August 23, 2016

Interview with Darren Lee, Executive Director of the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center.

I met the subject of this next article after dipping my toes into what was the premier site for bigfoot discussion the old Bigfoot Forums. A researcher and the person behind the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center out of Oklahoma, Darren Lee (a/k/a Darkwing),  has spent years and years doing "boots on the ground research" and talking to witnesses. I can't say we were fast friends right away but as time went on, and disagreements were had, a friendship did form, a friendship I have grown to appreciate and cherish.

Why do I bring this up? Because our friendship proves one thing - you can disagree and disagree strongly - but still remain friends and surprisingly friendships can form out of disagreements when both sides listen to each other. Darren Lee is one of a dwindling number of "old timers" in this community who has always been willing to share information and help other researchers, even when it might mean trouble for him. I have always admired that about him. Not many are willing to put their neck on the line for someone else. Sure he's been burned, and burned badly, by those he thought were telling the truth - but how many of us who work with witnesses haven't?

It's not the "burn" that matters, it's how you conduct yourself when you realize it.

Darren is a field researcher in the truest sense of the words. He spends more time in the field than most and works with new researchers all the time. His group, Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center or "MABRC" is filled with bright minds and people who are serious field researchers as well. The website forum is filled with interesting information and topics. If you've never been to the site you should give it a look.

As a woman in this community, I can tell you without a doubt, Darren will always treat you like "one of the guys" and show you as much respect as you show him. Although I have never spent any time in the field with Darren it is my hope one day to do just that.

So I won't keep you any longer with my thoughts. I hope you enjoy this article.

 The Search for Bigfoot: Darren Lee

Melissa: Please tell the readers about yourself. 
Darren Lee: I’ve had a lifelong interest in Bigfooting since 1977 when a supposed Bigfoot attack happened in Adair County, the supposed attack happened about 4 miles from my house.  It turned out to be a hoax, but in 2004 I talked to one of the original researchers that investigated and he told me that it was based all on actual events, except it was the kid’s neighbors that was having activity.
I served in the U.S. Army as a Ranger, before coming home and learning everything I could about computers, eventually making a career out of networking and computers.  I learned how to analyze photos, video and audio from working with the software that continues to be made available to the public.
Being a former Eagle Scout, I’ve also an extensive background in wilderness survival nd woodcraft.  I use a lot of this in my Bigfoot research.
I’m currently the Executive Director and founder of the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center, one of the largest Bigfoot research groups in the country with 500 plus members around the globe.
I also just started expanding the Bigfoot Field Guide series of magazines, books, radio show, videos and more into its own stand alone brand.
Melissa: I know you have created an "Evidence Review Board," recently. Could you please explain what this is and the intent.
Darren Lee: With certain events that transpired a year ago in Texas, the MABRC decided that an Internal Evidence Review board would be in the best interest of the MABRC.  A board was formed in which I only acted in an advisory role, and the members put together a long list of protocols and procedures for the evaluation of evidence.  Currently, the Board only reviews evidence submitted by MABRC members who want to have the MABRC stand behind their evidence.  Eventually, the board would like to expand to include members from other groups, and begin evaluating evidence outside the MABRC.  Currently there are 5 regular board members, with 1 reserve member who can step up and help evaluate evidence should a board member wish to submit evidence to the board and has to disqualify themselves from the review.  The MABRC would like to see this become the standard for all groups, creating an Evidence Review Board if they don’t want to collaborate with the one the MABRC has put together, and they are more than welcome to use the current templates the MABRC Board has put together for their own groundwork.  Personally, I would love to see peer review or all evidence before it is made public, in order to weed out the weaker evidence and produce only strong evidence to the world at large.
Melissa: Are you a member of any Organized Group(s) or are you an Independent Researcher? Or both? 
Darren Lee: I am the Executive Director of the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center, and I even when I go out researching, I do it as the head of the MABRC.
Melissa: Are you a "skeptic," or a "believer"? How would you describe your approach to this research/investigation? 
Darren Lee: I’m a skeptic/believer.  I do believe Bigfoot exists from my personal encounters and the evidence that I have got to look at.  But I also have a skeptical side on evidence that gets presented all the time.  I use a skeptical approach to research and investigation, even when the photo or video shows something clearly out in the open, I will not say it is a bigfoot, I will say “possible” or “probable”.  I will then work to debunk it, only when I can’t debunk it, I will still say “possible” or “probable”.  Never say it is a Bigfoot. 

Melissa: Have you found any benefit to being a skeptical researcher?
Darren Lee: The biggest benefit I have found is that I don’t believe anything is outright Bigfoot.  I would say about 5% of the evidence I see, I would consider credible enough to make a comment on that it could be legit.  I don’t embrace everything as being bigfoot related like a lot of others do.  I fully believe this makes me a better researcher, as I will try to debunk even my own evidence until I can’t debunk it even further, but still I will say “possible” or “probable”, never 100% Bigfoot.
Melissa: How long have you been active in the field of Bigfoot research/investigation?

Darren Lee: I’ve been researching actively since 1991, taking my first trip to Fouke looking for the Boggy Creek Monster.  Little did I know at the time, that I lived in an active area.  I had my first encounter in 1998, and that is when I founded the precursor to the MABRC, the Green Country Bigfoot Research Center.

Have you noticed any changes in this field of research/investigation over the years? 

Darren Lee: I have noticed a serious degradation of the research/investigation in the Bigfoot Community, in part due to the influx of people getting into it because of Facebook and the show Finding Bigfoot among other things.  When I first got into Bigfooting, it was tough when putting out evidence to the community, we learned real fast to have thick skins and we learned valuable lessons, taking them to heart.  Now, people post garbage and you will see multiple people jump up and say they seen all kinds of bigfoot in each and every photo, when it doesn’t have anything in it except matrixing/paraedolia.

Those who continue to try and do legitimate research are usually accused of being meanies when they tell the new folks that something has already been tried or proven to be a hoax.  Even with the insertion of thermal cameras in research, you would think that the research would progress in a more positive manner, but people do not want to use thermals as it shows that truthfully, nothing is out there where they claim Bigfoot activity.

Melissa: Do you think the research is headed in the right direction? 

