Bobbie Short - The Pioneer Woman of Bigfoot

People come and go in our lives. Death is an absolute. We all know it will eventually happen to us, and we all know it will happen to others we know. It is the natural order of our existence. But for some reason there are those certain times, regardless of the fact that we KNOW it is going to happen, where it seems to come as an absolute shock. Your heart sinks inside you and your mind races with confusion and disbelief. A deep wanting for it not to be true. But you know it is.

In this crazy world we call the Bigfoot community certain things happen to all of us. Regardless of how hard we fight it, what our beliefs are, or what we pretend to be like on the outside, humanity and emotion works its way into the foreground. Certain aspects of this field no longer reside in the realm of the elusive subject we are all seeking answers, but instead becomes about the people. The personalities we grow to know with time. It should come as no surprise, I mean most of us have our day to day normal lives, but whatever free time we have is largely ate up by our involvement in the Bigfoot community. Checking emails, and messages, facebook pages, twitter, blogs, website updates, youtube videos, text messages, voice mail, the list goes on and on, and within all of those areas of communication are the same names, faces, voices, words, of people who somehow become part of our daily lives. As people it becomes inevitable, relationships will be made. That's who we are. There will be people you clash with, there will be people who annoy you, there will be people that make you laugh, make you stomp your feet, or warm your heart. And sometimes, for whatever reason, some of those screen names, some of those voices, some of those pictures become our friends.

That's who Bobbie Short was to me, a friend.

But as with everyone in the history of existence, not everyone felt that way. Personalities clash. People get emotional about their beliefs. And that's perfectly alright. Regardless of how you felt about the woman personally, one thing can not be denied. Bobbie was a pioneer in this field.

Bobbie Short was part of the Bigfoot community before it was a community. She was there before the Internet. She used to tell me how researchers would write letters back and forth to share information. They literally had to go out as journalists to find new information. It wasn't just handed to them instantly on a digital platter almost as quickly as it happens like we have all become accustomed to. They had to work for it. The field itself was dominated by men. Except for Bobbie. And she wasn't just a pretty face, she would get her hands dirty. Bobbie literally traveled the world looking for answers to this mystery. As technology advanced, Bobbie was there. First conference calls, then bulletin boards on the computer, then irc chats, emails, then the big leap happened and the internet community was born. The community grew from a literal handful of people to what it is today. And Bobbie was there for all of it. You hear names like Grover Krantz, Rene Dahinden, John Green, Peter Byrne, and Bobbie Short knew them all.

Bobbie's website Bigfoot Encounters is by far the most vast source of Bigfoot documentation that has ever existed on the Internet. The most fascinating aspect of the website, in my opinion, is the fact that the information came from everywhere. It isn't filtered down. It isn't a representation of the beliefs of the owner (although there are areas where Bobbie's outspoken personality and beliefs are presented) but it is a collection of articles, interviews, audio, video, essays, and sighting reports from all over the world throughout the years. I am proud to say that my first ever Bigfoot experience is published in her sighting database, the only time I have ever submitted an actual report. Bobbie was also kind enough to request that some of my essays on the subject be published on her site. A virtual nobody in the Bigfoot world. But Bobbie did not care about how well known you are, or even how well known she was. She didn't care about making a name for herself, or appearing in documentaries. Bobbie cared about the subject, her passion, and all she wanted was for the information to be there for whoever else desired to have it. I honestly believe the woman put in more hours and more work than anyone else ever has to make sure that happened.

Not only did Bobbie have a fantastic website, but she also put out a regular monthly newsletter filled with current information and announcements pertaining to the subject. The newsletter had over 2,500 subscribers, and I looked forward to receiving every issue of it. Bobbie's personal nature came through at the end of each newsletter in which she stated:

I appreciate the continued contributions from readers;
YOU are the people that make this newsletter work.

The newsletter was being delivered free of charge for nearly 12 years, and the website was currently in it's 19th year. To me, that's a lot of thankless dedication.

Bobbie, thank you for taking the time to talk with me like you did with so many others. Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me. Thank you for being there to listen to me rant and rave not only about the Bigfoot world, but my personal life as well. Thank you for including me in your book that I truly hope one day gets published. Thank you for your dedication and the endless work you put into this crazy field of study. I wish I could have had a chance to say good-bye.

On a more personal note: As I stated some people did not get along with Bobbie. It happens, and as I stated  that is perfectly acceptable. However, I have issue with a couple things I have witnessed.

