Posted by: Craig Woolheater on December 5th, 2012
TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE….. THAT IS THE QUESTION???
Have you ever seen a Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Forest Person? Many people have spent one, two, three, four or more decades interviewing eye-witnesses, conducting research expeditions, writing articles and/or books, collecting numerous foot casts, participating in TV documentaries, participating in creative technological experiments, and/or writing scholarly journal articles without ever having seen a Bigfoot. Some of these individuals have risked their professional reputations and careers along the way. Yet, still no visual of a Bigfoot. They are to be commended for their dedication, work, and for helping to contribute to the knowledge base regarding the Bigfoot phenomena. They are LEGENDS in BIGFOOTDOM.
I was LUCKY when I saw Bigfoot walk off the pages of myth and legend into reality on July 1, 2000. My family’s encounter with a Bigfoot, about a mile up on the mountain above the Oregon Caves National Monument Park, was a day I’ll never forget. Although many people have dedicated their lives to Bigfoot Research and have never actually seen one with their own eyes, I was LUCKY because the “Big Hairy Needle” found me in the haystack. Many others have been equally lucky because of their Bigfoot visual encounters they have experienced without ever intending to see one. I’ll never forget how many times I was told 12.5 years ago how LUCKY I was because I actually saw a Bigfoot. These same Bigfoot experts told me that the odds are low that I’ll ever see a Bigfoot again. HOWEVER, Dr William (“Bill”) York told me that negative point of view was nonsense.
William York moved to Africa when he was 17 years old because he wanted to become a Big Game Hunter. He spent over 40 years in Africa. He killed over 200 elephants and many other African animals too. He conducted hundreds of Big Game Expeditions and even acted as a guide for Queen Elizabeth during her African Safari. He eventually put his gun away and studied to become a Doctor of Wildlife Biology (i.e., A wildlife biologist). He became a Wildlife Preserve Manager and Primate Specialist. He was a consultant to help develop the Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom Park in Florida as well as the primary consultant to help develop the Wildlife Safari Park in Winston, Oregon.
Dr York taught me a lot during my first two years of Bigfoot Research. He taught me a lot about primate behaviors and how to track them. He also taught me to trust my instincts as they developed over time. He said that the Bigfoot species is no different than any other species on the planet. He taught me that every animal on the planet, including humans and Bigfoot, have patterns of behaviors. We are all creatures of habit.
Dr York said that “the more we go out looking for them, the more we will learn about the patterns and behaviors of the Bigfoot species. Then we will start seeing them more frequently.” He told me to ignore the naysayers. He also said, “Keep an open mind about who and what the Bigfoot species really are. He also cautioned me against “ambulance chasing” (i.e., Going from one reported sighting to the next reported sighting). He said that all living species tend to have territories. The key finding them is to validate their presence in the area, stay put, and go over their territory with a fine tooth comb.
See post concerning Dr. William York here on Cryptomundo: Bigfoot Research: Persistence
Unfortunately, Dr York died in his late 60’s of Congestive Heart Failure on November 3, 2002. He was my friend, teacher, and mentor during those two wonderful years. I grieved his death as if I lost my own father. Although he really wanted to see a Bigfoot before he died, he did not share in the joy of experiencing a visual before his untimely death. I still miss him very much. Yet, I carried his teachings and words of wisdom with me every time I went out into the wilderness – “Keep an open mind about who and what the Bigfoot species really are. Get to know their behaviors and patterns. Then you will begin to see them and experience them more frequently.” Although he was right, it took me another eight years to figure it out how to be successful at doing so.
I dedicated a total of ten years of engaging in relentless field research while utilizing the high tech “In Your Face” equipment (i.e., Deer Cams, Video Cams, Remote TV Cams, Seismic Sensors, Night Vision, Thermo Imaging, etc.). We continued to find bedding areas, endless sets of tracks, stick structures, snapped trees, rock piles, scat piles, numerous foot casts, etc. We could hear the Bigfoot nearby and sometimes smell them. Yet, no meaningful interactions and no visuals.
We also found multiple examples of “Technology Avoidance” during the 10 years of relentless research. On numerous occasions, we found tracks walking in the direction of a Deer Cam or Video Camera, then the tracks would stop about 50 feet away, and then the tracks would walk around the camera or away from the camera to avoid it. We saw this time and time again.