Darren Lee: Research has taken a turn for the worse with the influx of so many new people who think they know everything just because they watched Finding Bigfoot.  There is a few still in the Community that continues trying to take the research in the right direction, but they are quickly being outnumbered and overwhelmed by those who want to take it the wrong direction.

Melissa: Do you find that because you are a "flesh and blood" bigfooter people believe everything you say?

Darren Lee: I would say that 90% of the time, new people to the community will tell me I don’t know what I am talking about, because they don’t spend the time to get to know the history of the Bigfoot Community and understand that I have been around for a long time.   I really don’t want people to believe everything I say, I want them to be skeptical of everything.  Question, question, question.  But I will say this, I wish many wouldn’t be lazy and actually would Google stuff before they ask questions.

Melissa: What keeps you asking questions? 

Darren Lee: I keep asking questions because I know Bigfoot exists, I have seen them myself on multiple occasions, I want to know more about these creatures, so that when they are proven to exist, we can be in a better position to discuss their behaviors and more.

Melissa: What do you think about the growing numbers of women becoming active in this field?  

Darren Lee: Personally, I think the number of women in the field is great, the MABRC has a large number of women that are in the group, and they share the same respect and experiences that the men get.  If the woman is in Bigfoot research to actually do research, I’m all for them being in the field.  But lately, quite a few seem to be getting into it expecting to become famous for being in it.  Many go to extremes to get their name and faces out there.  Those are the ones that I do not want to see in the field, as they will someday get someone or themselves hurt.

Melissa: Have you had a sighting? If so please explain. 

Darren Lee: I’ve been in the woods around 4000 times throughout my lifetime, and in that time, I have had 26 encounters that I can honestly say was a bigfoot encounter, and when you figure it up, that is .006 percent of the time, I have something happen to me.  I have only had two encounters where I was scared during the encounter, the rest I haven’t had fear in me.

Melissa: One piece of equipment you think is the most important? 

Darren Lee: Thermal camera, that is the single most important piece of equipment that I use.  Because of it, I can quickly rule out a bigfoot is nearby, and I can spot anything in the dark trying to hide.  My wife gripes about how the thermal takes all the fun out of Bigfooting now, because all the noises we use to hear, we can turn the thermal on and see that it’s armadillos or other animals.   The thermal is the go to equipment for research.

Melissa: Most researchers have one report that "stands out" in their minds. Is there a report that still "stands out" for you?  

Darren Lee: The one that always stands out in my mind is one of the earlier reports that I investigated when I first started researching.  A chicken farmer, the kind that has large chicken houses for the poultry industry, was noticing that the number of chickens in his chicken houses was decreasing.  He thought someone was sneaking up at night and going in and stealing them at night.  One day he was walking down the length of one of his chicken houses, and as he turned the corner, he ran smack into a Bigfoot carrying a large number of his chickens.  The collision caused the Bigfoot to drop the chickens while it put the man on his butt.  The Bigfoot and the man looked at each other for a second or two, then the Bigfoot reached down and scooped up several chickens before walking away.  The man was so terrified of the encounter that he sold the property and left it behind.  But it appeared that the Bigfoot had watched them open the doors of the chicken house enough times that it knew how to open it, and also that it had to close the doors to make sure that the chickens didn’t get out.  When the landowner told me about it, you could see that the terror in his eyes were still there, even weeks after it happened.

Melissa: What questions would you like researchers/investigators to ask witnesses? 

Darren Lee: Wow, that is a big question, I can say, that I would like to see them ask the same questions that John Green would ask, his interview sheets were very encompassing on all levels.  And the main question I would like to see asked, is how much Bigfoot on TV they have watched, as that seems to influence most witnesses into forming their opinions about their encounters, and this has been a big drawback to the research.

Melissa: Do you think we give away too much information thereby making it easier for the next hoaxer? 

Darren Lee: At times we do give too much information away, but that is the catch 22, if we don’t tell newbies how the hoax was done, so they can be educated, then we continuously end up having to go through it all over and over again on trying to make them understand it was a hoax.  Once that information is put out there in the public domain, of course hoaxers can use it to make their hoaxers better, so the catch 22 surely hits us no matter what we do.

Melissa: If there were one thing about this field of research/investigation you could change what would it be?  

Darren Lee: I would get rid of Facebook and YouTube, as that has become the biggest detriment to the field of research.  It lets anyone get involved to the point that they can create a following of people, whether it’s the right ideas or not, and can eventually lead to someone getting hurt or killed because of bad information or directions.

Melissa: What you would like people to know about you. 

Darren Lee: That I do not sugar coat anything, not even to the MABRC researchers, they know that I tell them what the analysis shows, and that I am very critical on the evidence presented to me.  I myself, run my own evidence through stringent protocols because I want to dot the I’s and cross my t’s because if I am not critical of my own evidence first, I will get roasted by the old timers that I do respect.

Melissa: Do you have any advice for the new researcher? 

Darren Lee: Several things that I would say, for one, use common sense, that is the most effective thing for a researcher to have.  The second is not to go into the woo side of Bigfooting.  It truly contradicts the common sense advice, if you believe in woo.  Bigfoot can’t cloak, can’t dimensional shift, doesn’t mind speak, or anything else that the woo crowd believes in.  Common sense dictates that no known animal on earth has any of these capabilities, and neither does Bigfoot.

Melissa: Do you think this mystery will be solved in your life time? 

Darren Lee: I honestly believe it may, as more people build houses out in the country and encroach more upon Bigfoot’s habitat, the conflict is potentially there where someone may end up having to shoot one for being aggressive towards the people that suddenly pop up in their woods and drop a trailer.  Or some kid will be out deer hunting and drop one in its tracks.  The more people in the woods or living in the country, the more chance it will happen.  It may happen in the twilight years of my life, but I do believe it will happen.

Melissa: Do you have any regrets? 

Darren Lee: My biggest regrets is listening to people who put their personal agendas ahead of the MABRC’s agenda, this has lead the MABRC down some rough roads in the past.  Those folks have since left the organization and I think the MABRC is a better group because of it.  Also, that I didn’t have a GoPro camera with me on the majority of my encounters.  But that problem is now fixed. 

