I have been doing a lot of thinking on this issue recently. A debate started it, but I have always had the belief that ALL opinions should be discussed and allowed - especially when dealing with something as controversial as Bigfoot.
My dad (who is a very wise man) tells me all the time "Opinions are like A**holes, everyone's got one"... He's right.
I have a firm stand on hoaxing - and that will never change. I think if someone is found to be hoaxing, they should be exposed to the world - plain and simple. This research is hard enough without having to deal with the "problem children" who want 15 mins of fame.
When someone takes the time to fabricate a story - and puts it out as the truth of the matter -- regardless of how good it might sound or interesting, it is still a story, and has no basis in fact. When is it ok to call someone on their story? When is it ok to question the "storyteller"? Do you think anyone should question the storyteller or their motives?
Are you a Bigfoot Researcher or a book publisher?
I would argue when the researchers in this field - do not objectively look at each story put before us - and question the motive and intent - and what the person may be gaining by telling this story, we face the possibility of yet another "Sonoma Video" -- and that does nothing for the credibility of this research. Why would you be afraid to ask tough questions - are you afraid you might hurt someone's feelings? I guarantee, someone who takes the time to make up a "story" and present it as true -- is not worried about hurting your feelings - or making you look like a fool.
I remember when the Sonoma Video came out.. I will be honest - I thought it was faked.. So, I never really got into the conversation. But, as I sat back and watched discussion on it - I began to watch people discuss seeing not one -- but two, yes that's right. Some people thought they saw two animals in that video.. I just sat here and shook my head. That's when I decided I no longer cared about this video, and stopped reading any and all discussion on it.
Guess what - this isn't a game to some of us. Some of us in this field take the work being done seriously.
Is your right to hear a good story, being told as true - more important than the determination of fact? Do you want to know the truth - or do you enjoy having someone play with your mind? Why is your right to hear a "story" being told as true - more important than the right of someone who brings up the possibility - this may be a hoax...
I have no issue with those who have great imaginations and just wish to tell stories -- but be honest and say its a story.. Don't offer it as fact - especially when you can not prove it.
It's my opinion (for what its worth) the standard should be high. We should ask tough questions when necessary, and no one who puts up a "story" for the truth of the matter - should get a free pass.
For all the talk of "Peer Review" and questioning those we think may know more than the rest of us, which everyone agrees is important and necessary - I am frankly stunned by those who would allow such "stories" to go unchallenged. We will not EVER get to the truth of this mystery -- if we are so focused on "stories" we do not stop to ask one simple question,
Am I being objective?
That goes for the evaluation of evidence and alleged sightings. Objectivity is crucial to this, and it only takes a couple seconds to determine whether your being objective. The second I start to feel like emotion is playing a role in my decisions -- I know right then and there - my objectivity is shot and I must step back. My feelings have no place in evaluating a report. No one cares what my feelings are, and it brings nothing to the evaluation of whether the situation happened or not.
Before the romantics yell their rebel cry -- yes, I do practice what I preach. What makes you think I haven't experienced something I can not explain? I just have never discussed it on an open forum (of any kind). Why you ask? Well, that's an easy question to answer...
I CANT PROVE IT. So, I will simply chalk it up to something that helped develop my interest in this field of research.
:) Have a great week everyone !!!!