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Tags bigfoot , bigfoot merchandising , Bryan Sykes , jeffrey meldrum , Melba Ketchum

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Old 22nd March 2012, 10:46 AM   #1
parnassus
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Bigsploitation: The Making and Selling of Bigfoot

The famous schemes and schemers for exploitation of "bigfoot" have their own threads. Those who simply sell bigfoot-themed garden statuary, T shirts and trucker hats are of little interest.

In the middle, between the PT Barnums and the local Tshirt shop, are the lesser bigsploiters, people who both create the bigfoot folklore (often in the form of publications or "research") and market it in the form of books, DVDs, lectures or other presentations, often directly or indirectly to children.

This thread is a catchall for the more interesting of these schemes.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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This may not be exactly what you're talking about but how about one of these in your yard?

http://www.designtoscano.com/product/code/DB383049.do

http://www.designtoscano.com/product/code/DB583078.do

http://www.designtoscano.com/product/code/NE110119.do
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Old 22nd March 2012, 07:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by parnassus View Post
The famous schemes and schemers for exploitation of "bigfoot" have their own threads. Those who simply sell bigfoot-themed garden statuary, T shirts and trucker hats are of little interest.

In the middle, between the PT Barnums and the local Tshirt shop, are the lesser bigsploiters, people who both create the bigfoot folklore (often in the form of publications or "research") and market it in the form of books, DVDs, lectures or other presentations, often directly or indirectly to children.

This thread is a catchall for the more interesting of these schemes.
So we're leaving out Gimlin, Patterson, DeAtley, Heironimus, Wallace to name some of them. Peter Byrne made quite a living off a book, his "expeditions" and sponsored research, but retired. So is he in? Green and Dahinden are old-school too, both of whom wrote books.

Biscardi is the type you are thinking about with his website that is on another thread at the moment?
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Old 23rd March 2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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Go to the local library kids section and see the utter crap that is there.
Like these "Monsters of...[state]" review of PA here http://idoubtit.wordpress.com/2011/0...-pennsylvania/

The Kelly Milner Halls book on Cryptozoology was atrocious. I don't know how these people get paid.

Here is a good one: http://idoubtit.wordpress.com/2011/0...t_hunter_kids/

I get 1000 hits a week on this page http://idoubtit.wordpress.com/2011/0...acts-for-kids/ which skewers an actual page. So, you know how many that page will get.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 09:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by idoubtit View Post
I get 1000 hits a week on this page http://idoubtit.wordpress.com/2011/0...acts-for-kids/ which skewers an actual page. So, you know how many that page will get.
Cool stuff, idoubtit. I'll get my kids to check out your site and let you know what they think.

BTW, I loved this part: "It needs updated . . . "
Very Central PA!
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Old 23rd March 2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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There are legitimate reasons to find subjects that children will take interest in, enough to read about, as reading is positively correlated with success. But by the time a child goes to school, he/she should be developing a pretty good sense of what is real and what is imaginary. Of course, most of this burden falls upon the parents. But when books fail to distinguish between the two realms, they do a disservice to the children. The real jerks in the book world are those who actively promote "bigfoot" as a real creature, while cranking out children's books on the subject.

One of the "leaders" in this field is Linda Newton-Perry, aka BigfootBallyhoo, which I shall not link to. Her stuff is so fakin' bad that even the 'footers have called foul.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 12:10 PM   #7
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Wikipedia
Quote:
Blaxploitation or blacksploitation is a film genre which emerged in the United States circa 1970. It is considered an ethnic sub-genre of the general category of exploitation films. Blaxploitation films were originally made specifically for an urban black audience, although the genre's audience appeal soon broadened to cross racial and ethnic lines. The term itself is a portmanteau of the words "black" and "exploitation,"..
eg: the film Shaft (1971).
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Old 23rd March 2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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I dunno Parn, I grew up reading all those cool crypto books from the school library. It was just fascinating stuff. Kids are smarter than you give them credit for. They can fantasize about Bigfoot being real and such, but they are just as likely to grow up skeptics as bleevers.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 02:19 PM   #9
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True.. it isnt like the kids are forming organizations to go and find Harry Potter or something !?
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Old 23rd March 2012, 02:56 PM   #10
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But JK Rowling isn't saying Harry Potter is real !!
That is where the difference lies.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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That is very true. Some kids think Harry (or his magic) is real.. but sure after a certain time even the Easter Bunny is a myth ? And I must confess .. my wife and I planted those eggs for years !
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Old 23rd March 2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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What is interesting to me is this.