If you want more information on Darren Lee or his Organization visit his website. Click on the MABRC link below. 


August 16, 2016

An oldie but goodie ~ Six things a new Bigfoot researcher should think about by; Steve Hyde

When I first discovered the Bigfoot Community - I spent months and months reading everything Bigfoot related on multiple sites, and I had great conversations with one researcher in particular. I found this very well written article by Steve Hyde had already been around for quite some time. Steve's thoughts are still as, "on point," today as they were when he wrote this. If you have never read this article, take the time and read it. I still read it, every so often, and I find it puts many things into perspective.

Although I will say I still disagree with Steve on the value of casting - that's okay - we can still be friends!

I hope  you all enjoy this as much as I did, and still do.

Six things a new Bigfoot researcher should think about by; Steve Hyde 

I want to state right up front that I don't consider myself a particularly smart person or a very experienced researcher. I do however try to learn from observation and the successes and failures of others. If you're new to the field of Bigfoot research it's vitally important that you learn to develop this ability. You can learn a lot from watching what other people in the so-called "Bigfoot community" do, from what brings them good results and also what gets them into trouble. What follows are a few of the things that I have observed and learned over the years, and that you need to consider if you are new to this field. I hope that you will find them helpful. 


It may seem an odd question, but now is the time to ask it. Just why do you want to go look for Bigfoot? Your answer may be that you simply want to satisfy your own curiosity, that you want to see it for yourself. That's fine. Or you may want to prove that it exists. That's fine too. But you need to ask this of yourself, because your answer will greatly affect how you go about the quest.If you only want to satisfy yourself, then congratulations! You're the one that will probably have the most fun doing this. Only you know what your standard of proof is and it can be as high or as low as you want. If you're out in the woods and see a strange shadow or hear an odd noise or see that faint mark that just might be a track and it makes your hair stand on end, maybe that's all that needs to happen for you to be convinced. That's great and nobody should have a problem with that. But you need to realize that your experiences are not going to matter to anyone but yourself. If you're out to prove the existence of Bigfoot to someone other than yourself, I'm afraid you have a much tougher journey ahead of you. It's no longer your own standard of proof that must be met, you must now meet the standard of proof of whomever you're trying to convince. Even if that other person believes in Bigfoot's existence in the same manner as you, he or she may not interpret your evidence or experience the same way you do.If you're going to prove the existence of Bigfoot to the world at large, you'll have to meet the standards of proof of the world at large, and the world looks to the mainstream scientific community to set those standards. And science demands concrete physical proof. If you claim to have discovered a previously unknown species of animal, you will have to produce substantial physical proof sufficient to be able to describe and classify it with scientific rigor. The only proof that will accomplish this is a body or a substantial piece of a body. Mainstream science has always demanded this, and it always will. You might as well get used to that fact now because it won't change, no matter how badly you may wish it to be otherwise and no matter how frustrated you may get at not being able to find it. Your only available options are to kill or capture one or look for one that died of other causes. Nothing else will do; not pictures, not casts, not hair, not trace DNA, not tape recordings, not film and not stories. You will discover quite quickly that the Bigfoot"community" is sharply divided between those who convey a willingness to obtain a specimen by deadly force and those who object to harming the animals on moral grounds.Although both sides can present good arguments to support their viewpoint, when it comes to proving the animals exist the researchers willing to kill or capture a specimen are the only ones who will have a reasonable chance of accomplishing their goal. Those who object to this method are left with the option of chance discovery of remains, the possibility of which is extremely remote. 


This occurs in a number of ways. As with any group of people who interact with each other, there are always the fusses, fights and squabbles, the making and breaking of friendships and alliances. One thing you will learn is that the Bigfoot community is indeed a microcosm of society in general. Human weaknesses abound in this field. You will encounter the typical variety of ordinary folks, intellectuals, nut cases, pricks and morons.But there are some individuals to whom you should be particularly wary. There exists in the world a large group of people who think that anyone who believes in and/or spends time researching Bigfoot (or UFOs or paranormal phenomena) is by definition an idiot.There are a number of people within that group who decide to try and take advantage of the"idiots" by jerking them around psychologically for their own amusement. Look at any of the numerous Internet message boards and you'll see this happening. The most common tactic used is to bait someone into an exchange of personal attacks. This will quickly draw others into the fray, and any ongoing civil discussion degenerates hopelessly. The instigators usually try to portray themselves as believers of some sort, but it becomes apparent pretty quickly that they have little or no real knowledge of the subject. You will also encounter "eyewitnesses" who do the same thing. They will contact you and report a sighting or experience just to mess with you. The best policy is to blatantly ignore them.When they don't succeed in baiting you they will disappear.There are also a number of people who try to take advantage of the "idiots" by making money off of them. These people generally take great pains to elevate themselves in stature among the believers by constantly extolling their own virtues, exploits and discoveries but never seem to have any evidence to back any of it up. When questioned they become extremely defensive, almost to the point of hysterics in some cases. And they always seem to be trying to sell you something, be it a book, a membership to their organization, equipment, knowledge, merchandise, whatever. And cases of this are becoming more prevalent. Again, ignoring them is the best policy. As for the cynics (I differentiate them from mere skeptics), know that you will always have the advantage over them. It's very easy to be cynical, especially about a subject as elusive and complex as Bigfoot. Cynics think there is very little risk involved in taking their position, but there is one great risk. It is impossible for them to prove that Bigfoot does NOT exist; there is no practical way for them to do that. It is entirely possible for you TO prove it if it DOES exist, if you find that elusive body. Then you can pull the toilet handle and make them all swirl down into the septic tank of irrelevance, and the last word would be all yours. 


