The interview was conducted by Tim Binnall for his highly acclaimed Binnall of America show. And here's Tim to provide us with a summary of his interview with Ken (and click on the link directly below for all the details):
Ken GerhardBig Bird/Thunderbird, Bigfoot, and other cryptids
2 Hours, 16 Minutes
BoA:Audio returns from our Winter hiatus with a two hour interview with cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard, author of Big Bird! Modern Sightings of Flying Monsters.
In the first hour of the interview, we'll discuss the Big Bird / Thunderbird phenomenon at length, including the 1976 Big Bird flap in Texas, the bird v. dinosaur debate, "lost" Big Bird evidence, the challenge of studying Big Birds as opposed to other cryptids, and lots more.
Then, in the second hour, we'll talk all about Ken's other crypto research, beginning with his multiple investigations into Bigfoot. We'll discuss Ken's odd discoveries while on Bigfoot expeditions, thoughts on why the government might cover-up Bigfoot's existence, the kill v. no kill debate, Bigfoot burying their dead, and speculation on a post-discovered Bigfoot world.
Plus, we'll find out about Ken's trips to Belize to study the crytpids Sisemite & Dwendi and Ken will detail his investigation into the Texas Chupacabras story of recent years. It's a jam packed edition of BoA:Audio, returning from hiatus with a wealth of crypto goodness.
We kick things off with the standard bio/background on Ken Gerhard and find out how he got interested in cryptozoology. Next, we reflect on the upturn in interest in cryptozoology over the past few years and Ken speculates on why the field seems to be gaining momentum lately.
We also talk about Ken's stomping grounds, the great state of Texas, and how it seems to be a hotbed of paranormal and para-political activity. Moving into the topic of the Big Bird, we find out how Ken got interested in that specific realm of cryptozoology, ultimately deciding to write a book about the subject.
Bringing folks up to speed on just what the Big Bird is claimed to be, Ken gives us a thumbnail look at the witnesses' accounts of Big Bird sightings and how the creature is described. We then cover one of the more enigmatic details of some Big Bird witness descriptions: a monkey-like face.
We then discuss the 1976 Texas Big Bird wave, which really put the phenomenon on the esoteric map. We discuss one story from the 1976 Big Bird flap that is a bit of a heart-breaker: the discovery of a potential Big Bird print, filmed by a local TV station, who never bothered to archive the footage, which has since been lost forever. Ken details some of the international legends similar to the Big Bird, including Africa's Kongamato and New Guinea's Ropen.
Ken theorizes on how such flying mystery animals, while conceivably still living in remote parts of the world, could end up flying over more populated areas of America.
Next we talk about one of the early, on-the-ground, Big Bird researchers who helped Ken find witnesses, Guadalupe Cantu III, who passed away this past Summer. We then discuss the lack of photo or video evidence for the Big Birds and Ken details what scant evidence of such kind exists: the infamous "Thunderbird photo" from the late 1800's and video footage shot in 1977 of a large flying creature.
This segues into discussion on the surprising lack of footage of the Big Bird in modern times, especially in light of the proliferation of cameras. Following that, we ponder the notion that classic stories of dragons may be related to the Big Bird phenomenon.
We then look at the unique research challenge of the Big Bird phenomenon in that, unlike land and water based creatures, the flying cryptids are not bound by a set location. We also tackle the question of whether or not the Big Bird phenomenon could be more "paranormal" in nature a la inter-dimensional or some other non-natural phenomenon.
Ken tells us about any instances that he's heard of where someone shoots a Big Bird / Thunderbird. This segues into Ken also telling us about his conversations with Bob Gimlin (of the infamous Patterson/Gimlin film) about the famous incident and how/why Gimlin didn't shoot at the Bigfoot.
Heading towards the close of our Big Bird discussion, we talk about Ken's case for the creature and why the arguments of mainstream science and skeptics just don't hold up to witness reports. We then get Ken's big picture thoughts on just what is going on with Big Birds / Thunderbirds. Ken also tells us about any reports he's heard of Big Bird sightings by people who are flying in planes.
Wrapping up the Big Bird discussion, we find out where folks can get a copy of Big Bird: Modern Sightings of Flying Monsters. In the latter half of the interview, we discuss Ken's other cryptozoological work, starting with his research into Bigfoot. He details his amazing discovery of a potential "Bigfoot Nest" while on expedition in Texas.
He also talks about his work with Chester Moore Jr., noted Texas cryptozoologist, including Ken's observance of potential Bigfoot "vocalizations" and a bizarre cache of ripped open turtle shells discovered on a beach.
Following that, we talk about theories surrounding government knowledge of the Bigfoot and speculate on why, if they knew, they would keep the creature's existence a secret. We discuss the kill v. no-kill philosophical debate surrounding Bigfoot and Ken explains why he is pro-kill.
He also explains why tranquilizers, tazers, nets, and other proposed ideas of taking a Bigfoot alive probably won't work. We also get Ken's take on the "Dianne Fossey concept" as a means of getting close to and proving the Bigfoot.
Ken recounts to us the speculation that Bigfoot may bury their dead and passes along some interesting information regarding that speculation. Speculating ahead to the future, we ponder whether or not the discovery of Bigfoot would help or hurt cryptozoology in both the short and long term future. Ken puts forth two big changes to the field which might place, should the Bigfoot be discovered and proven.
Leaving Bigfoot behind, we then talk about Ken's trips to Belize to hunt for two relatively unknown mystery creatures: the Sisemite, a Bigfoot-like animal, and the Dwendi, a smaller, gnome-like being. He shares some remarkable Diwendi reports from the Belize natives, who describe the creature much like many other small "trickster" type entities.
This segues into some discussion on how there don't seem to be as many legends in North America of Dwendi-esque creatures, despite there seeming to be many such legends from around the world. Heading towards the close, we discuss Ken's in-depth research into the Texas Chupacabras flap that has been going on over the last few years.
Ken explains how the present Texas creature ended up being dubbed the "Chupacabra." He also shares information gleaned from his examination of the dead "Chupacabras" that have turned out in Texas recently.
Wrapping things up, we find out what's next for Ken Gerhard, including some future book projects and TV appearances. We also find out which Monster Quest episodes have featured Ken so far, so folks can catch them on their DVR and see Ken in action.
This interview was recorded on 2.2.2009