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Bigfoot: Theories, Hypotheses, and Myths

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A global phenomenon of Bigfoot dates back centuries with what people believe are sightings of this tall, hairy creature. Two authors have their own beliefs on the evidence of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The publication in Cryptozoology News claims that there have been multiple “sightings” on an Alabama road. Author Darren Naish states the credibility of all the data that has been found which include “tracks, hairs, vocalizations, photos, and the innumerable eyewitness accounts” (Naish). Although Cryptozoology News attempts to build their credibility with stories of eyewitness accounts, the witnesses’ emotional appeals weaken their integrity in the whole argument. While Darren Naish starts with a more personal opening establishing a common ground and a goodwill approach towards the audience. He then follows it with his credibility on logical research from the evidence people believe to be true, ultimately strengthening the article.

Cryptozoology News not having a listed author and an unreliable source who also has questionable witnesses that drastically limit the reliability of this article. Their only source is Jim Smith, Bigfoot researcher and the “founder of the Alabama Bigfoot Society” (Naish). Smith was the one that investigated the four eyewitness accounts. Two of the eyewitness stories stood out from the four. One of them being “a woman who claimed to have been driving on the night of Halloween when they spotted the creature last year” (“Four Witnesses”). The women spotting the creature on Halloween isn’t too reliable due to the fact that it’s a tradition to dress up in costumes on that holiday. Similarly, a “man, who was reportedly traveling east on the same highway, said it was “almost dark” when he came across the creature” (Naish). This witness could have just seen a deer or a bear while passing the highway. Adding it to being “almost dark” didn’t help his case because no one’s vision is greatest at night especially on a highway with other cars brightly shining their headlights. Though Naish’s article, he uses reliable sources and ethos appeals in his argument. These sources include Darren Naish himself who wrote a book called “Hunting Monsters” and Melba Ketchum who published a journal called “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science” where she studies the genetics of the possible Bigfoot (qt. In Naish). Citing these sources shows the amount of research and facts the author himself put into finding the truth “If Bigfoot Were Real.” Also adding other expert opinions of authors and journalists helped further broaden his credibility, but he could have deepened the amount of logos he added. If he would have used more statistics and quotes from the other professional researchers, it would have made it stronger.

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Along with his ethos appeals, Naish’s use of strong emotional appeals beginning to end in his article. In the beginning, to have some common ground with the audience he states, “by the way, that I would love to be wrong… I still do hope that Bigfoot is real” by writing this it shows the readers that he too wants to believe the creature is real and it will give the reader a sense of goodwill from the author. Throughout the article, he continues to use pathos using words such as, “concerning,” “cowardly,” “unrealistically,” “love,” (Naish) to further his claim that the Sasquatch isn’t real. He uses the balance of those positive and negative pathos words as a subtle approach to show his want to believe in bigfoot but having to face the truth and reality that the creature is a myth. In his conclusion, he brings it all together by asserting, “As interesting and intriguing as all those eyewitness reports are, we are simply not seeing the evidence we should, nor is the evidence we have at all convincing.” This helped continue to establish his connection to the Bigfoot fantasy, but making the audience of believers see that there is no factual evidence. However, in the Cryptozoology News article, it lacked any connection to the readers and no emotion in the whole article probably due to the lack of an author.

In addition to not having any pathos appeals, Cryptozoology News also doesn’t have many facts or any logical approach to the reported encounters people have had. There’s no proof or evidence to these stories told by Jim Smith, who could also be manufacturing these witness accounts. On the other hand, Naish uses many logical ideas and reasons. He points out that “I’ve learned about Bigfoot while writing this article…Bigfoot imagery online which is marked for reuse: everything is protected by copyright unavailable for free use by others” (Naish). Demonstrating the readers that if this was real evidence and not something to make money off of, shouldn’t it be free for the public to use? He also adds reason to evidence of the Bigfoot tracks, “a primate with a human-like foot – especially an enormously bid, heavy, bipedal on – the toes should consistently splay apart, as they do in people who go their lives without shoes.” This further shows that the evidence and findings of nonprofessional researchers aren’t reliable and can easily be logically proven wrong.

Overall, I’m certain that author Darren Naish had the most effective essay compared to Cryptozoology News. Naish engaged with the audience throughout the essay and in that way, it made him succeeded compared to the other article. For example, Naish states, “I’m repeating what many other scientists have said before me – is that an awful lot of good evidence would have been documented by now if Bigfoot were real” (Naish). By adding this it helped increase the audience’s belief in his claim. I believe he failed by using very little logos and balancing more towards ethos and pathos. Whereas “Four Witnesses Spot ‘Bigfoot’ in Alabama Road” used very little to no ethos in their article, drastically weakening the article. As a matter of fact, the article depended too much on the source, Jim Smith, who didn’t give any proof that the stories of the eyewitnesses were true. With regards to this if being shown this as proof of a real Bigfoot, most wouldn’t believe it.

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