People's ideas about Bigfoot are much like people's ideas about God. Each person has his or her own unique concept, and it will range from quite logical to seemingly drug-induced. I'm quite sure you have your own opinions about Bigfoot, but if you're going to be a good researcher you will need to consider your opinions in the light of theory and not of belief. The reason is simple; if you consider your opinions to be a working theory, then you can be flexible and modify or change your theory as necessary to fit the empirical evidence you gather and analyze. If your opinions constitute a heart-felt emotional belief, then you will tend to stick to that belief regardless of any evidence that would contradict it. At present my own working theory of Bigfoot is that it is a quite normal animal, a species of ape somewhat similar to the great apes we are familiar with. I call it a working theory simply because I conduct my research using assumptions I have made based on my theory. But I'm careful to keep an open mind and to try and be objective. If I were to come across good evidence that Bigfoot is a hominid more closely related to humans than the great apes or something else entirely, like the whole phenomenon is an extraordinary human hoax or some type of mass hysteria, then I wouldn't have much problem changing my working theory. But if I had a deep heart-felt emotional belief that Bigfoot was (for example) a human like being with near-human intelligence and I acted accordingly, my belief would constantly cloud my judgment and I could never be an effective researcher, even if my belief in the end proved to be correct. 


Remember that all theories and beliefs are based on assumptions, some more valid than others. And it's important to question your basic assumptions occasionally.Most researchers automatically assume that Bigfoot actually does exist and that is always the first assumption in need of challenging, but there are others. For example,there is a popular theory that Bigfoot is (or is a descendant of) the fossil ape species Gigantopithecus Blacki. It's a perfectly logical theory; there is in fact a documented fossil species of large ape that is thought to have lived between 1 million to 300,000 years ago,and scientists have inferred from the fossils certain characteristics that match closely with the more consistent descriptions of Bigfoot. But there are some shaky assumptions involved. G. Blacki is the only fossil species of large ape we know about, but that doesn't mean it was the only species that ever existed. And we only have G. Blacki's jaws and teeth. No cranium or other remains have been found to date. In fact, the only thing we know for sure about G. Blacki is that it was apelike and had big jaws. There is also a popular theory that Bigfoot is a relic animal, an ancient species that somehow managed to survive the Pleistocene epoch and remain in its primitive form. This may indeed be thecase, but on the other hand Bigfoot may be a species that has undergone as much oreven more evolution in the last million years than we have. It may actually be a form quite advanced from its prehistoric ancestors. We simply don't know. But it shows that we must be mindful of the assumptions we make. 


We all get excited whenever we find evidence, especially if we think it's compelling or of high quality. You must realize that unless your find consists of a body, your evidence will be considered circumstantial. That is, the interpretation of the evidence depends a great deal on the circumstances of its acquisition; where it was found, how it was found, who found it, etc. and the predisposition of the interpreter to accept or reject it. We also have to be realistic about the possible impact the different types of evidence can have regardless of its quality.Footprint casts. These are probably the most famous pieces of Bigfoot evidence.This type of evidence tends to have very little effect in trying to prove anything because of the possibility of misinterpretation and of forgery. The ones with dermal evidence aren't really much better, since they can only further demonstrate what DIDN"T make the print.You can demonstrate that a human foot or a known ape foot DIDN'T make the impression by noting dermal or anatomical characteristics that are different from those feet, but you cannot adequately describe what DID make it. I personally don't think that footprint casts by themselves really matter much anymore, and I quit casting tracks some time ago. To me tracks are more valuable in context. I'm more concerned now with what they can tell me about where, when and why the animal goes on its travels. As you go in the field, don't be real concerned about bringing plaster with you. Except in very extraordinary circumstances casting tracks is a waste of time. You're better off learning how to study them in the ground.Photographs and film. Some very well known (to us, anyway) pieces of evidence fall into this category. They also tend to be the most controversial, and their actual value as evidence is hotly debated. You have the same problems here as with footprints since there is always the possibility of misinterpretation and forgery. As with casts, you can at most demonstrate only the possibility that something was indeed recorded on film. The Patterson film and the saga surrounding it should be an abject lesson to all those who think that film evidence by itself can be demonstrable proof of the animal's existence. It's valuable only if the person examining it is already predisposed to believe in the animal's existence. It will never constitute evidence to those who are not. If you are predisposed to accept it, film and video can be valuable. Much was learned about the animal's actual appearance and movement from the Patterson film by those who chose to accept it as genuine. So it is worthwhile to take a camera with you on your trips, just don't expect any real recognition to come from it no matter how good your results may be. The most you can hope for is to perhaps convince someone to pay closer attention to the phenomenon.Hair and trace DNA. I lumped these two together because they are both analyzed much the same way. They also have the same problems as the first two categories. At most, you can only demonstrate what it is NOT. Hair and DNA can only be tested by comparing them to known control samples. If they don't match to any known samples, then the result will be inconclusive. Think about it. The only way you could positively identify a hair or DNA sample as coming from a Bigfoot is if you had a known, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt sample of Bigfoot hair or DNA to compare it to. If you had such a substantial sample that it was known beyond all doubt to be Bigfoot then you wouldn't have to resort to the DNA analysis. The mystery would already have been solved by conventional means at that point. I always have to shake my head whenever Isee or hear of someone chasing the unmatchable trace DNA in bits of hair and feces and the like trying to use it as proof, always to no avail. But I wouldn't tell you not to bother collecting this type of evidence, since it's as close as most of us will ever come to actually holding in our hands a bit of the unknown. If you're the sort who is into UFOs,it's sort of like going to Roswell and finding a sliver of metal in the side of that hill. There's no real way of knowing, but it could be. And that's personally satisfying for a lot of people.Anecdotal evidence. This includes eyewitness accounts and the second-hand stories that you always hear. Keep in mind that human eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable, and no two people will describe anything, much less a Bigfoot, in exactly the same way. And since you weren't there when it happened, you not only have to deal with whatever facts the witness can give you but also the witness' own interpretation of those facts. Was it really a Bigfoot he heard screaming, was it really a panther, or was there really even a scream at all? Ultimately the witness might seem pretty sure, but you can never be. Two people may see the same animal at the same range at the same time.One will see a dark-colored animal with prominent ears; one may see a light-colored animal with no visible ears. The difference? Perhaps just the angle of the head and the angle of the ambient light on the hair with respect to each witness, which could be very different. The veracity, abilities and motives of the witness come into play too. For these reasons and many others, eyewitness testimonies and anecdotes are intriguing but not worth much in the way of solid evidence. They are often the only things you as are searcher have to work with, but your interpretation of them is entirely subjective and you alone have to decide how to act on them. 


