The Future of the Texas Bigfoot Research Center

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on April 2nd, 2007

The Texas Bigfoot Research Center has been actively involved in the search for the mysterious creature known as the sasquatch or bigfoot since 1999. In the beginning, there were only a handful of volunteers. However, as 2006 came to a close, the group featured a diverse, professional and talented membership roster of nearly 60 individuals, including wildlife biologists, law enforcement officers, photographers, teachers, business owners, managers, outfitters, ex-military, doctors, CPAs, pilots, technicians, professors, and journalists/editors, to name a few. It has been an exciting, educational, fun and enriching period.

With that said, the group’s leadership has decided that the time has come for the Texas Bigfoot Research Center to step aside to make way for a successor. Much has been learned through nearly eight years of trial and error. Board members also recognized that this field of research is still only in its infancy stages. For this research to progress, to grow, it must be better funded.

As a result, in December 2006, the group’s leaders decided to bring the curtain down on the Texas Bigfoot Research Center. In doing so, the group donated its equipment, its personnel, its database, its website domains to a newly-created non-profit research group, and on 18 January 2007, the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC) was created. Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws were drafted and endorsed by the group’s seven-person Board of Directors.

The Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy desires to take research of the elusive sasquatch to the next level. Its mission statement includes the following objectives:

“To investigate and conduct research regarding the purported existence of the unlisted primate species known as the sasquatch or bigfoot; to facilitate scientific, official and governmental recognition, conservation, and protection of the species and its habitat; and to help further factual education and understanding to the public regarding the species, with a focus mainly in, but not necessarily limited to, the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.”

The group’s Board of Advisors includes (in alphabetical order):

Dr. John Bindernagel
Loren Coleman
Smokey Crabtree
Dr. Henner Fahrenbach
John Green
Alton Higgins
John Kirk
John Mioncszynski
Dr. Jeff Meldrum
Rick Noll
Kathy Strain

With the governing body of seven Directors and approximately 60 members, the non-profit group seeks to proactively fulfill its mission statement. This includes sponsoring an annual professionally oriented bigfoot conference in the same manner as the Texas Bigfoot Research Center.

The Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy will soon unveil its new website at www.texasbigfoot.org.

During this time of transition, the current Texas Bigfoot Research Center will no longer have new information posted to its website, and the website will be taken offline once the new Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy site is launched. When the new TBRC site is launched, several recent investigative reports and field research reports will be featured. Unfortunately, it may take awhile for all the old reports to be integrated into the new database.

The new TBRC’s Board of Directors, Advisors, and Members anticipate that these changes will enhance the credibility of bigfoot/sasquatch research and facilitate a greater degree of acceptance by the scientific community and other segments of society of the likelihood of a biological basis behind the sasquatch phenomenon.

The Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy—working to turn today’s mystery into tomorrow’s discovery.

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.


22 Responses to “The Future of the Texas Bigfoot Research Center”

  1. Darkstream responds:

    I wouldn’t recommend taking the old site down. It would be better to keep that Google Gold to link to the new site for page ranking purposes. In addition, thousands of links throughout the web will soon point to dead pages if the old site goes down. It would be wiser to have all requests for the old domain meta-pushed to the new domain. This way you keep Google ranking high, and keep traffic streaming into the new site as opposed to starting from scratch. Site renewal is cheap. I’m sure they could work something out with their old host to redirect all requests to the new domain that wouldn’t cost much. It’s just a virtual host block in the httpd.conf file…

    Just my 2¢.

  2. DWA responds:

    And here I was wondering where the new reports were!

    Not a techie, but one thing you don’t want is to lose credibility via a whole buncha dead links. Darkstream has a point.

    Could you convey more information as to exactly what this change is accomplishing? I mean, why couldn’t the current group just apply for nonprofit status? If it involves an infusion of more $$, that sure can’t hurt.

  3. Loren Coleman responds:

    Thank you for waiting until April 2nd to post this.

    The opening sounded like you could have turned it into an April Fools’ joke, sort of a “In a world of groundbreaking Bigfoot research, a new wind is blowing….”

    I congratulate the TBRC for evolving to this plateau of professionalism.

    Various questions that might be helpful for people to know a little more about, as this notice leaves some hanging unknowns:

    Is there a new director?

    Does this change the promised plans for a Texas conference for 2007?

    How is this organization connected to the plans for a Bigfoot museum in Jefferson, Texas?

    Thank you.

  4. Ole Bub responds:

    An evolutionary step forward, for one of the premier Sasquatch research organizations…congratulations.

    The Oklahoma Bigfoot Research Center look’s forward to continued cooperation with the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy in our common quest…for the big folks.

    Hope to see all of you at the annual conference in Jefferson, Texas later this year.

