Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet

I want someone to find Bigfoot.  I’ve wanted to find someone to find Bigfoot since I was a kid and saw the documentary that Roger Patterson made with his allegedly real Bigfoot footage as the centerpiece.  Incidentally, during my limited and unprofessional research for this blog entry, I discovered that the crumbling movie palace where my little friends and I peed our pants thinking that Bigfoot was roaming our suburban neighborhood did some time as an adult theatre before it was demolished. 

Sometimes I fantasize that I’ll become rich and find Bigfoot on my own.  My plan involves me sitting in a bullet-proof glass box suspended from a tree limb in the Pacific Northwest until I successfully prove the existence of Bigfoot, even if it takes months, but I can’t imagine how I would get electricity for my equipment or how I would go to the bathroom.

Thank God that I won’t ever have to figure out bullet-proof glass plumbing.  I have BFRO (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization) to do my woods pooping for me.  They have a new show on Animal Planet called Finding Bigfoot

My hopes were high for this show.  Recent cryptozoology shows have made a number of missteps.  A common mistake is covering more than one monster in an hour.  If a monster can’t fill an hour, there isn’t enough evidence of this monster for us to worry about it.  Another thing I don’t like is investigations of sightings that are years, or even decades, old.  Those aren’t investigations.  Those are just people telling us weird old stories.  The absolute worst is when a team of researchers crashes around in the woods for a night and then leaves with their “evidence,” usually some noises they recorded and some videos of heat signatures.  I always suspect that the noises and heat signatures were produced by locals who wanted to put on a good show for the cameras, or they were unwittingly produced by the investigators themselves, who always split up.  I also don’t understand what anyone can hope to accomplish in one night other than scaring away whatever it is they are looking for.   

Finding Bigfoot concentrates on one monster and the show stars a team of specialists.  They are so used to doing what they do that they casually refer to Bigfoot as “Squatch.”  That seemed good to me.  Mistakes might be avoided.  Some attention span might be exhibited. Or not.

Two episodes of Finding Bigfoot have aired so far, and I’ve caught them both.  Spurred on by lack of information from the show, I went to the Animal Planet website to check out the team. 

Matt Moneymaker is the leader and he has made a number of discoveries about Bigfoot, which is a miraculous thing to do without actually having discovered Bigfoot. 

Cliff Barackman is Matt’s right hand man, and he apparently has very good analytical skills that he developed somehow or another.  Cliff went to school somewhere, but I don’t think he has a real job at this time.  Or ever.

Ranae apparently doesn’t deserve a last name or a bio, because she doesn’t have either on the Animal Planet website.  I can tell you from watching the show that she is a biologist and the resident skeptic.  She did roll her eyes once in the first episode, but the second episode found her being just one of the Bigfoot Hunter boys, except with boobs. 

Bobo doesn’t deserve a last name or a bio, either.  Bobo might not actually have a last name, because Bobo pretty much says it all.  Bobo is a large man, so he does a lot of going and standing where people said they saw Bigfoot to give everyone an idea of scale, that scale being Bobo:Not As Big As Bigfoot.  Bobo also fell off of a porch right when he had an interesting heat signature to look at during the second episode, but I doubt that will make his bio, if Animal Planet ever decides to give him one.

The most recent episode of Finding Bigfoot follows the team to Northern Florida, where a family named Bridges has had trouble with Swamp Apes (the Florida version of Bigfoot) hanging around their property.  I was very excited to see that people who share my last name are having Bigfoot trouble.  I still wonder if I can chisel my way into a visit.  

So BFRO talks to the Bridges family, whom I would love to visit and whom I would love to present with a nice medium priced gift should I ever receive an invitation.  The Bridges family shows BFRO their wrecked bird feeders (Bobo wrecks another bird feeder for the camera), their smushed in fence post cap, and a cast of a footprint.  The big evidence they have to show is a video of a giant hand print on their storm door.  Mrs. Bridges, who does all of the talking, says it was a greasy, nasty hand print.  Bobo makes his own greasy, nasty hand print for scale with the help of Ranae and a bottle of lotion.  That part of the show made me uncomfortable.

Of course then BFRO goes and crashes around in the woods for the night, except they leave Ranae sitting quietly under a tree.  I assume she is bait.  She doesn’t complain, probably because a skeptic wouldn’t admit to feeling like bait.  As BFRO crashes around, they put their hands to their mouths and make loud hooting noises.  The hooting noise-making is extremely complicated and has to include things like moving their hands away from their mouths super slowly once they are done hooting.  I don’t get it.  They are doing animal calls that have never resulted in the animal they are calling actually walking up to them, but they all fancy themselves artists at hooting.

The BFRO team is very excited by the results of their investigation of the Bridges property (noises and video of a heat signature, just like every other damn cryptozoology show except this is the only show that features Bobo falling off of a porch), and they tell us they are now going to pinpoint Swamp Ape activity in Florida.  I’m immediately confused because I thought we just saw them pinpoint it.  It’s the Bridges property, right?  No?  What made the Bridges property suddenly suck as a hotbed of Swamp Ape activity?  We were just real excited about the Bridges property.  Did Mrs. Bridges get drunk off camera and tell them the whole thing was just an elaborate ruse to lure Bobo into her clutches?

We’ll never know what was so wrong with the Bridges property that BFRO couldn’t stick around for a day or two and try to get a picture or some poop or a LIVE SWAMP APE.  BFRO must down drive all the damned way to the bottom tip of Florida to talk to Seminole Native Americans who don’t have any more evidence and maybe less than the Bridges family had and who have way more area to present for the search, like the ENTIRE FLORIDA EVERGLADES. 

Based on some tales from the Seminoles, BFRO crashes around in the Everglades at night, hooting and getting a heat signature.  Yay.  They tell us that Swamp Apes are certainly real as they drive off into the sunset. 

I’ll keep watching the show, of course.  I’m a sucker.  But I’ll also keep reviewing the show.  So watch out, BFRO.  I’m hooting for you.

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2 Responses to Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet

  1. JW Manus says:

    I can’t believe this missed this show. I’ll watch anything with a character named Bobo. Gotta tell you, though. I ain’t believing in no Bigfoot until someone assures me they’re good eatin’.

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