If there is one great thing about the Bigfoot mystery above all other great mysteries, it's that it is within the reasonable capability of any ordinary person to decisively solve it. All it takes is to be at the right place at the right time and to be prepared. Think of all the other mysteries. Unless one crashed in my backyard, my chances of scientifically proving that alien spacecraft are visiting the Earth are pretty slim.I have absolutely no idea how I could go about scientifically proving the existence of a ghost even if I thought I knew where one was. I would have to live close by a large lake reputedly inhabited by a monster for it to be practical for me to try to find it, and even then the cost of the equipment necessary to make a realistic effort would be prohibitive. These a serpent would be many times worse. I'm pretty sure some people will make the trip to Mars in my lifetime and I'm just as sure I won't be one of them, so I can't research the"structures" on Mars. Most all of the other natural and man-made mysteries always seem to be in exotic far-flung locales that I can't afford to go to, and the paranormal subjects are by their nature not scientifically approachable.But Bigfoot is different. Bigfoot is the only mystery for which there does exist some objective evidence to support it. That evidence indicates the presence of the phenomenon in places as far apart as Washington State and Georgia. If for the sake of argument we accept that evidence, then it stands to reason that it could be found in at least some areas in between. That means that the mystery is potentially accessible to agreat many ordinary people. All they would need to do is think, study and plan logically,and occasionally visit an area that they think could be a viable habitat and be prepared fora possible encounter or to find evidence. Having a camera, tape recorder, sample bags and tweezers along with the normal camping and safety gear would be the only real necessities.Keep this in mind. There are people who have been actively in the field after Bigfoot for decades working in the best possible areas. What do they have? A few pieces of plaster, a hair or two, a few pictures and a lot of stories. Most of them still haven't seen one. I've been an active field researcher for about seven years. What do I have? A few pieces of plaster, a hair or two, a few pictures and a lot of stories. I do think I've seen one a couple of times, but I'm not really sure. Most all of the witnesses who have encountered Bigfoot weren't even looking for it. They were just out and about one day and there it was. So don't let all this "have to spend a lot of time in the woods and know all the secret knowledge and tricks" nonsense bother you. The real truth is that all that is factually known or reasonably speculated about Bigfoot to date can be learned in a few hours' reading. I don't know exactly what things it takes to find a Bigfoot, but one thing is obvious: sheer time spent in the field and lots of trivial knowledge certainly doesn’t seem to be among them. It doesn't matter how long you have or haven't been looking for Bigfoot; whenever you do go out there, know that you're on the same level as any of us.But above all, you should behave as if you always expect success. That way you will always be prepared.

August 15, 2016

Bigfooters and Healthy Skepticism.

Skepticism. What is it? Here is the Merriam Websters definition.

Skepticism has been a dirty word in this community for a long time - much longer than I've even been around.

Why is that? Why is it so bad to be skeptical?

Beats me.

Question: If you believe everything your told, how do you know you're being told the truth? How do you ferret out the hoaxers and scammers?

Answer: You can't.

I'm a skeptic. Gasp!! Yes. Always have been and will continue to be. Why? Because I haven't seen the animal in question.

Think about this: If I haven't seen the animal, what gives me the right, to be a believer? Doesn't that take away from what real witnesses go through? That would be like me trying to identify with the victim of a robbery. I've never (thank god) been robbed. To try and identify with that person would be beyond insulting to what they - in fact - experienced. I can do my level best to try and find out exactly what happened.

Yes, witnesses want to be believed;

But shouldn't they be believed for the right reasons?

Do I think people who discuss "wild" and "fringe" claims should stop talking? Never said that. But, I'm not sure were looking for the same thing.

Even the best researchers can be taken in by a really good story. It happens all the time, and given the amount of information we put out, it will continue to happen. If you don't think the next great hoaxer isn't reading all the material new researchers think is a waste of time - you would be wrong. How do you think they come up with such convincing information? As researchers we must always be on guard - or be prepared to be tied to a great hoax. Who wants that?

Not me.

If we don't question, how do we learn?

I, and others, question everyone. Why? Because sometimes the information being offered doesn't make sense. I would rather question a researcher - and discover they are being played - then let it go on and that researcher (old or new) get hurt in the process. But, that's just me.

If you don't ask questions and simply believe what you're told - what exactly are you basing your belief on?

Faith the person is telling you the truth?

Science is filled with those who have questions. That's why they get involved in Science - they want to be that person who unlocks or solves the great mysteries of the world. They don't do that by only getting pats on the back and journals publishing their work. They do that through hard work. Testing and re -testing their hypothesis and information. They put their work before peers who give their honest reactions and alternate views.

If you think this community is tough on its people I would suggest you stay away from mainstream science.

Proving Bigfoot exists is not, nor has it ever been, easy. Nor should it be. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard than simply, "believing" everything we're told. We should want to be skeptical of every claim we hear. We should want to investigate, ask questions, investigate some more - and ask more questions. Collect as much information as we can.

Researchers who have entered this community in  the last couple years, blame the, "old timers," for there being next to nothing new. Well, I would argue there is much new - but maybe those who are complaining are not paying attention? That's all I can come up with. "Old Timers," have also made this topic more "mainstream" - meaning you're less likely to be laughed at - as you once were. Through hard work, thought provoking television shows and internet radio - "old timers" have raised the level of Bigfoot discussion. I'm sure many would argue this, but this is my own personal opinion.

My personal fav is the new researcher who claims to have had a sighting, trashing the "old timers." Hey,  you say you seen the animal in question.. Where is your new information? Don't tell me you're afraid to discuss it. Remember - you're a researcher blaming the lack of forward movement on those before you. So - where is your information that moves this forward? When you're doing the same thing "old timers" have been doing for years, you're not exactly breaking new ground.

I don't profess to have all the answers. But, since I have become involved in this pursuit I have learned so much about, animal behavior, DNA, technology and human behavior more than I thought was possible.


Knowledge is important. I can always learn something. As I learn more, I do what I can, to share that with everyone. Maybe some don't like it, maybe some do, I don't know. But at least I am willing to listen and pay attention to those who know more than me.

