- Category: Articles
- Published: Thursday, 01 October 2020 01:49
- Written by Jim Whitehead
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It appears there is no end to opinions to what an unknown critter called bigfoot is, let alone of what or does and does not do. Where it lives and where it does not. Heck, there is not even an agreement of it is a naturally evolved critter or comes from ufos or another dimensions!
In this article let’s talk about sightings.
Some say Bigfoot can only live in the deepest most remote forests in areas that humans do not go so they can avoid them. Ok. Then how would there be any sightings? People are not as a rule not in the deep forests. We really are not able to survive out there as we have evolved not to have to. I do agree that there are vast areas in the country and the world that man has probably never stepped. Or if they did it was passing through and not living there. There is a lot of documentation that shows that when critters are not used to having people around, they do not have a fear of them. So, Bigfoot is in the forests to avoid people, that just does not make sense. We all know that it takes a Bigfoot AND a person to have a sighting. So, if people ain’t there Bigfoot wouldn’t even be known about. So apparently that is a false statement. Now don’t get me wrong, there could easily be bigfoot in the deep forests, but without them being closer to human populations we would not have all the sightings we have each year let alone the any possible evidence for the existence of the critter.
One question I have always had is why wouldn’t a critter like bigfoot be able to live around people like all other forest critters do? Pick a known critter that only roams the deep forest that has not been able to adapt to living around people. Can you think of one? I have not found one yet. The many sightings each year seem to prove that bigfoot has adapted to being around people if not exploiting people as a lot of critters do. Not that I believe that everything that people report as bigfoot is one. Misidentifications happen all the time. With Bigfoot being so prevalent in today’s society, it seems to be pretty common that when folks see something quick in the woods, they aren’t familiar with jumping to “it’s bigfoot” seems to be their thought. So, for those who are investigating sightings or trying to use sightings reports to set up a research area need to be skeptical. With the hype on all the new TV shows exploiting bigfoot and all the sensational social media it would make it seem that bigfoot is seen more than mosquitos! What else would be expect.
Anybody that goes camping or for a walk in the woods for the first time have all these stories of these fantastical experiences that they say is bigfoot. Any evidence? Did you see one? Usually not but I read it or saw it on TV or Facebook and those experts say that is what a bigfoot does. Then investigators give an eye roll and are declared to be assholes for not understanding. So how can we use that as a sighting? We cannot without a lot of investigation and skepticism.
I wish people would quit lumping these types of “sightings” with true sightings or worse yet calling them misidentifications. In my opinion a true misidentification is where one sees an animal let’s say it is a bear in a place where bears are not supposed to be and call it a possible bigfoot. If they have been told bears don’t live there and they see a large black something a bear isn’t really a consideration. I was told a story from a fella who said he saw a large brown bear walk out of the woods on two legs to cross the road but saw him on his motorcycle and turned and walked back into the woods. The thing was huge said the fella at least 8-foot-tall and weighed 600 lbs. Now I do know black bears are in the area but they sure ain’t that big. And again, they are black, not brown. Also bears do not walk on two feet with any fluidity especially when spooked. Due to the details and it being within 10 miles of my main research area in Missouri, I honestly feel this is a misidentification. Was it ever reported to any group? Nope. He said bigfoot is not real, so it had to be a bear. Another sighting I was told about was a fella said he saw a bigfoot walking across this certain area away from the river. All he saw was something black and big. Could be a bigfoot, right? That is what the TV showed. When going to the area and getting more details from the witness he said it was tall maybe 7-8 foot tall. When it saw him, he said the bigfoot went down into 4x4 mode and headed back to the river. Sounded interesting and we went to the tree line and looked for possible evidence of it being there. At the tree line using a branch that he said he used to determine the height was measured and was only 6 foot off the ground not 8 foot like he thought it was. People including me, a carpenter’s son, have a real hard time judging sizes and heights. After realizing that the size was not as big as he thought it was, we looked for tracks if the critter left any in the sandy and rocky riverbed. He found one and said it was proof that it was a bear. The claws were easy to see in the one good track that was in sandier soil. He apologized for as he said it wasting my time. I assured him that it was not a waste as we both did some learning and made a definitive identification. Here are two cases where they are both misidentifications. One who knows bigfoot ain’t real and one who wanted bigfoot to be real.
