Sasquatch Coffee

Bigfoot Believers

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on January 23rd, 2006

In the previous entry here on Cryptomundo titled, "Answering the Bigfoot Skeptics", Ben Radford throws out the old "belief" card. Calling those of us who are Bigfoot researchers "Believers", or worse yet, using that term for those of us who have had a visual encounter with one of these cryptids is demeaning in my opinion.

I don’t use the phrase, "Seeing is believing." I use the phrase, "Seeing is knowing." It is not about believing. It is about knowledge. Knowledge that there is a vast amount of evidence that points to the validity of the existence of this animal. It is knowing that there is something out there that is being ignored by mainstream science. I know that I saw something that defies explanation as anything other than a hair-covered, bipedal primate. The details of my personal experience are available on the Texas Bigfoot Research Center website

John Green, veteran Bigfoot investigator has said: 

"Let’s get this business about belief straight. The believers are the scientists, they’re the ones who are clinging to a belief. The people who think that there are Sasquatches are the ones who are investigating – the ones who have become convinced on evidence. The scientists are the ones going on pure faith and don’t actually know much about it and make darn sure they don’t know anything about it." – John Green

And fellow Cryptomundo blogger Loren Coleman has been heard to say: 

Belief is the providence of religion, and believing has more to do with faith than science. I accept or deny the evidence, the patterns of reports, the eyewitness testimony, and those investigations inform me as to whether or not I feel this is an event, a hidden animal, and/or a cryptid of interest to cryptozoology. – Loren Coleman

What do the readers of Cryptomundo have to say about the term "Bigfoot Believers"?

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.


20 Responses to “Bigfoot Believers”

  1. shovethenos responds:

    Craig-

    There was a Globe and Mail article on Sasquatch linked to the Coast 2 Coast AM website this weekend, if you haven’t read it you should check it out. It’s somewhat even handed but there is some of the reasoning you mentioned above.

    For example, the article states that “no definitive DNA evidence” has been found, without even realizing that this is circular reasoning. Unidentified DNA has been found, claiming that it isn’t “definitive” because it hasn’t been cataloged and classified, or officially cataloged and classified, is circular. That’s exactly what one would expect from an animal that hasn’t been formally documented by science. How much unidentified DNA must one find before someone has to admit that you’re finding unidentified DNA? Yes, I know there could be problems with contamination and other possible scientific explanations, but it certainly is a case of lopsided, or at least emotional and non-objective, analysis of evidence.

  2. Melissa responds:

    I cannot say how much I agree with the statements by both Craig and the first person who posted..

    EXCELLENT THOUGHTS craig.. Im applauding you right now :)

  3. Craig Woolheater responds:

    shovethenos, John Kirk referenced the Globe and Mail article in his post “West Coast Sasquatch Announce First Recorded British Columbia Sasquatch Vocalizations” on Saturday. I agree with him that it is some interesting reading.

  4. Doc responds:

    Good call! Touchdown! To me the word belief calls for blind faith. I don’t believe its out there. I KNOW FOR FACT THAT IT IS !!!!

  5. Nardo responds:

    Yes, I agree that “seeing is knowing”.

  6. Mainehunter responds:

    Well put people well put..

    Shovethenos, How much unidentified DNA do you need??? I’d figure that if you found unidentified DNA there’s obviously something out there that has not been discovered by mainstream science yet.. How they figure the other way though, is beyond me…

  7. Drat responds:

    Hm. I think there may be 2 sides to this coin however—certainly there seems to be an implied insult in the statements.

    However there also does seem to be a slight ‘bunker syndrome’ that serious ‘friends of bigfoot’ get into–since you believe something that folks will make fun of you for, you tend to get a little more sensitive to these percieved slights than would normally be the case. That reaction only further solidifies the opinion that you’re unable to accept critical review of the bigfoot materials out there. Know what I mean?

    Of course there are bigfoot folks that don’t come off that way, but you have to agree there are also those that will refuse to even discuss the alternatives (whatever those might be). Not a lot of these around here though. :)

  8. jjames1 responds:

    Craig, let’s turn this around a little, though, and look at it from another angle. You and other people who claim to have witnessed Bigfoot-type creatures want us (i.e., anyone not there with you) to accept your sighting as “proof” that there is a large, unknown, bipedal primate out there somewhere.

    However, do we really “KNOW” anything about your sighting, other than that you THINK (“believe”) you saw “Bigfoot?” No, we don’t. From reading your description, it was late at night, you’d been driving for hours, were on a dark road going 70+ MPH, the “thing” you saw was several feet off of the road, and you saw it only briefly without going back to investigate. I realize that you know you saw SOMETHING, but you must admit that to an impartial observer, your personal experience seems sketchy at best, and hardly what one could objectively call real proof of anything. I think that’s why the term “Bigfoot believers” is used.

