Bigfoot Isn’t in NY

Apparently, NY is a hotbed for Bigfoot enthusiasm. There was an expo for bigfoot hunters at Chautauqua Lake. There are towns that try to legally protect Bigfoot and Bigfoot habitat. There was apparently some alarm when Spike TV offered a $10 million bounty on the beast. That resulted is someone hassling the DEC, which produced the following letter:

Dear Mr. Wiemer,

Commissioner Martens asked me to reply to your letter concerning the protection of an animal known to some as “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch.”

This mythical animal does not exist in nature or otherwise. I understand, however, that some well organized hoaxes or pranks have occurred, leading some people to believe that such an animal does live.

However, the simple truth of the matter is that there is no such animal anywhere in the World.

I am sorry to disappoint you. However, no program or action in relation to mythical animals is warranted.

On the other hand, New York State has a great richness of naturally occurring wildlife, and we work hard to ensure that these species are managed appropriately, including highly regulated hunting and trapping opportunities. We also work hard to restore and protect rare species. I wish you the best as you enjoy New York’s abundant wildlife resources.

Thank you for writing us.

Sincerely,
Gordon R. Batcheller
Chief Wildlife Biologist

It’s nice to know that the DEC is thinking clearly on this. What’s frustrating is knowing that many New Yorkers will now believe in bigfoot just because the state bureaucracy said that he doesn’t exist, and they’re always wrong.

  • Kodie

    Dear New York,

    I love my dad. Please don’t hunt him. I am sorry if he may have scared you.

    Sincerely,
    Kodie

    • Sunny Day

      LOL.

  • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

    Boy, will Gordon’s face be red when Bigfoot aka Bob the Big Foot shows up looking a MediCare card after being winged by some crazy hunter.

  • http://www.nature.com Agnikan

    Homo erectus lives!

  • kessy_athena

    Vorjack, I hope you know I respect you, but on this one I have to say I’m pretty annoyed. “Look at those dumb woowoos, believing in something as silly as Bigfoot. We’re so much smarter then them…” Please explain to me how this attitude is in any way different from, “Look at those dumb atheists, not believing in God. We’re such better, more faithful people then they are.” Equating your (low) opinion of the people who believe in something with the factual validity of it is arrogant and lazy and you know better.

    Have you ever looked into what actual evidence there is about Bigfoot? Have you ever read any eyewitness accounts? Then how do you know if it’s woo or not? I don’t know if there’s a real animal out there or not that the Bigfoot stories are based on. There’s certainly not enough evidence to say there definitely is. Nor is there enough evidence to say there definitely isn’t. I do think there’s more then enough evidence to merit a serious investigation.

    • FO

      “Nor is there enough evidence to say there definitely isn’t.”
      This is also true for God, Santa Claus and, in fact, everything imaginable.
      Believing in Big Foot or God or chemtrails is not so different.

      I understand your anger at Vorjack’s paternalism, but I can also understand his exasperation in front of people that simply want to believe.

      • kessy_athena

        I’m really not angry, just annoyed. And I do understand getting fed up with fluffybunnies, I’m just saying that’s not a reason to treat the entire subject as something only a delusional person would take seriously.

        • FO

          Kessy, I kind of agree that only a delusional would take the Bigfoot seriously.
          Which means, yes, I think you may be delusional of this.
          It’s very human and in fact I have my own things on which I am delusional, but this is the good part about the “atheist” movement: we’ll be merciless with ideas even (especially!) in our midst.

          • kessy_athena

            There’s a difference between disagreeing with an idea and considering it irrational. Do you really consider it irrational to think it’s possible that there’s an unknown animal in the wilds of North America? Why? This is not something like Santa Claus that defies the laws of physics.

            • Sunny Day

              Yes!
              For all the fine reasons that Ursa listed.
              You shifted the goalposts to bears or things that could be confused as Bigfoot.
              You might as well be arguing for Werewolves and Vampires at this point.

            • kessy_athena

              I’ve never shifted my goalposts – you just don’t like where they are. In my very first post in this thread I said, ” I don’t know if there’s a real animal out there or not that the Bigfoot stories are based on. There’s certainly not enough evidence to say there definitely is. Nor is there enough evidence to say there definitely isn’t. I do think there’s more then enough evidence to merit a serious investigation,” and I’ve never changed from that position. If it annoys you that I embrace the uncertainty of it, I’m sorry, but that’s the way the world is. Absolute certainty is strictly the domain of faith and ideology, not science or reason.

              I believe (someone correct me if I’m wrong) that Ursa’s strongest statement against the existence of Bigfoot was, “Are there any reasons for believing that a breeding population of a species that large could remain hidden until the present day in North America? No. It’s not completely impossible, but it is certainly teetering on the edge of it.” There is a large difference between saying that something is extremely improbable and saying that it is irrational to consider its possibility. I’ve already answered Ursa’s points at length, and while I don’t expect that I’ve changed the fact that we disagree on how likely the existence of Bigfoot is, I still respect his position.

              Please explain how you think Bigfoot is in the same category as werewolves or vampires. both werewolves and vampires completely defy how all know biology works, and frankly verge on defying the laws of physics. Bigfoot does not. Vampires and werewolves are ascribed with fundamental supernatural characteristics, bigfoot does not. Vampires and werewolves have relatively clear literary origins in specifics cultures. Bigfoot is described by many different cultures, many of whom had little or no contact with each other.

            • FO

              If it was a kind of coleoptera, yes.
              If it is a large mammal who left no traces so far, no.

    • DMG

      I’m noticing a distinct trend in your writing, kessy_anthena, that brings to mind Dan Dennet’s characterization of a “murky”: someone who speaks in ways that deliberately skirt any definitive statement or position, preferring to keep things fuzzy and ill-defined. Debating in such a frame isn’t so much a shared quest to discover what’s right, as it is an exercise in being impossible to prove wrong.

      Do you think Big Foot exists? “No, I didn’t say that” you may protest.
      Do you think Big Foot does not exist? “No, I don’t think we’ve proven that” you may insist.
      Do you have evidence to offer in support of any possible conclusion or explanation? …

      Forgive me, but it seems at times like you have less interest in discussing the topic at hand than you have in chiding your fellow commenters for being too quick to form opinions of their own, rather than remaining as virtuously undecided on every topic as yourself.

      • kessy_athena

        I’m virtuously undecided? Thanks! That’s a really nice compliment. ^_^ My point is that the Universe itself is by its nature fuzzy and ill-defined, human understanding of it even more so. Real science doesn’t deal in certainties; that’s the domain of ideology. I don’t offer a firm position on the existence of Bigfoot because I simply don’t know.

        Which doesn’t mean there aren’t things I have strong opinions on. For example, “We firmly believe that cutting spending will create jobs,” is sheer lunacy, Hershey’s chocolate is utterly vile tasting, and Americans are way way too obsessed with cars.

        • James G

          Kessy’s firm refusal to take sides reminds me of this Guide to Bigfoot from Futurama.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuoGYcqa8gg

          • kessy_athena

            So you find the existence of unanswered questions so objectionable that we should all take positions on absolutely everything, whether we have enough information to reach a reasonable conclusion or not?

            And for the record, I agree that trying to protect a species that we can’t even confirm that it exists is silly.

            • James G

              I’m not sure my post has enough information to reasonably conclude that I think that.

            • kessy_athena

              LOL! Touche.

            • Nzo

              So you find the existence of unanswered questions so objectionable that we should all take positions on absolutely everything, whether we have enough information to reach a reasonable conclusion or not?

              Slippery-slope – it’s a fallacy. Check it out! *link redacted to avoid spam flag*

              And for the record, I agree that trying to protect a species that we can’t even confirm that it exists is silly.

              So’s making a hissy-fit over people making a rational judgment about the belief in astronomically improbable beings sworn to exist by the same ignorant hillbillies that bring you alien abductions.

            • kessy_athena

              Using bigotry, prejudice, ignorant preconceptions, dogmatic thinking, and the unshakeable believe that anything you don’t understand can’t possibly exist is not making a rational judgement. There is absolutely nothing rational about it, and in fact makes me question whether you even know what the word means.

              Considering that you seem to regard your own beliefs as infallible and inarguable, what exactly is your beef with Christianity? That you’re not the one who gets to make pronouncements ex cathedra?

              Ignorant hillbillies, huh? So would you prefer a white hood or a Black Panthers uniform?

            • Nzo

              Using bigotry, prejudice, ignorant preconceptions, dogmatic thinking, and the unshakeable believe that anything you don’t understand can’t possibly exist is not making a rational judgement.

              I use none of this. Nice try. Fail.

              Wasting any breath on Bigfoot is the sign of a delusional mind. That’s not a subjective statement.

              There is absolutely nothing rational about it, and in fact makes me question whether you even know what the word means.

              Likewise. Did you want to actually make a decent point, or did you just want to throw big words around, whose definitions YOU seem unable to grasp?

              Considering that you seem to regard your own beliefs as infallible and inarguable, what exactly is your beef with Christianity? That you’re not the one who gets to make pronouncements ex cathedra?

              Christianity is, and always will be, a poison of the mind, not worth the massive time and effort humans waste on it. It is inarguably false on every possible level.

              Ignorant hillbillies, huh? So would you prefer a white hood or a Black Panthers uniform?

              I’ll take false dichotomy for 500 Alex.

            • kessy_athena

              “Wasting any breath on Bigfoot is the sign of a delusional mind. That’s not a subjective statement.”

              In which case you should have no trouble whatsoever providing something more then, “Cause I say so!” to support that position. I’m waiting…

              “I’ll take false dichotomy for 500 Alex.”

              *Sigh* A false dichotomy is a statement which incorrectly states implicitly or explicitly that there are only two possible states for a given thing. For example, “Well, you’re either a Christian or an atheist,” is a false dichotomy. Simply presenting two possibilities does not by itself constitute a dichotomy of any kind, especially when the argument implies that the two are essentially equivalent. I was saying that by using a contemptuous term like “ignorant hillbillies” you were demonstrating contemptible prejudice and hatred like the Klan or the Panthers. there are any number of ways to respond to that statement which are not abjectly stupid and demonstrate a profound ignorance of the basics of rhetoric. For example, you could have simply apologized for getting a bit too hyperbolic. Or you could have said that you meant to imply that residents of rural areas who report things like Bigfoot or alien abductions are ignorant hillbillies, not that all rural people are ignorant hillbillies.

              Honestly, if you’re making me show you how to rebut my own posts, why are you even bothering to open your mouth? What exactly are you contributing to this conversation beyond making yourself look dumb?

            • Nzo

              *Sigh* A false dichotomy is a statement which incorrectly states implicitly or explicitly that there are only two possible states for a given thing.

              and…

              So would you prefer a white hood or a Black Panthers uniform?

              A statement which incorrectly states there are only two possible states for a given thing. Did you NOT just imply that either I wear a white hood, or a BP uniform?

              You’re incredibly stupid if you can’t even comprehend your own arguments.

        • Nzo

          My point is that the Universe itself is by its nature fuzzy and ill-defined, human understanding of it even more so.

          The point you decided to think up to rationalize getting called out for intentionally muddying the waters?

          Real science doesn’t deal in certainties; that’s the domain of ideology.

          Since nobody of any repute has found any real evidence to support the idea that a larger-than-human ape-like creature that varies vastly from any other primate ever discovered exists, let’s just keep asking questions, and getting irritated by people claiming the idea is delusional, right?

          I don’t offer a firm position on the existence of Bigfoot because I simply don’t know.

          Really? How difficult is it to actually come down on one side of an issue? Is making up your mind on something a bad thing where you come from?

          I don’t know jack-sh*t about the lastest news from idiots talking about bigfoot, ghosts, loch ness monster, or alien abductions, but I have a pretty good idea of the caliber of people professing to have seen such things. Besides, after a while, looking at grainy pictures of oddly colored/shaded pixels tends to get old.

          Which doesn’t mean there aren’t things I have strong opinions on.

          “Here, let me give an anecdotal(read: useless) list of things showing how I’m not a complete twit”

          • Nzo

            Anecdotal, irrelevant, off-topic, and suspiciously present.*

          • kessy_athena

            So you admit that your only basis for coming in here and delivering a massive ad hominem attack against me for daring to suggest that something that doesn’t fit into your neat little preconceptions of how the world is might actually exist is that you personally dislike Bigfoot enthusiasts. Because of course anyone who’s a member of a certain community must obviously be exactly like every other member of that community. Have you even ever met a Bigfoot enthusiast? Or are you content to use a stereotype created entirely by your own imagination to justify your bigotry?

            And where I come from, making up your mind when you have nowhere near enough information to make an informed decision is indeed a bad thing. We call it jumping to conclusions. Incidentally, your complete inability to deal with ambiguity is really quite astonishing in someone who claims to believe in rational thought.

            • Nzo

              So you admit that your only basis for coming in here and delivering a massive ad hominem attack against me for daring to suggest that something that doesn’t fit into your neat little preconceptions of how the world is might actually exist is that you personally dislike Bigfoot enthusiasts.

              First off, beat yourself with your keyboard for using the words ‘ad hominem’, and not understanding what they mean. Just because you’re a complete imbecile doesn’t mean I require that fact to demolish your pathetic posts, and because I don’t require that fact, I didn’t use it.

              Second, just because pokemon don’t exist in the world doesn’t mean that pokemon enthusiasts should have some kind of preferential treatment when they claim that pokemon really exist.

              And where I come from, making up your mind when you have nowhere near enough information to make an informed decision is indeed a bad thing.

              Where I come from, making up your mind when you have plenty of information to make an informed decision is the sign of a weak, often delusional mind. That you don’t see everyone else’s posts, with explanations of biology, probability, and where the reports come from, as viable information shows you for exactly what you are.

              We call it jumping to conclusions.

              We call it ‘not being a retard’.

              Incidentally, your complete inability to deal with ambiguity is really quite astonishing in someone who claims to believe in rational thought.

              Incidentally, your inability to come to a rational conclusion here shows that you either need an education, or psychological help.

            • kessy_athena

              Well then, it would appear that you come from conservative cloud cuckooland, since those are the only other people I’ve heard extoll ignorance as a virtue.

              I’ve done my best to respond respectfully and reasonably to those who’ve put forward actual arguments. If you decide to turn into a civil human being, I’ll provide you with the same courtesy. I’m looking forward to you actually trying to demolish my posts, instead of just being a bombastic bloviating blowhard.

            • Nzo

              Well then, it would appear that you come from conservative cloud cuckooland, since those are the only other people I’ve heard extoll ignorance as a virtue.

              Right back at you. (hint: guy calling Bigfoot-seeing people ‘delusional hillbillies’ is not the ignorant one)

              I’ve done my best to respond respectfully and reasonably to those who’ve put forward actual arguments.

              No, you’ve done your best to play apologist for Bigfoot. You’ve quite literally used the exact same argumentative approach as any number of christard that posts here.

  • UrsaMinor

    Is a creature like Bigfoot biologically possible? Absolutely. Creatures like Bigfoot have existed in the past.

    Is there any hard evidence that such a creature actually exists in North America today? No.

    Are there any reasons for believing that a breeding population of a species that large could remain hidden until the present day in North America? No. It’s not completely impossible, but it is certainly teetering on the edge of it.

    The next few years should tell. Human population density in the Pacific Northwest is rising, and everybody and his brother is now carrying a cell phone with a camera. If Bigfoot does exist, he will not be able to escape the accidental dragnet for very much longer.

    • Michael

      It is completely impossible that a sustainable population of bigfoots exists anywhere in the U.S. It would be astounding even if a new species of carnivore were found, let alone a six foot tall ape.

      We know of every single wolf pack, eagle population, etc. It’s not like we have eyes everywhere in the country, but at some point people have trekked there and observed the wildlife. Animals as big as bigfoot would make a significant impression, and could not be missed. The fact that every piece of evidence allegedly proving his existence is substantially flawed if not a simple hoax is enough proof for me.

      • kessy_athena

        LOL You’re a city boy, aintchya? That’s just not true. It’s just not. About ten years ago there was a mountain lion roaming around the Philadelphia area, and no one ever managed to track it down. It just disappeared into the woods after hanging out in Fairmount Park for a while. Are you seriously telling me you think it’s impossible for big animals to hide out in the middle of nowhere when they can do so quite well in the middle of the most densely populated part of the entire continent?

        • UrsaMinor

          Individuals may evade both notice and capture. An entire species, not so much.

          I’d put a much, much higher value on the possibility of Bigfoot being a real entity if any of its possible ancestors had left fossils on the North American continent, but they have not. That does not preclude a recent crossing to North America from Asia (see Homo sapiens for a documented example), but no one has found any bones.

          So, no fossils, no recent Bigfoot bones, and the difficulty of concealing a breeding population of at least a few thousand individuals in wilderness roamed at least seasonally by a lot of hikers and hunters. It still doesn’t cross Bigfoot completely off the list, but it really pushes it down to the bottom of things I’d spend my own money on to confirm or refute.

          • kessy_athena

            The fossil record is far from exhaustive – for example we have very little fossil evidence for chimpanzees. However, if you really want something to tie into the known fossil record, care to entertain an alternate hypothesis? Suppose Bigfoot is real but isn’t a primate at all. Maybe it’s a relative of the short faced bear that’s evolved to walk upright? Even Bigfoot people will tell you that ordinary bears and bear tracks are often misidentified as Bigfoot. Short faced bears are called that for a reason, after all, and are known to have been extant in North America as recently as 11,000 years ago.

            • Sunny Day

              Werewolves, Vampires and Bigfoot, whats the difference.

            • UrsaMinor

              We have very little fossil evidence for chimpanzees, but they exist on a continent with a buttload of other ape and hominid fossils. Unlike Bigfoot, they are not out of place among the local biota.

              Using your reasoning, it’s possible that there is a large kangaroo species native to North America, too, despite the fact that we have no fossil evidence for kangaroos on this continent and no one has produced a living or dead specimen.

              Interesting that you mention bears. One study that I’ve heard of concluded that evidence for Bigfoot is consistent with a creature that occupies the same ecological niche as the American Black Bear. Two species near the apex of the food chain just don’t share the same niche and the same physical territory. Of the two possibilities, we know without a doubt that black bears exist in North America. The implication is that Bigfoot sightings may be bear sightings.

              Haven’t heard the short-faced bear hypothesis before. It is certainly possible taxonomically, but it runs up against the ecological-competition problem with black bears. Of course, this objection assumes that the abovementioned study was not mistaken in its conclusion of Bigfoot’s niche in the ecology. I haven’t gotten my hands on the actual text to see how they reached this conclusion on the basis of such scant evidence.

            • kessy_athena

              Oh, I don’t think there’s any doubt at all that a large portion of Bigfoot sightings are just black bears.

              One big difference between kangaroos and bigfoot: nobody’s seen roos in North America, but lots of people have seen bigfoot. I’d also point out that an “out of place species” is pretty darn subjective. For example, would kangaroos be so out of place when we know that North America is in fact home to large marsupials. You know, possums?

              I don’t think your argument that there can’t be multiple large apex predators in the same area holds water at all, though. Especially since we can only speculate what sort of an ecological niche bigfoot would occupy, if it exists. Grizzlies, mountain lions, and grey wolves all co-exist quite nicely in North America. Short faced bears coexisted with black bears. In Africa you have multiple big cat species coexisting in the same area – lions, leopards, and cheetahs. It’s certainly true that any ecosystem has a limited carrying capacity for any particular niche. That doesn’t mean there can be only one species in any particular niche.

              The short faced bear hypothesis is my own personal speculation. I don’t know if anyone else has seriously thought about it or not.

            • Nzo

              One big difference between kangaroos and bigfoot: nobody’s seen roos in North America, but lots of people have seen bigfoot.

              One big difference between Jesus and Dnnayyye E’ Round-Poop: nobody’s seen DERP in North America, but lots of people have seen Jesus.

              I’d also point out that an “out of place species” is pretty darn subjective.

              Penguins in the tropics.

              For example, would kangaroos be so out of place when we know that North America is in fact home to large marsupials. You know, possums?

              Yes. Objectively.

              The short faced bear hypothesis is my own personal speculation. I don’t know if anyone else has seriously thought about it or not.

              Step 1) Whine about people calling the belief in bigfoot ‘delusional’
              Step 2) Double down after being called out for being irrational, and arguing in a format beneath those around you.
              Step 3) Type the above… to highlight the fact that you, yourself, think the people saw a bear.
              Step 4) (hasn’t happened yet, but you can admit you’re wrong any time now)

            • kessy_athena

              Look up the Galapagos Penguin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gal%C3%A1pagos_Penguin

              Step 1) Whine about the presence of anyone who disagrees with you.
              Step 2) Insult said person and generally act like a conceited a**hole to try to get them to go away.
              Step 3) Ignore all factual arguments and they loudly proclaim that you don’t know jack s*** about the subject as if that means anyone should listen to you.
              Step 4) (Hasn’t happened yet, but you can admit you’re a pompous idiot any time now.)

