Courtesy of Melissa Hovey
PSA Beware Of Photos coming out of East Texas.
Yesterday I came across an interesting post on a message board not my own. On this message board a gentleman claimed to have met with TBRC Conference committee. Why you ask? Well, apparently he claims to have photos that are “Ground Breaking” “Rivaling the Patty Footage" (his words not mine). Well, Craig Woolheater and Monica Rawlins were more than happy to meet with this man at a Borders Bookstore here in Dallas Texas.But, why did he want to show these “ground breaking” photos to Craig and Monica? Well, he wanted to be listed as a speaker for the 2007 Texas Bigfoot Conference to be held in Jefferson Texas. He wanted to show a powerpoint presentation on his still photos. Craig and Monica as always are happy to meet with witnesses and evaluate their potential evidence and their stories, but make no mistake the TBRC maintains high standards when it comes to any possible evidence. Well, I think this exchange next will speak for itself.Monica found out about this person posting, after the TBRC had met with this gentleman and politely declined, the following is the email sent to this gentleman:Craig WoolheaterWithout direct TBRC involvement in the matter, we are unable to conclusively determine whether or not the quality of the photos and the conditions described by the photographer(s) meet our evidenciary standards. Therefore the Conference Committee cannot justify inclusion of an additional presentation on the matter in the 2007 Texas Bigfoot Conference. For the record, should conclusive, unequivocal evidence be discovered by or made available to the TBRC at some point in the future, we do not believe that the Conference or any other symposium will be the forum of our choice at which to exhibit such findings. More than likely, the TBRC will seek to cooperate with several governmental and private agencies in steps leading tothe listing of the species and publish the findings in a reputable scientific journal. On behalf of the TBRC, the Committee wishes to thank you for the opportunity to consider your request and looks forward to seeing you and your team members in November in Jefferson.Sincerely,Craig WoolheaterChair, TBRC Conference Committee MembersThis is a pretty straightforward letter, it is not insulting and not demeaning to the person who was offering the information. Truth is, his offer was declined because he had not had his photos evaluated by those who could say whether these were authentic or had been photoshopped. Having your potential evidence validated by someone with expert knowledge of say photos – to determine if Photoshop had been employed is the very first thing you should do as an investigator.So, on with the story.To the above email, this gentleman with his “ground breaking” photos jumped online and went to a message board and posted this:[name withheld, for now]Posted: Aug 18 2007, 08:57 AMJust heard back from the 2007 tbrc conference committee (who haven't seen a bf either..I asked them point blank). They have turned down my request to speak at their conference, show photos and other evidence from East Texas. Woolheater said that since the evidence didn't come from the tbrc, it doesn't meet their "evidenciary standards". As I expected from them. They also stated that evidence of that nature should best be left for government and private agencies to process and posted in scientific journals...but not at a conference. They're keeping a tradition alive....surrounding themselves with self proclaimed "experts" who have never seen a bf, nor inter-acted with one of more of them, but proclaiming their existence through circumstantial evidence....in front of the media.How many people in the field of Bigfoot Research do not know about Craig Woolheater’s sighting? He also goes on in another post to say Craig's sighting was a “rear view mirror” sighting. He couldn’t be more wrong. Which causes my first bit of concern with this guy. Know of which you speak, or forever remove the question of how well you pay attention. Thats free advice Apparently we were good enough for him to want to speak at our conference, but now that we question him we are a horrible organization, does anyone else get the irony in that??Well, does anyone else smell something foul? Compare what he says was the response from Craig Woolheater and what was actually sent to him. By the way, the above email from Craig Woolheater was supplied by the person whom I quoted above, not Craig Woolheater…. Something is rotten in East Texas.The evidentiary standards of the TBRC include a chain of custody, and an expert to back up what you say about the evidence. Simply telling us “I didn’t photoshop anything” just isn’t going to cut it. There is a reason why the TBRC has such a good name, and it’s not by accepting every piece of information as the gospel when it’s thrown out in front of