A conversation about Sasquatch

How can a person know a sound they hear is a Sasquatch if they cannot see the alleged Sasquatch, and if it isn’t on verifiable  record what a Sasquatch sounds like? That is the question I asked Matt Moneymaker on Twitter that led to him telling me I wasn’t old enough to understand and should go an ask my parents. His reasoning was that many adults had asked him the same and had no problem accepting the answer that he knew because he’d heard Sasquatch before.

You can view the tweets from Matt on Storify here.

I couldn’t accept this answer because at some point, somewhere in the past of Sasquatch research history someone must have never heard an alleged Sasquatch before and as such wouldn’t have had previous experience to compare the sound they heard to, and nobody around them would have been able to say ‘yes that sound was Sasquatch, I’ve heard it before’. This is what I meant when I asked how he could know considering there is no definite, verifiable record of Sasquatch behaviour, appearance and sound.

If a young child hears a dog barking for the first time we can say to them ‘that is a dog barking. Here is the dog that is barking. Here are videos showing dogs barking.’ We can go to the zoo and the same child could hear a lion roar for the first time and we can say ‘that is a lion roaring. Here is the lion roaring, there are videos that show lions roaring.’ That isn’t possible with Sasquatch because you can’t show me a Sasquatch that is making alleged Sasquatch sounds and you can’t show me video after video of a Sasquatch making Sasquatch sounds – all you can do is tell me that the sound I hear is a Sasquatch because you’ve heard one before. All Matt could do was

      link me to audio of what he claims is a Sasquatch
 without being able to tell me how he knows it is a Sasquatch.

When I pointed this out on Twitter Matt Moneymaker called me a child and told me I was asking childish questions and ignoring the answers he had already given me. He told me

don’t make child-like assumptions about what exists and what doesn’t exist. Others may know more than you do about things.

The problem is though that Matt is the one making claims – that he knows what Sasquatch sounds like – but he cannot provide me with the evidence despite me asking him to do so several times on Twitter. The burden of proof in this situation lays with Matt. Making a claim is fine, but do so with evidence to back the claim up, and don’t dismiss me as a child for questioning how you know something is what you say it is.

I accept that others know more about subjects than I do, and that is why when I see claims being made that I am unsure of I ask questions. That’s how you learn more, that’s how you develop your current understanding of the world around you. I don’t expect to ask a reasonable question and to have to accept the answer I am given when it doesn’t make logical sense, as the initial answer given to me by Matt Moneymaker didn’t. To then be told I am a child because I ‘didn’t understand or accept’ the initial answer is nonsense.

Cough up the goods, Matt. Show me the evidence without me having to travel to the USA to see it. If you can’t show me that evidence you base your claims on then I’m afraid they’re just opinions and not facts. That doesn’t make me a child, it just means I’m not illogically accepting someones word as fact. Presuming I should just accept your word and not question it is beyond irrational – it’s pompous. Nobody is beyond questioning, especially when like Moneymaker they’re throwing around their opinions as fact.

P.S. I asked my mum like you told me to, and she suggested that someone who goes on television as an expert on a subject ought to be able to explain things for themselves.

About Hayley Stevens 442 Articles
Hayley is a ghost geek and started to blog in 2007. She uses scientific scepticism to investigate weird stuff and writes about it here while also speaking publicly about how to hunt ghosts as a skeptic.

49 Comments on A conversation about Sasquatch

  1. Honestly, that recording sounds like a barking dog and some kind of storm warning alarm (like for a tornado or hurricane or severe thunderstorm or something). It most definitely does *not* sound like an animal’s howl. It’s too even, specific, uniform, and deliberate to be an animal howl.

  2. Quite right. “The plural of anecdote is not data”, and Matt’s is purely an anecdose. You are asking, as any reasonable person would, for data… Which so far, he has failed to provide.

    • Technically that’s not true. “The plural of anecdote is not data” is only relevant in cases where a single datum is not sufficient to justify the conclusion. For example, the anecdote, “I took this pill and my headache went away” in no way justifies the conclusion “therefore the pill works”. On the other hand, if someone managed to trap a Sasquatch, and have it examined by a team of biologists, that would be an anecdote, but it would also be incontrovertible evidence.