            • Nzo

              Look up Bigfoot.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigfoot

              Step 1) Look at the best (read: only) picture ever ‘taken’ of Bigfoot.
              Step 2) Believe
              Step 3)Ignore all factual arguments explaining why it’s astronomically unlikely for such a thing to exist.
              Step 4) Pretend to win.

            • kessy_athena

              Wait, weren’t you just criticizing me for *not* saying I believe in Bigfoot? You can’t really attack me for not coming down on one side or the other and then attack me for coming down on one side.

            • Nzo

              Wait, weren’t you just criticizing me for *not* saying I believe in Bigfoot? You can’t really attack me for not coming down on one side or the other and then attack me for coming down on one side.

              Here you go again with your dishonest posts. This whole thread blew up because you had to throw a b*tch-fit about your delusional obsession of choice, and then you backtrack it in another post, without apologizing for being an idiot.

    • kessy_athena

      Ursa, it may be easy to forget living in an urban area, but most of North America is not all that densely populated. It’s a *big* continent, and there are a lot of very empty places. There are places out west where you could lose entire European countries in the spaces between settlements. A breeding population of an unknown large mammal remaining hidden in North America isn’t even close to being impossible. I seem to recall a few years ago a few species of large mammals were discovered in east Asia – a place that’s a a heck of a lot more densely populated then North America.

      • UrsaMinor

        If you’re referring to the recent finds that I think you are, no large species of mammals were “discovered” at all. They were already quite well known to the inhabitants of the area, they just hadn’t been catalogued by Western science.

        • kessy_athena

          Yup, those are the ones. And there are quite a few folks (especially in the Pacific Northwest) who’d say that Sasquatch is quite well known to the locals, as well.

          • UrsaMinor

            Have them deliver a live specimen, a carcass for dissection, a hide or a skeleton. Then we can talk.

          • erfanx

            Those people are idiots. There are logging roads criss-crossing the pacific northwest with reasonable amounts of traffic. There are massive highway systems that have to be specially constructed with a tunnel or bridge for animals to cross and those passes can be (and often are) equipped with cameras. People run into bears all the time, especially around easy food… like garbage dumps. Bears aren’t stupid, they know the value of free food. Animals mate, which implies mating calls and/or scent marking. Animals need water, and near water there is often mud, which is a great place for leaving massive footprints. There are camera traps. There are huge cleared areas where power transmission lines are strung. There are hunters and offroaders.

            What there aren’t is huge bipedal creatures wandering around crossing highways and logging roads, eating free meals from garbage dumps, leaving spoor and bodies for us to find. Believing in Bigfoot is simply stupid. You might as well believe in a Unicorns.

            • kessy_athena

              So, people who see Bigfoot are idiots because if Bigfoot were real, people would see it? There’s lots of exactly the sorts of evidence you’re talking about out there, the problem is that this sort of evidence isn’t very good evidence. Sightings really aren’t that rare. Neither are amateur photos and videos. There are extensive collections of track casts. There are recordings of supposed Bigfoot calls. Of course all of these sorts of things can easily be and frequently are hoaxes and misidentifications. Real hard scientific evidence doesn’t just fall out of the sky – it takes a lot of work by careful professionals to get the sort of stuff that’s unequivocal and will stand up to the closest scrutiny.

              Now I can understand why you’d think that *all* of the sightings etc are hoaxes or misidentifications. and you could well be right. To be honest, I go back and forth on it myself. What I’m saying is that I think we should all recognize is that we could all be wrong. Saying that a sighting is equivocal means that it could be real. Even if you’re really certain it’s not, I’d ask that you say, “I think you’re wrong.” not “I think you’re crazy.” There’s a big difference.

            • Kodie

              A lot of people claim to have been abducted by the same type of aliens too.

              I believe there are aliens somewhere in the universe, and I believe there are animals in the woods. Those things are plausible. But Bigfoot is a legend, like Nessie. Unlike Jake Johannsen, I don’t believe aliens live and work among us. Animals can be pretty sneaky as a habit, it just doesn’t make any sense that an animal bigger than us is also frightened of us or intelligent enough to obscure evidence of its existence in the wild. I read an article about this plant on a solitary island that had some kind of new animal. Nobody ever went to this island until one day, they had. In my recollection it was some sort of centipede but it might have been a bird. They lived on a mountain and I can’t even find an article about it. Remote unpopulated and unoccupied island. Very small animal, possibly an animal they already knew of but thought to be extinct.

              Helicopters, infra red thingies, really no way an animal that large can go completely undetected by anyone other than someone like a conspiracy theorist or legend believer. If they had evidence instead of speculation, someone would have said, there you got something; we ought to look into it.

              What are the serious chances these yokels know what they’re talking about and scientists don’t? Sure there are new species, but like, new species of frog or bug. We know when we feel that say, the bobcat, or the buffalo is extinct or nearly so. It is hard to think of a large mammal hiding so effectively. Even bears are pretty hard to find sometimes, but you can find them from a helicopter and track their footprints and film them with a video camera. You find caves and dens in the woods, and evidence that bears live around there or hibernate there.

            • erfanx

              @kessy
              I love how you blow off all of my reasonable doubt with your unreasonable willingness to believe. Claimed sightings are INCREDIBLY rare. There are tens of thousands of loggers and hunters, maybe hundreds of thousands. Almost none of them claim to have seen bigfoot. There are people still alive today who made their livings in the era of hunters and trappers. Traps! Leg hold traps. Think about that. Think about how incredibly unlikely it would be that after well over 400 years of hunting and trapping in North America, not a single Bigfoot has ever stepped its big foot into a leghold trap. That kind of hard scientific evidence would have “fallen from the sky” hundreds of years ago. It hasn’t.

              Supposed Bigfoot calls! How could any call ever be known as a Bigfoot call until a Bigfoot has been seen making that call? More nonsense.

              I think you are wrong AND I think you are crazy.

            • kessy_athena

              Kodie, would I be correct in assuming that you’ve never really spent much time in the woods? May I share some of my experiences? I’ve spent a lot of time in Ridley Creek State Park, 2,606 acres of mostly forest in suburban Philadelphia. It’s about 2 miles wide and 3.5 long, 16 miles from Center City Philadelphia. It’s a pretty popular place for hiking, biking, and fishing. And you can easily spend all day walking there without seeing another human being. The park has a large population of white tailed deer, and I can tell you from experience you can easily walk up to within a few meters of one and have no idea it’s there until it decides that you’re too close and takes off. I have a few snapshots I took when I was there a little while ago to give you an idea of what it’s like.
              http://s1023.beta.photobucket.com/user/kessy_athena/library/local%20pics/Ridley%20Creek%20State%20Park
              As you can see, there could be a heard of elephants in there and if they’re being quiet and still, you’d never know it. Keep in mind these pics were taken in early spring, so the foliage isn’t fully out yet. And this is not wilderness, this is not deep forest, this is a tame park in the most densly populated part of the country.

              Now consider what the rest of the country is like. Take a look at all the empty places on a population density map.
              http://maps.howstuffworks.com/united-states-population-density-map.htm

              IR cameras are powerful tools, but they’re not magic. They can’t see through dense foliage much better then visible light cameras can. Things like helicopter surveys can give you estimates of wildlife populations, but only in some circumstances. You need clear terrain or deciduous forest without dense undergrowth in winter. I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest, but my understanding is that the forests there are *very* dense.

              This is not a case of pitting “yokels” against science. As far as I can tell, the scientific consensus seems to be that they don’t want to deal with the subject of Bigfoot. And can you blame them? Look at the reaction I get for simply suggesting that it’s possible there is such a creature. I don’t care that much since I have nothing to loose. But scientists live and die by their reputations – would you want to walk into a pack of rabid attack dogs who want to rip your throat out for heresy if you don’t have a good reason to? Even so, there are still some scientist willing to publicly take the topic seriously, such as Jane Goodall.

            • kessy_athena

              @erfanx: That’s really *not* what I’m saying, at all. you’re absolutely right that there is a ton of reasonable doubt. Honestly, I’m as skeptical about those calls as you are. And I also think it’s strange that there’s never been a recorded instance of a Bigfoot being killed by a hunter. I do *not* believe that Bigfoot exists – I don’t know one way or the other. And I find it a bit frustrating that a bunch of people don’t seem to get the difference.

              You’re wrong that sightings are rare, though. An enthusiast organization called the Bigfoot field Research Organization (BFRO) claims to have over 4,000 “credible” sightings in their database in the US. Although I’m not even going to try to guess what would qualify as credible in these guys’ book. So if you take away people seeing black bears through the trees and add in the fact that most sightings go unreported, I have no idea how many you’d have left. Maybe none at all, maybe lots. But it’s just not true that sightings are rare.

            • Custador

              Kessy, you’re talking about being agnostic about bigfoot because nobody’s proven that he doesn’t exist. Fine. Then why don’t you believe in God? Because you can’t prove a negative – But absence of evidence often really is evidence of absence. And no, I do not think that “sightings” attributed to members of a club which exists to promote the idea of bigfoot are any more reliable than the testimony of the countless millions of Christians who claim to have witnessed cripples getting healed at tent revivals. I have the same standard of skepticism for both. The question is, why don’t you?

            • Kodie

              I addressed that in another post. There is no evidence of a bigfoot. You even say the bigfoot people are full of shit, then what are going on? Of all the thousands* of species we could be totally in the dark about in the vast areas between human populations, why is bigfoot the one for you?

              *A ridiculously liberal estimate.

            • kessy_athena

              @Custy: The difference is that the Bigfoot hypothesis is definitively verifiable, the Jesus hypothesis is not. If someone sees a Bigfoot, you can go out and look for it. If someone sees Jesus in a cheese pizza, you can study that pizza till the cows come home and learn absolutely nothing about Jesus.

              Absence of evidence becomes evidence of absence only after you’ve done a thorough enough investigation that you’d reasonably expect to have found something if something is there. A bunch of enthusiasts running around the woods is not such an investigation. On the other hand, faith healers can be quite easily investigated by examining medical records. And correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t that actually been done and real cases of people suddenly getting better after seeing a faith healing are extremely rare, are they not?

              @Kodie: Bigfoot isn’t the one for me. Personally, I find lots of topics much more interesting, this just happens to be the one that came up and is drawing this sort of criticism. Let me turn the question around for you, of all the species we could be totally in the dark about, why is Bigfoot the one that’s completely taboo, the one singled out for ridicule? If someone were in Indonesia looking for some unusual snake that the local villagers had told them about, I assume you’d have no problem with it?

