Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Family Guy - Bigfoot Debate!

If not as intellectually stimulating and a win for the bigfoot proponents, it's definitely every bit as entertaining as the Jeff Probst Bigfoot Debate with Cast of Finding Bigfoot.

Sasquatch Summit - Dr. Jeff Meldrum

Great lecture by Dr. Meldrum here. At 29 minutes in he briefly addresses pseudo-skeptical arguments and forum debunkers.

Skeptics and Bigfoot

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on March 28th, 2006

The Spectrum, the University at Buffalo campus newspaper, reported on a lecture titled "Applying Science to the Paranormal" that Benjamin Radford gave last Friday night there.

The next target for Radford’s objective and critical approach was Bigfoot. He had molds of footprints and lots of popular pictures, such as the Bigfoot who sells Spam, as examples of how the legend exists in the media and in peoples’ minds. Radford then took the time to go through all of the well-known eyewitness testimonials and the few pictures and tangible evidence that exist. 

Many were proved at some point or another to be a hoax, but most are at the very least highly suspect. His biggest point of proof was that there has never been any Bigfoot hair, bones, teeth, blood or bodies found, ever. No Bigfoot has ever been hit by a car, no body found in the woods or a river, and nobody has accidentally shot one either.

"There is no lack of evidence, just a lack of good evidence," Radford said.
There was a here on Cryptomundo titled Answering the Bigfoot Skeptics addressing these issues. Mr. Radford weighed in with his opinions in the comments section of that blog entry.

Ben Radford

The photo that was included with the article shows Mr. Radford and one of the photos used in the lecture. The photo used was one of the Wild Creek Bigfoot photos. This is one of a series of 14 photos supposedly taken by an off-duty forest patrol officer near Mt. Ranier on July 11, 1995. They were purchased by Cliff Crook. They are generally thought to have been made using a small model posed in a watery setting.

Wild Creek Bigfoot

Having not seen Mr. Radford’s presentation yet, I will give him the benefit of the doubt on the evidence he presents. I will agree with his quote "There is no lack of evidence, just a lack of good evidence" if what he is presenting the Wild Creek photos as evidence. The majority of the "Bigfoot believers" have no problem with these photos being presented as bad evidence. What else does he purport is bad evidence?

Is he showing the very worst evidence and most obvious hoaxes and painting the rest of the evidence for Bigfoot with weakest case. Detailed in the information following, we will get a chance to see his arguments and judge their validity.

Last year, Mr. Radford and I exchanged emails concerning the annual Texas Bigfoot Conference that I host. He sent me an email stating:

I saw your notices about the upcoming TBC. I noticed there is a distinct lack of noted Bigfoot skeptics in the speakers and panelists. You have the usual suspects: Jeff, Loren, Rick Noll, etc. But Dave Daegling isn’t there, nor is Mike Dennett, nor myself. This can lead to a case of "preaching to the choir," and a lack of meaningful exchange between the skeptics and the believers. It seems to me that it is exactly these two groups that need more communication between them. 

It appears that the schedule has already been set for this year, but if you are interested, I would be willing to speak at the conference. The Texas Bigfoot Conference could be the first major Bigfoot event to bring skeptical researchers to the table, let the diversity of ideas and positions be heard. I think both the audience and the panelists would find the exchange of ideas instructive and refreshing. I could give a talk such as "The Role of Skeptics in Cryptozoology" or "Bigfoot: The Skeptical Position." (If people assume that they already know the skeptics’ position, I assure you they are wrong.) The addition of a well-known Bigfoot skeptic into the mix would almost certainly increase interest in the event.

I have long pointed out to Bigfoot proponents that they have more in common with us skeptics than most realize. Unlike many in the public, we take Bigfoot seriously; we don’t dismiss Bigfoot as a waste of time. As you may know, I have been involved in cryptozoology for many years, and worked closely with people such as John Kirk to find cryptids.
I had invited Mr. Radford’s colleague, Dr. David Daegling, on March 19, 2005 by email, but had gotten no response from him at the time that Mr. Radford and I corresponded on July 20, 2005. Mr. Radford said that he would try to contact Dr. Daegling to let him know of the invitation. On July 24th, Dr. Daegling contacted me by email to inform that his Fall schedule would not allow him to participate.