    Live and let live…

    Ole bub and the dawgs

  5. silvereagle responds:

    And yet with that experienced and high powered brain trust, corroborating and/or indisputable evidence of a flesh & blood bigfoot, has not yet been presented for public perusal. Perhaps if Stephen Hawking is added to the list of Advisors, will either some serious headway occur, or a change in game plan evolve.

  6. Daryl Colyer responds:

    Hello all. Thanks for the interest, the suggestions and the questions.

    Darkstream, thanks for the advice. Let me say that there should be no dead links; our site developers are already working on this and it should not be a problem. While I am not programmer-savvy enough to get specific, I will say that we don’t anticipate a problem with any old links or search engines. In fact, we anticipate an enhanced capability.

    DWA: becoming a non-profit certainly brings with it a host of benefits, as you are probably already aware. Chief among those benefits, tax-exemption status for contributors and donors should make gifts and donations more easily obtained; we are already seeing evidence of this. Moving from a loosely-aligned group of individuals to a highly-organized non-profit corporation indicates that the organization is and must be professionally dedicated to its goals and the tenets of its mission statement (in our case, scientific research, conservation, species protection, education).

    We will be going to a new reports classification system similar to what Texas Parks and Wildlife uses for black bear sightings, and what the Cougar Network uses to document its sightings investigations. What we believe to possibly be legitimate sighting reports will fall into the categories of Class 1, 2, or 3. We’ll expound on what constitutes those categories on the new site.

    The name change is actually more indicative of what we now are; instead of a “center,” which connotes a physical facility, we are truly a highly organized network or “conservancy” of investigators and biologists who are dedicated to documenting the species and also working to conserving and protecting what we believe is critical habitat. The Snow Leopard Conservancy is another prime example of this. We wanted to retain the acronym of TBRC, since there is a sort of brand recognition to those letters, so we changed the last word to the more appropriate word, “Conservancy.”

    The old group has technically disbanded. The same people regrouped as a non-profit under the new name. Just as we said in the release, we anticipate that the change may serve to “enhance the credibility of bigfoot/sasquatch research and facilitate a greater degree of acceptance by the scientific community and other segments of society of the likelihood of a biological basis behind the sasquatch phenomenon.”

    Loren, thank you. Those are all good questions; let me try to provide some answers to them. Craig Woolheater is the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He will serve a three-year term, and will be up for re-election at the end of the term. I am also one of the Directors, as well as Treasurer. All of the Directors will serve three-year staggered terms. The Directors also include Gino Napoli as the Vice-Chair; Jerry Hestand as the Secretary; Monica Rawlins as Parliamentarian; Chris Buntenbah and Charles DeVore as Directors.

    There is the possibility that other advisors can be added to the Board of Advisors, even though the ones we have certainly constitute a talented and highly educated group.

    We do anticipate a bigfoot conference in 2007; we have been putting a conference planning committee in place this weekend.

    Regarding the museum, Craig is probably the better one to speak about that. As far as I know, the museum plans are still there, but the museum will be more of a separate entity.

    I hope these explanations and answers will further clarify and help.

    Again, thanks, and wish us success.

  7. DWA responds:

    Daryl: thanks for the info. I wish you success – and we all know what that means. 😉

    Having read many of the reports on your site and the BFRO’s, all I can say from them alone is that if one has a good working acquaintance with animals, one can conclude one of the following: all those individuals are collaborating, and they’re fairly knowledgeable about animals; there’s a small, tightly-knit coterie of hoaxers who not only are up on animals but should also win the Nobel Prize for Literature (for the Great American Novel, which is what the reports taken together sound like! Novels are all about voice, not grammar :-D) ; or there’s something going on here that deserves concerted scientific attention. Because those reports add up to a species, to me.

    I think TBRC has done much to change the tone of sas reporting in the media. And that should do much to turn the tide. Here’s hoping.

  8. SaruOtoko responds:

    Smokey Crabtree? Isn’t he the guy who found the mountain lion skeleton and said it was bigfoot?

    heh heh….

  9. Daryl Colyer responds:

    SaruOtoko, the derision in your post is obvious, but I’ll address it anyway. As far as I know, Smokey Crabtree never said that skeleton belonged to a bigfoot. He did say that he doesn’t know what it is, which is probably true. I don’t know what it is, but I do have my suspicions.

    Smokey Crabtree knows the backwaters and backwoods of Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas about as well as or better than anybody on the planet, including my own father. In my mind, and the minds of others, that alone qualifies him to advise me through the swamps and backwoods of the Sulphur River Basin.

  10. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Silvereagle:

    Come on man! Not even Stephen Hawking could solve all the mysteries of the universe in a single day. Give this group some time and I predict they will do wonderful things to get the SCIENCE of cryptozoology taken more seriously by the mainstream and to promote further SCIENTIFIC study of the phenomenon.

