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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  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger Regan Lee said…

    Enjoyed this Melissa, shared.

  • At 7:24 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Adrianne is my cousin, we grew up together. She is the most down to earth person you will ever meet. We all knew of her interest in this area. It is sorta a family thing. Her mother has always had an interest in the paranormal. She gets it natural. We all just take it for granted because it is who she is. She also is an amazing artist with talents in many areas. I follow her on all the websites she contributes on. She is very fascinating.

  • At 2:55 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    I've seen it and would love to talk about my experience !!


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