That's how we move forward. Questions - listening to answers - and applying that knowledge in the field.

The truth is not dependent upon belief. It's up to us to find the truth.

Have a great day everyone!!!

August 12, 2016

Bigfoot and the Secret Society ~ Exposed!!

Back in 2008 I wrote a blog titled, "Is There a Bigfoot Mafia?" This issue always seems to rear its head when a newbie comes along and thinks someone is keeping information from them.

Oddly enough;

It's also, usually, the newbie who claims to have the most "evidence," but never any proof.

Here we are again. If you have been involved in this community for more than 10 minutes I am sure you've heard these things before. "There's a secret government organization that spreads misinformation about Bigfoot." "There's a group of people within the community that keeps all Bigfoot knowledge out of the public." Heck I've been tied to a covert CIA group and a Cabal hiding the existence of Bigfoot.

I wish I could work for the CIA. I'm a Bigfooter. I doubt they would have me now. So thanks Bigfoot.

Yet - we are all still looking. Doesn't really make sense when you think about it.

Lets apply some logic here: If there were a secret group of people within this community with all the information necessary about Bigfoot why, for the love of Bigfoot itself, would we still be looking? I think those with the "alleged" knowledge would be cashing in and rightfully so.

Maybe there isn't a Bigfoot Mafia. Maybe the person saying these things just has crappy evidence and can't handle hearing it? Maybe the person jumped up and down until others couldn't take it anymore and watched their video - and then the person who made the video public - didn't like what was said? Maybe, just maybe, it's more about the perception of the questions being asked and less about the questions themselves?

If you can't take criticism then don't post online and ask for opinion.

Whatever you do, don't pester others into watching videos or looking at evidence if the information isn't there to back up the claim! If you don't care what others have to say about your video or evidence why are you even posting or asking others to view? Seems silly to me. Big waste of your time and the time of others. Don't expect the world will see a Bigfoot where you do if the video is less than clear.

If you have to red circle the Bigfoot - it's not winning evidence. It's not going to win the "hearts and minds," of science.

Example: recently I viewed a video, in which the researcher says, clearly, the subject of a photo is in fact a Bigfoot. I looked, and the person states he had the game cam about a foot off the ground, yet is using a tree, probably about 5-6 feet (conservative estimate) behind the subject of the still photo, as a way to accurately measure the height of said, "Bigfoot."

Nice try but no.

If the alleged Bigfoot was beside the tree, then sure you could use that tree or a spot on it, for a height reference - but not when the alleged Bigfoot is feet in front of the tree.

I have never been mean to be mean to any researcher - I am skeptical of all claims. If you don't care what's already been done and failed, or don't care about getting your information straight before you post things online, then it's your problem to deal with the consequences. Life isn't fair and not everyone is going to think your blobsquatch is a Bigfoot. If you are not armed with the information to prove your claim or theory the tough time, you will probably get, is your own fault. Don't blame others. There is no way else to explain it.

Why is that so hard to understand? Unless it has less to do with credible evidence and more to do with "stuff" that will help sell t-shirts.

I'm in this for proof - not sales.

Yet, still, some new researchers publish their blurry photos with red circles and get all upset because not everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and simply believing what they say.

No, the community doesn't have to believe everything being said. We are allowed to ask questions if we see, read or hear something that doesn't seem right or we just don't understand.

Even the likes of Dr. Meldrum has faced scrutiny and ridicule from this community. Why new researchers think they are above being questioned is beyond me. It's okay for "old timers," but everything a newbie posts should be considered legit? C'mon....

Yes, we all need to have thick skin.

Constructive criticism can be tough to take, apparently,

If  you're going to ask others to take time out of their lives, however little time you think it might be, to review your videos or materials then at least have the decency to treat those, taking time out of their lives, with some respect and listen to what they have to say. You just might learn something. I learn all the time from new and long time researchers - because I don't think I know it all. I can always learn something. No one is asking you kiss their backside. But don't bother people if you have no intention of reading what they say to you, or you can't engage in a conversation that doesn't borderline on paranoia, or goes straight to it.

And yes, when you start blaming "secret organizations," for your failure you really do sound upset and paranoid.

But, you're not breaking my heart by destroying your credibility. You will, however, give many, much to talk about when it comes to any evidence you ever put out in the future. It's your credibility to build up, or destroy, no one elses.

No, the "old timers" are not out to get you. Frankly, I don't care who makes the discovery as long as someone does.

Do you know;

How many newbies have come along and swore they were going to end this debate and show us, "old timers," what we're doing wrong?

Well, those newbies are "old timers," and they don't have anymore information than today's newbies. So, there's that.

In closing my level headed friends;

Is there a Bigfoot Mafia or Cabal? No. I wish there were so this research, which seems to be slipping off a cliff into the realm of insanity, could be over. Have all the questions answered before we are all fitted with our own nice little white jackets that buckle in the back.

Have a great day my friends!!

Labels: , , , , ,

July 5, 2016

"Evidence" ~ What Is It?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines "evidence," as:

: something which shows that something else exists or is true
: a visible sign of something
: material that is presented to a court of law to help find the truth about something

Why do I bring this up? There seems to be a lot of people who don't understand what evidence is or how it is applicable to the work we do. I work off the truest definition of that word using my background in investigations. 

Over the years, some, have been convinced that footprints, footage, audio - all the things we look for (and more) are not evidence. That's simply not true. Not true at all. We have an abundance of evidence. What we don't have is an abundance of (and I am sure this will ruffle some feathers)  reliable evidence

There is a difference.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "let the evidence take you where it leads"? It's  not just a catchy phrase from a movie or an episode of Law and Order. There is a reason for that phrase. Evidence is information you gather, as an investigator/researcher. It's physical, tangible items. It is up to you as an investigator/researcher to determine - what is going on - based on the evidence you find. I never let myself get emotionally invested in evidence of any kind. Why? Because it takes away my ability to remain neutral during an investigation. You need your neutrality to accurately assess the evidence you collect. I know it can be very hard, but it will save you a lot of pain down the road. If you think you can't be hoaxed, let me tell you, you couldn't be more wrong. Some of the best have been taken in by a hoaxer. No one is immune.

