Seeing Bigfoot as real, is a foot in the mouth.
There is no such thing as even a universal agreement on what a Bigfoot is, looks like, or acts like, it changes by time, region and people. So right there one does not even have a good ontology for the thing in question. It’s not fixed as it is a myth until somehow proven in some way.
The legend of the enormous creature variously known as a yeti, Bigfoot or Sasquatch has long been a source of mystery. But now a study of supposed Bigfoot hair samples has revealed that they actually derive from known mammals including bears, cows, dogs or horses. A team of scientists led by Bryan Sykes, a human genetics professor at the University of Oxford, analyzed DNA from 30 samples of Bigfoot hair donated by museums and enthusiasts. Although this may come as a blow to cryptozoologists — those who search for creatures whose existence is unproven — the analysis may herald the discovery of a new species of bear. Two hairs from India and Bhutan show an unknown species that could be a distant cousin of the polar bear or a hybrid of local species and a brown bear. “If these bears are widely distributed in the Himalayas, they may well contribute to the biological foundation of the yeti legend,” the authors said in the study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Although the search for the illusive Bigfoot will likely continue, scientists hope believers will at least step up their game. “The techniques described here put an end to decades of ambiguity about species identification of anomalous primate samples and set a rigorous standard against which to judge any future claims,” researchers said in the study. DNA analysis even revealed that a clump of hair found in Texas actually belonged to a hairy human.
Bigfoots, Unicorns, and Gods the rational conclusion using axiology
So how do we form rational conclusions? More importantly, how do we differentiate between the levels involved to establish a conclusions rational viability.
It takes axiology or the value judgment the worthiness or lack thereof in relation to the available reason and evidence.
So let’s start with the axiological viability of Bigfoots
There is no available evidence for Bigfoots.
But is their proposition outside of reason?
Always start in reality from the evidence we do know, such as a primate/nonhuman hominid close to that of both humans and other nonhuman primates is not entirely outside all possibility of reason even though lacking all evidence. Therefore, belief is not warranted and the axiological worthiness of possibility is low enough to motivate disbelief.
The axiological viability of Unicorns (ie. a horse with a single horn on its head)
There is no evidence for Unicorns.
But is their proposition outside of reason?
As always start in reality from the evidence we do know, such as by looking at the evolution of the horse not once was there a horn on any of the several stages of animals to the horse we know today. So it is relatively outside of possibility though as it is still only claiming non-fantastic attributes it is only somewhat ridiculous. Therefore, belief is not in any way warranted and the axiological worthiness is so low to highly support disbelief.
Now the axiological validity of Gods
There is no evidence for Gods.
But is their proposition outside of reason?
As always start in reality from the evidence we do know, such as never in the history of scientific research or investigation has any supernatural claims shown to be true. So it is completely outside of possibility and is utterly ridiculous. If a god anything was real and good it would not be the harmful world we have. Therefore, no god is good but as gods are often claimed as good so no such gods exist. This is an axiological atheist argument also called the argument from evil. As an Ignostic Atheist is, first prove the actuality of simple magic before you try to ask anyone about the possibility of some supreme magic. Ignosticism or igtheism, basically as a philosophic position concludes the belief in or a possibility of a supernatural being, ultimate or otherwise as reality misinterpreted, reality confused, reality incoherent, and reality unintelligible. Ignosticism questions the ideas in the god concepts themselves rather than allowing them to hold some presupposition (a thing tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action) status in reality that they don’t actually have and that is required first to even take the three-letter term god or any created empty name that is offered instead as if theists think and some alow then m to think they can offer any manner of nonsense with no burden of proof at all. What needs to be questioned is what do you mean by god Evidence? First, what is a god and how can you claim to know this?I welcome the burden of proof and to me, fearing it may be that one lacks such proof, to begin with. Theism is proof of one’s failure to require valid and reliable justification to support any beliefs as worthy.Therefore, belief should be rejected as there are no warrants at all and it is axiologically unworthy to such a preponderance to demand disbelief.
