Sasquatch Coffee

Bigfoot Is Not Real

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on January 19th, 2007

Joseph Friedrichs of the New West, the Voice of the Rocky Mountains, has proclaimed that “Bigfoot Is Not Real”.

He doesn’t believe in Bigfoot, and thinks that we are all just wasting our time discussing it here.

And just look at the photo he uses to illustrate this with on the New West website.

As has been discussed here on Cryptomundo in the past, the existence of Bigfoot is not something to believe in. See the following:

Answering the Bigfoot Skeptics and

Bigfoot Believers

Sasquatch research team to visit Central Oregon

Bigfoot Is Not Real

Bigfoot Believer

This guy believes in Bigfoot

Allow me to cut right to the chase with my stance on the existence of Sasquatch: It doesn’t.

Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, is a complete hoax. There are no large, strange, hairy beasts roaming the woods. Well, other than myself and a few others who don’t enjoy shaving. Seriously though, there is no Bigfoot. Forget about it.

I have tried to believe in Bigfoot. I want to. But at the conclusion of all my research, and by using my brain, I now understand Bigfoot is only a myth. A money-making scheme for some. And a topic of conversation for the masses.

That is why it was painful to find out about the next round of “scientists” that will be visiting Central Oregon to hunt for the mythical creature. The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) has planned a four-day voyage this June into the Cascades with the intent on finding Sasquatch. The public was invited to assist the team for a mere $300 per person. Tragically, the expedition is sold out. Sorry Sasquatch fans, you’ll have to wait until next time. Of course, one can always charge into the wilderness alone to track Bigfoot.

According to the BFRO Website, up to 100 people assist the research team on each hunt. Let’s see, $300 x 100 people…. Not a bad payday for team BFRO.

The reason I speak with such confidence about the non-existence of Bigfoot is because I have been on one of these hunts. On Sept. 22, 2005, the San Francisco-based Searching For Bigfoot team took me deep into the Siskiyou Mountains to find Sasquatch. We packed in tranquilizer guns, motion-activated cameras, night-vision goggles, trip wires and a whole galaxy of GPS systems and radars.

Searching For Bigfoot came to the Southwest corner of Oregon because a truck driver claimed to have spotted Sasquatch several days before. That incident took place at 4 a.m. on a dark, windy stretch of Highway 199. News of the sighting sent the Searching For Bigfoot team into a flurry, hence their arrival less than 60 hours later.

What happened during our cold, long, wet night in the woods is very easy to sum up: nothing.

Two of the motion-activated cameras did go off. Also, some kind of high tech sound-sensing gadget as well. I wanted to explain to the crew that we were in the middle of a wilderness area chock full of deer, bear, squirrels, rodents and dozens of other animal species. Instead, I kept quiet and simply observed the madness.

We didn’t sleep that night. My hostility toward the research team grew more intense with each passing hour. Each pounding drop of rain made me grow more skeptical of what the crew said. I almost wept at one point, but opted to laugh. And in the end, we left with nothing to show but wet clothes and a bad attitude.

The myth of Bigfoot is nothing new to the Pacific Northwest. Indian tribes from centuries ago spoke of the creature, rumored to stand 10-feet tall and weight 1,000 pounds. Hunters, gatherers and hikers have all claimed to encounter, or at least find evidence of Bigfoot. Footprints nearly 2-feet in length have been found in dried mud. Images have been captured on film of unusual-looking animals stomping through the brush.

And I still don’t believe. And I never will.

So good luck this summer team BFRO and the people you have conned into traveling along. I can assure you Bigfoot will not be discovered up there. But keep your eyes open. You never know what you might find.Joseph Friedrichs
1-18-07

So this guy goes out with Biscardi and company for one night and he’s writing off the possibility of the existence of Bigfoot altogether? Sounds like he’s made an informed decision… emoticon Maybe he should go out with the BFRO…From what I hear, they always have Bigfoot activity activity on their expeditions. emoticon

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.


46 Responses to “Bigfoot Is Not Real”

  1. David V responds:

    Its difficult to consider bigfoot, for myself, I desperately WANT to believe, but its hard. The disbelieving stares, the chuckles, so many people think that anybody who believes in the existence of bigfoot must be a total wingnut. But, I still secretly hope that they’re out there somewhere, in fact I sort of hope they are never proven to exist, as I think there aren’t enough mysteries in this world!

  2. skeptic responds:

    Typical “journalist”, used to instant gratification by expecting to drive to the scene and immediately being able to gather the facts in order to reach a conclusion. However, he has a point. After three decades of pursuing BF, there is nothing but circumstantial evidence, using the term loosely and generously.

    It is hard to believe that all who have allegedly encountered BF and been in a position to shoot it, couldn’t because it looked too human. Time and time again, the reports turn out to be hoaxes or misidentifications. The PG film is in doubt as to its authenticity. The Skookum cast is probably nothing more than an elk body print. Collected BF hair turns out to be that of a known animal, inconclusive and hasn’t yielded any DNA.

