by Steve Moon
Tom Ruh with a "Ruh Rack" at a private expedition in southern Illinois. Photo by the author.
Dr. Thomas Ruh was an active researcher with the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) for more than a decade. He attended many public BFRO expeditions, and many private expeditions, all over North America. He was known as an astute theoretician with regard to Sasquatch behavior, and as an innovator of field research techniques. He recorded hundreds of hours of audio and built state of the art thermal imaging devices. His best known thermal imaging innovation was known as the “Ruh Rack.” Tom spent many hours at expeditions facilitating the use of several Ruh racks: fixing wires, managing power sources, archiving memory cards and sending the units back out on night ops. The Ruh rack was a high quality thermal imaging device incorporated into a chest harness. I never had the opportunity to use one of these, so I’m not sure just exactly how they worked, but they were used to collect a lot of data, and served to introduce a lot of researchers to thermal imaging as a research technique.
Tom passed away in September of 2016, but continues to be an inspiration to the Lowlands Bigfoot Research Group. He was an amazing researcher, had a warm and cheerful personality, and was a great friend to many. Tom and I shared an interest in eyeglow. Being an anthropologist, I concentrate primarily on the documentation of eyeglow as a means of studying Sasquatch behavior. Tom, being a physicist, concentrated on investigating possible mechanisms for the production of eyeglow in Sasquatch. Joining us in our quest to elucidate the mystery of eyeglow was Chicago-based Bigfoot researcher and BFRO investigator Val Adams. Val and I collaborated in producing the first known successful documentation of eyeglow using a film camera. I have since documented eyeglow on two more occasions. Tom was very enthusiastic about our success with the film camera, and was adamant that more images of eyeglow with greater resolution were needed in order to advance our study.
Below is correspondence between Tom and I in which he outlines what he considered a likely mechanism for the production of eyeglow. Being a scientist Tom felt that eyeglow was a possibility, but was unable to fully commit to its existence without further observation and evidence. He had observed eyeglow only once as far as I am aware, at Brush Creek Canyon near Arlington, Iowa when he and I participated in a night op.
From: Thomas Ruh Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 10:40 AM Subject: EYEGLOW
Steve, I have thought up some real-life physiological mechanisms for Sasquatch eyeglow. These possibilities are based on what is known about deep sea squid, fish, jellyfish etc. Many of these creatures have photophores (light emitting organs) that can act as bait, signals or search lights. They can range in size from 1/100 of an inch to 1" x 2". They usually flash blues or greens but can sometimes emit red light, in different species.
Now back to the sasquatches. Val's photo seems to indicate the eyeglow comes from in or on the sclera. The light probably comes from photophores. Envision a few or many light emitting organs around the iris and shining light outward (not inward toward the retina). From the photophores the light would travel through color filters (possible color changes) and through lens cells to project outward. To prevent any light from escaping inward to the retina there is a layer of reflecting cells behind the photophores and behind the reflectors a layer of chromatophore cells to absorb any stray light. The photophores could either produce their own light (by known physiological mechanisms) or sequester and control light emitting bacteria. In either case the brightness could be controlled by the nervous system or circulatory system (control circulation to photophores, control oxygen, control light reaction). These are all known mechanisms! If they work for deep sea fish, squid etc. then they could well work for sasquatches. If we could just expand on your technique that got Val's photo then maybe we could get high definition photos of eye glow that would show a few or many pinpoints of light around the iris.
This photograph of Sasquatch eyeglow was taken by Val Adams in collaboration with the author. The photo was taken without the aid of a light source, in total darkness. This is an uncropped full frame 35mm film image taken with Kodak Ektar 100 negative film. The exposure used was 1/60 second at f:4, with a 50mm lens. Val was approximately ten feet from the Sasquatch, which was peaking around the corner of a vehicle. The eyeglow appears to be red.
Soon after the above correspondence, Tom was at an Iowa BFRO public expedition that I conducted at Volga River State Recreation Area near Fayette, Iowa. During that expedition he gave a presentation on eyeglow, introducing his theory of the mechanism for its possible production in Sasquatch.
The Lowlands Bigfoot Research Group is actively continuing this research. The observation of eyeglow has provided Lowlanders with numerous insights into the behavior of Sasquatch at night as we conduct our field investigations. Without eyeglow we wouldn’t know that the Sasquatch were there most of the time. Eyeglow gives them away, and tells us about their movement, group activities and more, and is one of the primary methods with which we are able to study Sasquatch behavior. The ability to photograph eyeglow provides us with crucial documentation of their behavior, and if done on a broader scale by more investigators in North America, should provide us with a deeper understanding of this specie.
This was captured on the Cedar River in eastern Iowa in November of 2016. The author, and Iowa investigator Adam Newman, had heard movement in the direction of the eyeglow capture. The author pointed a camera in that direction and opened the shutter for a timed exposure lasting about ten minutes. A slight glow from a candle lantern can be seen in the foreground of the uncropped image. It was nearly dark. The top image is an uncropped full frame 35mm film image taken with Kodak Ektar 100 negative film. The exposure used was approximately ten minutes at f:4, with a 50mm lens. The eyeglow appears to be blue. Later in the evening more activity was observed in the form of eyeglow, loud wood knocks and the disturbance of vegetation, all of which were attributed to the presence of more than one Sasquatch.