Some thoughts about how to make Bigfoot research better

1. We can't all work together

I hear this at every conference I go to. Bigfoot researchers need to share more data, be more helpful and willing to collaborate. We need to work together. I submit that this is impossible. The reason for this impossibility is that some Bigfoot hunters are unobjective and uncritical, charlatans, or just plain liars. I don't say this to cause turmoil or hard-feelings. Some Bigfoot hunters and enthusiasts have so convinced themselves of Bigfoot's reality that they have no criticism or objectivity left in them. They'll accept any piece of "evidence" and interpret any picture/footprint/tree break/sound as Bigfoot. They want it to be Bigfoot-related, so it is. I don't mind working with people who are honest and objective, but not all Bigfoot hunters are. One of the problems with the public's perception of Bigfoot research is that they see us tolerating and in some cases enabling these individuals. We have no licensing committee to decide who the certified Bigfoot researchers are. I don't think that there should be any such committee, but I also don't think we should accept and harbor people making outlandish unsupportable claims. Hypotheses can be advanced and examined, ideas can be proposed; but when someone starts pointing out 15 Sasquatches in a picture that obviously has nary a Bigfoot in it, we shouldn't tolerate that.

2. Stick around and see what it is

This is a problem that I've been aware of for many years. It continues to amaze me. I won't mention any specific names, but I think we all know someone who has done this. The story usually goes, "We were out at night and began hearing a lot of vocalizations and tree limbs snapping. It sounded like it was pretty close, and we are pretty sure it was a Bigfoot. We eventually decided that it was too close for comfort so we left." I've heard this mainly from Bigfoot researchers in the Eastern U.S., and I've seen it happen myself once or twice. WHAT ARE YOU DOING "LOOKING FOR BIGFOOT" IF YOU ARE GOING TO LEAVE WHEN YOU FEEL IT IS CLOSE?! If you call yourself a Bigfoot researcher, and you hear/see/smell something that you think has a good chance of being a Bigfoot, stick around and find out. I spend a lot of time looking for birds (for fun and as part of my career). When I hear a bird, I look for it. Everybody would think I was crazy (and wasting my time) if I went looking for birds and then left when I thought I found some. I can understand why someone in the non-squatching public would be frightened and get out of the area as soon as possible. However, why someone actively hunting for Bigfoot would vacate the area when they thought they might find it is non-sensical to me. If you want to find Bigfoot, don't run the opposite direction (or drive away to safety). Go to the sound.

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