      • Yoav

        Even if no live specimen was found you would still expect that some verifiable evidence such as bones would be found by now with all these crews from the history channel roaming the woods with infrared cameras. Also note that the piece doesn’t talk about the pacific NW but NY which is a lot more densely populated. As contrast to bigfoot we have the giant squid, which live in an environment we know a lot less about the the woods of north america and that have also never been photographed in the wild and no living specimen ever found but we still have tentacle marks on whales and the occasional corpse that get washed on the beach to provide evidence that it actually exist.

        • Kodie

          but NY which is a lot more densely populated

          Not North Country. But Bigfoot can’t live up there since they already have a lake monster.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_York_Population_Map.png
          A large section of New York, specifically the lovely Adirondacks Region, has similar population density as most of Washington State. Chautauqua Lake is way west, it’s that lake in the westernmost area marked on the map. That is higher pop. density than the Pacific NW; however. I don’t know why I’m arguing. That’s nowhere near my dad.

        • kessy_athena

          Actually giant squid *have* been photographed in the wild – after decades of hard work by people who actually know what they’re doing.
          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/09/photogalleries/giant_squid/

          Tracking down a cryptic (**not** cryptid) species is hard work that takes time, patience, resources, and a lot of failed attempts. No one’s really put in the work to try to find Bigfoot in a serious way. As for the Animal Planet folks, well…

          “Did you hear that? It was a Squatch!”

          “But it sounded like a coyote.”

          “That’s because Squatches imitate coyotes!”

          • Nzo

            Tracking down a cryptic (**not** cryptid) species is hard work that takes time, patience, resources, and a lot of failed attempts. No one’s really put in the work to try to find Bigfoot in a serious way.

            Just like no one’s really put in the work to try and find Paul Bunyan.

            • kessy_athena

              Hate to break it to you, but a single legendary individual human is not the same thing as a hypothetical unknown species.

            • Nzo

              Hate to break it to you, but a single legendary unknown species without any real evidence to support its existence is EXACTLY the same.

            • Kodie

              I think it would be more believable to have the underside of a small elusive mammal that looks a lot like a footprint. Animals mimicking a larger, meaner, batshittier type of animal is at least something we know about and observe.

      • Nzo

        I seem to recall a few years ago a few species of large mammals were discovered in east Asia

        Irrelevant, off-topic, wrong continent, doesn’t support your argument.

        • kessy_athena

          Go back and read Ursa’s original post. Since you seem to have trouble understanding arguments that don’t involve how superior you are to anyone who dares disagree with you, I suppose I should summarize. Basically, he said that one of the reasons he finds it extremely improbably that Bigfoots exist is because the population density is high enough that if they did exist, they’d have been described by now. To which pointing out that large mammals in a part of the world that’s far more densely populated have only just been described in the last few years is directly relevant. If you’re having trouble understanding why, I’ll mail you $5 so you can go buy yourself a clue.

          • Nzo

            Go back and read Ursa’s original post. Since you seem to have trouble understanding arguments that don’t involve how superior you are to anyone who dares disagree with you, I suppose I should summarize.

            I’m superior to you because I do not believe in a mythical ape-monster. Your being wrong on every level is just bonus points.

            To which pointing out that large mammals in a part of the world that’s far more densely populated have only just been described in the last few years is directly relevant.

            You pointed out squid… in the water… and equated that to a land creature. Congratulations, you win $5 with which you can buy a happy meal, since ignorance is bliss. Why don’t we just call it even, and keep your Clue of Delusion.

            • kessy_athena

              “I’m superior to you because I do not believe in a mythical ape-monster. Your being wrong on every level is just bonus points.”

              So you admit your entire rant is driven entirely by your own ego and desire to feel superior to the heathen unbelievers? Actually, wait, shouldn’t that be heathen undisbelievers? Nah, I think I’ll just go back to what you really mean, “All the stupid people who disagree with me.” Any other my arguments you want to prove for me?

            • Nzo

              Tell yourself whatever you have to to get to sleep at night. If you believe non-delusional people should waste any time trying to find Bigfoot, you are, by every definition, inferior.

              The proof is in the ability to take what you’re suggesting, and apply it to any imagined thing. If you were in charge, you’d stunt actual progress with your inane pet-projects to find mythical creatures.

  • Follower of light

    Possible? Sure. Absolutely possible a species like that can be roaming the hills. Probable? Well, that’s another story. Food resources, climate variables, and a myriad of other factors make the probability of this pretty low. Sorry Bigfoot, I kinda like the idea of you and yours slipping around the camp site on a moonless night.

  • vasaroti

    Here’s my problem with Bigfoot. They’re supposed to be dining on deer and even elk, and yet none has ever attacked a human. I’m singularly unimpressed with the claim that they’re communicating with knocks on trees. My woods is pretty noisy after dark, dead limbs fall even when it’s still at ground level, and even a small bird in dry leaves sounds like something enormous.

  • Sue Blue

    There’s an excellent book written in 1980 by Kenneth Wylie simply called “Bigfoot”. It’s an excellent examination of Sasquatch sightings from all over the country, the footprints, the supposed hair and scats, and the infamous Gimlin-Patterson film. Wylie goes over the evidence, the people, their personalities, the biology, and the in-depth analysis by experts of the physical evidence such as footprints. It’s very even-handed, and you get the feeling he wants to believe, but in the end, much of the so-called evidence breaks down, the proponents are revealed to be largely cranks and con-men, and the biological and ecological facts just don’t support the idea that a large animal like that described could be living in North America. He reluctantly comes to the conclusion that it’s a myth built on illusion, and ends with his own “experience” deep in the woods of the PNW, in which he momentarily mistakes a large, fire-blackened snag for a hulking creature in the rain-forest twilight.

  • kessy_athena

    Guys, with regard to Nzo, do you all think I’m just feeding the troll at this point? I feel like I’m just going in circles with them, which is not something I’m fond of.

    • Kodie

      He’s not really a troll.

    • Jabster

      That probably depends on your definition of troll … if it’s someone who points out you’re talking complete bollocks and when you speak more bollocks doesn’t back down then you’re probably right.

      What you originally said was basically stupid. To then try and defend it when people nicely pointed out how stupid it was isn’t to your credit. Nzo was just saying far more bluntly what other people were thinking.

      • kessy_athena

        If you think what I said is stupid, fair enough. My question is why.

        • Jabster

          Maybe if you read some of the replies to your posts you would realise why.

        • Sunny Day

          This thread is filled with various reasons why.
          I don’t see how enumerating them in a single response to you will be productive.

          You seem resolute in your stance to ignore any contrary reasoning in order to state that some how some way there’s “something out there”.

    • UrsaMinor

      From my point of view, you and Nzo both stopped saying new and interesting things to each other after exchanging only a couple of posts. And I’m out of popcorn, so I’ve mostly tuned out.

      Nzo falls outside my definition of troll. He may be blunt and confrontational, but he’s not trying to derail the thread for fun and profit.

      Engage him at your own discretion.

      • Nzo

        What can I say? String is string, even after it’s unraveled from the ball. I wait ’till it’s in tatters.

    • Custador

      Honestly, Kessy? I think you are the one who is trolling. Your points have all been answered several times, and your responses all seem to have amounted to angry shouts of “NU-UH!”

      • kessy_athena

        I have to say I’m quite puzzled that you’d say so, Custy. I’ve done my best to answer objections as reasonably and factually as I can. If you think my answers are badly deficient, please say so and explain why, so I can correct them. As far as I see it, the points raised so far are:

        The human population density is too high to allow for a large undescribed animal in North America. – I pointed out this is simply not true – the population density is only high around urban centers, and away from them there are very large very empty areas. I also provided the example of those large mammals recently described in Asia to show that you can have large undescribed animals in areas with much higher population densities then in North America.

        There’s no fossil record of large apes in North America, and a great ape would be out of place. – I pointed out that the fossil record is far from complete, and provided examples. I also pointed out that there are other possible hypotheses then the great ape one. And finally I pointed out that what exactly constitutes an out of place species is pretty subjective.

        There’s no ecological niche available for Bigfoot – I pointed out that multiple species can occupy similar niches, and gave examples.

        If Bigfoot were real, we’d already know about it. – I pointed out that we have about the sort of evidence you’d expect to have if their were an undescribed species but no one had made any effort to look for it.

        Did I miss anything?

        • Sunny Day

          Every one of your above points were rebutted. No you didn’t miss anything.

          You seem to be in complete denial.

        • Custador

          Well, you seem to have missed the replies to those points, certainly. I’m sorry Kessy, but I really do think you lost this debate. Not that anybody came out of it exactly looking calm and rational!

          • kessy_athena

            Actually, you’re right, if anyone did seriously rebut those points, I did miss it. Looking back, I see some back and forth, and some restatements of the original points I was rebutting in various forms, but no real answers to what I said. Please, would you mind pointing them out to me?

    • Nzo

      Ursa mentions population density – you mention underwater squid
      I mention penguins in the tropics – you mention a type that you knew I wasn’t actually referring to
      People point out that Bigfoot is a legend – you argue that animals we don’t know about can exist
      I point out that Bigfoot is seen by the same ignorant hillbillies that get abducted by aliens – you call me a KKK member
      For your ignorant, feeble mind: “is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered”

      You’re ignorant, stupid, and for all intents and purposes, no better than any other theistic know-it-all that stops by with a pitcher of jesus-kool-aid.

      You may now actually read all the responses again, and apologize to everyone here for being a complete moron for the past few days

      • Sunny Day

        AOR is that you?
        :)

      • kessy_athena

        I answered Ursa properly. The giant squid was a tangent brought up by Yoav, not me.

        You claimed that penguins living in the tropics would be an out of place species. Except that there are actually penguins that live in the tropics. It’s not my fault if the example you used undercuts your own argument. It’s also not my fault if you can’t be bothered to check your facts before posting.

        “People point out that Bigfoot is a legend – you argue that animals we don’t know about can exist”
        That doesn’t even make sense. Bigfoot is a legend, so’s the city of Troy. Your point?

        *Sigh* It’s really sad that you can be so bigoted and not even realize it. Please explain to me how there’s any difference at all between you dismissing the local people as ignorant hillbillies and 19th century Europeans dismissing the local people as ignorant savages? You’ve as much as said that you consider rural people to be inferior.

