Monday, February 8, 2010
(above: witness account by a man who witnessed Yowie (Australian Bigfoot))
I was watching a Bigfoot documentary the other day when something struck me: The people who stumbled upon a Bigfoot encounter seemed much more believable than those who are hunting Bigfoot and reported seeing him.
This thought took me back to the Patterson-Gimlin famous film footage of a supposed Bigfoot. They went into the woods with camera looking for Bigfoot and managed to film one. Over the decades since, people have debated the film and its authenticity a great deal, especially in the context of their expedition. Now, had they been weekend campers who happened upon Bigfoot and filmed it, would they have been less criticized?
Actually, the accounts by people who happened upon Bigfoot without intention of finding him give descriptions that are emotionally gripping, clearly burned into their minds in a moment of fight-of-flight, and not something they like to repeatedly discuss. However, Bigfoot hunters often grab any camera crew available to talk about their hunt, no doubt making the story a big bigger and larger than life with each telling.
When people go looking for something, does that make them less sincere as witnesses?
I’m a ghost hunter. This concept applies to my industry, as well. When a team enters a supposedly haunted place, they know the history, the stories of what’s happened there to present-day tenants and they hope to get proof of ghosts. Anything that happens could be explained in that context as a haunting. However, a family moving into a home and renovating and faced with weird occurrences almost always uses logic as long as they can to explain strange sounds and weird feelings. The last thing they want to think is “ghost,” but ghost hunters’ first thoughts are “ghosts.”
What is the lesson in all of this? Perhaps that those seeking the phenomenon are likely to overexaggerate and those who were not looking for it are likely to understate it. It doesn’t make one source or the other more reliable, but it makes it damn hard for those in the “business” of hunting to be taken seriously.
The message from all of this is that scientists don’t become rock stars and they shouldn’t. You have to doubt their test findings when they’re funded by drug companies and others with an interest in the results. So is the same with hunting paranormal phenomenon. Should a team like TAPS be funded by a channel like SyFy, their findings take a huge plummet in believability. To be a real hunter is to be anonymous, to share the findings, but to not profit on the findings because then the findings become a “product” and their power to influence change in the industry takes a nosedive.
If you don’t believe me, think of the last time you heard a song you liked being used for a commercial? Did you ever want to hear it again? Did your opinion of the singer plummet? Did you wonder how much cash exchanged hands to give over use of a song that was once associated with sunshine and happiness and is now associated with Japanese cars?
at 10:25 AM