Friday, December 28, 2012

The skeptical eye on Bigfootery

DoubtfulNews.com is where we get our healthy dose of doubt.

Ah, well. We are at the end of another year of Bigfootery. Guy did a great job of recapping the top stories of the year here and here. It's been a big one - full of drama, promises, rumors, waiting, poop slinging and dead things. It's not been pretty, to say the least.

Guy has graciously let me guest post to give you a little different perspective that might help in understanding the "skeptical" view - that which relies on scientific evidence.

I lurk on the fringes of the forums. I occasionally hear some inside news I can't divulge. And I take everything I see about the latest Bigfoot findings with extreme caution. Here is why you should adopt that cautious approach as well. People have been actively seeking Bigfoot for over 50 years. During that time, they have treaded deep into the wilderness, we have extensive new technology, we can remotely photograph animals that are rare and nearly extinct, we can map genomes. It's truly incredible. The researcher can no longer say they need an expensive project or technology to make a conclusive finding, they have that. And, yet, we have no Bigfoot.

It's disappointing, isn't it? I agree. I'm disappointed myself. Every year that goes by without better evidence (than eyewitness accounts, blurry videos and questionable photos), the conclusion that the creatures exist only in our fantastic imaginations looms ever present as the explanation we've been seeking all along.

Sorry to be a downer. But I'm not one for mystery mongering. Facing up to reality is inevitable. Why don't we have a Bigfoot? Answers range from they are like "special forces" - with animal instincts and human intelligence, trained to avoid humans - all the way to the supernatural realm - they are creatures that can disappear at will into another dimension. All the excuses along the way that pull Bigfoot from our grasp are collectively called "special pleading". Special pleading allows us to give qualities to the creature that are only necessary because we can't nab him. No other animal has the ability to evade scientific documentation for all these years on purpose while simultaneously living under our noses, in our backyards, whooping in the woods and poking around our camps.

Put yourself in my shoes. I've never had an experience that I would define as paranormal or attributable to a mystery creature. I suppose many of you are frustrated because you HAVE had experiences or you see the evidence in a different light than I do. That's OK. I don't call you crazy or claim you were drinking. I'd like to know what exactly happened to create such belief. But it's not my belief. Not yet. The rest of the knowledge about our world tells us Bigfoot isn't real. So there I am - on the non-belief side of the fence. But as you can see, I often peer inquisitively to the other side. Maybe there is something to it. I'll have a look.

I've spent the last month digging into the Ketchum chronology for a piece to be published in print. I hope I was fair to her because I believe she thinks she has something mighty important. When the paper comes out, I might have an opinion but I have no expertise. I can make no claim to interpret her data, I rely on knowledgable people for that. Since she is claiming a genetic basis, I will hear with interest what others with that background have to say. But I WON'T put stock in what the amateur Bigfooters say (or those who even call themselves "professionals"). They are just as uninformed about that interpretation as anyone else. What they have in spades is an emotional need to accept or deny what is presented. It's part of who they are, how they have defined themselves.

Things are messy. The answer is likely more complicated than it appears. I'm willing to concede that things are perplexing; people are complex. I ask that Bigfoot proponents also concede that accepting Bigfoot as real is also complicated in the other direction. For those of us who have stringent standards of evidence, and who know that EVERYONE can be wrong about something, we demand an extraordinary claim meet a very high bar. If we denied everything we would not progress. If we believe everything without solid standards, we are fools.

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 Follow me on Twitter @idoubtit and visit Doubtfulnews.com for the skeptical take on Bigfoot news.

53 comments:

  1. Fantastic post!

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  2. I like this post!

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  3. Skeptics tend to live in a world where they cherry pick opinions and observations, in order to support their own beliefs that quite frankly, are not subject to being persuaded otherwise. Lets examine the authors text.

    She states: “they have treaded deep into the wilderness”. This implies that she does no such thing because she is more comfortable doing all her research on the internet.

    She states: “The researcher can no longer say they need an expensive project or technology to make a conclusive finding, they have that. And, yet, we have no Bigfoot.” Actually, they don’t have the technology to see very far into other dimensions. So they are still out of luck.

