The Jennifer Syndrome

I have a friend at work by the name of Jennifer. Now when the topic of bigfoot research comes up in conversation she goes into a tirade usually along the lines of – Where’s the evidence? Where’s the body? Why hasn’t one been shot?

If you mention to her that all of these questions have already been addressed on many of the websites, she laughs boldly and walks away.

This reaction to the mentioning of the word bigfoot I admit is very common in our modern American society. I am not a psychologist so I can not adequately explain or understand it other than I suspect its root causes are

1) Fear of the unknown.
2) Fear of anything associated with the dark.
3) Fear of the “boogie man” or “monsters in the closet”.
4) Concerns that we humans are not the only upright walking ape.

What about me? Am I insulted or feel put down because of the ridicule? No. Although I may disapprove of their reaction or taunts I know that it has been a common situation for a long, long time.

What about the witnesses?

I have interviewed several hundred people who have seen an animal that is not accepted to exist by the general public.

I spoke with a lady in Southern Missouri who had been traumatized by seeing an animal who came very close to her car while she was driving. She was distraught and close to tears the hour I spent with her on the phone. My role of investigating the report for the website became secondary to counseling the witness and trying to reassure her that although she had been frightened by being so close to the animal she was in no real danger.

Nighttime sighting on country dirt road in Southern Missouri.

Other encounters that can be considered somewhat harrowing are:


Couple has car shaken and sees large animal up close near Tebbetts, Missouri.

Two teenagers have sighting east of Seneca, Illinois.

Considerations for witnesses coming forward with their stories.

To even report an encounter to a family member, co-worker or a website requires that the witness admits to themselves about the incident. I have a contact who after relating the story to me about the sightings he and his wife had been having I cautioned him about telling people about it at work. It was too late, his wife had already shared her story at the office. Her co-workers laid out a trail of M & M’s down the hallway and through the office and played a game called “follow the bigfoot”.

Many witnesses that I contact express their relief that they have someone to tell their story to. Often times they are not interested in having their stores published, they are just appreciative to have had someone to listen to them. Several times I have been told “in the twenty years since my incident I have spoken to no one about this other than my spouse and you”.

Several years ago when I got involved in research my wife’s family, although not outwardly skeptical, did seem to harbor a little doubt about what I was doing. One nephew told me “I am forty years old and have hunted these woods all my life and I have never seen or heard anything out of the ordinary nor do I know anyone that has”.

On the 23rd of Jan I gave him a phone call. I said “If you are not too busy I have something I want to show you.”

As he knelt in the trail and felt the depression that each toe had made in the ice and snow I saw a different look in his eyes.

It is amazing to see someone discover for themselves what the truth is and not what they have been told by society.

2 Responses to “The Jennifer Syndrome”

  1. dbd says:

    Great post Stan. One of the best I've ever read on the subject of people and their doubts — I think your "Jennifer Syndrome" appellation should stick.

  2. escAPEe says:

    You may never know the full value of the counseling service you provide to traumatized witnesses. In fact, all witnesses experience some degree of trauma when the world as they know it is challenged by his or her observations. It may be many years before he or she is willing to report it and talk about it. Thanks so much, Stan, for your work counseling witnesses.