      The problem with these cases is not that they’re unsystematic, but that each one is complete nonsense.

  3. Looks as if you employed the often used “Hayley and the gang vs one individual” method. I really don’t think that the mature way of presenting an argument is to machine gum him from several different directions from several different people.

    Regardless of his comments to you about being a child your method was pretty unacceptable

  4. I’m sure i never used to word “attacking”.

    He seems to be responding to several of your friends at once as well as you. IMO this just seems like you have rallied together some of your friends and bullied him about his beliefs, regardless of how bizarre they.

    In the past you’ve done this before, and it’s a poor way of delivering an argument for the rational.

    • Of all the people who tweeted him I know just one of them. Do not accuse me of bullying someone when all I’ve done is ask him about claims he is making. I retweeted several of his comments, but Twitter is a public forum. I didn’t do it to rally people together – I’m more than capable of debating on my own.

    • Welcome to Twitter, where conversation is public.

      Just because Hayley retweeted MMM doesn’t mean she sent anyone after him. but those that chose to engage him were, from what I can see, reasonable and simply either reiterated Hayley’s point about verifiability, or pointed out that one’s age has exactly zero impact on the credibility of one’s reasoning.

      What’s the problem here?

  5. Little Hayley,

    I am headed to the beach in a moment (Laguna Beach, CA, USA) so I won’t be able to see your reply for a while, or respond to any more questions today.

    I did have one question for you though, which I thought I should send to you before I forget it completely:

    I noticed your log of my Tweets at the top of this page. My question to you: Did you jumble up the chronological order of my tweets, and omit your side of the conversation, to make it sound kinda deranged ? … Was that intentional? Or can your alteration of it be attributed to youthful incautiousness?

    I’ll check in tomorrow for your reply about that.

    • What the heck is with your ageism, dude? You use the words “youthfulness” and “young” as if they’re insults. You use them to dismiss very legitimate criticisms of your claims.

      Who gives a crap if you’re older? Despite what so-called “ancient wisdom” might say, wisdom does not necessarily come with age.

      Instead of using age as a way to shield yourself, why not address the questions directly?

      Or do you not have answers?

    • Nice job keeping up with the dismissive, infantalizing attitude, Matt. If you have something substantive to say, I suggest you try that instead of belittling people.

    • Matt: Those of us that watched it happen live did find it a bit deranged and wondered what the heck you were doing. This is terrible behavior for a public personality.

  6. i hate how some people seem to think that young people are stupid. you are both adults, its not like you are only 10 or something. youre way more mature than this guy anyway cause you didnt call him an old man or anything.

  7. Matt, you seem to have the idea that debate is trying to insult the other person so much they stop asking questions you’re not capable of answering. You should probably actually answer her question.

    My stats:


    Please list the ageist/sexists/nationalistic reasons I’m incapable of making sense of your reasoning.

  8. I think Haley not showing the correct order of the tweets and not all her responses. shows that she isn’t being a very good skeptic when speaking about this.
    She has gone out of her way here to make Matt look bad.
    This is a sign of someone who is young that wants to hide how they look in the conversation in my opinion.
    Haley I heard a Fishercat in my neighbor hood. I didn’t see it at all. But I heard it. I didn’t even know what a fishercat looked like till i did research into the sound, describing it to wildlife officers and then listing to other sounds.
    We can hear things in the woods that have not seen. Matt has been looking for bigfoot for years in the woods so has others. They get use to a sound a noise that other animals make and when something that doesn’t sound like the others is heard then it is unidentified. Now we take this in account with other conditions they can make a logical conclusion of their time in the field and the possible sounds.

    Rock throwing… they know no one else is around in the area and all sudden rocks get thrown from the woods at them. I am sure the first time this happened they didn’t jump and go OMG its big foot.

    Please be honest in your skepticism and listen as well as ask questions.

