Considering the beast’s locale is traditionally focused on the Pacific Northwest, that’s somewhat surprising, yet even more surprising is that these seventy-eight sightings have largely gone unreported in the media or scientific community. In fact, the scientific community doesn’t even consider Bigfoot research a legitimate branch of primatology, but rather pseudoscience (like Chinese medicine, chiropractic medicine, or astrology).
How can an animal pursued by thousands of researchers and followed by millions of viewers NOT be taken seriously? To uncover that, we have to answer a few shorter questions first.
What is science?
Boiling down the essence of science is simple. Once upon a time, humans insisted certain ideas were true, then looked for observations supporting those laws. This was pretty much a crap shoot.
Then someone (a dude named Galileo) decided to try something new: he gathered observations, looked at the observations, and then create ideas supported by those observations—his most popular discover being a solar system orbiting around the Sun rather than the Earth.
As most know, his peers met his insight with derision and hate.Labeled a heretic, he was placed under house arrest. His new method eventually became science as we know it, a method that has brought us everything from incubators in hospital NICUs to antibiotics to the very device you are now holding in your hand.
What the h— does this have to do with Bigfoot?
Oh boy. Everything.
Let’s take a look at the seventy-eight Indiana sightings of Bigfoot and the evidence these sightings present. The seventy-eight reports the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization contains on their site are spread over dozens of counties in Indiana, and the reports are divided into Class A, Class B, and Class C. The hefty sounding Class A report details an actual observation of a Bigfoot, and Class B seems to be an indirect sighting of the creature, such as unidentifiable grunting or moaning (“vocalizations” according to the site).
The problem with this evidence (anyone in law enforcement experiences this on a daily basis) is that these observations are all based on self-reporting, meaning it is substantiated only by the person making the report and people sometimes have motives other than the honest truth when making claims. Attention, delusion, greed, ignorance…you name it. Let’s look at an example.
In Indiana, Monroe County has the largest number of sightings, but their ambiguity makes them near useless.
November, 1979: Daytime sighting.
May, 1982: Three fishermen watched by “something”.
November, 1988: Man recalls his observation of a creature crossing a road….
October, 1989 or 1990: Two sisters observe creature cross the road.
Fall, 2006: Possible encounter while backpacking in the Hoosier National Forest.
March, 2009: Man hears multiple moans and sees a gray creature outside of Bloomington.
October, 2009: Loud, early morning vocalizations heard by duck hunters on Lake Monroe.
Folks, that is NOT how scientists make observations.