I know some skeptics believe all bigfoot sightings are misidentifications. I do not think that is even remotely true. Most of us have had folks report to us that they thought it was a certain critter was this until it did something that the critter you thought it was could not do. The one I was told early in my bigfoot investigating years has really stuck with me and is a good example of the other side of the misidentification coin. There was a farmer who moved his herd of cows from a pasture on the east side of the road to one on the west side of the road. Two day later he was on his way to check the herd when he saw what he thought was a big black cow in the east pasture. Being a bit ticked off that she went back to that pasture and knowing he would have to move her again he pulled into the gate to the east pasture. He got out and was opening the gate, looked over to the cow again that was headed towards the woods at the north end of the pasture. All a sudden this cow stood up on its rear legs and stepped over the fence and walked into the woods on two legs. It was not until then that he realized that this big black thing was not a cow. This fella has lived in this area all his life and worked these pastures, roamed the woods, hunted the land, and had never even considered that there was a thing like bigfoot. He actually thought people who said they saw them were mistaken on what they saw or was just plain crazy. However, after this experience he began to question some of the odd stuff that has happened in years past. Could that be the reason why the cows go through so much feed in the east pasture verses the others? Was this the reason when he had to buy 4 salt blocks in two weeks just to find 3 on the wrong side of the fence close to each other in the woods during deer hunting a month later? Of course, those answers are just conjecture with no proof. Needless to say, this man’s world has been turned upside down. He looks a lot different at things that he used to think he knew so well.
So, misidentification in sightings is a two-sided coin for the investigators and researchers. One size does not fit all like so many parts of life.
Another thing that makes sightings difficult is that no two people see things the same. Whether it is hardened researchers or a people that never gave bigfoot a thought. Each sees things a bit differently. One of the on-site investigations I did was with a family that had a sighting. Three teens had a sighting a ½ miles from their house. The two boys were deeply affected. The younger of the two was so scared the other two had to literally drag him back to the house. I talked with each of the boys separately and was amazed at the differences each had from the same sighting. The older boy was amazed at the muscles in the thigh was so huge and was breathing really hard. Other than a bit startled he wasn’t too affected. The younger said the eyes were big and mean looking, heard what he said was it growling. Both saw the critter from about 20 foot coming up a finger from a holler and when it saw them it turned and went back down the holler from which it came. Both said it was dark brown, not black, and was huge. So here are two witnesses that saw the same critter, and both saw different things of that critter. The third person was a cousin that had went back home after spending the summer there, so I didn’t get the chance of talking to her. Each with having the same experience with both boys being affected so much differently.
It has been pretty much proven that when people see something that is so distressing three things can happen. Fight. Flight. Or Freeze. I do think this also can be why we get some people that have a sighting it is so easy for them to turn to the ideas that the critter disappeared or cloaked. How many times do we see someone close their eyes or cover their eyes during scary movies or traumatic events? Seems like a natural involuntary thing for people to do in a lot of cases. When they regain a little composure and open their eyes, it’s gone. Either vanished or just see the brush and grass moving as they hear it leave the area. If one is open to the paranormal it would be easy to contribute it to something fantastical rather than a very human condition in dealing with things that scare us. It always amazes me; you can have 10 people see the same thing and each seems to have focused on something different of the same event. Our minds apparently are incapable of processing 100% of an event especially when there is some sort of stress involved.
Even as researchers we are not immune to that condition. We plan and spend a lot of time trying to condition ourselves in how we will react when and if we happen to see one. Guess what? When it happens, truly little of our plan goes as we thought it would. I can only use my experience as an example. I have been lucky enough to have 4 brief the longest maybe being 3 seconds, bigfooting sightings. None were incredibly detailed. The last one was the one that scared me the most. Why? The first ones were moving away from me. The last one did something my mind couldn’t deal with in my past thoughts and experiences. During a Memorial Weekend expedition, we were on the way back from the nights listening post when the lead 4x4 had one cross right to left. With as long as he had been doing this his mind first thought it was a large white dog, even when there had been numerous sightings in the area of a white bigfoot, and he had seen it before. Skepticism? Or the easiest way his brain could deal with it? None the less, after the brief thought he realized what it was, and the crew stopped and headed to the area it had went and had eye shine and a decent look at it. Then it dropped down out of their sight. Then unexpectedly, I saw it pass behind us back over the trail from left to right. I was in the cargo bed of the rear side by side 4x4. This is when the fear hit me. Why did it do that? They never do that. My mind went into protection mode as this is what I had not ever expected. In all my planning and thinking of how I would react upon seeing one went out the window as what happened was not ever a consideration as a behavior. To this day we can only speculate why it did what it did or even if it was the same one. As far as we know maybe this has happened before but never observed and is a normal thing.
Sightings can be of great value to the investigators and researchers. But the details of any sighting may be lacking, not because of the witness is not being factual, it’s because each person’s mind processes the event differently. The ones for me that make me wonder the most of be factual and not exaggerated are the ones that are so detailed. It has been proven that the mind will “fill in the blanks” as time goes along. But for me those are the areas where I question the accounts the most as the mind is a complex thing.