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So, how would you conduct sighting interviews


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#16    keninsc

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:07 AM

Well, being a semi-law enforcement professional I can tell you that while those techniques work well with people who don't want to co-operate fully for whatever reason. In a case where you'd have a person who's reported a sighting, be it a Bigfoot or a UFO, they want to talk to someone. They've already called it in and now you're there to get all the details you can and take a good, hard look at where the sighting happened. If you come off being confrontational, or simply not believing them they will clam up on you. First you have to make sure that you're there to try and get the facts about what they saw, thought they saw or whatever. You have to listen and you have to first let them tell their story, which isn't always easy because a lot of times people get bogged down in other stuff, "Well, we were heading over to my cousin's house for a birthday party. She just turn 21 and she an I haven't always gotten along.........." then suddenly you're hearing all about the whole family dynamic which is like a hodge-podge of stuff that hasn't got a damn thing to do with anything about the sighting. Or, they will want to talk about everything else under the Sun, or they'll want to start calling over all the family to see the guy who's hear to see about their sighting. The first two are just normal the third though, is bad because the more people you have the more they all want to tell their story, even though they didn't see a damn thing. Then you have to tactfully figure out id everyone was drunk, or drinking or using some other kind of recreational material, you'd be surprised what a little pot and a couple shots will do to people's perceptions. And they will swear they were sober as a judge......after drinking all night.

Then you have to deal with literacy levels, hey I work with some people who can't string enough words together to form a coherent sentence, let alone articulate their experience in a way that you can follow. Then you have to scope out where the sighting took place, hopefully it was recent so you might have a chance to find something tangible.

I once did some field investigations for MUFON back in the late eighties when I was in Georgia and I can tell you that once you gain their trust and they open up to you then you have to sort through it all and decide what's real and what's not quite so real and that isn't always easy. Now MUFON has a website you go to and if they think you might have something they can use then they might have someone come by, but it has to be just short of having an alien body in your freezer.


#17    QuiteContrary

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:24 AM

View Postkeninsc, on 10 April 2013 - 12:07 AM, said:


once you gain their trust and they open up to you then you have to sort through it all and decide what's real and what's not quite so real and that isn't always easy.

*snip*

Hmmmm. Thinking about that. Is there a way to decide what is real and what isn't? As a believer, maybe not, but as a skeptic? And I don't mean, "Duhhh, of course a skeptic or nonbeliever would assume it's all not real."
But rather, digging and finding out what was the reality of what they saw, if you believe they saw something.

I've seen and read such weak interviews I wonder where a different approach would conclude about some of these sightings? Or, take the eye-witness down a different path, such as Sakari mentioned.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#18    keninsc

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:59 AM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 10 April 2013 - 12:24 AM, said:

*snip*

Hmmmm. Thinking about that. Is there a way to decide what is real and what isn't? As a believer, maybe not, but as a skeptic? And I don't mean, "Duhhh, of course a skeptic or nonbeliever would assume it's all not real."
But rather, digging and finding out what was the reality of what they saw, if you believe they saw something.

I've seen and read such weak interviews I wonder where a different approach would conclude about some of these sightings? Or, take the eye-witness down a different path, such as Sakari mentioned.

You have to combine what they tell you with what you observe at the scene where the sighting took place. If a guy is giving you a highly detailed description of what he saw at fifty meters away, at night and after drinking a bit then you can assume some post experience editing has been done. It's not too hard to determine once you have the witness and you're at the scene.


#19    QuiteContrary

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 01:39 AM

View Postkeninsc, on 10 April 2013 - 12:59 AM, said:

You have to combine what they tell you with what you observe at the scene where the sighting took place. If a guy is giving you a highly detailed description of what he saw at fifty meters away, at night and after drinking a bit then you can assume some post experience editing has been done. It's not too hard to determine once you have the witness and you're at the scene.

Yeah, some would make it easy. But what of the "sober as a judge" outdoorsman? Could you get to the bottom of things? He'd need to be a friendly, forthcoming witness. I wonder how many sighting investigation reports would have a different outcome/conclusion, and not make any data base? How many would remain?

Is it the fault of the witnesses or the interviewer or data base composer? Imo, all three.
We point to data bases all the time, but what percentage of the reports are even worthy of a mention?
I think data bases worldwide would look much less prolific...

Any data bases of sightings seem to me to be about money laundering  bigfoot reports. Making them all legit for us to even consider refrencing.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#20    keninsc

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:55 AM

Keep in mind QC, it's going to be a subjective thing that you're "investigating", and I put that in quotes because it's not like a crime scene where a fight, or a domestic, or a murder took place. They might have some fuzzy photos or really bad video to sort of back up what they saw, or they might have nothing other than they saw something. It's really not so much a matter of conducting a proper investigation because there might not be very much to really investigate. "Hey, I saw me a Bigfoot!" You see there really isn't much to go on there as far as investigation goes. Granted you can get a feel for the guy and see if he's sincere or he's got his head in a warm, dark, moist place. Either way, you still need to treat him with some degree of respect.....last thing you want is for him to tell everyone what an ass you were to him because someone else might have a real sighting, but they don't call you because of what that guy said to them about the way you treated him. Word of mouth can be a b**** or a positive thing for you and it's really up to you to determine how it goes.

There is a lot of that, I had a very negative experience over at the BFRO site when I saw what were reported to be Bigfoot prints in the snow and they were obviously a double bear track. I got shouted down for even questioning their field investigator who'd attended all the required seminars and was BFRO certified to verify Bigfoot prints. Talk about laundering? Holy Crap!


#21    QuiteContrary

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:10 AM

View Postkeninsc, on 10 April 2013 - 03:55 AM, said:

Keep in mind QC, it's going to be a subjective thing that you're "investigating", and I put that in quotes because it's not like a crime scene where a fight, or a domestic, or a murder took place. They might have some fuzzy photos or really bad video to sort of back up what they saw, or they might have nothing other than they saw something. It's really not so much a matter of conducting a proper investigation because there might not be very much to really investigate. "Hey, I saw me a Bigfoot!" You see there really isn't much to go on there as far as investigation goes. Granted you can get a feel for the guy and see if he's sincere or he's got his head in a warm, dark, moist place. Either way, you still need to treat him with some degree of respect.....last thing you want is for him to tell everyone what an ass you were to him because someone else might have a real sighting, but they don't call you because of what that guy said to them about the way you treated him. Word of mouth can be a b**** or a positive thing for you and it's really up to you to determine how it goes.

There is a lot of that, I had a very negative experience over at the BFRO site when I saw what were reported to be Bigfoot prints in the snow and they were obviously a double bear track. I got shouted down for even questioning their field investigator who'd attended all the required seminars and was BFRO certified to verify Bigfoot prints. Talk about laundering? Holy Crap!

I agree, it must be done with respect or you'll get nowhere fast.

I guess it depends on the investigator's point of view. Whether all reports are worthy or whether he/she would read reports/news articles and choose which  pique his/her interest.

Keep your eyes wide open and don't run!

P.S. Just to be clear, because sometimes I am not. I do not believe...
in the existence of a large previously unknown undiscovered hairy biped roaming North America.
But I like to hear the accounts, read the books, watch the shows, discuss and argue about the phenomenon.

#22    keninsc

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:04 AM

The investigator's POV is a part of that dynamic, for sure. Is he a believer or a total skeptic, not only that but if he's a believer then does it skew his perspective? If he's the other extreme then that can be just as skew inducing. Now my own perspective is that someone who's doing Bigfoot investigations is most likely a believer and total skeptics are not going to waste their time looking into something they don't believe in in the first place. See what I mean?

I'm not a total skeptic but I'm not a total believer either and I've seen too many hoaxes, fakers and just plain liars since I've been wondering around the web looking for bits and pieces. My own personal belief is that an investigator needs to be as detached as possible and let the facts point the way for him or her, assuming there is some evidence other than a witness' account of what he saw or thought he saw. In something like this it's going to be a gut feeling sort of thing based largely on how credible the witness you're interviewing is or seems to be to you........and it pretty subjective. An entire investigation might well hinge on your first impression of the primary witness or witnesses.





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