July 4, 2010

Why is this so important?

I have been reading the various comments about this current situation with the BFF.

One person posted to "Bigfoot’s Blog", they didn't understand why this was such an important issue and the BFF should be allowed to function as they choose.

I sat here for a day or two thinking about this. Sure, the BFF can function however they like. They make their own rules, and people can choose to sign up or post.

I suddenly realized why this issue bothers me so much.

No, it has nothing to do with my own treatment by these people. Look at the front page of the BFF, you will see the wording "The Web's most popular one-stop shop for sasquatch talk". The name "Bigfoot Forums", its extensive list of members (most of which sign up and never post, but you wont read that on the BFF banner) makes it appear to be the most important message board to discuss bigfoot on the internet.

"Everyone talks about Bigfoot here on the BFF" is inferred. That is so not true.

Take a second, and ask yourself these question.

1. "How many researchers have YOU talked to, that told YOU they knew about the bigfoot forums, and would never post?"

I stopped counting that number a long time ago.

2. "How many witnesses have YOU spoken to, who have told YOU they went to the bigfoot forums hoping to find someone who might understand what they were dealing with. They read the site and decided to stay away from bigfoot researchers because of the hostility, or because they posted about their own experience on the BFF only to be called a liar, a hoaxer and ran off the board?"

3. "How many witnesses have asked YOU, "Do you post on the BFF?" Would you say "Yes"? Or would you pause to consider the answer, and it's affect on your witness?

You should pause. Why? Because that means they have been reading the BFF, and they are wondering if you will be treating them with the same disrespect they have seen given to others. I tell them, "I once did, but I do not anymore." That comment is usually followed with (by the witness) "Good, cause I'd throw you off my property if you were involved with "those" people."

My dad always said, "If you have to hide what you're doing, then you probably shouldn't be doing it."

I know I am not the only person who has heard those specific comments from a witness, as it is talked about privately among most researchers. I can't be the only one, because I hear it all the time.

Take a minute and really think about those questions, and your answers. Whether we agree with what happens on the BFF, we are all lumped into this same group, because the BFF touts itself as the place all researchers want to be (whether they say it or not, that is the impression). I haven't been on the BFF since last year (posting). Still to this day, if I talk to a witness, inevitably the name BFF comes up, and they tell me how they went there, and just went away. "What's the point?" They say, "They will only call me names?" or "They say they want you to talk about your experience, but when you do, they attack."

In fact, I heard these comments from the last witness I spoke to face to face. Let me tell you now, whether the question is justified or not, if a witness feels the question was posed in a rude manner, they WILL assume this WILL happen to them. They only see what has happened before, they don't care that their story may be different. Instead, of the BFF Admin recognizing this fact, they allow witnesses to be called "liars", with the excuse "I just wanted to see what your response would be." It's no wonder witnesses leave the BFF, and never return, or never seek out other Message boards.

This is not acceptable. These witnesses are not criminals. This is not an interrogation. Nor, should it be.

I have talked to so many people who identify themselves as researchers who have logged onto the BFF, only to find themselves, their questions, or ideas, publicly thrashed (and I do mean "thrashed") they absolutely refuse to discuss the topic online - anywhere. These researchers come to me in private, because as they say, "you have been so outspoken about this problem, I wish I had found your Blog a long time ago, I never would have went to the BFF, if I had."

Why should they want to?

We all complain that witnesses don't want to come forward, but, at the same time we have this public entity (the BFF) that sure as heck wouldn't want to make me talk. If we hold the "Dr. Meldrums", right down to the "joe bigfooters", responsible to objective criticism, why do we allow the BFF to go unchecked? What gives the BFF the right to publicly suggest that all researchers want to be a member of that forum, when that couldn't be further from the truth?

Life experience story time,

I used to be a member of an AOL chatroom - where the name of the chatroom had nothing to do with the content. It was basically a bashing chatroom. The name of the chatroom would bring people in who felt they just had to respond to the topic of the room. Once in the chatroom - they could not help but respond because the name of the room was so cruel, but once they did, they were quickly pounced upon by people in the chatroom, who would hurl insults "Of course that's not true, you idiot". Needless to say, I was told AOL shut the room down.

Most, very quickly understood what this room was all about, and stay.. Others, not so much. I stopped going there when one day I realized "These people are just mean. This isn't in fun, they are just hateful people." No, they didn't turn on me.. One afternoon a woman logged in, and applied to the affirmative "Men are jerks" (the name of the AOL Chatroom) then must have stopped reading the comments, because she started posting about how her husband just told her the day before, he was divorcing her and had found a new woman. She went on and kept typing about how she had been unable to sleep, she had been crying all night, and did not know what would happen to her and her kids, as she had been a stay at home mom..

