Bigfoot Bounty vs. Bigfoot Research

It didn't take long for the word to spread when Spike TV came knocking on the door of the Bigfoot community. I have to admit I was a bit surprised at the recent uproar of various individuals after the upcoming reality show Bigfoot Bounty was publicly announced this past week by host Dean Cain. Participants in the show had done their best to keep their involvement a secret. Now that the cat's out of the bag, non-participants have been speaking out either for or against the show and the people involved. Several of the attitudes expressed in opposition of the show has really left me a bit perplexed. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you chose not to participate in the show, or try out for it, that was your decision. If you have a personal issue with the pretense of the show, and choose not to watch it, that is your choice as well. However, to speak out against it, call for a boycott, and to attack individuals who did choose to participate in the show, in my opinion is uncalled for, and quite frankly childish.

Bigfoot Bounty, like all television shows, is meant for entertainment purposes. They require ratings to be successful and to make money. Whether it's a soap opera, a newscast, a documentary, or a reality show, they are only on the air to make money. If they don't make money, they go off the air. Television is an entertainment industry. One could argue that point using examples such news or documentaries, but are you really naive enough to believe that without ratings those shows would still broadcast? If you watch the news for instance, the majority of you watch a particular newscast or channel, even if another channel shows the exact same news stories. Why is that? Because you like the personalities on a particular one. The talent. The entertainment. Documentaries, while informative, are still in the business of making money. Companies try to pick subjects that people will find interesting so they will watch those documentaries so the company can make money. What do you think Shark Week is about? Because people must know about the behaviors of sharks? No, because you find it entertaining to watch. It sells advertising and merchandise. It makes money. If more people were interested in badgers than sharks, we would have Badger Week.

Another aspect that bothers me is the argument that Bigfoot Bounty is going to hurt the research community because of the way it will portray Bigfoot research and investigators, as well as the exploitation of turning it into a contest. Certain people are concerned that it will once again make us all look silly, and in some aspects insane. Let me ask you this, what aspect of Bigfoot research makes you look sane? The fact of the matter is, anyone involved in this endeavor is a bit insane to begin with. Myself included. To the general public we might as well be chasing unicorns or leprechauns. Until Bigfoot is proven to exist via an actual specimen or some clear and amazing video footage, the public is going to remain believing that way. It doesn't matter how professional or serious you take the research or portray yourself. I'm sorry, that's the reality of it. Ted Bundy was intelligent, serious, and very professional. He was also bat-shit crazy and everyone knew it. Everyone but him and other serial killers. I've also seen numerous individuals in the community talk about how it will portray Bigfoot research incorrectly. While they will be boycotting Bigfoot Bounty, they will still tune in on a weekly basis and watch Finding Bigfoot. I apologize if I missed something, but which part of Finding Bigfoot portrays real Bigfoot research? Yes, the individuals are all previous researchers that a lot of us were already familiar with, but it is still TV. It is still designed to bring in ratings and thus money. Going out blindly in a new area with a full camera and sound crew, doing some vocalizations that may or may not be effective, and then leaving after a few hours. If that is truly how you've been doing your research then chances are you have not had much, if any, success. That is not how serious research is conducted. While I respect the individuals on the show, I promise you they are not doing things the way they normally would. It is a false representation of Bigfoot research, and is designed to entertain the general public and the occasional enthusiast. It is NOT produced for the Bigfoot research community. There will NEVER be a television series that is. It would be a recipe for failure.

Making it a contest for money exploits Bigfoot. Give me a break. So does selling merchandise, holding public Bigfoot conferences, making a Bigfoot movie, selling Bigfoot art, etc. Doing it to raise funds for your research? There's nothing wrong with that. So I assume that if you could sell a million t-shirts you would invest all of those profits into equipment and Bigfoot research travel expenses? If your conference makes a few thousand dollars over the cost of the event, you donate that money to Bigfoot charity right? Yeah, right.
And the various artisans and film makers that don't actually do research, I guess we're boycotting them as well? Funny, last time I checked, Bigfoot researchers were the number one consumers of Bigfoot related merchandise. I bet most of you grab Jack Links before any other brand of beef jerky. I do too, I'm just not a hypocrite about it.

While I'm sure there are a few individuals who honestly oppose the upcoming Bigfoot Bounty for what they feel are the right reasons, it appears to me that, unfortunately, a lot of people are just jumping on a hater bandwagon of elitists. One individual shocked me, as I have never had anything but respect for them as not only a researcher, but an individual as well. An individual that in the past has always tried to keep the peace and avoided the bs conflicts and politics of the Bigfoot world. Now they are sounding like some sort of condescending elitist that is above and beyond the lesser members of the research community. I have also witnessed a number of people joining in the anti-BFB campaign who TRIED to get on the show and were rejected. Since they didn't make the cut, they now have a problem with the show? Grow up. You know who you are. What about the "real" researchers that did try to get on the show? The ones who were cut before filming began. Has the rest of the community disassociated themselves with those individuals? I haven't seen it. Since they were cut, they get a free pass when it comes to your campaign against those involved? If you do want Bigfoot research to be taken seriously, and you are concerned about how researchers are portrayed, think of it this way, you could have gone on the show and used it as a platform to show that. If nothing else, you would have garnered attention where people would seek you out on Internet, where you could have shown them how it's really done. Instead of viewing it as some horrible and negative thing, it could have been used as a tool for you to spread the truth in the long run. Without the ability to gain an audience, your words are left unheard. It's not the Bigfoot research community that needs educating, it's the general public. It's the individuals that DO watch those kind of shows. But instead you're doing nothing. Slinging mud at others for doing something they felt passionate about.

The real truth is this. None of us know what the show will or won't do for the research community. We don't know how anything is going to be portrayed. The show hasn't even aired a single episode. The speculation and rumors have absolutely no value. It will all be up to the producers and how they edit the series. A series meant to entertain and make money based on a subject that most of us are sincerely passionate about. How can you ask the public and the skeptics to remain open-minded when you can't even do it yourselves?

The following is an official quote from a representative of Bigfoot Bounty:

"The Ten Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty  is cutting edge in regards to Bigfoot television.  This new show has a scientist and a primatologist that travel with the teams on every expedition along with their  own top of the line laboratory that Dr. Disotell required.  No other Bigfoot program has done this before.  Actual scientific applications are being used and tested that the 9 teams are being evaluated on.  The science is there.  The teams are from all different walks of life, some are hunters and some are squatchers — and bring new and unique approaches to Bigfoot research."

Comments

  1. Very well said. I haven't been around this community for a long period of time but in the little time I have, it's like watching a soap opera mixed with a WWE event. I am amazed at how many in this community create such a spectacle yet want to be taken serious as "researchers" in this field. Great writeup though, you make some really good points that I hope others will notice.

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