    Most frustrating, the researchers themselves seem to be more interested in attacking each other than cooperating and pooling their resources together in order to solve the mystery.

    The way things are, I don’t expect BF to ever be discovered even if it does exist, which is highly improbable IMO.

  3. rayrich responds:

    Unless you have some incredible luck you are not going to have a sighting in any remote area unless you spend weeks in the backcountry far away from any trail. Having had my own sightings it makes me laugh that these clowns debunk their existance. Thats fine with me…the less people believe the safer they are from man.

  4. crgintx responds:

    My want to believe but my head says that solid proof aka a corpse is needed to shut up the naysayers. Friedrichs is very young and has only worked for 2 years as a local reporter/editor for the New West in the Bend,OR area. This wasn’t reporting, it was exactly what this is, blogging.

  5. shovethenos responds:

    Saying there is “no evidence” is incorrect. Just off the top of my head there are:

    – A couple DNA samples that come back unknown or unknown primate.
    – The hair sample from China that is from an unknown primate according to metal content analysis.
    – The tooth from Russia.
    – Lots of hair deemed by some (from the structure) to be from an unknown primate.

    And that’s just the hard physical evidence. There are the casts, recordings, etc. that are reported by some experts to be authentic. So it wears a little thin when someone claims there is “no evidence” because there is a significant amount of evidence which is slowly expanding.

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    I think the photograph graphically illustrates what Joseph Friedrichs’ article is all about: ridicule.

  7. PhotoExpert responds:

    Isn’t the United States a great place to live. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And they are allowed to express that opinion freely without fear of government reprisals. So, this young reporter, Joseph Friedrichs has his own opinion and expressed it. Opinions are just that, opinions and not fact. Your opinions can turn out to be correct or they can turn out to be wrong. Opinions are formed based on your frame of reference when approaching the subject matter.

    My opinion is that if he went out into the field with the individuals he did go out with, one would not expect him to see or find anything. So that does not surprise me. And I see his point of view based on his limited experience. If we went out with that same group, we might hold the same opinion.

    However, many people do not share his opinion. Their frame of reference is different. One can not discount the past sightings and other physical evidence. He did discount that evidence. So that would mean that he lacked certain information or did not do enough research. His reporting skills are therefore somewhat lacking. So I would not call this reporting. Reporting is based on the facts and evidence. I would call this an editorialized article. So he is a blogger.

    As an avid fisherman, my skill level is above most of the general population of fisherman. It is very infrequent that I get skunked. But it does happen once in a great while. Just because I did not catch any fish or see any fish that particular day in that body of water does not mean that fish were not there to be caught. And there are some fisherman with lesser levels of skill than I have and get skunked all the time. Their frame of reference would be that there are no fish in that body of water at all. But I could go in there and prove that person wrong. Get my drift?

    Enough said!

  8. busterggi responds:

    I may not be sure about sasquatch myself but I know sour grapes when I see them.

  9. jayman responds:

    He’s at least half right – these noisy, bumbling “expeditions” of weekend warriors are just to make money and gain publicity. They’ll never come up with anything. They’re lucky to see a squirrel.

  10. airforce47 responds:

    Typical skeptics ranting. The mass of circumstantial evidence would prove that Bigfoot exists if there was a court in which it could be heard. I fished, hiked and traveled all around California and the West when I was younger and had one encounter in the Kings Canyon.

    I dismiss comments like Joseph Friedrichs made as I do of those who maintain there’s a Bigfoot under every rock and tree.

    We simply need to get real lucky with field research and so far that has happened to only a few.

    LL

  11. alanborky responds:

    What a peculiar thing it is to be a human being, never mind a Bigfoot!

    For a long, long time I was absolute certain there was no such thing as Bigfoot and, just like Joseph Friedrichs, I was not only absolutely certain I knew all the “so-called” evidence inside out, but that it pointed to only one conclusion: anyone who said they believed the contrary was either a self-deluder, a complete idiot, or mentally ill.

    Then, sitting down for the umpteenth time to watch yet another expose type account of the Patterson film, certain it’d confirm my convictions and prove the critter in the film was just a guy in a rubber monkey suit and, therefore, a hoax, I was shocked to realise for the first time that, contrary to everything I ‘knew’, I’d never really looked at the film at all; all I’d done was allow my beliefs to let the film run past my eyes hundreds of times without actually bothering to LOOK at it, without studying it objectively for even so much as a second.

    And what brought about this dumbfounding revelation? Well, contrary to my belief the Patterson Bigfoot was, in one sense or another, a male, I finally noticed, for the first time, Bigfoot had breasts.

    Yet if I’d really been objectively studying the film the way I’d been convinced I had all the other times, then how in the hell did I miss those?

    Joseph Friedrichs may well be right; but one thing I’m certain of is, just like me until recently, he’s never really open-mindedly studied the evidence at all.

