Since nothing of interest happens in Canada, on the taxi ride from the University of Victoria to the airport, CBC blurted a story summarizing 2006’s Bigfoot news. The interesting thing the announcer said was that “Bigfoot is known by many names,” like Yeti around the Himalayas. He could have done something extraordinary for popular media and gone into cross-cultural studies of Bigfoot legends, for example the similarity between Bigfoot and trolls (as in epic fantasy, not the blogosphere).
Instead, he replayed interviews with Bigfoot proponents who went on and on about how awful it was that nobody was taking them seriously and how any evidence against them didn’t count. One was a Vincent Chao, an environmentalist and Bigfoot believer, who talked with glee about a state-supported search for Bigfoot in Johor Bahru. A few months later, when not a single person had signed up for the government’s drive to look for Bigfoot in the forests of Johor, he started saying that there had been insufficient publicity for some mysterious reason.
Hearing him come off as smirking but actually dreading defeat was unbridled joy for a skeptic like me. The interviewer wasn’t as hostile as Bill O’Reilly is to non-fascist guests, but she asked enough hardball questions to make skeptics radiant… and believers just as content. I’m pretty sure Bigfoot believers wouldn’t think Chao totally botched the interview, even though he did.