“Isn’t ignosticism the idea that the word “god” has not been well enough defined to make a judgement regarding existence?” – Challenger
My response, “Well it may be for some, and not others as you started right for me god claims are contradictions and make believe that ae expressed but offer nothing. If you can’t define something then it’s not even a valid hypothesis and just unjustified claims that attach to nothing are unworthwhile.”
“But each god hypothesis is pretty well defined. There is little reason to bother describing non-god concepts or hypothetical god concepts.” – Challenger
My response, “A definition of a leprechaun does not mean it’s a valid hypothetic in reality only that humans gave an idea anthropomorphic characteristics not valid qualities for a real ontology. You can make up all kinds of unreal non-defined in reality things there is only a limit on time to how many one could mentally conceive and not one of them is valid if not corresponding in and of reality. If I define for you what a square circle is like that would not add it to reality as it is a logical contradiction as reality has limits that we use to know that some things are impossible and only possible when the qualities match reality.”
“The definition is the only thing that allows you to say that. It is a well defined non thing. Perhaps gods are just well defined non things.” – Challenger
My response, “A scientific hypothesis is the initial building block in the scientific method. Many describe it as an “educated guess,” based on prior knowledge and observation. Mover, a hypothesis is a suggested solution for an unexplained occurrence that does not fit into the current accepted scientific theory. The basic idea of a hypothesis is that there is no pre-determined outcome. A null hypothesis is the name given to a hypothesis that is possibly false or has no effect. Often, during a test, the scientist will study another branch of the idea that may work, which is called an alternative hypothesis. During testing, a scientist may come upon two types of errors. A Type I error is when the null hypothesis is rejected when it is true. A Type II error occurs when the null hypothesis is not rejected when it is false, according to the University of California, Berkeley. So, what is this nothing none evidence god somethingism?”
“God isn’t a scientific hypothesis. As are many things in our society.” – Challenger
My response, “god somethingism, like all proposed gods can’t pass the A Type II error so the null hypothesis is not rejected and thus god somethingism, like all proposed gods are false, god is nonsense.”
“That is simply atheism. I agree there, but that doesn’t mean there are particularly good definitions for various gods. Like story books use great definitions about dragons and pixies. It is well defined nonsense. We aren’t lacking definition.” – Challenger
My response, “Agnosticism, Ignosticism apatheism, secular humanism are all atheist, unless they have some belief. No belief is always atheism it’s a philosophical stance that occurs one need not actively choose it, but lack belief and atheism is occurring. I am an ignostic atheist. http://damienmarieathope.com/2015/11/17/i-am-an-ignostic-atheist/”
My response, “Agnosticism is a belief about knowledge built on folk logic and nonstandard philosophy it is not a true branch of the philosophy of knowledge at all, in fact, it is more connected to philosophical skepticism which is against asserting any firm knowledge claim. I hear people time and again asserting the 100% knowledge or truth claim that because they believe there is no such thing as asserting the 100% knowledge or truth claim that by default Every atheist is agnostic. Do you see the self-contradictory claim which would or I guess if one holds such a belief in the limits of knowledge, should refrain from making global affirming truth claims that one cannot make global affirming truth claims?”
My response, “What is Ignosticism, or igtheism position? If followed to its logical end it concludes that the entire question about a god’s existence is a non-question and that taking a yes, no or even ambivalent position is absurd. It is based on an expectation of strong critical rational analysis of any proposition including the existence of god(s). As with any topic, and especially in the realm of the supernatural and woo, the subject of any debate should be coherently defined. If one offers a clear definition of an entity, then in order to take a position whether it exists or not the definition of the entity must be one in which its existence can be falsified (there is a rational and logical method by which we can test the existence of the subject as it has been defined). Few theists ever offer a clear definition of god. The few who do offer a definition almost never offer one in which the existence of that god(s) could be tested. The rare falsifiable definition offered regarding a god’s existence is easily falsified. And so as with any subject (such as the existence of almost all supernatural entities) debate about the existence of god(s) is, for the far majority of such conversations, pointless.
