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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Funding and Farces

By Jim "Biggjimm" Whitehead, Senior Field Researcher, 
MABRC Western Oklahoma State Director, 
MABRC Mid-South Regional Assistant Director

What is the difference between seeking funds for research and scamming someone out of their hard earned money? Unfortunately, as far as cryptozoological research goes, its a very tight and non distinct line that is as blurry as hell. There are several reasons why this is true, and any researcher worth their salt should be aware of them. 

To start with, one needs to be aware of what real research is. Real research is not simply going out in the woods and sitting around listening for things that go bump in the night. Real research involves an honest attempt to gather data and interpret it, and then add it to the pool of knowledge. This means equipment. Any good researcher will tell you that there area certain tools you will need to gather said data. And these tools are not cheap. Scientists rely on research grants to obtain the equipment that they need. Unfortunately, this path is not available to most cryptozoological researchers. Most researchers are your average working class folk, and simply put cannot afford to buy the equipment that they need to advance their goals. This means that they have to seek the cash to buy equipment on their own.

Most researchers will actively find ways to obtain the needed money. This can include getting loans, saving, buying used equipment, or selling items at conferences and speaking events. There is no issue with that. But a researcher should NEVER ask for donations or set up online accounts designed for collecting money. In the eyes of the Bigfoot community, it immediately raises concerns that the individual is simply trying to get peoples' money and not do any kind of meaningful data collection. Often the researcher's reputation is tarnished if they try to gather donations, and anything they produce is widely thought of as questionable at best, or hoaxed at worst.

The issue again lies in the fact that cryptozoological research is widely regarded as a half witted psuedo-science by the media. In the public's eyes all researchers are scammers, idiots, crazy, or at the very least just plain weird. It appears to most people from the outside looking in that any attempt to ask for donations by a Bigfooter is a scam to get their money. With this kind of scrutiny from both inside and outside the Bigfoot community, a researcher should avoid the temptation to try to take donations at all costs.

1 comment:

  1. I fell for that once while still funding my own research. It wont happen again.