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What I learned from Bigfoot.

So I wrote this up one night for my Myspace and Facebook, forgot to post it here of all places, enjoy.

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Not many people have been on an actual, factual Bigfoot hunt.

I don't mean like the, "Hey erra-body! Lets run into the woods and find us a gorilla!" Sort of deal. I mean the thermal camera, night vision, motion sensing, "holy shit what is that smell," type of nonsense you dreamed would be the realm of nerds, outcast biologists, paleontologists, and men suffering midlife crises.

Never before have you dreamed more presciently, let me tell you.

My father is a writer, specializing in horror fiction and suspense, so I get all the joys in life I'm sure you all wish you could experience. Joys like creeping around a backwoods mountain at night in dark clothes and waterproof boots, hoping to god I don't hear the first twangs of Dueling Banjos.

But this isn't a story about the Bigfoot hunt itself. It isn't even a story about whether or not the large hairy monster exists outside of reruns of Harry and the Hendersons. It's a story about belief and what it means to put yourself in the company of true believers.

We'll all seen true believers before. They're the ones waiting for you to mention a topic so they can pounce. Nothing deters them. For every fact you have, they not only have the counter fact, but know where you got your fact and exactly when it was disproved. They can jump fact to fact with ease, never mentioning the real question at hand. They know, without a doubt, that this is the truth, they've got it, and if the rest of the world would just LISTEN and BELIEVE them, things would CHANGE.

I spent a good week with these people and really had an excellent time. I'd recommend it for anyone, it's the most fun you'll ever have camping, that's for sure. I heard more personal encounters than I can remember. Saw casts of footprints, thermal imaging camera shots, game cam photographs, even tufts of hair. It made for great conversations.

The national park we were in, Beaver Creek, is also home to a lock which is supposedly haunted. It just so happens that a group from the Sci-Fi channel were there filming a documentary. This in itself isn't so curious except for when you ask any of the Bigfoot hunters about ghosts.

"It's crap. Pseudoscience."
"They're giving everyone a bad name!"
"Idiots, ghosts aren't possible!"

What gave me the greatest possible laugh was that these are a bunch of people with high tech gear tromping up and down a mountain for a mythical monkey, and they're scoffing at the ghost hunterts?!

I had to interview the ghost hunters. Guess what?

"Bigfoot? Pah."
"Oh yea sure, I'll believe it, soon as you show me the corpse."
"They're destroying the name of science!"

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, are two groups of people, both utterly believing in their topics. They both think they're using the latest in possible science. They both think they're absolutely right and the other group is absolutely wrong! How dare they ruin science's good name!

The topic is funny, until you turn from Bigfoot Hunters and Paranormal Investigators, to Democrats and Republicans.

You see, every group consists of these people who feel THEY have the right answers and the other side is nuts. Neither one listens to reason, they have their facts all sorts of lined up and they're willing to plow you down to show the world that THEY'RE RIGHT!

There's no difference between the two. Instead of thermal cameras and electro magnetic field detectors, we have the "federal reserve" and "climate Czars."

What's the point of all this? The point is that if I hear one more moron tell me that s/he was moved by Obama's speech I'm going to get out my strangling gloves. In just about every case, your politician of choice is a mythical figure, not at all in your mind what he (or she) is in reality.

Review the speeches of the Bigfoot Hunters vs the Ghost Hunters. You'll see the same trends.
Take a look at Obama's speech vs. Bush's of 2000. See if you can play the "count the fallacy" game on both sides before you think we're going to be saved.

In closing, while I'm comparing finding good politicians to finding Bigfoot in the backwoods of West Virginia, occasionally you get real lucky, or close to lucky, and you get some inkling that something just might be out there.

(Recorded on my trip to Beaver Creek) http://www.stancourtney.com/sounds/East-CentralOhioChatter4-...
(Blog of one of the people with me) http://blogsquatcher.blogspot.com/2007/10/voice-of-bigfoot-e...
(The only place we'll ever find a liberty-minded candidate) http://www.campaignforliberty.com

Eric Hoffer



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