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Why Bigfoot Does Not Have to Be Real

I think about this often. So many people believe in things that cannot be proven, and all paranormal mysteries fall into this bucket, including religious beliefs. Religion is for sure a paranormal topic, but it is so bound with human history that it is more widely accepted than other supernatural or paranormal belief.

Belief in a god — or in the idea that prayers are somehow answered by an unseen spirit being, blessed water is somehow holy, or rosary beads actually have any power — are really no different than the belief that an EMF detector confirms the presence of ghosts, dowsing rods locate water, or that a creature yet undiscovered by anthropologists and zoologists exists in the woods of North America and elsewhere.

My goal of this post is not to dissect belief or condemn those who believe in gods or ghosts or monsters. People believe in stuff, for many reasons. My goal here is to ask why we need to believe at all?

For the past 10 years or so I've been trying to understand why I still have such a passion for the unexplained, especially for Bigfoot, and yet not believe any of it anymore. I even dig the idea of Dogmen roaming around in Michigan too, a werewolfy twist on mysterious man-beasts that began in the late 90s and got a boost into popular culture in the early 2000s with Linda Godfrey's book The Beast of Bray Road. I just love this stuff.

Some may laugh at this but I don't really care. I don't believe in it, but I am really enthralled by it. Hell, I want to pack up my gear, hitch up my travel trailer and take a camping trip around the Pacific Northwest with my wife to search for Bigfoot. Maybe even take a trip to Michigan to see if we can spot any Dogmen. After all, if these creatures are out there you need to be out there to spot them right?

Funny enough, my wife actually entertains the idea, even though she has absolutely no interest in things like this. She just figures it would be fun to do, whether or not Bigfoot is real.

Why are these "mysteries" such a lure for me? No idea. Maybe it's just the whole campfire tale thing, the excitement of wondering. I don't think these creatures are real, but damned if I don't want them to be!

I guess it's just that kid spirit alive and well inside, yearning for exploration and adventure. And on some level that is not a bad thing, but sometimes the child can get carried away. Maybe sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of the facts, indeed seek them out, and try to strike a balance between fantasy and reality. It can be done. Fantasy can be appreciated as entertainment. That's what I try to do.

People engage in cosplay to entertain themselves for a time, to pretend. There's nothing wrong with that, but pretending doesn't make stuff real, and that is what we need to remember. It's a difficult thing as an adult to want to pretend sometimes, and then have to get back to real life.

First we need to do our chores, then we can go play.

Pretending can also serve as an escape from troubling parts of reality that we sometimes experience. Sometimes real-life struggles are very hard on us. Life can be such a chore that fantasy becomes the preference, and some of us spend a lot of time in that escape. We'd rather play because it's fun and it makes life a little easier.

We can have fun. We're alive, we deserve fun. Life should be fun. And you know what? If it helps someone to believe in something, anything, who are any of us to strip that away? As long as those beliefs don't lead to the harm or death of others.

There is a thinking part of each human being, at least there should be, that is awake to reality. Sometimes we need to listen to that part and accept, even admit, what it is trying remind us.

There are those who will laugh about the idea of ghost hunters walking into a house with EVP recorders, EMF detectors and thermal imaging equipment, then on Sunday walk themselves into a church and pray to an unseen spirit man who supposedly knows everybody on earth — dead, born and yet unborn — and hears everyone's prayers. Hello. Let's think about this a bit.

We believe wacky things. In the end we're all just people and we need to figure out some way of surviving on this planet without killing each other. The main rift in cultures is a difference in beliefs, not opinion. If we can see beyond our differences and just accept the fact that we are all fumbling, bumbling humans, believers and non-believers alike, maybe things will start to get a little better.

Then Bigfoot and alien UFO occupants from distant planets will see that it is good.

For some further reading on the subject of belief and why we believe check out Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, Why We Believe in Gods: A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith.

And for some fun escape here are some of my fave books and movies on the subject of Bigfoot:





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Jersey Bigfoot Sghtings...

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