Bigfoot and Cryptid Investigations - Analysis and Conclusions
Once you have completed gathering your data it's time to determine what it is that was experienced. In the case of Bigfoot or a creature sighting that often requires some knowledge of animal behavior. The first step is to rule out a misidentification of some animal which is native to the area. Often a careful examination of any photos or an open minded approach to the witness description will help in that regard.
One of the most common forms of evidence regarding Bigfoot or a creature sighting is a photograph taken by the witness. And one of the most prominent features of these photos is location. They often are viewing a wooded area, and claims are made that a creature can be seen among the trees. But what we have here is a perfect set up for pareidolia.
The leaves and shadows provide a mottled background which with a bit of imagination can easily reveal many things, faces, cliffs, and even a creature if one looks hard enough. Then consider the clarity of the picture. Are the edges of objects well defined or a bit fuzzy? Can you see individual leaves near the "creature" or are they just a varied intensity of green? If they are slightly blurred the creature image is also slightly blurred. And as such detail is lacking, it is another way to promote pareidolia.
See for yourself. Take a look at the top picture below before viewing the lower one. It has been reduced in resolution to the level of many cell phone cameras. Bigfoot is circled. You might also see if you can observe any other objects in the image.
Then view the lower image. The resolution is that of a midlevel point and shoot camera where some detail may be seen. Note how the reduced resolution of Bigfoot in the top picture has clearly become branches in the trees. This demonstrates the importance of not jumping to conclusions.
The next consideration is any physical evidence. If you have tracks or impressions are they identified? You may want to check a reference manual for large cats such as mountain lions or even bobcats you can easily compare the tracks to those given in the guide. Your local game commission has information available that you might obtain at little or no cost regarding animals native to your area.
If you have obtained any hair samples they too may be compared with those in a reference manual or the game commission office. Sometimes though the sample may not be easily identified. it may have been damaged or exposed to the elements and difficult to use. For this you can contact someone in a biology department who may be able to do a more in depth analysis based on DNA or chemical composition of the sample. This is one case where expert contacts come in to play. They can often resolve the type of animal the sample came from. Most animal sighting turn out to be common animals native to your locale. This is why your first step is to rule these out; often this resolves your case and it need go no further.
Your other observations also are a part of the evidence. If you made casts or did compression tests of any imprints they can be used to determine the approximate size and weight of the creature. Even if you have no other physical evidence, tracks or impressions can be used to identify the common animals that are often responsible for these sightings.
A special consideration must be given for snow. If you have tracks found in snow you need to be aware that as snow melts the tracks enlarge. A track from a common house cat may seem to be from a much larger animal if melting is taking place. What doesn't change is the stride. The distance between the tracks will remain constant and is a good indication of the size of the animal which made them. factor this in to your final results.
Once resolved, submit your logs and photos of the test to the client along with your final report. If you obtained any physical evidence as a part of your investigation, it too should be returned. The client should read your summary and state any comments. If he disagrees, then he should provide some reason why. If his reasoning raises any doubts you may want to consider looking into that, otherwise your work is done. Advise the client if anything new develops you will be available to look into that as it happens.