    The only difference between him NOW, and me THEN is, he SAYS he’s TRIED to believe in Bigfoot, whereas I didn’t even try: I didn’t need to, I KNEW Bigfoot DIDN’T exist.

    Back then, I didn’t believe Bigfoot existed, and I STILL don’t BELIEVE it exists; I don’t have to: I only have to go by the evidence; and the evidence says, whatever the hell Bigfoot actually is, the thing is out there: it exists!

  12. fuzzy responds:

    From a “skeptik’s” point of view, I have to agree: Bigfoot is NOT real ~ yet!

    Same for UFOs ~ NOT real ~ yet!

    “Reality” is different for each of us ~ to a novice reporter, hunkered down in the freezing rain in a stygian wilderness, discomfort, disbelief and anger are his Reality.

    But for each of the others out there in the woods with him, Reality is composed of varying degrees of curiosity, resignation, experience, hope and, yes, belief.

    That’s why they’re there ~ they look at the mystery from many different personal viewpoints, and they’ll keep looking, until…

    I hope we all live long enough to bring Bigfoot and UFOs, whatever they are, into our own individual Realities.

  13. fuzzy responds:

    And look at all the great gear his group had!

    “…tranquilizer guns, motion-activated cameras, night-vision goggles, trip wires and a whole galaxy of GPS systems and radars.”

    Radar?

  14. lamarkable responds:

    The fool’s gold of opinion can always be mined in the absence of facts. Speculation costs nothing and has the same value when you consider the source. Belief is belief whether it is the belief of a skeptic or that of the someone with biased expectations. Two sides of a wooden nickel. This is an expedition whose leaders are chasing their tales, or tails if you prefer. The lack of credentials, protocols and funding make this an expensive fool’s errand. The fear of appearing to be seeking an Eldorado on the part of established science fuels more smoke and mirrors.

  15. Mr.PassiveAggressive responds:

    Isn’t it amazing how articles that are ridicule pieces about cryptozoological phenomena have no problem getting published while other articles of a more serious and academic nature have to fight to see the light of day?

  16. DWA responds:

    Wow. Let me guess. He found out at 15 that there’s no Santa Claus, and he’s been upset ever since.

    One night in the woods…with what sounds like a really fly-by-night operation…and he’s done with it? Did he see any of those bears those woods are, by his own admission, packed with?

    This is 2007. It’s been 40 years since Patterson shot his film. You’d think that anybody who thought this animal existed might also think you don’t see one every day; and that that luck doesn’t change just because you’re with a noisy gang that brought gear.

    I don’t know whether the sas exists myself. But if I were going into the field with a sas gang, I might do a little research first.

    Sour grapes, indeed.

    Can’t wait ’til Ben Radford checks in. He’ll declare victory and tell us all to go home. I love it when people think that the question of an unknown animal’s existence absolutely hinges on the competence of the people searching for it. If this animal exists, it exists independently of us.

    I’d love to hear its laugh. ‘Cause I’d think we were pretty funny, if I were a sasquatch.

  17. wenonahplace responds:

    I have stated before that we need a permanent team in an area for as long as it takes. I fully understand what that would take. I offer myself as a candidate to undertake such a long term commitment. I am willing to give up everything and for the sake of proving once and for all, take all the necessary risks. I have a military background in surveillance and am a skilled woodsman. Someone come forth and finance this long term commitment, it’s the only way, besides the blind stupid luck of the typical expedition.

    Z.

  18. Pete.Wilson responds:

    I will say this about the BFRO, the money they make from expeditions could easily fund several people to be constantly out in the back country searching, not to mention the amount of high tech equipment that could be purchased. But then that would require certain people to not pocket the money and use it for REAL field research. So the guy doesn’t believe, nothing guarantees tomorrow will come either. If nothing else, I have a lot of good field time out in nature and have met some new friends along the way.

  19. mystery_man responds:

    Great comment, Photoexpert. As a fisherman myself, I can totally get the gist of what you are saying. The thing that really bothers me most about this guy’s rant and some posts that I see from time to time is the words “I WANT to believe”. This is not the way to approach a subject like this or any type of science for that matter, I feel. You cannot let your personal desire to believe in something get in the way of the evidence or facts that present themselves. It either exists, or it does not, whether you want it to or not. For me, I don’t WANT to believe, I want to to just find out what is going on, whether that means Bigfoot is a man in a suit or a bonafide hairy hominid. Saying “I really want to believe in Bigfoot” is just starting off on the wrong foot. I do not feel there should be any sort of bias when approaching this subject. I am not interested in cryptozoology because I WANT to believe in anything. I love the natural world and I have a passion for zoology be it known or unknown animals. I am willing to look at the evidence for or against any given cryptid with an open mind without WANTING to believe in one or the other. I think in a scientific pursuit, you have to take the facts presented and come up with feasible theories and WANT should not have anything to do with it.

