Researchers in this field of study must remain on guard against developing an inflated ego. When recognition for past work, for the most part, seems to be looked upon with favour it is too easy to become pigheaded, and develop a sense of ‘I am always right and others who disagree with me are always wrong’.
I have had a great many arguments in the past that I now regret, as I realize the person with whom I was arguing with, might have indeed had a valid point. It is easy to fall into the trap of arrogance. However, to realize you have made a mistake, yet continue to move in a direction you know is wrong, is by far, much worse.
One of my own cases was dealing with a well-known Sasquatch skeptic, the late Michael Dennet. Mr. Dennet had always been very critical of so-called evidence brought forward by the late Paul Freeman. In the early 1980s, I believed Paul Freeman and most of the evidence he brought forward, and defended him much longer than perhaps should have. I also had a few long, drawn-out debates with Mr Dennet concerning Freeman’s findings and conclusions.
Well, over time – and looking into the matter – I studied the evidence, I talked to people involved and I learned things. I can say, right here and now, that in the case of the late Paul Freeman, the late Mr. Dennet was right and I was wrong.
Being wrong is nothing to be afraid of. We all make mistakes in the Sasquatch field, and admitting to them takes nothing away from a researcher’s credibility. In fact, in my view, it improves it.
So, if there are any researchers out there whom may feel now, after much sober, second thought, that perhaps they had been taken in somewhat by, oh I don’t know, Todd Standing; or perhaps a researcher was a little to quick to jump on the Massacre at Bluff Creek band wagon, it is far better to admit to a mistake than carry on knowing you are wrong. Or even just going silent on a particular issue hoping the whole thing just blows over.
Making mistakes is a learning experience. I now always listen to what people have to say, even if I disagree with them. I will always keep an open mind when doing so even though they’re wrong! 😛