    • I can’t resist pointing out that someone that keen on people listening should at least have read enough of the blogpost to be able to spell Hayley’s name correctly.

  9. ” They get use to a sound a noise that other animals make and when something that doesn’t sound like the others is heard then it is unidentified. ”

    Unidentified does not mean bigfoot. It can mean hoax, too. How does Matt distinguish between the two? Matt does not directly Hayley to an unidentified sound. He directs Hayley to an unidentified he clearly labels “sasquatch”. It’s a very fair question to ask how he makes that leap. It’s not fair to dismiss that question with “go ask your parents”.

  10. Bloody hell. I hate it when people who don’t really have a reasonable argument go on to attack people’s spelling. Old hat response. Find a better way of winning the day.

  11. I know you can read this, Hayley. Thanks for deleting several of my posts. I do enjoy that you edit the responses that you want on your website so you can remain to look the better party. Selective editing is hardly transparent and open. You and others insult people’s beliefs and it’s okay. People try to defend themselves and you get nasty. You aren’t a person that should at all be able to represent skepticism in any sense of the word. It’s monotone and sour.

    • 1) My opinion only, Hayley does a find job representing skepticism. That she disagrees with you and wants her questions asked, not her age/sex/nationality questioned, does not make her sour.

      2) I don’t think she claims to be representing skepticism. Your claim. Not hers.

    • As Karl said, I don’t claim to represent skepticism so stop holding me to false expectations and requirements. It’s just weird.
      “selective editing” is me removing comments that do not pass my comment policy. I did not approve these comments:

      “Bloody hell. I hate it when people who don’t really have a reasonable argument go on to attack people’s spelling. Old hat response. Find a better way of winning the day.”

      “Your past methods make me doubtful, sorry”

      I felt they didn’t fall in line with my comment policy. This is my blog. Deal with it. Go write your thoughts on how terrible I am elsewhere.

    • You are in error, Hayley isn’t a skeptic, she is a cynic…there is a difference…

    • What is really weird is that you’ve come onto the blog of a skeptic paranormal investigator and taken great offence at the fact that I’m skeptical and write skeptically about paranormal topics. Very bizarre.

  12. Sigh. I work an environment where I’m on the young side (and I’m 43!!!) of the population. I’m always dismayed when older people assume they know more *because they’re older*.

    Younger professionals, be it in sciences or medicine or IT or education etc etc, are statistically more likely to keep up with the latest literature in their field. Based on no other information than that I’d be inclined to listen more to someone younger than someone older.

    And of course it’s a multiple logical fallacy to claim that your age has anything bearing on the question you asked. I wonder how he’d feel if I asked him, being that I’m a middle aged white male? And yet I’d ask him exactly the same thing you did so it shouldn’t matter who is asking.

    “Some people are afraid of new ideas. I’m afraid of the old ones.” – John Cage.

    • A preference for the view of someone younger is as bad an idea as the reverse case, isn’t it?

      The fact is, in any field, there are truths deduced from first principles, take maths, we all learned maths from someone who was older than us, same with writing, it is not the age of the person, more the experience of the person allied to their intent to keep current that is important. I also know youngsters who think they know it all and will not bother learning, even from the mistakes of others…

      We should take the views of all and cogitate upon them, if someone tells me fire hurts when I place my hand in it, that is a truth whether it is said by a three-year old or a 100 year-old.

      Of course old farts aren’t always right, but I’ll take their life experience over a fresh-faced nipper any day in any day-to-day encounter…it is common sense that a person who is 100 years-old will have encountered most human conditions regarding life and death…

      What is amusing is that many kids are also age biased, both up and down…

    • Firstly, I’m not a kid. Secondly, everyone is able to think illogically and in a biased manner. Whether they’re 10 or 100. Favouring someone’s opinion because they’re older is pretty illogical, but whatever floats your boat.

  13. 1) I find it interesting that Matt has yet to return and respond. Why is that?

    2) John… grow up.


