Those who suggest everything about the Bigfoot phenomena is a hoax may be wrong about the creature, but there is one hoax that can be confirmed. No, there has been no conclusive evidence one way or another so far suggesting our friend the hairy hominid is either real or not, but a contest put together to find the creature was most verifiably a hoax.
The contest offered photographers the opportunity to cash in on their most prized photographs of the creature if they could provide convincing evidence of the creatures’ existence. Offered by Rick Lewis, a businessman from Silverton Colorado, the contest suggested that sponsors were offering through him a once in a lifetime opportunity: The chance to secure one million dollars for proof that Bigfoot exists. Those wishing to send in their photographs of Bigfoot were charged $250 to submit their evidence and be entered into the contest. It’s still not clear what this money was supposed to go toward. Unfortunately, when a local news station interviewed some of the alleged participants and sponsors in the contest, they were as perplexed as if they had seen the creature themselves. None of those supposedly funding the contest knew anything about it. And the Kendall Mountain Resort in Silverton, which was supposedly hosting the event said the event was “news to them.”
The hoax is grim punctuation to an unfortunate side of the paranormal that many of us have to deal with every day. There are many so-called contests that offer an outrageous prize for proof of the paranormal, but prizes are often held when evidence is offered. Of course there are plenty of other contests with more legitimacy that offer prizes for proof. The Scientific American, for example, has offered up $2,500 to whoever can manifest a spirit on-stage. Of course this contest also presumes a lot about the nature of paranormal phenomena including the motivation of such a spiritual entity to appear on stage so a third party can receive the prize money. In addition, the James Randi Educational foundation has proposed to give $1,000,000 to whoever can demonstrably achieve a paranormal effect to their satisfaction and scrutiny under controlled circumstances.
Unfortunately, the realm of the paranormal and these contests seem to exist in separate worlds. Those who report the phenomena often say it is of a nature that rebels against scientific scrutiny. it is applicable and even useful in many circumstances (such as the use of psychics by spy agencies and police) and yet even in the face of undeniable results, these phenomena refuse to bend to certain types of scientific scrutiny under the specific circumstances. Of course there is also the undeniably potent ability for people to refuse to believe in things they cannot understand even when they are manifesting right in front of them. Or is it that we simply don’t know yet how to prove these phenomena under certain circumstances? Perhaps the real prize should go to the first person to develop an experiment around the phenomena to prove or disprove it once and for all rather than expecting it to bend to scientific method.