    She states: “they are creatures that can disappear at will into another dimension. All the excuses along the way that pull Bigfoot from our grasp are collectively called "special pleading". This reminds me of the question of what came first ,the chicken or the egg? Applying it to this skeptics rationalizing, she apparently believes that the “dimension” excuse follows her perceived failure by researchers to produce evidence. When in fact they have not failed but rather she has merely discounted all of their evidence. To clarify the “dimension” explanation, the Bigfoot do in fact exist and do have the ability to be “Transdimensional’ as described in the DOD reports from the Lawrence Livermore captivity study in the early 60’s. Which occurred before either she or Guy were even a thought. The transdimensional ability therefore precedes the explanation, and is not just some flimsy excuse. If she had spent considerable time in the woods at night, she would already have realized that provable fact and would not be here attempting to rationalize Bigfoot away.

    She states: “ No other animal has the ability to evade scientific documentation for all these years on purpose while simultaneously living under our noses”. She incredibly presumes to know the complete compilation of all other people and animals in existence, in reaching this grand conclusion. Actually, had she simply spent time in the woods at night, she would discover that there are a wide range of 4th dimensional people that live in the woods. “4th dimensional” being the term specified by University of California at Berkeley staff, after they decided to kick TIME out of that position and left it to explain the Bigfoot’s ability to disappear. Stephen Hawking was simultaneously given the job of writing a book to lump TIME together with SPACE, so they had somewhere to put it. This happened during the winter and spring terms of 1975.

    She states: “I'd like to know what exactly happened to create such (paranormal) belief”.
    Answer: Step 1. Buy expensive Gen 4 night vision monocle. Step 2. Buy lawn chair, two drum sticks, warm clothes, tent, sleeping bag, air mattress and flashlight. Step 3. Buy expensive microphone, amplifier and headphones. Step 4. Go camping in a remote location by yourself. You need perfect silence so you must be by yourself and away from all other sounds like creeks, crickets, wind, roads, etc. Step 5. Set you microphone up at least 75 feet away from you and sit down to listen after dark. Had you set this mic out as soon as you arrived during daylight, you would have heard a lot of bipedal feet moving in to check out who had just arrived, but you would not have been able to see anything. Step 6. Rap those two drumsticks a couple of times. Listen. Repeat every 15 minutes until you get a return wood knock. Had you chosen a remote spot, you have a high likelihood for success. When you hear nearby bipedal footsteps in the microphone, verify invisibility with your Gen 4 night vision monocle.
    Step 7. When you grow tired of this, now try and get some sleep in that tent, since your opinion on the subject matter should have just been somewhat altered. I always sleep quite comfortably, knowing that someone has my back.

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    1. As someone that lives in the woods, and hunts, fishes and is surrounded most of my life by acres and acres of woods...where bears, deer, fox, fischers, bob cats, and owls and other birds.. are not only my neighbors but a part of my world, I honestly find Bigfoot and 4th dimensional animals, hard to believe proven. My human neighbors are all familiar with the woods and animals via the rural life we have chosen to live. You have to be, or you can die. I cringe when I see Bigfoot hunter on TV that endanger their lives, there are truly dangerous animals in the woods. (I always hope a camera person has a gun, bears are very dangerous). There is a wonderful feeling living so close to nature. There is sense of the dignity and majesty of our world, sharing a home with so many creatures. Often many of us in the summer choose to sleep on screened patios or porches (bugs bite). We have wonderful local Bigfoot hunting crew. They have "seen" something, and I respect how dedicated they are. They are now doing a love of work following animal tracks... snow if perfect for looking for Bigfoot tracks! You don't need mud, and there should be long tracks (they are experienced trackers, and have snow shoes). I really salute their plan. If Bigfoot is walking around, snow is where you will find tracks! (I can identify almost all the animal tracks in the woods around my house! The tracks last a long time as our snow doesn't melt, it just stays until Spring melt). I really am pulling for the local group to find something. If nothing else they are doing a great job helping us learn more about the wildlife in the area (they have tons of trail cams up). If Bigfoot is from another dimension (which they do not believe), then we'll probably never prove him as a "real" entity. Bigfoot will remain a myth, a spirit animal, never to give us DNA or even to be any more "real" than a unicorn. That would be very sad. Is Bigfoot a myth, a spirit animal, a folktale? Yes. Is Bigfoot a creature that can interact with humans (without the use of paranormal meditation or psychics?), I hope so. A lot of time and effort is being put into this. Serious explorers have looked for the Yeti, and serious hunters and people at home with nature are looking for Bigfoot in my backyard. Outdoorsmen and women usually aren't into celestial spirit visitations. (Indeed most Native tribes are rather upset at how Bigfoot is pushed by non experts as part of their "religious beliefs", which he is not). Outdoorsmen and women are looking, but not with Ouiji board!

