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

Friday, January 28, 2011

We Love Bigfoot, Even Though We Hate Him

Just because: From November 2008; I wrote this when I was contributing to American Chronicle.

We Love Bigfoot, Even Though We Hate Him

I happen to think that Bigfoot exists. I don´t know this for a fact, because I´ve never seen one. I do know a number of people who have. These are people I know, trust, and are -- contrary to the opinion of ignorant or knee-jerk uber-skeptics -- often educated, professional people. The fact that some of these people have college degrees and work in white collar jobs doesn't mean that those who do not hold degrees or work in fields like education are any less intelligent or credible. In fact, those who spend much of their time hunting or camping, or living in rural areas and are familiar with the wildlife, have just as much credibility as anyone else.

I also have this opinion based on years of study about the phenomena. Given the fact I know people who've seen Bigfoot, and my own explorations, I have the strong opinion Bigfoot exists, not only here in the contiguous United States, but I also have the opinion a Bigfoot like creature exists in several places the world over.

Naturally, I could be wrong. But so far, I haven´t come across any compelling evidence to convince me that the reasons for its nonexistence hold up.

Uber-skeptics and debunkers have a very different opinion about Bigfoot of course. It doesn´t exist, end of story. Well, you´d think that´d be the end of the story, but it isn´t. For something that they are certain doesn´t exist, and that only the liars, delusional, or drunken/drug addled see, the pathological debunker spends a huge amount of time arguing about its nonexistence. For some reason, I find this stubborn insistence of disbelief fascinating.

The James Randi Educational site is a popular on-line site, with its own message board: the James Randi Educational Forum. The forum is divided into several different sections, like religion, politics, etc. and, of course, one category called "skepticism and the general paranormal." Everything from ghosts, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, all the expected and usual stuff, is discussed here, including things that don´t make much sense at all as to their inclusion, like being a vegetarian.

Bigfoot is there too. Bigfoot is currently being discussed, in one way or another, in thirty-seven different threads (!) on the forum.

Thirty-seven separate threads on why Bigfoot doesn't exist! Wow.

To be fair, some of the threads are obvious jokes and attempts to have fun at poor Sasquatch´s expense, like "I Saw Bigfoot Kissing Santa Claus." A few are just snipe fests: attacks on pro-Bigfooters, or, attacks/defenses from pro-Bigfooters in the midst inside Skeptoid Land. One thread is actually interesting; that´s the "Native American myths/traditions support Bigfoot? A critical look" thread.

Overall though, the number of threads insisting that Bigfoot doesn´t exist is an intriguing insight into the mind of the debunker. To argue, so insistently, so persistently, that something doesn't exist seems . . . well, a waste of time, for one thing. Sheesh.

We´re still left with the big question: what is it that people are seeing? To dismiss such reports as, at best, cases of mistaken identity (a bear, an elk, etc.) and at worst, being an ignorant drunken fool, ignores the fact of the witness.

I happen to believe (but take note, it is not a dogmatic belief) that Bigfoot exists, but I don´t have thirty seven separate threads going on about it. The skeptics, who don´t believe, do. Which is the more rational?

No comments: