A New Career

by David Francis

I've been out here in Wyoming for just over two months now, and I believe it is time for me to make clear my reasons for coming to this place. As you may already know, my wife came out here because she got a nice job working for the university here, and I imagine she thought I came out for that reason as well. Well, of course, I certainly would have, but to be honest, I have always had a more personal goal in moving to this state, leaving behind the best job I have ever had and the only state I have ever lived in before.

I want to capture Bigfoot.

Everyone knows that the best sightings of Bigfoot have always come from Wyoming. Oh, I know what you're thinking. You're smugly recalling to yourself that Wyoming only ranks third in Bigfoot sightings (49 since 1964) behind Washington (71) and California (54). Well, that may be the case, but I should point out that while these two states do lead in that statistic, they also surpass Wyoming in Loch Ness Monster sightings (Washington: 12, California: 237). In my opinion, this lends more credibility to the sightings found in Wyoming.

And credibility has always been important issue when it comes to Bigfoot sightings. Most recognized authorities today like to put Bigfoot sightings down as just hoaxes or mistakes, and quickly discount them. Of course, isn't it interesting that all of these "recognized authorities" get their checks signed by Uncle Sam? (Number of Recognized Authorities to get their checks signed by Uncle Sam: 267,947. Number of Recognized Authorities to get their checks signed by someone else: 0.87)

Because I don't have the clout of the U.S. government to help me gain credibility on this subject, I have had to do a number of things in order to improve my image. The first thing I have done is to pepper my writings with statistics and figures that I haven't actually checked yet for accuracy. However, I want to assure you that I will eventually check these numbers and that in the meantime, I can tell you they certainly feel about right.

Another thing I have done is, since I have been unemployed for about two months now, I have turned my living room into the Francis University of Bigfoot Studies (Attendance: figures not yet available), created a doctorate program on Bigfoot research, passed this program with flying colors, and named myself Dr. Francis. I have also practiced and acquired a phony English accent. If you see me on some unexplained mysteries show sometime, you will understand the added credibility this skill provides.

Now, since my credibility can be considered all but irreproachable, there is still the problem of the eye-witnesses' credibility. This is a serious issue, because, quite frankly, there are people who claim to see Bigfoot that are not entirely reliable. Outside the crackpots and hoaxsters, there are people who mistakenly report seeing Bigfoot when they actually see things like: bears, trees in the wind, ugly people, and people dressed in ape suits pretending to be Bigfoot while a hidden companion videotapes.

You won't be surprised to hear that the "recognized authorities" cite bears as the most common mistake when it comes to Bigfoot reports. To me, this seems ridiculous. Bears live in the wilderness areas where I most often like to hike, and I'm not ashamed to admit that they scare me to death. Any sound, smell, or sight that might possibly be a bear, I always fear is just that. If some giant brown thing suddenly rears up in front of me, my first thought is always: "OH MY GOD! A BEAR! A BEAR!!! I'M GOING TO DIE! I'M GOING TO DIE!". So you see that it is far more likely that I would mistake Bigfoot for a bear than I would a bear for Bigfoot. I think this would be true for anyone with a healthy fear of bears.

But let's leave that aside for the moment. Regardless of the likelihood of mistaking a bear's identity, the basic problem is that of finding reliable witnesses. As you have no doubt surmised, knowing that I have a Ph.D. in this study, my credo is to always use scientific analysis and reliable data. Thus, painful as it may be, in my research I toss out all the sightings by people that don't know enough about the wilderness to be sure they haven't seen something like a bear or just an ugly person, etc., and to be extra careful, I also toss out people who may have been prejudiced by watching X-files episodes, or Unsolved Mysteries, and the like.

The obvious solution is to go to the most non-developed regions of this continent where Bigfoot is most likely to reside, and also where the people who do reside there will be the most knowledgeable about the region and the least influenced by modern public opinion. For this very reason, British Columbia in Canada with its vast stretches of undomesticated forest used to be considered the prime spot for Bigfoot sitings in the previous century. Reports from lumberjacks and mountain men perfectly uneducated and isolated to a point of near madness, provided excellent, hard to dispute sightings.

Sadly, I feel British Columbia can no longer be considered what we men of science call a controlled experiment. Since the turn of the century, British Columbia has welcomed a huge number of immigrants from Asia. With this cultural addition to the population, many sightings of Bigfoot reported in British Columbia may derive purely from ridiculous superstition based on that fairy tale of Asian mythology known as the Abominable Snowman. Obviously, no self-respecting scientist would use British Columbia as a source of Bigfoot data today.

And so we return to Wyoming and such surrounding states as Montana and the Dakotas. Like British Columbia in the past, large tracts of land in these states remain undeveloped and sparsely populated. It is in these areas I have searched for and found isolated mountain men and socially ill-adjusted hermits on which to base my rigorous studies. Most of the people I interview prefer to maintain their anonymity, but I don't think it is so much because they fear ridicule for their testimony about Bigfoot so much as they want to continue to mail pipe bombs to airports and shopping malls. And I find even when they don't have a great deal of evidence to provide me, they are all in hearty agreement when I share with them my theories about the "recognized authorities" and their relationship with the U.S. government. And every man I have met, even if he has heard next to nothing about the creature Bigfoot before in his life, has said he would be happy to shoot it for me.

And so I have the greatest confidence in my eventual success of finding the legendary Bigfoot. Anytime this week would be a particularly opportune moment because my wife has been lately bothering me more and more about finding a job. I think she has been worrying that I have been just wasting my time since coming out here. Well, I'm sure this little report will put that idea to rest. I don't mean to say that I am the next Daniel Cohen--not by a long shot. However, I do feel I have a better chance of discovering Bigfoot than anyone before me. I'm sure there are people who will think I'm crazy, and yet I remember that that has been said about crazy people before me. I am confident that one day people will look into their encyclopedias and find an entry under Bigfootius Francisious. I guess then the "recognized authorities" will just have to add one more member to their elitist ranks.