More Bigfoot Sightings: Skater Voyeur and Snohomish Sasquatch

Every once in awhile there’s a Bigfoot sighting, and once there are a handful of them to mock — I mean scrutinize — I like to tie them all up into a blog post. Looks like it’s time again, as August has brought us a couple of doozies for dissection.

Earlier this month, a skater who uses the handle “couch potato” sent footage of a Bigfoot to the Paranormal Society and they, being the scholarly research organization they are, released it onto YouTube in four different versions. The filmmaker says he caught on a GoPro camera while he was skateboarding. Here — I’ve queued up the edited, slowed-down version to a couple seconds before the big reveal. Don’t blink!

Wow! I know, right? A fine, fine example of a classic American Blobsquatch. Not moving, not in focus, not even on camera for more than a second … apparently “couch potato” didn’t even see the big beast as he skated by, as he told the Paranormal Society, ” I didn’t notice the bigfoot like creature until I got home several days later and watched my videos.” Well of course you didn’t, CP, because there’s nothing there to notice.

You can watch the original here; when it isn’t slowed down and queued to the point, you probably won’t even be able to tell it’s there. Tragically, this hasn’t stopped the video from racking up almost 500,000 views and being picked up by some domestic and international press.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Times covered stories of a Sasquatch in Snohomish County, Washington. [That is an awesome name, by the way.] Snohomish County is home to two dedicated squatchers, John Ray and Rob Parker, who believe sincerely that there are Bigfoot in the area. They believe this despite their having “spent years hunting in the old-growth forests of Snohomish County for evidence of Bigfoot” with no real evidence to show for it other than personal anecdotes and reports of sightings.

Photo from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snohomish,_Washington

Beautiful Snohomish City waterside. If there is a Bigfoot around here, he chose a lovely place to settle down.

The squatchers aren’t bothered by somethng so pesky as “lack of evidence’ though. Observe:

Parker and Ray understand that they’re hunting something most people don’t believe exists. But they can’t shake the strange things they say they’ve seen and heard in the woods. “When you rule out everything that lives in that forest, what are you left with?” Ray said. “You can’t say it’s not a Sasquatch.”

Actually, Ray, yes we can. Because “I don’t know what that is, therefore Sasquatch” is simply a way of arguing from your own ignorance. This lack of real evidence didn’t deter the Seattle Times from devoting column inches to the Ray’s story, however. They went on to discuss the technique that John and Ray employ:

In the woods, the pair let out long, guttural howls and whoops. They also knock on wood, clack rocks and make game calls. “I want to say ‘hey look at these hairless dudes here,’” Ray said. “We’re just trying to get them to hang out with us.”

Besides the lure of awesome bro camaraderie, the pair “use technology to help them in their hunt: dash cams, thermal imaging cameras, their radios and audio recording equipment.” Note that last item. Apparently they haven’t actually caught anything on that recording equipment, or if they have they weren’t tipping off the Seattle Times to it. One tool you’ll probably notice is missing from this is the popular squatcher night vision cam. Ray explains:

Ray said he doesn’t use night vision cameras because he’s “pretty sure” Bigfoot can see the light that’s emitted. That’s why, he continues, squatchers on Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” series haven’t captured the creature on film.

He’s “pretty sure”? Assuming he’s referring to standard IR night vision cameras, he’s just claimed that he’s “pretty sure” Bigfoot can see into the infrared part of the spectrum. On what basis is he making this claim? Primates are not known to have the ability to “see” infrared light. Snakes and insects and maybe bats can, but primates? We’re not even equipped with the right sensors. Clearly, this is just Ray’s excuse for why there have been no night vision footage taken of Bigfoot. That makes this a form of special pleading.

Sasquatch’s amazing eyes aren’t the only thing Ray believes without evidence. Witness:

Ray takes two of his sons, Michael, 16, and Christopher, 12, out on the bigfoot hunts. The boys are bait; children and women pique the creature’s curiosity, Ray said. “They like women and kids because we’re not much of a threat,” Michael explained. That’s why he’s glad he’s getting older.

Setting aside for the moment that Ray is using his own children as bait, this line about women and children echoes something we heard back on the Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty. Bigfoot, apparently, holds to the same gender stereotypes as humans in viewing women as less threatening than men. Once again, I have to ask: on what basis are they basing this assumption? If I were out in the woods hunting a 7 foot tall hominid of unknown intent, I sure as Hell wouldn’t assume I was safe, let alone my kids; and I seriously doubt my gender would have any bearing on the situation were the creature to appear.

The article concludes with a line from Ray that just sums up the squatcher mentality beautifully:

“If you weren’t there. If you didn’t see it. You can’t say it happened — and you can’t say it didn’t.”

Of course we can’t, Ray. But we can say that personal anecdotes are the absolute weakest form of evidence that there is, than that the utter lack of any offered evidence other than anecdotes puts your whole story to serious question.

So, another month, another bad pair of Bigfoot nonsense to stoke the fires of popular belief. Maybe next time we’ll get a better look at the creature … though I doubt it.

[Bonus points if anyone can properly identify the logical fallacy in the line quoted above. Drop your answers in the Comments section.]

About Alison Hudson

Alison is a writer and educator living near Ann Arbor, MI. She blogs regularly about skepticism, games, and the transgender experience.
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10 Responses to More Bigfoot Sightings: Skater Voyeur and Snohomish Sasquatch

  1. Vere Nekoninda says:

    Even with your help, I’m not sure I can see it. Is the supposed blobsquatch that pattern of missing bark on the tree left of center, visible between seconds 7 and 11? If so, there is a pretty clear frame at right about 11 seconds, which looks like negative space, rather than a space-filling blob. I suspect lightning damage to the tree bark.

  2. Jon Rosen says:

    I think it’s great that skateboarders like Couch Potato are keeping the hope alive. Perhaps he will send videos of his skateboarding trip around Loch Ness one day.

  3. Nobody says:

    “How do you know? Were you there?” fallacy?

  4. Pete A says:

    I don’t think there is a logical fallacy in the last quote. It seems to demonstrate logical illiteracy (ignorance of the basic concepts and techniques of logic) and a failure to understand who owns the burden of proof.

    Logical fallacies contain logical mistakes. In the absence of logic it’s often just a case of “word salad” or “weasel words” — eliciting a “WTF?” reaction.

    Notwithstanding, it might be the syllogistic fallacy: Affirmative Conclusion from a Negative Premise.

  5. Rem says:

    The accompanying bigfoot video was so totally covered with ads that I couldn’t delete them fast enough before the short clip ended. Played it over and over and could never see anything beside multiple junk ads! This makes the bigfoot article useless. I suspect the ads superimposed on the video are not your doing, but it sure makes it unpleasant to try and watch. If this is the battle I have to have to read the Skeptoid articles and try to view the accompanying videos, I’ll think twice before trying it again.

  6. NoseyNick says:

    Had to watch it about 5 times before I spotted it. I still see no sasquatch. Looks like a dude in a black hoodie and dark pants on the far left for about 3 frames at almost exactly the 10 second mark.

  7. I know for a fact that there will be more Bigfoot sightings to come.

  8. SwampWitch7 says:

    I didn’t see sh*t. But everybody needs a hobby. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a big fan of fairies and spritual mediums. I like werewolf movies. My next door neighbor collects beer bottles. So why not traipse around the northern woods looking for something you can’t see?

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