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    2. Kitty, Sorry to break the bad news to you and your researcher friends, but due to the peculiarities of existing in the various sub-dimensions of the 4th dimension, the forest people do not leave tracks 99.99% of the time. So your friends should neither attempt to hold their breath, nor attempt to reach any conclusions, in the likely event that they do not find tracks in snow. As the step by step procedure described, you need 3 expensive pieces of equipment, a remote location, night time and a pair of brass ones. An insufficient amount of time as passed between when that post was placed, for anybody here to have investigated using those procedures, yet they had no difficulty in stating their beliefs, without being subject to change pending a field investigation. Which is why skeptics will always remain skeptics, because they inevitably always fail to investigate, even when the verification procedures are spelled out for them in intricate detail.

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    3. Even if I bought all this equipment, did all these things, and was convinced myself that Bigfoot is real, I would still have to have some kind of evidence to take back with me to convince others. Without evidence to present, nobody else has a good reason to take my word for it.

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    4. Transdimensional = special pleading at the extreme. Why not just call Bigfoot supernatural and remove it from scientific study entirely?

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    5. Also: "She incredibly presumes to know the complete compilation of all other people and animals in existence, in reaching this grand conclusion."

      This is not logical. Every animal, and for that matter plants and other life forms, that we know of - thousands upon thousands of different species of living things - exists on this plane. No living thing ever discovered has been shown to exist in different dimensions. I don't need to know everything about every living creature that has ever existed. All I would require would be ONE real example of an animal that had this ability.

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    6. "Provable fact". Annony 10:38, do you realize you said Bigfoot's transdimensional ability was a "provable fact"?
      Really?

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    7. "Skeptics tend to live in a world where they cherry pick opinions and observations, in order to support their own beliefs that quite frankly, are not subject to being persuaded otherwise."

      I couldn't write a better description of the Bigfoot believer if I spend all day at it. Really, your words would be laughable, if it weren't so depressingly frequent around here.

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    8. Ryan, You get to record everything when you run the amplified mic through your camcorder. Of course, you won't see anything in the video. But you don't have to prove any of this to anybody. You are under no obligation to enlighten the world. Therefore, you don't have to record anything in the first place. Myself, I have lots of bipedal footstep recordings coming from the dark deserted woods, that I only rarely play for family. And I have recorded some terrific snorts and howls. The Canadian Bigfoot like to sing and they can single opera notes.

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  4. Hmmmmmm. I think I'll reserve making any type of actual comment and state once more : Hmmmmmmm. D.

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  5. Good post. I wrestle with this conundrum myself. I am probably more on the other side of the fence though. Most Bigfoot evidence is misidentification/fabrication, yet i find some sources these accounts to be very trustworthy s they come from individuals that i know and trust. These individuals would actually prefer not to have had their experiences and do not relish in their sightings. I have known them for years and they are the farthest from bs'ers you can find. They are old school and their word is their bond, and i can't find any reason to not believe their accounts. The other aspect is that here in the NW if you talk to people who live in the mountains or have homes in remote locations, they ALL believe because they have had encounters our someone they trust has. It is not even a question to them. I have never had a personal encounter, and i believe in science whole heartedly which gives me a highly skeptical opinion of most bf claims. When there is some evidence, such as the London tracks, it's like a little breathe of fresh air. Finally, real evidence i can see and touch. Some people would prefer for it to be a magical being, like Santa Claus or the Easter bunny. Me though, I'll take whatever i can get.

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    1. I also find many of the stories compelling but that doesn't mean they are accurate. People interpret things for various reasons and trustworthiness has nothing to do with it. Our brains play tricks on us by filling in the gaps when our senses fail (such as dark environment or especially when we feel endangered). I've seen too many impassioned people who truly believe their story but are just mistaken. I do it myself. I don't trust my own eyewitness accounts. I would recommend Elizabeth Loftus' Eyewitness Testimony book. It's an eye-opener!

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    2. Our brains certainly do play tricks. They are amazing organs and capable of many things we don't fully understand, but they are not perfect computers.

      I suffer from sleep paralysis attacks, as does my mother, suggesting it may run in the family. These experiences are terrifying and often accompanied by VERY convincing hallucinations, including tactile ones, e.g., occasionally I can feel strange beings walking around on my bed or laying their hands on me. Sometimes I see strange person-like beings and hear haunting voices as well. It isn't fun.

      When I was a kid I was very interested in UFO's and alien abduction stories. Naturally the first time I experienced sleep paralysis with hallucinations of creatures touching me, I was absolutely terrified and convinced I was being abducted.