It seems like this is the perfect storm for "Bigfootery". The timing.. the resurgence of the phenomenon.. the publicity.. the cable television saturation.. the internet.. or nets as someone once said.. anyway.. the other quasi science shows, the $99 BF Costumes on Ebay.. the commercialism (Jacks Links, footwear, 4 wheelers, etc.. ) and when you couple this with another generation ? I am speculating but it seems that the new believer is probably under the age of 35.

There is new money to be made and it is being made.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 04:30 PM   #13
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There is hope.

My grandchildren and family went up to a cabin in northern AZ for Spring-break. I was kidding them along about avoiding the bears (real), wolves (non in that area), snakes (very few), and Sasquatch. At that point my five year old puts her hands on her hips and says 'Poppa, you know that is just a story'.

My six year old grandson piped up with the view that it was just a cartoon character. Apparently there is a program they watch that has Sasquatch as a part of it.

So, not all publicity is bad.

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Old 23rd March 2012, 04:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AttorneyTom View Post
That is very true. Some kids think Harry (or his magic) is real.. but sure after a certain time even the Easter Bunny is a myth ? And I must confess .. my wife and I planted those eggs for years !
Thanks for helping me clarify my point. It is one thing to sell, and another to write a book about a bigfoot adventure. It is another step, I think, to say that it's true, and it is yet another to produce "research" as "evidence" for "bigfoot."

This thread is not directed at those who are just writing and/or selling books about bigfoot. To me those folks are just like those who make the garden statues and sell them, tshirts, etc.

I would like this thread to be more about those who try to make it real and sell it. Bigfoot Ballyhoo is one of those.

Google Bigfoot children's books and see who comes up.
1. Amazon. I think we can safely say they aren't doing Bigfoot research
2. Bigfoot Ballyhoo. we've nailed them.
and
3. our old pal Bigfootbookman. fancy that.
p.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 04:47 PM   #15
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Lets not forget some others:

Kulls wrote a book about his hoaxing experience..
Hovey is trying to have people believe she can copyright a photo she doesnt own
Several others try to profit from "conferences"

Would this kind of cashing in be considering bigsploitation?
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Old 23rd March 2012, 05:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by parnassus View Post
Wikipedia eg: the film Shaft (1971).
That Squatch, he's a fake mutha...
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Old 23rd March 2012, 05:33 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
that squatch, he's a fake mutha...
hush yo mouth!!!!!!
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Old 23rd March 2012, 05:37 PM   #18
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*high-fives LogicFail* It had to be said...
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Old 23rd March 2012, 05:44 PM   #19
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I can dig it! lol


BTW, speaking of separating the public from their squatchy cash, looks like a "guide" from the BFRO Matt Pruitt got busted by the park service for leading paid squatchin safaris on Nat'l Park land without a permit.

http://bigfootevidence.blogspot.com/...ion-cited.html

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Old 23rd March 2012, 05:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mikeyx View Post
Lets not forget some others:

Kulls wrote a book about his hoaxing experience..
Hovey is trying to have people believe she can copyright a photo she doesnt own
Several others try to profit from "conferences"

Would this kind of cashing in be considering bigsploitation?
Well, there aren't any thread police, but I'm saying this thread is for any operation that involves validating bigfoot and selling bigfoot stuff as a result ( but doesn't already have its own thread, like Patterson does). Bigsploitation is a little different from Blaxsploitation, which was created fiction but also somewhat real stuff about African Americans marketed primarily to African Americans. Bigsploitation is all fiction pretending to be real stuff about a monster, marketed to 'footers.

Conferences give some of these people a chance to create demand for their CD's, DVD's, books, etc. That is, somebody gets up and says: Bigfoot has a language!! Then they sell their CD's, which no one would think of buying otherwise, but they buy it because this guy did some "research".

I haven't seen Kulls book but it sounds the same.

that is different from the guy who just sells tshirts. He isn't creating a need for tshirts.

Having a blog with some ads doesn't count because it's so trivial, and many sell tshirts. Selling bigfoot souvenirs doesn't count by itself. The operations I want to highlight are those that create the demand with some pretense of research/reality,and satisfy the demand.

Autumn Williams would be one; her "research" created the demand for her book. She said she had the real deal.

