AN ARTICLE BY THE FOREST FLEUR AMBASSADOR, LEVI MACHOVEC
Over the summer, I attended a Bigfoot expedition and was fortunate to meet some great people. I had a fun three-day trip to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in Southwest Wisconsin. The story that I will relay comes from the first of those three nights, which was on Thursday, June 11th. The official expedition was canceled, however, I learned that some of the members were still going out to the same area, albeit with a much smaller group than what would have been there on the official expedition. The area that we searched is an ecologically rich area in Southwest Wisconsin bordering the town of La Farge.
I met up with the group after I finished my shift at work. The group was composed of four individuals who have been members of the organization for many years. It was a unique opportunity for me to meet new people in the middle of a pandemic; most of my spring was spent working on my book so I did not have much time to get out of the house. That meant that I was more than eager than ever to get into the woods for research. Once I met the group, I could tell that the group was full of kind-hearted people, as they accepted me in without hesitation. They were very excited to be out in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. I lived only twenty minutes away from the location whereas the other members lived over three hours away. Needless to say, the group was anxious to get into the woods and look for Sasquatch.
The night started out with us walking up a trail just as darkness descended upon the woods. As we were walking, the forest was full of life; the frogs were croaking, the owls were hooting, and there were many raccoons walking around. About twenty minutes into the walk, we stopped for a while to listen to our surroundings to see if we could pick up on anything in the area. As we stood and waited, we did hear something, although it was very faint. My best guess was that it was an owl in the distance. The other members of the group did not think that an owl was the explanation for the sound that was made: they were convinced that it was a Sasquatch. Later, while in the same location, we heard something walking near us; I used my thermal imager to get a glimpse of it. Once again, they were convinced it was a Sasquatch. However, my thermal imager revealed the identity of the individual to be, not just one, but a family of raccoons walking around.
The night continued with us walking along the same trail for another hour before we headed back to our camp. The rest of the night was uneventful. This night served as an extremely important event for me as I learned something that will stick with me for the rest of my life as I conduct research. That night, I learned that if you want to have a Sasquatch encounter, you will have one. To expand on this point, when your mind is on Sasquatch, you have to be careful not to project Sasquatch into the forest when one is not there. (CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE)
I am confident that there was no Sasquatch in the woods that night, as I could plainly see the raccoons through my thermal imager. Indeed, the sound we heard in the distance was likely an owl, as the woods were still alive when we heard it. A good rule of thumb for anyone conducting research is that when a top predator is in an area, the woods go quiet. It is logical that smaller animals get quiet when something large is in the area due to the fact that making noise would give up the smaller animals’ location. When we heard what I believed to have been an owl, the woods were very much alive. This tells me that the sound we heard did not come from a large animal.
One of the most significant details in Sasquatch encounters indicate that the woods get quiet as they are in an area, whether when they howl or are stalking around someone’s campsite. I write this article to serve as a warning to people researching in the woods. It is of the upmost importance that you remain skeptical during field work. You will have fewer encounters with Sasquatch when you are skeptical, but the encounters you do have will be much more noteworthy. Those who conduct research often talk about the failures of the scientific community with regards to Sasquatch. However, we are no better than the scientific community if we do not hold ourselves to an extremely high standard while conducting research. As much as we tend to hold a negative opinion of them, we still need them if we are to be successful in proving the existence of this species. Afterall, that is the ultimate goal: to prove the existence of the species so conservation efforts can help guarantee their survival. This goal is only achievable with the help of the scientific community, who will only take us seriously if we hold ourselves to as high a standard as they hold themselves to. Although, that does not guarantee that they will take the subject seriously, however if they don’t, holding ourselves to a higher standard will only strengthen our chances of finding this elusive animal.
The most important lesson to learn from this story is that belief is a very dangerous thing. For example, much like a large portion of the population, I was convinced that there was a second shooter on that fateful day in Texas on November 22nd, 1963. While researching the JFK assassination for a school project, I was fully committed to the idea that there was a second shooter. Therefore, I only looked for evidence that reaffirmed my belief. I overlooked extremely significant details due to my mind focusing on the conspiracy. It was only through research, and admitting to myself that I was too focused on a conspiracy, that I found that the evidence points to Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone. The moral of the story is that people are heavily influenced by their belief systems, which can interfere with conducting research. As stated previously, we are quick to denounce the scientific community when they are quick to write off anything Sasquatch related due to their belief that Sasquatch cannot exist. However, we are not as quick to denounce ourselves when we allow our beliefs to interfere with us while we conduct research. It is very difficult to remain skeptical while in the woods. However, the reward will pay off once we have enough evidence to prove the existence of Sasquatch to the world.