Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Alaskan Monster Hunt: Hillstranded

Discovery Channel - Original Air Date: 7/19/11

The brothers HIllstrand, captains on The Deadliest Catch, look into Alaskan legends of the cryptid animal cadborosaurus.  They start by viewing a video of the supposed beast taken by a local salmon fisherman.  The video puzzles all of these experienced seamen and cryptozoologist Paul Leblond, too.  (I'd be somewhat more impressed if they had a top marine biologist -- though Leblond's resume claims he was one, formerly.)  The brothers then start outfitting for the trip as if they're on the world's biggest fishing trip.  I am reminded of Quint's ill-fated venture to catch Jaws, and I am more than slightly disturbed when brother Andy declares, "Time to go kill a sea monster!"

Now, I don't watch Deadliest Catch, so I don't know if this is how these guys usually act, but their expedition seems irreverent at best.  Methods include huge fishing lines with barrels as bobbers.  They start at the mouth of a river, catch nothing, and then travel up to Lake Iliamna, which boasts a lot of monster reports.  They overfly the lake with a pilot who saw the creature once.  They talk to local Tim Laport, who suggests places to fish for the beast, and also suggests that it might be a sturgeon (an ancient type of huge fish).  They repeat their barrel and bait operation, and succeed in losing their bait to ... something.  Soon, one of their barrels ends up a mile away from where they set it, with the heavy hook bent straight.  Then they spot something big and white (15' long?) in the water; so they fish for it, apparently hook it, and... the line breaks.  Just another one that got away.  What's left to do but throw a tantrum, toss dynamite in the water, and shoot the lake with automatic weapons.

I'm unimpressed.  A better equipped, more scientific expedition might have gotten better evidence rather than just another fish story.  I'm also vexed that the original video is not shown in its entirety -- making creature identification difficult for any home viewer.  Monster?  With this type of "evidence," who can say?


Rick said...

True, a lot of faults in their video. But, to be fair it only claims to be "home video" of their personal "look into" the sea monster claim.

If their good old boys, "get-er-done" fishing adventure prompts something of a more serious investigation then more power to them.

Debunkers are a little limp with half lidded suggestions of a sturgeon or moose in the video of the unidentified creature in the water.

I think it probably safe to say if there were as much budgeted to this endeaver as something as mundane as shrimp running on a treadmill? There could be far more understanding as to what the as yet unidentified creature truly is.

Stephen D. Sullivan said...

Actually, I was _fine_ with the original video. It looked pretty darn cool. My problem with this show, and a lot of its ilk, is they only showed us edited snippets of the video -- rather than letting us see the whole thing to get the context. Context often helps explain/solve a mystery.

And I agree that more should be spent, and more serious missions mounted, to look into such things.

I don't think that particular video looks like moose or sturgeon, either, though I would have liked an outside (non-crypto)_expert to have looked at it. Several times, on Fact or Faked, for instance, something that looks mysterious to you and me looks less mysterious to an actual marine biology expert. "Manatee group mating cluster" springs to mind, otherwise mistaken for a single, strange sea monster off the Florida coast.

My guess for this might be a cluster of seals or sea otters -- though I'm open to it being an unknown creature.

Sugar Plumum said...

Monday 2nd Sept.
I have just watched this program 'Alaskan Monster Hunt: Hillstranded'!
I really can't understand why they showed it on the Eden channel as this can't possibly treated as a serious program.

These two guys are just a couple of clowns!

From start to finish they were acting like complete Ignorant Idiots. Dangerous Idiots at that, which was proved when they resorted to throwing explosives in the lake when they failed to catch their Monster! The Monster ( if it was a Monster) was probably sitting at the far side of the lake looking at these buffoons with utter disbelief & contempt.

It's people like these morons who will be the cause of our planets demise, they really should not be let out without wearing straight jackets & being in the care of minders!


tye ruark said...

The monster is a greenland shark can grow up to 20 ft.+ and weighs 2500 plus pounds and rarely comes to the surface, spends most the time on the bottom of the sea, almost extinct so they think, since it was hunted to extinction in the early years of Greenland and Iceland, and was consider extinct until 1993 when they found one and was photographed in greenland.

Stephen D. Sullivan said...

Thanks for the explanation. It's been long enough since this show that I no longer remember the video, but what you say certainly makes sense. If only the show had gone in that direction.