I think the BFRO fits except we already have discussed it to death in other threads including Finding Bigfoot.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 05:57 PM   #21
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I dunno.... IMO, we are a capitalist nation and if there's a market, I reckon there's no harm in filling said market. People watch dancing with the stars for goodness sake!
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Old 24th March 2012, 10:56 AM   #22
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Chain, chain, chain..... chain of fools:

Quote:
On Feb. 24, National Park Service rangers received information from a concessionaire who reported that there were visitors in the park who were on a “Bigfoot hunting expedition.”

Rangers Billy Bell and Ben Henthorne proceeded to the Steel Creek Campground to investigate. After questioning numerous people associated with the group, they discovered that approximately 30 people had paid Matt Pruitt, who is affiliated with The Bigfoot Field Researcher’s Organization, to lead them on a hunt for the creature. Several participants said that they had paid $300 to $500 each to be lead on a three-day expedition.

Pruitt was cited for a violation of the regulation on engaging in a business without a permit or written agreement.
Pruitt is another Georgia boy, out for a good time and a few bucks, and ethics are not his concern. He currently operates out of somewhere in Oklahoma, and chronicles his exploits here.
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Old 24th March 2012, 01:04 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by parnassus View Post
Chain, chain, chain..... chain of fools:



Pruitt is another Georgia boy, out for a good time and a few bucks, and ethics are not his concern. He currently operates out of somewhere in Oklahoma, and chronicles his exploits here.
That certainly doesn't help
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Old 24th March 2012, 02:31 PM   #24
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Incredible - another bigfoot site with hideous black background and white writing. It's the design standard.

That Pruitt citation was in Buffalo National River, and group reservations are easy to do there (They were at Steel Creek, which is $10 a day for individuals):

http://www.nps.gov/buff/planyourvisi...servations.htm

So why is he not making reservations? How can you think that 30 people would go un-noticed by park officials? With $12 K on the line or so, you'd think they would... um - plan ahead? The park service could deny permits to bigfoot expeditions, but I doubt they would. It's just another park use, from their point of view.

My wife and I went through there in November. Deer season was on. We drove all around Arkansas, kind of centered out of Marshall. A lot of hunters out there in trailers and cab-over-campers. On the Buffalo River there were a number of rafting operations with buses they use to ferry people back and forth at pick-up points. Parked for the season. The Park Service permits those guys to operate but they might be under a carrying capacity limit. The guys up here are. (Maximum number of trips per day).

It is a very narrow band around the Buffalo river, with lots of towns, farms, roads, power lines, gas lines, etc. all around and through it.

If he doesn't pay any of the expenses for these people - wow. He is cleaning up. But what would you do for three days? How can you utter absolute rubbish for three days to sentient (paying!) humans and get away with it? Baffling.
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Old 24th March 2012, 03:22 PM   #25
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BigfootBookman's new gig::
Steven Streufert has a new way of spreading the ignorance:
Quote:
Beware the paths you take in the woods in pursuit of such things as Bigfoot, as they may lead you to odd places. In my own case it came to happy ends, as I am now a cartoon character serving as the basis of a series of books for children presenting Bigfoot and the study of it in a positive, appreciative light. For some investigators, and Bigfoot witnesses too, it ends in ridicule from the general public for believing such "odd" things. For those who have actually studied the history of the phenomenon, the possibility of an actual creature existing most parsimoniously explains the vast body of sightings reports and other evidence. For some, it is just good, plain fun.

Last year Natasha and David Breen, artists and authors behind the FEISTY CATS and CATS IN BLACK series of books for young people, and residents of Humboldt County, Bigfoot Country, produced a first book in the Bigfoot series: "Steve the Bigfoot Hunter." Now they are out with a new one, "Steve the Bigfoot Doctor." Both of these books are in rhyming verse and tell optimistic and cheerful tales that might just inspire the next generation of cryptozoologists. They are cute and funny, and to myself (especially as I am in them, along with my favorite hairy hominoid) rather endearing.
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Old 25th March 2012, 01:41 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by parnassus View Post
BigfootBookman's new gig::
Steven Streufert has a new way of spreading the ignorance:

I don't know if what you quoted is coming from Steve directly Parnassus. I didn't have the motivation to wade through that website to try figuring out what was going on. But if it is, it is the first time I have seen more or less the direct, open argument for bigfoot's existence ie a "bigfoot proponent" as opposed to the cover story here about being undecided.

What a surprise too - another bigfoot website using the "Halo" effect of lighter writing on darker background.
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Old 25th March 2012, 02:21 PM   #27
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The Pruitt Caper

The Pruitt expedition in the Buffalo River took place at the Steel Creek Campground, near the town of Ponca Arkansas, population 125:



This is in the county of Newton, population 8330. The Buffalo River National Park is a narrow band of land around the Buffalo River with 94,293 acres of land including the acreage of the river, which is a significant part of it, and that's not acreage for bigfoot. The park has about a million visitors a year.

