Intellect vs. emotion

This, I believe, is truly what is at the heart of the gulf between witnesses and researchers. Each side is speaking from the only place they know… but they are speaking very different languages.

Those who have not had personal, up-close experiences with Sasquatch languish in ivory towers expounding intellectually upon things with which they have little or no direct experience. Long-term witnesses express frustration when they interact with these folks who would presume to “know” that witnesses cannot possibly be experiencing that which they claim and ridicule them for it. Witnesses experience fear and anger when those who have never stood face-to-face with a Sasquatch soliloquize about the “necessity” for study, a body, a specimen. From the researcher/scientists perspective, it is not at all an emotional issue. But to the witness, who has come to know this proposed “specimen” as an INDIVIDUAL, who has often had life-altering experiences, who has been affected at their core from their interaction with this individual, it is impossible to separate emotion from the subject because they feel EMPATHY.The witnesses react emotionally and they are ridiculed for that as well. For their lack of “objectivity”.

Ironically, it seems that witness are successful because they feel empathy. I have learned, time and time again from my own experiences and from those of other witnesses, that the key ingredient to an increasingly close interaction with the Sasquatch is the willingness to allow them to remain in control of the situation. This requires empathy on our part. We must stand there in the dark, knowing that we’re facing something that could easily kill us with a single swipe of its powerful hand, yet remain passive, with the understanding that the individual who is standing before us requires us to do so in order to gain their trust. In order to gain trust, you must be trustworthy. If we are successful in providing them with the comfort of control, we are often rewarded with increased MUTUAL interaction.

I have a certificate in Early Childhood Education. In college, I learned that the ability to feel empathy is something that is developed in early childhood. Very young children are naturally self-absorbed; It’s all about me-me-me-me. They begin to learn that other people have feelings, needs, wants and desires too, but it is a slow process. As I sit here writing this blog, my beautiful 5 year-old little girl sits on my bed, watching her morning preschool program. During the commercial breaks, she begins jabbering at me about something she’s thought of. I listen, and answer her. And then I say, “Honey, Mom is doing her work. I’ll be done in a little while, but if you want to be in here, you need to be quiet, remember?”  She says, “OK, Mom.” And, as soon as the next commercial break comes, she starts talking to me again. I chuckle. You can only be patient with a 5 year-old. They are still developing the ability to feel empathy for others – to acknowledge and remember that others’ feelings and needs are important, too.

Last night, after we’d gotten home from a long, exhausting day in town, I settled down on the couch for a bit and fell asleep… and woke to a crashing sound in the kitchen. “I’m sorry I woke you, Mom,” Rowan said. “I was cleaning up so you could rest.” I had tears in my eyes. My girl is learning empathy.

Rowan tidying the kitchen

A researcher says to a witness, “I don’t care if you want to protect Sasquatch. I want to prove that they exist. If you claim all these interactions and can supposedly gather that proof, why won’t you? Why should I believe you if you don’t?” The researcher simply cannot fathom having the ability to PROVE the existence of Sasquatch and not doing so.

The researcher cannot empathize with the fact that the witness is empathizing with the Sasquatch.

The witness explains. “I don’t care about proof. I KNOW they exist. I see them often. I just wanted to try to share with you what I’ve learned about them, because I care about them and I don’t like the fact that you’re running around trying to shoot one/film them/exploit them. I understand that you haven’t interacted with one personally. But I hope that if I can make you understand what they’re like, that they deserve our respect, you’ll leave them alone, or at least learn to interact with them mutually.”

The researcher responds. “Where’s your pictures? Where’s your proof? I don’t believe you.” He turns to the other researchers. “Hey, look at this guy! He claims to be interacting with a Sasquatch but provides no proof. ”

The bullying and ridicule begin.

Sometimes it’s overt. Sometimes it is disguised as unemotional, intellectual discourse that disintegrates into nit-picking, semantic argument intended to inflame, embarrass or manipulate the witness into “putting up or shutting up”. In either case, it lacks empathy.

