I have never been a fan of people who cry wolf (or Bigfoot in this case), and this field is certainly full of those people. But I find myself wondering which is worse; a person who cries Bigfoot, or a person so entrenched in their self-imposed limitations of what this creature is and is capable of? Considering that the subject matter is a completely unrecognized species with unknown diet, genetic makeup, and origin, can we really afford to say that someone has made up their account of what they experienced, or outright reject a person’s theories simply because it doesn’t match our own theory?
In the years since I first began researching I have, time and again, witnessed the members of this community go at each others’ necks like starving dogs, and then as soon as the argument dies down a little the same people want to know why we aren’t taken seriously by science. Well, think about it, brain-child. We weep over those people who have had sightings but won’t tell anyone for fear of ridicule by their friends and neighbors and then we turn right around and rip our own people apart. Hypocritical much?
There are internet forums that exist for just this activity. Grow up people. This isn’t junior high anymore. Do they really have to make someone else feel or look bad to make themselves feel better about the image they see in the mirror? Is it really necessary for them to run down those who have actually had an exciting encounter just to mask their disappointment for not having had one themselves? Maybe if some of these people spent less time having their bigfoot “expeditions” at Cheddar’s or at a conference where the same old people shoot the same old information at them that they’ve heard a thousand times in documentaries and at other conferences, and spent a little time in the woods looking for themselves, they might not feel so bad about their empty photo album of evidence. Drop the chili cheese fries and take a hike.
I might be a little more willing to listen to their arguments about how insane a person’s theories or statements are if they were a little more willing to make their own findings known. In general, the people slinging the accusations are people who are unwilling to put their own findings out there for the public to look at. Most probably out of fear of their own little click that they have sitting in front of their computers waiting to see what super witty, clever, and snarky comment they’ve got for the next person who took a chance and opened up about what has happened to them.
Having been on the receiving end of this ridicule, I have come to realize that it is not myself, or those like me, that suffer most due to this; it is those individuals who do their best to put us down who truly suffer. Those individuals have closed themselves off to the possibilities and thus closed themselves off to the truth. If I have learned anything over the years it is this; when you think you have it all figured out you have fallen prey to the most dangerous type of delusion. There is always going to be something more to learn, something more to experience, something more to be revealed.
I implore all researchers out there, new and old, not to let these people stop you from sharing your findings, but more importantly that you not become one of these people. Do not allow yourself to become so entrenched in your own theories or beliefs that you are willing to dismiss evidence out of hand that does not support these preconceived notions. Build your evidence, compile your findings, but do not just ignore the findings of others. One of the things that I think is amazing about this research and its ever-growing ranks is that new eyes bring new perspectives. This allows us to see things from a new point of view and to reexamine the things that we thought we had figured out.