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Bigfoot by Tom Burnette and Rob Riggs


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I recently read a 7-year old Bigfoot book and did not see any reviews in BFF.  The book is titled Bigfoot: Exploring the Myth and Discovering the Truth by Tom Burnette and Rob Riggs and was published in 2014.


Rob Riggs was a Texas BF researcher of the Big Thicket and passed away in Nov. 2015 (see Loren Coleman’s remembrance below).



Tom Burnette is a North Carolina BF habituator/researcher who lives next to Pisgah NF. I don’t know about his current status.

Burnette previously (1999) wrote a book titled Nature’s Secret Agents (which I have not read).

Tom Burnette summarized his findings on two YouTube videos back in 2010.


Part 1.


Part 2.



Houstonia magazine interviewed Rob Riggs back when the book was published and shows the photo that Tom Burnette took in 2010 of an alleged bigfoot.




When the book was published, it was (it might still be) controversial because the authors were claiming BF has some paranormal abilities (telepathy and emits bioradiational energy).  The authors believe that BF is flesh and blood but that some of its abilities make it much stranger than just a relic hominid. 

When you read the book, the first half seems to be conventional BF stories and claims.  On the 2nd half, they start speculating on BF’s paranormal abilities due to their lack of success in seeing them or getting photographic evidence, the correlation between BF presence and anomalous light phenomena, their outstanding camouflaging ability, and the eerie silence that accompanies BF presence. 


Riggs never saw a BF but had numerous sound and anomalous light experiences in the field.

Burnette, on the other hand, claims to have seen BF in daytime at least 2 times and claims to have photographic evidence using game cameras. However, when I see the photographs that Burnette shows on his book or YouTube, they are not very good. 

The book states that all photos were available in the website title “Bigfootthebigpicture.net”. But that website does not work anymore.


Burnette’s claims that BF killed numerous of his dogs on his property (and ate them) and Riggs suggests that the hatred for dogs could be due to dog’s ability to detect BF’s presence or find its blind spot.


Burnette, however, has made some controversial claims that do not help his credibility.  In the book he claims that he found a BF child skull that was sent for DNA testing to Melba Ketchum and others.  However, that skull was determined to be just part of a deer skull.  He also claimed (not in the book but in the first YouTube video @ 5:23) to have found a baby BF on his property, to have held it, and to have returned it to the wild (without taking photographs of it?!).  He then shows photographs of the baby BF footprints.


Overall, I thought the book was worth reading and provided some insights.

The 2 chapters that I found most interesting were: (#4) “Tom’s Investigations” and (#6) “Why It’s so Hard to Prove Their Existence”.

I don’t think the authors made a good case or provided enough evidence to link BF to anomalous lights in their chapter (#8) “Wild, Hairy Hominids, Mystery Light-Forms, and Anomalous Energy Fields”. 

Anomalous lights have been reported in the same areas as BF presence, but it is not clear if there is any direct relationship, coincidental, or caused by a 3rd variable.


Edited by Explorer
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One observation that I found interesting about Tom Burnette, is that while he is an habituator (because he lives in a property with on-going and frequent BF visits, is gifting them with food/other items and claims that BF also gifts him), he is not a typical habituator.


Per what I read in the book and what he states on his YouTube videos, he is interested in capturing the BF in photographs and video and was (is) pursuing that goal with camera traps.


Most of the habituators I read about do not want to capture photographic evidence because they claim BF tells them not do so or because they don't want the BF to leave their property (the assumption being that cameras repel BF from your property).


Tom, on the other hand, kept buying game cameras and placing them using different strategies so as to get his money shot.


Apparently, the BFs did not leave his property after he placed several cameras.


Tom does not come thru as a new age type habituator who is willing to embrace all the woo.  He appears to be more interested in getting film/photo evidence to support his claims.


Unfortunately, after over 20 years of Tom habituating/researching and placing cameras around his property, he has not been able to capture good photographic evidence (at least that has been publicly shown).


Wonder if anybody in BFF who lives in North Carolina and knows more about Tom and his claims, can provide better context and background on his claims. 


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I read both of Tom Burnette's books years ago. I think he makes a legit effort to habituate by setting up a feeding system for them. He did this for them even though they killed one of his dogs. He was feeding them so much they would drop deuces all over his NC property. A lost opportunity to collect scat samples for testing but this was like 15-20 years ago at least. He did not have the insight or means to find a lab.


Also, my sense was one of his best trail cam photos may have been the backside of a bear.


The animal skull he sent to Ketchum did not help his credibility. I think he gets crossed up but some of his accounts are interesting to read about.

Edited by Arvedis
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