To Steven Streufert: Despite flaws on the website, really? Was there a need to point out this personal opinion of yours when supposedly showing respect and remorse over someone's passing? I'm sure there could be entire websites dedicated to your own personal flaws, let alone your opinions and theories on the subject of Bigfoot. I mean honestly, you want to point out things like you argued with her over the Patty film? Whether you agreed with her or not, the fact remains that she knew way more than you ever will about the film and the people involved in the investigation of the area. If nothing else you should respect that and keep your mouth shut. I never once agreed with the massacre theory, after all it is a THEORY, and yet I was still able to maintain a friendship with Bobbie, and we both had mutual respect for one another. When that happens, you don't argue, you have conversations. And trust me, the opinions of you in this community are far from perfect. Perhaps you should focus on your own flaws before trying to point out the flaws of people who have accomplished more in this field than you ever possibly will.

To Loren Coleman: I expected more from you Loren. I don't know why, but I did. I couldn't help but notice you managed to mention one of your own books. I can over look that. I'm used to it. But making it a point to  expose her for not telling everyone her personal information such as her age and where she's originally from? Really? Like that's some major skeleton in her closet? A woman dies, a woman who you KNOW truly added something positive to the very field you make a living off of, and because this woman, an elderly woman didn't tell her real age and location over the Internet, you felt the need to expose that like some Hollywood gossip columnist? Don't most women hide those facts from strangers? Isn't that a completely normal thing to do? I know I was raised not to ask a woman her age because it was offensive and none of my business. The Internet is especially a place where it's completely understandable to lie about that information. It had nothing to do with her contributions to this field. Not only that, but people can think for themselves Loren. You could have just posted her obituary, and those who were told different information could have noticed on their own. I'm willing to bet they wouldn't have given it as much concern as you have. But I guess this was your one last chance to get a dig in on her since you two never really got along. Nice show of class there Loren. Why don't you go scour her website for some source information for your next book.


Comments

  1. Matt...

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. Your observations and comments regarding our friend, Bobbie Short are appreciated.

    Her detractors, never knew Bobbie, her agenda was respectful observation, recognition and eventual legal protection...her unique contribution to the species was immense.

    Rest in Peace...Roberta Short...the First Lady of Sasquatchery.

    live and let live...

    Steve Summar

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, thanks so much. There are many of us who depended on Bobbie's insights and support. Loren got it wrong BTW...Melissa Hovey did an interview in 2006 or so, and Bobbie states the info Loren claims is hidden....with the exception of age...
    and I think I hear Bobbie saying something to that..."Lord....that old woman Coleman...never changes..!"
    I love you Bobbie, always will...my last email to her was the 16th..and signed love always...

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have made a logical fallacy in the above, ad hominem. I did not make a PERSONAL attack on Bobbie Short. I did honor her achievements, but with a certain qualification of "certain flaws on her web site. This has to do with altering historical information and changing the actual words of newspaper articles to reflect badly on certain individuals she did not like. It was NOT a personal attack, but a criticism of scholarship in the work. Many who have reacted have not even read my full words, which Shawn Evidence did not originally include in his article. I liked Bobbie Short, when we were not in a dispute over the Massacre Theory. It isn't wrong to discuss things and disagree, and that is not an "argument." It is just a debate. I'm glad she was part of this field, and appreciate her valuable contributions and dedication. I just didn't agree with her on certain issues.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just so you know, here is what I actually said, in full, as Shawn corrected it in his updated blog post:

    "Noted Bigfoot Researcher, BOBBIE SHORT, has passed away. In case you didn't know of her, she founded the excellent resource, BIGFOOT ENCOUNTERS. I greatly differed with her views regarding the history of the Patterson-Gimlin film, and certain other things, but I always found her to be an intelligent and interesting person when we weren't arguing over bloody pools on Bluff Creek. Her book was said to be nearly done, and was greatly anticipated. I hope it can be finished somehow and published. Also, despite certain flaws, Bigfoot Encounters stands as a valuable and notable legacy. Now I feel badly about never making up with her over the Massacre Theory. Even our ideological 'enemies' are human, and deserve all the compassion we can muster. R.I.P. Bobbie Short." - Steven Streufert (Bigfoot Books)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well said. I was shocked to find out about her passing. She was a great person.

    ReplyDelete
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