This is an editorial, the Bigfoot Field Guide attempts our best to stay apolitical in the Bigfoot Community, but sometimes, we just can't.
Ryan Reading recently posted a YouTube video (A link is at the bottom of the page for anyone wanting to waste about 8 minutes of your life, we link it because we don't really want to give Ryan a lot of hits for embedding it.) where he basically proclaimed that a super secret Bigfoot Cabal exists. For those who don't know who Ryan Reading is, Ryan come onto the Bigfoot Community scene back in January of this year, with a photo taken in New York with a trailcam.
Description of Cabal -
A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue, usually unbeknown to persons outside their group.
The vast majority of the Community quickly deemed the photo to be of a cross country skier, analysis further backed up this assessment. Ryan became increasingly hostile towards everyone during this period, and made a lot of people bitter towards anything coming from him.
He recently approached other well-known Bigfoot community members and asked to bury the hatchet. Myself, I outlined about 6 steps that if he wanted to get credibility with others in the community and at first I thought he would take that advice to heart. For those interested in what those steps were, I post them here for you to read.
For the love of pete Ryan, you can't be respected until you completely change your ways. You have alienated nearly every influential bigfooter in the community. You have saddled up with some of the worst in the community and that alone has lost you any respect that you think you deserve. You burst on the scene just around 6 months ago and proclaimed yourself an expert, that alone alienates the people that could either make or break you in this community. You need to be humble, you need to show some humility. You do not have the skills, people or technical skills to be telling people about their evidence. You want to be respected? First off, be respectful to those in the community that have been doing this a heck of a lot longer than you have. Melissa Hovey has been doing field research as long as I have, and she has respect for what she has done. People look at you just starting, proclaiming yourself to be an expert after just being on the scene of the Bigfoot Community for about 6 months. That alone doesn't endear you to anybody.
Second, you need to pull away from idiots like Kanney, Benoit, Dyer and anyone else that has a bad reputation. You get a reputation from those you hang with, and right now, your reputation is the same as theirs.
Third, you need to apologize to the whole Bigfoot Community for being so hateful and attacking everyone like you did. You need to show humbleness to the community before you can even start to get respect.
Fourth, stop trying to be the savior of the Bigfoot Community, too many people have tried in the past and it may be talked about for years by all kinds of so-called saviors, and guess what, it won't happen because everyone wants to be the big dogs. Your best bet is to just let it go, worry about yourself and not others. If it will ever happen, it will be because people with name recognition in the community will make it happen.
Fifth, get rid of all the attack videos you have ever posted, and proclaim that you are turning over a new leaf, and want to learn.
Maybe if you listen to people, you will find yourself starting to build up being respected because you listen, not putting people down.
Now Ryan thinks that a Secret Bigfoot Cabal exists that is keeping him from telling the truth about Bigfoot. Folks, I have been in the Bigfoot Research Community for many years, and I can honestly say, those in the Bigfoot Community that Ryan would like for you to believe is in on this conspiracy, are not members of some secret society preventing the truth from being told about Bigfoot. What there is, is a large number of people who have being doing this for years, seeing all the new folks coming into the Community with wild ideas and tales, to just do their own research, not make wild stories up, and show the evidence to back things up.
The Bigfoot Field Guide staff firmly believes in the following mantra:
Many new folks coming into the Community do not do their own research. Too many times, I see people posting items from the past that was proven to be hoaxes by the old timers in the community. When told it was proven to be a hoax, instead of Googling the information for themselves, many will demand that the old timer provide the links to them instead. Or they come up with what they think is an original idea, that has been tried over and over again by the old timers in the community with little success, and when told this, think that the old timers are holding them down.
Folks, if an old timer is telling you something, chances are, we are just trying to lead you in the right direction of learning. It's not some secret Bigfoot Cabal trying to hold you down, chances are, what you are talking about or posting has been around so many years, that the old timers know all about it.
When the new folks start getting rambunctious with the old timers, that is usually where the friction starts. The old timers have really gotten to the point where their patience is really limited with people. This is where Ryan seems to think that the Cabal comes into play, as the old timers tend to circle the wagons with each other, defending each other from attacks from new folks who really have no clue about the history of Bigfooting, or who some of the old timers really are.
I've been doing this for decades, out of 4,000 times plus in the woods my entire lifetime, I have had 26 encounters where I can honestly say, it was a Bigfoot encounter. That is a .004% of the time average of me having an encounter in the woods.
Does this make me an expert? No it doesn't, but I have still tried just about every tactic ever attempted, in some very highly active areas and can say what the results were. I also know my Bigfoot History, as well as investigated every hoax that has come along since I started researching. Does that make me an expert? No, but it makes me well-informed, well-educated in the field of Bigfooting.
I also know most of the old timers in the Bigfoot Community as I have basically grew up with them in the field and online exchanges with them. While I haven't met a lot of them in person, I still consider them friends, and while we may disagree on things at times, they stand like I do, we simply want people to do their research appropriately, and to present factual evidence. And like me, their patience sometimes wears thin with people who demand links and other information that they themselves could Google and get the answers. We all also have thick skins, we learned in the early days of online Bigfooting groups/forums, that you better have a thick skin, there were no "safe" places to hide like many seem to think they deserve. If we said something stupid, the old timers then would put us in our place, and we learned from the experience.
So for Ryan Reading who wants to proclaim there is a super-secret Bigfooting Cabal that is holding him down, Ryan is ultimately responsible for his own downfall. If he would listen to those who have been there before him, be respectful, learn from others mistakes, and stop with all the attack videos he has done about how everyone is against him.
If you want to learn, the old timers will be more than glad to help you, but if you treat them like you know it all, and then act shocked that they get combative with you, it's all about respect, you don't show them respect, so they won't show you respect. A two way street really.