“Backyard Bigfoot”: Final Verdict?

Patterson/Gimlin Bigfoot

Patterson/Gimlin Bigfoot

It seems to many that the “Backyard Bigfoot” incident was nothing more than an elderly man, who might be suffering from dementia, had made up. At least that is the latest news from the various Bigfoot researchers that are looking into the case have concluded.

Bigfoot researcher Sharon Lee wrote the following on her blog:

I just got off the phone after a quite lengthy conversation with the now well known to you, Lan Lamphere of Overnight AM radio.

Overnight AM is an internet talk show that touches on many subjects. A successful radio show is designed to entertain, enlighten, instigate discussions and encourage people to open their minds and consider other points of view.

Lan’s interests have never been Bigfoot oriented as it is well known that he is a UFO enthusiast.

When William Birnes came to his good friend Lan about Mr. Mike, (and yes his name is Mike) they had no idea how cruel and devastating the shark filled waters of Bigfoot Research could be. As I stated in my previous blog post, the people in this field can be quite nasty to one another, even their so-called friends.

Lan wants you all to go away. He doesn’t care if you listen to his show ever again.

The story of Mr. Mike will most likely end tonight as far as Overnight AM is concerned but not without a bang. Overnight AM is not a dedicated Bigfoot show and Lan would like to get on to producing his show as he has done for the past 9 years.

I have a statement from Lan that I would like to pass on to you, the Bigfoot community.

“The reports of Mr. Mike’s encounters with Bigfoot have been highly exaggerated and over exaggerated not on the part of Overnight AM but on the part of Mr. Mike. He is suffering from a form of dementia. Now this is according to the researchers that were there. Whether that is true or not I do not know because I was not there. I only have the Bigfoot community and these researchers inside of it and their integrity and moral compass to go on. That’s all I have. That’s all that anyone who listens to this program has. But there’s more to this story than just hallucinations or chain of events that have led to him reaching out to this radio show and to UFO magazine. There’s more to it than meets the eye. And I think that the story falls within the realm of the pretentious and mean nature of the Bigfoot community as a whole rather than falling back to Mr. Mike’s “alleged” mental illness, hallucinations or instability.”

Overnight AM did not make any claims that this event was real. Mr. Mike’s opinion and testimony was confessed on Overnight AM in his own words.

Did Lan hire a private investigator? Yes. Did the private investigator discover any negative information about Mr. Mike? No. Did the Bigfoot community attack and shred the story as the witness told it? Yes. Do you trust that any Bigfoot Research group is going to tell you the truth about what they found on the property? Even when people in this field turn on each other every day?

Tonight Overnight AM will put the Mr. Mike saga to rest. But rest assured my “friends” the story is not over.

In the words of the infamous Bill Green, “To be continued indeedy!”

And I can guarantee that The Bigfoot Field Reporter will be the only place to get the real story.

More will unfold in the weeks to come, but ask yourself who do you trust? Who can you believe?

From Sharon’s post, we can conclude that the most possible scenario is that “Mr. Mike” does suffer from dementia and that may have certainly contributed to his belief that he has interacted with a group of Bigfoot. It sounds like the most probable scenario. Although without a thorough evaluation or examination of his medical files, we cannot be certain.

Many researchers argue against this. Calling it an unfair ad hominem attack.

Bigfoot researcher David Rodriguez left this message on GhostTheory today:

David Rodriguez says:

July 13, 2010 at 7:08 AM

I ended up listening to the blog radio show until late last night. I even decided to call in.

There is a complicated series of events and much has been misconstrued. There is still an ongoing investigation. The investigators on site do appear to be the colleagues of Chris Noel. He clearly was getting nervous when questioned by Lan. He should come clean to Lan. It would seem that the statement about Mike “seeing things” has been completely blown out of proportion too. Many statements were taken out of context on the blogs since.

