May 23, 2016

Women in Bigfoot Research ~ Adrianne Brashear Arney

Some years back I used to write articles titled: "Women in Bigfoot Research". Yes, I typed the words, "used to". I stopped because as is usually the case, life gets in the way, and back in the day of these articles there were so few women involved in Bigfoot Research/Investigation. That is no longer the case.
So, I have decided to start writing these articles again. Why? Good question. 
Answer: because there are some damn good women, doing damn good work, who deserve recognition. 
I am starting out my first article with Adrianne Brashear Arney. I've known of Adrianne for quite some time, but only began really getting to know her over the last few years. In the article, she calls herself a "believer," but I know she tempers that with a healthy dose of skepticism. She is a boots on the ground field researcher working side by side with the men of Ohio Bigfoot (formerly Tri-State Bigfoot). 
I'm sure you can guess what state she is from. 
Adrianne is simply one of the many women in this community that make me proud to call friend and fellow researcher.

 Women in Bigfoot Research ~ Adrianne Brashear Arney:

Adrianne Brashear Arney
Melissa: Please tell the readers about yourself. 
Adrianne: I am married and a proud Momma of a Daughter and a Son. I am the owner, creator, designer of Whippoorwill Studio on Etsy (shameless plug). I enjoy doing many forms of arts and crafts, kayaking, hiking, camping, star gazing and sitting around a campfire with good friends. I have spent many years researching the Paranormal and UFO activity and I also go on expeditions in search of the elusive Bigfoot. 

Follow up: What does your family think of your involvement in Bigfoot research/investigation?
Adrianne: My family pretty much supports me except for my daughter who has a degree in Anthropology. She was taught by her professors that bigfoot is just folklore and I get a lot of eye rolling from her when the topic is mentioned. My siblings and parents, cousins etc. are all intrigued and follow my adventures.
Melissa: Are you a "skeptic," or a "believer"? How would you describe your approach to this research/investigation? 
Adrianne: I am a believer. I have had the pleasure of interviewing many witnesses who have told me of their encounters in detail. If you take those interviews along with the thousands of other accounts that have been told all around the world, there has to be something to it. My approach actually starts with the witnesses and investigating their claims to try and find evidence to back up their claims. There are also times I will research a random area that I think has what it takes to sustain such a large creature even if there have never been any sightings reported there.
Follow up: There are people, like myself, who are not "believers" simply because they haven't had a sighting. While I think your thoughts on this are well thought out and you obviously know how to make a well informed decision, others will not agree. They will say, "how can you believe Bigfoot is out there when you haven't seen it."
What would you say to those people?
Adrianne: I have hiked all over the hills in Kentucky ever since I was a child and I have never seen a bear or bobcat while hiking. But because I have never seen one doesn't mean they are not there, because they are! I have seen a Black Panther but according to KY forest rangers they do not exist there!
Melissa: Are you a member of any Organized Group(s) or are you an Independent Researcher? Or both?
Adrianne: I research with a great group of guys, Jay, Bryan and Kelley of on a regular basis. When we receive a report through our website, we always go as a team to investigate. I also do a lot of research on my own in Kentucky and I work with other researchers when the opportunity arises.
Melissa: How long have you been active in the field of Bigfoot research/investigation?

Photo courtesy of Adrianne Brashear Arney

Adrianne: I started seriously researching around 7 years ago, but have been interested since I can remember

Have you noticed any changes in this field of research/investigation over the years? 

Adrianne: I have noticed more and more enthusiasts due to shows on TV but other than that not much has changed.

Follow up: Do you think the Television shows help or hurt the research/investigation? I will be the first to say, there are places that used to be pretty good for investigation but now the question I always ask is, "is that the target species or are we recording a human?"

 Both, I think the occasional documentary type shows are sometimes great because they get the serious researchers thinking about new ways of capturing evidence and give us the latest theories as to what this creature could be. On the other hand the shows that are for entertainment purposes give false impressions of how most of us conduct our research. I think some witnesses may shy away from reporting what they have seen for fear it will turn into a circus and they will be ridiculed. Then on the flip side you will have people making false claims hoping to get themselves on TV.

Melissa: What keeps you asking questions?

