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May 20, 2006

Women in Bigfoot Research, Monica Rawlins


*Photos provided by Chris Buntenbah
Wildlife Photographer*


Monica, what can I say. If you want the truth - this is the woman to go to, just be ready for her response. She is straight forward and p
ulls no punches. Monica is not only a member of the Texas Bigfoot Research Center, she is a strong voice within the organization.

When I first became involved with the TBRC and met Monica, I knew she would be someone that would be tough on me when necessary, b
ut a good friend should I accept her challenge to be willing to push myself and challenge my own comfort levels. My friendship with Monica has been something I value very much. She has, in all honesty, helped me through some rough times when I doubted myself and my place in this research.

Someone once told me - I balance beauty with brains -- that person has not met Monica. Monica is as tough as nails, but she is very intelligent, and can hold her own in a debate with the best of them ( I am grateful to her and I agree on most issues ). I admire people who stand up for what they believe in, and are not afraid to say exactly what
they think, and Monica is one of those people.

I respect Monica first and foremost; she has achieved excellent standing within the TBRC, and she is a respected leader within this fine group of researchers. I am very proud to profile Monica Rawlins here on this blog, and it's about time.


Women in Bigfoot Research, Monica Ra
wlins


Please tell the readers about yourself. What you would like people to know about you.

Monica: I grew up in Northern California and spend most of my summer vacations in a remote part of South West Oregon, so I really grew up around the Bigfoot legend. I moved to Texas in the Spring of 1992, and really had just a passing interest in the subject of Southern Bigfoot. My only exposure to such an idea was with the film, "The Legend of Boggy Creek", which inspired me to go out and research here in the South. I am convinced that such a creature exists in the Pacific Northwest, but am still very skeptical that there are any here in the South, the regions that I have researched anyway.

How long have you been active in the field of Bigfoot research?


Monica: I have been active for the last 4 years.

Are you active in any Organized Groups, or are you Independent? Or Both?


Monica:
I am active, as much as possible, with
the Texas Bigfoot Research Center. I began my role with this group as a Southeast Regional Leader, being that I lead all research within the south east region of Texas, followed up on recent reports within the area and organized and led research outings until I moved to Dallas in the Spring of '04.

While I am no longer a regional leader, I am a mem
ber of the groups "advisory board" which is made up of senior members of the group that make decisions on where the group is headed as a whole. I enjoy this role, as the group is very important to me and I want to make sure that its best interests are at the heart of all decisions.

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

Monica: I think it is great, and I really don't understand why more women are not active.

Have you had to deal with any resistance to your b
eing in this field of research, due to your gender?

Monica:
Yes, but not until recently. This question was posed to me 2 years ago at a conference, and at that point I had not really c
onsidered it, but it did make me take a really good look around, and more specifically at the roles that some would like to see women play in active "research". There are some individuals who hold very antiquated ideas in regards to women in the field.

How do you deal with this? What advice wo
uld you give to another female researcher who is experiencing this?

Monica: I deal with it by ignoring it, when I am in the field (and I admit it is not as often as I want) I am just as focused and dedicated to the research as anyone else there. If you want to think like a caveman, go hang out in a cave, there is no time for that in serious field research. I feel that every member has the potential to contribute great things if trained correctly and given the opportunity - regardless of gender. I would advise other women facing this adversity to cast all negativity to the side, go out and give it their best, you will surprise yourself and others.

Can you give any advice to women who are considering entering this research, but are hesitant.

Monica: Do not hesitate, and do not take any crap. Go out, suck it up and play like "one of the guys" and you will do well. Be sure to keep an open mind, and don't be discouraged if others do not accept your ideas; no one in this field is an expert.

Have you had a sighting? If so please explain


Monica: NO

Does not having a sighting ever discourage
you? If so, why? If not, Why?

Monica:
No, not in the least. I am actually skeptical of anyone who sees them behind every bush, or claims that evey noise in the dark is one.


What keeps you interested in the research?

Monica:
I believe in the possibility of such a creature existing. While I do believe that most sightings are misidentifications, a flash of fur or shadows in the dark don't prove a thing, I do believe that if they are in the N.W., they could be here in the South. It is my own curiosity combined with this pos
sibility that keeps me going.

Do you ever get into the field?

Monica: Not as much as I had in the past. I have family commitments that keep me out of the field more than I care for, but my family will always come before any research. Also, I do not agree with some of the methods used in the field, but I also do not have the time to create my own outings - therefore I choose to remain outside of most current field research.

Do you take witness state
ments?

Monica:
Sometimes


Most researchers have one Report that "Stands Out" in their minds, is there a report that still "stands out" for you?

Monica:
They all blend together.


Please tell the readers about yourself. What you would like people to know about you.

Monica:
I am in my early 30's, the mother of 3, with a full time job. I enjoy the outdoors (obviously) and adventure.


Do you have any advice for a new researcher?

Monica:
Keep an open mind, but remain ske
ptical.

I would like to thank Monica Rawlins for allowing this interview. This is another researcher I am sure we will hear more from in the future :)

*All photos provided by Chris Buntenbah, Wildlife Photographer*
*Proofreading by Teresa Hall*

2 Comments:

  • At 1:28 PM, Blogger John & Steph said…

    Melissa,

    Thanks for the great interviews on Women in Bigfoot Research. I truly appreciate the mentoring. Keep them coming :-) I was also wondering if you could do an interview with the artist who is sketching the eyewitness accounts. I think my first question would be what he thinks about all those different face structures and hair lengths.... Can't wait to watch Abominable at 6:00 here. Just finished Frank Peretti's Monster, thumbs up on the story. Steph

     
  • At 3:06 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    Thank you Steph :)

    The idea of an article on the Sketch artist whos work is show, is an idea. I do have an upcoming profile with someone who does do this very thing as well. I will throw that question at her as well :)

    I am always open to new ideas - keep em coming :)

     

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