Praise for the Hairy Man: The Secret Life of Bigfoot, is the new book from Andy Colvin and Jeffery Pritchett. As many readers of Mysterious Universe will know, Andy is the author of the acclaimed series, The Mothman's Photographer (volumes 1 to 3) and both The Mothman Speaks and The Mothman Shrieks. Jeffery, meanwhile, is the brains behind The Church of Mabus radio show. As for their combined, new piece of work - the aforementioned Praise for the Hairy Man - if you're into all-things cryptozoological and Bigfoot-themed, well, you won't want to miss this one!
Now, whether or not you will agree with the thoughts, ideas and conclusions of our authors (as well as the observations of the people they interview), it's an undeniable fact that Praise for the Hairy Man is a book that deserves your attention.
It's no secret that I gravitate towards the theory that Bigfoot (and, quite possibly, most of the really weird cryptids of our world) has paranormal origins - whatever that word, "paranormal," actually means. So, for that reason, I felt compelled to read Andy and Jeffery's book. And I'm pleased that I did so.
Essentially, Praise for the Hairy Man is a collection of interviews with various people in the cryptozoological/Bigfoot research-and-writing communities. Now, some might assume that a 260-page book filled with interview after interview would get very repetitive - and very quickly, too. After all, how much can be said about Bigfoot without things getting tedious? Well, the answer is that a great deal can be said - and all of it without getting repetitive in the slightest.
Let's face it, how can you get bored with a book that contains an interview with Professor Jeff Meldrum on the Bigfoot-tracking Falcon Project; Lyle Blackburn on the beast of Boggy Creek, Arkansas; Stan Gordon on the UFO-Bigfoot controversy; and Sali Shepherd-Wolford on the Valley of the Skukum? Well, if you are open-minded on what Bigfoot is (or what it may be) the answer is simple: you won't get bored. All told, there are more than two dozen such interviews, and all of which are as refreshing as they are wildly (and widely) varied in content and style.
If, however, your mind is already made up and you're not open to any theory beyond that which posits the Bigfoot creatures are simply large, unidentified apes and nothing else, you may not take a liking to much of what is presented in the book's pages. But that does not mean you should ignore the Colvin-Pritchett book. Actually, you should still read it, as it might perhaps widen your thoughts and ideas and give you a new approach to the Bigfoot phenomenon.
In that sense, Praise for the Hairy Man is most likely to be appreciated by those that adhere to the ideas and theories of John Keel, who made his opinions and thoughts on the likes of Bigfoot and the rest of world's menagerie of monsters very clear.
I would also suggest that this book should be used as a primer for the next-generation of Bigfoot seekers. Doubtless, some people will view my words as near-heresy. But, hell, I don't care. The fact is that trying to instill in the minds of the Bigfoot researchers of tomorrow (and who, today, may be kids in their early teens or even younger) that Bigfoot is purely a biological/zoological mystery - and that's all - is 100 percent as bad as banging on the pulpit saying this or that religion is the only valid one and that all the rest are bogus.
As with the matters of religion and life after death, the world of Bigfoot is steeped in mystery, conflicting theories and beliefs, and infighting - and no hard proof in relation to who is wrong and who is right.
Now, don't get me wrong: it's just as bad to say that Bigfoot is wholly paranormal without proof. Personally, I think (based on the not insignificant body of data) that Bigfoot has paranormal origins, but I can I prove it? No. And that's why I'm open to the possibility that Bigfoot may be a flesh and blood beast that possesses powers and senses that make it seem paranormal. And that's what Praise for the Hairy Man is very much, too: open to possibilities.
While our authors make their views on the Bigfoot subject pretty clear, they are not here to force-feed this or that theory. Rather, they are here to share with the reader the data that various well-known figures in the Bigfoot community have uncovered and commented on. That's why you'll find interviews in the pages of the book suggesting Bigfoot may well be a surfer of multi-dimensions. But it's also why you'll find sections where a completely different conclusion is reached.
Some people in the Bigfoot research arena might cringe at the idea of an interview with Professor Meldrum appearing in a book that has chapters on people who claim to have had supernatural-tinged (or even dominated) encounters with the creatures. Those same people might also shudder at the fact that the controversial theories of Kewaunee Lapseritis are given a great deal of space.
I, however, don't have a problem with such data being presented for one and all to see. And, I hope, you won't have a problem with being given the opportunity to muse upon numerous theories for what Bigfoot may be. If you do have an issue, well, it's like Johnny Rotten snarled in the Sex Pistols' classic song, Problems: "The problem is you."