    Personally, I don’t see it as an insult. I’ve never encountered anything Bigfoot-like, but yet I remain fascinated by the topic. I’d consider myself a “Bigfoot believer”–but not a “Bigfoot knower.” :)

  9. Scarfe responds:

    I’ll never say “seeing is knowing,” not to discredit those individuals who have seen Bigfoot, but because people can be mistaken when they “see” something.

  10. Stosh responds:

    “Mainstream science”????? Are they not the ones that at one time belived that the earth was the center of the universe?? As my dear old mother used to say, “don’t worry what the neighbors think, they don’t pay your bills” I know what I believe in and someday a Bigfoot will be captured and then we will all be believers.

  11. 2400bc responds:

    To believe is to think you know. To have faith is to believe without knowing. To know is to not need belief.

  12. shovethenos responds:

    Drat-

    I wouldn’t call my comment insulting, perhaps snarky would be a better word.

    But do you notice the stance you are unconciously taking in your argument? That it’s OK for the skeptics to insult the fence-sitters or believers, but not the other way around? (I would consider myself a “mostly convinced fence-sitter”.)

    I’m glad you brought up criticism, which the skeptics are just as sensitive and emotional about, if not more so, than the “believers”. It’s like they think they have a monopoly on skepticism – that someone can’t be skeptical of their explanations, no matter how incorrect, lame, far-fetched, ill-informed, or ill-conceived? And here again, when their explanations are questioned they often resort to ad hominum attacks rather than engagement in argument, falling back on the crazy, nutty, moonchild, etc. insults.

    There’s a difference between someone who’s applying scientific or logical analysis as a skeptic, and someone who’s being insulting. In fact I would consider myself a skeptic who, after becoming informed on a significant amount of the available information, comes down on the side that there is a very high probability that some undocumented primates exist in some areas of the globe. I don’t think that’s “crazy”, “childlike”, or unreasonable – I would call it an informed judgment made on the basis of a significant amount of evidence.

  13. BOBAFETT responds:

    I saw “Bigfoot” from about 20 some feet away. I “believe” in “Bigfoot” because I saw a creature that was neither man nor animal walking around the woods (and he saw me). However, I don’t know for certain that this was a undiscovered species, the missing link, or some sort of uber-hillbilly. “Bigfoot” could have gotten into a ufo and flown off, which would of made him big furry “E.T.”. This is why I can’t say I “know” there is a bigfoot. When we finally determine a solid description of bigfoot’s habits/nesting/lifestyle AND have undeniable physical evidence (a body to show where all the unidentified dna comes from) THEN we can really say “we know Bigfoot”.

    Also; all these mild verbal insults really do is sow discord. Try not to label people based on their point of view, because we’ll probally never know Bigfoot without the help of the skeptics.

  14. Drat responds:

    Hey Shovethenos,

    I don’t mean to imply bigfoot folks deserve to be insulted, just to be clear.

    I just wanted to point out that Craig (amongst others) could be a little more sensitive than neccesary — he said he thinks being called a bigfoot believer is demeaning. Probably because he feels it implies that he’s goofy for believing in bigfoot.

    My point is that getting so emotionally involved in an unproven hypothesis creates this attitude that DEFINES ‘bigfoot believer’. If that makes sense.

  15. vjmurphy responds:

    I think using the phrase “mainstream science” is insulting. Science is science. Calling it “mainstream” is just a smokescreen argument. The problem is that there is little consistent science to support the existence of Bigfoot.

    I look at Bigfoot the same way I look at UFOs: UFO “believers” or “knowers” never change their thinking, regardless of the evidence. A light in the sky becomes a craft, becomes an alien spaceship. When shown to be a flare, the believer attacks the explanation. Nothing will get them to change their minds. Their “knowing” interferes with logic.

    I see the same thing with the evidence for Bigfoot: fuzzy videos and pictures are automatically regarded as “real” with the onus on the skeptic to disprove it. And if skeptical explanations are given, they are ridiculed just as often as “believers” are ridiculed by skeptics. It is a two-way road.

    I want to believe (or know) that Bigfoot exists. When younger, I had “known” that I had seen one. But I also realize that people have seen the Virgin Mary, blood-sucking kangaroo things, and lights in the sky. But without any actual, indisputable evidence (i.e. a body, etc) it’s not up to skeptics to do anything. It’s up to the “knowers.”