  20. dbard responds:

    Sounds to me like a pampered “reporter” found out what it was like to spend a night in a rainy tent.

    Boo Hoo!

  21. rifleman responds:

    Judging from the above photo, I am surprised that the geek survived the ordeal.

    His sphincter probably puckered up as soon as they passed the last Starbucks and he learned that his blackberry didn’t have service out in the woods.

  22. NeilUnreal responds:

    As much as I — a lifelong Fortean — hate to say it, I agree. I started out believing Bigfoot was real; I still want to; I would be thrilled if conclusive evidence were to come forward in favor of the existence of a Bigfoot-like creature. However, after following the Bigfoot story for several decades, I am forced to conclude that there’s just “no there there.”

    However, I’m still open to the possibility. I would be happy to change my mind if what I consider good evidence emerges. So I would never ridicule those who attempt serious scientific investigation of the subject. I just don’t hold out much hope for their success at this point.

    But, science proceeds almost as well by failing as it does by succeeding, so at least some effort is worthwhile.

  23. silvereagle responds:

    One rainy, windy, noisy night in the wilderness, surrounded by electronic equipment that generally deters activity, and he comes up with zip? Surprise, surprise! He was probably within 200 feet of a half dozen bigfoot, during that uneventful evening. Did he know what to listen for? Did Biscardi know? If Biscardi knew, did he tell him? Did they know that noise is their worst enemy, when hoping to detect the bigfoot? In summation, the blind leading the blind, leads to yet one more piece of adverse publicity.

  24. DWA responds:

    Hey, Craig, sounds like a letter to the editor is in store here. Some people should be forcibly kept at their keyboards and not allowed outside.

  25. DWA responds:

    Another idea, Craig.

    Didn’t a journalist go on one of your TBRC forays in the Big Thicket? Wasn’t she pretty sure it didn’t exist?

    Send our Bold Quester what SHE wrote.

    ;-)

  26. kittenz responds:

    Bigfoot either exist or they don’t.

    One night in the field, one year in the field, or even one decade in the field may not be a long enough time to find and document them.

    I don’t think that anyone can approach investigating cryptids with a completely unbiased outlook. We are all human, and we would not investigate at all if we did not want to prove or disprove something. And if someone is investing the time, money, and effort for a really comprehensive field study (as opposed to a dude-ranch type expedition), then that person probably wants to believe, no matter how objectively they pursue their exploration.

    I do not know if Bigfoot exist, at least as large shaggy primates. The evidence IS awfully ambiguous. If they do exist, I would like to see their existence documented so that they can be protected.

    If they do not exist, I would like to know just what kind of animal all these credible people are seeing.

  27. fuzzy responds:

    “Albino Deer are not real.

    Allow me to cut right to the chase with my stance on the existence of Albino Deer: They don’t.

    Albino Deer, also known as White Deer, are a complete hoax. There are no large, strange, colorless deer roaming the woods. Seriously, there are no Albino Deer. Forget about it.

    I have tried to believe in Albino Deer. I want to. But, at the conclusion of all my research, and by using my brain, I now understand that Albino Deer are only a myth. A money-making scheme for some. And a topic of conversation for the masses.”

    I went on an Albino Deer Expedition with the ADFRO. We squatted in the woods and made deer noises for almost a half hour ~ we spotted a striped dog-thingie, a big black and white Woody Woodpecker with a white bill and a Bigfoot, but no Albino Deer.

    See what I mean?

    Then last week some lady near Sonora says she spotted a White Deer in her back yard, and she had some blurry photos and a video of this “white deer” walking around, but it looked like it was painted white. Or dyed.

    “I still don’t believe. And I never will.

    So good luck this summer, Team ADFRO and the people you have conned into traveling along. I can assure you an Albino Deer will not be discovered up there. But keep your eyes open. You never know what you might find.

    By Joseph Fried, 1-18-07 “

  28. Cryptonut responds:

    Guys like this are why you can’t believe everything you read. Making a statement based on one experience (or lack of), and not a reasonable assessment of the totality of scientific evidence is misguided and smacks of sensationalism, not journalism. Oh, how I can’t wait for the day that the big guy’s existence becomes reality. :-)

  29. joppa responds:

    Fuzzy, great post – There’s a little barbecue joint in Middle Georgia, halfway between Augusta and Atlanta called the White Deer. Anyway, they have about six to eight stuffed albino deer for which this rural Georgia county is known for.

    The Bigfoot debate is not going to be settled by BFRO or Biscardi expeditions; someday one of us will wander into some greasy spoon diner in Fuzzy Bone, Idaho and see three stuffed Sasquatches which Uncle Bud shot last year during the elk hunt.

    As we express our astonishment, he laughs and opens the screen door, whistles and tosses some scraps to the twelve footer he’s got on a logging chain out back.