        So the Christians you know come around saying they don’t know if Yahweh exists or not, but they really want some proper research done to find out if he does? How can I be a know it all if I come to the subject saying I don’t know? You said earlier that christianity is a mental poison. I agree with that, but the question is why is it so toxic? Because it’s factually wrong about some detail? Because the dogma needs to be tweaked? Or is it because of the mindset it engenders? That there is One Truth, that the believers in that Truth are superior to the nonbelievers. That there can be only one correct belief and all deviations from that belief must be stamped out.

        If you simply exchange one set of intolerant dogma for another, have you actually changed anything, or have you just changed the trappings?

        • Sunny Day

          Yeah the scientific method is just dogma.
          You win. K?

          • kessy_athena

            It’s called the scientific method for a reason. It’s exactly that – a method, not a particular set of beliefs. Deciding straight off the bat that Bigfoot can’t possibly exist – and then proudly declaring that you don’t know the first thing about the subject – is the opposite of the scientific method. In fact, it’s awfully close to the bishops deciding they didn’t need to look through Galileo’s telescope because they already knew what they’d see.

            • Kodie

              We had this guy a while back who was ok except for his fascination with conspiracy theories. Hedging on that, I don’t so much believe in conspiracies as allow myself to think on a case-by-case basis how likely? Imagine the possibility of someone, knowing that conspiracy theorists are nutjobs nobody listens to, actually conspiring, and nobody believes these people but they’re right one time. I think that would be hilarious. Seriously though, frame-ups happen in crime, but the scale of conspiracies is unmanageable – a fastidious mastermind with thousands of moving parts making it look like something else happened?

              Nobody is really deciding straight off the bat there is no such thing as bigfoot. We give it a think – at least I do – where would he hide in the world, and why won’t he come out and show his face? Why don’t these people who go into the woods ever come back with anything but fuzzy amorphous pictures? Maybe that’s not scientific enough for you. Can a bigfoot live in unpopulated areas without detection? These people are after the legend of bigfoot, an animal they heard of, believe exists, and nobody saw – so they go out into the woods to find one. They don’t know what they saw. But they already have in mind that it’s this one legendary animal. They don’t capture one. Not even on film. Nothing that can’t be something else.

              So they are that close to bigfoots, so don’t keep saying the bigfoots live in the biggest spaces between people and that’s why he hasn’t been seen. He hasn’t been seen because it was made up, the legend grew, and then people went looking for them. That is very much like you are looking for an invisible pink unicorn. Why does it have to be bigfoot? Maybe lots and lots of weird species live undiscovered in the vast unpopulated areas – maybe it’s like a different planet when you go there. Elephants, parrots, land sharks, dingos, flamingos, and schmazallingos.

            • Sunny Day

              If all Galileo had was a fuzzy picture and some folklore from credulous folk those Bishops would have been correct. Galileo also had evidence in the form of math and repeatable observations. Your analogy fucking sucks.

              The Bigfoot theory has to explain why it doesn’t behave like any other large mammal that exists on the fucking continent. It has to explain why it doesn’t leave any remains when it eats, poops or dies. Then you have to compare the theory of its behavior to an actual fucking Bigfoot.

              Right now all you’re doing is bemoaning the dismissal of a theory that has the same scant evidence that Vampires, Unicorns, Werewolves, Russell’s Teapot, and Carls Garage Dragon has.

              You’re boring me now.
              You win K?

            • FO

              Kessy, I think none here decided that Bigfoot does not exist.

              It’s about estimating the probability of a large mammal leaving no traces whatsoever vs the probability of wishful thinking.
              Sure, the Bigfoot MAY be there, but’s much, much more probable that some impressionable or business-minded people decided to believe what they wanted to believe.

              I for one find very suspicious that there have been so many sightings and not a single sample.
              When more solid evidence will surface we’ll change idea.
              Right now most people here seems to agree that it is more PROBABLE that it is just a man-made fantasy.

            • kessy_athena

              FO, I have to say that with all the profanity and name calling being directed at me, it certainly sounds like there are quite a few people who *have* decided that Bigfoot does not exist.

              However, I’d like you to consider how much we actually disagree on the subject. We both agree that Bigfoot is a biologically reasonable animal that COULD exist. We both agree that there’s a lot of silliness surrounding the subject from people who want to believe, or who think they can make a buck from believing. We both agree there’s a lot of folklore that’s pure fiction. We both agree that there’s a lot of very low quality evidence, and a disturbing lack of solid evidence.

              Am I right?

              Isn’t the only thing we disagree about the exact weighting of all these factors? Isn’t it just a question of just how probable it is?

              Does that sort of disagreement merit calling me crazy? Are ranting attacks from the likes of Nzo appropriate over a disagreement like that?

            • Kodie

              That’s what Nzo is good at. He’s been away for a while. I don’t think, although I do not speak for Nzo, that anyone is just rejecting the idea of bigfoot with no information.

              EX: does bigfoot exist?

              I don’t think it’s possible to just say “no” to that without working out what you know about it and making a conclusion. It doesn’t take very long, that’s not the same thing as saying “no” immediately without hearing what your counter-arguments are. Yes, there are undiscovered species, and yes, there are spaces between humans that might not be explored very well. However, you’re being specific about a bigfoot, and a bigfoot is huge. We cannot not know about the existence of a species that large in a population big enough to sustain itself. The only thing we know about it is regarding a legend. A tall hairy man-bear-ape thing – people who go in the woods just to find this thing take anything they can’t identify as a bigfoot.

              I think mostly that’s why bigfoot doesn’t exist – it’s very specific for something nobody has seen, like unicorns.

        • Kodie

          I believe it’s possible for an animal to elude discovery inadvertently but not intentionally. The woods are big, but people make it their obsession to find a bigfoot, and all they seem to buy the shittiest equipment and go to sleep in their tent while the camera picks up a moving thing taking stuff out of their cooler. This guy seems to think there are at least 12 and that’s all he has to show for it. In other cases, they believe a woman saw a bigfoot – she says it was behind a tree, and they all go on knowing the all-seeing bigfoot knows when it’s been seen and knowingly keeps a barrier to keep from being seen. What the fuck is this huge beast so afraid of people for? He’s not afraid of an elk, but he’s afraid of people? Some of these freaks seem to know where there are a lot of them, so it would have been pinned down.

          Anyway, I had a sighting. I thought it looked a lot like a kangaroo. I could not figure out what it was other than a kangaroo. That is not my best guess since I live nowhere near where there are kangaroos – or do I? Maybe there are secret kangaroo populations in the city of Boston. I was driving home about 10pm-ish finding a place to park in my neighborhood, took a glimpse out my rear view mirror and something hopped across the road between streetlights. I don’t care what you say, it was a kangaroo. Coyotes don’t hop like that. Opossums are too small and not orange-brown and don’t hop. Too late and too big to be a squirrel. Maybe it was a monkey. Another time, I looked out my window and saw a turkey in the backyard. I said no way, what’s a turkey doing in the city, but apparently, it’s not that unusual. It seems to me, a bigfoot somewhere would have been reacting to development the same way that bears and turkeys and coyotes and crows do – coming into town and hanging out in the backyard eating garbage. That doesn’t mean the wilderness isn’t full of them, it just means that they really aren’t. No animal that large has a preternatural fear of humans more than they have a love of eating stuff we throw out, and if they aren’t herbivores, they’d eat a person who saw them, not hide and run away like a celebrity. Bigfoot doesn’t know he’s fucking famous. He can’t read, he’s never seen a TV show.

          And fuck the ocean. We don’t live in the ocean. Things that elude people in the ocean – you know, like Atlantis? Mermaids? A giant squid I could say is believable but it also doesn’t have anthropomorphic or legendary qualities. Squids exist, and the ocean covers the planet, and most of it is too deep to explore. So there is some shit down there we don’t know about. Animals in remote land areas that elude discovery are small frogs, bugs, and variation on a typical rodent.

          • Sunny Day

            That’s it Bigfoot is some kind of shaggy amphibious creature who only comes on land to lay eggs, mate or fuck with campers. Then they swim away into the deepest part of the ocean

            • Kodie

              The real key to the mystery is that bigfoots live in the center of the earth and their fur is made of asbestos. Bigfoots spotted on land, usually near enough to the base of a volcano, are the soi-disant “bigfoot-hunters” of their world, seeking out the elusive Schmazallingo – alleged to carry the form of a human-giraffe with 10 arms, and dull green scales or feathers. Hard to find in the woods, but they’re there. You can hear it sometimes; its bark sounds like gunfire.

          • kessy_athena

            Thanks Kodie, I appreciate the post, you’ve helped me understand some of your objections better.

            Let me start by saying that I personally take anything the enthusiasts say with a few truckloads of salt. Things like bigfoot hunting deer and elk, communicating by howls and wood knocks, as far as I can tell, this is all just speculation on their part with a very shaky factual basis at best. These guys generally don’t seem to have a clue what they’re doing. Getting good evidence of an elusive species in remote wilderness is a challenge and pretty hit or miss for an experienced field biologist. You’re right that the enthusiasts often have really crappy equipment, and often don’t know how to use it. That’s because they’re mostly just ordinary people who like to spend time traipsing around the woods with no idea how to actually find anything.

            A lot of animals are cryptic – that is they’re difficult to observe in one way or another. This is just a natural defense against predators (or predators trying to ambush their prey.) And if you think about it, humans are by far the most dangerous predators on the planet. Animals aren’t hiding to avoid having their picture taken, they’re hiding to avoid being eaten. Or shot to be put on someone’s trophy wall. That’s not a question of intelligence, it’s survival instinct.

            And it’s not at all true that undiscovered animals are all bugs or frogs or small rodents. For example, four different deer like species were discovered in southeast Asia in the 1990′s, the most famous of which is the saola. Saolas are so rare that even now scientists have never actually seen a living one.
            http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/phenom-vietnam.html
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saola
            Just a few years ago a population of 125,000 lowland gorillas that no one had any idea was there was discovered in the Congo jungle. That’s more then twice some estimates of the entire worldwide gorilla population at the time.
            http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93254830

            As for Bigfoot coming into town and hanging out and eating garbage, some species have adapted well to human altered landscapes, some have not. That’s often the difference between a species prospering and becoming endangered. For example, did you know that Canadian Geese were actually endangered in the 1950′s? I kid you not – it took them a long time to learn to use human environments. Then they figured out that golf courses are great places to live and now they’re one of the most common waterfowl in North America.

            Incidentally, it’s not at all impossible that you actually did see a kangaroo. Lots of people keep all sorts of exoctics as pets, and inevitably some escape or are abandoned when they grow too big to handle. don’t you remember a few years ago the NYPD had to deal with a guy who was keeping a full grown tiger in a tiny city apartment?