us.To continue….Now of course just about everyone who was (with the exception of a silent few who were paying close attention) following after this guy on that specific message board is buying his info hook line and sinker. Even the members of the TBRC are now taking a hit, and unfounded accusations, and outright lies are being thrown about as if they are the truth (problem was they didn’t get the actual email until my involvement). I had to call this guy out and question his story. Yep, that’s right.The girls had to step up. I fired off an email to Monica. I offer this first post by Monica.Posted: Aug 22 2007, 01:38 PMOh my dear, dear (Name removed for now). Remember me? I was the one sitting next to you when you showed the pictures to Woolheater. You did not meet with the entire conference committee, just myself and Craig. The other person was a member of the Board of Directors, as you were told but conveniently forgot. To say that no one on the conference committee ever had a sighting is bull, Craig told you about his sighting when you asked; and if you need to know, I am the only one on the committee who hasn't had a sighting.The pictures do not meet our evidentiary standards because no expert has reviewed them. Experts in the field of photography do exist, you know. Have you shown them to one? You refused to allow us to have one examine the photo's for doctoring or photoshopping, so no, as they as they stand now do not meet our standards because they have not been reviewed by any expert; are we to just take your word for it? A third party unknown to any of us could give an unbiased opinion, although I really don't think you want that, do you? You had to point out in one of the pictures where the supposed BF was hiding. Now, if these are the ground breaking pictures you are bragging about here, why do you need to point it out. If it rivals the P/G film, as you told Craig, wouldn't the image be obvious? The other photo's are compelling, until you look at them closely. As someone who works closely with advertisers who use Photoshop, they looked pretty photoshopped to me. You told us in the meeting that Chester Moore was "chomping at the bit" to use the photo's at his conference, so do it. Show them there and move along.His response? Good Question. This response is so telling it makes my liver hurt.All you ask would have been presented formally at the conference. As I have heard it from Craig directly, he and his wife MAY have seen something on the side of the road in their rearview mirror back in the late 1970's. If he has had any other experiences, I am unaware of them. 25 years of speaking in front of groups of scientists in my scientific discipline (Geology and Geophysics related to petroleum exploration), all presentation orientated and peer reviewed. I have made no harsh claims against anyone. Only stated what I have read in some of the books published by the registered speakers, that the group of speakers is very weak or non-existent on personal sightings and encounters. They are strong on circumstantial evidence and I agree with them on many aspects of their published work. Some of it fits with our field work....some doesn't. I'll take hands on in- the- field experience over internet message board research anyday. The evidence has been shown to those that our group trust....thats all....one of which is(Name Removed). It will not be shown to those whom we don't know or trust. We have had some of the evidence attempted to be stolen by outsiders. Unknown people have shown up at doorsteps requesting to review the evidence. Because of these occurances, we choose to keep it protected. If it were yours, I would assume you would do the same thing. I gave the tbrc a chance to use their forum to allow me to show the evidence obtained from E. Tx, since its promoted as a TEXAS BIGFOOT CONFERENCE. They chose not to....its their right and choice. I have talked with Chester Moore, and if he has a conference in '08, I will discuss it with my group and we will talk with Chester about presenting it there. When the time is right (when our group decides its right), we plan on making the evidence known to the scientific community (of our choosing, no one else's) and let them run with it. I have known Chester and Craig both a long time. Chesters conference was my first choice as a venue to present the evidence, but he isn't having a conference in 2007, Craig is.....thats the only reason the tbrc was considered for release of this data. Data of this type is best reviewed first in conference form. Once discussed and presented formally, decisions can be made where and whom to talk to next concerning the validity of the data and any additional testing necessary to firm up our findings.