BUT - and here 's the kicker - Evidence is NOT proof. Yep, that's right. There is the rub.

Footprints. Yes, they are evidence. They are evidence something walked a path (for example). They can also contain biological evidence like hair that can be collected from the cast itself along with dermal ridge evidence. It's your job as in investigator/researcher to determine what created those tracks or footprints. So perform your due diligence; cast and document the area.

Say you are documenting a track way and you come across a trident wrapper (for example). What do you do? Is this evidence? Yes it is, especially if you have been lead to this spot in the woods by a witness. Do you need to collect it? No. You can simply snap a photo and move on. Why do I say document this? Because what if the witness is hoaxing you and only later you see the witness pop a piece of trident in their mouth? Are you going to run back to where the track way was to collect the wrapper? No - but it helps build the case for, or against, a legitimate track or track way. It is our job as investigators/researchers to pay attention to everything - even signs that hoaxing may be happening. You can believe the witness all you want but be ready should the worst come to pass.

You laugh about the gum wrapper;

But ask yourself this, how many times have you been in an area looking at tracks or what not and never even gave the rest of the area a glance? Be honest and really think about that. It happens a lot because we get so focused on the evidence at hand we don't stop and take a look at the larger picture. We are human after all.

Video. Video is also evidence of something that happened. It is your job as an investigator/researcher to determine - what. It can be evidence of the target animal, it can be evidence of hoaxing, it could be evidence of wishful thinking. I have said this before and I'll say it again - if you must screen capture and use a red circle it is NOT evidence that is useful. Your position in the woods has nothing to do with the blurriness or clarity of the video you capture. Make the proper adjustments and be prepared if this is the kind of evidence you choose to work with, or rely on, for your own field work. It's your responsibility. Yes, some of these videos can be interesting and can provide us with months of evaluation, debate and fighting that leads to the ending of friendships and all kinds of drama which is great fodder for the internet- which is all so much fun - but unless you have clear footage that does not need to be enlarged, enhanced and filled with red circles - it is not evidence that is useful other than trying to decide if this is an intentional hoax or someone who was simply excited and just turned on their camera or cell phone. But as an investigator/researcher it is your job to determine which.

Witness reports: Yes, they are evidence. They are also your first true point of contact with a witness. The report you get online or over the phone is great -but you  can't truly evaluate the witness until you are face to face. Witness reports are very important and can give you all kinds of information if conducted right. I can hear you all  now:

REALLY? Yes, really. But, again, as an investigator/researcher it is your job to determine the value. The witness report is either evidence of an event or a hoax.You must investigate to decide if it's a hoax or the target animal. 

Going back to the trident wrapper incident - the face to face report is where you first ask all the questions you can think of. I do often ask witnesses if they were eating or drinking near the location where their sighting happened (or what not). Documenting as much information as possible can only help you during your evaluation of the evidence you collected. Be it good or bad.

Audio: Oh audio. Yes. It's' evidence. It's evidence that something made a noise. Again you perform your due diligence and try to determine if it's an animal noise we know of. BUT unless you witnessed - as in seen the animal with your own eyes- open its mouth and utter the noise you captured on audio - it is NOT proof.

Actually, I would suggest you ask the bigfoot to pause before he/she makes the noise, so you can get your camera going because no one will take you at your word.

That's a joke, lighten up. Of course the bigfoot isn't going to wait. So, you be ready!!

Stick structures and tree breaks: The bane of existence for most in this community. Are they evidence? Well yes. They can be evidence of a natural weather event that moved through the area. They can be evidence of a hoax. They can be evidence of an elk rubbing its antlers, or it could be humans out practicing their survival skills which is all the rage these days. Thanks Preppers! Or it could be bigfoot related.

And again,

It is your job as an investigator/researcher to determine what created these things. You check weather reports for that area. You go to the area and look for animal sign. You look for evidence of people in the area. Check the structure for knots and such which holds the structure up. If you see a square knot - probably hoaxed.

I don't think Bigfoot makes square knots.

Are you seeing a pattern here? So, what does this all boil down to?

It boils down to you and your ability to ask questions, listen, observe and document. Talk to those you trust and ask them what questions they ask witnesses. Read your manuals from front to back. Learn your equipment so you can use it in the dark. Practice casting in different types of soil, so you can reasonably anticipate what you may encounter. Different soils require different mixing ratios. You can never document enough information. I record all telephone conversations (with the permission of the person on the other end of the phone) for my own reference later.

In the end we all want the same thing - proof. But if the goal is to get as much evidence as possible, regardless of the reliability of said evidence, we will be here another 40 plus years complaining about the lack of proof. I know the bar is high. But rise to meet it. I know everyone is capable of doing just that. Yes it's a lot of work.....but;

Proof should be the ultimate goal. Not just evidence.

June 17, 2016

John Green 1927 ~ 2016... In Memorium..

Recently our "community" lost one of its founding fathers. John Green has been described as one of the "Four Horsemen," a tough skeptic, author, journalist and a plain talking man. If you asked his opinion on something, he would always tell you exactly what he thought. Some could take that ~ others not so much. 

I'm sure many are wondering why it's taken so long for me to write something about Mr. Green. Answer to that: I had, still have, and will always, have great respect for this man. Why? He really was one of the first chroniclers of this mystery we call, "Bigfoot." He was out there, boots on the ground, talking to witnesses and taking punches in the media long before many of us even knew about the mystery or him.

Many people will tell you their interest in this topic began with the first time they saw the Patterson/Gimlin film. My interest started, as a child, with a photo I saw of Mr. Green holding a foot cast. My mind instantly filled with wonder and amazement. It was only later (in my teens) I saw the PGF for the first time. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be  out researching the very mystery, this man, had brought to life in my mind as a child. Never did I ever think I would one day be exchanging emails with this man, as I did in 2006  after I began researching myself, for this blog.

I have been sitting around, since the news, thinking about what I would say in this article. Recently I had a conversation with a friend and fellow researcher out of B.C. and I asked him - what should I say?

How do I discuss the life of a man who had a larger "footprint" in this community than Bigfoot itself?

