The rise of the reality show has been a phenomenon. Just when you thought you have seen everything, they invent a new one. Reality TV is now available in just about every topic you never imagined and documenting just about every occupation ever worked. Many of these reality shows document the experience of paranormal researchers and cryptologists trying to catch myth, legends and folklore on tape to prove that these things really exist.
One of my favorite cryptids is Bigfoot. Whether this creature of legend is a myth, extinct, or still exists is a debate among cryptologists, scientists, and skeptics. I like to believe that this type of creature is really out there: likely illusive, scared of humans, and lives in remote areas that humans hardly trek. When you consider all of the new species constantly being discovered, one of which is a monkey just discovered in 2012, and the fact that the largest cave in the world was just uncovered in 2009, it really opens the possibility for other undiscovered places, animals, and things on this giant planet of ours.
So this brings me to a relatively new reality show called “Finding Bigfoot”. It airs on Animal Planet and documents the investigations of four Sasquatch believers from an organization called the Bigfoot Research Organization, BFRO for short. Of course, in the 3 years it has been on the air with over 20 episodes so far covering many different states in the US, they have yet to show any documented proof that Bigfoot exists. However, that does not stop them from making statements to that fact, making it seem like they have intimate, scientific knowledge of these creatures. Instead of backing up their findings with any evidence; they seem to just be pulling this information out of an imaginary book of Bigfoot facts. It really ends up sounding like a bunch of B.S. and that doesn’t stand for Bigfoot Science!
Disappointment is the only word that I can use to describe this show, although it is quite funny to watch and make fun of the ridiculous comments made by the BFRO “investigators”. They have also introduced some new cryptid lingo for everyone to enjoy. When they deem an area of a woods to be a good place where Bigfoots would “hang out”, that area is ‘Squatchy’. They also explain away the reason why no actual video or photo documentation has been able to be taken is because they are so elusive, and all of the blurry images that are unidentifiable but automatically assumed to be Bigfoot, are called ‘Blobsquatchy’ photos. I also learned that the plural of Bigfoot is Bigfoots.
The main problem with the show is the matter of fact statements that are constantly made as if they are scientific facts of a known creature that has been studied and documented and, you know, proven. For example, they found a dead deer in the woods. Now to me this is nothing special. Deer live in the woods and they die in the woods, in any number of ways. However, letting your brain fart out some made up fact about how this was definitely a Bigfoot kill because the leg was broken off in a twisting motion “and that is what Bigfoots do” is just plain ridiculous. Not once have they offered any evidence or offered up any expert testimony from an outside source, such as zoologist. If they could have showed a comparison of another deer that was killed by a known predator and explained how each kill was different, then maybe that would have been more convincing. They have made countless other random, non-scientific, yet “factual” statements about Bigfoots like males are bigger than females, and ones that look alike are twins. I think twins should be called Bigfeets. The group’s leader, Matt Moneymaker also gave one of my favorite “sasquatch facts”. He said that if they think they are seen, a Sasquatch will squat down or lay down to look smaller, as they are very big and vulnerable. I assume that is why small things dominate the animal kingdom. One time they concluded one of their witnesses who actually had video was a hoaxer because this witness did not chase after it. Look, no offense, if I see Bigfoot I’m not going to chase it down because I don’t know if he’s going to swing me against a tree and make those knocking sounds they always attribute to Squatch communication.
One of the members of the team is a very large man named Bobo. (Yes, that’s really his name.) He is always the one they have go and stand where a Bigfoot sighting was, so that the eyewitness can try and get some perspective on creature vs. large human. He often makes a comment like “why do I always have to be the one to do this?” Based on what a goof ball this guy is, his name should really be Bozo, and I am sure the real Bigfoot would be asking the same question in reverse, not wanting to be compared to him either. Bobo makes the same statement affirming that every sound and every story he hears is definitely a Bigfoot. I would imagine that if a 4 year old kid reported that there is a big and scary thing in his closet, Bobo and the Finding Bigfoot team would all say that it’s definitely a Sasquatch and further go on to say “that’s what they do, they hide in kids’ closets at night”.
One episode featured a teen who thought he saw a Bigfoot when he was about seven years old. Of course, the picture he took is blurry, and to me, looks like a hunter in camouflage gear off in the distant brush. They sent Bobo out to try and recreate what the teen saw. They found the spot that seemed to be a good area and asked the teen how it looked. The teen stated that Bobo seemed puny compared to what he saw 10 years ago. So Bobo stands up and announces,”yup that was a Squatch”. I think now you can begin to understand how silly and non-scientific they behave on the show. I don’t know about this kid, but when I was 10 years old a Big Mac was huge but by the time I was an adult, it seemed, much smaller than I remembered. Since these investigators are always making up names for things, I think I will call this the “Big Mac, Little Mac Effect”.
The team gets very excited when they see any animals in the area where they are searching, because that always means there is a food source for the Bigfoots that definitely must live in that area. I can understand the excitement as you rarely hear of animals living in the woods. And of course, that also means that those real animals couldn’t possibly be contaminating the research or anything, with the noises or tracks, or fur, etc. How do we know that Bigfoot eats animals anyhow? Why aren’t they herbivores like many other monkeys and apes? For all we know Sasquatches eat Jack Links jerky meat sticks since that is the only evidence of a Bigfoot eating that anyone has actually seen on TV.
The show certainly should not call the show “Finding Bigfoot” since they haven’t found Sas-squat! Their motto should be “If it looks like a bear, moves like a bear, and growls like a bear, then it must be a Bigfoot!” In the end, I have come to two conclusions about the legend of Bigfoot from this show. First of all, the pictures of Bigfoot are in perfect focus it is just Bigfoot himself who is blurry. Secondly, this show is full of Bobo. I really want to believe that there is a species of Bigfoot alive and roaming remote locations in the world; but quite frankly this group of so called experts tromping around the woods knocking on trees and howling are not proving anything other than where Bigfoot doesn’t live.