      I later shared this experience with my mother who told me of her own issues with sleep paralysis. Unlike me however, she isn't a sci-fi geek, so she never attributed it to aliens. For her it was always just a bad, vivid dream accompanied by a disconcerting inability to fully wake up or move.

      After that I did research into it, and it turns out it has been studied by scientists and others report very similar experiences of creatures or people touching or pressing down on them. This is only one of many disorders or phenomena that doctors and scientists are aware of.

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  6. Please don't allow people to post insulting articles like this one. She is very disrespectful. Her arguments could have been made without being so insulting.

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    1. You'll have to be specific about what was insulting to you.

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    2. I don't agree that she was disrespectful. In fact, I think she did very well in explaining her difficulty with believing in Bigfoot- and at the same time she wasn't insulting or condescending. There are many skeptics who have absolutely no problem doing the opposite, believe me.

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  7. Transdimensional, seriously? It's comments like this that encourage the skeptics to laugh at this topic even more. If Bigfoot are real then they are no more dimensional than the rest of the living creatures on this planet. As for being undiscovered, everyday new species are discovered, it may only be a matter of time and effort. Under our noses, a new species of frog (if I remember correctly) was discovered in New York recently, as have many other species. Unfortunately the majority of Bigfoot researchers a merely enthusiasts and not necessarily institutionally educated scientists. It would be quite the insult to science for the "uneducated" to prove them incompetent at their own game wouldn't it. Then again many scientific discoveries have been made this way, it just took years if not decades for the scientific community to accept, or construe to make it look like a scientific discovery.

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    1. Amateurs continue to make important contributions to paleontology, astronomy, birding, for a few examples. But what they do is work WITH professionals or give their data directly to them. That works out very well. That is not typically what is happening in Bigfoot circles. It's important to note that things have changed when it comes to "discovery".

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  8. Enjoying these posts immensely I am in no way a expert on big foot, my husband first discussed with me the possibility that big foot was real as I always thought it was a wild tale, now because there have been so many sightings and following the stories I think that like the panda and gorilla it is probably a animal that may not be discovered or may in our lifetime. It is exciting to see this all unfold I hope that God willing we will be able to find another one of God's creatures in our lifetime :)

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  9. I'm sure you are a very nice person, but your skeptical ruminations were logically dispatched over a decade ago. You would know that if you had read enough of the published literature on this subject, or if you'd spent any real time in the woods, at night, alone, like I have, trying to get some answers for yourself.
    Instead, you say, "I doubt it", from a postion of no stated experience or knowledge, or even a stated name. (Surely you realize that anonymous opinions have NO place in science.)
    My name has been attached to my controversial hypotheses on this subject for fifteen years. I am also in the woods almost every night: alone, without a flashilght. (Yes, I have no life.) How dare you say, "My brain is playing tricks on me."
    Thanks for sharing. Now, go away.

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    1. I have to agree with Thom Powell here.

      Perhaps the words of Stanton Friedman, PHD. would be more eloquent here - Thom was a little "rough" on you.

      Stanton Friedman,PHD. is engaged in UFO research. He has encountered many of the same tactics and claims used by so-called debunkers like "I Doubt It" (against the existence of Bigfoot), against the evidence that proves the existence of UFO's. Here, Stanton Friedman describes those tactics:

      Debunkers seem to employ four major rules:

      1. What the public doesn’t know, we certainly won’t tell them. The largest official USAF UFO study isn’t even mentioned in twelve anti-UFO books, though every one of those books’ authors was aware of it.

      2. Don’t bother me with the facts, my mind is made up.

      3. If one can’t attack the data, attack the people. It is easier.

      4. Do one’s research by proclamation rather than investigation. It is much easier, and nobody will know the difference anyway.


      Read more about Stanton Friedman HERE.

      The challenge would be - Will I Doubt It go to Stanton Friedman's site, read the entire site, gain new insight, then review the best evidence FOR Bigfoot, and come to a different conclusion?

      I doubt it, because it is unlikely that Stanton Friedman's website will be given more than a cursory review because your position is: "Don't bother me with the facts, my mind is already made up.

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    2. Great Comment TSE. While your comment probably does apply to debunkers, which are in a class of there own, I am not sure if it applies to Sharon Hill (a/k/a I doubt It).

      First, I don't know for sure, but I would say Sharon has a good idea who Stanton Friedman is. It should be noted that Stanton Friedman has helped prevent misidentification of UFO's. A process that requires someone to overcome special pleading.

      Second, Sharon Hill is consistent about her doubt. She even doubts those who would say Bigfoot is not worth investigating. To her credit, she doesn't put Bigfoot in the same category as spaghetti monsters.