            • Kodie

              Animals are fascinating, sure. I still don’t know why the bigfoot would be so elusive. Nobody believed me when I said I thought I saw a kangaroo, and I’m inclined to think my eyes deceived me, and the best my brain could do is cross-check animal recognition for size, posture, color, and movement based on something that I only saw for less than 2 seconds, at night, in a mirror, about 25-30 yards away.

              Animals may be hard to observe, but if hunters are to be believed (and even you don’t seem to believe them), the bigfoot comes by their camps. It knows what humans are, it knows that there’s food on the table. If that is total bullshit, then somehow you understand how to sort through bullshit, but you come to a different conclusion. A singular, legendary, large mammal that you’ve heard of in legend might live in the woods and be very very very very very very very very very impossible to find.

              If someone found one and it wasn’t a hoax, we would take that evidence. But there is no need to be agnostic about an infinitesimal likelihood that a legend of something is an actual animal. And that doesn’t mean anyone dismisses a likelihood of there being undetected animals. There are people who are experts at their favorite type of animal – they go in the woods and study the habitat and behaviors of their animal. Bees, elephants, bears, ants, wild horses, penguins, apes, etc. – these people live in the wild for weeks and months on end with high-end camera equipment, diaries, and document them. The people looking for bigfoot are not scientists or documentarians, they are hobbyists and fanatics about a single legendary species, one who has been famous for decades and despite looking for it as hard as anyone could, this animal hides from humans instead of attacking them so we can get a good frontal picture.

              I don’t even know how to talk about this anymore so you understand what I’m saying.

            • kessy_athena

              I think I do understand what you’re saying, Kodie. You just think it’s not possible for an animal as big as a Bigfoot to go undetected for so long. Well, fair enough, you could well be right. I’m happy to agree to disagree with you on that. What I’ve been trying to show is that there’s enough doubt about that that it is not an unreasonable position to think that one could.

        • Nzo

          Please explain to me how there’s any difference at all between you dismissing the local people as ignorant hillbillies and 19th century Europeans dismissing the local people as ignorant savages?

          The availability of a decent education, and their apparent lack of giving a shit about what they learned in high school.

          So the Christians you know come around saying they don’t know if Yahweh exists or not, but they really want some proper research done to find out if he does?

          No, they have the excuse of being indoctrinated into believing it exists. You, on the other hand, read something in the supermarket tabloids, and called for an exhaustive search. At the end of that search, coming up with nothing, you’d still want more searches. Why do I know this? Because the idiots that believe in that stuff HAVE searched, and found nothing.

          How can I be a know it all if I come to the subject saying I don’t know?

          Did I call you a know-it-all? No, I called you an idiot.

          You said earlier that christianity is a mental poison. I agree with that, but the question is why is it so toxic? Because it’s factually wrong about some detail? Because the dogma needs to be tweaked? Or is it because of the mindset it engenders? That there is One Truth, that the believers in that Truth are superior to the nonbelievers.

          Because it’s factually wrong on almost every detail, written by savages that would be considered morally bankrupt in today’s society, the divisiveness it supports, and the DELUSION that MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES EXIST. <— how 'bout that one?

          That there can be only one correct belief and all deviations from that belief must be stamped out.

          Sure, mythological creatures don’t exist, and don’t need to be searched for.

          If you simply exchange one set of intolerant dogma for another, have you actually changed anything, or have you just changed the trappings?

          Intolerant dogma of fantasy not equaling reality? Sure.

          You’re more than welcome to continue waxing philosophical, but as long as you’re spouting the idea that we should search for Bigfoot, you’re just a clown, and everyone here knows it.

  • kessy_athena

    Well, I think we’ve pretty well beat this subject to death, so I think I’m going to try to wrap it up with one final observation. Several people claimed that the points I made had been refuted, and yet when I asked for specifics, I got no answer from anyone. Now, if you guys didn’t find my points to be persuasive, fair enough. After all, it’s my job to make my points convincing, and if I failed at that, that’s on me. But it seemed like everyone either couldn’t or wouldn’t articulate *why* they didn’t find them convincing. That combined with the strong emotional reaction I got from some people makes it seem to me like there’s something more at issue here then just the question of whether there’s an ape like animal roaming the wilds of North America. I would suggest that that something might merit some introspection.

    • Jabster

      No, no and no … you got answers to your questions but you choose to ignore them because it didn’t fit in with what you wanted to believe.

      Your attempts at replying to them where frankly pathetic and maybe that’s the reason that people stopped trying to convince you that you were wrong. There’s only some much effort people will put into correcting someone who comes across as dumb-ass stupid on their pet subjects.

      Now it’s not as though you don’t have ‘form’ on this … yes I understand that on certain topics you just act like an idiot. The question is do you understand that?

      • kessy_athena

        Jabster, if my points have been refuted, then please summarize.

        • Jabster

          Do your own work kessy … your points are just stupid.

          • kessy_athena

            In other words, you’re admitting that you can’t summarize the refutation of my points because there weren’t any. Put up or shut up.

            • Jabster

              lol … you ignored any points that where put to you.

              In summary – when it comes to your pet subjects you’re not worth the effort.

            • Kodie

              Bigfoot is invented. You believe a really big hairy ape-like leprechaun exists undetected in the woods. Because you’ve never seen one and you don’t even believe anyone who says they have. How pathetic is this animal that it runs when seen, hides, hasn’t eaten anyone or left a trace of its being anywhere. I was looking at some bigfoot info last night and apparently someone got a really clear picture of its back. The trick here is in the comments. People post, like, 1 camera, or say they did. This was clearly the back of someone wearing a costume and not in motion. The bigfoot people say – yeah, we’re just amateurs doing this. They can’t afford, for their hobby, the time to stay awake and watch, or the quality and quantity of cameras to catch a clear view. You know why we haven’t seen pictures of a bigfoot? Because people whose job it is to study and investigate animals don’t believe it’s real. Because people whose job it is to know and understand ecosystems and environments and vast areas between human populations know that nowhere does live an animal that large that no one has ever seen.

              It is entirely left up to the time, effort, and expense of morons who want to get on tv so bad they stage things. If science cared, if science deemed you correct or having a plausible point, it might be worth a point. We don’t all have to be scientists to dismiss this bigfoot thing pretty much out of hand, just like we dismiss unicorns and smurfs and elves. That’s what category that is in. Science has done the legwork so I don’t have to suppose things that don’t exist might exist in the remote woods over the magic bridge to fairyland.

            • kessy_athena

              @Kodie: Bigfoot wasn’t introduced by the Patterson film, it’s a feature of American Indian folklore and mythology. That doesn’t mean it’s not invented, but it does mean we can’t clearly trace its origin, unlike Cthulhu, for example. So we can’t really say for sure, which makes saying it’s invented at the least a large overstatement.

              You’ve thoroughly explained your opinion that there couldn’t be a large undiscovered animal in North America, and I think I’ve presented the counter argument as well as I can. I have nothing more to add on the subject, so unless you do, I really think we should simply agree to disagree on that point.

              I said that I think the enthusiasts looking for Bigfoot generally don’t know what they’re doing, not that I don’t believe anyone who’s seen one. While there are certainly plenty of hoaxers and people who think every animal in the woods is a Bigfoot, there are also plenty of sincere sightings by people who seem at least superficially credible. I do give more weight to eyewitness testimony then you guys generally seem to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t consider its faults.

              I would remind you that science isn’t a monolithic entity that delivers definite pronouncements. Most scientist working in this field tend to ignore the topic of Bigfoot entirely. Those who do speak publicly on the subject do tend to come down on the “no such thing” side, with a not insignificant number of dissenters, including the likes of Jane Goodall. (To be clear, Goodall considers Bigfoot to be possible but unproven.) But there are no papers on the topic, no studies. At least none that I’ve ever heard of. This is not scientific consensus, it’s scientific indifference. And the way we do science provides some really strong disincentives to tackle subjects that are controversial in society at large or ones that get ridiculed. So, no, science really hasn’t done the legwork.

            • Kodie

              Scientific indifference is what I was referring to. I’m not surprised there is a strong disincentive to pursuit of ridiculous things at the high cost of credibility. American Indian folklore is folklore, it is not history or science. It is a religion like Christianity is a religion, like people believe in angels and seen them at the foot of their bed – things I used to watch as a common fad topic on talk shows in the 80s and 90s. I read about Patterson, he was goofy into this myth for years before he went and staged an encounter.

  • Nzo

    That combined with the strong emotional reaction I got from some people makes it seem to me like there’s something more at issue here then just the question of whether there’s an ape like animal roaming the wilds of North America.

    I get this comment a lot “Nzo is angry” or “Nzo is reacting emotionally”, and it always comes from people that are being extremely stupid. There’s no emotion here, but a vitriolic reaction to bullshit.

    I would suggest that that something might merit some introspection.

    For your stupidity, I would suggest an education.

    Several people claimed that the points I made had been refuted, and yet when I asked for specifics, I got no answer from anyone.

    You did, and you ignored them. See almost every post responding to yours besides mine. When your points were refuted, you changed the rules of the game, by attempting to make it seem like we were refuting the possibility of a real species that had not yet been discovered, as opposed to a mythical one that you read about in the tabloids.

    Your thoughts on this matter are bad, and you should feel bad.

    • kessy_athena

      Don’t worry, Nzo, I no more expect introspection or a post with a coherent argument from you then I expect a cat to play Mozart.

      • Jabster

        Which says more about you that it does about Nzo …

    • Jabster

      “I get this comment a lot “Nzo is angry” or “Nzo is reacting emotionally”, and it always comes from people that are being extremely stupid. There’s no emotion here, but a vitriolic reaction to bullshit.”

      The really should be a I’m not angry/emotional I’m just being blunt/truthful font for blog use …

      • kessy_athena

        (Facepalm) What exactly do the two of you think the word “vitriol” means? Vitriol *is* an emotion. And shouting and profanity are pretty universal signs of strong emotion.

        • UrsaMinor

          “Vitriol” has two meanings: 1. sulfuric acid, and 2. bitterly abusive language.
          Neither one is an emotion.

        • Jabster

          lol … so now you know someone’s mind better than they do by reading their posts on this blog.

          Yep, that seems reasonable …

  • Custador

    I sincerely wish I could find the link on the mobile interface to lock commenting on this thread :-/

    • Elemenope

      I think that would be an overreaction.

      • Kodie

        You know, nobody believed Big Bird saw a Woolly Mammoth for years and years but it turned out to be real. I also think that animals talk and are friends and wear shirts but not pants, and sometimes shoes, but not always. They just don’t do it when you’re around, but I’ve seen videos of the things, they are amazing.

