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OntarioSquatch

Why Do Skeptics Take Bigfoot Seriously?

103 posts in this topic

I've got two categories now pre Finding Bigfoot and post, all post are completely disregarded.

agreed mostly,but i'd still lend credence to credible experienced outdoors folk w/ no bf agenda.

but if you think its bad now.........

just wait to see how many "witnesses" crawl out of the wood work if these DNA studies ever come thru.

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Why do people take football, basketball, hockey, baseball, golf, and NASCAR seriously?

Bigfoot is an interest, one that hooked me over 40 years ago, and though I have become increasingly skeptical over those years, bigfoot still holds my interest.

Given bigfoot's lack of discovery/classification, it's just as valid to ask why proponents take the topic seriously.

RayG

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Lets start by looking at the other side. Those here as BF proponents seem for the most case to be people that have had a significant BF experience, many of which would probably be irrefutable to reasonable people if a good camera was available at the time. They are here to better understand their experience and by contribution advance the knowledge and awareness of the creature that they witnessed. With that being said, I do not get the effort and in some cases vitriol of the other side that in in my newbe view is more than just some folks that like a good debate and picked this one at random. I will not speculate on the reason though I have a few ideas, I just posit that it is more than simple debating. There is too much in life to occupy ones time than to waste on a niche website devoted to something that just is not real to the antagnist.

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I don't know if bigfoot is real or not, I've never had a significant experience. I did have something happen back in the mid 70's that some people suggest was a bigfoot, but I didn't think so at the time, nor do I think differently now.

I started off 40+ years ago as a full-fledged bigfoot proponent. I saw movies, read numerous books, spent the better part of an evening in the early 80's speaking in person to a prominent bigfooter named John Green, created a fairly popular bf website in the mid 90's based on one of his books, was a participant of the IVBC, joined numerous discussion/chat groups/forums, had Robert Morgan send me cassette tapes, John Bindernagel sent me a copy of his first bigfoot book, and I was even interviewed by one of the local papers. As time passed however, I became increasingly perplexed at the failure of significant evidence to solidly establish the existence of bigfoot.

I noticed that some stories and reports were being embellished or misrepresented, others had facts removed or ignored, and wishful-thinking was becoming more and more prevalent. In the very early days there was no mention of sasquatch tossing pine cones, building stick structures, using infra-sound to immobilize a target, or being able to detect hidden cameras by unknown means. Sasquatch seemed to evolve from an undetected biped, to some super intelligent, super stealthy, acrobatic woods-ninja, able to avoid death by any method, even accidental.

Bigfoot seemed to defy logic. He was everywhere yet nowhere. Only found in the most remote areas, yet very often seen crossing highways. Footprints and trackways were being found by people in places too remote for people. Hairs that once held promise turned out to be synthetic, or from bison or bear. Dozens of instances of breaking-bigfoot-news played out over the years, keeping hopes alive that bigfoot was just around the next corner, was surely about to be discovered. It was just a matter of days, weeks, or months. Those months stretched into years. Many years. Decades even. Still no bigfoot.

And so it goes. Am I still interested in bigfoot? You betcha. See, as improbable as it seems to me, in this day and age of advanced technology, thermal cameras, Google Earth, and instant communication/messaging, I'm not convinced it's impossible for bigfoot to exist. I'm not yet 60, but I have doubts that I'll live to see bigfoot discovered, classified, and added to the menagerie that we presently know exists. So while I no longer hang on every pronouncement, seldom if ever listen to podcasts, and can't stomach watching a full episode of Finding Bigfoot, I'll gladly eat crow. If I live long enough.

RayG

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+1 Ray, that was enlightening.

There are two equally disturbing mentalities.

"I believe and you have to believe also" and "I don't believe and you can't believe either"

Perhaps the motivation from either side of the fence might be proselytizing, a need to have others join in your opinion so you don't feel all alone.

I remember reading this report, perhaps from a link reference from the BFF. I was interested in his observation of the leaf eating behavior, which has been observed by many witnesses. His noting that the BF seemed to be a "picky eater" and took care which leaves it ate was also interesting.