Gates of the Arctic by comparison is 7.2 million acres and gets about 11 thousand visitors a year. Proportionately, that is seven thousand times more area per visitor. But Gates of the Arctic is surrounded by other wilderness areas, not by cities and farms so in reality Gates of the Arctic is another order of magnitude beyond seven thousand times more area, in per visitor terms. It's staggering crowds in Buffalo River compared to a real wilderness.

Of course it is highly seasonal at Buffalo River with peak use in the summer. There are camping sites, canoes, rafts, hiking trails, etc.

Their expedition took place in February, as it would have to in order for these 30 people to avoid the other million park users. You're going to look pretty silly doing bigfoot calls with dozens of people rolling by on the river, with big RV's all over the place, the local baseball team doing a picnic, etc.

This is the campground area itself:




I can easily see the Buffalo River Trail, and offshoots. They are way wider than the trails I make for four-wheelers and snowmachines. You can't see mine with google. You can see the main community trails on google, but not anyone's little trapline, moose stand, berry-picking trail.

I just came through there this winter myself so I am really blown away that someone could buy into bigfoot existing there. The fact that it has a campground that over 30 people can all drive to, or that a million people a year pass through disqualifies it as bigfoot habitat to begin with.
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Old 25th March 2012, 02:53 PM   #28
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This is a topographic map of the Pruitt Caper area for scale. You can see the Steel Creek Campground is only a couple of miles from the town of Ponca. That's true for the entirety of the Buffalo River National Park. One could understand an undiscovered microscopic bacteria in this vicinity, but not an 800 lb hominid foraging for a hundred pounds of food a day - not a single one of them.
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Old 25th March 2012, 02:54 PM   #29
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I have camped, Kayaked and canoed all over the Buffalo river. I have never, ever seen bigfoot. There are people all over that area. You can hike back into the woods, thinking you're "in the middle of nowhere" and come across beer cans and candy wrappers. There is nowhere in that park that people haven't trampled through. What kind of rube pays $500 to go to a state park?
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Old 25th March 2012, 03:30 PM   #30
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This is the campground area itself:


http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/n...campground.jpg

disqualifies it as bigfoot habitat to begin with.[/quote]

I am laughing myself silly at the moment. . cough.. cough..

But where are the strip malls. You know..

Okay.. hey.. Can we make some $$ by not selling BF.. or .. well not promoting BF.. um.. well by selling that there is not a BF ?I suppose I have to put some more thought into that idea.

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Old 25th March 2012, 03:43 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Deacondark View Post
What kind of rube pays $500 to go to a state park?
It would be interesting to know how many bleevers have little to no outdoors experience. Outdoors people, who actually get out and do things, know that such areas could not have a population of bigfoots.

Our own WGBH, who tells a whopper of a tale about a peaceful, 9' x 8', mulberry leaf eating, infrasound zapping bigfoot, does his bigfoot hunting in a state park.

That 30 people were willing to pony up $ for this "expedition" puts the lie to the claim there is no money to be made in bigfoot hoaxing.

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Old 25th March 2012, 04:06 PM   #32
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That reminds of a BFRO "Report" that I saw from last year in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park nearby which I live. Sure we have thousands of acres of land.. that narrowly follow a river.. and also over one million residents ! The most urbanized NP in the nation. Oh.. wait ... many deer and coyote ! I see t-shirts in my future now !!!!and maybe some baby clothes.
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Old 25th March 2012, 05:06 PM   #33
AlaskaBushPilot
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Counting the Elk in Buffalo National River

It gets even better: there is a herd of elk in the Buffalo River National Park. Here is an article on it by the relevant state game and fish official:

http://www.centuryinter.net/nacent/ozark/elk.html

Elk are the largest wild animal in the park. Counts are made by helicopter. They're roughly bigfoot-sized, and the count can be made with a high degree of accuracy. Looks like the herd has ranged from zero at the extinction of the Eastern Elk in the 1800's to low hundreds of re-introduced Western Elk to die-off again, to re-stocking and herd growth into the hundreds again.

In 2011, the Arkansas Game and Fish department teamed up with the National Park Service apparently. Doing some kind of Environmental Assessment regarding herd managment. So they can apply sustained yield principles to elk population management but can't locate a single of the numerous bigfoot running loose.

