How can one disagree with that appraisal? Two body hoaxes and now the Ketchum/NABS/Paulides affair in less than two months, what a start to 2013. Bigfootery is alive and well and, although hard to imagine, is spiraling down in an even more rapid descent. We have genuine fears for the topic and “bigfoot research”, the carnival barkers seem to be getting more brash and the marks seem to be an easier dodge. Our internal BFE discussions attempting to explain what is happening come back to a few threads we have touched upon for years, churn, greed, ego, cults of personality, general bigpuffery, perhaps desperation – but the scale – it’s growing exponentially. And the noise, it is giving us a collective headache. And the bigfootery, simply shameful, making anyone remotely interested look foolish.
First came Mr. Ed with the Daisy hoax. It fell apart pretty quickly, he catfished a number of researchers, they eventually ducked and covered. Most saw through it, we tagged Ed years ago, but some held out hope to the bitter end. There are probably a few “bigfoot researchers” still in denial and holding out for the chance that Ed had to cover it up after talking too much.
And then we have 1/2 of the Georgia boys coming back with I got a body part two. He might have started floating his balloon in 2012, but this year is when it gathered steam. Cue the GW Bush quote about being fooled. One thing we can say about Ricky is he goes all in, remember the last time and that they played the hoax all the way into a national press conference. We don’t know what is more amazing, that he has people vouching for him or that people spend time on debunking him. But props to the Squatch Detective for staying on the case and working it, guess he is still a little singed from his last go around with Ricky. If you go back to 2008, you can see Ricky is playing it in a very similar way, using plants who can appeal to having authority, sticking to his story and ignoring the setbacks when a plant is uncovered and generally enjoying the noise. And there are still people who cling to this chance, hell some of them are out there swinging away on Ricky’s behalf. We always thought the Finding Bigfoot Facebook people were terribly unskilled and naïve, they’ve proved it with this particular hoax. Tell you what Ricky, you produce the monkey to our satisfaction and we will do the curtain bet we had contemplated with Ketchum.
Using that as a segue, we now move on to the Ketchum/NABS/Paulides affair, aka the “DNA study”. Failing a legitimate peer review and interest from an established journal, the Doc, et. al. moved to the back up plan. They actually started their own journal and self published. The website was an obvious rush job and amateurish, spelling problems, context and the like. But when the editor is simply a fellow believer in the forest friends, hosting more than a handful of bigfeet on a small tract not much is to be expected. It says much about the legitimacy of the study and the journal, and that’s without getting into the real study. But when you run the show, as in owning the journal, you get to make the rules. We are tempted to grab some of that prestige by renaming this blog the Journal of Bigfootery. The “DNA Study” has rightly met with much scepticism, even among the faithful of bigfootery. Some are still clinging to it like a shipwrecked wench on a timber, some are covering their bet by taking a wait and see position, but most knew it was going to be a bust. Hopefully few have paid the money to actually see the study as there are certainly better ways to spend $30.
Some of the major problems include an unwillingness to release the actual data or place it in genbank where others could give it a look, and absolute refusal to release samples to see if someone could replicate the results, bear/human steak as one of the pillar samples, the challenge of hybrid reproduction and poor or flawed amplification results. It will be sliced and diced by science. What may be a saving grace, although it will probably be capitalized – as in pony up some $$’s if you want to see it – is that it seems the old Ohio River footage was bought up by the same folks funding the study and will be leaked out over the next few months to bolster the “discovery” of bigfoot.
Why do we include Paulides in this affair? For one, he claims to be some of the brains behind this effort (actually claims that nobody else was interested in DNA until he thought of it, and has gone to the media to announce the publication. In fact his press release is that this study “proves” bigfoot exists. The purported results also mirror the drum he has been banging for forest people, not simply an ape. While others associated with the project ran from it, stating things like, “we only provided some samples”, Super Dave is left to be the advocate, a role he is happy to fill, although bigfootery will be pissing him off by pointing out problems. What we found is Super Dave is the best, always correct and intellectually superior to all of the rest of the bigfootery rabble, so expect him to rant and correct people immediately. More on Super Dave soon, we had tuned him out as just an arrogant appendage, but he does deserve his own little post.