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November 28, 2012     The New Era Paper
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November 28, 2012

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:lle - November 28, 2012 Page 7 After watching just a few min- utes of "Finding Bigfoot," I've learned one thing - this show is deft, nitely on the wrong channel. Instead of Animal Planet, it should be on Comedy Central. Notice the title is "Finding Big- foot," not "Searching for Bigfoot." Anyone can search for anything, but finding it is something entirely dif- ferent. On that note, instead of Find- ing Bigfoot (BF), perhaps the show should be titled Finding BS. The show is definitely light on the science and heavy on the enter- tainment. It must have some follow- ers though, since the show is in its third season and filming is under way for Season 4. So the question is - Does Big- foot exist? So far, this show is bat- ting zero. You would think if this elusive creature exists, that one would have shown up by now, dead or alive. After all, people have covered just about every square inch of land in the Pacific Northwest, let alone the rest of the country, whether hunting, trapping, hiking, camping, logging, mining, exploring or creating illicit whisky (which, by the way, is an en- tirely different show on Discovery Channel - "Moonshiners"). However, there are many be- lievers out there, including at least three of the four stars of the series "Finding Bigfoot." Matt Moneymaker is the presi- dent and founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO). Allegedly, his first close encoun- ter with a Bigfoot occurred during an overnight stakeout in a swampy wildlife refuge in Ohio in 1994. And, by the way, tha.t's his real last name. His father is the prominent Los An- geles bankruptcy attorney Richard Moneymaker. Who wouldn't want to be represented by Rich Money- maker? Cliff Barackman, a former member of BFRO (did he get kicked out?), is known for his data collection and interest in physical evidence. On his first expedition to Bluff Creek, Calif. in 1994, he said he found pos- sible Bigfoot footprints, as well as "tree damage evidence and a pos- sible hair sample." (So what were the DNA test results for this hair?) He also claims to have one of the largest footprint cast collections in the country. And then there's James "Bobo" Fay. He claims to have seen his first Sasquatch, or "Squatch," as he likes to call it (or Bobo, as I like to call it), in 2001 and has since "glimpsed Bigfoots on a few other occasions." I'm not sure what the difference is between seeing and glimpsing When it comes to Bigfoots. And shouldn't it be Bigfeet? Bigfoots just doesn't sound right for some reason. Bobo often poses as Bigfoot for re-creations of photos, due to his height and size. He's also known for his loud Bigfoot calls, even when he's not trying to imitate the crea- ture. The final member of the team is Ranae Holland, the "skeptical sci- entist" who questions eVery poten- tial sighting and piece of evidence. Of course she's always overruled Scott Staats by her three male co-hosts and the team concludes that every noise in the night is a real Bigfoot answering their calls. These shows are boiler plate - conduct a town meeting and get half the community to admit on national TV that they've seen or heard a Big- foot, interview these people, go out on the ground in the daylight and look for evidence (which doesn't exist), go out on the ground at night and howl, scream, yodel, sing, snort, grunt, or make any other loud bodily function in order to get a Squatch to reply. Sometimes they believe they hear a response and one will say, "That was a Squatch." And since Squatcfies communicate with each other by beating on trees with wood, the team also carries big sticks at night to hammer away on trees like oversized pileated woodpeckers. Sometimes they believe they hear a response and one will say, "That was a Squatch." I watched a few minutes of a recent episode in which Ms. Ra- nae attempted her first Bigfoot call. "Yooohooo!" she yelled. "Oh, wait a minute, what was that? Did you hear that?" She thought she heard a response,' plus she thought she saw some glowing eyes at the other end of her flashlight beam. Now, she said she's not so sure there isn't some- thing out there. Yeah, no kidding. Maybe one of the producers? I read about one scene where the team spotted a Bigfoot-like crea- ture on a hillside (the camera show- ing its typical grainy footage) and Moneymaker ran up the hill after it. He even admitted it was someone sneaking around trying to watch the production in progress. "I said so repeatedly and vehe- mently at the time, for the cameras, but they edited out all of that in order to make it seem unclear what I was chasing after," he said. Since the team can't produce a real live Bigfoot in the good 'ol U.S. of A, they're expanding their inves- tigations to Canada, Australia and Indonesia. Australia has its "yow- ies" and Indonesia has its "orang- pendeks." Sasquatch sightings have been reported in every state of the union except Hawaii. What's the matter, don't Hawaiians have any imagina- tion, or at least a sense of humor? In one episode the team travels to Rhode Island where they deter- mine there are lots of unexplored ar- eas with a wealth of Squatch activity. Come on now, really? Have they nev- er taken a geography class? Do they understand the size of Rhode Island? The four of them can hold hands and touch its borders. If they can't corner an elusive Bigfoot in Rhode Island, there's something wrong. I'm sure there are lots of people- out there having some fun with go- rilla suits. And where are all those Planet of the Apes outfits? I always thought about getting hold of one of those suits and going to an isolated forest road where log trucks are go- ing by and run across in front of ne. Then I reconsidered, thinking t at there may also be a rifle or pi:tol aboard. The Bigfoot phenomenon ia't just a recent thing. Pacific Cost tribes speak of the Wild Man of the Woods, Bukwas, Sasquatch md Windigo. Every culture or society needs a boogeyman. Even the hary, big-footed Neanderthals had theirs. "Now if you don't eat your mammoth liver the hairless white guy (or what they referred to as Littlefoot) will come and snatch from the cave in the night." Mmy adults spoke of seeing Littlef~ot. About 40,000 years ago there vas some overlap between the Nean(er- thals and Cro-Magnons so ma, be the former did spot the latter, md vice versa. Some of the funniest things re- lated to the show are comments on "Quality is the Difference,i I FRIDAY 8-6, SAT 9-6, SuN 9-5. I I CROCKERSCARS.COM " the Internet. Here are a few: have found Bigfoot scat multiple "They need to get bloodhounds times, yet they have never collected and get rid of Renee and get an unbi- samples to submit for DNA testing. ased research biologist." That tells me right there that they are "If a Bigfoot does exist, these full of scat themselves." four idiots are the last individuals I've spent a lot of time in the out- that are going to find one."doors in my life and have seen some "The team is constantly making scary things such as bears, cougars, random statements about the behav- angry hunters, a few Neanderthals ior of Sasquatches as though they are and a few Cro-Magnons but nary a well-established facts: 'Squatches Bigfoot. My search continues. are attracted to women,' 'Squatches are attracted to bacon,' 'Squatches Scott Staats is a full-time outdoor are attracted to music'. If Bigfoot is writer who lives in Prineville. attracted to women and bacon and Contact him by e-mail at news@ music, how come they aren't show- sweethornenews.com. Please put ing up at NFL tailgate parties? .... For Scott Staats" on the subject "The cast members claim to line. "The Real Deal" MOTORS 'Ik