Adrianne: Witnesses, and my own curiosity.

Melissa: What do you think about the growing numbers of women becoming active in this field? 

Adrianne: I think it's great. More like minded friends for me :)

Follow up: As a woman who does active field work, do you feel women are represented accordingly either within groups or in public venues?

I think it depends on the woman. How she presents herself  will be how she will be perceived.

Melissa: Have you had a sighting? If so please explain.

Adrianne: I've had experiences but no actual sighting

Follow up: Could you please discuss your, "experiences?"

Just the usual stuff like vocalizations, tree knocks, eyeshine. My team also experienced startling something huge when entering the woods. We heard and captured on a recording. It could only be described as a huge bipedal creature taking off through the woods breaking down trees as it ran!

Melissa: One piece of equipment you think is the most important?

Adrianne: Other than my own eyes and ears I think a good evidence collecting kit is a must.

Melissa: Most researchers have one report that "stands out" in their minds. Is there a report that still "stands out" for you?

Photo courtesy of Adrianne Brashear Arney
Adrianne: Yes, An elderly gentleman finally got the nerve to send us a report about an experience he had has a youth. He and his boyhood friends were terrorized by something that he was pretty positive was a Bigfoot. The emotion in his voice was enough to make me a believer. I was honored that he was comfortable enough tell me about his frightening experience.

Melissa: What questions would you like researchers/investigators to ask witnesses?

Adrianne: I usually have my usual set of questions ready when contacting a witness and I find that half of them don't pertain to their experience.  Every report is different and has it's own set of circumstances.

Melissa: If there were one thing about this field of research/investigation you could change what would it be?

Adrianne: The hoaxers, attention seekers and those just in it to trying to score some quick cash, which is not gonna happen.

Melissa: What you would like people to know about you.

Adrianne: I enjoy being with other like-minded people in and out of the field. A lot of them have achieved family status. I don't mind sharing new ideas or theories. I don't think what we do should be a competition. Most of us have the same goal and working together instead of against each other is probably the key.

Do you have any advice for a new researcher?

Adrianne: Hmmm...tread lightly but carry a big tree knocker! Seriously though, don't go into it thinking it's a competition, it's not. Nobody is an expert in this field. You also don't have to have all the latest greatest most expensive toys, they have not gotten anybody anywhere so far!

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May 19, 2016

2016 Creature Weekend

It's that time again folks ~ Creature Weekend is almost upon us! 


Ken Gerhard
 Ken Gerhard is a widely recognized cryptozoologist and field investigator for
The Centre for Fortean Zoology as well as a fellow of the Pangea Institute and consultant for several anomalous research organizations. He has traveled the world searching for evidence of mysterious animals and legendary beasts including Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Chupacabra, enigmatic winged creatures and even werewolves.

In addition to co-hosting the History Channel TV series Missing in Alaska, Ken has appeared in three episodes of the series Monster Quest and is featured in the History Channel special The Real Wolfman, as well as Ancient Aliens (History Channel),

Legend Hunters
(Travel Channel), Unexplained Files (Science Channel), Paranatural (National Geographic), Weird or What? with William Shatner (Syfy), True Monsters (History Channel), Monsters and Mysteries in America (Animal Planet), Ultimate Encounters (Tru TV), True Supernatural (Destination America), Monster Project (Nat Geo Wild) and Shipping Wars (A&E).

His credits include appearances on numerous news broadcasts and nationally syndicated radio programs like Coast to Coast AM, as well as being featured in articles by the Associated Press, Houston Chronicle and Tampa Tribune. Ken is author of the books Big Bird: Modern Sightings of Flying Monsters and Encounters with Flying Humanoids, as well as co-author of Monsters of Texas (with Nick Redfern) and has contributed to trade publications including Fate Magazine. He currently lectures and exhibits at various conferences and events across the United States. Born on Friday the 13th of October, Ken has traveled to twenty-six different countries on six continents, as well as virtually all of the United States. An avid adventurer, he has camped along the Amazon, explored the Galapagos, hiked the Australian Outback and has visited many ancient and mysterious sites, from Machu Pichu to Stonehenge.

