Last Sunday at THE Ohio Bigfoot Conference I gave a short and sweet presentation on eyewitness interviewing. I know, I know, you are upset that you missed it, lol! Well just for you I will share it here. I gathered the information from a few sources such as Steve Kulls and members of the BFRO.
Not everyone operates the same way or conducts an interview the same way, but there are certain key elements that must be consistently observed based on proven interrogation techniques.
The most important piece of information in any Bigfoot investigation is the eyewitness interview. It is imperative that you absorb every possible detail you can from the incident.
Your first action should be to obtain a “written” report. Be sure your reporting form contains questions that will allow the witness to give as much detail as possible. If the eyewitness refuses to leave a phone number or an email address, or expresses no desire to speak to you, you might as well file the report and save it for a rainy day when you are bored with nothing better to do!
The written report will act as your baseline for when you follow up with a telephone interview. Leading eventually to a face-to-face interview.
Of course we will begin with the basics:
1. Date and time of day
2. Weather conditions
3. Are there any other witnesses
4. Describe what happened
5. Describe in detail the height, weight, color, sex, any other distinguishing features or actions of the creature
6. What was the duration of the sighting
7. How far away was the creature
8. Were any drugs or alcohol involved
9. How did this make you feel?
10. Have you had an interest in Bigfoot research?
After you have read the written report, it is best to follow-up, hopefully within a week or two with a telephone call or preferably a face-to-face interview. Ask the witness questions that differ from his answers on the written report just in case they have memorized what they had written. Try to be unbiased towards the witness. Make him/her convince you that the event actually occurred.
When interviewing a witness, always tape record or video tape the interview. (with their permission)
DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT! And always cover your butt! With the written report, and a well documented interview, you will be able to look for inconsistencies (if there are any) or similarities within the report.
At the location take lots of pictures.
I have been on many interviews where it became apparent to me that the witness was either lonely or seeking attention. Be wary and be careful!
Feel free to download this Eyewitness Report .pdf