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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Just who is looking for Bigfoot?

Researchers, Trolls, and Armchairs
Who Makes The Biggest Contributions To Bigfoot Research?
By Dorraine Fisher

I was recently involved in a friendly debate about the term “armchair researchers.”  Just what do we mean if we use the term?  It seems there’s more than one definition.   And it begs the question of who actually makes a contribution to real bigfoot research and who doesn’t.  Who should get the credit for the advancement of the subject and who should not?

First, in order to do bigfoot research, you don’t have to be a scientist.  Some knowledge of science is helpful, but certainly not mandatory. But we always want to acknowledge all our scientists in the field who have chosen to tackle such a controversial subject and also help give more legitimacy to the subject with their hard work. And they’ve chosen to do that work in a scientific climate that is less than enthusiastic.  You are greatly appreciated for what you do here.

But we owe a huge debt to all the non-scientists who have spent countless painstaking hours combing the woods, cataloging findings, searching for evidence, building trust, and learning everything they can in ground zero, often with very limited resources and funding.  It’s a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack sometimes, but they do it.  And a lot of our greatest knowledge has come from findings from researchers who aren’t scientists.
But are these the only ones who make a contribution to bigfoot research?  I think not.
Let’s keep in mind the hundreds of researchers who would love to comb the woods and do that kind of research but are unable for some reason. Health reasons may be a factor, or they may not be able to travel to the rural areas for some reason, or maybe they simply are interested, but don’t live in an area or country where bigfoot is thought to exist.

These people, from their desks and chairs at home, study their subject diligently. They  watch the field research of others, they watch documentaries, they join in discussions , and they also may examine the evidence and offer intelligent theories and ideas of their own.  And they offer support and encouragement to those in the field who sometimes may feel that a lot of what they do is in vain.  They ask questions, they learn, and they do what they can. Are they any less significant?  No. That is a contribution. Their work and support means something.

Out in the field, it’s sometimes easy to stop seeing the forest for the trees.  And sometimes outside opinions coming from a different perspective are helpful in bending public perception and opening up minds.  Not always, but sometimes.

And let’s also not forget those people who write blogs and articles on the subject. I’ve been called an armchair researcher because I’m a writer on the subject.  What about all those people who write books, create documentaries, and do regular radio shows on the subject? Are they armchair researchers too?

No they aren’t. They make a huge contribution. They give a voice to all those people who may not have had one otherwise. They help convey all the sightings stories, evidence, and theories that all add up to the big picture of the existence of bigfoot; stories that need to be heard and wouldn’t be heard without being given a forum to do so.

And then there are the skeptics. Yes, they make a contribution too. Most true skeptics are very knowledgeable on the subject and always aim for sound logic and reasoning in the subject of bigfoot. They keep researchers sharp. They ask the pertinent questions and they keep the rest of us on our toes trying to answer them.  Even though there are disagreements, the other side of the argument is always important too.

So then… just exactly who are these “armchair researchers?”

The term “armchair researcher” has become a somewhat sarcastic term for those in the community often referred to as “trolls.”  And most researchers agree these are the individuals in the community who make absolutely no contribution to the research, but spend a great deal of time interrogating and criticizing those that do.

But nobody has worked harder to define the terms than Ohio researcher and crypto artist Dan Baker,  a self-described “disabled field researcher.” Dan is a field researcher with disabilities that sometimes prevent him from doing everything he’d like to do in the field. But he also strongly acknowledges the contribution of those researchers who are completely disabled and do all their good work from their homes.

But here is how he defined the terms:

1) Disabled researcher - Any person who does not have the physical capability to go out into the field and conduct research, but spends a great deal of time reading and studying journals and books, and researching online; a person who constructively uses their knowledge to further educate others.

2) Armchair researcher / Troll - Any person who has the physical capability to go into the field.  However, they choose to sit behind a computer and ridicule both disabled researchers and healthy field researchers alike; the demanding people who have no facts to back up their claims but demand facts from others.

    So, what do you think? Do you agree with Dan’s assessment?


This Post By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher. Dorraine is a Professional Writer, a nature, wildlife and Bigfoot enthusiast who has written for many magazines. Dorraine conducts research, special interviews and more for The Crypto Crew. Get Dorraine's book The Book Of Blackthorne!

Special thanks to Dan Baker and the members of A.P.E. (American Primate Exploration) for their friendly input.

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1 comment:

  1. I would also add 3 more types to the list. 1. The ones that try to tell you what to do. First that is really rude. Second its not their ass on the line out there. 2. The pollution experts. The ones that join a group and feel the need to share everything they can find. They do not bother to check to see if it has been debunked or not. 3. The hobbyist who only goes out 3 times a year. This is not a true researcher yet they brag on having 40 years experience. They try to portray themselves as some kind of expert. These 3 types are just a pain in the butt and I have no use for them at all. They are counterproductive to the cause as much as hoaxers and the blurry bushes bunch.


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