Well, I felt horrible for this lady. One of the members (a female) typed words I never thought I would ever see.. "You probably deserved it." Instantly I felt sick to my stomach. This woman must have finally looked at the chatroom and the comments of hatred being thrown in her direction, because she quickly left. I left also, and never went back.

I see no difference between the tatics of this (now closed) AOL Chatroom, and the BFF. Why should I, when posts like this are tolerated:

"Accepting some dumbass who claims to be an expert in a field he doesn't even understand and evidently you don't either."

This is just the long way around calling someone a dumb a*s.

Through strong armed tactics, the BFF attempts to control the content on other Message Boards and Blogs, by threatening to ban from the BFF, if you criticize the content of their board, or copy content. Although they actively post articles from other bigfoot websites, news organizations etc.

Privacy is violated. I have even seen a BFF members real name posted on the board, and this person's name was allowed to remain posted even after the member requested their real name not be used on the BFF or any forum. This is why people create "usernames". Yes, they may be out there publicly discussing the research, but when they go on a message board, they should be allowed some anonymity, like everyone else.

Personal Messages are read on the BFF, regardless of the insistence by the BFF leaders, they are not. Many, many, will vouch for that, heck even past administrators will tell you that is "business as usual" on the BFF. Personal information, you supply your profile with, is changed at the whim of certain Administrators. If you complain, they just don't care, or they tell you it's not true, and many blindly believe this.

Hoaxing only seems to matter on the BFF- if you are not a friend of certain staff members.

Last year the Michigan Recording Project,

was sheltered from questions about misleading information, after multiple members of the MRP were found to be embellishing the information about their research site. Members on the BFF were threatened with being banned if they questioned the MRP about their location, and suspensions were threatened for anyone who asked questions about these misleading statements by the MRP, or discussed the information about what the location was really like.

Now, Autumns book comes out,

and it appears to be okay to openly discuss the possible "location" of "Mike" and his alleged encounters with a bigfoot, Mike calls "Enoch", and whether or not she is embellishing a story or creating a hoax for profit.

Why were the MRP protected? Because they are friends with many on the BFF Admin team. Autumn is not. Double standard? You decide.

I suppose they can do whatever they want, but those of us who know the BFF affects our ability to get witnesses to open up, or researchers to openly discuss their ideas, should be very public about not being associated with the BFF. We can't force the BFF to change, but we should not sit back and allow ourselves to be lumped in with this group of people, who do not speak for the majority of researchers out there.

The BFF does not speak for me,

but as long as this community remains silent on their dislike of the actions of the BFF, we will ALL forever be lumped in with this group, that has given this community a black eye in the mind of the public, witnesses and fellow researchers who recognize the toxic attitude of the BFF.

So much of my time is taken up, because of how researchers and witnesses have been treated on the BFF. People who once thought I was 'full of it", finally have these things happening to them. They come to me and apologize. I don't mind being there for someone in need of someone to talk to, but this should not be happening because of a "Bigfoot Message Board".. We should all be talking to try and figure out this mystery. Instead, because of the BFF tactics, I (and others) spend a large majority of our time talking to these researchers and convincing witnesses, we have nothing to do with the BFF. The BFF is a site, this community, should be able to be proud of. It's been around the longest, and has some great topics.

Too bad you can't discuss those topics, or be happy it's around. Being banned from the BFF, should not be a badge of honor, but that's exactly what it has become.

These things are what bother me.

These things should bother me. They should bother you. While the BFF is and should be allowed to function however they want, this community should feel a responsibility and an obligation, to not endorse or frequent a bigfoot related site that does not do anything good for this research community.

The time for "private conversation" about this to end.

Last year, due to attempts to control the content of my forum and blog, I removed all links to the BFF. If you own a website, forum or blog, do the same in silent protest. The BFF gets hits, because of these links, and these links make them popular in google searches.



  • At 10:06 PM, Blogger Regan Lee said…

    Great post Melissa, and brave. Thank you. I've been reading the posts over there, I joined right after the OSS. I was inspired! So I joined, thinking it was the place to be, lol. I was, and remain, shocked, though I guess not surprised, given my direct experience and observations in the UFO field. Both fields-- BF and UFO -- are full of this kind of stuff.

    It's not that people have valid questions about Autumn's book (though, after reading it -- something so many proudly proclaim they won't be doing) those questions are beside the point.

    It's, as you say, the attitude, the over the top rude manner, the hostility. And there's this: the so-called "fringe" of BF research that is met with so much almost violent reactions... if the weirder aspects of Bigfoot encounters throws you off, then, sigh, you're not really after the truth, in my opinion.

