Some years back I used to write articles titled: "Women in Bigfoot Research". Yes, I typed the words, "used to". I stopped because as is usually the case, life gets in the way, and back in the day of these articles there were so few women involved in Bigfoot Research/Investigation. That is no longer the case.
So, I have decided to start writing these articles again. Why? Good question.
Answer: because there are some damn good women, doing damn good work, who deserve recognition.
I am starting out my first article with Adrianne Brashear Arney. I've known of Adrianne for quite some time, but only began really getting to know her over the last few years. In the article, she calls herself a "believer," but I know she tempers that with a healthy dose of skepticism. She is a boots on the ground field researcher working side by side with the men of Ohio Bigfoot (formerly Tri-State Bigfoot).
I'm sure you can guess what state she is from.
Adrianne is simply one of the many women in this community that make me proud to call friend and fellow researcher.
Women in Bigfoot Research ~ Adrianne Brashear Arney:
|Adrianne Brashear Arney|
tell the readers about yourself.
Adrianne: I am
married and a proud Momma of a Daughter and a Son. I am the owner, creator,
designer of Whippoorwill Studio on Etsy (shameless plug). I enjoy doing many
forms of arts and crafts, kayaking, hiking, camping, star gazing and sitting
around a campfire with good friends. I have spent many years researching the
Paranormal and UFO activity and I also go on expeditions in search of the
Follow up: What does your family think of your involvement in
family pretty much supports me except for my daughter who has a degree in
Anthropology. She was taught by her professors that bigfoot is just folklore
and I get a lot of eye rolling from her when the topic is mentioned. My
siblings and parents, cousins etc. are all intrigued and follow my adventures.
Melissa: Are you
a "skeptic," or a "believer"? How would you describe your
approach to this research/investigation?
Adrianne: I am a
believer. I have had the pleasure of interviewing many witnesses who have told
me of their encounters in detail. If you take those interviews along with the
thousands of other accounts that have been told all around the world, there has
to be something to it. My approach actually starts with the witnesses and
investigating their claims to try and find evidence to back up their claims.
There are also times I will research a random area that I think has what it
takes to sustain such a large creature even if there have never been any
sightings reported there.
Follow up: There
are people, like myself, who are not "believers" simply because they
haven't had a sighting. While I think your thoughts on this are well thought
out and you obviously know how to make a well informed decision, others will
not agree. They will say, "how can you believe Bigfoot is out there when
you haven't seen it."
What would you say to those
Adrianne: I have
hiked all over the hills in Kentucky ever since I was a child and I have never
seen a bear or bobcat while hiking. But because I have never seen one doesn't
mean they are not there, because they are! I have seen a Black Panther but
according to KY forest rangers they do not exist there!
Melissa: Are you
a member of any Organized Group(s) or are you an Independent Researcher? Or
research with a great group of guys, Jay, Bryan and Kelley of OhioBigfoot.com
on a regular basis. When we receive a report through our website, we always go
as a team to investigate. I also do a lot of research on my own in Kentucky and
I work with other researchers when the opportunity arises.
Melissa: How long
have you been active in the field of Bigfoot research/investigation?
|Photo courtesy of Adrianne Brashear Arney|
Adrianne: I started
seriously researching around 7 years ago, but have been interested since I can
Melissa: Have you noticed any changes in this field of
research/investigation over the years?
Adrianne: I have noticed more and more
enthusiasts due to shows on TV but other than that not much has changed.
Follow up: Do you think the Television shows help
or hurt the research/investigation? I will be the first to say, there are
places that used to be pretty good for investigation but now the question I
always ask is, "is that the target species or are we recording a
Both, I think the
occasional documentary type shows are sometimes great because they get the
serious researchers thinking about new ways of capturing evidence and give us
the latest theories as to what this creature could be. On the other hand the
shows that are for entertainment purposes give false impressions of how most of
us conduct our research. I think some witnesses may shy away from reporting
what they have seen for fear it will turn into a circus and they will be
ridiculed. Then on the flip side you will have people making false claims
hoping to get themselves on TV.
Melissa: What keeps you asking questions?
Adrianne: Witnesses, and my own curiosity.
Melissa: What do you think about the growing
numbers of women becoming active in this field?
Adrianne: I think
it's great. More like minded friends for me :)
Follow up: As a woman who does active field
work, do you feel women are represented accordingly either within groups or in
I think it depends on the woman. How she presents
herself will be how she will be
Melissa: Have you
had a sighting? If so please explain.
Adrianne: I've had
experiences but no actual sighting
Follow up: Could
you please discuss your, "experiences?"
Just the usual stuff like
vocalizations, tree knocks, eyeshine. My team also experienced startling
something huge when entering the woods. We heard and captured on a recording.
It could only be described as a huge bipedal creature taking off through the
woods breaking down trees as it ran!
Melissa: One piece
of equipment you think is the most important?
than my own eyes and ears I think a good evidence collecting kit is a must.
researchers have one report that "stands out" in their minds. Is there
a report that still "stands out" for you?
|Photo courtesy of Adrianne Brashear Arney|
Adrianne: Yes, An
elderly gentleman finally got the nerve to send us a report about an experience
he had has a youth. He and his boyhood friends were terrorized by something
that he was pretty positive was a Bigfoot. The emotion in his voice was enough
to make me a believer. I was honored that he was comfortable enough tell me
about his frightening experience.
Melissa: What questions would you like
researchers/investigators to ask witnesses?
Adrianne: I usually have my usual set of
questions ready when contacting a witness and I find that half of them don't
pertain to their experience. Every
report is different and has it's own set of circumstances.
Melissa: If there were one thing about this field of research/investigation
you could change what would it be?
Adrianne: The hoaxers, attention seekers and
those just in it to trying to score some quick cash, which is not gonna happen.
Melissa: What you would like people to know
Adrianne: I enjoy being with other like-minded
people in and out of the field. A lot of them have achieved family status. I
don't mind sharing new ideas or theories. I don't think what we do should be a
competition. Most of us have the same goal and working together instead of
against each other is probably the key.
Melissa: Do you have any advice for a new researcher?
Adrianne: Hmmm...tread lightly but carry a big
tree knocker! Seriously though, don't go into it thinking it's a competition,
it's not. Nobody is an expert in this field. You also don't have to have all
the latest greatest most expensive toys, they have not gotten anybody anywhere
Labels: Adrianne Brashear Arney, Bigfoot, Ohio, Research, Sasquatch, Women