I’m not so inclined to have much faith in the present investigation. Most researchers just don’t understand that just their presence and new activity will contaminate the situation immediately. Not to mention all their fancy equipment and cameras. Do they really think that any bigfoot present will hang around to be identified?

There was one incident Lan talked about after the period when ‘Jack’ (the investigator) had the FLIR out. Jack and Mike apparently had seen some kind of hot spot, but when Jack investigated further, he saw nothing. This is the ’seeing things’ episode. BUT apparently Lan had his PI put some other cameras up at the scene beforehand, which caught something standing there when Jack went to look. I would really like to correlate these two pieces of footage because it may reveal some things that the bigfoot field does not want to hear.

I remain inclined to believe that there is truth in Mike’s claims regardless of how the rest of the community sees it. The majority of the community doesn’t quite understand the dynamics of a habituation. However we may never find evidence because its the same investigative techniques being used now. You don’t just start putting cameras up with teams working the area and expect for the sasquatch to continue their visitations as usual. I think the team there had already grown frustrated and that is what Noel published. I wish I had the opportunity to visit there myself. Alone. This is where having my own encounters over the decades would come in handy. I now know how to ‘behave’ around sasquatch. Most people who have never had an encounter can’t understand that either.

But, its in the hands of a ‘team’ of researchers right now. It sounds like they are close to writing it off however because of his supposed mental status. If Lan didn’t inform them that he had something on his camera, well I think they might be done. Now they won’t know what to make of it because it will contradict their scientific methodology. That is sad, I understand how they are making this conclusion. That is why we don’t understand these Sasquatch. They will eventually rationalize the scene as a dead end, but the damage will be done and the sasquatch will stop visiting Mike. At least for a while. As is the norm, it may take a while for him to rebuild their trust after having all these strangers show up. Hopefully he has enough time in his life to do so.

I hope to be talking with Lan a little more privately about this matter. Maybe something can be salvaged? Apparently others have tried to explain that people and cameras showing up to a habituation will ruin it. My opinion is that what he really needs to do is pull everyone out and allow the residence to ‘cool down’. These sasquatch need to be recognized as being highly intelligent and they aren’t going to put up with being proven. Assuming Mike is being visited, then we need to try and understand ‘why’. There’s a lot that is involved in that which most people may not comprehend. Sasquatch know things. They may well be trying to bring Mike comfort in his last years on earth. They probably ’see’ that he is caring for someone and this empathy is transferred to them.

So that’s my take for now. Yeah I believe there is something to Mike’s claims because I have had my own share of activity. I understand my own mistakes made, I too put up cameras and lost their trust. Now I also realize that I need an opportunity to visit one of these other habituations myself because I can ‘relate’ to the witnesses. This one may be too late but there will be others. Maybe someone will read this and contact me next time. If not, that’s OK too.

Mr. Rodriguez’s belief is that this whole case is still not over. He beliefs that there are as many holes in the debunking process as there were in the initial investigation.  David believes that there could be something there; we just won’t know for sure since all this negative attention has taken away from what really is important: A scientific investigation.

He believes that if a group of Bigfoot were in fact visiting “Mr. Mike”, they won’t be after all this media circus. David thinks that most researchers will destroy  a supposed Bigfoot habitation. Not on purpose, but by merely being there. It makes sense since some known animals act that very same way when humans encroach in their nests or habitat.

Then again, there are others (like Sharon Lee) who believe that Lan Lamphere is mostly responsible for fluffing up this story.

In a private email, Bigfoot researcher Matt Moneymaker, talked to me about Lan Lamphere and how he might be using this whole story to get ratings for his show. It was apparent from his email that he knows Lan Lamphere and is used to his ways.

I can only deduce from Matt Moneymakers email and Sharon Lee’s post that this whole incident could be just another failed attempt by some over-the-top showman at getting more ratings. I hope that is not the case.

As the ebb from the media buzz starts receding, we can only sit here and wait for the researchers to really get to work and get to the bottom of this case once and for all.