Bigfoot Bickering

Lately I have found myself in quite the conundrum. It seems that most Internet Bigfoot forums I visit, I end up arguing. I've also noticed that it isn't just myself, but lots of Bigfooters seem to argue. Yes, I know it's always been that way. People vary in opinions and personalities, and at times those individualistic differences will clash with one another. We're human, it happens. What I'm talking about is different. People are entitled to opinions. Everyone. I don't know anyone who would argue that. What that means however, is that if you state your own opinion, people are allowed to state theirs as well, even if it conflicts with your own. Conflicting opinions are not arguments, or at least they don't have to be as long as both parties are respectful of one another. So why all the arguments? Is there a lack of respect among researchers? Well, yes, there is. It is difficult to respect others who offer no respect to you, and most of us would agree respect is something that is earned. But how does one earn respect from someone who disagrees with their own beliefs? Sure, it's the right thing to do, but it is difficult for us to do it. In those circumstances we have to be adults, and just allow them to have our respect, or at least walk away. Personally I will admit I have a very difficult time just walking away.

This isn't the issue that concerns me though. The issue I have is observations I have made recently of different individuals and factions putting forth opinions or beliefs as factual information. In some extreme instances one could even say certain individuals put forth outright lies as factual information. What we typically call hoaxing. In the "regular" world this is called lying. It is these areas I have problems with, and it is those type actions that lead me into arguments. Arguments that I feel shouldn't even be taking place in a field such as this.

Some people feel that when it comes to hoaxing, or people making claims that have no supporting evidence, we should just let it go. Certain individuals want to be able to have these public conversations where the only things allowed to be said must be positive and in agreement with whatever the originator is claiming.

The age-old saying "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

That would be wonderful in a perfect world where Bigfoot research was about making others feel important and good about themselves, but unfortunately it's not. Bigfoot research is about finding answers. Discovering the truth. Not the truth as someone wishes it to be. Not the truth as someone chooses to make it. But the factual truth.

The truth is the community has grown rapidly over the past several years. With the popularity of the television series "Finding Bigfoot" many new enthusiasts have joined the fray. People who are unaware of the history, the personalities, and the evidence that has been recorded. As they come into this community, they are looking for answers and for guidance. If you were one of those people, would you rather be led by someone who knows what they are talking about, who has actual field experience, or someone who has made up everything they supposedly know?

What about evidence? When people present evidence publicly, isn't it to be expected that people will offer up their opinions, question it, or if they have the means to do so, completely refute it? If the evidence is strong enough, it will more than likely stand on its own merits, especially if proper documentation was done. Individuals should not be offended when their evidence is questioned, or someone has a differing opinion towards it. Take the ever popular blobsquatch for instance. We know for a fact that matrixing of pixels occur in digital format photographs and video. We also know that pareidolia occurs in our own minds. So which one is most likely, someone has multiple photos containing numerous bigfoot creatures just out of focus and all facing forward that were not apparent until they went home, loaded the images onto their computer, and zoomed in until they saw something that resembled what they were wanting to be there, or that one of those two, if not both, very real things happened? So how can one reasonably defend these photos when they themselves did not even see a bigfoot at the time they took the original photo? The fact is even they do not know if it is really a bigoot in their photo or not. Yet time and time again, I have seen individuals argue until they are spitting mad trying to defend those out of focus blurry photos of shadows. If nothing else, everyone should understand that in tree lines, shadows outnumber bigfoot at any given moment.

Another aspect of all of this that troubles me is that some people believe that when it comes to hoaxing, we should just ignore it and not say anything. If they don't receive our attention, they will quit hoaxing. I respectfully have to disagree. If nobody says anything, then all you are left with is whatever claim the hoaxer is making. If a person comes along who doesn't know any better, and only sees the one side, then they will tend to believe it to be the truth. Perhaps the hoax does not concern you or interfere with your own research, but it does do harm. It does mislead. If you're seeking answers, do you go to the reference section or the fiction section at the library? Part of being an honest person, part of maintaining integrity, is to expose lies when you have the ability to do so. If you do not speak out against it, you only help it continue for others who are ignorant to the truth.

The same applies to the various forums out there. Why should we say something, or question something, when all we are offering is something negative? Because that's the misconception. It isn't negative. It is called negative, hating, picking on, trouble causing, stirring the pot, because if you show how someone is misleading or putting out false information, or presenting evidence that they are attributing to Bigfoot when it shouldn't be, that takes the attention off of them. It makes them look like they were wrong about something, and thus inferior to the person discrediting their item or claim. They go on the attack with name calling and condescending tones. This shows a person who isn't interested in finding or showing the truth. It shows an agenda outside of finding answers about these creatures.

The only filter, the only checks and balances we have is one another. Our peers. If we are being honest and true in our endeavor, we have nothing to worry about. If you do not have the documentation to support your claims, you should know not everyone will believe it, and that should be ok. You should also realize that they have the right to express that opinion, just as they have the right to explain why they disagree with you. If you can't accept that, keep the claims to yourself. If you can't respect those differing opinions, do not expect respect to be given in return.

Comments

  1. Good article. I think this is something that is prevalent in our society at large. There is no middle ground anymore thanks to Bush's dictum - "you are either for us or against us." The reality is much different of course but anyone who states their case is unfortunately open to a attack when it deviates from the programmed norm. Look at our political system, look at any article posted on CNN and read the comments. This is the sad result of our failing educational system. Sadly, the most technologically sophisticated society in human history has become sadly ignorant of the value of a diversity of perspectives. We simply aren't smart enough to accept an alternative from our own viewpoint.

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  2. Great post! I find it very hard to open myself up to criticism when talking about possible hoaxers or just plain old delusional researchers. Sometimes an easy way of saying it doesn't exist and you draw plenty of heat for pointing out the obvious. In my case it's more on how they present "evidence" by stating "This is proof" instead of possible evidence or possible proof. I'm not saying I'm a pro but the field is filled with plenty of amateurs who think they have "The Holy Grail". God forbid you tell them they don't.

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  9. A lot of the bickering is from skeptics of the bigfoot phenomenon who like to comment on these boards and badger people. Them along with many bigfoot believers are quick to call something a hoax with little reason to do so. As far as having different opinions, I don't see a lot of "bickering," but disagreements on positions.

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