December 30, 2011

A Community "Divided"....

Before I start this blog, let me say a few things first.

1. I have (for the most part) been staying away from the "bigfoot community". Whether it’s the flesh and blood conversations or the paranormal discussions. Why? I have said it before and I will say it again, after a period of time, you just get frustrated with the same arguments that never end in a solution or even an idea of how to move forward and you just need a break. People badmouth attorneys all day long, but at the end of the day (or months/years ) whether you like the outcome the attorney reached for you - you have an undeniable outcome. Bigfoot research is not nearly as cut and dry. I could only pray for that much clarity.

2. I have been involved in this for a little over six (6) years. While that is not nearly as long as some, I rather hoped that some of the issues which divide this community could or would have been resolved in some fashion. No dice. There seems to be even more division than there was just 2 years ago.

3. In my opinion the most important parts of this “mystery” gets lost in the divide, that being two (2) things:

a. Witnesses and;
b. Bigfoot.

Autumn Williams wrote a blog yesterday titled, “
Intellect v. Emotion” you can read the full article by clicking the link above. I would hope, Autumn, wouldn’t mind my saying, I have had the chance over the last year to get to know her better and her me. I like Autumn. She and I are a lot alike in many ways. She is a tough no-nonsense woman – and if the opinion we dish out hurts – well sometimes it does. I respect people who just “say it”. Life is way too short for “beating around the bush” games.

To be perfectly clear: This article is not directed at Autumn. Her blog article did, however, get me to thinking. But, if anyone decides to try and turn this into an Autumn v. Melissa “thing” – you will get no help from me, and frankly, I am growing very tired of people who do just that.

I do not necessarily disagree with Autumns blog – other than a couple points.

First and foremost, I consider the witnesses and the animal to be my top priorities. If it was not for, witnesses, those of us who call ourselves researchers (regardless of our flesh and blood or paranormal designation) would have nothing to look for. That is just fact. This brings me to the animal a/k/a Bigfoot. A question each one of us must ask ourselves is simple, “What is my end goal? Do I want this animal recognized or not?” We all make that decision.

I among many, “Flesh and Blood researchers,” (for the purposes of this article Flesh and blood will be hereby known as F&B researchers) try every day to understand the claims of the paranormal community, yet we get nowhere, because the questions we ask are met with hostility and anger. If I have not been witness to a “paranormal bigfoot incident” what can I do for a witness other than direct them to a paranormal Bigfoot researcher? Which I have done, only to be met with, “If you weren’t so closed minded, you would have handled the report yourself.” What good does that attitude do for the witness or anyone?

I can’t even pretend I am anything other than a, “F&B researcher,” calling myself anything else would be disingenuous. I can only apply what I know, from life experience, to my work trying to solve this mystery. I would also argue, when you pretend to be someone you’re not, it always comes back to bite you on the backside. So, I refer these reports to someone who can truly understand them and investigate.

I would also have to say to, Autumn, the idea of a body solving this mystery – is a very difficult situation for me. I think many (in the Paranormal Community) assume that because some of us identify ourselves as, “F&B researchers,” we automatically want to bring a body to the scientists. AlexMidnightWalker accused F&B researchers of wanting to kill everything in the forest.. That couldn’t be further from the truth and I know other F&B researchers who feel the way I do. I have always been No-Kill – I have been fierce in my No-Kill position for a very long time. But what good does it do me, or anyone else, to deny this is what science wants? This is the only thing that will get this animal the recognition necessary for protection. I don’t make the rules. If I did make the rules this animal would always be safe from harm or the blade of a scientist. But, when it comes right down to it I think we all know (whether we want to admit it or not) a body is the only way this mystery will be solved (in the eyes of science).

We can beg the authorities for protection until we are blue in the face, but it won’t happen unless they have solid undeniable evidence. That does not make me or anyone else who is a F&B researcher synonymous with the KKK, AlexMidnightWalker, it simply means we are realists as to what is required. That is one of the most hateful things I have heard said in this field of research.

Am I arguing that we should all become Pro-Kill? Heavens no!

I absolutely couldn’t and wouldn’t kill this animal, unless my life or the life of someone else necessitated it. That is called, “self-preservation” or “survival”. I wouldn’t take that right away from anyone.


Most “F&B researchers” have just as much empathy for witnesses as anyone outside the F&B community. I think some forget that many “F&B researchers,” are witnesses too. When a child tells me they are too scared to sleep in their own bed that hits home pretty hard. I can’t think of one F&B researcher who does not have empathy for the witnesses, regardless of age, sex, color, or religious status. You don't have to be a witness to see the confusion and fear in the eyes of a witness and I would say it's pretty heartless to deny what these people go through.

But here is a question to ponder. How do we bridge this divide in the best interests of the witnesses? I have tried to understand some of these issues with the paranormal community – but my questions are met with hostility and insults.