I decided to put together, in one article, an interview I had with Mr. Green over email and released over the course of a few days. History is important. Those who came before us are important and it's even more important to remember that without people like John Green - most of us wouldn't even know about this mystery, of course, unless you had your own sighting.

Photo Courtesy of Rick Noll
I hope you enjoy this exchange as much as I did.

Question: I have read many times, you yourself have never had a sighting, that being the case, what drives you in the pursuit for this undocumented North American Primate?

Mr. John Green:  Basically, I am trying to find out what makes the huge footprints, which I have seen. Beyond that, I have enjoyed participating in such an interesting area of research.

Question: On the Willow Creek-China Flat DVD set, in your speech, you talk about Bob Titmus. You say, if it had not been for Bob Titmus we wouldn't have the Patterson footage, etc. Could you please elaborate on that? And for those of us new to this field, maybe tell us something about Mr. Titmus?

Mr. John Green: Very briefly, Bob Titmus was by far the most competent of the people who took up the search for Bigfoot/sasquatch in the 1950's and he devoted the rest of his life to it, accomplishing far more than anyone else, aside from Roger Patterson's lucky encounter." He is not well known because he did not seek publicity or write a book, but you can find a lot about him on the internet.

Re the movie, without Bob the chain of events that led to Roger being where he was when he took it would never have started, and would have been broken off a couple more times along the way. Here are the specific steps: If Bob had not shown Jerry Crew how to make a cast the "Bigfoot" story might never have hit the news, and I would not have gone to Bluff Creek.

If Bob, as a taxidermist, had not been the best-qualified person who had examined the tracks and pronounced them genuine, I would not have made a detour to see him, and when he later found the tracks of a different individual he would not have written to me and I would not have made a second trip the Bluff Creek and seen a set of really convincing tracks. If the events above had not taken place I would not have submitted to a Canadian magazine an article on the footprints and other evidence which although rejected later evolved into an article in a different publication by a different author that someone sent to British zoologist Ivan Sanderson.

If it were not for that article Sanderson would not have done some research and written articles of his own in "True" magazine, and if Roger had not read Sanderson's articles it is unlikely that he would ever have heard of "Bigfoot", let alone photographed one.

Question: Bossburg. A few months ago, I read an article about the Bossburg Cripple foot tracks, this question will be in two parts. Your opinion, real or hoax? and why?

Mr. John Green: I don't know. The circumstances under which they were found were very suspicious, but some competent people have considered them genuine.

Question: I read you phoned Rene Dahinden, but after that, what was your involvement? Did you leave the area or did you stay? If you stayed, what did you do? If you left, why?

Mr. John Green: I was unable to go to Bossburg at that time, but I made several trips later on, interviewing people, looking for evidence, and in one instance spending a day struggling through deep snow on a wild goose chase. I was never able to stay there long, as I had a weekly newspaper to produce.

Question: Is there one Track Cast that you feel could be the best example for the existence of this animal? Which one? And why?

Mr. John Green: Not one, but the several casts of tracks made by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin after they got the movie and by Bob Titmus when he investigated the site several days later. I choose those because there is a movie of the creature that made them and because Bob casts a series of tracks that demonstrate tremendous foot flexibility.

Question: What was your first thought when you laid eyes on the Skookum Cast?

Mr. John Green: I don't recall a first thought. The people who had been there told us how they had worked out an interpretation of the puzzling imprint they found and I and others were trying to check their opinions against the cast they had made --with the handicap that it still had a thick layer of dirt clinging to it.

Follow up Question: And after it was cleaned up, and the scientists like Dr. Meldrum started giving opinions? Then what did you think?

Mr. John Green: That it was unquestionably an imprint left by a very large animal and that no part of any known animal could be responsible for it, particularly one print of the back of the heel and part of the Achilles tendon of a huge humanlike, hair-covered leg.

Question:  Is there one sighting or one report by a witness that stands out in your mind? And Why? How do you view witness reports?

Mr. John Green: There are quite a few sighting reports that rate high for significant observation and apparent witness reliability, but they lack supporting evidence. The one with far the best supporting evidence is Patterson/Gimlin but that was just one individual walking away. The one that combines supporting evidence with significant observation of behavior is Glen Thomas' story of watching a large male excavate a steep, five-foot-deep shaft in heavy rocks to get at hibernating rodents, and share the meal with a large female and a small child. The excavation, which appears to be impossible for humans to duplicate, is still there as to witness reports in general, many nowadays are obvious hoaxes and presumably there are even more hoaxes that are not obvious, but reports by thousands of apparently credible witnesses are in themselves a phenomenon that requires an explanation.

Question: Questions about the Patterson/Gimlin film have been done over and over, but I am curious about one thing, Wasn't the area of Bluff Creek an area Bob Titmus was researching? If so, did Bob Titmus direct Patterson and Gimlin to this area? If not, do you know why Mr.Patterson and Mr. Gimlin headed to Bluff Creek?

Mr. John Green: By 1967 Bob was living and searching in British Columbia and I'm not sure he would even have heard of Roger Patterson. He certainly was not in touch with him. The reason Roger and Bob went to Bluff Creek was because Roger had been notified that many tracks had been seen there a few weeks before, and Roger hoped there might be more tracks show up which he could photograph. .

Question: Do you think Main Stream Science will ever take a serious look into this mystery?

Mr. John Green: Yes, that is slowly coming about.

Question:  Do you have any regrets?

Mr. John Green:   No.

Thank you Mr. Green, for many things. As his family mourns, many others in the world mourn with them. Mr. Green was a great man and I am grateful he allowed me into his world - even just a little.

May 23, 2016

Women in Bigfoot Research ~ Adrianne Brashear Arney

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
Melissa: Please 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 elusive Bigfoot. 

Follow up: What does your family think of your involvement in Bigfoot research/investigation?
Adrianne: My 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 people?
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 both?
Adrianne: I research with a great group of guys, Jay, Bryan and Kelley of 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 remember

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 human?"

 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 public venues?

I think it depends on the woman. How she presents herself  will be how she will be perceived.

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?

Adrianne: Other than my own eyes and ears I think a good evidence collecting kit is a must.

Melissa: Most 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 about you.

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.

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 so far!

Labels: , , , , ,