Ignosticism goes further than agnosticism; while agnosticism states that “you can’t really know either way” regarding the existence or non-existence of gOD, ignosticism posits that “you haven’t even agreed on what you’re discussing, as its nothing”. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ignosticism
“I take an ambivalent position to most things. Statistically unlikely things happen. Logic is simply a normative tool for discussing things. As bad as this sounds, proving logic is a difficult thing, because it would be illogical to disprove it. Even multiple views of the same phenomena doing the same thing can lead to incorrect views. Language is equally normative. If something doesn’t make sense, we can’t rule out that the language in use (or any language) is sufficient to explain everything. Using language as a basis for possibility strikes me much the same as an ontological argument. It seems like a word game which attempts to define things into or out of existence. To be honest, there isn’t really a means of enquiry I trust, it’s just a bunch of hypothetical models to varying degrees of likelyhood. We might be right about stuff, but we have little way of knowing it. The last bit is part of why I’m atheist. If there was a god worth believing in and who wanted us to, we’d likely have the capacity to know.” – Challenger
My response, “Faith is an invalid method to know the reality qualities of the world. Thus, every theory proposed from or with faith is equally invalid and since all gods and religions require faith at some point in the belief ownership process as or in place of evidence and/or valid reasoning about reality. Therefore, they are all automatically invalid due to the limitation of faith not being able to produce things into reality. To me, the origin of Logics is Naturalistic Observation:
Valid reasoning has been employed in all periods of human history. However, logic studies the principles of valid reasoning, inference, and demonstration. It is probable that the idea of demonstrating a conclusion first arose in connection with geometry, which originally meant the same as “land measurement”. In particular, the ancient Egyptians had empirically discovered some truths of geometry, such as the formula for the volume of a truncated pyramid. Another origin can be seen in Babylonia. Esagil-kin-apli’s medical Diagnostic Handbook in the 11th century BC was based on a logical set of axioms and assumptions, while Babylonian astronomers in the 8th and 7th centuries BC employed an internal logic within their predictive planetary systems, an important contribution to the philosophy of science. So, we have real-world origins such as sky observation in Babylonian astrology and land observation in Egyptian Geometry (from the Ancient Greek: geo- “earth”, -metron “measurement”). The field of astronomy, especially as it relates to mapping the positions of stars and planets on the celestial sphere and describing the relationship between movements of celestial bodies, served as an important source of geometric problems during the next one and a half millennia. In the classical world, both geometry and astronomy were considered to be part of the Quadrivium, a subset of the seven liberal arts considered essential for a free citizen to master. While the ancient Egyptians empirically discovered some truths of geometry, the great achievement of the ancient Greeks was to replace empirical methods by demonstrative science. The systematic study of this seems to have begun with the school of Pythagoras in the late sixth century BC. The three basic principles of geometry are as follows: Certain propositions must be accepted as true without demonstration; such a proposition is known as an axiom of geometry. Every proposition that is not an axiom of geometry must be demonstrated as following from the axioms of geometry; such a demonstration is known as a proof or a “derivation” of the proposition. The proof must be formal; that is, the derivation of the proposition must be independent of the particular subject matter in question. Fragments of early proofs are preserved in the works of Plato and Aristotle.
Where do these laws of logic come from? If we want to get a causal explanation of the origin of logical laws (apart from posting them as fundamental to the universe), the proper way to understand their origin IS as derivative on rationality as developed by non-rational evolutionary means.
Thus, in a way we could say laws of logic didn’t come from anywhere; these just are the rules of rationality as they can be articulated by explicitly rational beings. When rational beings came into existence by purely non-rational evolutionary processes, they came into being as following these rules. And then, at some later point in time, they became aware of themselves following these rules, and able to represent them explicitly.
