Tuesday, February 28, 2012

FINDING BIGFOOT: Best of Special

Animal Planet - Original Air Date: 2/26/12

This show, staged at an Ohio meeting house filled with enthusiasts, recaps the "season" and shows previously unseen footage.  The audience also gets to ask questions -- some of which reveal that the crew is less positive of some "bigfoot" identifications than the show makes them out to be.  However, the crew is still divided between believers (Matt, Cliff, Bobo) and skeptic (Ranae).  The audience also seems skeptical -- which is refreshing -- and asks "How do you know...?" type questions.  (Though the answers tend to be "because we know" or "because of our experience" rather than hard evidence.)

Still, team members on both sides get to state their positions clearly without a lot of edits, which is nice.  And the show serves as a good recap and/or introduction to the show.  Haven't seen Finding Bigfoot before?  This might be a good place to start.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

FINDING BIGFOOT: Moonshine & Bigfoot

Animal Planet - Original Air Date: 2/19/12

Into Kentucky for this show.  The video that starts the investigation shows two eyes shining in a night video.  (The "Kentucky eye shine" video.)   Ranae suggests an owl in a branch, though Matt thinks it's bigfoot.  (Bobo notes an owl is more likely.)  The show then follows the standard model: night investigation, camp out & do town hall, talk to witnesses, do a second night investigation.  And, of course, hear "strange" sounds and find nothing irrefutable.  The only things new in this show are the number of gunshots they hear during the first night investigation (coon hunters, apparently), the fact they visit Bobo's relatives (who are witnesses), and the use of a fake crying baby to try to lure the creatures out of the woods.  The show has become so predictable, that I wrote the "standard model" paragraph before actually watching the episode.

Make no mistake: this show is for believers, and -- despite the team's best efforts -- there's not a lot of scientific evidence to be found.   This show is for people who like hearing bigfoot stories.  It also performs some small service by providing skeptical explanations for popular bigfoot videos ... sometimes (with Ranae providing most of the skepticism).

It would be nice if they could hunker down in one of their "bigfoot hotspots" for a whole season or more and really do some science, but I'm afraid that would't make a compelling show every week.  The witness stories do make a compelling show, but it's well to remember: they're just stories.  Maybe someday, we'll get more.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

FINDING BIGFOOT: Virginia is for Bigfoot Lovers

Animal Planet - Original Air Date: 2/12/12

The BFRO (Matt, Cliff, Bobo, & Ranae) head to VA to track down the Beast of Gung Hill (sp?) a.k.a. another very fuzzy video.  Could it be the elusive woodbooger?  Ranae thinks that the video, which shows a shape moving across a creek in front of an ATV is suspicious; the rest want to see the sighting spot.  So they hop some ATVs and head out into the woods for a recreation.  Bobo is smaller than the supposed "squatch," and I'm wishing for some of Fact or Faked's voice analysis on the witness. Ranae is skeptical, and even Cliff expresses some reservations. Time for the first night investigation of the week.  (Every week has two.)  Some "knocks" -- which I'm not convinced are squatch evidence at all -- but nothing else. So, Matt stays in the wild (one crew member does every week) and checks out some caves, which he believes might be bigfoot shelter during the winter.

The rest do the usual town hall meeting to dig up places to look for local sasquatch--and they get the usual interesting & compelling stories--from which they pick 3 to investigate further (as usual this season).  The first, a teen girl, Ranae is skeptical about. The second, near a waterfall, seems harder to explain, and the third witness is a former cop, who says he saw the thing at close range. Real?  Who knows.  But in tonight's investigation, they're going to try something new: they'll use a luminous dust to try to track anything taking their bait.  I'd think they might put up camera traps, too, but not tonight.  Twenty-four hours later, they check the bait, and discover some cool luminous raccoon tracks.  And, naturally, they hear strange woodland sounds--but no solid bigfoot evidence.

And I have to wonder, at this point, if I need to do such long reviews of this show.  The formula this season is clear: 1) investigate crappy probably-hoaxed video, 2) night investigation; nothing shows up, 3) camp out &/or talk to locals; hear interesting but unprovable stories, 4) second night investigation hearing spooky sounds, 5) Ranae disagrees with the rest about whether this proves anything (she says no; the rest, yes).  So, unless they do something really interesting -- like tonight's luminous dust -- maybe I should just say, "Same as last week. Nothing proven; a few things dis-proven."