        • Sunny Day

          HAHAHHA!

        • Elemenope

          LOL.

          It’s not like this hasn’t all been covered “elsewhere”, but I think this particular conversation was instructive not for what was said so much as a case study in people assiduously talking past one another. Having had the benefit of that prior conversation in the link, I am fairly comfortable saying that kessy_athena’s thoughts on the issue and her intent in bringing them up here have been misconstrued, by-and-large.

          I’d say, to be brief, that some people desire to be entertained by a hypothesis, and entertaining the mind in this way can keep it limber. Though it can be an entertainment unto distraction, and so some others don’t seem to dig people having fun in that way, not least because it can with a lack of care give cover to more harmful woo and can have the less-than-salutary effect of damaging a person’s ability to actually exclude hypotheses once they are pushed beyond reasonable bounds of evidence. Absence of evidence isn’t precisely evidence of absence, but for things larger than a shoebox and slower than a bullet it tends to be a pretty big clue. It would be worrisome indeed if someone actually allocated (finite, scarce) resources to look for bigfoot–I’d be pissed if NASA actually launched a mission to find Russell’s Teapot–but maintaining an idle speculation about the possibility of a cryptid ape in N. America harms nothing and no one. So long as speculation upon a completely unattested hypothesis remains idle, it is no different from any other sort of notion, and visiting the relative sanity of holding such idle thoughts is inappropriate.

          • kessy_athena

            Thank you, Nope, I really appreciate the even handed remarks, even if I have to disagree with you on some points.

            I think what I’m really trying to get at is that free thought means freedom for *everyone*, even people who have thoughts you strongly disagree with and really dislike.

            I also want to challenge the attitude that the planet is well explored and understood. I’ve argued before and will again this just isn’t so, and I feel it’s important to realize that there really are still blank spaces on the map. This goes back to the discussion of whether or not the forest is big enough for a large undiscovered animal.

            I disagree with you that Bigfoot isn’t worth spending any resources on. I think a closer study of the deep forest is warranted. At the very least, it would provide a better understanding of the ecosystems and the animals that *are* known to exist there, whether or not they find anything really surprising, such as a Bigfoot.

            • Elemenope

              I think what I’m really trying to get at is that free thought means freedom for *everyone*, even people who have thoughts you strongly disagree with and really dislike.

              Well, sure. But that goes hand-in-hand with the notion that people are free to reject and disrespect ideas that they strongly disagree with and really dislike. As I said, the line generally is at questioning the sanity of merely entertaining an idea; nobody is obligated to respect any given idea more than that unless it has solid foundation in evidence or reasoning (or preferably both).

              I also want to challenge the attitude that the planet is well explored and understood. I’ve argued before and will again this just isn’t so, and I feel it’s important to realize that there really are still blank spaces on the map. This goes back to the discussion of whether or not the forest is big enough for a large undiscovered animal.

              I agree, but positing a specific cryptid, especially one of such florid provenance, is perhaps not the best way to make this point. If it is about true exploration of the unknown, it needs no speculation about what might be found in the interstitial spaces to motivate it; revelation is its own reward.

              I disagree with you that Bigfoot isn’t worth spending any resources on. I think a closer study of the deep forest is warranted. At the very least, it would provide a better understanding of the ecosystems and the animals that *are* known to exist there, whether or not they find anything really surprising, such as a Bigfoot.

              The point is that Bigfoot would be so surprising that it cannot serve as a plausible motivation for undertaking the search in the first place. Much better is cutting out the middleman and just studying the deep forest for its salutary effects on our ecological understanding. Then Bigfoot, if he is encountered, is merely a nice bonus.

            • Nzo

              Since the cavalry took care of the lightweight above…

              I think what I’m really trying to get at is that free thought means freedom for *everyone*, even people who have thoughts you strongly disagree with and really dislike.

              You’re free to think what you like, just as I’m free to call out every ounce of stupidity that you think deserves to be placed on a pedestal.

              I also want to challenge the attitude that the planet is well explored and understood.

              Get this through your thick skull… NO ONE HERE IS COPPING AN ATTITUDE ABOUT THE PLANET BEING WELL EXPLORED. The only one here with an attitude is you trying to tell us that it’s reasonable, to search for Bigfoot.

              I’ve argued before and will again this just isn’t so, and I feel it’s important to realize that there really are still blank spaces on the map. This goes back to the discussion of whether or not the forest is big enough for a large undiscovered animal.

              Dumbass. Conflating two separate arguments into one.

              Either:
              A) You’re too stupid to understand the difference
              B) You’re doing it on purpose, and that makes YOU the troll.

              I disagree with you that Bigfoot isn’t worth spending any resources on.

              This is why you’re a nutcase.

              I think a closer study of the deep forest is warranted. At the very least, it would provide a better understanding of the ecosystems and the animals that *are* known to exist there,

              THIS IS FINE – NOBODY IS ARGUING AGAINST THIS, SO QUIT BRINGING IT UP, YOU RETARD.

              whether or not they find anything really surprising, such as a Bigfoot.

              This will not happen, and, again, this is the ONLY subject we’re actually having an argument over.

              You’re just fantastically stupid, and I can barely believe that people like you exist sometimes. It’s just so difficult to understand what would have to be broken in my brain just to begin to understand it.

            • kessy_athena

              And once again the all knowing Nzo regales us with another lengthy post full of name calling, shouting, and absolutely no salient points or arguments whatsoever. You forgot to call me a smelly doo-doo head and say that I have cooties, btw.

              I’m curious, who exactly is the lightweight you think the cavalry took care of? Me, or Elemenope?

              Recognizing that people are free to think what they want implies an obligation to a certain degree of civility. I realize this is an advanced concept for you, but it really is possible to disagree with someone without shouting, name calling, and profanity. Although you might want to consider tackling an easier subject first, such as what a metaphor is. For example, “blank spaces on the map” in my previous post is a metaphor – it does not refer to an actual map, but to subjects that are poorly understood, or completely unknown. The exact make up of the ecosystems of deep wilderness that rarely, if ever, see humans is an example of such a subject.

              So if you agree with my suggested course of action, why exactly are you shouting at me, swearing at me, and calling me names? Aside from your own amusement, of course. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I consider trying to turn a civil discussion into a flame war for fun, while not even attempting to make a relevant argument to be pretty much the definition of trollish behavior. Saying that you agree with my arguments but that my conclusion is stupid and crazy without presenting a single valid reason why you’d think that is also pretty trollish.

              Earlier, you were going on about how mythological creatures do not exist. “Little Red Riding Hood” is an example of mythology, is it not? And the creature featured in that story is a wolf. That would make a wolf a mythological creature. So are you saying that wolves don’t exist and anyone who goes looking for them is crazy and stupid?

            • Yoav

              Earlier, you were going on about how mythological creatures do not exist. “Little Red Riding Hood” is an example of mythology, is it not? And the creature featured in that story is a wolf. That would make a wolf a mythological creature. So are you saying that wolves don’t exist and anyone who goes looking for them is crazy and stupid?

              Anyone looking for grandma impersonating talking wolves sure is stupid.

            • Kodie

              What the fuck. Little Red Riding Hood is a story. A wolf talks in it. A wolf kills a woman and dresses in her clothes, and a little girl can’t tell the difference. Well, she kind of can tell the difference but it takes her 3 tries. Have you ever seen a wolf in a nightgown look anything like an old woman? Have you ever seen a wolf eat someone without making a mess and then clean it up in time to hop into bed doing a crossword puzzle?

              That story makes no sense. A little girl walking in the woods may be attacked by a wolf, or followed by a wolf and then attacked, but not talked to by a wolf who wonders where she’s going, goes there, eats a grandma and wears her nightgown in an attempt to trick the little girl out of her basket of treats. Why the fuck did you bring this up? Re: Bigfoot or ANYTHING?

            • Kodie

              Winnie the pooh is a talking bear, does that mean bears don’t exist?

            • UrsaMinor

              Earlier, you were going on about how mythological creatures do not exist. “Little Red Riding Hood” is an example of mythology, is it not? And the creature featured in that story is a wolf. That would make a wolf a mythological creature. So are you saying that wolves don’t exist and anyone who goes looking for them is crazy and stupid?

              I think you need a sounder premise than “No entity mentioned in myths or folktales exists.” Humans appear frequently in such tales, and I can point to a few billion concrete examples of real, live humans. Their existence is not in doubt. But myths and folktales are also rife with entities which are not observed, and for whom no solid evidence exists. Two different classes. It is wrong, if not downright disingenuous, to lump them together in an attempt to discredit someone else’s argument.

            • Sunny Day

              kessy_athena,
              The first rule of holes is to stop digging.
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0

            • Nzo

              And once again the all knowing Nzo regales us with another lengthy post full of name calling, shouting, and absolutely no salient points or arguments whatsoever. You forgot to call me a smelly doo-doo head and say that I have cooties, btw.

              I’ll take the first part of this in the non-sarcastic manner you should have meant it, and the rest of it doesn’t make ME look stupid, but it sure does make someone look stupid.

              I’m curious, who exactly is the lightweight you think the cavalry took care of? Me, or Elemenope?

              Nope threw you a lifeline, and you slapped it away. He thought there could possibly be some glimmer of intelligence behind your posts, and he tried to help you out, but he was wrong. You’re seriously under-qualified to group yourself with him, you should really check yourself.

              Recognizing that people are free to think what they want implies an obligation to a certain degree of civility.

              No it doesn’t. See how easy that is? Your argument fails before you even wrote that line.

              Oh, I’m actually objectively right there, btw. I have zero obligation of civility to anyone, or anything… for any reason. You get civility when I choose to give it.

              I realize this is an advanced concept for you, but it really is possible to disagree with someone without shouting, name calling, and profanity.

              “Advanced”? I can guarantee you that I’ve thought more in-depth on almost any topic you have ever thought of in your life than you could ever possibly imagine. I choose when to be civil, and when to spit venom.

              That you seem to think your arguments above mine for using profanity, or likening you to things of similar intellectual quality, is a great example of why your mind is weak, and you are pathetic. I’ve said it before, to stupid christians that think the format of my delivery is somehow equal to the content, or relevance of my arguments. This is unequivocally false.

              Although you might want to consider tackling an easier subject first, such as what a metaphor is. For example, “blank spaces on the map” in my previous post is a metaphor – it does not refer to an actual map, but to subjects that are poorly understood, or completely unknown. The exact make up of the ecosystems of deep wilderness that rarely, if ever, see humans is an example of such a subject.