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RayG, I wish I was smart enough to opine on this position as well as you. I have very similiar thoughts on the subject. As a kid in the early 70's I read everything I could get my hands on, saw every bad movie, and hung on every report. I was sure that the proof would be found any day. Years passed and we never seemed to get any closer. My friends and family can attest to my fixation on Bigfoot. I often told co-workers that one day, I was going on a quest full time. Stumbling onto the recent DNA news and Erickson's study brought me back to the subject full force and led me this forum. It is exactly the case you make about the seemingly, endless, logic defying attributes of Bigfoot that have led me to occupy your position. I too hope to eat crow and still hold out much hope that we can classify Bigfoot, hopefully sooner than later.

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May an upcoming episode of Iron Chef feature crow as the secret ingredient. :D

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As if that means anything...it's argument from authority and argument from consensus...nothing more.

That we know of.

Unless of course it is a "scientist" who is giving the anecdote, then it's "observational data" or some such thing.

Again, that we know of. There are plenty of hominid/humanoid/et al fossils that we do have that we don't know for sure what they are. That "fossil record" could very well be sitting in plain sight in some university or museum uncatalogued right this very moment. Or we may well not have discovered it's fossils for any number of reasons. Lack of fossils is such a weak tea argument given the colossal incompleteness of the record on the topic.

I laid out the outline of my continuum here:

http://bigfootforums...of/#entry671903

But it does mean something...... without an official scientific inquiry it's left to us rank amateurs with little money and little time.

You don't have to like the system Mulder........but it is the system that we are dealing with currently. They need something tangible to point to...........and without it? It's a myth, pure, plain and simple.

We are getting NOWHERE with our current crop of "investigators"..........who go out looking for that one audio recording or one non blurry photo that's just going to blow the lid off of the whole issue. It's like taking a fly swatter to a bald eagle, or a fry pan to a grizzly bear. I have no problem with someone enjoying the outdoors and recording sounds or taking pictures! But if their mission in life is to SOLVE THIS MYSTERY? Then they are sadly......sadly mistaken.

The American academics have spoken........so why is this so adamantly ignored? Is it stubbornness? Is it pie in the sky wishful thinking? Is it that they are not based in reality? What is it?

If a Bigfoot came in and danced at one of Bobo's rave parties and it was caught on film? Is that piece of footage going to convince skeptics? Scientists? Congress? Who?

The whole angle of approach anymore is preposterous.

ITS GOING TO TAKE A 400 GRAIN SOLID TRAVELING AT AROUND 2000 FT/SEC TO END THIS MYSTERY. OR WE GET LUCKY AND GRANDMA RUNS ONE OVER ON HER WAY TO BINGO WITH A 1970 OLD CUTLASS.

If your absolutely positively about ending this mystery? Then it's going to take blood, sweat and tear equity in inhospitable terrain with a rifle in your hands. And if that makes you afraid? Or squeamish? That's fine......don't go, stand on the side lines and watch! But don't attempt to move the goal posts because of your own personal feelings.

It's like saying there shouldn't be tackles in the NFL because you don't like being tackled. Or the goal posts should be 50 yards apart because all of that running makes you tired.

This is where I break rank and side with the skeptics..........they have told you what they need to believe, the bar is set. If it's out of reach for a certain individual then it's out of reach.

(This rant is not directed at Mulder personally, but to the community at large)

Edited by norseman
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But it does mean something...... without an official scientific inquiry it's left to us rank amateurs with little money and little time.

True.

You don't have to like the system Mulder........but it is the system that we are dealing with currently. They need something tangible to point to...........and without it? It's a myth, pure, plain and simple.

No, it's undocumented, unverfied, or some other such phrase. Not "proving" BF is real =/= BF is a "myth". That is classic either/or fallacy thinking.

We are getting NOWHERE with our current crop of "investigators"..........who go out looking for that one audio recording or one non blurry photo that's just going to blow the lid off of the whole issue. It's like taking a fly swatter to a bald eagle, or a fry pan to a grizzly bear. I have no problem with someone enjoying the outdoors and recording sounds or taking pictures! But if their mission in life is to SOLVE THIS MYSTERY? Then they are sadly......sadly mistaken.