    After reading what I've read on the BFF, I checked out a couple of other ones; sadly, they have in their TOS that they won't tolerate discussions of UFOs or other weirdness -- yet insist they're open minded and all about Bigfoot research. So what is the person, the witness, who may have had a weird encounter with a BF AND some other odd things, like UFOs, or what have you, supposed to do? AND, what is the researcher supposed to do with such data?

    Anway. I'm off on a rant here, but great post Melissa.

  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    Hi Regan,

    I have that in the forum rules for the, but that is because we can only solve one mystery at a time, and often times those conversations go downhill very quickly. Will I ban you for bringing up a conversation about it? No, but you need to be aware there are some who would not agree. As long as the conversation stays respectful, it can happen at the SFB. I dont think there is a UFO/bigfoot connection, but I can discuss it and not get out of control and mean. LOL.

    Often times this is a conversation that goes south, but if had properly, I see no reason why the topic cant be discussed.

    I would welcome you.

    Thank you Regan :)

  • At 3:03 AM, Blogger Regan Lee said…

    thank you Melissa. I didn't mean you in particular, there are lots of BF forums and groups, etc. that have that! (Yahoo, etc.) I haven't been involved in any BF forum for a long time. . . but if I do join one, I'll join yours.

  • At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here's the thing about UFO's that some don't want you to know and an interesting irony in this whole BFF thing.

    I have been informed on several occasions that when BFRO gets a report that includes some kind of reference to a ufo, either that part of it will be redacted from the report, or the whole report will be sent to the round file. If this is true, then we really have a major denial problem in this field. I've seen a ufo and I've seen bigfoot, so I know both exist. And while I've never seen any connection between the two, is it really that fantastical for there to not be some connection? Do we REALLY know where these bigfoot come from? No we don't.

    Now here's the irony, I was told that when Teresa Hall was with bfro, it was part of her job to separate out these accounts that include ufo's. How many reports really come through bfro's door that include such elements? Forums should be allowed to discuss these things, at least to determine if there is truth that is being ignored by the lead organizations. It's how a topic is discussed that matters and any subject matter should be done maturely. Most forums do the same thing as BFF in not allowing people to 'discuss' certain things. Is that a good thing? How does that help get to the truth when you can't talk about what may be a common parallel in many buried reports? People should be asking if bigfoot reports that contain ufo content are indeed being buried. Seems kind of important to me.

    Do we know that there isn't really some kind of connection? We don't. Here's a newsflash: The ufo field also has much more credibility amongst scientists then the bigfoot field does, so maybe we shouldn't be so quick to pooh pooh it. Of course the UFO field is just as embarrassed when someone there makes reference to bigfoot. A VERY interesting irony if you ask me.

  • At 11:31 AM, Blogger Melissa said…

    I do know Teresa Hall was the proof reader for the BFRO for a while.

    As for why the Bigfoot Community generally steers away from these reports, well I can tell you why I (my forum) does not discuss it often.

    First, you're right, the UFO community has better standing than the bigfoot field, but I think the two issues being mixed together get people confused. You have 2 issues, being addressed as one.. And, people get frustrated quickly.

    Then we have the issue of Wormholes/blackholes and Bigfoot, which brings about a whole host of other issues. First being, I am not sure wormholes have been proven to exist..So, any conversation about that and bigfoot is bound to head south quickly (and has). If you want to say Bigfoot uses blackholes - you have another issue, blackholes (under the current wisdom) would rip a bigfoot (or anything else) apart. So, I can see how that would digress very quickly as well.

    It is my personal opinion that Bigfoot (if out there) is flesh and blood, and of this earth. I take nothing away from someone who wants to look into these issues - heck, there are noted scientists looking into alternate dimensions.. For the sanity of my forum, I choose to keep some topics off - it can be too much to deal with.

  • At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Whatever happened to the Kentucky Project?

  • At 3:12 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    Near as I can tell, it is still ongoing. I am not the spokesperson for the landowner.

    Now, if you're talking about the ABS Expedition report, we have been suffering computer issues here, and I am the one responsible for these reports. This will be corrected very soon, along with other new items. :)

  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous WB said…

    I am under no illusions that you are spokeswoman for the landowner. I used to chat with you there occasionally and wondered what happened to the website. I've moved to mountains of western North Carolina and keeping eye out here for the big guy.

  • At 6:42 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    You know, Wayne and I just purchased a new computer, and were having trouble staying on his site. We were just talking about finding his site the other day.. I think this new computer can handle it.

