I just came across and article on Doubtfulnews.com where a research team that is looking for Bigfoot is holding "an information session," in Leetonia, Ohio.
This author agrees with Doubtful.The stories shared in this type of forum do not provide any type of evidence, "little presented has been confirmed as actually happening or investigated to see if an alternative explanation could be found." Many who come to these events want to see what people have to say. Some folks come to relate their story. Some who just want attention speak up as well. This is not a good basis to get reliable information on any subject.
Read the article on the problems with this kind of forum here at Doubtfulnews.com. The original article posted here by Youngstown News describes the event.
I have my own encounters with Bigfoot and realize the futility of sharing them. Stories do not prove anything. Eyewitness testimony will never be good enough for science and skeptics so with that in mind I prefer physical evidence. It is harder to come by than these groups think. Much "evidence" is not actually evidence but can be explained away in nature. In Finding Bigfoot the four stars interview groups, get stories and then focus on one or two individuals based on the credibility of the person's statements. Our four stars apparently determine the credibility of the witnesses and that's not good enough for me. They are comprised of three believers and one self-proclaimed skeptic. This does not involve critical thinking to any degree. Granted these stars actually go into some critical thinking in their investigations but when it is all said and done, Bigfoot is the real star and fails to make an appearance every time.
In a direct quote "The presentation will include audio footage as well as plaster foot casts and firsthand experiences from the researchers." In effect they are using what they have in order to bring in more people whether or not it is their intention. This may in turn affect the anecdotal evidence. I cannot say for sure but they are probably also asking for donations. In my opinion this type of meeting does not prove anything outwardly. While there seems to be nothing wrong with this, it brings the idly curious which will not help find Bigfoot. It not only spreads the word that there are more believers but also brings in converts. After all, if so many believe and have had experiences it must be true right?
I am a believer simply because of my own experiences. To many skeptics this means it is closer to a religion than it is to fact. As doubtful put it, "wishful thinking". I have spent enough time in the mountains to know that there are many things that cannot be explained. While I try to understand every noise I hear, every track I find and every bit of sign that I see, I cannot in good conscience say it is all Bigfoot. I know a little of it is but knowing is not good enough without the proof. It is time for someone with a critical eye and ability to think beyond Sasquatch to provide the proof. This means a person that will not accept everything that's odd or out of place as a sign of Bigfoot. My hope is that I am able to bring a valid contribution to all of the misinformation on Bigfoot while providing real physical evidence.