Mendoza

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About Mendoza

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  • Have you ever had an encounter with a sasquatch-like creature?
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  1. In my preliminary research on county-level Bigfoot population distribution, I've seen what I interpret to be "Bigfoot inhabited" counties and multi-county regions, some close together, some far apart. These suggest to me that there are "home ranges" that Bigfoot inhabit, separated by areas where they don't live and don't travel, or travel very infrequently. I don't believe my data agrees with the idea of a continually nomadic Bigfoot whose range is practically all of North America.
  2. True only if the primary goal is to prove the existence of Bigfoot to the scientific community and the general public. Aside from these goals, gathering of mundane data is still worthwhile. The more data, the more research can be done towards determining Bigfoot's actual range, behavior, ecology, taxonomy, etc. What if the older reports are more exciting because they've been embellished over the years?
  3. I didn't vote. My opinion: Bigfoot has viable populations in some areas but continues to come under increasing pressure from human activity and development. There is population fragmentation in other areas, where they have probably fallen below the minimum viable population and are endangered. In all areas, conservation efforts are advised.
  4. I actually tend to feel the opposite: I still see what in my opinion are far too many Bigfoot enthusiasts taking far too many reports at face value, in spite of the known problem of hoaxing.
  5. I don't think the lack of reports in this case has anything to do with human factors. There are many other wilderness areas, equally remote, with similar seasonal variations and hardships, that do have sightings. I suspect that the Gila wilderness genuinely has no Bigfoot. Fire seems to be a plausible ecological explanation. If the fires there are frequent enough, and devastating enough, they may cause enough of a habitat disruption that Bigfoot could not survive there. However, this suggests that Bigfoot may require a relatively stable habitat compared to many other species, which goes against some of the conventional Bigfoot wisdom I've heard spoken, though in my opinion it agrees better with the data.
  6. I support open science, so I intend to share all of my work with no access limitations. This forum seems to be ideal for that. I tend to find peer review to be unnecessarily limiting, but at the same time I don't want to be guilty of what's been called "science by press release," where findings are presented in the most attention-seeking forum possible, with any rebuttals being dissociated from the original claim and generally getting far less attention (the attention given to rebuttal often being inversely proportional to the sensationalism surrounding the original claim). I think of what I'm currently doing as "public review," in that my research is immediately made available for public consumption, but targeted at those members of the general public who are most capable of informed critique. If enough significant flaws are found in the research, there should be a consensus that it belongs on the rubbish pile. However, I do like to restrict what I release to only work that's fully "done.". I don't like posting "works in progress."
  7. Population density does not seem to be the deciding factor in this case. While both Catron and Sierra counties have lower population densities than any of the counties in which Bigfoot sightings are reported, the population density of Grant county is comparable to the at Rio Arriba and Otero counties, which have some of the highest Bigfoot sighting report frequencies in the state. If there are Bigfoot in Grant county, one would expect it to be a hot spot for sighting reports, but it isn't. It appears that there may in fact be no Bigfoot in this wilderness area. In another thread, we discussed at length the question of Bigfoot and black bear habitat sharing. After I tweaked my analysis by using timberland as a proxy for black bear habitat in computing black bear population density, I determined that the correlations I find in the data would not be contradictory to a roughly 60% overlap of ranges in my Group A' states which included New Mexico. That would mean that about 40% of the time the ranges of Bigfoot and black bears do not overlap. The Gila wilderness area might be one case where black bears are present but Bigfoot are not. I lean towards Explorer's possible reason #5 and recommend looking into this wilderness area further to determine what's missing that Bigfoot require but black bears do not.
  8. This is the elephant in the room that makes analysis of Bigfoot sighting report databases so challenging. You can never be certain which reports were honestly submitted and which are deliberate fabrications. If some of the reports you're working with are fabricated, a pattern you see in the data may be due entirely to those fabrications, and may not actually exist in reality. Simplistic analysis strategies such as plotting all of the reports from a database on a map, or finding out when the most sightings are reported, will produce doubtful results for this reason alone. Similarly, I am inclined to discount observations to the effect of, "There are many reports of characteristic X" or "Lots of reports of behavior Y." What if the "many reports" being cited in such cases are fabrications? Attempts to filter out individual hoaxes, report by report, depend almost inevitably on recognized or unrecognized assumptions made by the researcher. You have just as much chance of introducing systematic errors due to your assumptions as you have of actually filtering out any hoaxes. So we are left with major limitations on what we can actually learn from the data. Essentially, our problem is this: Find real patterns, trends, and correlations in a large dataset that is polluted to an unknown degree by false data, without being able to actually identify and filter out any false data. The bottom line requirement is that the analysis produce valid results regardless of the accuracy of the data used in the analysis. Clearly researchers need to start getting creative with analysis methodologies. I suggest that Glickman's analysis of an earlier publication of the Green database was a good first step and an example of what can really be inferred from the data.