Meanwhile, the witness recognizes and feels deeply frustrated over the irony that the reason the researcher has had little luck in the field is that very lack of empathy. If the researcher could, for just a little while, put away their desire to be intellectually impressive, semantically “correct” and in control (in other words, wanting to be RIGHT based on little or no actual personal knowledge), they might actually approach the subject in a way that would benefit them with meaningful interaction that might answer some of their questions. It won’t provide them with an opportunity for proof, though. That would require the researcher being in control of the interaction with the Sasquatch, which is counterproductive to interaction. But the researcher WANTS proof. So they try to remain in control. Round and round it goes, leaving researchers chasing their tails for the last 50 years.

My dad has a saying… “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?” It’s not just good advice in marriage… it’s pertinent to bigfoot research, too. ;)

See, the witness knows something the researcher doesn’t; not the other way around. The witness has first-hand knowledge that the researcher wants desperately. But the witness recognizes that they’re fighting a losing battle trying to communicate something that the researcher DOES NOT WANT TO HEAR because it won’t answer the question that the researcher is asking (IF they are, not WHAT they are), so the witness clams up and slips back into obscurity. It’s no skin off their nose. They still don’t need proof because they’re still having their experiences and they don’t feel the need to prove it to anyone else. Ticked off at a researcher’s arrogance and lack of empathy, witnesses will sometimes smugly get off that parting shot, reminding the researcher that because they are a witness they don’t need proof, which then REALLY frustrates the researcher because his fear is that the witness really did have the ability to produce the goods and simply wouldn’t produce them…. for reasons the researcher STILL cannot fathom. Again, for lack of empathy. The researcher is pissed because he couldn’t manipulate the witness… in other words, couldn’t CONTROL him.

And in the midst of our getting caught up in differences of perspective between humans, we forget the most important thing of all: Sasquatches don’t give a flying rat’s patootie whether you’re educated, intellectually superior or really good at arguing semantics. They don’t care that you want proof of their existence. They only care whether you’re a control freak or not. They only care about your ability to empathize with them and interact accordingly. It’s how they survive in spite of us.






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32 replies on “Intellect vs. emotion”

  1. Sava Mathou says:

    Great article and very well written. You really do understand how we feel as long term witnesses. I think you captured it very well. Keep the great articles coming!

  2. Janice says:

    I love this…you are so right. I find the same barriers in working with animals…if you get to wrapped up in “feelings” then you’re accused of “anthropomorhpism”…but isn’t that what makes us human? Our feelings…our empathy? Our compassion? Anybody can study an animal or an environment…but having a connection to it…and being able to understand it…that is more valuable than anything in my opinion!! Sometimes it is scary, I mean sitting next to a 500lb. gorilla who could easily kill you…yep that takes huevos! but that’s what Dian Fossey learned…it’s what Jane Goodall knows…and it is why women are better at this stuff…well most women anyway!

  3. That was beautiful and powerfully put, Janice. Thank you!

  4. Kurt Moser says:

    Very good stuff. I am your student. Tell me more.

  5. Thom says:

    Autumn… you’ve written many wondrous and beautiful things over the years I’ve known you, but this is DEFINITIVE! I guarantee you that it is RIGHT ON in your interpretations. I can guarantee you that this is precisely my mental and emotional reaction to the typical “researcher”…

    Once, recently, I was in the company of a group of individuals from a nationally known research organization. I explained exactly the process one needs to follow and endure if that one would wish audience with our gentle primal people. I explained the concept of having a teacher and how it affects my life. One of these individuals, a retired military officer, stated that he would like to have a teacher of his own, how should he go about it?

    One of the first concepts required in this quest is the ability and even the desire to let THEM be in charge. The first thing one must realize is that we cannot control the interactions with this Primal People. Somehow, the image of a high ranking officer submitting his will to one of the Primal People so amused me that I nearly laughed aloud.