While we were not able to accomodate him at the 2005 Texas Bigfoot Conference,Mr. Radford will get his chance twice this year. The Bigfoot in Texas? museum exhibit and lecture series apparently, according to Mr. Radford, will have the honor of being the first major Bigfoot event to bring skeptical researchers to the table, let the diversity of ideas and positions be heard. 

Mr. Radford will be speaking in San Antonio on June 3, 2006 at the Bigfoot in Texas? lecture series. 2 weeks later he will be speaking in Pocatello, ID at the Bigfoot Rendezvous.

In my discussions with Mr. Radford concerning our Bigfoot conference last year, I brought up the fact that the CSICOP events appeared to be just as one-sided as he accused the "believer" events to be. Mr. Radford responded with:

You are only partially correct about the CSICOP events. In fact, we have often hosted well-known and well-regarded speakers on the opposite sides of the coin, and invited them to share their views. A few examples: John Mack (Harvard psychiatrist / alien abductee researcher); Gary Schwartz (psychical researcher who has worked with John Edward, Allison DuBois, and many others), author of The Afterlife Experiments); and near-death researcher Kenneth Ring (author of Life at Death). We’ve also had The X-Files’ Chris Carter and others. So it’s simply not true that "believers" are excluded, though they are not included as much as I would like. 

I personally would like to see far more interaction and "meeting of the minds" of different views at these conferences, but unfortunately I do not choose which speakers are invited. We haven’t really done anything on Bigfoot for years (conference-wise), but the next time we do I will suggest that we get Loren or Jeff or Rick Noll to give a talk. It’s also true that, to my knowledge, very rarely do those on the other side of the issue contact us to express their interest in participating in events (as I have to you). Perhaps they assume (incorrectly) that they would not be welcome, but all of our "believer" speakers have commented that they were pleasantly surprised and felt like they were treated respectfully and allowed to make their case.

So now the ball is in the skeptics court. Will they invite the "believers"?


This post was written by

Craig Woolheater – who has written posts on Cryptomundo.
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad
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Answering the Bigfoot Skeptics

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on January 18th, 2006

Published on today is an article written by a Cryptomundo commenter, Benjamin Radford, editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, entitled, "Rare Woodpecker Search Sheds Light on Bigfoot." Going to the site, I found it humorous that the ad for the page is the Canadian Sasquatch for the Discovery Channel’s show "Mythbusters."

Some of what is included in Mr. Radford’s article has been discussed here on Cryptomundo in the past.
Read the article on the website, then read our rebuttal below and offer your thoughts and comments. Hopefully Mr. Radford will join us here for this discussion.

Pseudo-logic ( sū ‘ dō-lŏ’ jək) n. A system of deduction that initially appears to be based in solid inferential reasoning, but upon closer examination is determined to actually be without logical foundation.
Initially, the position staked out here by Benjamin Radford appears to have a logical foundation. He asserts that when a well-equipped team of professional and amateur scientists conducts a field study in the woods of rural Arkansas, and reports no sightings of the undocumented creature referred to as “bigfoot,” that it somehow validates or strengthens the position of those who claim that the animal does not exist.

Come again?

Actually, hundreds of excursions across North America take place every year by groups and individuals who fail to mention sightings of large, bipedal, hair-covered primates. However, Mr. Radford also seems to be ignorant of incursions into the American outback by groups and individuals who do report sightings of large, bipedal, hair-covered primates. In fact, one month-long expedition in 1967 even yielded film footage of what is possibly the animal Mr. Radford says doesn’t exist.

Mr. Radford seems to imply that simply because the well-equipped team who rediscovered the Ivory-billed Woodpecker wasn’t actually looking for large, unknown, bipedal apes, that if they reported a sighting, the sighting would somehow have some special merit that sighting reports by others in the past do not have. After all, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker researchers included biologists from Cornell University, as well as quite a few volunteer part-time field assistants. So, what if the team had reported a sighting of a sasquatch or recorded some primate-like vocalizations while out in the field? Would it have given Mr. Radford and others like him cause for consideration regarding the matter of bigfoot?

