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Q-C

So, how would you conduct sighting interviews

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Posted (edited)

As either a skeptic or believer or even a "I do not believe bigfoot exists. Period."

We've watched or read how the famous "interview" eye-witnesses, how would you do it?

Would you consider interviewing witnesses in all/any geographic areas and even old accounts (15+years)?

Would any pre-sighting prior belief in bigfoot, of the witness, weigh-in for you at all?

I think it would be fun and interesting, if done thoroughly but with respect to the witness. Not because I think I would be swayed but to get to the bottom of sightings more thoroughly than I have ever seen or read.

Some things I would focus on:

1. gut feeling toward witness (not always reliable, but unavoidable nonetheless, imo)

2. prior belief on bigfoot of witness (thorough questioning on where they stood and why before their sighting)

3. background of witness (i'd even talk to friends and relatives)

4. sighting distance, obstructions, weather, speed of witness or bigfoot, length of sighting

5. mindset at sighting time...daydreaming?...falling asleep?...excitable teenager? hunting bigfoot? after hearing a strange sound that raised their "fear factor"?

6. reinactment (to judge details of their recollection)

7. if recent or repeated sighting- check for physical evidence. Where nearby is this giant creature making a home for itself?

Edited by QuiteContrary
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Questions to add to the above......

How much had you been drinking?

What had you been smoking?

How much money do you hope to make from this?

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I would be very tempted to run the interviews with the interviewee attached to a polygraph... I would never let them know what the findings of the PG were, and I would treat everyone the exact same so far as questions asked, tone, etc...

I realise that polygraphs are considered 'not 100% accurate', and if a person honestly believes they saw something, it would record as 'truthful', even if it wasn't... But it would certainly screen out the total BS'rs...

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Questions to add to the above......

How much had you been drinking?

What had you been smoking?

How much money do you hope to make from this?

Very good questions, actually. That's why i'd interview friends and family and get some background on the witness.

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Q: So, how would you conduct sighting interviews

A: With a straight jacket

budum'ch

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Q: So, how would you conduct sighting interviews

A: With a straight jacket

budum'ch

For whom? You or the witness?

budum'ch

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Water board them, that always gets you the truth.

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I think I would proceed with an interview like this with the most stripped-down, fact-based questions regarding setting, what was seen, prior activities of the day, prior beliefs/interests in bigfoot, and whether or not the witness was under the influence of any substances.

Then I'd ask for a narrative statement from the eyewitness from the beginning of the encounter to the end. I'd compare this with the questions already asked to check for consistency. Then I'd interview the individual's cohorts (if applicable) and check for consistency in that as well.

Of course I'd ask for any photos or video, hair, scat, sound recordings, etc....that the individual may have generated during the encounter. These would also be analyzed for consistency with the narratives of the witnesses.

I think I would approach it by trying to keep any assumptions on the existence OR non-existence of bigfoot out of it. I would be interested in gathering as much OBJECTIVE information as possible.

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:lol: When I read the title I thought we were being asked to have an imaginary interview with Bigfoot him/her self!! :hmm:

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:lol: When I read the title I thought we were being asked to have an imaginary interview with Bigfoot him/her self!! :hmm:

That would be the ultimate goal, yes! :tu:

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I think I would proceed with an interview like this with the most stripped-down, fact-based questions regarding setting, what was seen, prior activities of the day, prior beliefs/interests in bigfoot, and whether or not the witness was under the influence of any substances.

Then I'd ask for a narrative statement from the eyewitness from the beginning of the encounter to the end. I'd compare this with the questions already asked to check for consistency. Then I'd interview the individual's cohorts (if applicable) and check for consistency in that as well.

Of course I'd ask for any photos or video, hair, scat, sound recordings, etc....that the individual may have generated during the encounter. These would also be analyzed for consistency with the narratives of the witnesses.

I think I would approach it by trying to keep any assumptions on the existence OR non-existence of bigfoot out of it. I would be interested in gathering as much OBJECTIVE information as possible.

Agreed, objectivity. Despite what some might think, I believe I could be very objective. Just because I'd want to do my best to "see" what they saw, if that makes any sense to anyone?

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I'd also check any other sighting reports in the area, historical to present-day.

Talk to any local forest rangers or hunters or parks and wildlife if applicable.

I'd also talk to the locals in general to see what the bigfoot "vibe" and if any, rumor is in the area.

Speak to local biologists or visit a local zoos to look at local wildlife.

I'd familiarize myself with the local wildlife.

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  • Eliminate improbable suspects
  • Develop possible suspects or leads
  • Increase the investigators' mental confidence in identifying truthful or guilty suspects through the interview process
  • Identify proper interrogation strategies

  • Step 1 - Direct Confrontation. Lead the witness to understand that the evidence has led the investigators to the individual as a suspect. Offer the person an early opportunity to explain why the sighting took place.

  • Step 2 - Try to shift the blame away from the suspect to some other animal / person or set of circumstances that prompted the claim. That is, develop themes containing reasons that will justify or excuse the claim. Themes may be developed or changed to find one to which the claiment is most responsive.

  • Step 3 - Try to discourage the suspect from denying his guilt. Reid training video: "If you’ve let him talk and say the words ‘I didn’t do it’[...]the more difficult it is to get a confession."

  • Step 4 - At this point, the claiment will often give a reason why he or she did see a Bigfoot. Try to use this to move towards the truth

  • .
  • Step 5 - Reinforce sincerity to ensure that the claiment is receptive.

  • Step 6 - The claiment will become quieter and listen. Move the theme discussion towards offering alternatives. If the suspect cries at this point, infer fabricating a story.

  • Step 7 - Pose the “alternative question”, giving two choices for what happened; one more socially acceptable than the other. The claiment is expected to choose the easier option but whichever alternative the suspect chooses, guilt is admitted to a fabricated story. There is always a third option which is to maintain that they did see a Bigfoot.

  • Step 8 - Lead the suspect to repeat the admission fabricating in front of witnesses and develop corroborating information to establish the validity of the confession.

  • Step 9 - Document the suspect's admission and have him or her prepare a recorded statement (audio, video or written).

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Posted (edited)

  • Step 1 - Direct Confrontation. Lead the witness to understand that the evidence has led the investigators to the individual as a suspect. Offer the person an early opportunity to explain why the sighting took place.

Interesting, wanting the witness to explain Why the sighting took place?

Get the witness to explain a big part of what I, the investigator, am trying to find out: The "Why". (this follows also since I don't believe in the existence of bigfoot)

I like it. Get them to dig into their own sighting a bit more, do some thinking on the sighting. Rather than just the What: "It happened, this is what I saw".

Are these criminal investigation techniques?

Edited by QuiteContrary

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Are these criminal investigation techniques?

Yes.....Google was my friend here :)

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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.

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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.

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*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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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