    I have been through this “proof” scenario so many times that it has become laughable. It is so much as you have described it here as to make me think you have picked the information directly from my brain…

    Things being as they are for now, I am content to let the researchers go on banging on trees and screaming into the dark as they attempt to convince themselves that this will somehow entice our Primal People to trust them enough to initiate contact… As Willie Edwards says in “Swamp People” … “if you think you can come here and do this… Good luck to ya…”

  6. John Cox says:

    I started experiencing Sasquatch, and all the hoopla, since 1972, awhile after returning from Vietnam. I have found over the years Ideology versus Reality the controversy. The benefits, as well as the negative, become significant, but certainly not intolerable what so ever. Keep in mind intellect is nothing more than a perception, or an experience into an acceptable ideology into one’s own mind, or self-preservation. Acceptability, whether myth or reality, the same. Some things best left unsaid, as we each can decipher things before us, over-indulgence is simply a waste of time and a step into anger or cloaking our minds from the journey, or the road we are following. The Search is from one’s heart, everything else is secondary, and that also includes intellectual ignorance as well. I cover southern Oregon, Klamath Falls to the coast and Northern California, and find it significant in all aspects toward the Search for Bigfoot. In this capacity the intellectual simply does not survive for long in this rough environment, with Reality taking a firm stance into observation and recording of data.

  7. Powerful. A must read. I am fortunate in that for some reason the Sasquatches with time and trust are allowing me to do both. I feel some days like the luckiest person in the world as a result of it. Like a dog senses your fear, the Sasquatches sense your intentions good or bad and will act upon it accordingly. There is a very simple premise here, it is better to give than to receive. Your heart must be in the right place. Good job, Autumn. Mike J-SIR

  8. Another fantastic writing Autumn & I so enjoy how you show your personal feeling within your words. I myself try to accomplish this because I feel this is the correct way to try & touch another’s Soul, to try to get them to sit down & think of the maybe. I myself prefer the term Sasquatch Researcher over Bigfoot hunter, but I do have more of an understanding of who the Forest Friends are. I do not believe that all that use the term Bigfoot hunter are out to kill one of these amazing People that live in the wilds, but that is what it represents to me.

  9. The major difference is some of us our trying our best to always be their friends and have their best interest in mind, while others just blindly chasing them around. Which would you invite into your home?

  10. Ravenmadd says:

    buddy great points and one more point many blessings and seasons cheers to you and yours…….

  11. Len says:

    I could be wrong, and I apologize if I am, but its seems like long term witnesses don’t get that everyone else who hasn’t seen a Sasquatch would also like to see what they look like too. I personally would be happy with a good close-up picture or video. Thanks to long term witnesses, we can understand them better and I believe witnesses and I’m glad that they have these experiences, but the rest of us may never see one personally, so please help the rest of us have some of the satisfaction you have.

  12. Joyce Backus says:

    I couldn’t help but think of the behavior of some of our politicians in Washington as I read your blog this morning. Empathy, the salve of relationships, seems to have gone by the wayside on a pretty base level in our society. Respect for one another and working together for the ultimate goal might just be a worthy New Year resolution across the board.
    Thank you for your thoughtful blog.

  13. Thom says:

    Len… will take you to the best video ever! Please enjoy it… and trust it.

  14. Summer says:

    Hmm… Witnesses versus Researchers, Emotions versus Intellect, Heart versus Head.

    I completely empathize with you on this.

    I know how enormously frustrating and infuriating that kind of “mental-ity” can be. I agree with everything you said. People are lost in their head, its like some disease or something, but unfortunately because its so wide spread its perceived as respectable and worse valued as the height any serious investigator ought seek to attain. The one’s who ought to be respected, appreciated and valued, “the witnesses” are bizarrely the ones at the bottom of this value based perception. Not in my book though. Witnesses are the most valuable, most honourable and respectable individuals involved in this phenomenon. They “earn” their right of interaction by the manner in which they conduct themselves in the field as well their own lives. Their virtue and character is what opens them to the possibility of exactly this kind of experience and thus commands the very highest degree of respect and admiration from any and everyone who is interested.

    The fact that the common researcher is almost entirely in antithesis to this understanding, says everything about the level of respect they hold for themselves as well as anybody or being else in the world. It kind of says everything about our world doesn’t it? And about Humanity in General. You could say there is severe deficiency of humanity, in humanity. A lot of the Methodology in so-called researchers prevents exactly the kind of research and evidence they are attempting to discover. You’re absolutely right, its all their fault and they just keep chasing their tales for all eternity completely denying that they are, or that their methods, approach and empathy may need some serious consideration and development before they proceed any further with their research. I guess this is one of those secrets that keep themselves, in that the approach to these beings is part of the knowledge you will acquire through interacting with them. It’s not something that most people would understand or appreciate or even be interested in. But to those like you Autumn, its it’s own special gift. A gift you give yourself. Those who can’t accept or grasp the example, the model you’ve created by virtue of your own personal approach are simply not welcome, nor welcoming and thus that door automatically locks itself without the key of your heart’s understanding to open it. And in the end this is the most valuable form of knowledge to own, one that is centered in the heart.

