My approach to any research is simple: there is no bias on my part and I look at every aspect of the material presented. That is how you should do this. It is the scientific way.
When I decided to update the Close Encounters of the Third Kind (CE3K)/Alien Entity records for the UK I was surprised greatly at the total amateur nature of research and investigation today. "He says he was abducted" and that was it. Acceptance because of what has come out since Budd Hopkins and, later, Dr David Jacobs revealed via their "alien abduction research". It started out well and then dived straight into the pit of "Let's just jump in and make stuff up as it goes along".
As long time Ufologists and researchers have pointed out, but tend to get ignored because they do not blindly accept post Hopkins/Jacobs claims, is that "Greys" (go online to hear Americans screaming over the keyboard "WHY are they spelling it 'Greys' like the English ~it should be "Grays"!!") as accepted by today's commercial exploiters of the subject never existed. I can cite hundreds of cases pre Hopkins/Jacobs and, yes, there are some small, large headed AE types described, however, they were not "Greys".
When you have, as previously discussed, UK UFO groups who seem to accept Trash TV shows as their training, accepting any light seen as hiding an abduction and claim to receive 100~200 new abduction cases each month you know something has gone wrong.
I offered to collate reports and make a free~for~all data base. What happened? Insults, no wish to cooperate and the claim that these were their reports and no one elses. So nothing has changed since 1977 in UK 'Ufology' and the amount of internet warring and nastiness (some quite evil claims made against some of their fellow researchers) going on...seems to follow a pattern you find in the US but my main concern is the UK.
You move on to paranormal groups. I once confronted two of these groups over why they had refused to work with me and had "put the word around"? Apparently, they were "a bit scared" of me!! Why? Because I had a reputation (I had no idea of this at the time) as someone who "critically tries to explain phenomena"...but that is part of Science. Only when you can eliminate every and any other possibility do you have data that demands further study. Science.
I responded to a note in a "ghost" group about a haunted house survey going on. I said:
It might be interesting to find out how many of these events involved small globes of lights or single lights that appeared then suddenly vanished.
Both of which are more likely optical effects than paranormal events.
Really? Without asking for an exact definition or example of the type of event I was referring to (I have several on file, two involving more than one witness and no "optical effect" was involved) this person has decided they are all "optical effects"? Perhaps this person needs to also remember the definition of "paranormal"?
Definition of paranormal: not scientifically explainable : supernaturalparanormalplay\ˌper-ə-ˈnȯr-mə-lē, ˌpa-rə-; ˈper-ə-ˌnȯr-, ˈpa-rə-\ adverbplay\ˌper-ə-ˌnȯr-ˈma-lə-tē, ˌpa-rə-\ noun noun
Perhaps "What type of phenomenon are you defining by 'globes of light'?" would have been a better response. Without even looking at the data this person jumped in with "optical effect". That is not just unscientific but it shows a closed mind from someone I cannot find any published research from.
In fact, I get a lot of requests fro skeptics to join their "skeptical approach groups" and refuse. You class yourself as "skeptic" then you are admitting that you are not adopting a Scientific approach. Leave the room and come back when you have something to offer.
Again, the (I could scream) "Ghostologists"/"Spookologists"/"paranormalists" are faking, lying, warring with one another and countering each others claims. Not Scientific. All behaviour seeming adopted from their training watching Trash TV shows on the subject.
Then we have the "British Bigfooters"/"Bigfootologists".
From 1975 onward I heard every type of account from poachers, game keepers, estate owners, foresters and many others who had an intimate knowledge of woodland, forests and the countryside. All in the strictest confidence I heard of "big cats", ghosts, UFOs, strange lights in buildings or woodland. I heard of local legends and myths. In 40 plus years I had heard it all but never ever any stories of a Bigfoot or wild~man type creature. Yes, there is a plentiful supply of food for any omnivore and it is basic practice to look at all of this in any area.
But, according to the Cryptozoologists and Bigfootologists we have mystery hominids here. Right here in the UK. However, I decided to assess the data. I contacted the main UK Bigfoot group and explained that I would be interested in analyzing and reports and evidence such as foot prints and casts and draw up a report to present to them before publishing generally. The response from these people who felt science was ignoring and ridiculing them when a naturalist offers to look at what they have? A rather long, very insulting message accusing me of negativity and more (I kept the message for posterity)...by being open to the subject? I then got an half arsed apology which, unlike the initial response which was on a public group, was private. Harm done.
Branches and sticks on the ground, leaning over or criss~crossed...in a woodland or forest. These people have obviously never gotten out much. Lean to type structures ~a lot of people are living rough in forests now and to mess about with their "spots" is unwelcome and stones thrown at night or being followed is not Bigfoot. Amateur video analysis and even claims that "something can be seen in the trees" (it cannot be seen) and, oh dear, the "much respected" Bigfootologist who felt he had won because, after explaining about sticks in woodland to him, I would not continue to argue against his claim that he had found a Bigfoot tree knocking stick...a stick found in the woods is...a stick.
Accounts of 7~9 feet (2.13~2.74m) in woods and going through suburban area are greeted with acceptance. Blind acceptance by British Bigfootologists. If you look at their report data bases it includes ghost stories (often listed twice but an inaccurate location given in the second account) and much more. Even try to suggest a case does not seem likely and you will be screeched at over the internet.
Again, Trash TV shows from the US seem to have sparked off this craze.
UK "big cats"...all the same type of thing. Yes, we have scat (faeces) analysis, hair analysis, DNA results, we have plaster casts of paw prints, we have the kills and much, much more. However, the material needs to be compiled by a central body ~it is why I set up the Exotic Animals Register in the 1970s. Again, animals that should be accepted as being here are not because there is no one with real credibility giving an over view. Ridiculous.
When I announced that I would look at any evidence groups or investigators, or the public, had last week....I got immediate attacks. "Who does he think he is just jumping into this research?" and similar.
I began looking into these reports as a skeptic but keeping my mind open, in 1976 and from 1977 until I semi retired in 2012 I was a wildlife consultant to UK police forces on the subject. So, unlike many, I never "jumped" onto the subject 10, 6, 5 or a couple years ago but four decades ago.
I don't want to make this post overlong but, if these people really want to be taken seriously then they have to grow up and be scientific. Many Bigfoot investigators in the United States realized this and are adopting scientific methodology while avoiding the internet hate war.
If you want to be taken seriously then be serious.