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Demon Haunted Times from Skeptic magazine Vol. 10 No. 2


Southern Bigfoot Convention Draws Criticism


CONROE, TXAs the largest group of Bigfoot enthusiasts, the Southern Bigfoot Convention (SBC), prepare to kick off their annual meeting at the Lone Star Expo Center, other cryptozoologists are publicly speaking out against them claiming they are intolerant toward other giant ape believers.

"It's narrow-minded to believe that the only unknown large bipedal species is Bigfoot," says Sam Iverson, a recovering Southern Bigfooter. "Although I was raised in the SB tradition and even went to a SB-supported Cryptoseminary school, I have since come to accept the existence of other giant ape creatures as well."

"We need to stand for what we know to be true," counters Dr. Jack Bindershmagel, president of the SBC. "We believe in the one true Bigfoot. There are no others. The rest are false bigfoots."

Chester Titmus, a non-regionominational giant unknown primate believer believer disagrees: "I find it offensive to hear them use the term "Bigfoot" as though it is an all-encompassing term. It is a specific term for the creature found here in North America."

Southern Bigfooters are more traditional in their beliefs, discounting current ideas such as the theory that Bigfoot might be a spirit creature or possibly from another dimension.

"That's all new age nonsense," laughs Dr. Bindershmagel. "Bigfoot is a physical species, dwelling among us, here on earth."

The SBC has drawn fire in the past by organizing campaigns to convert specific groups such as the Yeti followers in Nepal and the Yowie believers in Australia.

Iverson argues that while SBers claim not to accept other creatures, they are inconsistent in their own practice.

"They have this strange Three-in-one doctrine," explains Iverson. "They say Bigfoot is revealed to us in three ways: Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and the Skunk Ape. That sounds to me like more than one Bigfoot."

Not according to Dr. Bindershmagel. "The Three-in-one are distinct individuals, but they each contain the same Bigfoot essence. They are all part of one single Bigfoot."

Besides the refusal to accept differing giant ape creature beliefs throughout the world, Iverson says he left the fold due to tangential demands made by the SBC.

"They take something simple like the Patterson/Gimlin film and make it into an article of faith. They say you're not a real believer in Bigfoot unless you accept the film as the one true visual documentation," explains Iverson. "It's been shown to be a fake, yet the Southern Bigfooters continue to cling to it despite all the evidence against it."

Some current members, like Bigfoot popularizer Dallas Graham, have tried for years to broaden the image and soften the message of the SBC.

"I can't stand the bickering," says Graham who has been reprimanded by the SBC for going to non-sanctioned meetings. "Here we are arguing amongst ourselves and yet there are people out there who don't even believe in Bigfoot at all! Sure, we're going to have disagreements about this photo or that footprint or some sighting in Siberia. But when it comes down to it, aren't we all cryptozoologists?"

SBC membership has dwindled in the past year since the passing of Gray Walters, a longtime Bigfoot apologist. Soon after his death, Walters' family revealed that he had started the entire Bigfoot phenomenon as a practical joke. The hoax announcement made national headlines culminating in a Time magazine cover asking, "Is Bigfoot Dead?"

"He most certainly is not," asserts Dr. Bindershmagel. "And let me warn you, when he reveals himself in all his hairiness, I would not want to be one of those who doubted."