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August 25, 2007

After the story breaks

If your going to be a researcher in this field, and actually look at evidence critically get ready for the impending fall out when you ask questions your witness is not prepared to answer. Some of that fallout will come from other researchers as well, who are willing to believe just about anything. Pay attention to the word believe, it becomes important.

Since this most recent blog about the pictures someone is trying to pass off as authentic, I have become a lighting rod of questions - not so much questions for information, but questions about my own ability to research.

How can that be you ask? What could they possibly be asking?

First question inevitably is "have you even seen a Bigfoot?" As if seeing one of these animals makes you more capable of investigating this mystery. I have to chuckle at questions like this, because it shows the level some are willing to go to, to try and make you and your questions sound unimportant, and you a bad person. Anyone with an Internet connection and the ability to type my name, can find out in approximately 5 minutes, that I have never seen this animal. So, why even ask that ridiculous question?

Because they already know the answer, and the answer is not important,

What is important is they think your impending "no" means they now have a viable way to discredit you in the eyes of any other "believer" who may read the comments. What these people seem to forget is simply, not even witnesses have been able to prove this animal exists, so what makes them think their questions or their ability to research is any better than say someone like me?

They don't, and don't be fooled by this silly little game. It's not about your ability to research. It's a little game they like to play to make you look bad and hopefully back off the person being questioned.

When I was still living in Wisconsin,

I worked as an Intern for the State of Wisconsin as an Investigator. I would spend all day at the local jail interviewing inmates and taking their information and stories back to the office where they would be assigned to an Attorney for defense. Then the long process of verifying their stories would start. I interviewed some very tough people, accused of some very bad things. Nowhere on my application for internship or during my interview was I told I had to either be a victim of these crimes or perpetrated them, in order to investigate them properly.

This is no different.

In fact, your own personal experiences should never come into play in situations like this. And, had I ever been the victim of a crime for which I had to interview someone in a jail for, and I showed any emotion about meeting someone like this, I would have been pulled from the case. Your own personal experiences have nothing to do with this. You must remain objective. Objectivity is critical regardless of what the person has been through - and you must maintain a professional distance.

I don't care what you "believe", tell me what you can prove.

I'm not saying witnesses to a Bigfoot should never be involved in the research, but you have a much higher bar to maintain. You must be able to detach your own emotions of what you went through - or you are sympathizing with the witness, and less likely to figure out your being hoaxed or lied to.

If you are an experienced researcher, or just starting out, you have a duty to find out the truth regardless of what that truth is. Don't be bullied into backing off from asking questions you might have. Don't be rude or obnoxious, but don't let anyone tell you, your questions are not worthy of a response. I personally am tired of all the really good campfire stories and the blobsquatches that lead to nothing new.

I will always fight for higher standards in this.

I will admit the standards are improving but we have a long way to go. I will never be an advocate for lowering any of our standards and to do so is simply detrimental to the research. Has science accepted any of the evidence to date? No, because they have very high standards of proof. If you simply want to be out in the woods and get scared by every twig snap and call that a Bigfoot, or accept every witness account as the "gods honest truth" because they are a really good person, be my guest, but your information does nothing to help end this mystery one way or the other.

Do I think there is a large upright bipedal ape roaming the forests of this country?

I think its a possibility. Do I know it for sure? No I do not. Why? Because I have never seen it. For me to say I "believe" this animal exists is being disingenuous, and not true to who I am. Now, if I see this animal - all bets are off. I'm not sure what I will say or feel after that, because I am not at that point.

But I will guarantee you one thing,

If I can not remain objective after having a sighting, I will stop interviewing witnesses. That you can depend on. I'm not interested in muddying the waters and making this even harder. I want to get to the bottom of this mystery not be,

"another good campfire story".

4 Comments:

  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger TexApe said…

    In this type of research, it doesn't matter how long you've been doing it, or if you've had an encounter or not, you are going to be challenged.

    Now please understand that this community is rife with obnoxious individuals that demand that they be provided with any and all information that you have. The moment you decline to answer, there will be a 'dog pile' of people challenging everything from your credibility, to your intellectual ability.

    That is a sad reality.

    Experience with these animals does help, if you happen to have it. It helps sort out some of the embellishments that tend to show up in some interviews. Is experience required? By no means, I know many investigators that have never seen a track, let alone one of these creatures, and they are very good at getting to the facts.

    Further, it doesn't matter if you believe the animal exists or not. Asking questions is just that, the attempt to establish fact.

    Sadly, that is something that many Lawmen and Game Wardens should remember. Very few people will tell authorities of an encounter because of the inevitable ridicule.

    Most of these people saw something. It may or may not have been our furry friend, but they saw something, and should be duly interviewed and let the facts speak for themselves.

     
  • At 6:05 PM, Blogger JavaBob said…

    This post is right on the money... It is well written and depicts the real frustration all of us in this field must face. Thank you for putting into words what many of us just think!

     
  • At 6:07 PM, Blogger JavaBob said…

    The recent post is right on the money.. It puts into words the frustration that many of us in this field, have to face every day.
    Thank you for speaking the truth in such a distinct and pointfull manner!

     
  • At 10:01 AM, Blogger Melissa said…

    I completely agree txape. Excellent words and advice.

    This is a tough field of research, the field work is hard, and some of the personalities very difficult.

    Keep true to your own thoughts, trust your gut instinct and keep your objectivity.

     

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