  30. bf looker responds:

    Kinda seems that this guy was almost going not to “find” bigfoot, but to uncover the scam of the folks that put on the expedition. And with all the equipment they hiked in they should have been able to get a really cool tent to keep dry in, right?!

    If a guy wants to spend one or two nights in the woods and come out and say there’s no bigfoot, then let ‘em. But why should any of the people who have spent years out looking for bigfoot care? I guess my question is, why does this guy’s opinion count for so much?

  31. kittenz responds:

    To be fair, albino deer are well known and documented not only from photos but also from captive animals and animals killed by hunters.

  32. springheeledjack responds:

    I’m with fuzzy. Oh sure there are photos of albino deer, but if you look at them, they are either enhanced with computer software or touched up. It’s all a fake. As for animals killed by hunters, are you seriously going to believe that? Do you know how much beer the average hunter consumes on a hunting trip? And albino deer in captivity, there was this one guy who wrote into Loren about having a baby albino deer in captivity and wanted to sell the rights to watch video and photograph it…but you know how that turned out…

    Seriously, albino deer, even Bigfoot is more believable than that.

  33. kittenz responds:

    I have actually seen albino deer on a farm where my uncle was forman. They were part of a small captive herd.

    Of course that fits the description of an unsubstantiated sighting by a credible witness.

  34. fuzzy responds:

    Fuzzy Bone, Idaho?

  35. rangers33 responds:

    This guy obviously had his mind made up about what he believes long before he went on this trip into the woods. As far as the BFRO goes, I think they’ve done a tremendous job compiling a sightings database and some great field work too, but I have serious questions about them charging fees to go on an expedition with them, especially since part of their mission statement talks about not only gathering scientific data, but to also training others on how to gather that data.

    I’m sure some of the money goes to run their website and also for new equipment and other related expenses of field work, but to the best of my knowledge they’re not a non profit group, and if so, there’s no accounting of where the money goes. Is it all going back into the organization or into someone’s pocket?

    It wasn’t that many years ago that they tried to charge a fee to view their website and database of sightings. I know it sounds like I’m down on them, but I’m not, really.

    I think if there’s a breakthrough, they’ll probably be the one’s involved with it. I just think it hurts their credibility, and when money is involved may cause people to question their motives.

  36. rayrich responds:

    I was dumb enough to go on a BFRO expedition a couple of years ago. The people who ran it and their loyal followers didn’t leave camp until afternoon and spent more time talking than hunting. Of course I was out for hours well before they woke up and travelled off the trails which they never did. They provided no equipment, food, or anything else for that matter. They also fabricated stories etc., but I should have expected that.

  37. mystery_man responds:

    I see what you mean, Kittenz, but I guess I should make my earlier post a bit clearer. Of course we are human and we have things we want it to be. But as cryptozoologists, I really feel we have to try to follow the norm of mainstream science if we want to be taken seriously and not be seen as a group feverishly holding onto hope that bigfoot is a large hairy hominid. What I wanted to say was that it is OK to have a desire to go out and find out what is going on, to have a desire for answers. But I feel it can be irresponsible to want too much for Bigfoot to be one thing or the other. Not only will it lead to severe disappointment as in the case of the gentleman in the article, but it can bias the evidence that presents itself. If you go out really wanting Bigfoot to not be there, then you are going to possibly ignore compelling evidence. If you really want it to be a hominid, then even twisted branches or piles of leaves are going to be the work of Bigfoot. See what I mean? Is this the way we should behave if we want to be seen as a viable scientific field? Now maybe I’m wrong about this, but I just think we should not hold on too much to an idea of what we want a particular cryptid to be, but rather the want to find the truth.

  38. DWA responds:

    Kittenz: I don’t think the evidence is AWFULLY ambiguous at all. I don’t think it’s really ambiguous, at least as to the thing we’re either going to find, or not.

    I read a lot of sighting reports. Unlike many, I believe they represent our best chance of confirming the animal. Witness after witness is totally UNambiguous as to what they saw: a large, fast, agile, clearly bipedal manlike/apelike animal (and no that’s not ambiguous; the first photo I ever saw of an orangutan stunned me with how human the animal looked), probably a primate. The picture given by witnesses separated by great distances, not comparing notes (so far as is known), many of them not having heard much more about Bigfoot than the name, many even believing the animal didn’t exist at the time — all these sightings give a picture almost the diametric opposite of the public image of a huge, lumbering, knuckle-dragging mouth-breather. If people were imagining Bigfoot, the animal I’m reading about in sighting reports is in no way the animal they’d imagine. One report says, and in this regard it’s not alone:

    “I was struck by the speed more than anything else. Think in terms of cheetah. Envision in your mind, if you will, a cheetah in full sprint leaping from the woods on one side of a small, two-track trail, and landing just on the other side of the trail, only to bound again into the woods. Now, envision that this cheetah is upright and bipedal and roughly six feet tall, and is covered with rusty-red hair or fur. Get the picture? Fast.”

