Welcome to Bigfootology
Welcome to Bigfootology
We start with a single ontological premise, “Bigfoot exists.” Much of what we see in terms of Bigfoot research attempts to prove the existence of Bigfoot. We start with the assumption that the species exists and that changes how we look at evidence and incidents. We can now focus on cataloging the species and developing a species profile. Using meta-analysis of documented sightings and incidents we do not attempt to prove the existence of Bigfoot, but develop a species profile that takes this animal from an unknown category and move into a known category.
Whether you are an experienced researcher of someone new to the Bigfoot phenomenon who wants to learn about Bigfoot, you are welcome to join in and be a part of this grand endeavor.
Bigfootology is just as it sounds; it is the study of the Bigfoot phenomenon. Even though the term “Bigfoot” has only been around since 1958, the phenomenon itself is millennia old as depicted in architectural depictions, art work, literature, and so on, from around the world. Back in the 1980’s I started playing with the idea that many of our legends and lore may actually be other cultures descriptions and name for what we now know as Bigfoot, and what the Native-Americans have called, among other names, Sasquatch. As I continued my studies it became apparent that others shared this same belief as well as other beliefs, or better stated – theories. Are trolls, ogres, werewolves, and bogeymen just different names for Bigfoot from those times, those cultures? I believe so. Even to prove this basic theory of the historicity of Bigfoot requires an interdisciplinary approach to research involving field researchers, academic researchers, historians, linguists, anthropologists and more.
What does all of this mean? In order to understand the Bigfoot phenomenon we need the efforts of many disciplines, hence the interdisciplinary research, such as historians, linguists, biologists, anthropologists, primatologists, field experts (guides), survivalists, and even someone like myself, an academic psychologist (behavior researcher), can make contributions to this phenomenon. It takes many people from many disciplines and skills to develop a complete and thorough picture of what is a Bigfoot, understanding the species, habit, behavior, and so on. It will take many of us to develop a species profile.
Why Bigfootology and not Sasquatchology? The name of Bigfoot is more identifiable by people than Sasquatch or Yeti. The Yeti is also a more isolated, regionalized, cousin of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch. The Bigfoot is better known throughout the world and in greater geographical coverage, still yet known by many names.
I have been researching the Bigfoot phenomenon off and on since my first sighting of a swimming Bigfoot in the Puget Sound in 1977. I formed the Sasquatch Investigations and Research: Bigfoot (S.I.R. Bigfoot) in the late 1980’s and began conducting field work, in addition to academic work, in the 1990’s. As I continued my research I had to pull from many resources and talk and work with many people in various disciplines to understand what is possible and what is fantasy? What is reasonable and real and what is best to discard. This is the core of interdisciplinary research.
I am a behavior scientist, a psychologist who works as a therapist, but mostly as a professor and researcher. What I am not is a field guy, or a biologist, or a primatologist, among many other things. For me to understand some of the evidence that I was finding as well as being able to learn how to analyze and differentiate data, even learn how to properly collect field evidence, I had to rely on others to help. I learned from an old Adak Indian, Gerry Holman about looking for sign. I learned from Dr. Grover Krantz about collecting some evidence in the field. I have learned from friends on how to do things as simple as camping in order to get out into the woods and conduct proximity experiments.
I still rely on people of different specialties to learn and hone evidence, data and findings. This work is not only an interdisciplinary effort; it is a global effort involving people from different regions, nations, and even continents. To do what we need to do to accomplish this task of establishing the viability of the Bigfoot phenomenon and transform it into a legitimate field of science, it will require efforts from many people both experts in their field and experts in the field. I can never emphasize this enough and that is that this is a group effort and has no room for egos or people who feel that this effort is a competition between groups. It is not. By shifting the focus of proving something exists to treating the subject like it is already proven there is no longer a race, a sense of competition to be the “discoverer” of a new species.
With that said, it is just as important to clarify what we are not. If you are a Bigfoot researcher or in a Bigfoot research organization, we are not your competitors. We work with different groups and openly share information and evidence. We are an education group that seeks to educate newcomers to the Bigfoot phenomenon as well as help those who wish to do so, become field researchers, or learn what to do with evidences, if they encounter a Bigfoot, and so on. We do not seek to track sightings and incidents. We do investigate some occurrences and we do conduct our own field experiments, but there are many fine groups of researchers and research organizations doing great work in tracking sightings and incidents. In essence we are a scientific organization that analyzes data, looks for trends; formulates conclusions to either reinforce theories about the species or to disprove theories about the species. That means that as evidence and incident reports continue to come in, some conclusions and theories will change or evolve.
Just like with any science, the more we find, the more we can learn, and the more we know the more solid our conclusions and theories become. Theory eventually transforms into facts or theories can evaporate in the light of new information obtained. Together we all can make this happen.
Welcome aboard and happy Bigfooting*.
Rhettman A. Mullis, Jr., MS, MHP
Academic and Field Researcher
*Bigfooting: The term given to the act of being out in the field conducting field research or attempting to have some kind of personal experience with the species in their natural environment – Bigfoot.
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