My Bigfoot pieces on Doubtful News have been getting some attention. That makes me think that a (balanced) skeptical view is welcome on this topic. For one, it just SCREAMS “skepticism needed,” with even the Bigfoot researchers disgusted at the quality of Bigfoot evidence coming out and the seemingly daily parade of hoaxes.
The up to date news is that the Melba Ketchum study is looking worse every day. The promised high-definition video from the associated Erickson project has yet to appear except for the short clip of what looks like (just saying) a carpet breathing a bit TOO deliberately. And perhaps the face looks a little too like Chewbacca? Hmm.
Last night (2-25-13) I was invited onto the Gralien Report to talk about the possibility that this Ketchum report is another hoax.
I admit I’m not clear on what Melba is doing but I do not believe she knows how scientific publication works and what a good paper is supposed to look like and accomplish. What’s doubly disturbing is that many followers support her REGARDLESS of the evidence that this paper is problematic. There are SERIOUS concerns. Instead of asking questions, there are still several blinders-on supporters who praise her and believe what she has in the study is the proof they’ve all been waiting for. I guess that’s to be expected since Bigfootery does resemble a religion in some instances. Melba loves the support, just keep believing. Unfortunately, regardless how many people believe it, faith does not make something true. When she posted a statement about why the “joke” papers were included, I commented on her facebook page (basically the same what is in the post above regarding HER responsibility for what is in the paper).
My comment was deleted. No matter. It is what it is, and what it is is an embarrassing mess for Ketchum and her coauthors. What the data actually says is yet to be determined.
Advice to Dr. Ketchum: make the data freely available, reveal all, and take your criticism. That’s how it works. Otherwise, you are wasting our time and pissing more and more people off.
Listen to the Gralien report here.
My piece is about an hour in. But before that, I noticed that Micah Hanks’ ideas about UFO research echoes Tim Binnall’s a bit – we have to take a new direction. I agree in principle. Once again, we see that paranormal enthusiasts are not that big a stretch from skeptics if we just each walk a few steps towards the middle. I’m very pleased to have been featured on the Gralien Report, Binnall of America, Parascience Journal, mentioned on Mysterious Universe and also being linked to from Coast to Coast AM. The best part? People don’t hate me. (Well, not everyone.) That’s positive!
Contact me at paskeptic(at)gmail.com
For more: Sounds Sciencey – CSI.
My news piece on the Ketchum study will be out in the next issue of Skeptical Inquirer. And new Sounds Sciencey piece on my interaction with the paranormal audiences will be forthcoming on Sounds Sciencey.