    Another completely different report says:

    “If it was someone in a suit they must have spent a lot of money cause I could see its muscles moving, and it would have had to been the shortest track and field star in the world to fit in a suit that small, but I don’t even think a track and field star could run that fast.”

    The only thing remarkable about these quotes is how often similar descriptions of the animal’s speed, grace and agility turn up in reports. It unambiguously points away from people in ape suits; and it doesn’t square with the media image of the sasquatch, which you’d expect people to report if they were fibbing or mis-identifying. The animal in sighting reports clearly isn’t the public’s picture of Bigfoot. It’s what these people saw, and it doesn’t seem – particularly when one reads the rest of the reports – that ambiguous to me. They either saw this, or they didn’t; and what animal could they confuse with this? (I’ve seen lots of bears; and I’ve never read a sighting report that had a chance of being a bear.)

    The ambiguity comes from what science is stuck on right now, and has been for 50 years: a treadmill of footprint follies. Until an animal is confirmed, those prints – and all the other so-called “hard” evidence – can be anything. Until an animal is confirmed, we will never know what they are. They could all have been faked; some were. All of them? Hard to believe. But we’ll never, Meldrum or no Meldrum, confirm an animal from just its tracks. Or just its hair, scat, body cast, or what have you.

    On another thread here, Benjamin Radford calls it arrogance for a witness to insist that what she saw is what she saw. It takes a lot of arrogance to dismiss sightings en masse – which the so-called skeptic camp demonstrably does – by saying that people who insist they saw what they saw are being arrogant. Following this to its logical conclusion – actually, simply rephrasing Radford’s statement – daily life is a continuous string of acts of visual arrogance. Because all of us are acting upon sightings, every day in practically every act of our lives. Many of those sightings are of things with which we are unfamiliar; but we need to act on them to live, so we do. We rely on our eyes; and we rely on what people we trust have told us about things they’ve seen or done.

    Science is nothing more than sightings and anecdotes, backed by advanced degrees. Peer review at some point has to rest on the reviewer’s belief — it can never be a certainty — that an act he never saw take place actually occurred. How often do the authors of a scientific paper recreate their tests, step by step, subject by subject, for the reviewers? If that always happened, we might be inventing radio any day now. Or maybe I meant the crossbow. At some point, all science, being a cooperative effort, rests on this, as does all cooperative effort: this person seems sound and trustworthy; I can go with what she’s saying/giving me/promising she’ll do. Why, in the case of the sasquatch, is this basic fact of human interaction suddenly discarded and the reputability of the witness given short shrift, in most cases with no personal contact with or knowledge of the witness at all? It almost seems to me as if some people are clinging madly to a blind belief in science as sacred, as Being Above This Topic, and not being simply a reasoned, rational way to deal with what are after all nothing more – or less – than sightings. Science advances only because people trust what they didn’t see other people see, or do.

    A moment’s consideration should show that generally speaking, it’s irrational to think a person was seeing things. This isn’t a testable proposition, any more than a sighting is. It’s therefore contrary to science to assert it, as skeptics do as one of the linchpins of their position. It is, in fact, clinging to a cherished belief by one’s fingernails to insist that a person was “seeing things.” Seeing what things? Were you there? How do YOU know? Mis-identification happens, as anyone who’s been shot by a hunter, or any hunter who has committed that mistake, can tell you. (This is why eyewitness testimony can never be used as proof all by itself. One needs to buttress it with other evidence.) But to presume that every sasquatch sighting is such a case, and toss them all out of hand? Science has never advanced on anything but sightings by people whom other people took at their word.

    The rational thing to do is this. Are there a collection of sightings? Among the witnesses, are there any whose testimony should be suspect? Why? Drop the suspect ones from the review. Are the remaining witnesses, to all appearances, well-adjusted individuals, whose eyes seem to be getting them through life pretty well? Do their stories of what they saw hold together? No obvious lies or major judgment errors? A clear description of what was seen? (“Big, dark and hairy” isn’t clear.) No clear indication that some of the witnesses are in cahoots, with notes being compared and “straight stories” being concocted? Are the witness’s written and spoken accounts, and those of others present if any, consistent with one another? A concentration of such “clean” sightings in a given geographic area should be all science needs for a testable proposition: something is there that we haven’t explained yet.

    Or we can just continue to mull over evidence we can never link to anything real, and believe that it’s pretty arrogant to shave in the morning, because one can’t trust one’s eyes, and one really has no idea where one is going with that razor. Or consider the arrogance of hunting, when no one really has any idea what anyone is shooting at. And while we’re on that, how about the arrogance of war…? Or guns…?

    Science’s choice. (Although if we can use irrationality to ban guns and war, irrationality might not be all bad, for the sasquatch or anyone else.)

    Didn’t mean to go on like that. But I don’t think that what people are seeing is ambiguous at all. There’s only one question: Did they or didn’t they? Visual evidence gathered by scientists working full time in the field for an extended period is how we’ll find out. We won’t find out from footprints. Too – you said it, kittenz – awfully ambiguous.