    Hawking can’t explain the universe in a single day, and this group can’t erase the damage done by the Biscardi’s and Wallace’s of the world in a single day, but at least they are doing something.

  11. bigfootsweets responds:

    Congratulations Craig!

    There are too many so-called bigfoot “groups” that are nothing more than one person pocketing the money and making all of the rules. They follow the “there’s a sucker born every minute” philosophy. These “groups” it makes it hard to tell the legitimate researchers and data from the hucksters.

    I think you’ve done the smartest thing a group can do. Knowing that there is a governing board, and non-profit status, adds legitimacy and stability to the group. You’ll find more people willing to share their information, and conversely, more people will trust the information coming from your group.

    You have a good group in Texas and it looks to become even better. Again, congratulations.

  12. DWA responds:

    silvereagle:

    If I thought Hawking would help this cause, I’d ask him.

    Actually, if he thought he could help he’d be helping, I think.

    I’m gonna let TBRC take its shots without him. Not sure this is Hawking’s field. But if you want to dial those digits, you’re welcome to. I’m always open to being proven wrong.

    One thing I’d never asked: does the TBRC try to take out space in local and regional magazines and newspapers to encourage people to come forth with their encounters? I’d think that particularly in the Ark-La-Tex-Oma area, that might not be a bad idea. And yeah, it costs money. First things first.

  13. Rillo777 responds:

    I’m not “in the know” as a lot of you are. I didn’t even know there was a Texas Bigfoot group! I just know what I’ve read in books (sometimes very skeptically, I might add) and some from those I’ve talked to who have had or are very familiar with bigfoot encounters. But I think this is great! I’m all in favor of groups who take an intelligent approach to the question of any cryptid. Good luck to you all.

  14. Daryl Colyer responds:

    DWA: it’s something that some of us have discussed in the past (outdoors or hunting publications in particular). However, we have other needs (expenses) that seem more pressing. Perhaps it may be done at some point in the future, if we ever could get to a point where we have sufficient operational funds.

  15. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Daryl,
    Ads would be great. But what would be more “eye catching” and probably get you more hits would be to see if you could get one of the writers for these magazines to do a story on the TBRC that would appeal to the readers of these magazines, perhaps focusing on the conservancy angle(?).
    There is still a “silly season” attitude among most editors regarding these types of stories, so caution and care would be advised in going this route, but no one is going to make any new progress “preaching to the choir” in FT or Fate or a similar mag, great as they all are. Plus, if even one credible outdoorsperson decided to come forward with his or her story after learning of the TBRC in a “legitimate” outdoor magazine, I think it would be worthwhile.

  16. DWA responds:

    Ain’t money always the rub?

    Just try to keep the best features of the old site on the new one, particularly your piece on habitat and the associated sightings maps. Great examples of applying science to point out patterns.

    I’m still waiting for somebody to do that with the animal’s appearance as presented across the spectrum of sighting reports. John Bindernagel seems like the guy, as he’s already pointed out that they’re eerily consistent – for something that doesn’t exist, I mean. 😉

  17. Daryl Colyer responds:

    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

    Duly noted.

  18. Kathy Strain responds:

    Great job Craig and Daryl! I look forward to working with the TBRC!

  19. Daryl Colyer responds:

    Kathy,

    The TBRC is very much indebted to you and your much needed help and advice. I think you qualify as quite the “godmother” of this new organization. Thank you.

    Here’s to the future, and discovery, and working with you, Kathy Strain. 🙂

  20. mystery_man responds:

    I didn’t know much about the TBRC before I came to this site and I am pleased to see there is such a wide range of professionals involved with the research they are doing. This kind of scientific talent is absolutely essential to a project like this. I am impressed with the work they are doing.

  21. Patrick Bede responds:

    After hearing so much about people like Tom Biscardi, it is so good to hear stuff like this. I hope these guys have a fruitful future. I personally think they have the best chances of anybody out there. TBRC, I wish you well & I think allot of people are rooting for you guys. When I read about the TBRC my hope is given a boost that maybe somebody can get to the bottom of it all. I think they just need time and money. Who knows? Maybe somebody will get them the money they need so they can put people out around the clock in the right places. They do seem to be on the right track and spend allot of time out (as volunteers go anyway).

  22. silvereagle responds:

    Stephen Hawking already spent 9 months of his life on Bigfoot. Who here lives in England and can figure out how to contact him? Mr. Hawking most likely has never heard of the TBRC, and consequently would not be contacting anybody there. He also has a full dance card, so does not likely spend time thinking about how to take away the mystery of the Bigfoot. But he might be able to offer about 5 minutes of good advice, which I am betting, will save a lot of TBRC people, a lot of wasted time.




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