Sunday, January 22, 2012

Skeptic Benjamin Radford: If You Spot Bigfoot, Should You Shoot Him?

Benjamin Radford Arguing against the possibility of Bigfoot
"Ethics and the lethal-or-nonlethal debate aside, there's a good reason aiming your gun at a Bigfoot could be a bad idea: It might be illegal." -- Benjamin Radford
In a previous post titled, "Skeptic gives Top 10 why Bigfoot does not exist," we share Benjamin Bradford's top ten arguments against the existence of Bigfoot. As a contributor to LifeLittleMysteries.com, Mr. Bradford argues against shooting Bigfoot. Probably good advice, but on average, people ignore it once out of every four years. Read our article titled "Humans shoot and kill Bigfoot on average of once every four years" to see the list of Bigfoot shootings.

If You Spot Bigfoot, Should You Shoot Him?
Benjamin Radford, Life's Little Mysteries Contributor
Date: 20 January 2012 Time: 10:20 AM ET
Ben Radford lectures at CFI West
In the new Animal Planet reality TV show optimistically titled "Finding Bigfoot," a team of experts examines video of an alleged Sasquatch spotted in the Canadian Rockies. The video, shot by a man named Todd Standing, shows something large and dark, standing atop a wooded ridge and then ducking back behind a bush. It could pretty much be anything, and when the experts concluded that the subject was probably not a Bigfoot, Standing expressed his frustration: "No video is ever going to be evidence, ever. It's never going to be good enough…"
Standing, like many Bigfoot researchers, misses the problem: It's not so much that any Bigfoot video is inherently worthless, it's that his video, like all that have come before it, is of such poor quality that there's no way to know what we're seeing. It could have been anything – a guy in a dark jacket (or gorilla costume), a bear or even Bigfoot. The fatal flaw in Bigfoot photos and videos is the image quality, not the image subject. If Standing, the "Finding Bigfoot" team, or anyone else shot well-lit, clear video of what was obviously a 12-foot-tall, hairy bipedal creature in the woods, that would be compelling.
But even the highest-quality photograph or video can't be considered definitive proof of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or any other mythical beast. Similarly, if the goal is to simply make scientists and the general public take Bigfoot seriously, then some verified remains of the creature – be they hair, teeth, blood, bones or something else – would do the trick. [Infamous 'Yeti Finger' Flunks DNA Test]
But definitive proof is a very high standard. Most Bigfoot enthusiasts — and the general public — would be satisfied with nothing less than the rock-solid definitive proof offered by a living or dead specimen.
 This issue brings up a longstanding debate within the Bigfoot community: Would be ethical to shoot and kill a Bigfoot? Some say yes, because that's the only way to prove they exist, and once proof is found, funds could be made available to protect them as an endangered species. Others say no -- that because Bigfoot sightings are so rare, they must have very small populations and killing one might drive the animals to extinction. Shooting a suspected Bigfoot with tranquilizer darts is an option that has gained some steam.
Ethics and the lethal-or-nonlethal debate aside, there's a good reason aiming your gun at a Bigfoot could be a bad idea: It might be illegal. A Texas teen shot what he believed to be a Chupacabra earlier this year, and while charges were not brought against him, if the creature turned out to be someone's dog or a mangy coyote, he could potentially have faced a felony charge.
The point is, you simply can't know for sure if the mysterious, burly figure you have lined up in your sights is the real beast, or a bear or someone's pet – or, even worse, just a person in a gorilla suit.
Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. His website is www.BenjaminRadford.com.
SRC: LifesLittleMysteries.com 


1 comment:

  1. Ethics and the lethal-or-nonlethal debate aside, there's a good reason aiming your gun at a Bigfoot could be a bad idea: It might be illegal. A Texas teen shot what he believed to be a Chupacabra earlier this year, and while charges were not brought against him, if the creature turned out to be someone's dog or a mangy coyote, he could potentially have faced a felony charge.
    This statement is so far from the truth in the State of Texas. As long as you have a hunting license and the animal is not under guidelines of "Season" which Coyote's are not (you can drive down any country road and see them hanging on the fence line as a warning)...same goes for Bigfoot. There is no reason for someone to be running around on private property wearing a costume, and if they are then tresspassing is a shootable offense "Castle Law" So all the hoaxster's should take notice of this information and that will stop hoaxes and also up the ante on real footage...dont worry...a Bigfoot has never been brought in and never will be brought in as a result of someone shooting it. each and everytime a Bigfoot is shot there is more associated to the story, we never have a yep here it is i shot it, it was out in the pasture grazing with the cows..etc etc.., yet millions of hunters continue to yearly pack their freezers with fresh meat...

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