There are teams of professional and amateur scientists who have reported such encounters (including the Texas Bigfoot Research Center, a network of amateur and professional scientists dedicated to investigating the sasquatch mystery in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana), and there are individuals who happen to be anthropologists, wildlife biologists, psychologists, law enforcement and forest service professionals who have reported sightings, but apparently Mr. Radford and others like him simply choose to sweep such reports aside, citing wishful-thinking, misidentification and hallucination as the cause of such reports.


Apparently, what scientists don’t see is more important to Mr. Radford and others like him, than what scientists do see.

We also have many reports from hunters, who happen to be the most prolific witnesses in terms of bigfoot encounters, resulting from their sustained incursions into the remote and densely wooded areas said to be the habitat of sasquatches. While their business in the American wilderness is not of an investigatory nature, hunters are nevertheless out there for prolonged periods. However, Mr. Radford refuses to acknowledge the significance of their eyewitness reports.

Why is it that Mr. Radford seems to be more enamored with the fact that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker researchers did not report having sasquatch encounters than he is that large numbers of American and Canadian hunters, in addition to groups of researchers, comprised of amateur and professional scientists, have reported such encounters?

Mr. Radford apparently dismisses many such sighting reports because they, in his opinion, are from “believers” (which somehow invalidates their findings). Apparently, Mr. Radford is very adept at overlooking or ignoring important little facts. For example, many of the amateur and professional scientists who have reported encounters were not “believers” until they actually had the encounters; the vast majority of the hunters and motorists who reported such encounters were not “believers” at all until they actually saw something for which they had no conventional explanation. So, just because they reported a sighting (making them “believers”), are witnesses suddenly lacking credibility as individuals and scientists?

There’s more to ponder:

It is likely that, given the probable rarity of the species, there were no unknown North American apes in the area of southeastern Arkansas where the Ivory-billed Woodpecker researchers were searching.

This brings up another question: Has Mr. Radford actually talked to all the biologists and field assistants who were searching for the “grail bird” regarding what they saw or heard?

Sixteen square miles is not a very large area. Although it would certainly seem big to a person wandering around within it, it’s a drop in the bucket in terms of available habitat. To assume that an animal not observed within a prescribed area during a specific time frame must not exist anywhere is silly. How many mink did the biologists and volunteers see in that area? River otters? Did they observe black bears? Many woodpecker holes are constantly being monitored. Did the observers see flying squirrels, common animals that live in tree cavities? How many of these folks saw bobcats or gray foxes? All of these species should be expected in the ivory-billed study area. By Mr. Radford’s logic, if any of these species were not observed, they must be extinct.

Mr. Radford insinuates that the place where the woodpecker was observed is a prime sasquatch area, but is it? When was the last time a credible report emerged from that specific vicinity? The BFRO has posted on their website only one report, in Cleveland County, of a regional bigfoot sighting. This is over 60 miles southwest of the Big Woods of Arkansas. The Texas Bigfoot Research Center has not received any reports, credible or not, from the area. Characterizing an entire state as “prime Bigfoot territory” illustrates ignorance regarding animal distribution patterns in general. When biologists say that any mammal may be expected within a certain approximate area or range, it does not mean that the species will be found everywhere within that area; it may possibly be found wherever suitable conditions are found within that area. The same holds true for the sasquatch.

The current well-publicized attempt to further document the Ivory-billed Woodpecker is only the late
st of such efforts over the years. This active species is very large, diurnal, and quite noisy. Yet, the documentation effort, to this point, has been a disappointment. How logical is it to conclude that a rare nocturnal animal like the sasquatch, an animal the birders are likely not even thinking about, does not exist if it’s not seen?

The extensive search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was conducted almost entirely during daylight hours; no night vision or infrared devices were employed. Most sasquatch researchers believe that their quarry is primarily nocturnal because there are as many or more sightings of sasquatches during the night than during the day; far fewer humans are active at night than daytime, therefore, nocturnalism of the animal is probable. Furthermore, there are very, very few reports of diurnal bigfoot vocalizations. The vast majority of reports regarding purported sasquatch vocalizations result from nighttime encounters.