Dr York’s words kept echoing in my head, “Keep an open mind about who and what the Bigfoot species really are. Get to know their behaviors and patterns. Then you will begin to see them and experience them more frequently.” After a decade of frustration, I was forced to make a choice. I would either allow my ego and pride cause me to continue to march down the research path of futility without results or I would force myself to consider an alternative approach.
I thought of the LEGENDS in BIGFOOTDOM and how they have spent decades in the field without ever having seen a single Bigfoot. I did not want to be like them. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life researching without the blessing of more visuals. I forced myself to open up my mind and consider the Habituation approach which was being advocated by other Bigfoot researchers in the field.
I put the high tech equipment away and started going out into the Habituation Area to build trust with them. Rather than go out into the wilderness to prove their existence, I was now going out there to simply hang out with them, build up their trust, and hopefully see them and interact with them. This will sound silly to some of you but I don’t care. It worked. The number of visuals and personal interactions over the past 2 years have shot up through the roof exponentially. Habituation works. It really does!!!
TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE…. THAT IS THE QUESTION???
Over a year ago, I was at a Bigfoot conference at the coast with my fellow Researchers/Habituators. One of the LEGENDS was in attendance. He has spent over 40 years in the field interviewing eye witnesses and engaging in “Ambulance Chasing” methods (i.e., Running from one reported sighting to the next reported sighting without ever staying put and going over an area with a fine tooth comb for several years).
A small group of us were sitting around a campfire swapping stories. I shared about how I changed my ways and became a Habituator. I shared about all the visuals and interactions that I had been experiencing as a result of changing my approach. This LEGEND rolled his eyes, got up out of his chair while saying “Bullshit” under his breath, and walked away in anger. Later, I learned that he told others that they needed to keep me away from the “Newbies” or I would “corrupt them with rubbish.”
The sad thing is that I was telling the truth. I kept an open mind and was willing to learn from others just as Dr York suggested years earlier. As a result, the visuals and personal interactions have significantly increased. Really, they have. Yet, this LEGEND, has yet to see one in 40 years of personal dedication. Although I admire his commitment and contribution to BIGFOOTDOM, I’m saddened that his ego, pride, and stubbornness will ultimately prevent him from experiencing the visuals and interactions that he so understandably desires. I so wanted Dr York to have his visual before he died. I so want this LEGEND to have his experiences too. However, he has the same choice to make as I did. Either march down the same path of futility or consider a different approach.
Have you ever seen a Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Forest Person? Would you like to see one? Would you like to get to know them and interact with them? Then open up your mind to the impossible and improbable. Stop trying to be a Special Ops Team. You can’t trick them or outsmart them. Leave the High Tech Equipment at home.
Instead, go out into an area where you know a family exists, respect them, and get to know them. Treat them the same way you would want to be treated by guests who enter your home. Offer food, play music (i.e., guitar, harmonica, flute, etc.), talk, laugh, sing, and listen. Conduct “Night Sits” between 10 pm and 5 am. Leave your flashlights off. Don’t go out looking for them. Wait for them to come to you. If you do this enough times, it will work. It takes patience, commitment, and lots of time. It took our southern Oregon Bigfoot family 5 years before they started taking our food. We’ve had multiple visuals and interactions, including physical contact. The same is true in our western Washington research area too.
The LEGENDS in BIGFOOTDOM deserve our admiration and praise for their diligent work, decades of dedication, and their contributions toward the increasing knowledge in the Bigfoot field. They truly do. HOWEVER, you need to seriously ask yourself, why haven’t many of the LEGENDS seen one yet? In all those years of research, why haven’t they experienced any visuals or interactions?
In one, two, three, four or more decades, do you want to look back on all your time in the field and be frustrated because you never saw a Bigfoot or interacted with them? If the answer is “NO”, then please open up your mind and consider the alternative approach. Habituation works!!! Stop trying to prove their existence. Leave the High Tech Equipment at home. Just go out there to get to know them. Develop trust with them. Then you will feel the same way I do. You will be saddened for the LEGENDS but you will be happy for you. You will be happy that you’ve had the joy of seeing the Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Forest People on multiple occasions and that they have trusted you enough to allow you into their world. What a blessing it is!!! Don’t be a LEGEND, rather, be a friend of the Forest People. Just be a friend. It’s possible, probable, and it works.
~ Matthew A Johnson
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.