Saturday, August 30, 2008

MONSTERQUEST: Bigfoot in New York

History Channel - Original Air Date: 8/20/08

For over 100 years, eyewitnesses have reported bigfoot-like sightings in Upstate New York.  Whitehall (right next to where my friend John Hebert lives - Hi, John!) NY is the location of recent sightings.  Though one local expert says sightings are most likely bear, a police officer (and his partner) say otherwise; they know it wasn't a bear they saw from their squad car. A bigfoot researcher claims there are several sightings every year, but a local scientist believes the sightings are a near-universal projection of the human psyche; he points out there is no physical proof of such a beast existing today.  Dr. Bindernagel, wildlife expert and bigfoot researcher, points out that just because a creature appears in myth doesn't make it not real.

MonsterQuest puts several witnesses to polygraph tests and sets up the usual expedition to try and catch proof of the creature.  There are casts of tracks as well, and the show suggests that for those to be fakes, hoaxers would have to have the same knowledge of bigfoot physiology.  (Though it seems to me that they could either: 1) be basing their fake tracks on others they've seen or, 2) making the same anatomical mistakes that amateur artists might make in sculpting a foot.)  Trackers look for bigfoot signs, not only footprints but also branches broken off too high up for a bear or buck to reach.  They also set up camera tracks and do howling "calls."  Unfortunately, two "responding" howl are not caught on tape -- nor is the creature that snaps a young tree in half.  One local researcher believes that Whitehall is in the sasquatches 'migration pattern.  Unfortunately, the camera traps - as usual - catch no monsters.

This show, another in a series of MQ bigfoot shows, covers more ground than some of the others -- and includes interesting speculation on migration and tracking.  The police-officer witnesses are also compelling, as is the woman who saw a stone-throwing bigfoot as a child.  Additionally, the researchers seem more scientifically grounded than many others in this series.  Polygraphs confirm that the witnesses believe what they said they saw.  Other scientists make compelling statements about bigfoot being part of the universal human psyche, and needing a breeding population and food supply -- both of which would mitigate against the creature being real.  Overall, this is one of the stronger bigfoot episodes in this series, though there is still very little actual evidence the monster exists.

Oh, and for what it's worth, my friend John says that the Whitehall sightings have taken place just off a local golf course.  The "secret location" is revealed!

1 comment:

SS9 of TCD said...

OK, I love Monster Quest as much as the next guy, but I believe they are getting just a little “Bigfoot-centric” (Bloggers can make up words, right?). I do admit that running around in the woods with all that tech looks like fun, but tech aside, it is really hard to come up with something new and compelling week after week. There seems to be a glut of paranormal shows on cable right now, and even crypto-gluttons (another made up word) may be beginning to develop a stomach ache. Oh well, a couple of alka-seltzer and a good night sleep and I am ready to stomach yet another yeti-fest (last made up word).