“All we asked would be presented at the conference?” Monica got it right when she responded with this:Posted: Aug 22 2007, 02:14 PMI would think it logical to have your ducks in a row PRIOR to formally introducing evidence to the public, not afterward.Standing ovation for Monica – that is an extremely valid and EXCELLENT point. I’m so happy she is on the Board of Directors for the TBRC – and thank god everyone on that board would have said the exact same thing.When questioned about the tall TBRC tales he told, he had this to say:Posted: Aug 22 2007, 02:34 PMNo, No, No....I never said I received a slap in the face. Quite the contrary. The tbrc made a decision to not let me present our findings at their venue. Its their right. I gave them the opportunity first and they elected to pass on it. Thats all fine. I have no problem with their decision....its solely theirs. However, if its a Tx Bigfoot Conference....show some real Texas research....not some rehashed authors with limited real life experience selling books.So, from his response above, he would like everyone to know he is not upset that he was turned down by the TBRC.. I love all the fancy foot work he does to play “Nope I didn’t say that”.I would be a fool if I had not responded with:QUOTE (Our New East Texas Friend)They're keeping a tradition alive....surrounding themselves with self proclaimed "experts" who have never seen a bf, nor inter-acted with one of more of them, but proclaiming their existence through circumstantial evidence....in front of the media.Quote by me: So, you didnt say the above quote?Quote by me: Or this one,QUOTE (Our New East Texas Friend)I got the biggest kick out of the fact that the photos don't meet their "evidenciary standards". Fact is...they don't have any standards, because they don't have any evidence...nor do they have people capable of gainiing such. If they took these photos, they would be beating down the door to get the media involved...pure hyprocrisy.This gentleman never did respond to this. How could he? He had been caught in an outright lie trying to establish himself as an injured party, so those he was complaining to would feel sorry for him and listen even more intently to what he had to say. “Look at the bully picking on me”. Even though the “Bully” had remained silent to this point.He not only got caught, he provided the information that was his ultimate undoing. People like this get cocky, and they get so self confident that they think no one is smarter than them. Well, this guy was undone by his own words.He can now take his photos to Chester Moore for the 2008 Conference, so why is he clearly so upset about being turned down by the TBRC when he clearly thinks the TBRC isn’t capable of evaluating anything? Would you take your evidence to someone or a group you felt were completely inept? Would you really trust them to not screw something up?Well, here is another question that’s just begging to be asked, why not take them to Chester now? Chester is very well known in this research and could possibly open a lot of doors for analysis and documentation of the animal he claims to have captured in these photos. Apparently, he is choosing to wait until the 2008 Conference… I am confused by this. Can anyone explain this reasoning to me – doesn’t that go against everything we are in this for?Ok, maybe some just want really, really cool pictures. You can keep your cool pictures, I want proof.When questioned by another forum member about whether he intended to post his photos on their forum, he responded with this:Posted: Aug 22 2007, 07:37 AMI figured this would come up. The answer is no. I/we won't post anything on the internet in the way of photos or other tangible evidence. The evidence is just too hard to come by, to put into the public domain. The cost I/we have incurred in getting to the point we are at is huge. Equipment alone we, together, have probably $75,000 invested. (Name Removed) has seen the photos and other evidence due to my absolute trust in him. He can comment on them if he wishes. There were conditions place on the tbrc if they accepted my offer to show them....such as no photo's, video's at all...only audio so Woolheater could make some money on the conference. I/we have logged many, many hard nights in the woods, spent lots of money and nurtured relationships to get to the point we are, and I/we aren't giving it up to the public at this point in time. Maybe later, once certain conditions have been met. Sorry.Your damn right people are going to ask to see your pictures, you brought it up. When someone goes out of their way to tell you they have awesome photos then refuses to show them, citing copyright – you should yell BS and RUN FOREST RUN!!!! Something is not adding up. That is why people get a copyright on these things – to protect their financial interest number one, and two to keep others from claiming ownership, so they can then show others – and protect their interest. You don’t get a copyright then say “I have a copyright, but I won’t show you because I’m