the biologist Leila Hadj-Chikh in to make sure all things were done in a proper manner. I was also told that Adrian would not release them in the United States, but in Vancouver, Canada, due to US scientists being so skeptical. Adrian felt also that Canadian scientists would be more available to him for analyses.

Were you asked to keep the project secret?

No, I was not asked to sign any documents about what they have shown me or told me. So I am not bound to keep this secret.

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Chris Kummer is a journalist and historian based in Switzerland. He focuses mainly on scientific controversies and inquiries into so-called paranormal phenomena.

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