    Thank you for you blog, you’re a blessing and a credit to your profession. Your approach is one that’d be wise to appreciate, understand and still wiser to implement as part of any knowledge a researcher may seek.

  15. Fuzzy says:

    Lady A…Please please please please please – write another collection of your literary magic for all of us, a compendium of your pithy comments and observations, a collection of your powerful Autumnisms for posterity…

    Your distaff viewpoint gives the subject balance…

    Oddly, it is the skeptics who really need your words.

  16. Laura says:

    Very well written and so true. Intelligent beings will forget what you say and they will forget what you do. But they will never, ever forget the way that you made them Feel.

  17. Joisey Gene says:

    Autumn , I think the tree looks great I really like the “Bubble Candle Lights” favorites!..:) Ho Ho Ho Mele Kalikimaka !

  18. Mike says:

    You are spot on Autumn, I think that the longer you stand there the more “he” can sense your moods through the old J.O. and then “he” decides the next move, either to make you fearful, uncomfortable, or peaceful,so everything is on their terms,as it should be. No experience, just surmising.

  19. Chanda says:

    Thank you. That said it very well. You nailed it so perfectly. I wish you could post this on EVERY single forum out there. Beautiful. *big hugs* Thank you again. Love.

  20. Pat Dixon says:

    OMG, U are SO RIGHT!…That is exactly the way I have felt, these last 10 yrs! It’s been very enlightning, and interesting, to say the least. I, too, rather stay ‘low profile’, due to my own expriences.
    TY, for this Blog…it’s refreshing to know, that there are others ‘witnesses/habitators’, that I can personally, relate to.
    Pat in ID

  21. Bing says:

    I work around and with scientists everyday. I have a BS in environmental sciences with a focus on marine ecosystems. I am a Long Term Witness of Sasquatches. I have told some of my science friends about a Sasquatch experience I had. My science friends laughed and scoffed me when I did. I experienced the same feedback from non-scientists. I don’t tell much of my experiences to anyone except to close family and very very close friends.

    Creating barriers between science/researchers and Sasquatch witnesses does not create harmony. People on both sides need to work on building consensus. We need to build a bridge of mutual respect and understanding. We need leadership to build that bridge.

    I am glad in a lot of ways that I do have a science background. I can understand why the science/researchers behave and think the way they do when they listen to a LTW tell their story. Personally, I hope that someday that my science education, work experience, environmental protection work and Sasquatch experiences will assist everyone to mutually understand how to work peacefully with each other. In this way I hope to develop a means to protect Sasqautch from harm.

    Writing and saying this in this Blog give me peace of mind.

  22. Dennis says:

    Hi Autumn. Thank you for writing this blog and thank you for having the courage to write and publish “Enoch”. My only experience with Sasquatch has been information from the news media. I was a teenager when the PG film came out and
    I remember seeing it and thinking “Wow!, it sure looks real to me”. The economy put me out of work last year so with time on my hands I began reading. I had the good fortune to buy Robert Morgan’s “Soul Snatchers” and then your book “Enoch”. Two amazingly well written books that radically changed my thinking on the subject. Your ability to express yourself so well in writing combined with your experiences with LTWs and a willingness to share information provide an invaluable asset to the Sasquatch people and to curious folks who want to learn more. Thank You.

  23. Bill says:

    Scientists deal in theories and measurements. They do not “prove” theories. They can falsify theories based on analysis of data. As far as I know, no credible scientist has disproven the existence of bigfoot. Plenty have pontificated on bigfoot’s existence based on assumptions they and others have come to believe as facts. Witnesses on the other hand do not require proof. Their witness experience is the only “proof” they require other than the satisfaction of being right in the eyes of the non-witness. If you have witnessed a bigfoot, you are indeed fortunate. If you are looking for the satisfaction of being right in the eyes of non-witnesses, you are in for a lot of frustration. Happy Holidays….Bill

  24. Good blog Autumn and I agree with you 100%.

    I have been trying to think of good way to describe these creatures besides using Sasquatch, Bigfoot or Squatch like I use a lot (sorry Autumn). I like the term that Thom used in his comment… “Primal People”. I think that hits the nail on the right on the head!