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    3. Yes, I am well aware of who Stanton Friedman is. I can't say I am a fan of his work. He promotes a myth with very shoddy evidence. And, he REALLY dislikes when "skeptics" are around to ask him tough questions. I'm sensing the same thing here.

      But, mostly, I'd like to know why you would consider me a debunker?

      Is it unacceptable to challenge claims? I'm not making the claim that Bigfoot exists. Bigfoot proponents are. Shall I just open up and swallow that when it conflicts with so much that we accept as true? No. I'm going to think about it a little harder than that. Humans are in a pretty bad state when we just accept everything at face value and don't stop to dig in a bit more.

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    4. Hi, I'm a first-time visitor here, having followed a link from Sharon's blog. Others have pointed out that Sharon has made no attempt to conceal her identity so I will start by responding to your statement "anonymous opinions have NO place in science" by saying: you're right. When someone puts forth a scientific hypothesis, they should stick around to defend it and make themselves available for their peers who have questions. However, Einstein was a nobody when he came up with the theory of relativity. Conversely, eminent scientists like Lord Kelvin and Fred Hoyle have backed losing horses in the race for scientific knowledge. The point is that a hypothesis stands or falls on its own merits, not on who proposes it.

      Next, in response to 'How dare you say, "My brain is playing tricks on me."' I'm sorry, but everyone's brain plays tricks on them at times - this is a well-documented fact. There is a good list of cognitive biases on Wikipedia. We have science precisely because we are fallible human beings and we have learned by trail and error that we need a well-structured framework to reason about the physical world and extend the scope of our often unreliable senses.

      Finally, in response to claims about animals disappearing into the 4th dimension, I recall the same claim being made about rods, which were mysterious elongated beings that were never seen by the naked eye but showed up on video footage. Turns out they were simply camera artifacts - in reality they were birds and insects whose images were smeared across several frames. Which brings us to Occam's razor - when faced with two competing hypotheses, you should favor the one that requires fewer assumptions. Do we try to overturn the laws of physics in order to hold onto the Bigfoot hypothesis, or do we first try to eliminate simpler explanations, e.g. someone saw a bear and misidentified it? The former choice is a pretty drastic step, so it makes sense to go with the latter choice first!

      I think it would be really neat if Bigfoot existed, but so far the evidence just isn't compelling. Now that I've said my piece, I'll go away. Have a great New Year!

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    5. Sharon resorts to a distortion of the skeptical case. The only alternative to what Sharon calls "skepticism" is:

      1. To believe in Bigfoot fully, totally and without reservations.

      First of all, Sharon distorts her own case. There is no one single skepticism position on Bigfoot. The skeptical position as laid out by Sharon et al is this:

      2. Given the available evidence, apparently there is no such thing as Bigfoot.

      In other words, Bigfoot simply does not exist. Sharon dances around this all the time and usually refuses to admit that this is the line of her and 99% of the skeptical community. So in that sense, she is a dishonest person. I respect the JREF crowd a lot more.

      There is indeed a 3rd possible position, one that I would regard more as the "true skepticism," and that is this:

      3. Maybe Bigfoot exists, and maybe it doesn't. At the moment I am simply not sure if it exists at all.

      This #3 is a most interesting position to take, and I would regard that as the most logical scientific position to take. And indeed, #3 looks a lot more like what one might call "skepticism" instead of the fake skepticism ("scoffticism" of the null hypothesis).

      It is quite sad that we don't see more folks taking position #3. I think this boils down to the problem of the human mind and psychology. Due to the insecurity of the ego, humans simply do not like to say "I don't know" about much of anything. When you start saying that, the world rapidly becomes a very scary place. We want to say yes or no, right or wrong, black or white, 1 or 0 to any and all questions out there. But that is an arrogant conceit of the narcissistic and insecure human ego.

      It takes a real man, or a real woman, to stand up and say, "I don't know!"

      Who has the guts? Few.

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    6. It sure would be nice if you put away YOUR bias, Robert, and actually read what I wrote. If I were a "scoftic" as many Bigfoot proponents GLEEFULLY label me without ever reading my words or any of the literature to counter their heros, I would not be saying things like: "I often peer inquisitively to the other side. Maybe there is something to it. I'll have a look" or "I'm willing to concede that things are perplexing; people are complex." I have ALWAYS been fair and have never discounted people's experiences. I just don't agree with their interpretation.

