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

Monday, December 24, 2012

Phantoms and Monsters: Paranormal Activity, Bigfoot, Mothman, UFOs and Other Unexplained Phenomena

As an added commentary to the post below about Dr. Ketchum's research,I'm posting the link to Lon Strikler's article at Phantoms and Monsters on the Coast to Coast interview with Ketchum. (And, like Lon, I too have a lot of respect for George Knapp.)
Phantoms and Monsters: Paranormal Activity, Bigfoot, Mothman, UFOs and Other Unexplained Phenomena: I am also the conjecture and rumors whipped up by a large number of Bigfoot researchers and enthusiasts, not the DNA study. Knapp also states:

The most vehement, the nastiest reaction to the aforementioned [Bigfoot] DNA study has come from those that think of themselves as Bigfoot researchers.

I have read a few responses to the C2C interview, many of which claim Knapp is an apologist for Dr. Melba Ketchum and the DNA study. Once again, we have someone who is privy to Dr. Ketchum's results and criticized for defending the study.

These salvos by Bigfoot dogmatics are clearly a 'push back' against those who are willing to have an open mind and not afraid to speak out.

Why is (almost) Everyone Giving Dr. Melba Ketchum a Hard Time?

Listened to some of last night's Coast to Coast with host George Knapp and guest Dr. Ketchum. And if what she says is true, as to her diligence with testing, then why is she getting so much flack from many in Bigfoot Land? Such flack from science, well, sadly that's no surprise. Sciences' blindness to the existence of Bigfoot and the data is horribly frustrating and a mystery but, to be expected.  Why, though, are some in the Bigfoot world attacking her? I think she's been coy in the past, a bit, but overall, look. She's trying to do something. She's sent samples out to several labs. She's looking at the DNA. She's used blind studies. She has a variety of samples, not just one strand of elk hair. All this costs money, a lot of money. Finding labs to do the work is a huge job. Scientists have turned her down once they get wind that her research is Bigfoot research. According to Ketchum, one scientist threatened to sue her and her team if they used his findings; that's how angry he was over the subject of her research -- and how afraid he remains of being associated in any way with Bigfoot research.

Knapp asked her about her insistence that those she's discussed her research with sign disclosure statements. (Knapp himself signed one.) Ketchum explained that it's important to keep the data as uncontaminated as possible.

Then there's the infamous "peer reviewed" journal citation that gives any researcher the cred they need to be accepted in mainstream science and academia. It's a crazy loop: you have to be accepted by the very types of individuals who think you're nuts to be doing this kind of research in the first place, so you're not going to be accepted. Not having been accepted, your research is nothing. If her research isn't accepted into an accepted scientific journal, she's out. So is the star of this thing: Bigfoot.

So, given all this, why is Dr. Melba Ketchum --despite her possible missteps involving communication or style -- being treated badly by some in cryptozoology?

One possible answer to that is the uneasiness among some researchers that Bigfoot might be human, or far more human like, than those researchers have presumed. Some Bigfoot researchers have no problem with promoting a kill -- "for science" they tell us -- or thinking of Bigfoot as a big ape. Or some kind of animal. (Forgetting that we, too are animals.) Bigfoot is intelligent, very cool, what a find! but in the end, "just" an animal.

Many witnesses who've encountered Bigfoot speak of the eerie human qualities of the "creature" and as we know, many have tales to tell of spiritual and paranormal events within those encounters. These aspects of Bigfoot encounters sometimes don't go over very well with the more pragmatic Bigfoot researcher. Are they afraid that somewhere along the line, Ketchum's research presents clues or evidence of "more" here?

Ketchum said in last night's interview that if she is rejected by peer reviewed journals she'll put it out to the public. That would be fantastic, but also a cruelly frustrating gift, since it will be ignored by science.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rain and White Danskos

I'm at work. My recurring dreamscape of an elementary school that's also, in some ways, a small college on a woodsy campus. It's raining outside, but very pretty. Large open lawns and glistening green trees beyond. In one of the large and sunny (even though it's raining) classrooms, full of kids ages seven to twelve or so. Very informal, lots of students, probably around forty, and they're sprawled out, on the floor, etc. Very easy and casual. My supervisor invites one of the college teachers to come in and talk about Bigfoot. She's excited because she knows of my interest and research.

Well, he comes in, and he's a debunker. He not only is mocking but he's actually outright lying. One thing to disbelieve that Bigfoot exists, another to just lie about the research and make things up to get your point across. He has a chart he's made and all kinds of things but he's, simply, lying. He has the kids attention all right which annoys the hell out of me. I don't know what to say because I don't want to lose my job but on the other hand, he's lying. 

At the end I tell my supervisor he's a liar, and she says she knows, and I'll have a chance. But it doesn't come fast enough, I need to tell everyone now what the facts are. We all run outside, in the rain, for some reason. Something about having to leave the building. I, and many of the instructors, are wearing white -- some in white lab coats, or white pants, outfits. My shoes are patent leather white Danskos. (I have a pair of red patent leather ones.) I look down and think, in a lucid moment, "Wow, I don't think they really make white patent leather Danskos! I can't decide if they're really cool or very ugly. I should find out when I wake up."