  39. kittenz responds:

    The only truly conclusive evidence will be the actual body of an animal – living or dead – that can be examined by qualified experts.

  40. DWA responds:

    True, kittenz. The problem is how we get there. The choices are:

    1. Continue arguing over chimeras, until dumb luck or sheer chance puts one in our laps.

    2. LOOK in likely locales — suggested by concentrations of sightings — until we find what we’re looking for, or fail under propitious circumstances for so long that we’re gonna have to admit it looks like something weirder than a real animal is going on.

    I know which I prefer.

  41. CactusJumper responds:

    Hi. Umm, first time poster, long time reader? Wait, isn’t that what I’m supposed to say when I call Coast to Coast AM?

    Ok, here’s where I’m coming from. I’ve been interested in the subject of Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Bukwas, Yeti, pretty every known unknown upright walking hominid that I can think of. Especially recently, I bought every movie/documentary I could find (Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot, Peter Graves Mysterious Monsters, The Legend of Boggy Creek, Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, Etc.).

    Yeah, so for me, belief in such a creature is irrelevant. It is extremely entertaining for me. I think I get the same “rush” out of a Bigfoot movie or documentary as someone does out of watching a horror film.

    I don’t know if such a thing exists. I will not “try” to believe in it because I will probably never be able to join in an expedition (lost both legs in Iraq due to an IED). I would like to, but it’ll probably never happen.

    Anyhow, I know all about Tom Biscardi and I understand he is a liar and a thief. Apparently this dude who wrote the article didn’t do his homework on who he was dealing with (as most GOOD journalists should). He is just one of those guys who must inflate his ego by belittling those of us/you who understand the possibility of such a creature existing. He’s obviously self absorbed.

    Ok, so a few things I’d like to ask if possible. I hope this is the right place to ask. I’ve read many places, included this particular blog that there is evidence that includes hair samples, dna, and tooth that remain inconclusive or point to an unknown primate. How is this evidence legitimized? How is it known to be real?

    People can say all they want about evidence, but is there any kind of scientific journal, especially one that can be accessed online to read about these findings? Where is the proof of these findings? Is it just assumed that it exists? I know of Jeff Meldrum, John Bindernagel, Grover Krantz, Loren Coleman. etc. I pretty much believe most of what they have to say. Especially Jeff Meldrum. But I’ve never heard of any physical evidence from any of these scientists besides footprint castings. Is that all this creature leaves is footprints?

    Granted, I know about the whole dermal ridging thing and everything. But, there’s got to be more. Somewhere, there’s just got to be more. No matter how elusive a creature is, those creatures, whether they are deer or beer or badgers, leave behind other “artifacts” other than footprints. Are we just not looking hard enough?

    Yes, we’ve got the BFRO who obviously has a con-man/lawyer (same thing) running the show and he’s banking. Are there any legit organizations who go on expeditions that last longer than a weekend and publicize their findings? Even if their aren’t findings? Apparently these yahoo’s from the BFRO seem to have experiences EVERYTIME they have an “expedition”. I personally think they are a joke. As I’m sure many of you think as well.

    Anyhow, sorry for this rant. Like I said, first blog. Guess I just had a lot to say.

  42. DWA responds:

    Yep, you had lots to say, and way more than one of us can address.

    But I’ll grab this part. As you may note from my post above, I don’t believe that any of the physical evidence we have is anywhere near conclusive, because it can’t be tied to a known animal. You can only say: this looks as if an unknown animal may have left it. Of course, until we verify that animal, it could have been faked too.

    Prints, scat, hair and other things can serve as pointers to the way an unknown animal may have gone, or as indicators of its possible presence. But it’s like kittenz says. Until we can analyze a real animal of the kind that’s leaving this supposed evidence, we don’t have proof of anything except a lot of interesting stuff going on that may or may not lead to something real.

  43. DWA responds:

    Oh. Jumper. I just saw something else to address.

    The search for this animal (which is most definitely NOT presumed to exist by the scientific mainstream, even though thousands of reports of sightings have been filed) is being conducted 100% by amateurs, i.e., people with day jobs. (Even Jeff Meldrum has a day job, although fortunately it’s tangentially related to Bigfoot, as was Grover Krantz’s, as is John Bindernagel’s).

    I see the main problem in Bigfoot research right now, the main one, no qualifier, that no one has the time or funding to do more of this than a weekend at a time. (Scientists GET PAID to study; sas researchers PAY to study.) Now, maybe one major reason for this lack of attention by mainstream science — and I might have to take back what I just said, maybe THIS is the main problem — is the “tabloid-ization” and “paranormal-ization” of the sasquatch, something that has, I think, irreparably soiled the Bigfoot research field, at least until the animal is catalogued. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that the folks who link the sasquatch to UFOs or the fourth dimension, or make similar nonscientific (I did NOT say loony) connections will ever leave that angle alone; and that angle makes scientists very chary of the field. I for one can understand that, although I think scientists underestimate their power to cut through the BS when they take something seriously.