      What is ACTUALLY quite sad is people who feed the beast with hype, rumor, speculation, disgusting commentary, and made up stuff just to promote their belief and/or make themselves feel important with no integrity whatsoever. There are too many people like that and they have an audience far greater than mine. Why would that be?

      Now, go on Robert, do what you do, throw sick slurs at me as you have in the past. That's a REAL man... right?

      I will not be responding to RL again.

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  10. I've been active in the skeptical community since 1992 and reading the Bigfoot literature since I was a teen. I have NEVER hidden my identity. "Idoubtit" is an internet name I have always used because my real name is too common to use in usernames. Thom, your accusations are condescending and incorrect. Your attitude of "go away" is dismissive and closed minded. The point of this post was to show an alternate view of the problem as others with a different mind set approach it. I've never said I was a Bigfoot researcher and I've not been disrespectful to any person, I am trying to think about this issue as a member of the skeptical public would. To suggest my view is not valuable is excluding the entire public who does NOT go out actively seeking the creature. How does the field progress if all you rely on is personal revelation to know that truth and everything contrary is dismissed? It's no different than a religion, then. I'm disappointed a serious researcher would react this way.

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  11. For anyone who is interested but doesn't want to do too much searching to find out who I am, here is my personal web site http://idoubtit.wordpress.com/about-me/
    and bio
    http://idoubtit.wordpress.com/bio/

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  12. Sharon, I do not have a problem with what you are saying. I get frustrated with those people who feel that their personal experience is enough to counter any criticism of their belief. It's not that I discount their experience, but there has to more than that to give the rest of us something to go on. I do not think that is unfair, and I believe most people would agree.

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  13. Anonymous 8:08 says, "I do not have a problem with what you are saying. I get frustrated with those people who feel that their personal experience is enough to counter any criticism of their belief."
    Reply: No, Thom is saying the his repeated personal experience is more than enough to counter personal attacks on him and other persons like him who have repeated personal experiences.

    Anonymous 8:08 says: "It's not that I discount their experience, but there has to more than that to give the rest of us something to go on.
    Reply: Once again, a skeptic is demanding that Bigfoot be proven on the internet, instead of that Skeptic actually investigating the issue, as per the above described procedures. Every skeptic that I have observed, consistently fails to investigate in the field at night, which is when everything happens. Two possible reasons come to mind for that failure. Reason #1 is that they are just plain lazy. Reason #2 is that they do not want to discover that they are wrong because then they would lose their identity as a skeptic, the friendships of their fellow skeptics, and they then would become one of those lunatics that they did not have much respect for.

    So it appears to be quite impossible for a skeptic to open their mind sufficiently, to actually correctly study the subject matter. As a dissection of their repeated postings on the internet, prove this consistent failure beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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    1. A personal experience is not scientific evidence. I don't have a reason to believe someone's claim is true just because they claim to have personally experienced something. It's not that I think they are a liar or a bad person, it's just that it isn't enough evidence to prove something to others. You can have a very profound personal experience, but if you are unable to demonstrate its truth to others (particularly professional scientists), then it remains inside your head as a strange thing that happened to you, but is not convincing to others.

      This isn't a ploy by ill-intentioned skeptics, it's a basic logical principle (and from what I know of Sharon's work, she is anything but ill-intentioned and I have never seen her say anything like that Bigfoot believers are "lunatics"). Whether someone tells me they've encountered Bigfoot, angels, ghosts or fairies, it's not reasonable to accept their claims as fact unless they have evidence to prove it. The best I can do is politely acknowledge they experienced something strange and that the experience is important to them.

      You should also understand that skeptics disagree with each other all the time. I don't think fear of losing friendships motivates Sharon to apply rational thinking to supernatural claims, and it certainly does not motivate me. My friendships are not based on whether or not I agree with someone else on the existence of supernatural beings. I have friends who believe in all of the things I listed above including fairies. My father strongly believes in Bigfoot and would probably be involved in the on-line community if he were better at using computers. And as an atheist living in a country where the vast majority of people believe in God, you better believe I am frequently surrounded by friends, family members and co-workers who have religious beliefs I don't share. My relationships with people have nothing to do with any of that; they are based on how well I get along with others, not their beliefs or lack thereof.

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  14. I do not doubt blue whales exist, yet I have never encountered one. There is sufficient evidence so there is no question about it. It doesn't matter exactly how evidence is collected, recorded and presented, whether it is on the internet or not. Why haven't those who have had these experiences gathered convincing evidence? Furthermore, you seem to imply that going into the field is easy, as Bigfoot could be observed in any nearby woods. I think that is a cop out to claim skeptics are lazy.

