*Photo of Mike (aka Mike2K1)
Ohh, about a year ago, I was reading a website - and I found a whole area devoted to bigfoot. I happily opened it and began reading. When I then noticed someone using the name "Mike2k1" - he seemed very knowlegable about a particular topic he was discussing, in the area of bigfooting. I read many of his posts. I had not yet become "Active" in the world of Bigfoot Research, I was still planning my move to Texas, and kept my interest in bigfoot to a passing interest.
Then one afternoon, I read a comment by Mike2k1 - he only gave half the information, I knew there had to be more - so, being the nosy person I am, I fired off a Personal Message to Mike2k1 - and our friendship began. Mike2k1 helped to bring my interest in this Research from a passing interest to being an active participant. He has always been helpful and encouraging - friends like this are hard to find. I cannot say enough good things about Mike. So, you can imagine I am thrilled to be doing this interview and to be including his good friend and research partner Steve.* Photo of Steve
I only met Steve once, at the 2005 Bigfoot Conference in Jefferson Texas (where he outbid me on a book - noooo, I haven't forgotten, LMAO) he is a quiet guy - but I imagine when he has something to say - he is someone worth listening to, as I pay very close attention to all his posts and take his comments seriously.Question
: How long have you been doing this research?Answer from Mike
: Actively, I have been doing research for about 5 years. I have had an interest that stemmed from a series of vocals I heard at a hunting camp back in the early 90's. I wasn't real sure about what they were other than they made me really nervous at the time. A few years later I was watching T.V. and ran across a program about sasquatch and they played a clip from the Sierra Sounds and it made me stop my surfing because it was similar to the vocals I heard at the hunting camp. I don't know if what I heard was a sasquatch or not but I have been looking at the phenomena with much interest in the possibility of something being out there.Answer from Steve
: I've been reading about Bigfoot since I was a child in the early 1970's; I've been active in the field off-and-on for the past 10 years or so.Question
: Are you Independent Researchers or are you involved with a group?Answer from Mike
: Steve and I formed SEBRA(South Eastern Bigfoot Research Association) about a year ago and it has been fun. I'm also involved with SRI
and I am very excited to be involved with Georgia Bigfoot
and the Blog. I respect Sam Rich
and what he has done over the years. I think the three of us mesh well and look to see some exciting stuff down the road. I still look at myself as an independent, but involved with some fantastic folks.Answer from Steve
: I'm involved with SEBRA which is Mike's group. But for practical purposes I'm independent.Question
: Have either of you had a "Sighting"? If not, how did you become interested in this research?Answer from Mike
: I haven't been fortunate enough to have a sighting. I pretty much covered my interest origin in question one. LOL. I will say the more I'm in the field and the more I experience. The more I'm intrigued.Answer from Steve
: As a child I was interested in all kinds of mysteries, from UFOs to mystery animals to ghosts to Bermuda Triangle, you name it. Bigfoot was just one of my favorites. I didn't have a "sighting" until after I became a field researcher. Follow up answer on this question to come :) Question
: Is there one specific area of research that interests you the most? Do you spend more time researching the animal, or do you research habitat as well?Answer from Mike
: I'm a field guy. I'm at home in the woods and swamp and prefer to be there. I do love the human aspect also. The study of the phenomenon has led me to meet some really neat folks over the years, some I have grown to call good friends. If there was one area that really interested me the most, it would be vocalizations and other sounds attributed to sasquatch.Answer from Steve
: Bigfoot as a human cultural phenomenon has always interested me a lot, but all aspects of the animal are interesting to me. Habitat considerations and the animal itself are closely intertwined; you have to study and make some assumptions about the animal itself to decide on what might be good habitat. I spend about the same amount of time thinking about both.Question
: Your thoughts on the Elkins Creek Cast? How was it discovered, who discovered it and where do you think its standing is within the Bigfoot Community and this search?Answer from Mike
: Steve is the one who could answer this the best. As far as the standing, I think before the cast was made sasquatch was primarily believed to be a Northwest phenomenon, but after the cast was presented eyes turned East. I have held and looked a Steve's copy of the cast and it is very impressive.Answer from Steve
: The Elkins cast was taken by my good friend Pat Akin, who at the time was a deputy sheriff in Pike County, Georgia. It was one of a trackway of five prints discovered at the site of a farm on Elkins Creek that had experienced strange happenings including a barn door that had been torn off to steal corn from a crib. When the police were called to investigate the barn incident, Pat was the responding officer.
Grover Krantz, Jeff Meldrum and Jimmy Chilcutt have all studied the cast and have concluded it's likely a real animal, particularly based on the dermal ridge evidence that has been found on it. It remains the only evidence from east of the Rockies that has withstood scientific scrutiny the way some of the PNW evidence has. Because of the Elkins cast, the idea of a Southern animal now receives a lot more credence from the Bigfoot community as a whole, and many established PNW researchers show a lot more interest in what's going on down here than they used to.Question
: What is the one piece of Equipment you never forget when going into the field?Answer from Mike
: My philosophy is:1: If you got it..you'll forget it.2: If you need it...you don't have it.3: If you buy it...you'll never use it.4: If you do buy it, and don't forget it....it will probably breakdown on you anyway.Answer from Steve
: I don't know, I think I've actually forgotten just about everything at one time or another LOL. The one thing I bring consistently is a small video camera, and I film all the time as a documentation of the trip.Question
: Can you both tell the readers something about yourselves?Answer from Mike
: I live in central Georgia. I've been in the auto industry for about 15 years. I'm married, no kids except for a German Shephard and a crazy orange and white cat. I enjoy fishing, several shooting sports, knife collecting and I have played the guitar since I was about 10 yrs old. I'm also an avid reader and read around 3 books a month on average.
Answer from Steve
: I currently live in central Georgia. I'm a manager for a mining company by day, and my other hobbies include collecting and restoring antique radios and electronics, antique firearms, and music.
Question to Mike
, Can you give any advice to the New Researcher in the field?
Well the best advice I can give anyone new to the field is to read Steve's "6 Things For A New Researcher."
That is tremendous amount of useful info. The other thing is to, yes look at things with an open mind but realize that you can explain a tremendous amount of things with some research and investigation. There is nothing wrong with critical thought. Lastly, the biggest thing for me is the amount of wonderful people I have met. Craig Woolheater told me in Texas last year that it is the friendships that are built that in the end mean the most and he is right. I have met some great people in this field who have turned into some of my closest and dearest friends. To the new folks that is the best thing.
Stay tuned for Part II of this interview - Steve has more to share. :)