afraid someone will steal my photos”. That was frankly the most laughable comment I have heard in some time. My favorite line from his above quote is this:I/we have logged many, many hard nights in the woods, spent lots of money and nurtured relationships to get to the point we are, and I/we aren't giving it up to the public at this point in time.But that’s exactly what he offered the TBRC. I think there is another reason why he won’t post those photos. I offer this for your inspection and consideration:MMRawlins Posted: Aug 22 2007, 01:42 PMThe pictures do not meet our evidentiary standards because no expert has reviewed them. Experts in the field of photography do exist, you know. Have you shown them to one? You refused to allow us to have one examine the photo's for doctoring or photoshopping, so no, as they stand now do not meet our standards because they have not been reviewed by any expert; are we to just take your word for it?He also claims to have spent $75,000.00 on photos he has not yet had analyzed by an expert in photography. Was the $75,000.00 just for the copyright? What could possibly cost so much? Why would you do that, with no expert authentication? You have no scientific validation to back up your story, you have no hard evidence by way of DNA or anything else (not even a hair sample) yet, you decide $75,000.00 is a worth while investment for something you can’t prove anyway?? Ok, this is your second clue to “head for the hills”. Politely thank the person for their time, but scram out of that place as fast as you can.Posted: Aug 22 2007, 02:16 PMPosted by our New East Texas FriendWe have refused to let anyone, outside our group, have a copy of anything. We have all played this game before and don't trust anyone outside the group. Yes, the photos have undergone analysis by an unbiased third party with the original shots. Some of the pics that I brought for you to see have been lightened or outlined or colors of foliage removed...others were untouched.You don’t trust anyone outside your group? Remember, you came to the TBRC – the TBRC did not come to you. So, yes, the burden of proof is squarely on your shoulders.In an exchange between this gentleman and Monica he says he planned to have his photos analyzed AFTER the conference. Let me say that again, I don’t want anyone to miss this. He said he would have his photos analyzed AFTER the conference. Now above he says analysis has been done. Enhancements have been done. Why didn’t he bring a report by this expert that analyzed the film? That’s very standard. Anyone rendering an expert opinion would give the person requesting such analysis a final report – in writing. That was not supplied or even hinted at during his meeting with Craig and Monica.This gentleman has some serious inconsistencies in his story, as he told Craig Woolheater and Monica he had no work done on those photos, then he admits to photoshopping out leaves etc and enhancing the photos (was this part of the $75,000.00 price tag?) Big no no. Anyone who has been in this long enough should know by now – you do not have anything done to photographic evidence. You do not manipulate images in any way, shape or form, for no reason whatsoever.He refuses to have his photos analyzed by an independent expert, yet the TBRC and its members are horrible for not simply taking him at his word, and allowing him to give a presentation on supposed evidence with no factual information to verify his claims of legitimacy.That my friend is how you get hoaxed.These are the things you watch out for. Now, I am not posting this mans name, because as was pointed out to me, he may be an innocent victim in this as well. My money is on not. He has gotten himself in too far to be so innocent. And I don’t care how many friends you have, if your evidence amounts to your “word” and yet you want to put it out to the world as factual information – sorry I will always do whatever I think is necessary to put a stop to it.Researchers have a decision to make when it comes to these issues.. Stick your head in the sand and bury it, or speak up and don’t allow others to be taken in by these things. I am choosing to speak out, because I have first hand information, and I feel it is my responsibility once things go too far – to inform other researchers of what to watch out for. If evidence is good enough for you based solely on the person who obtained it – don’t come crying to me or write up long diatribes about how you were suckered into believing someone, when you just didn’t want to see the truth. I wont be bullied either to keep my mouth shut when I think someone is attempting to push off bad information. I will always do what I think is right - and let the chips fall where they may.So, if you get an email or read a post about photos that “Ground Breaking” out of East Texas – be wary, use caution and please do not be taken in by this.