    It's not a matter of opening one's mind sufficiently- it is about having reasons to believe. Things like blurry ambiguous photos and video just aren't good enough.

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  15. OK, so the only way to prove Bigfoot is real, is THIS way. Tell the "Finding Bigfoot" to close down! Honestly, I think it's insulting to people doing real work, to get real proof, to claim their work is all in vain. Look at this site, there is a lot of evidence, that is perhaps not final proof, that has been gathered.
    Point is, and Stanton Friedman knows this as well as anyone, given TRUE proof... and face it there is only so much a government can do to "cover up"...( seriously, it requires great coordination from all governments if true)..no one will be ever able to claim there is no Bigfoot once proof is found...and that means a dead body. UFO hunters still hunt, they don't sit back and say "well you know, it's been proven...why should we watch the skies and investigate anymore? Ho hum..." Also Bigfoot hunters still seek and investigate, they don't sit back and in any way claim "well proof enough, we're done!". There is a reason people don't go looking for a gorilla anymore, and instead study them. One day perhaps we'll be studying the life of the Bigfoot, not searching for definitive proof. I say, keep looking, whatever this 4th dimension thing is that rarely leaves footprints, it's not what everyone else is looking for. (it needs a new name). Remember the platypus. No one believed in Europe, no matter what people said. It was one being sent, and a scientific examination (scientists were SURE it was stitched together and they were shocked when they could not find signs of this). No one went around saying "Well, yeah we have this body but it's not possible! It goes against everything we know!" Instead, science was rewritten.

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  16. Dear TSE,

    I have read Stanton Friedman's work and seen his website and went to the link you provided. He is not a PHD. Neither does he hold Ph.D.

    I don't see where it would matter at any rate, but thought you should know.

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    1. You are correct - my mistake.

      Nuclear Physicist-Lecturer Stanton T. Friedman received his BSc. and MSc. Degrees in physics from the University of Chicago in 1955 and 1956. He was employed for 14 years as a nuclear physicist by such companies as GE, GM, Westinghouse, TRW Systems, Aerojet General Nucleonics, and McDonnell Douglas working in such highly advanced, classified, eventually cancelled programs as nuclear aircraft, fission and fusion rockets, and various compact nuclear powerplants for space and terrestrial applications.

      http://www.stantonfriedman.com/index.php?ptp=stans_bio


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  17. In conclusion, despite the existence of the Patterson-Gimlin film, the Freeman footage, documented trails of very large footprints in remote locations that differ in their toe and foot flexure, footprint dermal ridges, and thousands of worldwide eyewitness testimony, many of which were either active military or on duty law enforcement personnel, despit all of this, if you read between the lines here, the skeptics still blow off all this one way or another and insist that even more proof be presented to them, so that they themselves do not have to get a pair, and investigate by themselves at night in the nearest remote woods. And yes they can be found in the nearest woods to you, which is why your government does not tell you about them. End of story.

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    1. That is exaggerated, they are not in all woods. You would definitely need to be in a remote location with little to no human population.

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    2. All you need is a microphone that can hear you breathing at 40 feet, like I do, and you will hear them in heavily wooded parks with picnic tables and ball fields, if they are larger that about 60 acres.

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    3. If they were really that widespread and close to populations, then there would be noticeable traces like scat and bodies.

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    4. Scat? Bodies? You are forgetting that their bodies primarily exist in other dimensions. Scat being part of their bodies. You can't apply the same ordinary thinking that you would apply to ordinary forest animals. This isn't Finding Bigfoot. The large forest people would also need a lot of food in order to produce scat. They don't eat much from our dimension, because of their other phases that allow them to exist without eating our food as we know it. All they need is energy. There is energy all around us. Electrical energy and energy from the sun are two sources that man would never know if they were using it. However in 1975, during one of Pacific Gas & Electric's many star wars studies where they studied using some level of the atmosphere as their electrical distribution network, the feds stepped in and put a stop to it, and educated them in regard to the 4th dimension people using airborne energy for their fuel. How many people here can even remember 1975, if they were even born yet?

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    5. ^ I have no response to that. Nor would anyone. We simply aren't playing by the same set of logical rules so discussion is pointless, Anon.

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    6. I think Anon is having some fun with us, Sharon. We all ponder the mystical in one way or another, but nobody's that far gone. It may just be a little chain-yanking, I think.
      Anyway, good job keeping us focused. Whenever we start to drift away from cool eye witness accounts (psychology, cultural anthropology), and into claims of fact (biology, zoology), its always good to have a skeptic on hand to help keep the conversation grounded.
      When the subject is Bigfoot, the conversation is not about them but about us. Thanks for keeping us honest.

