Bigfoot hoaxers as storytellers


Last night I watched a documentary on Bigfoot. The scientist in me says that Bigfoot (and his cousins the Yowie, Yeti, Sasquatch etc) is folklore and there is no substance to claims of its existence. The little girl in me still believes in magic and secretly hopes he’s out there, stalking the woods of North America. After I’d indulged the little girl for a while, the scientist took over again and I started thinking about what motivates Bigfoot hoaxers. For all their effort – making casts, stomping around remote woodlands etc – there’s no financial reward, no promise of fame, no prizes or awards. Why do it? Is it the thrill of mass deception? A desire to keep the Bigfoot legend alive? At about this point I had a lightbulb moment: Bigfoot hoaxers are storytellers. Storytellers come in all shapes and sizes: they’re muscians, artists, writers, architects, photographers, comedians, film makers and so on. Storytelling doesn’t have to be oral. For example, Aboriginal people tell stories of The Dreaming and the creation of individual animals through physical movement, and early cave painters told stories with ochre and charcoal.  Loosely defined storytelling is communication of events or incidents, true or otherwise, by a performer to an audience. It is interactive, uses a shared language and usually requires the audience to accept what is being told as a possibility if not a truth. By this definition a Bigfoot hoaxer is a storyteller. By laying footprints across a creek bed, they’re asking scientists and the general public to believe that Bigfoot walked here. I don’t think these people are deceitful or mad, or even hungry for fame, I think they’re storytellers, asking the world to believe in possibilities, trying to instill a little mystery back into a world gone mad on rationalisation. Even if I don’t understand their motivation, I am grateful to these storytellers. They feed that little girl in me who wants to believe in angels and fairies and hairy bipeds.

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About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
This entry was posted in ME ON WRITING, Storytellers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bigfoot hoaxers as storytellers

  1. jenniferneri says:

    – I am grateful to these storytellers. They feed that little girl in me who wants to believe in angels and fairies and hairy bipeds. –
    Yes! For me, one of my biggest source of inspiration is fairy tales … and i don`t write fairy tales…

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