June 14, 2006

Women In Bigfoot Research - Melissa Hovey

The next interview is a person who needs no introduction. She's our own Melissa Hovey.....

Whether you know her as Melissa, Miss Mellie, Miss Bunny or just plain Mel you know she has a no nonsense way of getting her point across and generally always has a good point to make. She never runs from a challenge!

I met Melissa at the Texas Conference and my first impression told me two things:

1. Gorgeous woman couldn't possibly get her hands
dirty with field work.

2. Not a woman to misjudge.

Well, I was right on one point. She's certainly not a woman to misjudge! Without further adieu, here is our Miss Mellie in the interview I promised she'd make.

Please tell the readers about yourself.

I am a 37 year old single female, who currently lives in Dallas, Texas. I moved here from Wisconsin in September of 2005, for a position in the legal field. I became involved with this research actively, not long after moving to Texas. All of my family, whom I love very much, are all in Iowa. *WAVING* Hi Mom and Dad !!! :)

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

Since October of 2005, when I attended my very first Bigfoot Conference in Jefferson Texas, organized by the Texas Bigfoot Research Center.

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

Finding my way out of the woods?? HAAA jk My primary focus has been, if at all possible, to gather any and all information that may be contained within Witness reports. I am also interested in the methods that are used to gather and preserve evidence. I think this is something that is overlooked, good methods of evidence collection need to be understood by all - and we must be willing to look for evidence, no matter how small. By evidence, I mean any potential Hair, tissue, blood or fecal samples collected by researchers in the field. How we collect and preserve this evidence is very important, if we are interested in getting accurate results from testing.

Are you active in any Organized Groups, or are you Independent, or both?

I am currently a member of the (TBRC) Texas Bigfoot Research Center and the (AIBR) Alliance of Independent Bigfoot Researchers.

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

I think its fantastic. Women can and should play an active role. I think more women should continue to join the ranks of Organized Groups and also do Independent Research.

Have you had to deal with any resistance to your being in this field of research, due to your gender?

Well, I think to a point - yes. I think I have encountered more resistance due to the fact that I am not experienced in the woods, and have had to work very hard to overcome some issues, but who's perfect out there? I think those who have gotten to know me, have discovered I take this resistance as a challenge, and will do whatever it takes to be just as effective as the other people in this field of research. My dad taught me a long time ago - Always accept a challenge head on, and do whatever it takes to overcome your weaknesses - and turn them into a strength. That is exactly what I am doing.

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

What if you dont - and wish you always had? Never turn down an opportunity to do something you want to do. Never look back on your life with regrets. Sure, I was hesitant, I dont think there are many women in this who were as hesitant as myself. I didnt think I had anything to offer, other than a great deal of interest. I was convinced otherwise. I jumped in with both feet - and didnt look back. I have no regrets. Even if I never see the animal, hear a vocal or find a track, I have made friendships that mean the world to me, and memories I will never forget.

How did you become involved in the search for this undocumented North American Primate?

Well, a new and good friend of mine actually. I interviewed him for this blog. I have discussed this many times, but I read on a message board about a particular sighting he posted about. I wanted more information - so I sent him a personal message, and he responded. That started a chain of long conversations between him and myself via email. Mike encouraged me to contact the TBRC after moving to texas. I did - and here I am today :) My interest started long before that as a young girl, then fastforward to my teen years I was watching a show on bigfoot and I was just stunned when I saw the Patterson/Gimlin Film, and heard a recorded vocal, after that I read everything I could find, watched every television show that came on about the subject, I just wanted to know if this animal could be out there. I never thought I would be an actual researcher myself.

Have you had a sighting? If so please explain.

No, I have never seen one.

Does not having a sighting ever discourage you? If so, why? If not, why?

No, not at all. I actually enjoy the process of researching, getting out into the woods, reading reports - looking for that "needle in the haystack" so to speak. Even if this undocumented animal is discovered tomorrow, I will still get out into the field and look.

Do you ever get into the field?

As often as possible.

Do you take witness statements?

Not yet, but eventually I will.

Most researchers have one Report that "stands out" in their mind, is there a report that still "stands out" for you?

Not really, I like reading all reports. For me thats very difficult, as I would have to assign a level of believeability to the report. I have learned over the years in my 9 -5 job, doing that can cause you to lose your objectivity. There are a couple that have "elements" that intrigue me more than others due to certain things discussed. But not one in particular.

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

There are so many good questions to ask... But, I am going to turn this around and say - there are questions not asked, that I think should.. Take for instance hunters "Did you use any product to Mask your scent prior to entering the woods or at anytime before your sighting", Hikers - "What were you wearing? Color of your clothing?" Things like this.

What you would like people to know about you?

*Let me apologize now to those I had answer this question before me, and after* lmao.. Well, this difficult, I think I have a great sense of humor, I really like being around people who are funny and enjoy life. I enjoy a good debate. I am loyal to my friends and family - and I never betray a trust.

Do you have any advice for a new researcher?

Drink lots of water in the field. Buy warm clothes for winter - and ask lots of questions. Im not kidding about the water. I didnt listen to that piece of advice from a fellow researcher - I will never make that mistake twice.

What is the best piece of advice that helped you in your research the most? Who gave you that advice?

That is such a hard question to answer. I have learned from so many. Kathy Moskowitz has been an incredible source of advice and has been so supportive.. Kathy has been, well - a mentor to many women in this, I know this because I hear her name often from other women. I look up to Kathy, she is a strong woman and she has been helpful to so many in this field of research. There have been many who have given me very good advice, and have gone out of their way to be helpful and offer words of encouragement. I will never be able to thank her and a few others enough.

I must admit - I have had wonderful people who have become good friends and whom I trust. Many, many - and I know if I started naming people I would forget someone. But I can say without a doubt - the women I have profiled to date for this blog are on that list, right at the top.

What do you consider to be your strongest point as a researcher?

My desire to learn, and my incredible sense of humor :)

If you are convinced there is an undocumented North American primate, what do you think is the argument for existence to the public?

I wont be convinced until I see one myself. Argument for existance - reports. We have reports from average citizens to members of the armed services. What are these people seeing? Is it mass hysteria - I doubt that very much. I dont know what people are seeing - but we should do whatever we can to find out, and if this animal does exist, we MUST do everything possible to protect it.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Humm - I dont think in those terms.. I have no demands on my life, and I like surprises :)

I'd like to thank Melissa for answering her own questions :P and mine. She hasn't been with us for a very long time, but I think there will be a place around the campfire for her any time! Melissa is truly a force to be reckoned with and she adorns her fiery attitude and quick wit with beauty. You just can't beat that! Thanks Mellie!

*Field photograph of Melissa provided by Chris Buntenbah, Wildlife Photographer*


  • At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mel: I am a new fan of your show "Let's Talk Bigfoot" and have looked over your own blog with great interest. I have one question. I have been reviewing lots of BF forums and noting their links page. It would seem that nobody is linking the BFRO. I realize there is some antipathy between groups, but lately it seems the BFRO are taking a huge bashing by many other BF groups? I attended a BFRO expedition and enjoyed it very much. Your thoughts on Matt M and the BFRO?

  • At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just saying hi! :)
    Happy Monster hunting!


  • At 11:06 PM, Blogger Paige and Kelsey said…

    Oh wow.
    Hi Missy

    Do you remeber me/us?


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