There can be little debate that there has been an explosion of the paranormal in popular culture. One need only turn on the TV to come to that conclusion, there is a show, and often times shows and marathons, dealing with a paranormal topic daily. Have you noticed one of the prominent mascots for the Winter Olympics, yep, a Sasquatch. With unprecedented popularity and interest comes money-making opportunities, and when money can be made risky business quickly follows.
Let’s once again start with a definition, this one is from Wikipedia. We recommend reading the wiki on paranormal sometime, it is a brief, good primer.
Paranormal is a general term that describes unusual experiences that lack a scientific explanation, or phenomena alleged to be outside of science’s current ability to explain or measure. Notably, paranormal phenomena also lack scientific evidence.
Yes, Wikipedia, and this author, further consider cryptids to be one of the genre of the paranormal. About now the true believers are going, but The Bigfootery Enquirer people, what about the footprints, the dermals, the hair and the casts, that’s scientific evidence. Close, but no cigar in our book. But this post is not about the debate of does bigfoot fit into the realm of the paranormal, we have bigger feet to hold to the fire. Besides, to your normal Joe or Jane, bigfoot is a paranormal, and thanks to the explosion, a popular paranormal topic.
Pop cultures growing fascination with the paranormal presents fourth level “Bigfoot Researchers”, and those aspiring to that esteemed title with two opportunities, profit and churn. Churn is the concept of a small but seemingly endless crop of first level “Bigfoot Researchers”. Think uninformed, gullible, wanting to be part of the crowd, salivating for a chance to investigate a hot bigfoot sighting report or go on a real bigfoot expedition or rub elbows with the bigfootery famous. Essentially churn represents a new set of marks to fleece and a continual opportunity to reinvent oneself if the old self was sullied by some unfortunate incident like getting caught hoaxing or some other form of dishonesty. In the paranormal pop culture explosion there truly is a new sucker born everyday. To the fourth level “bigfoot researcher”, as to the other carnival barkers of the paranormal craze, churn is the lifeblood of money-making opportunities.
What are these money-making opportunities? While short on innovation, but long on repetition, bigfootey and the paranormal business has spawned a number of ways for enterprising “Bigfoot Researchers” to turn a buck. There are the traditional methods; t-shirts, books, tapes, newsletters and various derivations of these like ebooks and enewsletters. Note to self, after seeing some of the content some fourth level “Bigfoot Researchers” charge for in the form of newsletters, this blog is far better – perhaps it is time to convert to that format and become a money grubbin bigfootery shyster. Nope, we stay free, no ads, no congratulations scams you just won a Wal-mart gift cards, none of that stuff.
But what about the brave new world of profit generation in the paranormal and bigfoot world? Conferences are popular, and profitable, as are expeditions/ghost hunts, training seminars, museums (heavy on the gift shop SWAG and books), homemade videos of all sorts and general SWAG. What self-respecting fourth level bigfoot researcher would be caught out on expedition in a totally inappropriate pair of jeans that did not have a bigfoot belt buckle, authentic right down to the swaying boobies?
When Howard Stern is interested and excited about the chance to earn TV money, then you know that money must be good. His take is the money is big and the time committment is small. We’re not so sure about the time part, but the money has the possibility of being good. There are a few series that cover bigfoot as part of their topics. But after struggling through many years of making pitches papa’ grande is in the process of production with the BFRO. We have some good information about that we may choose to share at a later date, that the expeditions were closed to the public and that a serial reality show is in the works is little secret to most of bigfootery, but we have more we may choose to share at a later date. TV per diems are not particularly big money, a few hundred a day. But if you are retired, or do it as part of a paid vacation, it is not a bad payday for doing something you like to do anyways. But to make the big money you have to force your way in to a production title position, a much easier task to do when you are acting as a sole proprietor and have a number of serfs at your beckon and command.
And one may ask, what’s your beef BFE? A keystone of the US economy is the entrepreneur, whats wrong with paranormal or bigfootery entrepreneurism? When there is money, risky and shady business can happen. And that is the danger of the paranormal pop explosion, money can corrupt people to do things and leave the majority who are legit painted with that same brush. TV series and TV competition places pressures to have amazing events happen to keep and add viewers. Churn and the sheer popularity of the paranormal provides a chance to cash in with crappy content and downright fraud at times. Want a few examples? Fortunately, the most blatant examples seem to be coming from the ghosties, although bigfootery has had a few instances.
These scams seem to run a consistent formula, you organize a conference, charge a pretty steep admission fee and package the hotel room with the event to get a maximum take. In this case the person seems to have taken the money and ran. In another case, this person seems to have first not paid his bills to the host hotel his first year, and then flat out taken the money and run the second. As an interesting aside, the Bully is hinting at a TAPS appearance this year, we find that coincidental at least and indicative of the exhaustive vetting he does when it comes to his annual money-maker. Fortunately, we are not aware of any bigfootery conferences that have had these types of issues, although Keating did have his hijinks with Hajicek last year, but that is a story that deserves a separate post that we will get to in the next few weeks. Needless to say, these are the types of stories that give the paranormal a bad name.
Bigfoot body found, promoted, thawed and then the ring leader declares he was hoaxed (days after the frozen suit had been debunked). We need to say no more, risky, bad bigfootery business.
Bigfoot expeditions generate five-figure incomes a weekend, seemingly and remarkably produce some results, or at least results the paying customers are willing to buy darn near every time, rumors abound about some shadiness despite the best attempts to keep a firm lid on that type of talk. Other fourth level “Bigfoot Researchers” are pissed they did not think of the idea first and now are on record as decrying paying expeditions. Maybe that lovely churn will allow them to revisit the idea in a few years.
TV shows create an even greater possibility of risky paranormal business. The money is bigger and the pressure to fascinate and keep an audience is huge, even in a paranormal pop culture famished for content. The leading program out there viewership wise is Ghost Hunter and this can lead to situations and disclosures like this. And the discussion can get heated, some good links in the first post leads to 53 pages of discussion, pop goes the paranormal. Paranormal State has had a good share of analysis as to risky and shady stuff. In bigfootery you have Monster Quest, mostly they have presented crappy evidence and eventually conclude it is crappy evidence. The Ohio and Kentucky episodes come to mind. There has been questions about the veracity of the presentation. What will the BFRO show hold if it does actually make it to the air? We are sure there will be many looking at it very closely.
And finally in the spirit of helping fourth level “Bigfoot Researchers” carnival barkers find a new angle for using TV and raising money we present the Reverend Bob Larson, demonologist. Yes, we consider that topic to be in the realm of the paranormal. Reverend Bob has done much to enrich himself with a few things that are downright non-christian like. Bob is riding the paranormal pop explosion himself with a new TV show. But the beauty of Bob, and how he can be a model for the carnival barkers is that he is not satisfied with the TV money. Nope. He is appealing to his flock for donations to help him meet the incredible public response for help that will come with his TV show. So here is the script fourth levelers:
Because of my amazing new appearance, bigfoot sighting reports have poured in. I need your help to give me the gas, food and lodging money so that I can react to these situations and help us all by proving once and for all bigfoot is real. Strike that real part, most likely real due to my compelling evidence, I am not ready to give up the gravy train and solve this mystery just yet, momma wants a house without wheels.