Ron Morehead
Challenged by skeptics, but time-tested by science, Ron Morehead’s account of the legendary bigfoot brings an exciting report of unsurpassed vocal interaction between humans and modern day giants.  He has produced two CDs and a book, which have actual vocalizations of bigfoot and their attempt to interact with man.

Science has established that these unusual sounds were spontaneous and made at the time of the recordings.  And, a complex language has recently been discovered.  Ron believes they are sentient and, like humans, have cognizance.  His story provides the reader with a unique insight into the nature of these giants.

Ron Murphy

Bigfoot, UFOs, Thunderbirds, Ghosts, and all things that go bump in the night is scientifically researched and documented in this work, as well as raising unique theories into the cause of such phenomena.

Award-winning author Ronald Murphy takes the reader into the woods and small towns of the Chestnut Ridge in the third edition of Unexplained Chestnut Ridge (Camonica Books, $20.00) Witnesses are interviewed and first hand accounts of actual expeditions are recorded in a conversational manner both the believer and skeptic will find enjoyable.

The Pack
, (Camonica Books, $20) is a novelization of the Dogman mythos, centering on an unfulfilled suburban housewife named Diann who finds herself involved with a merciless pack of female werewolves. Set in rural Western Pennsylvania, this allegorical tale wrestles with the notion of exclusivity and acceptance in the world run by the wealthy and popular. Membership into this elite group has its privileges…and its price. Is Diann willing to risk all that she holds dear to become a member of The Pack?

The Tormented: Ten Tales of Terror
, ($15) is a collection of previously published short stories, many of them horror award winners. Set in his beloved Pennsylvania, Ron expertly weaves his stories of vampires and witches, zombies and wendigos, full of plot-twists and unexpected encounters.

Dave Scott of the internationally popular podcast, Spaced Out Radio, calls Ron Murphy “the cryptozoological guru,” and has Ron as a monthly guest. George Noorey of Coast to Coast AM refers to Murphy as “a world-class expert” in faerie lore. Besides Coast to Coast AM and Spaced Out Radio, Ron has also been heard on the Black Cat Lounge, SquatchWatch Radio, WILK, KTKK AM630, and numerous other programs throughout the US and Canada.

Ronald L. Murphy graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and attended graduate school at Pitt and at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is a professional actor, having appeared in movies, on television, and on stage. He is also a reenactor for the Underground Railroad in Blairsville, PA. Ron has researched the unexplained from Maine to Florida as well as in the United Kingdom. Ron is also a member of the Center for Cryptozoological Studies and Center for Unexplained Events.

Bigfoot Coop
The Ohio Bigfoot CoOp was formed on Monday May 25, 2015. Their core administrators and Researchers include Amie Starling, Richard Washington, Steven and Dawna Blair, and Mark and Jeanne Hudak. They have over thirty years of combined research experience, as well as multiple encounters, and thousands of hours spent in the field. The O.B.C.O. is a dedicated group of researchers finding the answers to unravel the phenomenon, behavior, diet, and activities behind Bigfoot. Through patient cooperation with other groups, independent researchers, and ordinary people, they hope to bridge a gap bring everyone together to finally solve this great mystery.......

For more information on Creature Weekend please click the links below!


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May 17, 2016

2016 Ohio Bigfoot Conference

Ohio Bigfoot Conference. by Melissa Hovey-Larsen.

As many of you know I don't attend conferences to listen to speakers. I go to see friends, I haven't seen in a while, sometimes years. Why don't I listen to speakers? Well, personally I hate being trapped in a room for god knows how long. and I hate being the person who stands up to leave while a person is speaking, because I have to find a ladies room. I know the large majority of those invited to speak, so I have either heard their spiel or can guess what they'll talk about.

Conferences (in my humble opinion) aren't really for the "field researcher," their more for those in the general public who see faces on T.V. or the internet and want to meet those people (or faces) up close. They're also for the person who's had a sighting and wants to talk to an investigator face to face.

 For those of you without a sense of humor, buy, or grow one, before reading any further - or simply stop reading.

I absolutely loved seeing my sister, and partner in crime, Monica Frank Rawlins. Hopefully it won't be another 5 years before we see each other again.

Meeting Shelly Covington-Montana was a trip. An absolute pleasure.

