Monday, May 29, 2017

Motion Sensor Camera Mounts - an excerpt from "In Search of Sasquatch"

Dressed in camouflage and full of confidence, Derek Randles looks like a cross between a military hero and the host of a television wilderness program. And it's a good thing, because his work as a Sasquatch investigator requires courage, strength, and stealth—an other word for sneakiness.

Randles needs to be sneaky, because he heads up the Olympic Project—a focused attempt to capture Sasquatch photographs—in rural Washington State, where many sightings have been reported in the mountainous region. Carrying more than sixty pounds of complicated gear, he hikes into some rugged regions of the Pacific Northwest, above the ridgelines, where few humans ever go.

Dozens of Sasquatch tracks have been found at the ridgelines, along with the tracks of elusive predators, including bears and mountain lions. Randles wants to capture photographs of those camera-shy animals, using motion-triggered cameras called Re-conyx RC60s. 

Believing that the capacity to shoot at one frame per second and to store five thousand images on a 2.0GB CompactFlash card meant the potential for capturing powerful evidence, Randles was persuaded to mount up to five cameras in a single, promising location. 

Other motion sensor cameras have been used to try to document sasquatches, with-out success. "I believe the animals may see the older camera flashes," Randles said, "and learn to avoid them." As the red flash of the camera trigger is engaged, more common animals, such as deer and raccoons, react. That recognition is often recorded in the very next photographic frame. 

According to Randles, a smarter animal such as Sasquatch might learn that lesson from a safe distance. A more subtle camera had to be found, and the flash-free RC60 was the solution. The cost of the pricey cameras—roughly six hundred dollars each—came straight out of the investigator's pocket, but not all the problems were solved.

"Think of your living room," he said. "You can always tell when something is out of place, even if you've just walked into the room. For the Sasquatch," he continued, "the ridgeline is a living room." 

Planted cameras, even quiet, non-flash-ing cameras, might be noticed by an intelligent primate such as Sasquatch. So Randles plans to camouflage the units visually. He and his partners are creating barklike faceplates to mask the unnatural look of the sophisticated equipment. 

"I am confident," he said, "that with these cameras, we will eventually capture pictures of Sasquatch." He is so convinced that he's willing to make the grueling hike once a month to collect, replace, and reset the camera memory cards and batteries. He is also eager to do ongoing analysis of the images. 

Derek Randles is one of the new technological wizards determined to find Sasquatch—in his case with an army of extra infrared eyes.

You can purchase this must have book: "In Search of Sasquatch" by Kelly Milner Halls here.

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