    Hayley did not attack anyone. Twitter is a public forum. This means, if you tweet someone publicly, others will most likely join in. You cannot stop this.
    Hayley asked legitimate questions. Matt dismissed her on the basis of her age. So others came to her defense.

    Standard fair on Twitter.

    3) Again to John…

    This is Hayley’s blog. She is free to allow and not allow comments as she sees fit. This blog is not a free country, so there is no obligation for her to honor any “free speech” or stuff like that.

    Hayley has noted that she has a comment policy. Perhaps you should read it before accusing her of censoring dissenting opinions?

    4. In general…

    Should Matt return, I really want to see an explanation from him about what problem he has with youth. His ageism is annoying, to be frank, and he should answer for it.

  14. I try not to get involved in personal attacks. I don’t use twitter either. But I just want to add my twopence worth to the original subject of this post.

    I visited Mr Moneymaker’s website and was not impressed by anything I saw there. Lots of accounts of people’s close-encounters with some mythical beast and not a shred of evidence what-so-ever. I was particularly impressed (not) by the tale of a canoeist who was rescued by a Sasquatch and that the extended Sasquatch family defecated and pissed in a circle to keep other wild animals away and so protect the injured man. But wouldn’t you think that he would have taken a sample of Bigfoot Poo to have it analysed? After all ‘Sasquatch Shit’ must be as rare a Unicorn Faeces and a sample could be useful for DNA analysis and worth a lot of dollars …. Sasquatch Shit … now that would be a REAL Moneymaker!

    Apparently Sasquatch sightings are happening on a regular basis in Canada but there seems to be a dearth of any evidence bar that of a few ridiculously poor quality videos and photographs. I would imagine most of the people trekking through the Canadian forests would have a firearm to protect themselves from bear attacks. Perhaps a rifle with telescopic sights: so why no Bigfoot bodies? A genuine corpse would be worth a fortune, much more than the revenue from suspect TV documentaries or lots of organised expeditions. Or perhaps not?!

    Oh, and I read on the bigfootevidence.blogspot that these creatures could possibly be using EMF to “zap their prey”. In air …. at a distance! How many thousand volts would that take?? Wow! What evidence is there for that? Perhaps they just stand in groups wearing silly hats to distract their prey while a several other Sasquatch creep up behind with rocks in their hands. But I jest; and this is a serious matter… so much so that there is a “Bigfoot Field Research Organisation”.

    The onus is on those who believe in the existence of such a creature to come up with some hard evidence for their claims.

    As Hayley stated in the post above “Cough up the goods, Matt. Show me the evidence without me having to travel to the USA to see it. If you can’t show me that evidence you base your claims on then I’m afraid they’re just opinions and not facts.”

    So Matt, let’s see a body, some hair or even a turd. Until then I can only surmise that you, Matt Moneymaker, like the plethora of ghost whisperers, psychics and mystic healers out there, are just “in-it” for financial gain.

    PS: Idoubtit’s CSI post (link above) is certainly worth reading.

  15. Matt explains:

    MattMoneymaker1 @ThePornstache Heard them many times. Seen them before. Seen them making sounds. Heard dogs before? Lame skeptics won’t accept they r wrong.

    To which I responded:

    ThePornstache .@MattMoneymaker1 Wow, seen them but never brought one in, or got some hair, or feces. Such bad luck, Matt! Not much of a woodsman are you.

  16. I’m struggling to see any out of context tweets here. Seeing the full conversation does not make him more reasonable in any way

  17. I suggest you actually do some research on how species have been found in the past. The Mountain Gorilla’s example were HEARD way before they were discovered.
    How did the people know these were gorillas that they heard? You go and research that. These people who found them found them but in your belief it would have been a negative so you wouldn’t take the time of day to do it. You are assume a negative before you have actually done the research and spent the time looking. So you claim it is a Negative is your own closed mindedness on the subject. You don’t believe its real so nothing anyone says will change that.
    But how would you determine the sound is a bigfoot?
    It isn’t an exact science. It when you take many things into account. You remove the sounds you know from the years of being in the forests. Then it is possible and likely that the unkown sound is from a bigfoot or some other unkown Animal yet to be identified “which we will still call bigfoot” You assume that Matt or other BF believers jump at every sound and go that is a Squatch! I suggest you go on a outing for a weekend with a Bigfoot team spend the nights in the forest and you do your own investigation. They would appreciate a skeptic as long as you are an OPEN Skeptic and not a closed minded one.

