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January 14, 2013

Friend or Foe? The new question in Bigfoot Research

Here we are at the end of another hoax…

When one of these things end I am always asked one question, “how do you deal with these things? How do you keep pushing forward?”

The answer to that is very simple. Well at least for me. Once a hoaxer has been exposed, I usually devote a few days to going through the hoax, from start to finish. I de-construct the hoax and see what I come up with.

Life is a series of learning experiences.

Or at least that’s how I approach everything. But, if I don’t take the time to go back, I may miss the lesson.

With the Ed Smith fiasco I think there is a very important lesson – we may be missing.

This article is in no way a defense of DW Lee – he does not need me to defend him or make excuses for what happened - he is a grown man who is perfectly capable of defending himself. But, he is easy to blame.

The only person I can blame for this is Ed Smith. Why do I say that?

How all this happened could happen to anyone of us at any time.

Think I am wrong? Keep reading. 

Everyone I know has asked me, “Why did Ed Smith choose the MABRC for his hoax?” Even before the hoax came about, most asked, "why would Ed Smith choose the MABRC as the group to take his information to?"

Those are good questions.

Not because the MABRC or any other group is unworthy but why did Ed choose that particular group? Especially when he said he already had a group, the Original-6. I did not have an answer other than, “I don’t know.” But, those two questions never left my mind.

Answer.

Did you know Ed Smith is part of the Ghost/Paranormal Community? Did you know DW Lee was a part of the same community before becoming a Bigfoot researcher? Ed Smith probably already knew who DW Lee was in the Ghost/Paranormal community.

Ed Smith did something I have not seen in prior hoaxes before. Ed Smith befriended DW Lee and Randy Harrington first. Ed most likely heard DW Lee’s name within the Ghost/Paranormal community. DW’s interest in both mysteries is not a secret. The Ghost/Paranormal community being the obvious connection to DW and the MABRC for Ed Smith.

Kind of creepy if the truth is told.

But I will say this, Ed Smith had to befriend Randy Harrington too. Why? Because DW is friends with Randy and counts on his opinion.

For those of you who do not know Randy Harrington (Driver Operator/DO) he is suspicious of everyone. For Ed Smith to get Randy to believe him took some doing. DW is suspicious, but his good nature is obvious for everyone to see. Randy was the one that had to be fooled. This was a conscious decision on the part of Ed Smith. There is no doubt in my mind that Ed recognized and targeted Randy as the person between him and his ultimate hoax.

This is not a slam on Randy nor DW, it is acknowledging the fact that Randy is pure no BS. Randy has no problem looking anyone in the face and calling them out. So, Ed Smith really had to lay on the charm and the information to convince Randy of anything. DW will also call BS – but he is not an in your face kind of person.

This is also an acknowledgement of how far Ed Smith was willing to go - to pull off this hoax. Which required a lot of information and documents to prove to Randy and then DW that Ed was legit.

That is a lot of work. Just look at the things Ed Smith posted on the MABRC.

How do we guard against someone like this?

Someone who will take the time necessary to first build a friendship? Who wants to call their friend a hoaxer without proof? I don’t care who you are – saying your friend is responsible for a hoax is not as easy as we might think. Think about your field partner right now – the person you go into the woods with and you “know” has your back.

Could you call that person a hoaxer? It sounds good on paper – but think about it.

Yes, we would have to, if it ever came to that. But, it’s not something we would want to do and we would demand proof before doing so – and rock solid proof.

Ed Smith took 4 years to lay the ground work, based on friendship, before he decided to let loose his golden egg, which lasted approximately 2 weeks. That has to be some sort of record; meaning the buildup lasted longer than the hoax itself.

Let’s think about this for a minute.

4 years (minimum) to lay the foundation for a friendship – knowing the whole time you intended to use that friendship to hurt the very person you were calling “friend”.

What kind of person does that?

Regardless of the topic – no one deserves to be treated that way. So, do we as Bigfoot Researchers, need to use extra caution when being approached by people who are friendly? Must we all become paranoid that a person who is friendly has ulterior motives?

I hope Ed Smith is a rarity but I know he is not.

Folks, this could happen to any one of us. I would never want to call someone I am friends with a hoaxer. I would need absolute undeniable proof. If I did not feel that way – the word friend – wouldn't mean much to me.

Hoaxing will always be an issue. How we deal with it is something totally different.

We can both stick together, and bust these hoaxes – or we can divide and blame each other for not being able to spot a hoaxer upon arrival.

This is Bigfoot Research, not Psychic Research of Bigfoot.

Yelling hoax is easy. The hard part is figuring out the how and why. Those are two questions I always want to know – so I can better spot the next hoax in the future - hopefully.

Don’t think there won’t be more like Ed Smith now. He laid the groundwork for future hoaxers.

A bar to reach if you will.

What Ed Smith did should be taken as a warning to every researcher in this community. The level to which these people are willing to go to, no longer has a ceiling. And I am willing to bet there are more
out there just like Ed, looking to do it bigger and better.

Hoaxing is also a game of “one ups man ship”. Count on it.

I would be lying if I said this did not bother me at all or at the minimum make me concerned. It does.

I will put the blame where it belongs – squarely on Ed Smith. He deserves the shame for this, and has been everywhere he can be, to gloat about hoaxing the MABRC for 4 ½ years.

But, said nothing about the manipulation of those he befriended to get what he wanted. What did he want?

Attention.

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