When we see there as being implicitly logically-governed behavior in nature, we interpret nature in accordance with the way we understand ourselves as explicitly logical. We think of the behavior of entities of nature as if they represented their rational behavior like we do, it is our way of explicitly representing the norms of rationality. These non-rational entities of nature don’t have the slightest clue what the laws of logic are. But they behave as we do, and that’s how “we” see them. We can only make explanatory sense of how “we” have become explicitly aware of logical laws by showing how we are the result of beings that evolved an implicit awareness of these laws. And yet, we can only understand our natural ancestors as having an implicit grasp of logic once we’ve garnered an explicit grasp of logic. That’s the only way we can make sense of them as actually following the laws of logic.
The reason it is unproblematic for an explanation to conceptually (but not causally) presuppose that laws of logic is that we cannot hope to get out of these laws conceptually, since they just are, the bounds of sense. When sense-makers like us naturally evolve this just is the way in which we must make sense of things. It’s is the essential structure of sense-making, so to speak. And since the explanation is a sense-making enterprise, and any coherent explanation will conform to sense’s bounds—the things we’ve come to describe as the laws of logic. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_logichttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometry https://absoluteirony.wordpress.com/2014/…/23/laws-of-logic/”
“Doubt is far superior. Go back to Heb 1:11. And have a good look at it and see the implications. It is utterly absurd.” – Challenger
My response, “How do you not doubt “doubt itself” and thus are appealing to reason to decide this and not doubt, I mean not the presses of “doubt itself” as that is more a conclusion of the unworthy status for something or a realization of an uninformed/limited-informed if a thing in question is not so unsupported or unwarranted to debunk it at which pint doubt is then reassemble warranted to doubt is a process to conclude you should decide to doubt or see doubt as advised and this conclusion of a need to doubt is a secondary response to the use of reason/rationalism.”
“You can’t doubt “doubt,” or what validity would the doubt you applied have?” – Challenger
“I reason and use critical thinking that is superior to just doubt and is not even listed in the description of critical thinking found at the critical thinking foundation:
My response, “A well cultivated critical thinker: raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely; gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards; thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems. Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.” http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766
My response, “Philosophical skepticism is distinguished from methodological skepticism in that philosophical skepticism is an approach that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge, whereas methodological skepticism is an approach that subjects all knowledge claims to scrutiny with the goal of sorting out true from false claims.”
“I’m a negativist. I prefer to assume we are probably wrong and look for other possibilities.” – Challenger
My response, “Doubt or disbelief requires justification just like all other beliefs.”
“I can easily justify doubt. The unreliable nature of all current methods of human enquiry (they’ve all made mistakes which have been later corrected, it is unlikely this just stopped happening). Add to that, when you are wrong, you normally don’t know you are wrong. Being doubtful of complete accuracy is prudent, and possibility highly pragmatic. For example, i dint debate evolution. Even if someone tries to bring it up, they normally aren’t arguing about biology, but something else, so there is no need to further muddy the waters with more evolution talk. I won’t commit to it. It is a neat model, pretty plausible, a decent amount of unanswered questions we are aware of (this is good, it is the questions we aren’t aware of that are the problem) but hey, nothing is perfect. I am an atheist independant of evolution. It took me a while to soften to after deconversion. I dont need to accept it or reject it as it has little affect on things i consider pragmatic. And where it might have influence, that influence will be there whether I am aware or not. This, so far as i would describe it is not believing evolution. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m just not passionate about the sibject and really don’t care that much. This turns out to be very handy as I dont get stuck trying to explain biology to a fellow layman who doesnt want it to be real. I get to talk about the god ideas instead, which is really the aim.” – Challenger
My response, “Yes doubt can be justified by appealing to valid and reliable reason and/or observable/demonstrable evidence not doubt so that which is first is the best not the product of its use (doubt). So, which do you favor?” You are stating, “Doubt is far superior” is a truth claim and I would like to see you use doubt to justify that claim and you must stick with doubt to make the undoubted truth claim about doubt. To me stating doubt is super could only be reasoned by the elimination of doubt not the other way around so saying it as a universal is a contradiction. For once you believe it is superior you demonstrate it is not. Doubt, then, is the opposite of certainty see the problem, you must appeal to reason.”