If you want to see elk then you can just call the park service or state game and fish: they'll tell you right where they are for free. You could drive right up to the area, and have a short hike at most to see lots of them. But if you pay $500 to a bigfoot expert, it's 100% certain you won't see one - ever!
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Old 25th March 2012, 05:13 PM   #34
AttorneyTom
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That is so .. sad. I still think they make atleast between $8k to $12 k on their weekends. Would love to see the accounting.

How could that happen ?
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Old 25th March 2012, 06:36 PM   #35
Deacondark
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Originally Posted by AlaskaBushPilot View Post
It gets even better: there is a herd of elk in the Buffalo River National Park. Here is an article on it by the relevant state game and fish official:

http://www.centuryinter.net/nacent/ozark/elk.html

Elk are the largest wild animal in the park. Counts are made by helicopter. They're roughly bigfoot-sized, and the count can be made with a high degree of accuracy. Looks like the herd has ranged from zero at the extinction of the Eastern Elk in the 1800's to low hundreds of re-introduced Western Elk to die-off again, to re-stocking and herd growth into the hundreds again.

In 2011, the Arkansas Game and Fish department teamed up with the National Park Service apparently. Doing some kind of Environmental Assessment regarding herd managment. So they can apply sustained yield principles to elk population management but can't locate a single of the numerous bigfoot running loose.

If you want to see elk then you can just call the park service or state game and fish: they'll tell you right where they are for free. You could drive right up to the area, and have a short hike at most to see lots of them. But if you pay $500 to a bigfoot expert, it's 100% certain you won't see one - ever!
I got into an argument last year on the Facebook/Findbigfoot page with a guy who lives in Delaware or New Jersey about Elk in this (the Ark-La-Tex) area. He said there were no elk around here. I told him that I have seen them with my own eyes, and he said I was wrong.

I couldn't get him to see the irony in the fact that he didn't believe I had seen a creature which is well known to exist, yet I was supposed to accept his word that he had seen a Bigfoot.....
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Old 26th March 2012, 11:20 AM   #36
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a spirited discussion about the BFRO group in Arkansas cited for no permit by National Park Service. One commenter responded (can't vouch for this):
Quote:
The BFRO has a standing policy of offering refunds to anyone who thinks their expedition was a scam. Of the 4,500 participants over the last 8 years .... not one person has asked for a refund because they thought the trip was a scam. That's a fact, and that should tell you something.
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Old 26th March 2012, 11:31 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by parnassus View Post
a spirited discussion about the BFRO group in Arkansas cited for no permit by National Park Service. One commenter responded (can't vouch for this):
Umm hmmmm, I guess no evidence was provided?
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Old 26th March 2012, 11:53 AM   #38
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I think it may be related to the Stockholm syndrome.
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Stockholm Syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes "strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other."
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Old 26th March 2012, 12:32 PM   #39
clayflingythingy
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If the 4500 person figure is accurate...4,500 x $300 = $1,350,000.

Of which I suspect little, if any, is reported to Uncle.

I think I need a new handle, an "sighting", and then I can lead expeditions into the Boone National Forest @ $300 per person. I'll be more generous than the BFRO and at least supply stale donuts for breakfast.
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Old 26th March 2012, 04:43 PM   #40
AlaskaBushPilot
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Originally Posted by parnassus View Post
I think it may be related to the Stockholm syndrome.
No question that there is a "bonding" going on at these scam expeditions. People are self-selecting to them too: skeptics are not going to pay $3-500 to be lectured on something they know does not exist. You have people real excited to meet a "bigfoot expedition guide" ie scammer. The embarassment and shame of admitting you were willingly duped - that will discourage a lot of people from getting up and waving their arms to call attention to it complai ning. But I doubt there are that many dissatisfied customers. The fact they paid hundreds of dollars to stay at a ten dollar campground a couple miles from town - once you have met that standard it follows logically you will stick your head in a toilet if I tell you that brown stuff is gold.


A skeptic crashing party would be hilarious. If they are announcing a bigfoot expedition in a park like this, they can prohibit no-one else from being there. All you need to know is when it is, and you make your own individual camping reservation. They can't stop you from filming or recording, or if they are hiking public trails from following along.

If I recall, they actually announced a cap on the number of people on some of the BFRO expeditions - but they can't prohibit the public from being at a public park. You have constraints like the number of camping sites or RV slots, and they can reserve things like pavilions to themselves. But there are no bigfoot brownshirt storm troopers that can march you out of the park for being there at the same time they are.

I'd want to wear the suit and appear on the bluff at dusk.
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