While I’m on the topic of Bigfoot research I thought I’d throw this one at you…
Ever since I started blogging about Bigfoot I’ve come across the field research vs. book learning controversy. Apparently some people think they’re better researchers because they spend more time in the forest. Personally, I think that’s rather silly. It takes a big ego to think you’re a better “anything” than others… but I’m not here for psychology lessons.
We’re all struggling to learn about something that hasn’t been proven to be real (unless you, personally, have seen one or someone you implicitly trust has seen one.) Still, working mainly with eyewitness accounts and somewhat with physical evidence such as footprints and the Patterson-Gimlin film, we’ve pieced together a mental picture of what Bigfoot people are like. Adding to that we’ve tossed in a variety of theories that are mental constructs that may or may not be valid.
There are two main ways to learn about Bigfoot.
(1) By reading what others have written, or talking to eyewitnesses, or doing computer research. All second-hand information.
(2) By going out into the forest to follow up on Bigfoot sighting reports, or to try to set up conditions for a personal Bigfoot encounter. This is called squatching. These are attempts to have first-hand experiences and to collect your own evidence.
The idea that field research is better is, to my way of thinking, pure nonsense. There’s lots to be learned by studying the work of others and by listening to people talk about their Bigfoot sighting experiences.
Also, I feel that in some ways, for many people, field research is a huge waste of time. People suit up and enter the woods for ‘research’ knowing full well that finding a Bigfoot walking around out there is extremely unlikely. You’d probably have the same chance of winning the state lottery. So field research is often like a glorified camping trip with high-tech recording and camera equipment on board.
Really, squatching is a lot of fun and I’m not dissing it. If you love camping and being in the woods, go for it! But don’t expect to see a Bigfoot because you probably won’t. They are much better at avoiding us than we are at encountering them.
Squatching reminds me of teenagers daring each other to go into a graveyard on Halloween night. It is fun to be out in the scary old woods at night with a small group of friends, listening for anomalous sounds and hoping not to be attacked by a cougar or a bear. Way cool! And if you happen to hear a Bigfoot-type scream or whoop or whistle, you feel like you’ve just hit paydirt… however Bigfoot sightings are 99.99% experienced by people who had no prior thoughts of Bigfoot, who just happened to be driving by or walking in the woods, and were confronted by something totally unexpected. I am beyond thinking that going into the woods with scream machines will do much more than make Bigfoot people chuckle while avoiding you.
On the other hand, using Don Campbell’s Bigfoot-attraction techniques may help increase your chances. A few others have had success at locating Sasquatches as well. What they have in common is that they don’t work with large groups who would no doubt send the signal to Bigfoot people to stay away.
So, read a book, read about Bigfoot on computer sites, talk to people who saw them in the woods, and in your spare time, go camping at a Bigfoot hot spot just for fun. Both book research and field research are worth doing and if you’re a Bigfoot research enthusiast, you’ll probably want to do both.