  9. On my to do list is an analysis of the variations in Bigfoot sighting reports. There is an expected type of variation for reports from truthful eyewitnesses and I plan to analyze the reports in a Bigfoot sighting report database to see if they match the expected pattern. I might get to it in the next year, but there's other Bigfoot research I'm prioritizing right now. At the moment, though, I could use some recommendations as to which database to analyze (i.e., BFRO, Green, etc.). I need a large amount of data.
  10. Perhaps the "strategist" in "K-strategist" is misleading. To be clear, the K-strategist label is not speculation on Bigfoot "survival strategies" as if these were part of the animal's psychology. The term K-strategist refers to one of the most basic characteristics of an organism's biology, namely its life cycle. You are speaking of intelligence as if it can override this basic fact of biology or its consequences, but it can't. Even humans are K-strategists whether they like it or not. No matter how intelligent a human woman is, she cannot have a three-month pregnancy that ends with her giving birth to octuplets who can fend for themselves and leave the house after six months. This is simply not an option, regardless of brainpower. The same is true for Bigfoot, if it has the K-strategist life cycle. What you say about Bigfoot having complete mastery of its environment actually heightens the consequences of its K-strategist biology. The better an organism is able to utilize its environment, the more equipped it will be to populate that environment. A highly intelligent K-strategist is going to max out the carrying capacity of its environment. As (relatively) highly intelligent K-strategists, humans are doing just that. Since the origin of Homo sapiens, we have been moving inexorably towards the point where every part of the planet capable of supporting human life will have a human living there. Again, intelligence has not liberated us from the K-strategist biology; instead, it has just made us more efficient K-strategists. This is where habitat-related pressure comes in. Suppose the ice caps melt and the sea levels rise, and most of Florida ends up underwater as a result. The human population of Florida is going to drop because our population of Florida is close enough to the carrying capacity of our environment that we are not just going to be able to cram all of the Floridians into the panhandle if we lose our "habitat" down here. Again, our intelligence has increased the consequences of our K-strategist biology. If we had been less intelligent, we would not have been able to populate the panhandle as aggressively as we have, and the panhandle would still have enough remaining carrying capacity to support our refugees. I hope I have made it evident that species do not overcome their K strategist biology by way of intelligence. If anything, intelligence and mastery of the environment allow a species to max out all of the ecological consequences of the K-strategist biology, to its advantage in the case of populating an environment all the way up to carrying capacity, but to its disadvantage when loss of range or habitat occurs. Finally, regarding your observation: Family units are what happens when extreme K-strategists hold to non-solitary behavior patterns. They still fit into the K-strategist life cycle of one offspring at a time (twins and so forth being the exception and not the rule) and a significant duration of direct parental involvement in the offspring's wellbeing. In fact, if you hadn't been observing a K-strategist species, you would have seen something very different.
  11. Adaptability is not the only consideration. Genetics and life cycle play just as much a role in a species' survival. In the domain of genetics and life cycle, there is very likely a big difference between Bigfoot and the wolf, coyote, etc. The canines and felines are generally midway along the r/K-strategy continuum. They produce litters that number in the single digits and dedicate a year or two of direct parental involvement before their young are old enough to either fend for themselves or interact as an adult in the social group. Other characteristics they display that place them in this part of the spectrum are mid-range body size, gestation time, and life span. In contrast, if Bigfoot is a hominoid, then it probably lies with the other hominoids at the very extreme of K-strategists. Extreme K-strategists produce one offspring at a time and dedicate up to a decade or more of parental involvement. Other characteristics of organisms at this end of the spectrum are large body size, long gestation time, and relatively long life expectancy. All of these characteristics are in substantial agreement with the vast majority of Bigfoot sighting reports. K-strategists are most susceptible of all to the types of environmental pressures we are looking at. They require stable environments and their populations tend to be close to the carrying capacity of their habitat. A loss of range inevitably corresponds to some degree of population decline. Additionally, K-specialists are the last to rebound and recolonize areas of prior habitat loss that have recovered.
