Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Finding Bigfoot

I didn't really know much about Bigfoot prior to this class, other than seeing the famous Patterson footage from ages ago. I decided that before I dive into my research, I should probably get a better idea of what kind of views on the subject are even out there. How many people seriously believe that Sasquatches exist? What kind of evidence is out there, if any? What effect have technological and scientific advances had on the process? Luckily, the show Finding Bigfoot exists and was able to bring me up to speed pretty quickly and begin to answer a few of these questions.

From what I can tell so far (after watching two or three episodes), essentially the investigators travel around to different areas with a large quantity of sitings. They interview a few alleged witnesses of these sitings, evaluate their stories using their knowledge of size and known Bigfoot characteristics, as well as spend a night or two in the woods attempting to find and record a Bigfoot of their own. I enjoy that not all of the investigators are believers. One of them, Ranae Holland, is a skeptic, and like most of the population, needs to see to believe. I think she gives the show more credibility.

Despite the fact that this is a highly entertaining show, there are a few things that bug me from a research perspective. The first is that the three investigators that believe Bigfoots exist are constantly describing its characteristics like they would any other animal, and often say "Oh yeah, that's very common". After watching the show I now allegedly know that Bigfoots are highly intelligent, shy, curious, fascinated by children, love looking through windows at sleeping humans, drawn toward loud noises, and countless other descriptions they throw out there like it's common knowledge. I can't think of any way they could have possibly gathered all of this definitive information without actually observing and studying the creature at length, and if they somehow have, they don't give any proof of it. Another flaw is their readiness to believe the witnesses. This topic is prime for controversy and hoaxes and when you add the element of a national television show, people are bound to make stuff up in order to receive their 15 minutes of fame and it would be so easy in this show.

In conclusion, Finding Bigfoot is an interesting source of information and a good introduction to my research. I plan on watching a couple more episodes and from there I will use my questions from the show to lead me in the direction of more concrete and hopefully scientific sources. 

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