This time, Barnes hopes to be 305 metres above -- quietly hovering.
Back in 1997, the former gold miner was working a claim in California, when he says he came face to furry face with Bigfoot.
"My heart was pounding -- I could hear it in my ears," he recalls.
Barnes recalls the beast -- about 230 kg and over two-metres-tall -- then turned to his right and strolled up the creek.
"He was all muscle, and walked up the side of a hill ... so graceful. He was made for the woods."
After settling his nerves, the prospector packed up his belongings and moved to the other side of the valley.
He didn't tell anyone the story for four years.
It's taken the years since to figure out why no one has ever captured vivid proof of something pretty big out there.
The trick, he's concluded, is humans can't track the anti-social primate on his own turf.
So Barnes -- backed by academics and Canadian technology -- has a lofty idea.
He's helping to manage The Falcon Project, a proposed search for an unrecognized North American species of a large primate, using a helium-filled airship to do the spotting.
Onboard the platform would be thermal-imaging and high-resolution wireless videography equipment, capable of pinpointing and following an animal at 72 km/h.
While designing his twin-hulled craft, Stephen Barkley, head of Remote Aerial Tripod Specialists Inc., in Lac La Biche, Alta., had intended it be used for Hollywood-style aerial shots and inexpensive patrols.
He didn't think of it as a Bigfoot hunter.
In fact, Barkley is more interested in the breakthroughs in the air than what's on the forest floor.
Hunting one of the world's best known, though still doubted recluses, he admits: "Isn't my forte.
"From my end, I bring the love and desire ... for the grace of aerial imagery."
Though he adds, it would be a perk if his flying machine captured images of a disputed and lingering legend.
As recently as last month, a woman in Akulivik, in Northern Quebec, says she and a cousin spotted a Bigfoot while picking berries.
She told a local paper others have reported finding piles of caribou bones near the community. There was even whispers of human remains being talked about locally.
In August, in Kalispell, Mont., Randy Lee Tenley, 44, died after being run over -- by two cars -- as he dressed up and tried to pull off Bigfoot hoaxes along U.S. Highway 93.
Barnes, a 53-year-old father of three, says past scams won't impact the believability of what The Falcon Project might accomplish.
The project is being co-ordinated through Idaho State University, under the watch of Dr. Jeff Meldrum, a professor of anatomy who's spent almost 20 years researching the legend of Bigfoot.
"Even if definitive DNA sequence data point to the existence of a novel species, it will not suddenly become easy to study such a rare and elusive primate in the field," says Meldrum.
That's where aerial reconnaissance would hold the key, he adds.
But to crack the mystery with high-tech paparazzi, The Falcon Project is now trying to secure at least $305,000 from corporate donors and individuals for all the equipment they would need to launch in various states next spring.
They could later move on over B.C. forests.
Recalling his encounter -- set against skepticism of what's really out there -- Barnes adds: "We want to change it from mythology to reality."