              Perhaps you should stay on the only topic in this thread anyone is responding to, and stay away from the points that nobody had a problem with in the first place.

              And somehow I’m the stupid one…

              So if you agree with my suggested course of action, why exactly are you shouting at me, swearing at me, and calling me names?

              Stupidity. You decided to argue in favor of searching for Bigfoot. You know this. Stop pretending to be stupid, and actually stick to the subject matter.

              I’m all fine with letting people do the right thing for the wrong reasons in most cases, but here, on the net, I’m going to call you out for being a complete imbecile.

              Aside from your own amusement, of course. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I consider trying to turn a civil discussion into a flame war for fun, while not even attempting to make a relevant argument to be pretty much the definition of trollish behavior.

              You sure tried to speak for everyone when you originally called me a troll, but you turned this discussion into a 1-way whine-fest over Bigfoot. My turning it into a flame-war was just another step in the “Completely idiotic argument” evolution.

              I, and many others, had very relevant arguments. You have not acknowledged a single one. That being the case, your authority on what ‘relevant’ happens to be is questionable.

              Saying that you agree with my arguments but that my conclusion is stupid and crazy without presenting a single valid reason why you’d think that is also pretty trollish.

              You’re the only one being a troll here. Had you not thrown your bitch-fit over Bigfoot, and ignored everyone else’s reasoned arguments, you wouldn’t be getting called out for being the idiot you are.

              Earlier, you were going on about how mythological creatures do not exist. “Little Red Riding Hood” is an example of mythology, is it not? And the creature featured in that story is a wolf. That would make a wolf a mythological creature. So are you saying that wolves don’t exist and anyone who goes looking for them is crazy and stupid?

              Red Herring. Your argumentative strategy is dishonest, and despicable. You seem to have no qualms muddying the water in an attempt to distract from the main issue. Seriously, I hope you don’t breed.

            • kessy_athena

              No, Nzo, you’re wrong. There is an obligation on all of us to be civil. Of course, you’re entirely free to ignore it – you’re entitled to act like an immature jackass as much as you want. However, if you want to be treated like a civilized adult, it would behoove you to act like one.

            • Sunny Day

              There is no obligation to be civil in all things.
              You’ve demonstrated your agreement with that principle when you condescended to Michel earlier with the, “LOL You’re a city boy, aintchya?” comment. We’ve moved past that stage. We’ve moved well into the point where ridiculous beliefs deserve to be ridiculed.

              Now we’re headed into the stage where everyone is looking on in exasperation wondering OMG WTF ARE THEY STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS.?!?!

            • kessy_athena

              I meant that as a joke. I’m sorry if it came across as condescending. My bad. :(

            • Kodie

              There is no obligation to be civil. I tried but you thought I was supporting your argument. Nzo doesn’t suffer fools but I find him mostly right, Custador suffers some but not others, Ursa and Noelle are very polite, Elemenope words things very carefully and he’s fair and won’t hop on a bandwagon to save his life, Jabster and Sunny Day will be very brief and get to the point and we get to laugh at another’s expense while they’re at it. Everyone here that I’ve featured and many not featured (like Nox or Julie, etc.) has said something I wish I’d said, in a way that I would rather have said it. Thorough, brief, mean, nicer, more knowledgeably, whatever. You’re not getting the point. You might have beat the record for consecutive doubling down, actually. I believe you are at 128 or nothing. It’s a long way to fall.

            • Nzo

              No, Nzo, you’re wrong. There is an obligation on all of us to be civil.

              There you go, being a hypocrite. Above you argued that I needed more of a reason that ‘cuz i say so’. Now there’s this. Bring forth an argument that objectively, across-the-board obliges me to be civil to anyone for any reason.

              Of course, you’re entirely free to ignore it – you’re entitled to act like an immature jackass as much as you want.

              There’s nothing to ignore, and you’re entitled to act like yourself as much as you want.

              However, if you want to be treated like a civilized adult, it would behoove you to act like one.

              Oh, look at all the fucks I give about being treated like an adult!

              Seriously, I actually address the arguments people make. I can’t help it that I wind up shredding them until they don’t even resemble the paper they were originally written on, then punching the writer in the face. You, however, address none of these arguments, and continue to play your word-game from a deck that resembles that of a christian apologist.

              You are, quite frankly, no better than someone defending Jesus here. Given your style of argumentation, you should probably switch sides yourself.

  • kessy_athena

    Kodie, my point was that the fact that something appears in stories tells you absolutely nothing about how real it is. Honest, I really wasn’t suggesting that Little Red Riding Hood was anything other then fiction. And Ursa, if you think it’s a dumb premise, you could have said so when Nzo brought it up. I’d also point out that you’re presenting something of a false dichotomy. Myths and folktales are also rife with entities that have not been observed, yet are still real. For example, giant squid, rogue waves, and the city of Troy were all believed to be purely fictional, until they were observed.

    • Kodie

      Some stories are written using people as characters, some as magically-powered people, some as animals with personalities, and some mythical creatures. I am pretty sure some people believe dragons… maybe not a currently existing animal, but as some type of medieval dinosaur. That doesn’t mean it is. What’s his face, Kerouac or someone writes a journal of adventures – did they happen precisely that way or embellished – is it believable, interesting, entertainment? Did Luke Skywalker really exist? What about Yoda? I am just not sure why you think this helps your bigfoot argument to discuss fiction – could warriors in space exist? What about some alien sage who is green with big ears? What about the space dog that comes from Jamaica? What about the gold guy who is kind of fussy? When you’re reading Calvin and Hobbes do you know that Hobbes is a stuffed animal entirely scripted by Calvin, who is scripted by Bill Watterson? Do you think Calvin hates Chevrolets enough to piss on their logo? I know that’s not canon, but it remains plausible since it never came up in the strip.

      • kessy_athena

        Kodie, the one and only point I was trying to make is that the fact that something appears in fiction tells you absolutely nothing about whether or not it’s real. That’s all. I’m honestly puzzled what part of that you have a problem with, and I’m sincerely asking what it is.

        • Kodie

          The part I’m having a problem with most recently is the part where you don’t know the difference between dragons and horses. We’re not basing what’s real from a story and only a story. Of course there are really wolves. I wonder how I could figure it out….

          Maybe you missed my post about Snuffleupagus. Woolly mammoths are real, they’re extinct, but we have proof of them. I’ve heard Big Bird is supposed to be an ostrich but he doesn’t look like one to me. Of course that could also be because he’s a puppet with a man inside. Grover is a monster. There is no such thing as monsters. Oscar is a grouch. There is such a thing as a grouch but I don’t look too much like the green furry guy who lives in a trash can with a worm who plays basketball. Worms are real, but they don’t play basketball. Again, I’m not getting this information from Sesame Street. I’m just describing what creatures are on the show and which ones of them correspond to a real thing and not a real thing. Do you understand?

    • UrsaMinor

      Kessy, Nzo didn’t make the claim that any creature that appears in mythology doesn’t exist because it’s by definition a mythological creature. He said “Mythological creatures don’t exist”. The term “mythological creature” is well-understood to encompass unobserved legendary creatures and exclude everyday, observed and documented ones. There is, of course, a larger (and extremely rarely employed) sense of the word “mythological”, which simply means “appearing in a myth”, but there is no reason for anyone to conclude from the context that this was the sense in which he was employing it.

      • kessy_athena

        And I was trying to point out that the common use of the word “mythological” is loaded up with a ton of assumptions that often aren’t justified. Stories almost never explicitly distinguish between real and fictional elements. Most of the time, it’s assumed that the contemporary audience will already know the difference. And it’s not unusual for authors to deliberately muddy the distinction – take any Hollywood movie that claims it’s “based on a true story” as an example. When a story ages and is no longer in its original cultural context, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell the difference. For example, at this point it’s basically impossible to tell what elements of the “Illiad” are real history and which are poetic embellishments.

        Nzo was trying to “prove” that Bigfoot doesn’t exist by labeling it a mythological creature. They were purposefully conflating the two definitions of the term. The argument is invalid because either not all creatures that appear in mythology are mythological (using the common definition) or because some mythological creatures really do exist (using the literal meaning).

        • Kodie

          A creature that is mythological is a mythological creature. Like a fucking unicorn, not a wolf character in a myth. For fuck’s sake. You are just being really weird about your bigfoot thing. Mythological means imaginary; fictitious. I just read it in the dictionary. Who was purposely conflating the two? You were. You were conflating characters in a myth that happen to correspond to real people or animals or places. It is like you’re saying because When Harry Met Sally is fictional, that there are no people named Harry or Sally. Or people. And New York City is fake too. Grapes are fake, orgasms are fake, underwear with the names of the days are fake, wagon wheel coffee tables are fake, karaoke is fake, Casablanca is fake, New Year’s Eve is fake.

          Or if we say they’re real, you have won somehow because that puts bigfoot back on the table with Ganesh, the ghost of Christmas Future, Intelligent Design, minotaurs, Atlantis, Narnia, Spiderman, and the tin woodsman. Is there no way to discern the fantastical? You seem to think there is no way. Your basis seems to be that the myth of bigfoot takes place in an earthly habitat, rather than under the sea or a long time ago in space far far away. That’s it. Forests are real, wolves are real, so why not bigfoot. Because he’s not real. Because he’s made UP. Do you think there might be whales in the desert? Do you think there are birds in your eyelashes? I hear the Mars Rover is looking for the Instant Martian vending machine.

          • Sunny Day

            If the rover finds the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator we are all in trouble.

  • Sunny Day

    Apparently bigfoot has been found after all.
    According to this website, and you can always trust the things you read on the internet, The poor bastard has been in captivity for 20 days now.
    http://www.mid-americabigfoot.com/
    Look they are legitimate scientists, they even use the words “research center” totally non ironically just like the discovery institutes “research center”.
    Kessy why oh why did we ever doubt you?

  • Bill

    I’m really late to this thread, but I have to ask: Are we really having a conversation about whether bigfoot exists?

    Seems beneath this crowd. Although I suppose the arguments for existence are not all that different than the arguments for the existence of god.

    • Sunny Day

      Read upwards and either face palm or just laugh your ass off.

    • Elemenope

      To be fair, it’s not so much a debate on whether or not Bigfoot exists, but rather whether it’s worth checking to see.

  • Cake

    In the last few years with very little fanfare we’ve conclusively settled the questions of flying saucers, lake monsters, ghosts and bigfoot.

    http://xkcd.com/1235/

    Unless, of course, your name is Kessy. In that case we’re all just racist bigots not open to the wider reality’s of unproved bullshit.