    Well, I sure do wish you all the luck in North Carolina. If you find the big guy, let me know.. :)

  • At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Was on the BFF forum a few years back and was appalled at what was going on then. Wouldn't go back there for any reason. You have always displayed an even hand, truthfulness, kindness and an inquiring mind. You and Kathy Strain are two folks I would trust and believe under any circumstances. Did I mention... if I were marching into hell in search of the Big Hairy Man, would want y'all with me? Dee

  • At 7:22 PM, Anonymous WB said…

    Well, we are near Cleveland County where a mountainman recently called police and asked if he could shoot a 10-foot Big Fella who was spooking his dogs. He said he ran him off with a big stick. If he had only pulled the trigger we wouldn't be having this conversation. Someone will open fire sooner or later and drive the proverbial silver spike into the heart of the Sasquatch speculation industry.

  • At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Melissa, yes the reasons why those subjects are not discussed openly are understood. Therein lies part of the problem I also think. I don't want to sway the BFF topic too much either, but can't avoid just one more response as it does relay to forums everywhere.

    Lets look at the example of wormholes/blackholes you cited. I agree, based on what these phenomenon are theorized as, they would indeed rip anything apart. Has anyone seriously claimed that bf use these? The only people I've seen make such references, are those who do so while scoffing at the paranormal claims. (Not saying you did as you merely used it as an example). And I sure don't believe they use wormholes or blackholes either. Point is, first discern what is or isn't an actual theory.

    But then you do have the issue of alternate dimensions. I do keep an open mind on that because that is where mainstream science is headed. Now as far as bigfoot utilizing this phenomenon, I dunno. I've seen some pretty strange stuff with respect to bf, and this could help explain some of it. Still I just keep an open mind on the subject BECAUSE nobody really knows. And when one doesn't know, its foolish to make fun of or rule something out. And if other dimensions do exist, it doesn't preclude bigfoot being Flesh and Blood either. No different then if one day we figured out how to pass into an alternate dimension. Would we cease being F&B?

    Like anything, issues that leave questions can be critiqued and problems worked through. But to do that, you need people who are actually knowledgeable, not those who immediately scoff at new ideas. That is where different subjects get stalled. People who have never seen a ufo, may not be the best candidates for discussing actual ufo detailed sighting situations. On the other hand, if a group of actual witnesses are put in a think tank type situation, then the combined knowledge allows progress, and doesn't keep the discussion bogged down at whether ufo's simply exist. Skeptical individuals who can't even comprehend that ufo's exist have a hard time speaking with any knowledge on the subject, unless they are simply putting denial into the mix. How does that lead to progress?

    So the question is, if there do happen to be these connections to other unexplained phenomenon, and people aren't ever allowed to discuss it, is the field FOREVER prevented from learning anything? Is the truth always going to be tied to that forbidden fruit? And is that why after so many decades, we haven't yet found the answers to explain bigfoot?

    Any rational problem can be solved. How to discuss ufo's, dimensions, religion, bigfoot disappearing, each can be dealt with positively without the subject falling over the edge of the earth. They can be given a sterile context such as UFO Theory A, B, etc. I dunno, I just think the field has become its own worst enemy when it comes to furthering its own knowledge.

    As for BFF, this statement by Redwolf in the Enoch thread has got to be the best example of ignorance coming from a forum leader I have ever seen.

    "Please quit pulling the "if you haven't read the book you shouldn't judge" card. It's an old and weak argument."

    Isn't that the epitome of a faulty logic? The standard she evokes for how research should be conducted has just hit an all time low. Since when is READING something to gain knowledge of its contents, what one shouldn't do? lol Oh yeah, BFF is absolutely in good hands folks. :)

    But I guess you can't expect more when those at the top have reached their own peak growth.

  • At 10:15 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    Dee, how did I miss your post?

    Thank you so much for your kind comments. I value your opinion highly !!

    If you were marching into hell after a squatch and asked me to go with you......

    You know I'm there


  • At 12:19 AM, Blogger Melissa said…


    Actually, yes. There are people who really do think bigfoot jumps through wormholes. I hear from one often. Somehow he got my email address. Now that I have spoken of him, my guess is that he will re-appear.

    It is these people that usually force a once interesting conversation, to go quickly south. I would not stop you from discussing this on my forum. I think it's an interesting topic.

    Do I think alternate dimensions exist? Don't know. Stephen Hawking seems to think its possible. But too, you must admit, in there lies the problem. You can't prove the alternate dimension theory, and you cant prove bigfoot either...

    Then you also have a problem with bluring the lines between bigfoot, and theories which are more fantastic (in my opinion) than bigfoot (fantastic good and bad).

    The ideas and thoughts of what could be, are fascinating.


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