    • You don’t believe its real so nothing anyone says will change that.

      You’re wrong. Something would change my non-belief that bigfoot exists, and that would be evidence. Not something that someone suggests is bigfoot, but actual documented irrefutable evidence. Don’t confuse my request for evidence with denial because that isn’t true.

      Not only that but you state:

      You remove the sounds you know from the years of being in the forests. Then it is possible and likely that the unkown sound is from a bigfoot or some other unkown Animal

      Which is a leap of logic, just because you can’t recognise or figure out the source of a sound doesn’t make it unidentifiable, just unidentified by you personally. Also, to finish, skepticism requires an open mind – there’s no such thing as a close minded skeptic.
      Claiming I ought to go on an outing before I can comment on something is naive.

    • The burden of proof lies with the positive claimant.

      In other words…If you say bigfoot exists…YOU have the burden of proof.

      All you have done is reinforce that Matt’s claims to “knowing” what a bigfoot sounds like is just an ARGUMENT FROM IGNORANCE

      And I DO know how new species were discovered in the past (and present) and it ALWAYS involves biological evidence such as remains or genetics.

    • @CMcmillan , Bigfoot, like Mountain Gorillas do not exist until a skeptic says they do, they magically appear when a skeptic says: “I believe in you, thus you are created”…

      So-called skeptics have it all wrong, skepticism should be neutral, neither one way or the other, but all are biased towards the non-existence of anything until a skeptic says it exists…every event every human experiences every day is unique, my journey to work on Tuesday will follow essentially the same route, path and timings, but is still unique; because I see a black dog only on one day, and not on any other, doesn’t mean black dogs do not exist…the so-called skeptics view is kangaroos i Australia do not exist until I see one.

      So-called skeptics did not believe the Higgs Boson existed, and it does, those skeptics didn’t like being proved wrong, but they were, and I see paranormal claims the same, just because we have no proof something exists, doesn’t mean it doesn’t…like you Mountain gorilla example…

    • Let me correct you. Species of animal are not documented until there is evidence of their existence. The Higgs Boson was hypothesised and then experiments and tests were conducted to find evidence. You clearly do not understand how evidence and the scientific process work… either that or you wilfully ignore it because it suits you better to do so.

      If that’s the case then you’re not going to like this blog very much.

  18. Wow, just stumbled onto this conversation.
    Hayley, you are so cool!
    I have read up about this Matt character, his website, tv-show, etc, and it seems obvious that he has a very poor general understanding of Science and the Scientific Method.
    His rather condescending tone of talking down to you, Hayley, as though you are a naughty, uppity child, is nothing more than a cover for his own shortcomings.
    Stick to your guns, Hayley. You are 100% correct in questioning his poor science, methods and conclusions.

    I believe I am older than Matt, so…

    Matt, listen to your elder! Your so-called science is flawed. I would be happy to assist you in gaining a better understanding of the way that science works, but in the meantime, accept that you are wrong.
    This is your elder speaking!

  19. Great stuff. Came here after hearing Hayley being interviewed on the Token Skeptic podcast.
    First – Moneymaker, really? Would any fictional satirist dare to use that name?
    Second – what species, or what genus of mammal does this beastie belong to? Can all the scientists who are researching the beastie put all their descriptions and their no doubt by now quite considerable photographic evidence together to place the creature on the correct branch of the evolutionary bush? Not to mention the aforesaid samples of hair, excrement and Bigtoenails.
    I’m quite keen to find out if it’s of the same Order as the Notquite Yeti.

