I posted this several years ago, because I was tired of people not giving respect where respect was due. Three days ago, I seen someone totally new to the community give disrespect to Jim McClarin because he didn't buy into their kool-aid and see the "Bigfoot" they claimed was in their pictures. I have tons of respect for Jim, he was boots on the ground before many of us were out of diapers. I repost this for those who are new to the community and have no clue about the history of the community and those who came before us all.
A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
The last year or so with the popularity of Facebook and blogging, there has been a serious decline in my opinion of RESPECT. Respect of new people in the Bigfoot Community for those who have been there before them, have done the research, who have gave blood, sweat and tears to bring in the knowledge that is currently available to the newbies today. That lack of respect is evident in the fact that many "Respected" individuals in the Bigfoot Community have attained that status simply because they have a Blog, that many follow online with fanatical devotion.
When I first started in the Bigfoot Community, it was the unwritten rule, that you had to pay your dues in the field, show respect for the Bigfoot Elders and listen to those who have been there before. I spent every spare moment I could in the field, listening to those who had been doing it longer than I have, soaking up every tidbit of information that I could. I paid my dues, like many who I consider friends in this community, and in time, we earned the respect of many of the Bigfoot Elders who had been there before us. WE EARNED our right to be in this community by doing the research where it needed to be done, in the field, with our own blood, sweat, tears and funding.
I have sat back and watched on Facebook as people make claims that they started researching the Bigfoot Phenomenom in 2009, and by early 2012, they know more about Bigfoot than those people who have been doing it for 20 to 30 years. And those same people making those claims have not spent a day in the woods to give them the experience.
References to people about being a Living or Walking Bigfoot Encyclopedia gives me pause to laugh, as I hear them talk on Podcasts or write blogs and have no clue to what they are talking about. I don't proclaim to know everything about Bigfoot, but I do know a lot, not just from reading books like these self-professed Bigfoot Encyclopedias have done, but also from the experiences I have had in the field, with interaction with other researchers whom I have shared information with.
Now before I get criticized for saying that the only real Bigfoot Researcher should be someone who spends time in the field, I want to explain the distinction the MABRC puts into Researcher versus Armchair Researcher. The MABRC knows that not everyone is able to get into the field, whether due to physical or geographical limitations. That is why we call our Armchair Researchers, Analysts. We put them to work pouring over sighting reports, updating information on the OSSIE database, and work with equipment to help gain a better understanding for the researchers in the field. MABRC Analysts support the MABRC Researchers in the field, and this is what makes them invaluable to the MABRC, their continued support to those in the field.
If someone comes into this community believing that they can read everything online and in books, and become an expert, you are really selling yourself short. If you think by having a blog makes you an expert, elevates you into the higher echeclons of the Bigfoot Community, think again. You haven't paid your dues in the eyes of the old timers, they have been there, done that. Today's new "Elite" class of the Bigfoot Community have formed their cliques, and promote themselves through Facebook, Blogs and by showing up at every conference to have their pictures taken with the Old Guard folks, so they can be pasted on Facebook or their blogs, with the mentality of "Hey, look at me, I'm brushing shoulders with John Green, or Peter Byrne." Look at me, look at me. Sorry folks, in my eyes, that doesn't cut the mustard.
The publishing of blobsquatch photos, or videos that you claim has 10 Bigfoot in it, and then get upset when asked for comparison photos/videos to back up your claims, does very little to give you credibility in the Bigfoot Community as far as the Old Timers go. We have been there, we were asked the very same thing by our peers at the time for any photo that was brought forth. Blobsquatch photos were rarely brought forward, because it was the Old Timers goal to bring out real clear evidence, not matter how tempting it was, we knew better.
Today I see too many examples of people going out and taking hundreds of photographs of the woods, then sitting in front of a computer and picking out what they think are dozens of Bigfoot in each picture. One such individual has been highlighted in "Impossible Visits" as being one of the best researchers out there. WTF??? Has anyone ever heard of Matrixing?
I also have seen some of these people, flat out try and humiliate people into seeing what they think is in the photo. Recently, a video screen capture was posted on Facebook, with claims that there was a bigfoot in the picture. Several individuals spoke up and said they could not see anything there, and the response was from the originator of the picture, that if those people couldn't see it, then they needed to get out of the woods because they were too stupid to be in them. WTF? What makes the originator of garbage like that photo think they are such an expert in this field that they feel the need to humiliate people into going along with the originator's mindset? I have seen this with multiple people, and in the end, it drives off some very common sense inspired individuals from the Bigfoot Community because this was their first taste of contact with a Bigfoot "Researcher".