    And this may not be the time or place to say this. But thank you for what you did. And I don’t mean posting here (although thanks for that too). God bless you.

  44. CactusJumper responds:

    Oh, I completely understand what you mean by the Sasquatch “problem” being thrown in with the paranormal-ization and tabloid-ization.. There was a website I happened to run into that is associated with a (I’m not a afraid to say) rather unrealistic and plain crazy woman named Joan Ocean that stated Sasquatch can:
    Read
    Write
    Shape-shift
    Voice Project
    Create Infrasound that affects the environment
    Dematerialize at will, or cause you to have an experience of lost time so you think they dematerialized.
    Travel 300 miles a day on foot.
    Live in well-lighted underground facilities
    Contact and live with Star People
    Tell us about our past and our future.
    Have lived here longer than the human race.

    This woman belongs somewhere else other than her own home (the psych ward). Probably took waaaay too much acid in her heyday.

    And then directly underneath there was a picture that looked like a hairy, psychedelic, sparkly Michael Jackson. These are the kinds of people that help to illegitamize valid research and findings. They even write about “actual” encounters with these “more intelligent” than human Sasquatches and sitting down and having lunch with them, etc. Crazy stuff. Although, I believe that skeptics look more at these crazy views as opposed to the real evidence in order to solidify their negative approach toward the possibility of the existence of such a creature. It’s sad that these crazy people are so self absorbed in their fantasy world that they probably don’t even realize what they are doing to ruin it for those who are actually doing real research.

    Reminds me of a guy named John Lear who says he personally knows people who go to the moon and the rest of the planets in the solar system on a regular basis and that the moon actually has a breathable atmosphere (so do the rest of the planets) and that it’s a complete lie that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are gas giants and that they are actually terrestrial planets and humans have been living on them since the late 60’s. Crazy, insane stuff that some people are actually willing to believe! This is the realm that we (well, not me so much because I’m not a researcher) as researcher and believers or believers in the possibility of Bigfoot are thrown into! And this is just completely unfounded to pigeon hole us with those kinds of nutty people!

  45. DWA responds:

    Oh, I’m sure all the stuff in your post is verifiable, Jumper.

    With the right species of mushroom.

    NOT by science. It’s like fingernails on a blackboard to hear people continuing to spout this stuff, as if some scientist somewhere will go, by golly, she’s right! (HE found the ‘shroom stash.) You may not even have found the worst stuff yet!

    For an entertaining picture of just who all is involved in the sas hunt, I’d recommend a book I’m reading now, for the second time: “Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide.” It’s written by a superb natural history writer, Robert Michael Pyle, Yale-educated and with a depth and breadth of knowledge that he entertains with, rather than trying to impress you. People that are looking for proof or debunking, look elsewhere. This is an overview of the field, the quest, and what those things have to say about us. (And yes, the pro side is treated with respect, including the note that science isn’t as ignorant or as negative on this topic as some of us — me, before I read this — might think.) I read bad reviews from people who were obviously looking for the wrong things. It’s one book I think everyone in the field should read.

    One Bigfoot-hunter species Pyle refers to is one that the late Grover Krantz called “The Professional.” Krantz was NOT being complimentary. See, the Professional does NOT want the sasquatch catalogued; he’s making his notoriety, and maybe his living, off the hunt, not off the result. Professionals love seeing the data marred with all this quack stuff, because it makes the real stuff that much harder to sort out, and scientists that much less likely to do it. (Not sure, but it may be that our skeptic friend Benjamin Radford is a Professional. I stand corrected if I’m wrong. But it has to involve a few rounds. :-D)

    I think we have a bipedal animal here; I think it’s probably a primate, and will likely be wedged into the family tree with man and the anthropoid apes, if we ever get lucky and at the moment that appears to be what it will take. I won’t say that the evidence tells me it’s real. What the evidence does tell me is that it is a real stretch, given what’s now known, for anybody to come up with a plausible scenario that makes all of the evidence — or even a substantial portion of it — the result of lie, hoax or misidentification.

    There’s one mystery that I confess I can’t figure out.

    Will scientific confirmation be good for the sasquatch? Or not?

    You could argue strongly both ways. But there’s only one way to know for sure, and I personally would like to see us get there.

  46. easternbigfoot2 responds:

    Hey everyone, I’m new here and just thought I’d share my opinion with everyone. Has he EVER went to a hot bed of activity for more than 1 day? Has he even heard of the solid evidence suggested here such as hair and skin samples? Has he viewed the enhanced Patterson footage, or read any reports from sincere people? Has he heard opinions from QUALIFIED experts? I have absolutely no problem with the existence of bigfoot, after my encounter I have no doubts.



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