June 19, 2006

Interview with Daryl Colyer

*All photos of Daryl Colyer provided by Chris Buntenbah, Wildlife Photographer*

The first time I met Daryl Colyer was at the 2005 Texas Bigfoot Conference in Jefferson, Texas. I knew right away, he would challenge me. Daryl has a good sense of humor - but when he is in the field, or prepairing for the operations that night - its game on.

Daryl devotes much of his free time, to the pursuit for the answers to this mystery, but most importantly (in my opinion) he enjoys it. I have yet to work side by side with daryl in the field, listening to the sounds in the night - but I hope to one day.

Daryl is a no nonsense kind of guy - and wants the facts. I take the advice daryl gives me seriously, as I take all advice given seriously, and constructive criticism. I appreciate the fact that daryl has set the bar high for me - as it gives me a serious challenge, and I enjoy that. Had this been real easy, I may not take it so seriously. Not everything you want to do in life should come easy - and you should be willing to challenge what your made of.

I must admit, I do like having fun with daryl, I have threatened to have my nails painted camoflauge for field operations, I have made jokes about breaking a nail (when in fact I had not), and other things, because thats just my sense of humor - daryl just laughs.

I would like to thank daryl for allowing this interview and giving other researchers and the public a small peek into his personality and thoughts. I do hope we will hear more from him in the future. :)

TBRC Researcher: Daryl Colyer.

Question: Please tell the readers about yourself.

Daryl Colyer: I am married to a beautiful Hispanic woman; I have a 19-year old natural daughter from my first marriage, and two great step-kids, ages 22 and 14. My wife and I reside in Central Texas. I am originally from Cass County, Texas; I was born and spent the first several years of my life in and around Bloomburg, Texas, which is about ten miles from where “The Legend of Boggy Creek” was supposed to have taken place. I heard stories from my family members about events that may have had some relation to this unknown animal.

My family moved to Central Texas when I was a little older, and that is where I spent the formative years of my life, although I also returned many times through the years to my East Texas roots. I still look forward to family reunions in Leary, Texas (just outside of Texarkana). In my early twenties, I served Uncle Sam in the United States Air Force. I was tested and was found to have a knack for languages, so Uncle Sam sent me to language school, and taught me the Russian language. I then spent several years flying around the world gathering intelligence on long aerial reconnaissance missions by listening to Russians communicate day and night.

When not flying I pursued a degree in history and international relations. It was during my tenure in USAF that I began to revisit the old stories that I’d heard about during my younger years. I was skeptical about the existence of Bigfoot, but I retained an open mind.

Part of me found it difficult to dismiss so many credible reports, but also a part of me found it entirely incredible that a large bipedal ape could exist in North America and still remain at large and undocumented. I questioned the validity of my family’s stories and the many eye witness reports. Finally after some debate with air force buddies, I realized that the question was unanswerable without going into the areas where the sightings were supposed to have occurred and attempting to make a determination for myself. It was then that I made a vow to my air force buddies that one day, to satisfy my own curiosity, I would attempt to determine the truth behind the legend once and for all. My ultimate goal was to spend two months in a remote area where there were reported Bigfoot sightings. I believed that two months would be sufficient time to make a determination for myself. Years later, I again decided to tackle this mystery.

Question: How long have you been active in the field of Bigfoot research?

Daryl Colyer: I have been seriously and proactively investigating this phenomenon for about three years now; I have been passively active for many years.

Question: What has been your primary focus, in this field of study? Please explain.

Daryl Colyer: To seek out credible individuals who ostensibly have had encounters with these animals in order to get some idea of where to conduct the search, and to conduct field research as often and long as possible, and as resources will permit. Also, I have focused on analysis of sighting patterns. It was during this analysis of the body of sighting reports that I began to notice clear discernable ecological patterns of a living species. Figments of imagination do not adhere to laws of nature.

Question: Are you active in any Organized Groups, or are you Independent? Or Both?

Daryl Colyer: I am very active with the Texas Bigfoot Research Center.

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

Daryl Colyer: Since I love the opposite sex, I am glad to see women involved in just about anything, to include this research. I love to spend time in the field with just my wife. I encourage women to actively conduct field research, because I believe there may be some credence to the theory that perhaps a woman might have a sort of disarming effect on an animal, thereby increasing the odds of an encounter. I know of no data to support this theory, but it sort of makes sense to me.

Follow up question: If there is no data to support your theory (although I know that opinion is held by others) why do you think this animal is possibly attracted to women?