  20. Hayley,

    Matt Moneymaker (I laugh every time I see, hear or say that name) is a complete jack ass and you might as well just accept that at this point. He is one of the most childish people I have seen on television as of late. When I first started watching Finding Bigfoot I actually took interest in what he had to say….but then he started to classify every single unexplainable noise, photograph and bigfoot story as in FACT being a genuine Sasquatch. Is this guy kidding himself? Because he isn’t kidding anyone else. He is always judging people as being credible when he in fact is not credible at all because of his bias. I thought he was a jack ass after watching the first season of Finding Bigfoot and now that I have seen his little childish debate with you, it just sealed the deal, the guy is a complete idiot. I cannot believe that he would act in such a way and try to belittle a viewer in the way he has. If his plan was to completely alienate his younger audience then he most certainly has. I am a 37 year old man and would never belittle someone who is younger than I and assume that younger people are any less wise than I may be. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting plenty of young adults and children that are very wise and intelligent. There are plenty of people who are younger than me that surpass my intelligence and I’ve got a near genius level IQ. And the reverse, I’ve met plenty of people older than I that are complete idiots. Case in point in regards with you and Mr. Moneymaker.

    Matt obviously has some issues and is a very insecure individual, that is the only explanation for his behavior. You can tell that he was more than likely picked on as a child. The guy literally acts like a 10 year old child when he doesn’t get his way and throws temper tantrums. I recall an episode from the first season where he got all huffy and puffy when Ranae told him to follow the “rules” that he came up with when they were out Squatching one night. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it was something to the effect of “I’ve been doing this longer than you have, so don’t tell me what to do!” When I saw that I was like, “WOW, are you kidding me….is this an adult or a 10 year old?” This is the “expert” we are supposed to be learning about Sasquatches from? The guy is a joke. He gets defensive when any question that he can’t answer is presented to him. He can’t just say, “I don’t know” or “I could be mistaken.”

    You have to love how he treats Ranae. Not. He gets aggravated with her because she wants actual proof that Sasquatches exist and doesn’t just believe everything he and other people have to say just because they are “credible” people. As far as I am concerned, Matt is not credible AT ALL. And he only reinforces that by the way he acts on and off the air. The fact that every unexplainable thing he encounters in the wilderness is “most definitely” a Sasquatch further reinforces that he is not credible.

    Now, do I believe that Sasquatches exist? I have no idea if they do or not. I do believe that there is a possibility that they do exist, but without any real, rock solid evidence that they do exist I can not just believe they do just because people say they do. I would love to believe that they are walking the earth, but there is no evidence that they do. And some grainy photos and scratchy audio recordings is not proof at all. To get back to your original query of how does Matt know what a Squatch sounds like, how does anyone know what a Squatch sounds like? And the answer to that???? Survey says! NO ONE KNOWS WHAT A SASQUATCH SOUNDS LIKE! And if someone says they know, they are lying out of their ass.

    By the way everyone, beware of Matt Moneymaker, do not ask him any questions that he may not be able to answer because he will attack you….whether it be your age, gender or ethnicity. In fact, don’t ask Matt any questions at all because no one has the right to question his authority at all. What an insane power tripping man-child.


  21. Heres how I see it, there may be no official record of bigfoots exsistence. But he has seen them before. He has heard and seen them according to him. He doesnt have video, photo or audioproof of it but he knows from that experience. So like when you hear a dog and recognize it, its the same for him with bigfoot also. You never seen bigfoot and heard it while in veiw but he has. Why he couldnt explsin that himself, I dont know.

    • Yeah, that’s not the point though, the point is that he claims to have seen these things and he claims to know what they look like and sound like and yet he provides no conclusive evidence to support those claims. The burden of proof lays with him.
      I don’t know if you watch the TV show he is part of called Finding Bigfoot, but he’s irrational on there too, making huge leaps of logic and abusing rational processes.

  22. “Hayley isn’t a skeptic, she is a cynic…there is a difference”

    A skeptic questions the evidence you used to arrive at your conclusion. A cynic questions your motivations. Maybe you have a better definition. Hayley appears like a skeptic, to me. I

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