Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Many Sides Of Evidence:

Bigfoot Scat Found By William Jevning
Scat found by William Jevning
This is a post by Mike Akaganglian
In today's thoughts, let’s have a look at what we actually call evidence as opposed to what we should call evidence. First off there is the big separation of what is anecdotal and what can actually be examined as physical evidence. Anecdotal evidence is 90% plus of all the reports that come into investigators, and is exactly that, anecdotal. It doesn't solve anything really, and yes the stories can be fascinating and compelling, and it's up to the investigator to in the end judge for themselves how credible the anecdote is, or isn't. I have in my own experience found myself second guessing first impressions of a report more than once, in doubt of and in favor of. But that is the limitation of Anecdotal stuff, it's in the end, a story. You either believe it or you and there's nothing concrete to back it up. If it accomplishes anything it simply reinforces the folklore. But then so does a good deal of what's on the internet.

Then we move into the areas of gray, audio, and the like. This is one that I suppose is open to debate because audio gives you something to analyze and cross compare against known suspects, but without a visual confirmation I don't personally think it does more than raise questions, and is often misidentification. Given the rates of blurry and suspect video and photo related evidence this to falls short, it's simply too easy to manufacture the video, as the current Standing situation demonstrates, or the Claws costume photo before it.

Physical evidence is something we can touch, hair samples, poo samples, dna samples from these and other sources, as well as the track casts. As opposed to some wishful thinker casting a dent in the mud, a "good" track cast assumes a mid tarsal break, which is in and of itself an unproven theory and came from within the community, a biased source. One could argue that there is or isn't a baseline specimen to give as the justification of the midtarsal theory. That basically leaves us with DNA itself, and even there for the moment you have no baseline specimen that is a proven sasquatch, which also muddies the waters. There have been two DNA studies, one pointed to a bear, the other was conducted by a veterinarian whose findings, understanding of the scientific process, among other things, haven't exactly helped the cause.

For actual vettable evidence this is where things begin, some sort of very compelling, uncontaminated dna, or god forbid an actual body, living or otherwise. If it matters to you to have this mystery finally embraced by mainstream science, then there will need to be peer review from an unbiased source, and it will need to be that way. The unfortunate flipside it will also have to run the gauntlet of all of the bullshit that will have come before it.

Some out there may have noticed that I overlooked those who think research is singing kumbayah with the voices in your head, or drawing red circles around tree stumps, and pointing at wind caused tree debri, fuzzy photos, and claims of the fringe. Yes I did. Provide some compelling anything, and maybe then you can play to, but until then, fraid not.
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