Another issue that needs to be addressed is that people jump up and claim that everything is Bigfoot. Oh, there is 5 bigfoot in this photo, oh there is footprints here that are bigfoot. What people don't want to accept is that this kind of labeling of evidence only hurts their credibility, and makes the entire community look bad. Instead of saying Bigfoot broke this tree over, you should say, this tree could have possibly been broke over by a Bigfoot. Instead of Bigfoot being in a picture, you should say, there is a possible Bigfoot in this picture, or a purported Bigfoot is in this picture. Even if the picture is clear of an animal in the opening, you should always use "possible" or "purported" to describe video/photographic/physical evidence. Never, ever should you use the declaration that it is a Bigfoot for certain.
Bigfoot Community History, is another pet peeve of mine. Lately on Facebook I have seen postings of many of the discredited photos from the past that the Old Timers have put to rest, with those who posted them today not taking the time to do the research on the photo before posting it. Then they stand by with a puzzled look when the Old Timers tell them they should have done their homework on the photo first.
Now the different factions have drawn lines in the sand, you have the Forest Friends vs. the rest of the Community. The Forest Friends have become almost fanatical in their beliefs that Melba Ketchum's DNA study will prove that Bigfoot exists and that they can be protected. They have developed a cult-like mindset when it comes to Melba Ketchum. In their minds, multiple transgressions have been committed by anyone who does not agree with their philosphy, including making false accusations against those who disagree with them.
I put no faith in Melba Ketchum's work, simply because there have been too many red flags rise up, that puts blemishes on everything coming out of it. The release of the so-called publishing in a Journal has been delayed with many different excuses, and now comes talk of "Terroristic Threats" against her, and that is why she isn't attending Conferences that advertise her being there. I see on the news everyday where "Terroristic Threats" always bring down the wrath of Homeland Security and even when it's just an individual pissed off at a fast food place for the way their service was handled, it always saw a heavy handed response from the law enforcement community. I have a hard time believing that "Terroristic Threats" have been made against Ketchum, and no response from law enforcement concerning them. References to a rumor at Honobia have led me to believe it is the imagination of one sick individual who has embedded himself into the Forest Friends inner circle and continues to make up lies and conspiracy theories against people who have stated publically that they want nothing to do with him.
Mindspeak?? This has also become prevelant the last few years, as many continue to make claims that Bigfoot talk to them. Can I decisively state that mindspeak doesn't happen? No I can't, but out of the 18 plus encounters I have had, I have never had any instance of mindspeak, or being zapped as some would put it. What many in the community does not realize, is that some of those more well known to proclaim mindspeak happening to them, are heavy drinkers, or have been known to induce drugs into their system and then begin a ceremony in which only they can see the multitude of Bigfoot standing around them. Wow, makes you wonder how many they would see if they were not under the influence.
Whether you like me or hate me for what I have to say here, I am stating it like I see it. Common sense must prevail over the Bigfoot Community to portray itself as a legitimate source of information and guidance when Bigfoot is finally and truly proven to exist. Enough of the fanatical determination that no one dare hurt a bigfoot, let alone dare to harvest one to bring in to prove they exist, as this is only the legitimate avenue to prove they exist. I do not espouse killing one, yet I do have the common sense to know, that only a body will suffice to prove Bigfoot exists, because it's considered a mythological animal, and no one will take pictures or video as proof they exist. It's easy to use this type of proof for a new sub-species of Chimpanzee in the wild, because Chimpanzees have officially been proven to exist in the wild by science.
I have had the misfortune to have seen these animals that we call Bigfoot, up close, and as many of the old timers will tell you, I have gotten bit by the Bigfoot Bug. I go out time and time again for the chance to see these animals in the wild, to experience interaction with them, and eventually hope that they are proven to exist. They do not need our protection, they do a pretty damn good job of protecting themselves. You don't see them screwing each other over the way people do, and they seem to take great care to avoid us.
Those new folks who want to make a name for themselves, need to do it on deeds, going into the field, respecting the old timers, asking legitimate questions to learn by, and not posting garbage for the world to see and then get upset when called out on it. Don't do it by being disrepectful to those who have been there, done that before you, creating videos for YouTube to put down the works of others, or to humiliate others, don't post on a blog about someone just so you can try and make a name for yourself. You will gain attention, but it's not the kind of attention that will give you any credibility.
I have made myself available to the members of the MABRC organization to pass on what I have learned, and I will always be happy to talk to folks outside the MABRC who ask questions, as long as they are legitimately wanting to learn. I was a newbie myself a long time ago, and I am so thankful to those old timers who took me in tow and showed me the ropes, shared their knowledge and made me one of their own. If you want to truly become a valuable asset to the Bigfoot Community, take some of the advice here that I gave, and show the respect to those who deserve it.
Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center