“Havent slept and it is 7am. I afriad I will have to come back when my mind is working.” – Challenger
My response, “It’s cool I enjoyed talking take care and have a good night.”
“Damien, as a philosophical position, agnosticism is the only honest position……. but it fails when presented with physical evidence.. and so it is the middle way…” – Challenger
My response, what is a god to doubt? I don’t start my disbelief on the dilutions of god claims I assess are these claims warranted they are not so nothing to doubt so agnosticism starts with a presupposition of the term god to say they are unsure about thus to me making a thinking error as there is no presupposition god term to reality. I stand with ignosticism, roughly that the term god is given to much leeway as a valid offering of a possible real thing when no god claim if limited to only reality coherent attributes all add nonsense like supernatural things one of which at its simplest a being or at least a thinking thing with no physical mind but can think, an invisible thing and of courses an immaterial thing such as the no physical body in any way. And there we see the problem with accepting any god claim as even reality coherent as it is not. All claims must be coherent with or correspond to reality and just like many theological nonsense terms such as the soul. I don’t know what people are talking about when they say the term “soul” (it’s a made-up concept which connects to nothing that is reality coherent) as there is no part of the body exhibits as such magic thinking idea, soul, thus a debunked claim and does not need doubt. Similarly, I don’t know what people are talking about when they say the term “god” (it’s a made-up concept which connects to nothing that is reality coherent) as there is no part of the body exhibits as such magic thinking idea, god, thus a debunked claim and does not need doubt.
Ignosticism or igtheism, basically as a philosophic position concludes the belief in or a possibility of a supernatural being, ultimate or otherwise as reality misinterpreted, reality confused, reality incoherent, and reality unintelligible.
Ignosticism or igtheism (desire a good, well defined and supported ontology), basically as a philosophic position (rationalism, if one is addressing a mental aspect or claim and empiricism, if one is addressing a real-world aspect or claim) concludes the belief in (Ignosticism in this lack of belief/disbelief is atheism) or a possibility of (Ignosticism in this lack of “a possibility of” is using an Ethics of Belief, justificationism, reliabilism and anti-agnosticism) a supernatural being, ultimate (gods) or otherwise as reality misinterpreted, reality confused, reality incoherent, and reality unintelligible.
The Battle of Ape Canyon (1924)
A group of miners claimed that gorilla-like creatures (which they called “mountain devils”) attacked them in the woods near Mt. St. Helens. The miners retreated into a log cabin, but their attackers threw rocks down onto them throughout the night. The story was reported widely. However, a local game warden declared the story was “bunk.” A search party found no evidence of any gorillas or devils. The rocks may have been the work of teenagers at a nearby YMCA summer camp who had a tradition of throwing stones down the hill. Decades later, one of the miners, Fred Beck, wrote an account of the incident titled I Fought the Apemen of Mt. St. Helens. [wikipedia]
Abducted by Sasquatch (1957)
In 1957, with interest in Sasquatches growing on account of the Yeti crazi, a former logger, Albert Ostman, came forward with a strange story about how he had been abducted by a Sasquatch back in 1924. Ostman claimed that he had been on a prospecting holiday in Toba Inlet (British Columbia) when a Sasquatch carried him off and forced him to live with its family. Apparently the Sasquatch wanted to use Ostman for breeding purposes. After six days Ostman escaped. Ostman’s story stretches credibility, and the fact that he supposedly waited 33 years before telling it makes it even harder to believe. Even some prominent Bigfoot adherents dismiss his story as a tall tale.
