Of course Bigfoot and the paranormal could be two completely different things but they are not. That "researchers" talk-up the fictitious biological aspects is an essential part of the legend of Bigfoot and also then the legend-tripping experience of Bigfoot. If Bigfoot could be real and the things that go bump in the night are real then combining the two gives the Bigfoot experience. Add the social element - "Oh my god! What was that!?!" - and the experience can become electrifying! (I reckon it is also possible to actually induce Bigfoot sightings in such emotionally-charged and perceptually-ambiguous situations.)
The Bigfoot experience is more akin with an adult-version of the subjective legend-tripping experience - the illicit/forbidden aspects for adults include broader cultural disproval for such things ("Are you crazy?", "Grow up!") and the real genuine fears of being out in the wilderness (vehicle breaking down, animal predators, poionous spiders and snakes getting lost etc). In my experience it is surprising how such concerns by themselves can produce feelings of dread whilst alone in the wilds miles from anywhere. Imagine what adding the "reality" of Bigfoot can do when it is dark and there appears to be something large moving about nearby...
I'm not sure I understand what you are saying in relation to my thoughts on the two not being the same.
but we agree, I think, here:
"Participants in expeditions are told to read this hype and more before their first expedition. In fact, they are told to read suggested material more than once.
Hmmmm? Is this concern for the participants? Or, does this help ensure an "encounter" when one is already all hyped up about it prior to the event?" me post# 27.