As Daniel Loxton and I completed our upcoming book on cryptozoology, we tried to analyze and dissect the psychology of cryptozoology, and the followers of cryptids like Bigfoot. What motivates these people? Why do they think this way?
Writer Joshua Blu Buhs provided an interesting portrait of the Bigfoot community as typical of the amateur cryptozoologists. Studying the Bigfoot fans in the Pacific Northwest, Buhs documents a group of mostly white working-class men who are Bigfoot’s biggest boosters. To them, Bigfoot is an icon of untamed masculinity, a populist rebel against scientific elites, the last champion of authenticity against a plastic, image-conscious, effeminate consumer society. (Yet as a supreme irony, Bigfoot has a career as advertising mascot and tabloid fodder, making him a major purveyor of consumerism.) Buhs shows that many Bigfoot stalkers follow the subculture because it has the same attractions as other types of hunting: getting back to nature, tramping through the woods in search of elusive prey, testing their manhood against the wilderness, and play at being “real men”. He quotes Thom Powell, who says, “I think I became interested in the Bigfoot thing because it gave me an excuse to get out and use my wilderness skills. My live-long love of the wilderness exploration has a purpose beyond just getting there and back.” Contractor Tom Morris said, “Maybe I’m only trying to justify all my trips to the mountains by calling them research. I like wildlife, I like to see anything I can. The more I go, the more I’m amazed at how elusive wildlife can be. I’m happy just to be up there, watching the animals move around. I want to come back with the best pictures I can. The ultimate would be a shot of Bigfoot.”comments (23)