When I attended my first expedition in Texas in 2008, I admit, I had visions of being the person who'd get the 'money' shot.
After all these years, I no longer try.
Unfortunately, I believe in today's climate, a clear photograph wouldn't make much of a difference, anyway. (So not only do we have a skeptical, public, we also have wild hordes of Bigfoot researchers who call themselves experts, who constantly attack each other's work.) So if someone did have a great photo... they would most likely keep it to themselves or show only those close to them.
So... Where are the photographs they ask?
Have you ever watched the backstory footage that reveals how long it took the "Planet Earth" crew to film the snow leopard? A known animal?
"The snow leopard scene is the result of three years' worth of effort by a total of eight crew members and 20 local trackers."
Obviously those guys had assets not available to the average field researcher. And that brings up just two of the challenges researchers face... Time and Money.
Good research takes time to be completed. Conducting research is an exploration of the unknown, and that's doubly true when you're researching an unrecognized species. The typical Sasquatch researcher has a full time job and family, and is only getting out in the field on weekends, and scheduled vacation days. That is a huge limitation.
Everything takes time: Reading Reports takes hours.
Researching locations takes years.
Scheduling time to talk to witnesses requires patience!
Meeting with witnesses = hours of time
Documenting their story in words, photographs,etc
Reviewing and analysis of audio and thermal data
Developing your research area takes years
Finding a location with access, and activity
Your target may only be IN the area during certain seasons
Some of the above listed activities, such as reviewing thermal footage, or audio recordings require incredible amounts of time. And developing a research area has so many facets that are totally out of our control. Other people can destroy the area you've been cultivating for years, in a single weekend.
Research is Expensive: Most of us aren't independently wealthy and most of us
are funding our own research. When we are researching, we are not earning wages.
We have to travel, sometimes for hours, to witness or research areas.
The equipment we need is expensive:
Thermal cameras range from hundreds for the less expensive, to thousands of dollars. Night vision is more affordable, but less effective in heavy woods, or underbrush conditions. Good audio equipment is also hundreds of dollars.
Analysis of evidence such as DNA, is totally cost prohibitive to the average person, costing thousands.
Other challenging aspects... There are so many different schools of thought regarding what these beings are. Which also means there are equally as many different approaches and Mindsets to the research, depending on what they believe 'it' to be. This can prove to be a huge stumbling block between groups and individuals closing down lines of communication between individuals, and groups due to a lack of shared ideology.
Those that believe the Sasquatch are nothing more than advanced ape must dismiss thousands of eyewitness reports and testimony detailing amazing and advanced things witness and researchers have seen Sasquatch doing. How does this crowd of researchers explain the amazing ability these beings have for avoiding camera detection if it's just some kind of ape?
I'm a reasonably intelligent person, and I pay attention to my surroundings, but I guarantee you, I'd be caught on all the camera traps I've heard about, and witnessed investigators use in the field.
I don't subscribe to the 'Wood Ape' theory... I lean toward the theories that acknowledge the strong possibility that they are an ancient race, and closely related to us. Being ancient, their abilities are so far greater than ours. As we, who have tried to out-smart them have noted, time and time again.
I have been in the woods at night with groups of people who believe every little thing is a Sasquatch, which is utterly ridiculous. Every tree break, every sound...even if it sounds exactly like a normal Barred Owl...is of course, a Sasquatch. And there is no point in arguing with them. If these things were really that easy to find, every time you went out into the woods....Then it would logically follow that they would have tons of evidence. What they do post is Blob-Squatches that have to be circled in order to find them. Or audio files of coyotes, and owls.
And they are Not helping the research community's credibility. We are constantly blowing holes in it with Hoaxes, misadventures, assumptions, lies, embellishments, sensationalism.... We don't need the government or the 'men in black' to destroy our research...we are doing a perfectly adequate job all by ourselves.
Another major challenge is all the preconceived notions people bring to the table. Some, are so closed minded and limited that they ignore, and throw away real data and evidence because it doesn't fit into their limited 'box' they hold reality in, and some so open-minded you'd think their brain had totally fallen out. It's hard to find middle ground between the two sometimes. It doesn't help that we don't have any answers to very real questions.
Among the 'research' community there is so much distrust. And rightly so! Unfortunately there are some real jerks in the field, who will do and say, and hoax anyone for a buck. Some of them repeatedly! These people watch your posts on Facebook, and listen to you tell your story on radio shows, and will show up at your property or your research site, in camo, carrying guns to take your specimen.
Hence valuable research isn't being shared with the rest of us, for fear that these despicable people will show up. This hoarding of data and evidence isn't doing anything to move our research forward....but I totally understand the need to protect ourselves and our data.
The truth is... There is a lot of great evidence. There is a lot of data. But it's in the hands of individuals, and that's where is most likely to stay. And again we are challenged, because the average skeptic hasn't done a lick of research. They know nothing about the history of sightings dating back 500 plus years. And....THEY are NOT interested in reading a single book or going out in the field with you.
And I for one, have grown tired of trying to convince anyone of anything. I don't care what other people believe. I don't believe that Sasquatch exists... I know. I know what I have seen, heard, and experienced. And I bet there are a lot of people out there that feel the same way. I've worked hard for my experience. It has come with a price.
When I started writing this article I thought it would be simple. Just a couple of obvious things...but the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how many obstacles are in our way....and that's before we even consider the nature of the Sasquatch.
Part Two coming soon.... And two new witness sketches I'm working on.
Much love to all of you.