Every bit of evidence helps. If nothing else, the information and data these researchers obtain makes the search easier for other researchers (assuming that information is not being hoarded).

The American academics have spoken........so why is this so adamantly ignored? Is it stubbornness? Is it pie in the sky wishful thinking? Is it that they are not based in reality? What is it?

It is the recognition of the truth that "academics have spoken" =/= the issue is settled and/or that said academics are correct.

You have just engaged in classic ad authority/ad consensus argumentation. Logic fallacies are not evidence of anything other than bad logic.

If a Bigfoot came in and danced at one of Bobo's rave parties and it was caught on film? Is that piece of footage going to convince skeptics? Scientists? Congress? Who?

I think a mass sighting with good footage of good provenance would still go a long way towards at least opening some minds.

If your absolutely positively about ending this mystery? Then it's going to take blood, sweat and tear equity in inhospitable terrain with a rifle in your hands.And if that makes you afraid? Or squeamish? That's fine......don't go, stand on the side lines and watch! But don't attempt to move the goal posts because of your own personal feelings.

It's like saying there shouldn't be tackles in the NFL because you don't like being tackled. Or the goal posts should be 50 yards apart because all of that running makes you tired.

Only if you subscribe to the outdated and morally questionable "shoot and stuff" school of species documentation. Modern wildlife research regards those tactics as hideously unethical, and would not use them on other species, so why would they (if they are being intellectually and morally consistent) insist this be done for BF.

Insisting on this primitive approach to wildlife science is linear thinking of the worst sort. There is more than one way to build a documentary case for BF. A mountain can be one giant mass of rock or a pile of pebbles and be just as large either way.

This is where I break rank and side with the skeptics..........they have told you what they need to believe, the bar is set. If it's out of reach for a certain individual then it's out of reach.

Which begs the question of exactly who appointed these "skeptics" to their position of "fact finder" on the matter? I certainly didn't. Who ensures that the "skeptics" have made the correct decision? Where are the checks and balances? What authority overseas appeals?

We have elevated institutional Science into an incorruptible, infallible, omniscient oracle of fact and knowledge. Given that said institution is made up 100% of very corruptible, fallible men who for all their "learning" are on average no smarter than anyone else, I question that elevation's validity.

(This rant is not directed at Mulder personally, but to the community at large)

Nor did I take it as such. I hope my comments are viewed in like manner.

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Where are the checks and balances?

Where indeed. I can't for the life of me imagine Rene Dahinden making some of the 'squatchy' comments I've heard on Finding Bigfoot. (part of the reason I've not yet been able to watch an entire episode)

RayG

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^Funny, Ray...that's not what my comment was addressing and you know it.

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I think something that tends to be forgotten sometimes in our rush (need?) to label people or pigeonhole them into "camps," is that "skepticism" isn't a team or set of specific beliefs about BF or any other phenomenon. It is a methodological approach.

I just posted something in one of the PGF threads that's probably more applicable here. It occurred to me that after lurking here for some time and doing a good bit of reading of older threads in the last couple of weeks that I've been actively posting, my own attitudes are beginning to shift in an interesting way. My own experience is someone who was a believer when he was younger but who has become more skeptical over the years to the point that when I came here I was pretty an agnostic on BF leaning skeptical (maybe a small 's' skeptic on Mulder's scale).

When I came here I was on the fence about the PGF, something that's traditionally been considered the best evidence for BF. But after reading many of the old threads here and learning more about the backstory and seeing the proponent's defenses and arguments I now feel that it is very likely a hoax. (PGF supporters please don't jump on me for this here---save it for the appropriate thread in the PGF forum).

But at the same time I've also been reading so many fascinating and amazingly consistent eye witness accounts from very genuine and sincere-sounding people here on these boards. And despite the fact that eye witness testimony is traditionally considered the least reliable form of evidence I have tended to find it the most compelling to me personally. It is these compelling eye witness accounts that keep me on the fence and allow some hope that this phenomenon might be real (and I really hope that it is).

So spending a weeks here on these boards has altered the way I approach this subject in a manner that I didn't expect and is really pretty ironic when you think about . You guys have made me discount what should be the best evidence (at least on paper), but have somewhat swayed me with what should be the "weakest" evidence.

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