There is a Yeti in the back of everyone’s mind; only the blessed are not haunted by it. ~ old sherpa saying

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

From Thom Powell: "Bigfoot Research: Intel not Science"

 "...we should regard them as guerrillas, not gorillas." ~ (Thom Powell on how we need to think about Bigfoot.)
Author of The Locals and Bigfoot researcher Thom Powell has a great post at his blog on Bigfoot research, and why the "scientific" approach is just not sensible. Powell comments that Bigfoot are intelligent, highly, extremely intelligent, and not "...dumb apes or wild animals." As I've ranted here on Frame 342 and elsewhere many times, Bigfoot/Sasquatch research still surprises me with the attitude, the innate assumption, that Bigfoot is basically just a big animal. Many acknowledge that Bigfoot is intelligent, but "just", really, a big animal. Still "lesser than" us, in every way, and an animal as yet unidentified but in the end, nothing more than an extremely smart bear or ape or even some entirely new creature but, "just" an animal that is below us, even if just a notch. Part of that assumption that Bigfoot is below us, no matter how short that distance may be; includes the attitude that this "less than" no matter how slight, gives us the right to hunt, trap, trick, kill, dissect, and or exploit. Often, "in the name of science" is invoked as justification, but sometimes it's just an arrogance, the assumption that we, as humans have the right because we want to, because we can, because "it" (Bigfoot) is there, because it'd be astoundingly way cool. But I don't want to get off on a rant :)...

As to using scientific means with equipment and methods, Powell writes:

While I am saying you'll never collect truly valid scientific evidence, I'm not saying you should find another hobby. I'm just saying you will not be able to satisfy that rigorous expectation called scientific proof. That's because you cannot do science on an intelligent and elusive being that does not intend to cooperate with our attempts to scientifically document its existence. Even though various items of credible evidence have been gathered over the years, such as the PGF, the Skookum Cast, and more track casts and hair samples than you can shake a bag of plaster at, they all fail the rigors of science in one important regard: they cannot be replicated.

Thom doesn't say we should give up looking for Bigfoot, but that we need to change our perspectives, our assumptions, and our approach when we do go out in the field: are making a mistake by trying to be utterly scientific in your approach.  Instead, you should recognize the difference between science and intelligence gathering, and recognize that it is more pragmatic to settle for collecting intel as opposed to unassailable scientific data. 
Intel. Like the CIA, government spooks, spy stuff. Intelligence gathering. This is the shift in thinking and approach that needs to happen. As I frequently do, I see parallels to UFO research. After sixty years or so of research, we haven't found any answers to the UFO phenomenon. Well, that's arguable but also another article for another day. But  the following comments from Powell on research methods concerning Bigfoot and using an intelligence gathering mind-set can be applied ot the shift that needs to happen in UFO research as well:
Everything they [intelligence ops] gather is a bit uncertain but this does not justify throwing that data away . . .  That's how intel goes. It ain't science, but it ain't worthless, either.  It's all we got and it may someday be useful in designing and executing a truly scientific experiment but we aren't there yet. 
Powell is not "against' science, and this isn't about bashing science. The entire article is excellent and, a brave one in the sense that, in my experience, Bigfoot research is a conservative arena, more so than UFO Land. I think things are shifting though, in a new and creative direction.

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