If you bring up the words "nonbeliever" or "skeptic" in most cryptozoology circles (though it seems Bigfoot in particular), you will be met with copious amounts of backlash. I recently saw something on this subject on the Crypto Crew website in a post entitled "The Bigfoot Deniers." In it, Crypto Crew founder/head Thomas Marcum went on a bit of a rank about those who will steadfastly deny that Bigfoot exists. He noted the many times he has seen people who don't think a gigantic, hair-covered man-thing walks the forests of North America have been on Facebook chat groups and the like and denied any possibility of Bigfoot existing. He quotes the commonly used "a hunter will say they are always in the woods and have never seen Bigfoot" and argues that, just because they haven't seen Bigfoot, that "doesn't make it any less real." Or does it?
He then goes onto the common believer argument that "they [nonbelievers and such] will not even look at the evidence." There have been thousands of footprint casts taken and thousands of eyewitness reports. Okay, then, why is that all there is?
Marcum argues that nonbelievers are only the way they are because they do not "know" that Bigfoot actually exists like witnesses and believers. But how can any of these people "know" Bigfoot exists if there is no scientific evidence and it has never been proven? Yes, there have been reports of strange, Bigfoot-like things in the United States for a very, very long time (and this is something I wrote about in my latest book), but it's 2018, the world is more civilized and technological than ever, and still, Bigfoot is the monster in the woods that can't be found.
I'd like to point out that Marcum's main argument against nonbelievers really can't help believers at all. People who don't think Bigfoot is real just think that because they won't look at the evidence, he says. But is the "evidence" for Bigfoot actually evidence? The answer - no.
Let's take a look as to why. We'll look at Marcum's two he mentions in his post - tracks and eyewitness accounts - and, I'll throw in the Patterson film as well, since it is considered by many to be the "holy grail" of Bigfoot evidence.
First, the tracks and footprint casts. Yes, there are many of them. And, yes, they are easy to fake. Some may argue this by saying "yes, but some of them are so anatomically correct that they could not be faked." Why not? Why couldn't someone use something other than the stereotypical "wooden foot" to creature a fake footprint? And so what if there are "dermal ridges" on the bottom that look different than human? If they are actually dermal ridges and are from something unknown, we still don't know what it is.
Second, eyewitness accounts. It has been proven time and time again that eyewitness accounts are unreliable and a witness's memories of an event usually differ from what actually happened. So, why are "eyewitness accounts" the main thing cryptozoological investigators point to as evidence when asked why this-or-that cryptid is real? "There's too many for them to not be an actual [insert favorite cryptid]," they will say. Yes, there are lots, especially Bigfoot reports, but eyewitness accounts are not accepted as evidence in any science. An eyewitness accounts is a claim that someone saw something - having nothing at all to back it up does not make it trustworthy at all.
Lastly, the P-G film, which I thought would be appropriate to add to this discussion. The film is often hailed as the best evidence ever for Bigfoot. And that is a very bad thing. First of all, it's been almost 51 years and no one has been able to conclusive prove or disprove the authenticity of the film. Sure, some have looked at it and said it definitely shows a real animal, but just as many others have looked at it and said it does not (and this applies to other cryptid "evidence" as well). As an example, on the series finale of Finding Bigfoot last Sunday, part was filmed at the 50th anniversary celebration of the PG film and it showed Bill Munns, who wrote a book saying the film was authentic, when he was given a talk on the film. He had gotten several copies and put them together to get a clearer picture. Everyone in the audience gasped and applauded. But Munns only made the picture a little brighter - and a tiny bit more clear - and that still does not prove whether the film is authentic or not.
I think the biggest problem I have with the P-G film is that it was taken over 50 years ago. Since that time, no one has been able to get a clear video of Bigfoot that is not a definite hoax. And this is what hurts the film's (and Bigfoot's) credibility the most. Now, almost everyone is carrying around cameras in their pockets (constantly) that are many times better than the one Patterson had that day. And yet, no one else has managed to get a clear video of a sasquatch. If Bigfoot were real and out there, you would expect that someone would have by now. But I'm sure some believer has very good reasons to explain why there has not been.
One last thing I'd like to point out is some thoughts from my friend and fellow researcher Colin Schneider. Regarding nonbelievers, he correctly points out, most are online trolls trying to get people riled up. And, lots of fighting takes place within the groups themselves over person differences. But this is all something people must get past if they wish to ever get real answers to this cryptozoological mystery, and others as well.
But, the fighting and arguing will go on. People will question the existence of Bigfoot and other cryptids, and believers will stick to their pieces of "evidence" that are not so, and in turn will not listen to what the skeptical people have to say because it goes against their beliefs, the same thing the get upset about other people doing.
I'd be very interested to hear my readers' thoughts on the "believers vs. nonbelievers/skeptics" debate, especially those on the believers side.