The Birth of Bigfoot (1958)
While working on a rural road construction project near Bluff Creek, California, tractor-operator Jerry Crew found a series of massive footprints in the mud. Due to the size of the prints, the media began referring to the creature that created them as “Bigfoot.” The name stuck and soon became the most widely used term for North America’s legendary ape-man. However, it was suspected that Crew’s prank-loving boss, Ray Wallace, created the prints by strapping carved wooden feet to his boots and stomping around in the mud. Wallace’s family confirmed this after his death in 2002. More…
Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin emerged from California’s Six Rivers National Forest in Oct. 1967 with footage of what appeared to be a female Bigfoot. To this day, their short film remains the most famous evidence of Bigfoot’s existence. But skeptics immediately suspected a hoax. Scientists noted the creature’s anatomy was oddly mismatched (top half ape, bottom half human), as if it were a man in a suit. Other critics pointed out the remarkable coincidence that Patterson had been planning to make a film about Bigfoot, and then right away found a Bigfoot. There’s also evidence he had bought and modified a Bigfoot suit before shooting this footage. More…
The Minnesota Iceman (1968)
Showman Frank Hansen claimed to have a bigfoot-like creature frozen in a block of ice and was exhibiting it at carnivals throughout the Midwest. In 1968 the creature came to the attention of the cryptozoologists Ivan Sanderson and Bernard Heuvelmans, who became convinced the creature was real. Sanderson tried to get scientists interested in the “iceman,” and for a brief time the Smithsonian Institution expressed interest in acquiring it. But as pressure mounted on Hansen to let scientists examine the creature, he claimed that the original creature was gone and what was now in the ice was just a replica. It has since become clear the creature was a fake all along.
Bride of Bigfoot (1976)
When 23-year-old Cherie Darvell went missing while searching for Bigfoot in the forests of Humboldt County, police launched a massive search for her, at a cost of $11,613. A few days later, Darvell showed up screaming outside a Bluff Creek resort, claiming she had been abducted by a Bigfoot. She said the creature had scooped her up and carried her off, but that it had abandoned her unharmed during the night, after which she had wandered through the woods for several days. Sheriff Gene Cox dismissed her claim as a hoax, noting that she didn’t appear to have spent any time in the wilderness. Her clothes were clean and she smelled of perfume. More…
Bigfoot Crosses Highway (1977)
On the morning of May 15, 1977, a busload of people watched a Bigfoot cross Highway 7 east of Vancouver. But a few days later a trio of young men confessed that the Bigfoot was their work. It had taken them weeks to prepare, since they had fashioned resin-cast Sasquatch feet to make convincing footprints. They also planted a phony witness on the bus to see the Bigfoot first and get the other passengers excited. Strangely, the people on the bus described seeing a 7-foot Bigfoot with a strong smell. But 24-year-old Ken Ticehurst, who wore the gorilla suit, was only 5-foot-11 and weighed 165 pounds.
Residents of Enola, Pa. reported seeing a “hairy creature” in the woods of nearby East Pennsboro Township. One man described the creature as being hairy, 6 ½-feet tall and with arms that extended below the knees. The report created an air of panic in the town. Residents locked their windows and many took up weapons. But the panic settled after police identified 24-year-old Craig A. Brashear as the creature. He had bought an ape-suit and mask with fangs then stood in an area where his furry body would be illuminated by headlights. He did so, the police chief said, in order to “stir up more activity, to make it seem like there was a creature out there.”
