Ladies and Gentleman, in my ongoing quest to steer you to only the finest in film and televised entertainment, I present to you the single best television show currently airing – Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot”.
Don’t believe me? Well, don’t just take my word for it. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has just recognized the show by nominating it in FIVE categories for the non-primetime Emmys, including Outstanding Achievement in Sound and Editing, Outstanding Reality Programming, and Best New Series. Ever, I might add.
It’s also been cited by numerous, national scientific and anthropologic publications, along with major newspapers for it’s even handed research methodology, including recent articles in Scientific American and The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Come inside and meet the team!
Animal Planet’s website explains that “The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) is a virtual community of scientists, journalists and specialists from diverse backgrounds engaged in projects, including field and laboratory investigations, designed to address various aspects of the bigfoot phenomenon.”
Luckily for fans of tv, they’ve agreed for their scientific prusuits to be captured on film.
The BFRO is headed by Matt Moneymaker. Moneymaker is a man who is passionate and fervent in his belief in Sasquatch. I haven’t seen him come across a piece of evidence yet he hasn’t called “credible”. He’s accompanied by the similarly enthusiastic Cliff Barackman. But the real stars of the show are Bobo and Ranae.
Meet Bobo. He’s 1/4 Bigfoot as it is. He stands at least 6’4″ and must weigh a good 300 pounds. His previous profession, prior to joining the BFRO was “Roadie”. He claims to have seen Sasquatches, or ‘Squatches as he calls them, not once, but several times.
His primary role, despite the above screencap, is “Bigfoot Stand In”. He’s constantly playing Bigfoot when the team recreates anything. For example. “So you say it took bigfoot two steps to cross that break between the trees?” Witness nods. Cut to Moneymaker talking to camera: “The witness says it took the Sasquatch two steps to cross between trees. We’ve sent Bobo down to see how many steps it takes him.” This happens two or three times an episode.
Invariably, Bobo fails in his task, which provides incontrovertible evidence that Bigfoot DOES exist.
Ranae Holland is the voice of reason on the team. She’s the type of person who, if you show her a ham sandwich, she’ll ask you if there’s mustard on it. If you answer in the affirmative she’ll tell you should be calling it a ham and mustard sandwich. She’s always the voice of the skeptical viewer on the show, but the best part about it is the team outright ignores her logic!
If Ranae ever becomes crossing guard in your neighborhood? Walk your kids to school yourself, because no one’s stopping at this lady’s stop signs.
I could show the team a picture of my grandmother, claim it’s bigfoot, and the team will work themselves into believing it. Ranae will be like, “Uh, guys? That’s a picture of a 5’3″ old woman with curly grey hair” Moneymaker: “Bigfoot evidence as strong as this is hard to come by. We’re lucky we found Dan and his Bigfoot Photo.” Bobo: “It reminds me when I first saw a ‘Squatch, it was using knitting needles just like that.”
This is how your standard (ok, every) episode goes:
- The BRFO travels to an area where there’s been a recent sighting.
- They hold a town hall meeting (always packed, they serve free beer) and ask for people who have seen bigfoot. 90% of the crowd will raise their hands. I would too.
- They interview the witnesses who claim to have spotted bigfoot. The team will then pick two or three of the most credible witnesses and investigate their stories.
- This typically involves sending Bobo to stand where the “Squatch” was seen in order to get a height comparison. Bobo stands in the spot and lifts his hand or a stick, asking the witness if the creature was taller, shorter etc. Surprisingly, I’ve yet to see a witness say, “Shorter”.
- They assure the witness they believe them by saying things like “I believe you saw a bigfoot that night”, and “It sounds to me as if you encountered a Sasquatch”, or if it’s Bobo, “Dude, you saw a ‘Squatch, no doubt about it.”
- The team concludes that since “A Bigfoot” was recently seen in this area, it’s a good place to do night research.
- The team conducts night research by exploring the area at night with thermal vision cameras (“therms”). Anything they find COULD BE bigfoot.
- They also employ “Bigfoot Calls”. Picture a hog farmer doing a Sooooo-eeee at the top of his lungs, except not making it sound like words. I particularly enjoy watching Moneymaker huff and puff before doing a “Call” to get himself ready.
- If any sounds are recorded or heard whatsoever, that is PROOF that Bigfoot is in the area. [nodding]
I think that this team could find Bigfoot in my house. Here’s how it would go:
Fogs: “Yeah, it freaked me out. I was getting up to get some water from the fridge and I looked down the hallway and there it was, crossing from the computer room to the bedroom. It was… huge. I was scared. I admit it. It was scary.”
Bobo: “Oh yeah, man ‘Squatches are scary stuff”
Moneymaker: “So the creature was right down there, then?”
Ranae: “Uh, guys… we’re in a person’s HOUSE.”
Cliff: “It could definitely be a bigfoot, I mean, that’s what it sounds like to me. How tall would you say it was?”
Fogs: “8, 9 feet easy. It had to bend way over to get through the doors”
Moneymaker: “Probably an adult MALE bigfoot you saw, then.”
Ranae: “Guys, we are like two minutes from a shopping mall. There’s a gas station around the corner from this street…”
Bobo: “Yeah, the males are definitely the bigger of the species. One time I saw a mated pair, and the male was WAAYY bigger.”
Fogs: “It had this stench to it too. I mean, yeah, really foul.”
Moneymaker, Bobo and Cliff all shoot intense looks back and forth.
Ranae: “Mr. Fogarty, do you even live within DRIVING distance of a wooded area?”
(Cut to Moneymaker speaking directly to the camera) “Mr. Fogarty claims he saw a Bigfoot in his home, walking between rooms. In order to get an idea of the size of the creature, we’re going to send Bobo down to where he says he saw it and see if he can tell us just how large it was.”
Bobo: “So, is this about where you saw it?”
Fogs: “Yeah, it was right there…”
Bobo: “Ok, you tell me, was it taller or shorter than this? (holding up his hand)”
Fogs: “Oh, definitely taller. Way bigger than that.”
Ranae: “Do you use drugs, Mr Fogarty?”
Moneymaker: “I believe you saw a bigfoot, Mr Fogarty, there’s nothing else it could have been”
Cliff: “Yeah, me too. It definitely sounds like a sasquatch to me.”
That night, the BFRO would camp in my backyard with thermal imaging cameras and hyperbolic microphones. They would probably make Bigfoot calls as loud as they could in the middle of the night. If someone were to throw a rock at them, or if a branch broke due to the wind, or if a dog howled in the distance, they would take it as proof of my story.
Of course, that’s only wishful thinking. I’ve never seen bigfoot.
But Bobo has. More than once. And Moneymaker and his team are on the case. I have no doubt that this crack team of experts is going to find the elusive legend and illuminate this mystery once and for all. They will be the toast of the scientific community, and I’m going to be saying…. I told you so. I knew it all along.