While we are on the subject of insults and hostility, let me also remind, AlexMidnightWalker, you admitted through your own posts you were intentionally trying to anger the people on that specific Facebook page. You admitted to knowing (those you were provoking) were F&B researchers and you admitted to making comments that were specifically intended to provoke these people, because as you said, you were bored and the FB page was pretty slow the last few days. I have been a member of many Bigfoot Groups, websites and Facebook pages for a long time and never once have I intentionally tried to irritate someone simply for my own amusement.

That’s pretty twisted when you think about it.

Considering how I have been treated, by some within the paranormal community, I have to wonder if all “paranormal reports” are vetted thoroughly, or are these people simply believed? Does any paranormal researcher ever ask the tough questions to determine if their report is due to circumstances that have nothing to do with “paranormal activity”? No, I am not talking about sending them to a therapist. I am talking about known conditions that can happen when people are under extreme stress. Oh, and I do practice what I preach. I always ask witnesses about any health conditions or medications they are taking. I ask about alcohol consumption and if they were partaking in any (shall we say) substances for “recreational” purposes.

The only “standards” in this field of research are the ones we place upon ourselves. I do not expect that one day both “camps” (for lack of a better word) will ever get along and be “chummy.”

But, I would propose that if the paranormal community wants to be better understood by the F&B community, maybe questions could be answered? As a, “F&B researcher,” I am asked questions all the time that I can’t answer (from within my own community and outside of it) but (and here’s the kicker) I would never tell someone, “you’re too stupid to understand,” or “It’s true because I said so.” Paranormal researchers have been questioned for a long time, and will always be questioned, just as F&B researchers are questioned – if you don’t want to be questioned maybe you shouldn’t post (on a clearly F&B website or Facebook page) announcing that you think (for example) “Bigfoot can disappear” unless you are willing to answer questions.

If you are not prepared to tell me how Bigfoot spoke in your head, then it’s probably not a good idea to bring it up. That’s not being rude, that is being honest about what I need to know intellectually to understand where you are coming from. If Bigfoot has never engaged me in “mind speak” how can I possibly understand what you’re talking about? If I am unprepared to explain or field questions about something I experienced in the field, I don’t bring it up. Again, that’s not being rude, it’s being honest. It also does not make me “closed minded”. If I were, I wouldn’t ask the questions.

Would you rather I lie to you?

Also, if you don’t want to be questioned about what you are putting up as “evidence”, you should not be demanding others provide “evidence” of what they are saying. Turnabout is fair play, and one group of researchers, is not better than the other when it comes to the necessity of backing up your “alleged evidence”.

I get some of my best ideas from people who disagree with me. When they call me names or attack my intelligence – I simply shut them out. This, in all honesty, is what happened this past week with AlexMidnightWalker. I don’t agree with some of my closest friends. But, I do not attack them on a personal level, nor do I insult their intelligence. I simply listen and move on.

If you don’t like the way an organization functions or their methods, don’t donate to the group. But, when you are not a member of the organization, honestly, you really have no say how it’s run. I don’t vow to “destroy” any organization. Instead I try to understand where they are coming from and why they chose the path they are currently on. If I disagree with them, I will voice my opposition, sometimes very strongly but I do not vow to “destroy” anyone or anything. I recognize my limitations.

The decisions each one of us make, can be very difficult at times, and none of us have all the answers. I am assuming no one has that Bigfoot mounted above the fireplace yet.

“Let ye without sin cast the first stone.” That’s not my quote, but I think we all know who said it. Oh, Alex, that reminds me. If you’re going to throw out “God” in your arguments in a Bigfoot conversation, you would get your point across much easier if you didn’t throw out unfounded accusations and accuse people of hateful things. Especially when you don’t have the first bit of information about the person you’re making the accusations about. In other words, God, and hate speech, in the same sentence, just doesn’t jive.

The path each one of us takes is our own. I wouldn’t want someone telling me how to do my field work, and neither would anyone else. Do you know how I know that? If we did want this type of input, we would be fighting for standards and procedures in this field of research.

After six (6) years in this field of research, I have no answers, only more questions. But one thing has remained true, in my mind; witnesses should be our first and foremost priority. This is why I try so very hard to understand things that I frankly do not understand. If that makes me a bad person, so be it.

But, I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not. I want this animal recognized so it can be protected legally.

What do you want?


  • At 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Someone once said, "never argue with a fool, from a distance people can't tell you apart." As always Mel you make excellent points. Bigfoot may have tough skin but a Bigfoot researcher's skin has to be even tougher.

  • At 9:57 PM, Blogger Melissa Hovey said…

    Thank you - and you're right.. My skin gets thicker every year, which when you think about it, is actually pretty sad. But, I don't think it will ever change, which is even sadder.

  • At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As usual you make darn good sense. I have missed your remarks and opinions and nice to see you posting again with the facts, the realities of a goofy bigfoot world, and common sense. The bigfoot world is not for those who are faint at heart, that's for sure. Tough skin is a must.

  • At 10:08 AM, Blogger Melissa Hovey said…

    Thank you :) There is never a dull moment in the world of bigfoot research.. LOL. :)


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