February 11, 2013

What is a; “Bigfoot Researcher”?

What is a; “Bigfoot Researcher”?

You know, that’s a darn good question.

I am going to go out on a limb here and tell you what I think. 

If you are new to the world of “Bigfoot Research” because you watched a television show on it, and decided to jump on the internet to check things out, one might think it’s a bunch of angry people across the country that spend all their free time trashing the names of other researchers and groups.

Just look at the blogs these days and the websites. 

If I were an interested person today, looking for information on the internet, I would probably walk away from this field of research all together.

So, what is a, “Bigfoot Researcher”?

Well, there are many of us who do field work. What is field work? Well, we get into the woods and investigate areas with alleged sightings and conduct onsite investigations, to include; casting tracks and collecting any “evidence” of activity. Just like on the various television shows. We take witness reports and try to either prove or disprove the experiences of witnesses. 

But, let's not discount the researcher who can not get into the woods to look, for various reasons, but provides a level of information and support to the various field researchers out there. These people keep track of everything relevant to the actual field of research in the past years. 

Unlike what you see on Television, some of these onsite investigations can last for months, some even years.  We check out the area during the day and set up equipment. We head out into the woods at night. We “Call blast,” and/or “Wood Knock,” lets also not forget the human recreations of a Bigfoot howl or scream - made famous now by Bobo. But, sometimes, we just sit and listen. These are just some of the things we do. On some nights we get activity – sometimes we don’t.  

That’s just the way it goes.

When not in the field some look into new types of equipment to use in the field. Why? It never seems to fail, something happens in the field and you will find yourself saying, "Man, I wish I had this or that, I might have been able to record or preserve that." Some of us call that the "Bigfoot curse". Not having the right equipment at the right time... Or equipment that fails at the worst possible moment. Especially batteries - the cold is not a friend to your batteries. 

Sometimes new equipment pays off – sometimes it doesn't.  

But, you never know until you try.

As a “Bigfoot Researcher,” I also feel I have a responsibility to those that are new to this community. So, when I am approached by someone who is new, who is looking for advice or some direction, I offer what I can. If I don’t have an answer or a direction, I point them to someone who might be able to help. We want to move forward right? Being new in this community is not always an easy thing – let’s face it.

I do think there are some who would rather the new researchers fall on their face. They would rather people like myself (and others) not help them with information from the past. How could that be? Well, there are some in this who enjoy pointing out a comment by someone new to the community - which is easily refuted. Which then makes the new person the butt of jokes for days sometimes weeks - or even longer depending on the level of the mistake. Sad, but true. 

At one time we were all new to this community, i.e. newbies.

Moving on... 

We have conferences. Conferences I see as two fold. They get our message out to the general public who may have had a sighting or are simply interested in what we do. They also provide other Bigfoot Researchers (new and old) the chance to discuss the issues face to face.

Conferences can be a double edged sword, however. The general public shows up to a conference and hears a person speak about their field work, work that has sometimes been done over the course of many years, and then they go into the woods expecting to hear or see something the first night… Talk about getting your hopes up, to have them quickly dashed.

But, I do know of one person who heard a “Bigfoot Researcher speak,” he went out with a friend, and had a sighting… Talk about luck. But of course, he was hooked, from that moment on and rightly so.

The second part to conferences, in my opinion, is the networking, that happens between researchers.

I see nothing wrong with that. If I only had the option of speaking to other researchers via the internet, I am not sure I would hang around this community for long. You have the opportunity to sit down, face to face with a real person and not an internet persona, and have a conversation about this research and new ideas.

Conferences are also about having a little fun. How often do we do that? I give high marks to anyone who can put a little fun in their life. Why?

Life is short. Enjoy what you do, and the people in your life.

So, what do I think the definition of a “Bigfoot Researcher,” is? I think it’s someone who enjoys the great outdoors, who can appreciate the lack of traffic, crowds, smog and loves a great campfire. Someone who cares about people and a difficulty they are facing, and willing to help them out. I also think a Bigfoot Researcher is someone who enjoys life as much as nature. We are people who can have a good time with a good laugh, a good joke, or just be part of a crowd and appreciate the experience for what it is.

But, when there is to work to be done, the work gets done.

We are “Bigfoot Researchers,” but at the end of the day, we are people first. Let’s not ever forget that.

If someone tells you, you are doing it wrong, remind them;

They are still looking too.