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Vetting Witnesses

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Vetting Witnesses

Post  ***** on Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:16 pm

I think witnesses should be more strongly vetted than they often are. I've witnessed interviews from proponents and those with their own experiences lack attention to detail, and the more rigorous questioning I like to employ when talking to a witness I've never met.

It's a fine line when interviewing witnesses, but emotion must be minimized on the part of the interviewer. For example, concern for the interviewee's fear of ridicule, and judgement must be restrained to some extent.

Have any of you guys conducted interviews in the field with witnesses before? I'd love to hear some feedback, and incorporate any ideas into my future questionings.

Although, I know BF exists, I certainly don't believe a lot of those that say they've seen one. It's fairly easy to tell who has and who hasn't for those on the board with more experience than I have. I'd like to lean on some of you guys/gals here that have better interviewing skills than I have. Please advise, and don't hold back!

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Re: Vetting Witnesses

Post  dingo3497 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:58 am

I have a the 3 time rule.

I ask the same question 3 different ways , 3 different times .

If the story changes or the answers change. They are not telling the truth or mistaken of what the witnessed. this does not make them a bad person, just someone that has made a mistake in what they saw or a mistake in judgement that now has cost them their freedom.
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Re: Vetting Witnesses

Post  CMcMillan on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:23 am

I would think one of the good things is to have 1 person interview them week 1.
Then the following week another person then a 3rd week the 3rd person.
Then you can compare the reports and the interview
The telling of it may change slightly but the main facts should stay the same.

I think its similar to Justin's retelling as far as I have read his story hasn't really deviated to much.
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Re: Vetting Witnesses

Post  Starz on Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:57 am

Had to really think long and hard before posting.

The replies here so far have been EXACTLY what I was hoping not to see. Re-grilling the witness's isn't the issue. It's the attitude that the interviewer is more on the ball than they actually are.
Let me explain.

First off assuming the witness isn't mistaken or spouting off a hoax is important. A interviewer has all the time in the world to make that determination if needed at a later date.

http://robertgoerman.tripod.com/id21.html

Lot's of researchers just assume they already know what they are doing. They don't. Witnesses can tell automatically if you are engaged, caring, professional. Too many Interviewers are only interested in collecting the data as it relates to their own interests and NOT about how this whole process has affected the witness.

Reiterating that you have the witnesses permission to merely do the interview for the first time since the sighting is not only ethical but gives them a sense of control after being mostly traumatized from their experience. This is just one example.

Everyone generally has been interviewed in their normal lives whether it was for a job, morgage, volunteer position and can tell a good interviewer from a lacksdaisical one or one who is overly focused on facts not relevant to the witness.

Phone interviews are the worst. If YOU don't care enough to show up, why should the witness care to speak with you?
Witnesses are the bread and butter of a researcher and should be treated much better than they usually are.

Control of the data is also a major deal I never see addressed. Just as I have signed HIPPA papers so have most witnesses. Ultimately the data belongs to the witness, and not the researcher yet the exact opposite is assumed. This is probably one of the most horrifying aspects and failures in the field of bigfooting. It's lead to research sites being tracked as well as the witnesses privacy being invaded.

These are just some of the issues I would have hoped would have been addressed already in this thread.

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Thanks to all!

Post  ***** on Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:25 pm

A lot of great insight, thanks to all!

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Re: Vetting Witnesses

Post  dingo3497 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:59 pm

I really wanted to suggest water boarding to get to the truth but I was trying to be politically correct.

Just kidding! As they say, there are many ways to skin a cat. I personally do not think I and many others are not qualified to do a field interview about a bigfoot or mystery creature. It takes a special touch that I know I do not have.
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Re: Vetting Witnesses

Post  Green911 on Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:11 pm

As a 911 dispatcher I have to employ lots of ways of questioning people.
Being nice and polite, goes along way. Let the person tell their story, listen
to their manner of speaking, tone of voice etc... Also watch their face.

Keep asking questions. Have them close their eyes to assist in remembering
small details.

And stay calm. Getting excited may make them want to make up details, you know
like telling you what you want to hear, instead of the facts.

Good luck, tell us how you do. elephant
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