A friend dropped by my desk the other day to ask about Bigfoot. "Is it true you're a fan of Bigfoot?" she asked.
"Fan's kind of a strong word," I countered. "I'm interested in Bigfoot."
"Do you think it's real?"
"Maybe once upon a time, but now, no," I answered. "But, I think it would be really cool if it were."
Then I pulled up photos of the Florida Skunk Ape on the web. They looked a little less like an orangutan in a full body wig than the last time I checked.
In the mid-'70s the U.S. had what paranormal writer John Keel called a UFO flap, tons and tons of sightings. Our local paper had an article every day, which provided great fodder for current events reports.
Bigfoot was in the news now and then also, and in some UFO magazines, and on The Six Million Dollar Man, was linked to flying saucers. Just like Mothman was.
In those days, I wasn't a skeptic. I poured over information and wondered when answers would finally emerge.
I still read Fate Magazine from time to time and scan the Fortean Times, but I have more of an open mind not to believe. I was a newspaper reporter a long time, and then I worked in a library where I looked up things for people like the Philadelpia Experiment. Makes you cynical.
The mystery often lasts longer than the solution, but once the Internet came along and I discovered the truth behind Gray Barker, or the smear campaign against him depending on your level of paranoia, it was all sort of downhill.
Aaron Elkins novel The Dark Place includes a pretty good argument against the likelihood of Bigfoot, and The Skeptic's Dictionary pretty much states nothing cool probably ever happened.
No Cottingley Fairies.
Mothman? An owl.
Roswell? Well there's no attribution in that original press release.
Oak Island - overactive imaginations based on a few misinterpretations.
But all that doesn't keep me from reading new reports and perusing new material. Because like I said, it would be fun if it were real.