There may be data somewhere to support it; I am just not aware of it. I don’t know that I would use the word “attracted.” It may be something as simple as perhaps women may be viewed as less threatening by the Sasquatch. If the Sasquatch is as intelligent as many of us think it is, it seems to me that the species would have to be aware of the many male human hunters (who comprise the greatest number of eye witnesses). Male human hunters are probably viewed by the species as aggressive and dangerous. I think there is a precedent that supports this line of reasoning with the great apes. Several examples of women and their relationships with great apes come to mind that may serve as sort of examples for us, hopefully, in future Sasquatch research.

We have Jane Goodall with chimpanzees, Dian Fossey with gorillas, and then recently Shelly Williams, who was the first known westerner to establish visual contact with Bili apes. These women, who are strong, passionate and confident, serve as outstanding models and examples for women, and should remind women that there is nothing wrong with having a deep conviction that the Sasquatch is more than a myth.

Question: Can you give any advice to women who are considering entering this research, but are hesitant.

Daryl Colyer: I understand their hesitancy; this is a subject that’s difficult to fathom for many people. So much so that many people show contempt and disdain for those of us who are engaging in this. However, I advise women to obtain a degree in zoology, biology or anthropology, and then pursue an advanced degree. Once they’ve done that, they should not be afraid of the truth, wherever that may lead. In this research, if you really want to uncover truth, you may be in for some incredible surprises.

Follow up question: Are these degrees necessary in order to research this animal, in the way the TBRC does?

Daryl Colyer: The TBRC is made of more than 50 individuals who sink their hearts and minds into this pursuit; most of them are quite educated, and the TBRC does have a group of degreed biologists in its core. While the number of scientists who are involved in this pursuit has grown considerably over the last decade, I believe having more scientists (biologists, zoologists, anthropologists) in our ranks will only strengthen the field, and should lend to credibility.

No, it isn’t totally necessary to have the degree. As an example, Jack Horner, curator of Montana’s Museum of the Rockies, and a prominent paleontologist, never received his degree, but is viewed with respect and credibility. Horner is a great example of how someone doesn’t have to have a degree, but I think it’s key that he is the exception rather than the rule.

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

Daryl Colyer: Yes. In Liberty County, Texas, in 2004. It was reddish-brown, between five and six feet in height, and had a musky smell, sort of horse-like, but stronger and more like a zoo. I saw it quickly jump across a trail and disappear into the woods. At that moment, my whole world changed. Up until then, a part of me still doubted that such a thing was possible. After a few days of denial, I came to terms with what I saw, and now I am on a quest, a relentless quest.

Question: How often do you go out into the field?

Daryl Colyer: My checkbook tells me too often, but every time another cynical article is printed, another heavy-handed documentary produced, or another genius debunker cuts loose, I am reminded that I am not out nearly enough.

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

Daryl Colyer:
A camcorder.

Question: Do you take witness statements?

Daryl Colyer:
Absolutely. It is the basis of what we do.

Question: Most researchers have one Report that "Stands Out" in their minds, is there a report that still "stands out" for you?

Daryl Colyer: There are a few that are among my favorites, because I know well the individuals who were involved:

My good friend and fellow TBRC researcher Mike Hall’s report. We were in the Sam Houston National Forest, call-blasting, and Mike and a reporter had a visual encounter.

My good friend and fellow TBRC researcher Gino Napoli’s report, from his teenage days.

My good friend and fellow TBRC researcher Craig Woolheater’s report, from 1994 Louisiana.

My good friends and fellow TBRC researchers Mike Mayes and Jeff Rodocker, who reported a road encounter in 2005, Sam Houston National Forest, Texas.

These reports are absolutely among the most compelling because I know these people well; they are some of my best friends.

Question: What do you think is the most important question to ask a witness?

Daryl Colyer:
Are you telling the truth?

Question: What you would like people to know about you?

Daryl Colyer: I play the guitar, a Taylor 614ce. I also am an avid gym rat, hitting the gym to lift weights and do cardio about 5 days a week; at age 44, it helps me to stay in good condition for the things the TBRC does in the field. I have a one-rep bench press max of about 320 pounds and a one-rep squat max of about 475 pounds.

Question: Do you have any advice for a new researcher?

Daryl Colyer: Just what I said in the question about advice to women. Pursue a science degree, then vigorously and passionately pursue fact and truth with an open but discerning and skeptical mind. Do not be swayed by what many may consider to be impossible, inane or foolish pursuits. If you believe it is worth pursuing, then it is. Their considerations are irrelevant. Their dogmas are irrelevant. What really matters, is truth, wherever that may lead.


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