  12. Regarding the claim that the Bigfoot population has increased since the 1950s, or within any time frame for that matter, I don't think we have enough quantifiable analysis of reliable data to make any such assertion without a great deal of hesitation. And so it is with a great deal of (understated) hesitation that I report that my own preliminary work in this area suggests that the Bigfoot population is not growing and is in fact under threat. While undertaking a preliminary analysis (following the analytical method of Glickman) of Bigfoot sightings at the county level, I plotted the probable Bigfoot populations on a map, and immediately discovered evidence of population fragmentation--namely, areas that must have been contiguous at some point in the past, but no longer are. Fragmentation is, of course, a well understood threat to any animal species, and a loss of habitat results almost universally in a decrease in population. If subsequent analysis bears out the results of my preliminary work, then I can say that the Bigfoot population is certainly not what it used to be when the populations were geographically contiguous. When this decline happened, and if it continues at the present day, is another question. I have some other Bigfoot-related work to finish up before I move on to something that could produce more definitive results on this question. Hopefully I can get to it within the coming year.
  13. A flesh and blood origin for part of the Bigfoot phenomenon need not be seen as precluding the possibility of a paranormal origin for part of the phenomenon, and vice versa. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that human-appearing entities of paranormal origin exist--for example, ghosts, shadow people, Nordic extraterrestrials, or whatever. The existence of such entities obviously does not mean that flesh and blood humans do not exist. Likewise, the existence of flesh and blood humans does not immediately rule out the existence of ghosts, shadow people, etc. The same logic holds for the Bigfoot phenomenon--the existence flesh and blood Bigfoot would not render the existence of paranormal Bigfoot impossible, and the existence of paranormal Bigfoot would not render the existence of flesh and blood Bigfoot impossible. Both could coexist, and the "true" Bigfoot phenomenon could result from a combination of both. I would even add that, given the tendency of reported paranormal entities to superficially resemble some conventional organism or construct, perhaps it should even be seen as likely that, if paranormal entities exist, some of them might imitate flesh and blood Bigfoot.
  14. My opinion on the Skookum cast is that an animal intelligent enough to go out of its way to not leave footprints, is also intelligent enough to know better than to leave a huge body print, and potentially also hair and other sign, from lying down in the mud. Moreover, an animal this intelligent would probably also be capable of tool use, and would have been intelligent enough to use a stick to roll the bait out of the muddy area. Thinking about this in the past has made me go from thinking that the cast is likely a Bigfoot imprint to being fully undecided and thinking I could go either way. It is necessary for those supporting the hypothesis that the cast is a Bigfoot imprint to defend the plausibility of their scenario more fully.
  15. I would agree that Bigfoot science has stalled. Part of the reason, I think, is that many Bigfoot researchers with academic credentials have died, and their replacements as leaders in Bigfoot research have been more of the "entertainer" variety. Reality TV just doesn't produce the same quality research as having a Grover Krantz on the case. More and more data is coming in every day, so I don't agree that it's a lack of funding keeping us from getting new data. The problem is not the data, but what Bigfoot researchers are (or more accurately, aren't) doing with it. The data is just not very often or very consistently subjected to the tools of scientific analysis any more. My own personal goal with my research, besides contributing to the resolution of the question of Bigfoot's existence, is to model the kind of scientific rigor I think this field sorely needs. On another note, I think scientific progress in most areas of paranormal research, including cryptozoology, has stalled for at least a decade, for various reasons. Nessie researchers have been largely unable to get away from the plesiosaur hypothesis, and put serious effort into other avenues of investigation. I think it's likely that the "Nessie" individual itself is now dead. The core source of El Chupacabra reports, if there ever was one, has been almost hopelessly drowned out by reports of ugly canines. Escamilla's "rods" have languished for lack of effort on the part of their primary proponent. (I'm aware of the explanation that the rods are merely the effect of frame rates on the recording of insects passing in front of the camera, but Escamilla claims this is not the cause behind all rods footage, and claims he can prove it. But, no effort has been made by him to do so.) Various other cryptids, such as Mothman, etc., have not been seen beyond their initial rash of reports, the data gathered during that time was not sufficient for a conclusion, and these are likely to be intractable problems at this point. Even Ufology has seen no significant progress since the early 2000s. There has been no wave of UFO sightings comparable to the historical "UFO flaps.". The public and the media seem to have mostly moved on to other brands of conspiracism, as exemplified by the recent retconning of the X-Files mythology to minimize the "interstellar conflict" aspect and focus on more human, geopolitically centered conspiracy theories, reflecting the shape of the paranoias of the day.