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker researchers were not, in even the most remote way, looking or listening for an unknown bipedal primate. If they had recorded sasquatch vocalizations, it’s unlikely they would have expended much effort pondering what they were hearing; their search was for a large diurnal bird with a “kent” call. They were fixated on that, during the day. However, even had they made such recordings, Mr. Radford and others like him would most likely remain dismissive and cynical, continually citing “no hard evidence.”

There also exists the extremely remote possibility that one or more of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker researchers did have some type of encounter, but like others before them, they hesitated to report it. Few researchers would be brazen enough to risk the loss of project funding, or risk their personal and professional reputations, by coming back with anecdotal reports of sasquatch encounters, exposing themselves to ridicule and insinuations from Benjamin Radford and others like him that such sightings were caused by wishful thinking and/or misidentifications.

Following the line of reasoning presented by Mr. Radford, the fact that the TBRC and investigators such as Chester Moore and others have not reported any Ivory-billed Woodpecker sightings in Ivory-billed Woodpecker habitat areas, despite spending an exorbitant amount of time in such places (like the Big Thicket in Southeast Texas), must in some way invalidate the findings of the birders who obtained four seconds of woodpecker footage and a couple of purported ivory-billed vocalizations. Obviously, this is a conclusion that reasonable people would never seek to assert, but it is tantamount to what Mr. Radford has written.

The Texas Bigfoot Research Center is not a group made up of individuals who, on a whim or dream, choose to waste a huge amount of time and finances, risking personal and professional reputations, to validate an animal that can’t possibly exist. The Texas Bigfoot Research Center continues to maintain that the body of contemporary sighting reports, ecological patterns and relationships arising from the study of those reports, the physical evidence that has accumulated during the last fifty years, and our own personal observations while in the field, all serve to indicate the existence of a living species that has yet to be documented.

This response was written by Daryl Colyer, Alton Higgins and Craig Woolheater of the Texas Bigfoot Research Center.

This post was written by

Craig Woolheater – who has written posts on Cryptomundo.
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad
Email  • Facebook  • Twitter


Bigfoot Skeptics vs. Bigfoot Believers

May 28, 2012

It is very interesting to follow the comments on Face Book and You-tube on Bigfoot Research videos. I have noticed Bigfoot research is hounded to the point where may believers are beaten into submission and quit trying to bring forth what they perceive to be the truth. Not only do they have to contend with bullies within their own ranks, but they have to deal with the non-believer skeptics. This article deals with the non-believing skeptics.

It is very interesting how the skeptics peruse Bigfoot sites and videos, and leave profane, derogatory, and demeaning comments hopefully for all to read, and get very angry when they find out their comments subject to approval before being publically published. Even to the point of stating their first amendment rights have been violated. I would like to make two points. 1) Bigfoot researchers are not looking to pick a fight. They very rarely go to another site to publically slander, defame or belittle people of a different opinion. 2) If you are a non-believing skeptic why waste your time and effort surfing Bigfoot sites? By doing so, it points out just how little your time is worth.

The incident with the “violation of First Amendment rights ” was comical in a way. This person was demanding (with profanities every 4th word) the Bigfoot site shut down and quit posting Bigfoot crap (not his word) on You-tube. After the profane comments were not approved or posted, the skeptic writes back and graphically tells the Bigfoot site where to stick it. This user is now blocked.

When you surf Bigfoot related sites, and you find one with open posting, take note of the abuse and who is dishing it out to whom. Typically, the Bigfoot believer will make a statement they believe to be true. Then watch who lambastes whom. Sure, you will find a Bigfoot believer who loses it, but in most cases it is the skeptic that dishes out the verbal abuse, and it can get pretty ugly.

Another skeptic tried to argue the use of profanity by saying it is all over the net, and if kids have not heard about it, then they should. I would like to commend the web site owner for the reply, “Profanity may be everywhere on the net, but this site does not have to condone it, or perpetuate the use of such language. If you want to post a comment and have it approved on this site, do not use profanity!”