2015: The Year That Wasn’t


As 2015 winds down I couldn’t help but reflect on the past year of successes and failures. We’ve done some things in our short history of “Bigfooting” that we are really proud of. We’ve had many great adventures and made some incredible friends. Going into 2015 Jesse and I were convinced that this would be the year of Fathom Frontiers. Well that never happened, though it almost did.

We were in the midst of editing some documentary that we decided to do with a date set for the premiere in May at the Ohio Bigfoot Conference. The pressure was high and the stakes were higher, we wanted this to work. We did make that date and it was awesome. The thing had legs for a little while and peaked the first week of June with a whole festival in its honor. That was the extent of our venture. An attempt to do a follow up in New York during the month of July, against our better judgement, was ill-conceived and by September we had to part ways. Making a legit film was a dream of mine since childhood but this wasn’t it, this was a nightmare.

That whole experience ended so badly it sent me into a cloud of darkness. At that same time, a series of other misfortunes occurred in my life and I spiraled deeper into the abyss. I struggled to climb out of this rut but with a strong network of caring and supportive friends I emerged. As part of the recovery process, I dug deeper into my volunteer efforts at Salt Fork State Park. Working with the park naturalist, Cindy Coss, was more satisfying than anything the film business could have offered. The efforts being made at the park have really turned it into a featured destination for the Ohio park systems.

Jesse and I have been working on several projects for Salt Fork that will debut in the spring and early summer of 2016. “The History of Salt Fork” film is in the editing stages, “The Kennedy Stone House” film is currently being shot and we have plans to use audio we’ve recorded for an interactive self-guided tour of Salt Fork’s past. These new projects have given us the opportunity to start building up our own team of film making professionals that we hope to partner with on future endeavors. For now, we are really enjoying our time helping out a great park with incredible and talented staff.

In addition to our film work, we have graciously accepted an invitation to join the B.F.R.O. (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization) and begin investigating reports in our area. We’ve know many of the Ohio B.F.R.O. for some time and accompanied them on several investigations. It’s an honor to be among their ranks. I have also completed my course work and volunteer hours to become an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist. In late November I accepted a position at Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio to become a volunteer instructor. I’ll be leading a night hike program that I developed along with the help of Holden staff and Cindy from Salt Fork.

Is 2016 the year of Fathom Frontiers? It doesn’t really matter, I’m not doing this for me anymore. The scores of people that we touch with each endeavor are the real winners. If you have an interest in local legends of creatures running around in the woods, find you own small town monster. Don’t watch a movie, get out there! The adventure is the best part.

– Alan

2 thoughts on “2015: The Year That Wasn’t

  1. Alan-

    Sorry to hear that your experiences this past year did with the two film making ventures you were involved with turned so sour, and that it affected you so deeply. I began to wonder what was going on several months ago with STM, and I regret that my inklings appear to have been correct. But as you have obviously learned, much good can come from bad, and it is during these difficult times that we learn the most about ourselves, as you have done.

    The future looks bright for Jesse and yourself from what I can see, doing what you enjoy and truly believe in. You made some pretty profound statements in your post, and I commend you for taking the high road by not slinging mud or naming names. By rising above it all, you prove yourself to be the better person. I hope to see you and Jesse at this year’s Ohio Bigfoot Conference, where I first met the two of you several years ago. Until then, Happy Holidays, and keep that chin up high, where it belongs.

    Your customer, and hopefully a friend,

    Kevin Byrd
    Westerville, OH

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