The penultimate episode of Season Two sees Lisa Shiel, author of Backyard Bigfoot, join the program to discuss her first hand research into strange elements of the Bigfoot, including an in-depth look at stick signs and braiding the manes of horses. We'll also be talking about problems with the evolution theory and why the popular Gigantopithicus theory for Bigfoot has serious issues too. Plus, cryptozoology's infamous "natural v. paranormal Bigfoot" debate, UFOs and Bigfoot, Lisa's take on being a woman in cryptozoology, big picture speculation on what the Bigfoot might be, and much, much more.
Full Preview : We kick things off by getting some background on Lisa Shiel and how she gravitated towards researching the Bigfoot and other esoteric topics. We discuss her transition from novelist to non-fiction writer.
From there, we dive right into Lisa's personal experiences researching the Bigfoot, starting with the "stick signs". Lisa tells us about how she first discovered the stick signs and what evidence pointed to it being Bigfoot related. We find out if Lisa is hearing about stick signs from other people, now that her book has come out. Based on her observations, Lisa speculates on what the purpose of the stick signs might be (communication with her or other Bigfoots, trail / territory markers, etc.) She also tells us why most Bigfoot researchers don't notice the stick signs. We get Lisa's response to the skeptics of her stick sign research.
Once she'd established that there may be a Bigfoot on the premises, what did Lisa do to get more information on it. Lisa gives an indication of how to look for stick signs and what elements to look for. binnall suggests an experiment for Lisa to try when communicating, via stick signs, with the Bigfoot. We also find out if Lisa has had any Bigfoot sightings, during all of this research.
We next look at the strange phenomenon of horses mysteriously having their manes braided overnight. Lisa describes these braids, how she first discovered them, and what makes her think they are Bigfoot related. We also find out if the mane braiding followed her to Michigan from Texas, as the stick signs had done. From there we cover some of the other strange phenomena that Lisa captured on her game camera, including orbs, a strange flying object, and a purportedly extinct red wolf.
Wrapping up the personal end of Lisa's research, we talk about how she wrote much of the book in first person, documenting her research and why she decided to tell the story that way. We talk about the problem in some areas of esoterica, where the witnesses are kept on the outside of the field, and find out if that has happened to Lisa at all.
Moving on from Lisa's personal research, we discuss her investigation of the evolution theory and some of the problems that are inherent with the mainstream version of the history of human beings. Lisa talks about the problems with using bones and DNA as indicators of human origins. We talk about the desperation on the part of evolution researchers to prove a human lineage. Based on her research of the evolution of human beings, Lisa tells us where she sees the Bigfoot and its ancestors fitting into the whole equation. She also points out some of the problems of thinking humans evolved here on Earth, as they seem ill-equipped for a natural setting.
Then we talk about the Gigantopithicus Theory that is tremendously popular in cryptozoology. Lisa points out some of the serious flaws in the theory that the Bigfoot is a modern day gigantopithicus. This segues into a discussion on cryptozoology's attempts to become mainstream by catering to mainstream science and how Lisa feels it is a futile attempt. We find out if she thinks mainstream science will ever accept Bigfoot research as valid.
From there, we talk about the UFO - Bigfoot connection. First, Lisa shares some of the evidence supporting such a connection. We discuss the huge divide within cryptozoology over the "natural Bigfoot v. paranormal Bigfoot" debate. We try and find out if the anti-paranormal Bigfoot contigent is the majority or the minority in cryptozoology. Does Lisa feel like the pro-paranormal Bigfoot contingent is growing in popularity. We also speculate on if anything can be done to bridge this divide or if both sides will just end up going their separate ways.
We get Lisa's perspective on being a woman in the field of cryptozoology. She talks about some of the sexism she has experienced in the field.
Looking at things from a big picture perspective, we get Lisa to speculate on what exactly Bigfoot is. She also explains how she reconciles the paranormal with the Bigfoot and why she doesn't think the government is involved with the Bigfoot at all. We get Lisa's response to the big picture questions of "Can the Bigfoot be captured ?" and "If Bigfoot is proven to be real, is it good or bad for cryptozoology in the long run."
Wrapping it up, we find out about Lisa's research group, the Mighican Upper Penninsula Bigfoot Organization. And, we find out about a future book from Lisa that will be co-written with Linda Godfrey, "Strange Michigan".
Lisa Shiel Bio
Lisa A. Shiel is the author of Backyard Bigfoot: The True Story of Stick Signs, UFOs, & the Sasquatch, a ForeWord Magazine 2006 Book of the Year finalist. Critics have praised Backyard Bigfoot, saying “[it] is as informative as it is entertaining” (Midwest Book Review), “[it is] one of the best types of investigative reporting I've seen” (Reader Views), and “you may agree or not with her conclusions but you will be entertained by the discussions” (The Mining Journal, Marquette).
Lisa was recently elected president of the Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA). As a recognized Bigfoot expert, Lisa has been interviewed by big-city newspapers, drive-time talk radio hosts, local and national magazines, and TV reporters. In 2005, she founded the Michigan Upper Peninsula Bigfoot Organization (MUPBO) to explore all aspects of the Bigfoot phenomenon, from sightings to evolution to UFOs. Lisa has a master's degree in Library Science. She currently pens a blog, Bigfoot Quest, as a companion to the MUPBO site.
Her website is www.upbigfoot.com