Sunday, March 31, 2013

FINDING BIGFOOT: Untold Stories: Behind the Squatch

Animal Planet - Original Air Date: 3/31/2013

Once again, Keith Hoffman -- FB's Executive Producer -- rounds up the cast for interviews and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at Finding Bigfoot.  Asked about the most valuable asset each of them brings to the team, Matt says "experience," Ranae says "counterbalance" (skepticism), Bobo says "man of the people," Cliff says "data analysis."  They travel to a town hall meeting, so Keith can see the process first-hand.  They then show how they block out a witness interview in the woods for an episode.  Then they move to showing how they film night investigations -- IR cameras, etc.  They then visit Bobo at his home "bachelor pad" in Humboldt County, CA.  They then go crabbing, which was Bobo's previous job (before becoming a TV bigfoot hunter).  Keith may be the worst crabber ever.  (City kids!)  A nice change-of-pace, this is a good show and features a lot of information about how they make the series.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Animal Planet - Original Air Date: 3/24/2013

The team travels to southern Illinois to check out ongoing local reports of bigfoots in the Land of Lincoln.  They hook up with Stan Courtney, a bigfoot audio specialist -- whom Cliff describes as a leader in his field (and a model scientist).  Listening to the recordings, the group hears a lot of coyotes, and Ranae doesn't hear anything that she doesn't think are local animals: coyotes, dogs, cows.  Stan believes that some of the sounds are bigfoots trying to imitate other animasl; Ranae and Bobo are skeptical.  (It seems like little evidence for a microphone running 24/7.)  The show then settles into its normal format: night investigation, camp out (Ranae), town hall meeting, witness interviews, and final night investigation.

Ranae ends up camping out in the woods near a (haunted) cemetery near where witnesses thought a tree had been snapped by a bigfoot.  In the morning, she looks at the snapped tree, and concludes that the break looks natural.  She then uses a glider to scout the countryside to try and find the best bigfoot habitat in the area.  To lure the bigfoots out in the team's second night investigation, Cliff plays electric guitar.  (Really?  Is this science?  They're doing more of this stuff lately, and I have to ask: Would this work for luring out gorillas?)  They hear knocks, which to some of the team always means sasquatch are near by.  But to me, it means another show with no finding of bigfoot.

FINDING BIGFOOT: Virgin Sasquatch

Animal Planet - Original Air Date: 3/17/2013

The team goes to small-town Oregon to look into a recent casting of over 100 bigfoot footprints.  Cliff was one of the investigators casting these prints near Cottage Grove, where sightings date back to the '70s.  The prints were discovered by dog walkers on the muddy shoreline of a drained reservoir, 122 tracks total.  Ranae wants to make sure they weren't hoaxed, perhaps placed deliberately for hikers to find.  Though she trusts Cliff's work, she thinks the find is awfully convenient.  Matt is frustrated by her skepticism.  Night investigation, town hall, camp out (Bobo), interviews, and final night investigation follow -- like clockwork.  Bobo's solo investigation is enhanced by his dog "Monkey," a veteran squatch hunter.

Later, they go into what they hope is "virgin squatch" territory -- that is, a place where bigfoots won't have heard hunters trying to lure them in before.  I'm amazed by the cast's ability to talk bout "virgin bigfoots" with a straight face, though at one point it looks as though Cliff may crack up.  In the final investigation, Cliff sets up in the top of a tree to gain a better vantage point.  (Sadly, much of the forest has been clearcut.)  But, aside from the usual dubious "wood knocks," the investigation turns up little.  Really, they might have been better off just studying Cliff's plaster casts.

FINDING BIGFOOT: Bigfoot Loves a Barbecue

Animal Planet - Original Air Date: 3/10/2013

The crew goes to Connecticut to check out a bigfoot film made by a mother while watching her children.  A recreation with Bobo doesn't convince Ranae that it's not a bear, though she agrees it's not a person.  (A stabilized version of this video would really help, FB editors!)  Night investigation, camp out (Cliff), town hall, more witnesses, and final night investigation follow (as usual).  While camping, Cliff runs into a bear -- and we hear it roar, though the camera can't catch it as it retreats into the woods.  (Validating Ranae's supposition?)  After talking to some dodgy witnesses (some of whom the team doesn't believe), they decide to hold a cookout in the woods to try to lure in sasquatch.  But nothing shows; skunked again!

FINDING BIGFOOT: Bigfoot and the Redhead

Animal Planet - Original Air Date: 3/3/2013

The team heads to Pennsylvania to check out a film made by teenage go-karters.  The show follows the usual format: interview witnesses, night investigation, camp out (Bobo), town hall, more witnesses, and final night investigation.  The footage, from 2012, shows a shadowy figure striding through the forest with a gait similar to the Patterson film.  It reminds Ranae of similar footage from Indiana, which she believes to be a hoax.  In a re-creation, Bobo looks bigger than the supposed bigfoot; hoax seems likely to all the team -- and they suspect one of the teens talking to them of being the guy in the "suit."  They then go to a remote island area (near where the famous Jacobs trail cam "juvenile bigfoot" photos were taken) for their night investigation.  They see eye-shine, and Bobo is convinced enough that he and Cliff heard a bigfoot, that Bobo stays behind to camp out and investigate.  (Though he only finds other howling 'Squatchers.)

The rest meet a kid who has very compelling bigfoot testimony, and spend a lot of time talking to him.  Even Ranae is impressed, though she wonders if his imagination as gotten hthe better of him.  In their final investigation, the crew decides to play whale songs in an attempt to lure in curious bigfoots.  Despite hearing the usual sounds and false starts in the dark, they come away with no firm evidence.