  25. Jim says:

    My childhood encounters led me to get a degree in anthropology. But I quickly learned to keep my mouth shut in front of scientists and laymen alike. It didn’t stop me from learning. those encounters gave me the passion to do what I needed to do. But only my closest friends know what I experienced. It’s so comforting to know I’m not alone.

  26. Regan Lee says:

    Autumn, a beautiful article! (I didn’t know you have an ECE degree; so do I! :)

    I always appreciate what you have to say, and say so eloquently, about the witnesses, as well as Sasquatch of course.

  27. stewart says:

    I couldn’t stop reading your article Autumn. It was so on the money with what I had to contend with last year after having a family group approach to within 15 feet of me. I knew I was being blessed with a once in a lifetime experience even if no one else accepted or believed me!

    I am truly thankful for the experience and now watch many so-called experts run in circles, never close to being accepted by the Forest People.

  28. Lee says:

    You speak to my heart. Thank you! I have contact. Where I used to live, I had considerable contact and made friends. Every time I’d start to doubt that the experiences were real, wonder if it was some sort of interdimensional experience, they would show me something more. It went from hearing, to exchange of gifts, whether it was hair, scat, or unusual feathers, but still, I’d start doubting again. I thought if I saw them I’d have no more doubts. So I saw them. And yet still later, I doubted my eyes. Then they left me physical evidence of their bodies. Every time, they responded with more and more ‘proof’. The most precious thing they gave me, left in our ‘spot’ was a tooth. Also I have a bone, maybe it’s a finger, I’m no expert.

    These people have the capacity to prove their existence. I have the capacity to send in material for DNA studies. But all the groups I’ve found are full of weird backbiting control freaks seeking attention. Do I need that?

    No, I don’t. I won’t even use my real first name here. I’d rather be anonymous like them.

    What would being recognized do for them? We all know how uncontacted tribes have faired after first contact. Do you think they’d get protection? I don’t. Imagine what the researchers will do once their existence is proven? All they want is to be left alone. The only thing is, they may have something to offer us that will help us live more harmoniously on the earth. But for that, we need to be ready. We’re not ready as long as, as you say, we want to stay in control. Bravo. Good post.

    I came here because I was wondering whether I ought to send in the material I have for DNA study. I pretty much concluded that I don’t need to or want to do that. Thanks for your input.

  29. Lee says:

    Are there compelling reasons to turn in items for DNA analysis? If so, what are they? What is likely to happen to the Sasquatch if DNA proves their existence? Can the DNA prove they are human? Would that stop people from hunting and killing them? Would proof of their existence cause researchers to leave them alone? What do people here think? If you had materials that could be analyzed, would you turn it in for testing?

  30. Dennis P. says:

    Autumn-The work you do here is inspiring and heartrending at the same time. As a believer, I understand where you are coming from in your concern for the acceptance and peaceful co-existance with this creature.

    Since I was a little boy I have been fascinated by the stories of Sasquatch. I saw every movie, watched every television documentary and read every book I could get my hands on. Over the years, many theories have been shot down, photos, video and foot-print casts have been dismissed. Always, science seems to back away from the subject of Sasquatch. But, what was funny was, that as the years went by, my interest in Bigfoot changed from finding him (like so many that go out there looking for prints and hair samples and blood to test DNA) to wanting to understand him.

    Firstly: If he (and when I say “he” I really mean “they” as I know that there are many, and many tribes, of them scattered around the globe) has remained undetected, definatively, for so long, why do trackers and researchers and hunters not get the point that he will remain that way for as long as he wants to keep it up? The species moves in stealth, they are masters of the art. Sure, time and again he appears accidentally and some lucky person catches a sight of him crossing a road or drinking from a stream, etc. But, nobody has brought back a body. Nobody has gotten the clear camera shot. Nobody has caught him in a trap.

    There is a reason for this.

    He doesn’t want to get caught and he’s far smarter about his surroundings than we are.

