Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Snipe Hunts

   Back in the "Olden Days" when I was a Boy Scout we would go on campouts as a group. Invariably during the evening we would have a "Snipe Hunt".

   This consisted of dividing up into two teams and bashing about through the woods searching for a "Snipe".

   No one was ever quite sure what a snipe was, but we were looking for one and not surprisingly we never found one. You'd think that with 10 to 20 Boy Scouts thrashing about in the sticks that someone would have at least seen a snipe. It never happened. We came to learn that the snipe we were looking for was a myth.

   Snipes do exist. They are a breed of wading birds. These were not what we Scouts were looking for, though. We believed that the Snipe was some sort of creature that was elusive but that could be caught by a concerted effort of will and man(boy)power.

   Fast forward to any number of contemporary television programs that have updated the classic Snipe Hunt.

   These include, but are not limited to: The Hunt for Bigfoot, Monster Quest, Ghost Hunters, and any number of UFO programs.

   These shows have the cast traipsing about at night looking for (Bigfoot, Monsters, Ghosts) their quarry with recording and night vision devices and using every snap, crackle and pop of the outdoors to run this way and that to find their target.

   On one of the bigfoot programs a guy is seen through the green haze of a night vision camera saying "Oooh, I do think there's a Squatch in these woods". Man, I couldn't stop laughing! I guess "Squatch" is a contraction for Sasquatch, another name for Bigfoot, but it sounds like a slang term for taking a dump in the woods. As in, "Hold up guys, I gotta go take a squatch".

   While it may seem as if I'm making fun of these folks who go out looking for these creatures or entities... well you're right. I am.

   Do I believe that ghosts and Bigfoot and aliens exist? Well, I'm saying that there isn't any evidence one way or another so let's take them one by one:

   Ghosts: Very credible people claimed to have seen ghosts over the years. Some very odd things have been caught on video that have yet to be explained away rationally. Do I believe in them? Not really.

   The program "Ghost Hunters" is kinda funny in that the  TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) staff are always told of so-called ghost sightings that happen during the daytime at whatever location they happen to be investigating but when they are looking for the ghosts they wait until dark and turn off all the lights. Why? To be more spooky!

   UFOs - Aliens: Very credible people claimed to have seen UFOs - Aliens over the years. Some very odd things have been caught on video that have yet to be explained away rationally. Do I believe in them? For me, the jury's still out. It's kind of silly to believe that this planet is the only one in existence with intelligent life. I believe that life of one sort or another exists on most planets. Have we been visited by intelligent life? I wouldn't rule it out but I'm not ready to hang my hat on it yet, either.

   Bigfoot: Okay, I'm breaking the mold here. Bigfoot / Sasquatch, etc. have been mentioned in North American tribal myths and legends since before the white man came to North America. Since most legends have a basis in fact, I believe that it's possible that these guys do exist. Many experts point to the fact that no remains have ever been found to prove their existence. No live specimen has ever been captured.

   (WARNING: There are too many people out there who want to be the first one to produce authentic evidence of Bigfoot's existence. If there is anyone who thinks it's a good idea to put on a monkey costume and hang out near a campground, please re-think. Some folks will shoot at anything that looks like a "Bigfoot" in order to be the first to bag one. Imagine their consternation if they shoot you and find out that it's only Billy Bunghole in a costume! (They'll have to go back out and start their hunt all over again!)

   If I were alone in the wilderness, especially the areas that "Bigfoot" is claimed to inhabit, I would be very difficult to find if I didn't want to be. Hiding from sight is much easier than people seem to think, especially if there isn't a concerted effort to find someone. It took almost 2 years to find the bomber from the Atlanta Olympics and the authorities were really looking for that guy.

   The "Snipe Hunt" programs on TV are really a bunch of laughs and not one of them ever turns up any credible evidence to prove that their quarry exists yet people still watch in such numbers that they are making money and providing jobs for the snipe hunters, so I guess that's good for the economy if nothing else.

   If you've ever had an experience with any of the "Snipes" that I've talked about, please feel free to share.

   But right now, The Geezer has to take a squatch.