Thursday, March 25, 2010

MONSTERQUEST - American Werewolf 2

History Channel - Original Air Date: 3/24/10

Taking a break from bigfoot, MQ tackles the werewolf again. You remember that last time they looked at Bray Road and environs, talking to my friend (& radio co-host) Linda Godfrey.  This time, they start by talking to Steve Kreuger about his Holy Hill encounter, and he tells his bear-wolf story (as in his Uncanny Radio interview).  Peggy Calahan works with wolves and believes that strange creature sightings are misidentifications.  The MQ team goes to Michigan to check out the dog-man story and look for evidence, setting the usual camera traps.  Local hunters have seen large wolves in the area, but the investigators immediately start talking about supernatural possibilities - especially the Native American team member.  Linda shows up to talk about werewolf history, including the Grenier killings.  Then the show investigates Steve Cook and his 2006 dog-man video, allegedly bought in an estate sale -- the famous Gable Film.  The film shows a shaggy creature charging the cameraman, and an expert at first lends it some credibility.

The show then talks to some more witnesses, including some who have heard howls, and others that have sighted strange wolfmen.  One even has some casts of strange prints.  Call blasting of wolf cries ensues, and -- for once -- they get some wolf-like howls back.  Back at the video, Ms. Callahan says the beast does not look like wolf - but rather gorilla-like.  The video expert suggests the famous "jaws" shot at the end of the film may have been spliced in; he wants to see the original.  When Linda confronts Cook about the film, Cook admits it's a hoax.  Mike Agrusa, local machinist, actually made the film by studying vintage film and using his collection of antique vehicles.  He wanted to capitalize on Cook's song about the dog man, and wore a ghillie suit himself to make the "creature."  He made the "sequel" film -- thereby pressing his luck -- using spray foam to simulate entrails and himself as the victim.  Agrusa says there might still be some creature out there, but it's clear he's just a hoaxer.  (Can I say, "I told you so!" now?)  The camera traps turn up animals, but nothing unusual.

After all the hours of analysis on the web and elsewhere spent on the Gable film, it turns out all you need to fool some "experts" is a collection of old vehicles, an ancient camera, and a bit of army surplus.  Professional magicians and con men know that the easiest people to fool are those who want to believe in something. My advice?  Before you believe an "amazing" film you see on the internet, ask yourself: "If I wanted to create this effect, how would I do it?"  Unlike many MQ episodes, this one presents a solid object lesson as well as supernatural mythology.

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