Gabrielle Cole is just as nice in person as she is online - see your dentist before spending any time around her.

Sean Forker hasn't changed in all the years I've known him. Someday you must share your secret. Seriously what is it? Creams, vitamins, HGH? Really I wanna know. But seeing him with his pal James Baker (thanks for that hug) was a true pleasure.

Jeffery R. Thomas didn't disappoint and as usual he brought his unique sense of humor along with his wife Tonia who is always as nice as she is funny.

Tom Yamarone: Yams!!!!! What else is there to say? Always, always great to see you!!

Diana Esordi - it's always great to see you and I couldn't be happier for you and Mike.

Sharon Lee. You wore Bella out. She hasn't moved in 2 days. I tried to play with her yesterday and she lifted her head and said - well I can't post that - but she gave me directions. It was great seeing you!

Henry B. May IV. Henry.. Henry.. The only person I know who can walk around with a smile on his face, and a camera in his hand, at these events like it's the first one he's ever been to. One of the kindest and nicest men in this community. I'm so glad I found you on Sunday to say hi. The only reason you got that picture is cause I like you so much! Thanks for posting it so fast.

Fred Saluga - a person I truly enjoy. Why? Because you can vehemently disagree with him, and still call him friend. It was great seeing you again my friend!

Eric H. Altman. What can I say about Eric. Eric your warmth and ability to spread joy to everyone is a pleasure to behold. Yes, I am yanking your chain. But it was great seeing you!

Cliff Barackman. It's been years, but it was really great to see you again!! Thanks for the tape measure - I will use it with pride. I just wish you had handed them out to everyone with instructions.

Lyle Blackburn. It was great to finally meet you in person! Love the hat.

Mike Hall - who let you out of Texas? Whoever did, it was nice seeing you again after all these years.

Abe Del Rio - who else didn't recognize him? I sure didn't. I don't think he will mind my saying, he walked up to me to give me a hug, and I pulled back and said, "Who are you?" then checked his name tag. It was great seeing you Abe - you look great and I wish you nothing but the best!!

Guy Edwards. After finishing this article I will be going into traction after taking a picture with him. How tall are you? 8 feet? Dude! It was great to meet you after all these years.

Dax Rushlow. It was great meeting both you and your wife!! I never would have guessed you would have such a great sense of humor and such a big smile (yah I seen the picture). Seriously though, it was great to finally meet you both.

Now, for my rant. Take it as you will. Again for those of you without a sense of humor, buy or grow one before reading any further - or simply stop reading.

1. There were so many people, I could hardly make it to the bar. It's a good thing I don't drink, but a glass of water would have been nice.

2. Marc DeWerth - could you cram more venders into a 3 foot space? I bet you can. Please make note of that for next year. The doors in front of the bathrooms were free space. No worries, anyone will climb a vendor table to get to the bathroom.

3. People I didn't get to see - Trinetta Brown Jackson and William Dranginis. Seriously? How did that happen? I am sure it was partly my fault for not spending much time at the Lodge - but Bill you were making deliveries to various cabins, and donuts are my favorite food. You are elusive like bigfoot.

4. I finally had the chance to see and speak to Bob Gimlin on Sunday. Was he being hid in a closet somewhere? Geesh let the poor guy out from time to time. I have met and spoken with him before and I know he enjoys sunlight and air.

5. Question: When is the ONLY time a bigfooter doesn't get accused of using photoshop?

Answer: After taking a picture of someone at a conference or in the field. Seriously people. I know most of you use photoshop - could you cut some of us some slack? I know some of you take 500 pictures but that is no excuse for not taking the time to make us all look our stunning best.

End rant.

At the end of the day, or the conference, all that really matters is - did you have fun? Did you meet those you wanted to? If it was your goal to learn something - did you? That's all that matters. We spend such precious little time appreciating those around us - you know, the people we talk to online, as if Facebook is our real world. Anyone who says conferences aren't important doesn't know what their talking about.

Take from conferences what you can, discard what doesn't apply and go away with happy memories. We spend so much time disagreeing and reading about the latest fight or drama - it's a miracle we can even come together in one place at all.

If my rant made you laugh - great - because we don't do enough of that either.


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