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    7. Please notice that when "I Doubt It" makes even the shortest of posts, that she presumes that she is ALL KNOWING in that she states that she knows what every person on the planet's response to that will be. Which is an old school yard trick, when one lacks either knowledge or the ability to admit a lack of knowledge. Meanwhile in the 21 century, accepted scientific books and papers claim that they have discovered something like 11 dimensions. Despite this science, apparently some believe that all of the dimensions beyond the first 3, have absolutely no impact on mankind. Which then naturally leads to them seeing no need to contemplate how their 3 dimensional "logical rules" might be modified in order to keep up with accepted science. Armed with that inability to perceive her own need to keep up, this skeptic cleverly seeks to imply victory by trumpheting that "further discussion is pointless". If seeing is believing in which that skeptic does in fact have a closed mind, then alas, we finally agree on that one thing.

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  18. I THINK BIGFOOTS ARE CUTE! I THINK RANEE IS HORRIBLE!!!!!

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  19. UFO COVER-UP: DEBUNKING THE DEBUNKERS, with Stanton Friedman. (not a PHD, although rather smart, knowledgeable and qualified)


    The Munns Report is an analysis by Bill Munns of the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin Film which was filmed at Bluff Creek, California and shows a strange fur-covered humanistic subject walking away from the camera as Roger Patterson chased it and filmed it.

    Something to enjoy this New Years Holiday with!

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  20. For those who have not yet experienced the paranormal, here is about as close as you can get:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvwbDOEOj8g

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GINctAw7syk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_6OaP_mbpQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVhJ8pXKaKQ

    Although we may eventually find out that there is ordinary magic involved, until then it looks to be paranormal.

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  21. I dont think we need to venture into the paranormal when discussing bigfoot and this is a minority view anyway. Plenty of real evidence for the existence of this flesh and blood creature including the maligned eye witness sightings running into hugh numbers. Some are not too good but some brilliant and in quantity are irrefutable. Lots of other evidence equally good.

    It has got to the point now where the extraordinary claims are not those of the bigfoot advocate but those that adopt a sceptical position like idoubtit.

    Clearly it is a problem that there is no body- a subject in itself but the duty of science should be to resolve this issue other than by denial of all the other evidence.

    Dr Ketchum is doing her bit and more to break the log jam and she deserves enormous respect. Todd Disotell has had his day !

    Dont be a sceptic be right !

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    1. What claims,extraordinary or not, are skeptics making that require proof? The claim is, from believers, that bigfoot exists. The skeptical view is that there is no evidence to scientifically proove that claim. I'm sure you know that you can't proove a negative and, yes, there is no body or part thereof. I hope you understand that many skeptics want bigfoot to exist but are not convinced by blurry photos and stories.

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  22. Dr. Ketchum may be doing something but the problem is she is the only one who knows. No evidence has been provided and it has been reported that a sample from the "Sierra Kills" site has tested positive for black bear and human dna. The human dna is from Justin Smeja who says he shot two bigfoots in California in 2010.This sample was provided by Bart Cutino if I recall it correctly. As for the contention that a given person has not spent enough time in the woods and is, therefor, not qualified to speak is simply special pleading. Bigfoot is "seen" all over the place, not just the woods and, to date, there is no proof; just weak evidence in the form of stories
    , blurry photos/video and footprint casts. For the record, I have been to Glacier National Park 11 times, Yellowstone/Grand Teton 5 times, Baxter State Park in Maine twice and many state forests in Wisconsin and Minnesota including the BWCA canoe area. I'm sure this does not qualify because I called it camping, hiking and backpacking instead of bigfoot research.

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  23. Igor saw Ketchums report and he went international with the good news. There is no proof that the fully furred sample given to Cutino, was even remotely connected to the remnants that was retrieved at the site, after it sat out rotting for 5 weeks. It only takes 4 days for a deer to lose it's fur. Therefore, Cutino did not receive any part of the Sierra Kill site remnants. Cutino was completely oblivious to this rapid timetable for loss of fur by a dead animal. Thus, Cutino had a lack of adequate time spent in the woods. Lots of proof of Bigfoot. Skeptics just discount it all. You no doubt were within a few feet of a Bigfoot, dozens of times and did not have a clue as to how to recognize that fact. Lack of proper knowledge would be the cause of your failing.

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  24. Some skeptical analyses of Bigfoot, for those interested:

    http://thoughtsonscienceandpseudoscience.blogspot.com

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