    Secondly: The definative proof that he exists, at least in the Northern/Pacific area of the United States, has been with us since 1967 and even after Patterson and Gimlin showed that famous film, very few “true” scientists have bolted to the woods looking for him. The evidence of his existence is massive. The Patterson film has been mulled over, analyzed and picked apart for decades and the final word is that what is seen in those frames is the real deal. No Hollywood costumer and make up artist could pull it off. No scientific re-enactment could ever duplicate the stride and gaite of that creature. Digital enhancements of the footage testify that the musculature could not be faked and that the length of the creatures arms and legs are closer to that of an ape than they are to a man. The region that the Patterson film was shot has had many sightings both before and since that fateful day in the late sixties and Patterson, from what we know of his personality, was no liar.

    Hundreds upon thousands of witnesses have seen him and described him. EVERY native American tribe has a name for him and, in some cases, revere him as a God. Theodore Roosevelt, a man of great intellect and knowledge of the outdoors believed the tales told to him about the creature (does anyone want to dispute the word of the greatest President this country ever saw?).

    So, what does it take? Do we really need to kill an innocent to quench the thirst of curiosity of a bunch of geeks in white jackets that discredit good, level-headed, law abiding citizens across this nation.

    The facts are simple. If the powers that be in this country really WANTED to pursue an all out “definitive” investigation to prove the existance of this creature they would have done so with such force and numbers that it would resemble a massive military procedure like the early parts of Desert Storm. It would be quick and all encompassing. It would have targeted the major hot spots and those targets would be flooded with so many investigators of a kind that anything looking to hide would find their attempts futile at best.

    Simply put, the powers that be already know what they need to know and they are settled in their comfort of knowledge. They don’t need to search for Sasquatch because he doesn’t threaten anyone or anything. He’s not stopping production or construction. He’s not killing children or kidnapping people for ransom. He’s neither a terrorist or rebel. Sasquatch is a simple creature whose only lot in life is to live in peace and one with nature. The powers that be know he’s out there and are just fine with him staying out there. To me, if they’re alright with this then I am too.

    Recently, this want to capture Sasquatch or track him down for postive identification has hit an hysterical fever pitch. The show, FINDING BIGFOOT, while having some sensational entertainment allure, is really just a method of cashing in on his legend. The show always comes up empty handed, is poorly constructed, and provides no real scientific accuracy in the field-researchers tactics to spot or record him. Matt Moneymaker, the head of the BFRO, is a gung-ho putz who has no scientific background, uses no proven methodology and, at times, buckles under pressure and confusion in a tense situation. The shows network, ANIMAL PLANET, has been known to edit the material for sensationalistic effect and not all the facts to the footage is given the viewer. Combine the facts that the BFRO team never stay in one spot long enough to collect enough tangible evidence or that the group that makes up the cast of the show are usually willing to say “yes” to every sighting tale they come across and the whole thing comes off as mound of B.S. (only Ranae, the female of the four, is a biologist with any credibility and she’s the skeptic!).

    What I am trying to get at is really rather simple, cut and dried. The evidence of his existence is there. Patterson laid to rest any doubts the moment he picked up that movie camera more than four decades ago.

    You either accept what is on that film or you don’t. Nobody with any real scientific credibility of the highest order is going to mount a full scaled attack to find him. FINDING BIGFOOT won’t last long (Thank God) as the ratings for a show that offers up a red herring every week will usually tank and make sure the show is doomed to failure (remember, American television watchers want excitement not dead ends). Those that are lucky enough to see him should rest easy knowing that he will be left to live as he always has. For those that encounter him regularly, just feel blessed that God has picked you to carry the knowledge that another wonderful, amazing creature of this does, indeed, exist.

    I envy those that have made company with him.

    Dennis P. (a true believer)
    Fairview N.J.
    January 20, 2012

    P.S.-Autumn. I just ordered ENOCH through and I cannot wait to crack this book open!!!! Thank you so much for all your wonderful writing and insights on this amazing web-site. Sasquatch has a real friend here.

  31. Linda Sedlak says:

    Thank you for this thought provoking post. I agree with you, and I applaud your understanding of these magnificent creatures. Hopefully one day there will be laws passed to protect them from hunters.

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