Why is it called "Bigfoot Research," when in almost all cases it is simply wandering in the woods and looking around? Shouldn't it simply be called "outdoor exploration"? It seems to me that the presumption of Bigfoot is blinding to the true nature of the context and evidence. It is most valuable just to look and to learn, about everything. If one discovers bear signs, that is a valuable learning experience. If one learns zoology, botany, geology or hydrology, these are valuable keys to understanding a habitat. To see Bigfoot in everything is not only to miss these true understandings, but it is in fact an instance of getting lost in the woods. The sleep of reason breeds monsters. If there is to be a claim of Bigfoot, let us first rule out all other possibilities of animal, natural or human action before we presume. This kind of learning, eschewing the possible desired result for the discovery of whatever the empirical facts really are, and only this, can really be called "Research." When all the facts and context are known, when due diligence has been taken to fully understand, and something truly unusual does come along... then we will be ready.
Critical method and thought should be taught in kindergarten.
Even as a small child I learned about nature and reality by exploring. It is what I still do to this day. If Bigfoot finds me, so be it. I remain happy with the jumping steelhead at dusk, the flying V of geese in early fall, the crunching footfalls in the brush on the hillside of an unknown animal, and to have my daughter by my side seeing these same things through fresh eyes. I don't need to call it "research," and I definitely don't need that animal on the hillside to be a Bigfoot.
The most ordinary things are opportunities for learning. Knowing them well and deeply prepares us to know the extraordinary.
In fact... Nothing is truly ordinary.
True skepticism, besides, is skeptical of itself. The believer questing for proof of belief is usually going to bumble right past the subtle facts and obvious truths. Confirmation bias is perhaps the greatest fallibility of human awareness. It is as a palliative to this, the roots in our superstitious and blinded past, that, thankfully, we have Science, critical thinking and Logic.
I have noticed a pattern. To the degree that one professes to be a bigfoot researcher, to that same degree does one seem to produce low-quality "evidence" and "encounters." Those who are not researchers seem to have predominantly the better sightings reports. How do we account for this seeming disparity? I say it is the Will to Believe, in many, many cases.
******"Sometimes, when you want to believe so badly, you end up looking too hard."
"The X-Files," Season Two
This is a compilation of post from the Facebook group,
October 14-15, 2012. View the full context of the discussions here: