Friday, October 28, 2011

Once A Classified Species

Sorry to everyone for the delays, I'm not yet in the groove with keeping up a blog, especially amidst so much going on lately.   There are so many issues I truly want to address, but I must admit it's been challenging to focus on just one subject at a time.   But finally, and while lengthy, here's one of the topics I had been working on.   Hopefully it will offer those wanting to prove these beings existence something more to think about.   Why?  Because like with no other species that man has uncovered, these beings do appear to be a 'people' of sorts, and thus we are saddled with a never-before level of responsibility when exposing them.    While I have other concerns as well, this is not the time to address those.  

The word is that we are headed down the final DNA path where proof of Sasquatch' existence will be shared with the world.    As a repeat witness, I personally don't require DNA proof to know they exist, but most of the world doesn't have that benefit.   That aside, I believe that proving their existence, may be a much more complicated matter then most scientists within the field may themselves presently realize.   I contend that there is great responsibility which itself entails comprehending there may be a great cost.   Possibly the greatest misconception for all, is believing that their protection, post verification, will bring guaranteed peace for the species.  While I didn't always realize it, this is where I have serious doubts.  Just about every person who calls themselves a researcher, evolves thru the thought process of wanting to 'prove their existence, so they can be protected'.   No doubt this is a noble goal, but it may also be quite naive.  Establishing their safety after being outed, isn't going to be so automatic!    What will the real cost be of forcing these beings out of legend and into reality?  Clearly such a change won't be by these beings choice either, and its obvious that they prefer to remain largely hidden from our world.   (For whatever their reasons.)   We may actually be opening up a Pandora's Box in more ways then we can possibly comprehend.  Why?  Partly because there are as yet unseen players who will do whatever they can to exploit the species in ways most aren't even comfortable in considering.   Laws won't deter criminal behavior when there is a profit that can be made, and that is what hasn't been completely thought through in this quest to prove their existence.

So what possible outcomes could there be after the much talked about DNA evidence is published?  Will the world of science even accept the results based on hairs, tissue, or other partial samples?  Many still doubt it.   And if not, then what?   What if science collectively demands what many have already assumed they'd say: 'We need a body!'?   Will the cat be out of the bag, but without enough evidence for protection, will a new accelerated race begin?    Those in the field who have researched the subject extensively may be more inclined to accept said evidence, but those who haven't ever been engaged in discussions or read the multitude of anecdotal accounts, may not be so quick to acquiesce acceptance of their existence.   Science and society may still demand a specimen, and this may set a new stage we have not experienced before.    Of course first will come a period of doubt of the claims and maybe even ridicule given events like the Georgia hoax.    While a peer-reviewed report will hold up to relative scrutiny, the powers that be in government may drag their feet.   When government agencies are asked by news media to acknowledge whether there is something out there, what will they say?   Will they respond honestly or will they take the same path of denial or 'no-policy'?   Even if they do acknowledge something is out there, there may still be an overwhelming demand from the scientific community saying 'we want to examine a body!'. What then?  Will we end up in a sort of never ending foot-dragging?

As a result, a sasquatch body may instantly become worth several million dollars, its already worth more then the $1 million offered in the past, but this will be a whole new race when we enter this next phase.   There likely won't be any restrictions on how death ultimately occurs for newcomers to the race.   A new 'specimen-value' will find its own place within society.  The race will begin and there is nobody in charge or any rules or ethics guidelines to follow.   Point is, Sasquatch may soon become a commodity despite everyone's good intentions today.

Up until now, Sasquatch has been mostly limited to legend within society.  The vast majority of the population has never seen one.  Some may never accept that such a species could even exist.   But with all the recent talk about DNA studies, bigfoot bodies, shootings, are we entering a new era?   Are we also ill prepared for the changes to come?  Everyone believes "They need to be protected!"    This desire for 'protection' has been the justification for why many bigfooters are out there trying to prove they exist.   Is this a good enough reason however?   Some justify killing one as a specimen in order to fulfill that goal.  From their perspective, the ultimate protection of the species remains a worthwhile goal.  But I must ask, how many Sasquatch have been maimed in this unfulfilled goal over the years?  Do we ever hear details of the undocumented attempts of their failures?   Apparently there was one more of these failed attempts just this Summer.   I am aware of a few other well organized attempts of the past, but I suspect many more failed efforts are kept secret.   Still, the race continues to harvest one.   That said, more and more of these hunter/researcher groups are beginning to understand the methods required to possibly harvest a specimen.  Its not pretty either.   The problem is, the individuals willing to take the step in harvesting one haven't realized that these beings are definitely something more then just some giant ape.  They are a people.

Regardless, lets step forward a decade with a possible scenario.  Sasquatch has gained increased acceptance as a real species, even accepted by science.  For that matter, laws are on the books that have relegated them a protected status in the US and Canada.  They don't quite fit within your standard ESA Classification however.   They are found to be part human, but there are differences from us too. They are of magnificent size. They are wild and powerful. They even harness some unexplainable abilities and differences which their DNA fails to explain.

No doubt most people have good intentions but rarely are we able to think through the long term ramifications of our actions.  Its just not easy seeing into the future, but we can learn from past mistakes in real life situations.    A few years ago I even drafted up a 36 page Draft Petition to list Sasquatch as a Protected Species, because I was having such successes in the field and felt it was the right thing to do.   That petition language is buried away now because I realized there is much more to these beings then most will ever comprehend.  By their behavior, they also appear to not want to be proven.     So here's what needs to be pondered.   Will new laws protecting the species in the US and even Canada, prevent illegal activities such as poaching, or even attempts a poaching?  I don't believe so.   In other countries it requires full time armed patrols to protect gorillas in the wild.  We have illegal poaching of record elk here in the US just for a set of antlers.  Why should new laws be effective with Sasquatch?

There are a few scenarios that I have previously raised in forum threads. The first stems from my concern that once they are proven to exist, that a new Black Market will be created.  This is what most Protection Advocates haven't quite thought through.  It may be the inevitable natural progression of events in a society where such practices are already well organized and widespread.    First you have your egotistical mighty big game hunter that must have every species in existence mounted on his wall.   I'm a hunter too, but I would never condone killing one of these beings fur such a arrogant cause.   There are elements out there who kill for other reasons too.     Then you have the standard bush meat and parts market.  Some of this is driven by demand in third world countries that already have a view of the power transferred from consuming meat or using ground up powder of different species.   Even some modern Asian cultures still pursue parts for such purposes.  Imagine the virility some will see as coming from the great Sasquatch.

Within certain undeveloped cultures, there remains those who believe that one can gain an animal's characteristics by ingesting its parts. So under such ideology, imagine the strength and vitality one could gain from ingesting Sasquatch parts.  For anyone who does not think this is a problem worldwide with other animals, just check out these two links.  Thinking those elements will not 'try' to do the same with Sasquatch would be naive.   Of course being successful is another matter, but even that won't diminish this new level of harassment on the species.

Never Overpay for Bear Bile Again! : Zooillogix

So, for those who are driven by the desire to prove their existence, understand that you are taking on a responsibility for the species' well being that is far greater then what you may have previously considered. Will proving their existence, actually doom the only major advantage they actually had? Anonymity.  Those who don't want to see them harmed will essentially be powerless when organized criminal elements start seeing new financial opportunity.

There appears to be a lion share of researcher who believe that we have to prove them so they will be protected. Well, nothing may be farther from the truth once Sasquatch joins the library of existing genus.  Once they are considered REAL, a new pursuit of them will begin with a goal as seen in the images below.  And while this blog post may not be pretty, every researcher needs to consider the possible outcome. 

There are hundreds of sources for photos of this despicable trade. Don't be fooled in thinking that once Sasquatch are protected in US and Canada, that it will offer any real form of protection overall. The reality is, it will only create desire for a new extremely rare & exotic species, and hence creating a new market that few have contemplated possible .

Once they are proven to exist, what laws can possibly stop this kind of activity?  The following is part of just one of many busts that occur every year, but is only a small dent in the scheme of things. Will we be adding yet another species to the list to become part of the slaughter?

In the following photo there are 480 bear paws confiscated in an illegal smuggling bust in Russia.  This kind of impact can sterilize forests of wildlife.   

Here is the larger news story which is just a small portion of the documented trade in illegal parts. Just imagine what the optional image of bigfoot could look like. So what will a bigfoot head or foot be worth?

Folks, I am raising these tough issues because I truly fear they have not been considered by those who are steaming ahead at full speed in their zeal.  I realize there has been decades of efforts by researchers to prove their existence, but understand, there is a reason why most Native American and First Nations people haven't shared proof before now. Frankly, there are also things in our universe that science remains ignorant of.  If there is one species on earth that resides partly unexplainable, Sasquatch is it, and DNA isn't going to reveal those less tangible elements. These are things we MUST think about! Don't think that some ESA Protection is going to prevent an attempted slaughter of individual sasquatch when opportunity arises either. Right now there is no market, but that is only because officially these beings do not exist and most people don't believe they do. Once they are proven to exist however, everything will change. So far, smugglers have had no reason to chase a species, that as far as they know, does not exist. Prove their existence and they will have every reason in the world to begin their pursuit in ernest. What will a Gallbladder or the foot or hand of a Sasquatch be worth? What will ground up powered bone be worth in the third world black markets? Have the laws to protect Tigers, Elephants, and other rare species, stopped those who don't care about obeying laws?  No.

Here's another stark reality, classifying Sasquatch as a new species alone, does not guarantee its protection.  They are different steps and processes.  What if the government subsequently comes forward and says that we have been aware of these entities for a while and the reports seem to be coming from a far greater number of people then would seem possible for a rare low-numbered species.  Therefore what if the government doesn't feel their numbers warrant protection?  What then?   Under normal scenario, the agencies involved often study the species for years in order to evaluate their numbers.   Other times there is immediate emergency protection.   In this case the field is hoping that they will proceed immediately towards protection.  What if they don't?    

Furthermore, if they fit within the Homo genus at least partly, then protection may not be coming from the traditional Endangered Species Act (ESA) route either.    After all, if they are human or part human, there are already laws on the books.  Why should they receive added protection?    Could the government say "well if they are human, there is nothing more for us to do."?   Of course we know they are different from us, but how is this demonstrated?   If we can't view them at will, how will their differences be delineated in order to show why they require special treatment within their realm of existence?    Point is, will the discussion of their protection evolve into a stalemate just as other seemingly progressive but confusing efforts do in government?   

Most Native people just assume to leave them alone.  Even more have long felt the need to keep the truth about them from newcomers on this continent.  They feel this way because they are being protective, they know from experience how Europeans have screwed up their own way of life and the land.   Why subject a rare people to the same treatment?

After all is said and done, I hope to not hear from those who are in the middle of the crucial research say: "My God, what have we done?" Its not so easy to think through these ramifications beforehand unless they have been laid out before them.   While many didn't think about it before this column, maybe now it won't be so easily ignored. Everyone involved has a responsibility here.   Are they doing what is right when you consider the potential costs such as outlined above?  I hope everyone with a hand in research looks closely at the photos I've posted above and mulls over just where we could end up in the future.   While proving their existence may be the ultimate outcome, people need to consider that their actions may have yet another unexpected bad outcome as well.  Just something to think about...