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SKEPTOID BLOG:

More Bigfoot Sightings: Skater Voyeur and Snohomish Sasquatch

by Alison Hudson

September 1, 2014

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Donate 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!

http://youtu.be/LOHvcFbl_Ec?t=8s

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.

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.]

by Alison Hudson

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