Why do we, as a society, always feel we have to give something a nickname? Why do we always feel that we have to personalize something to the point of ridiculousness? Well, this is how I feel about many in the sasquatch/bigfoot community, when it comes to this stupid term, “Squatch”, for describing Sasquatch. Now first of all, let me preface, that I played a lot of sports growing up, and spent a lot of time in locker rooms where nicknames are more common than anywhere else in society, so this isn’t really an adverse subject for me. I understand the idea behind it. If you have kids, normally, we come up with some sort of cute pet name for our child, which I have done as well. But for some reason, this word “Squatch” is like running your fingernails on a chalkboard. It drives me absolutely nuts. Let me try to explain why?
The first time I ever heard this idiotic term was on the television show, ‘Finding Bigfoot’, which I can honestly say, I watched for a total of 17 minutes, and never tuned in again. It wasn’t my thing. My personal opinion on the show was that it was a mockery of the real research people like Rene Dahinden, Dr. John Bindernagel, Dr. Jeff Meldrum and others have been studying for decades. And because of television, this stupid nickname popped up, like they were trying to personalize this creature like a buddy in the dressing room! And in that seventeen minutes of programming I watched, I must have heard the term about eight or nine times. I remember thinking to myself, what the f—k is a “Squatch”? What a stupid term!
Now, as someone who’s seen two of the creatures, saw the pixelation so many others have talked about, especially First Nations, heard the roar of the being, and have talked with many of North America’s top researchers in the subject, I can tell you what I’ve noticed. Those with any credibility in this field of research do NOT call the creature, “Squatch”. It is those who are trying to pass off like they are so into their research that they’ve become best friends with the reigning hide and seek champion. Come on. I mean, seriously. We have no clue if this creature even exists, let alone nicknaming it. Now for those who’ve had the privilege of having a sighting, we know it’s real. But what it is, we are far off from finding out what it truly is. Is it magical? Is it a shape shifter? Is it inter-dimensional? Is it North America’s great ape? Is it a relative of gigantopithicus? Truth is, we don’t have the foggiest idea about what it is. We do know that annually there are people who are believers and people who aren’t, who are seeing this cryptid roaming around. So for these so-called investigators to personalize this creature, it’s a little ridiculous.
So how do ‘real’ researchers look at the term? This takes me back to a conversation I had with the late Dr. John Bindernagel in May of 2015. We were at a conference together, and I was stunned when he came up to me to hear my tale of seeing two Sasquatch. I mean, here is this world renowned legend wanting to talk to me about Bigfoot? That just doesn’t happen to me! But here I was, with John. So I told him about my sighting in Mission, British Columbia, that I was within 100 feet of two of them. As the conversation continued, I remember asking him what he thought about the television shows, and the term, “squatch”. It was weird, because I saw this man, who is a legend in this field for 70 years, literally, all of the sudden take a step back, stand up straight, let out a sigh, and say, and I’m paraphrasing here, that one word combined with television had desecrated his decades of research. I remember him saying that the field had worked so hard at trying to establish credibility in the mainstream, not only with the public, but with the scientific community as well. It has always been an up hill battle. Then the television shows came, and the term “Squatch” was brought forward. To Dr. Bindernagel, it felt like the combination of television and “Squatch”, made the field look like amateur hour with a bunch of uneducated hicks running around a forest yelping weird noises, and banging on trees. There was no showing of any scientific structure, and because of that, other real scientists who are on the fence that the creature exists, were turned right away.
I’ve also noticed that real researchers in the field stay as far away from the term “Squatch” as possible. David Weatherly, the late JC Johnston, Loren Coleman, Ronald Murphy, David Spinks, John Tenney, just to name a few. None of them use the term. Why? As David Weatherly told me, the nickname seems to make the investigation seems to make the research sound amateur. Plain and simple right there. One British Columbia researcher friend of mine, named Mike, called the term “Squatch” a belittling of a nobel creature. First Nations people hate it because it degrades a mystical creature that they have lived with and respected for centuries.
Look, the fact is for almost one hundred years, we have seen both scientists and the curious head into the forests looking for this elusive monster both individually and in large groups. Footprints have been found. Scat samples have been found. Hair samples have been found. Scratch marks in trees. The Patterson-Gimlin film is probably the best piece of evidence, and that’s half a century old. But it’s only been the last decade where the research has gone from trying to earn credibility and respectability, to one of being a laughing stock in the scientific community once again. It’s sad really because these sightings and experiences are very real for those who are having them. And when you combine reality television, with a stupid nickname, along with the continual hoaxing of videos on YouTube and photoshopped pictures, of course it makes people wonder about the legitimacy of the research. Then for icing on the cake, you throw in a bunch of people who’ve never conducted scientific experimentation since high school claiming they are scientifically studying the Bigfoot phenomenon, well, then that just makes the mainstream community laugh at the paranormal/cryptid field even more.
What I’m saying here, is that if you are out in the forest and are wanting to find Bigfoot, do it right. Don’t use these silly, childish terms like “Squatch”. Those who are respected in the field don’t use coined terms to try and gain respect and credibility. They don’t have to because they’ve taken the time to learn from those before them, and conduct the research the way it’s supposed to be done. They’re not out for popularity. Their work brings them the popularity and respectability that they deserve. Using terms like “Squatch” makes you look amateur. It makes you look like a hobbyist. It undermines the people who are doing real research trying to find credible answers to the experiences eye witnesses are having. You want credibility? You want to be someone in this field. Do it right. Don’t go all Todd Standing, and run around in ghillie suits. Don’t segregate research just because you may not believe in some of it. Because science is proving or disproving theory. And call the damn creature by it’s name, and not some stupid nickname that makes your work sound so much less credible than it could be.
That’s why, out of respect to the late Dr. Bindernagel, I have banned the word “Squatch” from my show. It’s about credibility. I want people who are going to come on, and talk about their research the way it’s supposed to be conducted, with integrity and perseverance. Hence the reason why I don’t allow the slang term on my show. So I emplore all of you out there to drop “Squatch” from your vocabulary. It’s not a real word, and whether you believe it or not it does affect your credibility, role and stature in this crazy community. Don’t be one of them. Rise above it. Use your interest and your ability to be better than those who are yearning for a reputation so bad that they think using “Squatch” helps them sound credible. It doesn’t. It makes you sound amateur!