So we're running around, slipping on the wet grass, in white, while I'm trying to give my presentation on Bigfoot.

One thing I realized about this dream is the water element. Another Bigfoot dream where there is water. What that means, no idea. But a recurring image in dreams is important.

My Blog - By The Lake Worth Monster: July 10 1969 - Fort Worth Star Telegram

Some silliness with dead links about the Goatman. Always a favorite.My Blog - By The Lake Worth Monster: July 10 1969 - Fort Worth Star Telegram

Saturday, December 8, 2012

thomsquatch: Finding Bigfoot by Blimp: Really?

I agree with Thom Powell, who respectfully disagrees with the find Bigfoot via blimp plan. One reason being, the idea of Sasquatch as "just" a big ape:
thomsquatch: Finding Bigfoot by Blimp: Really?: On the other hand, the text on the Falcon Project website repeatedly refers to the sasquatch as the North American Ape. Yikes! Granted, we are all, technically, apes. I get that, too. But as a matter of strategic planning, it seems to me a fundamental flaw, a deal breaker, really, to regard the sasquatch as any kind of ape, especially in the intelligence department. Rule number one of any adversarial engagement: Never underestimate your opponent.
For the sake of the success of the Falcon Project, I hope I am wrong in my assesment of sasquatch intelligence, even though I don't think so. Still, I have always encouraged each and every bigfoot researcher to develop their own hypothesis about what was going on, and then put it to the test. I know plenty of folks who, even at this late stage of the game, are still trying to 'bait the ape.'

Phantoms and Monsters: Paranormal Activity, Bigfoot, Mothman, UFOs and Other Unexplained Phenomena

Lon Strickler on Ketchum's research and how it might apply to paranormal Bigfoot:Phantoms and Monsters: Paranormal Activity, Bigfoot, Mothman, UFOs and Other Unexplained Phenomena

George Knapp: I’m dreaming of a Bigfoot Christmas | Las Vegas CityLife

Exciting article by one of my favorite paranormal journalists, George Knapp, on Ketchum's research:George Knapp: I’m dreaming of a Bigfoot Christmas | Las Vegas CityLife.

I'm not surprised by the rejection and mocking from Big Science, but there's a lot of it going on in Bigfoot Land as well. I have problems with Ketchum's coyness but in the end, she was trying to do something. Maybe it isn't much, or even anything. Point is, she's tried, regardless of weaknesses and naivety.

Knapp writes:
The only reason I am able to say anything about the study is that Dr. Ketchum unwisely responded a few weeks ago to a spurious report from a Russian scientist about the findings. Ketchum confirmed that she has overseen the analysis of dozens of hair samples collected at the sites of alleged Bigfoot sightings. Those people who do not want the study to be true and don’t want to wait for results to be verified have teed off on Ketchum, have carved up her study, and have made it almost impossible for anyone to take the results seriously, even though not one of the critics have seen the actual data. Dr. Ketchum insists that a major science journal is concluding a rigorous review of her work and will publish the paper once the process is completed. I am not holding my breath.

Here is what I can say legally, now that Ketchum has lifted the cone of silence: Scores of hair samples were sent to a dozen well-respected DNA labs across the country. The people at the labs weren’t told anything about the samples. They performed DNA analysis in the blind, then sent the remarkable findings back to Ketchum. I’ll put it this way — this is spooky stuff. The results are unequivocal: The hairs are not only from an unknown species, but they show a common link to humans. In other words, whatever these creatures are, they share a common ancestry with humans dating back about 15,000 years. Half of the DNA in the samples is simply unknown. The blind tests conducted by various labs weeded out known species such as bears or wolves. And in the end, they were left with the completely uncomfortable conclusion that the hairs came from a primate species previously unknown to science.

That is big news, and why isn't it bigger? I hear crickets chirping over there in Science Land.

You all know I love what Knapp writes here:
Since Dr. Ketchum made her premature defense of the study, responding to unfortunate leaks, an army of armchair critics have already dismissed the results without waiting to see the actual data. That’s not the way science is supposed to work, but it is exactly how modern science operates. It’s as much a religion as Catholicism or Mormonism, and anything that falls outside the accepted scriptures must be ridiculed.

A side question that's sort of the elephant in the room, at least for some of us: if physical proof is to be had that proves Bigfoot as a biological creature upon the earth, what of the "paranormal" aspect? Ah, that's another post for another day. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Don't Squish the Sasquatch! - Boing Boing

Don't Squish the Sasquatch! - Boing Boing

Author Kent Redeker tells the tales of a green sasquatch who boards a bus and begs the driver (Mr. Blobule) not to allow passengers on board who might squish him.The driver tries his best to comply with the sasquatch's request, but the subsequent passengers -- an elephant shark, an octo-rhino, a goat-whale, etc. -- are so voluminous they quickly crowd the bus and send the sasquatch into a fit. This being a children's story, it ends well for everyone. (Boing Boing)