Bigfoot in a Freezer (2008)
Rick Dyer and Matthew Whitton claimed they had stumbled upon the dead body of a Bigfoot while hiking in the Georgia woods. The creature was large, measuring 7 feet 7 inches tall and weighing over 500 pounds. Nevertheless, they managed to haul it out of the woods and store it in a freezer. Their claim was met with widespread skepticism, even from Bigfoot believers, but during a press conference in Palo Alto they indignantly stood by their story. However, when the body in the freezer was finally examined, it turned out to be a halloween costume with roadkill remains dumped on top of it. [Bigfoot Encounters]
Bigfoot Run Over (Aug 2012)
On the night of Sunday, August 26, 2012, 44-year-old Randy Lee Tenley stepped out onto U.S. Highway 93, just south of Kalispell, Montana, wearing a “Ghillie” suit (the kind used by snipers for camouflage). He was promptly hit by a car in the southbound lane, and then was hit again by a second car. Tenley died from his injuries. His friends told the Highway Patrol that he was wearing the suit in order to “incite a sighting of Bigfoot, to make people think they had seen a Sasquatch.” It’s not known if this was Tenley’s first attempt at a Bigfoot hoax. However, dispatchers said they had received no recent reports of Bigfoot sightings. [nbcmontana.com]
Melba Ketchum’s Sasquatch DNA Project(Nov 2012)
Melba Ketchum, owner of a Texas veterinary laboratory, announced on Nov 24, 2012 that, after a 5-year study of purported Sasquatch tissue samples, she had determined that Sasquatch was a human hybrid species that arose approximately 15,000 years ago. But when the article with her data appeared 3 months later, it was underwhelming. Her article appeared in the Denovo Journal of Science which, it turned out, was owned by Ketchum. In fact, her article was the one and only paper ever published by the journal. Skeptics noted that it appeared Ketchum had simply analyzed contaminated samples of human DNA. [Skeptical Briefs]
Rick Dyer (the same Rick Dyer responsible for the 2008 Bigfoot in a Freezer Hoax) announced he had killed an 8-foot Bigfoot in Texas. He called it Hank. After declaring that a university had DNA-tested the creature and found it to be an unknown species, Dyer took the body of the creature on tour in early 2014, charging people to see it. But after a few months his tour encountered problems, and he posted a rambling confession on Facebook, revealing that Hank’s body was a prop made of latex, foam, and camel hair.
By Dan Evon
EXAMPLE: [Collected via e-mail, October 2015]
Bigfoot Captured aired tonight on the history channel supposedly showing a Bigfoot in a cage that was caught by a team of people in the woods. Is this real?
ORIGINS: On 10 November 2015, the History Channel aired a special entitled Breaking History: Bigfoot Captured, a program that purportedly documented a successful hunt and capture of the legendary creature:
Bigfoot is America’s most legendary creature, and has always inspired more questions than answers. Could something resembling a massive man-ape really be roaming forests and hiding in the shadows undetected? Whether you believe in Bigfoot or not, there’s something provocative about the idea that we could be living with an unseen monster. But what if one day we did more than catch a glimpse of one? What if we captured the creature? This two-hour special, compiled by a director who traveled the world looking for proof Bigfoot actually exists, takes an unexpected turn when a Sasquatch capture is caught on camera. What happens when what most of us think is fiction becomes fact? And what does it mean for us all if the creature really is out there.
While the program started with a brief disclaimer stating that Breaking History: Bigfoot Capturedfeatured “some dramatization” and ended with credits listing various actors who pretended to be Bigfoot hunters, the episode was presented in documentary form and therefore fooled a number of viewers into believing that a Bigfoot creature had actually been captured during the process of filming.
This is not the case. The actors on “Bigfoot Captured” didn’t actually catch a Sasquatch or uncover a Bigfoot skeleton. According to the Idaho State Journal, the History Channel contracted Idaho State University’s Robotics and Communication Systems Engineering Technology program to create a skeleton of the mythical beast to be used in the show:
Because no actual Bigfoot skeletons have been unearthed, [ISU anthropology and anatomy professor Jeff] Meldrum had to reconstruct it based on what Bigfoot researchers believe the creature is related to.
Meldrum borrowed from the physical looks of extinct animals such as the Gigantopithecus blacki — an ancient ape that was twice the size of apes today — and the Neanderthal — a species of human that is said to have became extinct 40,000 years ago.
Meldrum took the Neanderthal skeleton, and technicians from the Idaho Virtualization Laboratory on ISU’s campus — under Meldrum’s guidance — digitally manipulated the skeleton to reflect the Bigfoot captured in the famous Patterson-Gimlin film.
“They made the shoulders much broader, the torso thicker, the arms longer, the legs the right proportion,” Meldrum said. “Then we took the Neanderthal skull away because it’s more human-like.”
In other words, Breaking History: Bigfoot Captured was not a documentary, but rather a fictional work created in fake documentary style for entertainment purposes, just like the fake Animal Planet “documentary” on mermaids and the fake Discovery Channel “documentary” about megalodon.
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