  16. Mainehunter responds:

    My bad, Science is science

    I don’t doubt what anybody saw, I try not to say they saw something else or they saw a unknown animal because I was not there with them. So who am I to say they did or didn’t see whatever it is they saw? Personally I think there is a bigfoot, but thats just me. And no I have never seen one, nor do I want to, cause then I’d need a new change of pants (might as well just fess up to it right now). Uhh, yeah…

  17. Benjamin Radford responds:

    Excellent postings. I certainly apologize to Craig or others if they took offense to “Bigfoot believers.” I did not mean it as a negative label, but just shorthand for those who believe that Bigfoot exist. I see the term as neutral, myself, but if someone has a better word for “those who affirm the existence of Bigfoot,” I’m happy to use it.

    We “skeptics” have a similar problem, because for many, the word has negative connotations. Yet being skeptical, as I define it, is simply asking for sufficient evidence before accepting a claim. People are skeptical of used car salesmen and their politicians, yet no one thinks THAT is harmful or negative. I try not to separate out “skeptics” and “believers,” because many Bigfoot proponents are skeptical.

    I also agree that it fosters an “Us versus Them” mentality which I think is a real problem and misunderstanding between skeptics and believers.

    I’m often asked if I “believe” that Bigfoot exists, and I explain that that’s the wrong question. As Loren pointed out, the issue of Bigfoot, like that of the penguin or camel or coelcanth, should be of evidence, not belief. It’s easy to “believe” just about anything; I can’t tell you how many Bigfoot believers (or “proponents,” though they truly are believers) tell me “I know for a fact that Bigfoot exists, because I saw it.” Yet is this “knowledge” or belief?

  18. Mike Smith responds:

    I myself have never seen a Bigfoot,but I have talked to many people that saw something, and I think they really saw something. Like I said I never saw one, but in my heart I think they are out there. I’ve had people tell me that Bigfoot is as real as Santa, and tell me that the whole Bigfoot thing is a bunch of bull, and in some of these same people when asked if they have ever gone out to look for it have told me “Hell no, I’m not going out in the woods at night, are you out of your mind.” That was said to me by a person in Jefferson Texas this past October, when they heard I come to town to attend The Texas Bigfoot conference. And when asked if they were willing to do some night time looking, that was the response I got. You can call me what you want. I don’t care, I just hope that when the day comes that Bigfoot is accepted into mainstream science, its not because some dumb ass goes out and kills one. (Like the one I met in Jefferson) What impresses me is the reports that come in from people from all walks of life. ie Law enforcement, Docters, Lawyers, and everyday hard working people. They all saw something. I know that is not the proof science whats, but before you say something not real, spend alittle time looking into it. I think in the end something big may be found.

  19. JRufus responds:

    I first saw bigfoot when I was a child. As a child I believed what I saw, as all children do. As I grew older I began to question myself. I would ask myself if what I saw was real. As a child I also had an imaginary friend. It was a ball of light that would interact and converse with me. Again, as I grew older I began to question if the ball of light was real. As a child I prayed to God and had no doubt what so ever that God was real. But, yet again as I grew older my “belief” in God even came into question.

    All of the “skeptisism” displayed as I matured was learned. I was taught to be skeptical by the local educational system–particularly by the science courses. I am now 20 years removed from academia. I have tried to absorb as much knowledge from this world as possible. The conclusions I have drawn about the ball of light and God will remain my own. As for the bigfoot I saw as a child I still can not say whether or not it was real.

    The bigfoot I saw as a child was on the Patterson film. With all the advances in technology I have seen in my lifetime, all the skeptisism that has been pounded into me, and all the people that have investigated this matter, for it to still be a mystery to me is profoundly disturbing.

    At this point it shouldn’t matter whether a person considers themselves to be skeptics or believers. In my mind they are two sides of the same coin and neither side has proven anything. Yet, curiously I am begining to “believe” that’s excactly what both sides want. Which would put me decidedly in the camp of the cynics.

    The only thing left for me now is to be enlightened by the discovery of a large bipedal hominid. I have been a believer, a skeptic, and a cynic. And through it all I remain hopeful.

    Does anyone else see the irony? Bigfoot, be it myth or monster, has been leaving it’s indellible footprints upon the human spirit for ages. Missing link? I think that is excactly what it is.

  20. fuzzy responds:

    Hmmm…interesting comments, all.

    Most paranormal events are seen and later remembered, related and evaluated from the RIGHT side of our brains, the creative side, primarily because of their heavily emotional nature.

    Researchers have to keep switching our senses over to the rational, analytical LEFT side of our intellects, so we can cooly evaluate both the event and, later, the discussions and critiques and other ramifications, much as we are doing above.

    See how quickly we slide over into emotion-driven sarcasm and innuendo and reactionary responses, splitting hairs and parsing sentences until we lose track of the actual subject?

    I think most, if not all, of the folx on this thread sound like Agnostics on the Bigfoot subject (and, by association, most other Paranorms), and there’s nothing wrong with that ~ it simply means…

    I don’t know.



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