Posts Tagged ‘BFRO’

  1. We like the scenic photography.
  2. The casting decision to have Bobo and Cliff on the show was a good one.
  3. There are fun drinking games that can be tied into the show, although if you have strict rules it can lead to a rough Monday morning.
  4. The show has done much to dispel the stereotype that this phenomena is confined to the north-west part of North America.

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Given that issues such as deceptive editing, inserting sounds and the like, plus a high level of bigpuffery has ensued, we think we nailed the topic many, many months ago.  Here’s the post.

And now our prediction for one of the second six episodes of Finding Bigpuffery.

If the DNA stuff has passed peer review, look for the team to head to the Ohio valley tri-state area.  Part of the episode will feature a teaser from Ky., which will nicely pimp the larger documentary.  It will be a classic bigpuffery move of mutual backscratching for mutual monetary benefit.  Even if the peer review goes south over provenance and chain of custody issues, that will be a minor speed bump to be ignored, the public is too dumb to know otherwise.

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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.

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Anyone who has kids in school now or in the past 10 years playing sports probably has an idea of what pay to play means.  Schools often charge parents a fee for their child to participate in a sport, paying to play.  The fees go to help with the costs of coaches, uniforms, equipment and transportation, it is becoming a fairly common feature in many school districts.  It is a tough issue for schools and certainly the efficiency and efficacy of education is a topic well beyond the scope of  The Bigfootery Enquirer.   It is one of those do not get me started topics, but generally I see a need and some benefit to pay to play (mostly in the area of when one spends one’s only money, there is a higher commitment to something).  But there is a hook here for the aspiring and current “Bigfoot Researcher” as pay to play can also be found in the world of bigfootery.  It is certainly one of those things where your mileage may vary.

Ask any second level “Bigfoot Researcher” if anyone in bigfootery is using pay to play and one organization will invariably pop up in the conversation, the Bigfoot Field Research Organization, the BFRO.  What many do not consider is there are a number of other organizations out there employing the pay to play model, and that the return on the investment may be much lower than, and in the long run more expensive, than the oft decryed BFRO.  Some will immediately dismiss that assertion as donkey doo doo, but let us delve deeper into this idea.

The pay to play practice of the BFRO is in the form of paying to attend expeditions.  One can learn a great deal about this practice at the website, bfro.net.  The published fee to attend a three to four day expedition is $300, which pays for a participant and, at the organizer’s discretion, one guest.  The fee does not include camping gear or food, but does allow access to gear and expertise, some of which is very rare to other groups or individuals.  These expeditions also serve as a screening and proving ground for potential investigators for the organization.   Space permitting, active investigators who are members of the BFRO can attend expeditions at no cost.  Repeat attendees are offered a rate of $100, space permitting.

Are other bigfootery groups practicing pay as you play?  You bet.   Many have membership dues, they might not be as steep as an expedition fee, but over the years they add up to change the return on investment ratio.  Here are a few.

Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy – $60 individual annual dues.

American Bigfoot Society – $30 for an individual, $45 for a family in the form of annual dues.

Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society – $30 for an individual, $50 for a family of four (they ding you $5 per kid after that) in the form of annual dues.

Oregon Bigfoot.com – $4.95/mo. ($59.40 annually) for enhanced website access.

And now for the return on investment discussion.  What you get for your money is going to differ, remember your mileage will vary.   Much of it will depend upon the effort and the schmooze you are willing to put out.   Most of the above groups will claim additional membership benefits, like access to cookouts, the overused word “expeditions”, and sighting reports.  Quantity wise, it seems the BFRO offers more in terms of reports and outdoor opportunities based upon a review of websites.  Judge yourself, unless the group hides that info from the casual surfer, which is a red flag in and of itself.  Let’s say that you and your spouse or teenage child would like to get involved with one of these pay as play opportunities, that will be assumption #1.  Let’s also say that you are really dedicated and into bigfootery and plan to be at it for 10 years, or even 15.   And let’s also say that you are quite a “Bigfoot Researcher” with skills, a good personality and you are from a state where the BFRO needs help with investigating reports, so you are invited to become a member after your first expedition.  Even if it took a second expedition, at $100 more, you will see in the long term that cost is immaterial in comparison to the annual dues pay as you play fund raising model.

So what does your investment costs look like over time for these groups?

Group          5 year investment        10 year investment        15 year investment

BFRO            $300                                    $300                                      $300

TBRC            $600                                     $1,200                                   $1,800

ABS               $225                                      $450                                      $675

PBS                $250                                      $500                                      $750

Oregon BF   $297                                      $594                                       $891

My point, The Bigfootery Enquirer reader,  is that although maligned for charging $300 for an expedition fee, the BFRO pay to play structure returns your investment superior to all of the other above groups in year six and just keeps getting better after that break even point.  If you are in it for the long haul of 15 years, those groups that charge an annual membership will be anywhere from two to six times as expensive, notwithstanding the quantitative values of each pay to play option.

The other side of this coin is that there are some groups that do not charge a membership fee and you can certainly go out and about on your own.  The other option is one many third level “Bigfoot Researchers” take, which is to create a new group yourself, a hallmark of bigfootery.

In regards to the comment below:

Actually, the math is based upon two people and fully set out in the paragraph above the calculations.  Dues are individual and annual according to the website.  Good point on the tax deduction, if you are in a 20% tax bracket that reduces the 15 year investment by $360 for a total investment of $1,440.  As the income for the TBRC is less than $25k, it is exempted from filing IRS returns, if the money is returned back into equipment and not salaries or travel reimbursements, then good for them.

Allowing for the tax break, this reduces the 8 fold factor to just a little less than 5 fold higher than other options in the longest term.

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