Monday, May 23, 2011

Common Misconceptions: The End of the Mystery?

When you're an advocate for the existence of the sasquatch as a real species, and you're an active field researcher who openly discusses the subject with the public, you answer a lot of the same questions and hear the same comments over and over again; seemingly ad infinitum. There are a few comments that I hear nearly every time that I discuss the subject with interested (but uninformed) people that I would like to address in a series of articles called "Common Misconceptions".

This common misconception is related to the aftermath of the official recognition of sasquatches, and the usefulness and relevance of amateur field researchers.  

Common Misconception: "Once bigfoots are proven to exist, the mystery will be over. Amateur field researchers like you will become obsolete."

Here lies the mystery?

I predict that this statement is absolutely false. The mystery of whether or not they exist dramatically pales in comparison to the mysteries of how they exist: the ways that they interact with their environment, their population, their distribution, their strategies for survival, their ability to avoid detection, etc.

Our goal is not only to validate the existence of sasquatches, but to thoroughly understand their ecology. The BFRO is the only nationwide organization of amateur field researchers that have been collecting and investigating observation reports across the continent for years, and has the largest database related to sasquatch observations and encounters (other than the work of certain individual researchers, like John Green). No law enforcement branch, nor media outlet, nor academic institution has come close to collecting this amount of data pertaining to these animals.

This collective of researchers already has a strong understanding of at least some aspects of their ecology, distribution, and history. The BFRO is constantly honing its methodologies of locating and documenting resident sasquatches in various parts of the country. Once we can demonstrate a perfected version of this methodology, interested institutions will certainly come to the BFRO (and other independent researchers) for information and answers about these animals, once it's obvious that they inhabit portions of the continent.

Sighting Density Map via History Channel

Understanding their distribution across the continent will take a very long time, as there will be no single event or piece of evidence that proves to the world that sasquatches occupy a good deal of the continent. Rather, it will be a wealth of evidence and footages from across the continent that eventually tip the scales for the aforementioned institutions. Sasquatch data and evidence always come in small pieces, and usually infrequently, due to the nature of these animals. 

Our widespread efforts across the continent have helped the data come in at a faster rate, but that rate will remain constant even after major institutions become involved. Even as we understand sasquatches and their ecology to a greater degree, they won't be any easier to predict, locate, pursue, or document. The BFRO will always have an important role in the study of these animals. That role will be emphasized to a greater degree once the animals are recognized, due to the public's inevitable overwhelming interest in them.

It will take many decades of study and generations of researchers to fully understand these animals. Sasquatches will remain one of nature's greatest mysteries, even after they are officially recognized.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Professor Jeff Wells and "Bigfoot In Georgia"

In late December of 2007 I received an email from Jeff Wells, a professor of History at the Georgia Military College's Atlanta Campus. He stated that he was working on the manuscript of a book about the history of bigfoot sightings and research in the state of Georgia.

Professor Jeff Wells

By that point, I had done a few years worth of gathering historical data related to the observations of sasquatches in Georgia, and had been doing field research with the BFRO for nearly a year. I felt that I had some unique insights into the local history of Northeast Georgia, and that I had personal experiences to offer as well. Professor Wells had heard an internet radio interview that I participated in with Robert W. Morgan where I spoke a little bit about a few of those experiences.

The bulk of our communication about sasquatches in Georgia didn't commence until the early summer of 2008. I had moved from Atlanta to Seattle, and was just settling in when we began to discuss at length the history of observations, encounters, research, evidence, etc. During that time, we must have logged upwards of 20 hours on the phone. As you can guess, there was much to discuss!

I finally met Jeff in person in September of 2009. We had dinner just north of Atlanta, and talked 'squatch for quite a while! I was allowed to see a portion of the chapter related to the Elkins Creek cast, and was excited about the pending publication.



"Bigfoot in Georgia" was eventually published by Pine Winds Press on January 1, 2010. I received a signed copy from Jeff, and eagerly read the book. I was grateful that he cited many of our conversations and mentioned me quite a bit throughout the text. It was vindicating to finally see a published work about sasquatches in my home state.

To purchase Jeff Wells' "Bigfoot in Georgia" from Amazon.com, please click HERE.

You can also follow Jeff by reading his blog, "Georgia Mysteries"

My deepest thanks to Jeff for writing and publishing this book. I would encourage anyone who has an interest in the subject to read it, especially if you're from Georgia, or have spent any time in the woods there. To return the favor, I'm hoping to coerce Professor Wells into spending a few nights in the Southern Appalachians of Northeast Georgia with myself and a few other researchers... Whadda ya say, Jeff?