Finding Bigfoot review

 Bigfoot, in case you have been living all of your life under the proverbial rock, (in North America in a small hollow of a tree in an area in the mountains rich in vegetation, forest, steams and deer), is a cryptid hominid who allegedly lives in North America in a habitat closely resembling the above described.
 Also known as Sasquach, Bigfoot is the name given to the ape-like creature.  The term sasquatch is an anglicized derivative of the Halkomelem word sásq’ets.

 Finding Bigfoot is a documentary television series that premiered on May 30, 2011, on Animal Planet. The program follows the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) in their search for Sasquach, or, as the cast refers to them; Squaches, in the wilderness of North America. Recent episodes have them also traveling to exotic places like Vietnam, Indonegia, Vermont and Rhode Island.

 I love watching Finding Bigfoot. I find it highly entertaining and downright addictive. I watch episodes more than once. I am mesmerized by it but I am not exactly sure why. Perhaps it is the characters. There are four cast members who are the investigative team that is sent out into the wilderness in search of Squaches.  Matt Moneymaker, researchers James “Bobo” Fay, Cliff Barackman, and skeptical scientist Renae Holland investigate the Sasquatch phenomenon. 
 Matt Moneymaker ( oh yes, they surely do) and Cliff Barackman I find disturbingly interchangeable. I get them confused. Perhaps it is because they pale in contrast to the bigger than life oddball named Bo-Bo. Sounds like the name of a clown, doesn't it? Well, he has the big jiggly belly, the odd hats, the big feet, the red nose and perversely bizarre hairdo..frizzy, long, dark, course, and familiar, like he got his hair done in a Squach-salon.

Then there is Renae, the diehard skeptic biologist, who doesn't believe anything unless she can see it for herself. Tall, lanky, with large white teeth and short cropped hair that hangs over her forehead like a Beetle-do, she is the consummate geek. Her skepticism is refreshing in contrast to the devoted faithful and unmoving believers, but, at times is irritating when she goes way too far, discounting the eye witness testimony of police officers, military personnel and innocent children, not to mention her peers, with an off handed dismissal as unconvincing and not credible enough for her strict standards.

  The team often makes use of reconstructions, using a team member as a stand-in for Bigfoot for eyewitnesses to judge scale, as well as night-vision technology and FLIR cameras.

After watching many episodes, I have come to the conclusion that Squach hunting is a lot of fun and that is why people do it. Camping in the wilderness, the beauty of nature, the camaraderie of like minded friends, and meeting other Squach enthusiasts from all over the country is enough. But there's more. Bo-Bo gets to impersonate a Squach by reconstructing photos or videos. He will walk into any dangerous situation; tops of cliffs, overhangs, swamps, edges of highways, and bend himself into odd "Squachy" positions in order to replicate a photo. Sometimes he looks more like a Squach than the creature in the photo.

But my favorite part of the show is when they get to mimic the calls and yells of Squaches. They get this gleam in their eyes, take two or three big, deep breaths, lean back and put their hands to their mouths and YELL like a maniac. Then we all listen with bated breath for an answering call, which is extremely rare, but does happen. Unfortunately, it is usually attributed to a coyote or owl.

The other thing they love to do is knock on trees. Supposedly, Squaches knock on trees to communicate with each other. Often, the team will get a reply knock. Is it just an echo? Who knows. 
The town meeting is also very entertaining. Two or three of the four members of the team head into the nearest town to meet with local residents who have seen or heard a Squach, while the lone remaining team member heads, alone, into the woods to camp out and hunt the invisible ape-man. The testimonials and personal stories are interesting, if not believable. The residents often colorful. Young and old, male and female, believer and skeptic, they pile into the town hall and talk Bigfoot lore. A part of many shows is the interaction of the cast with the locals. They enter into the local culture; often taking part in local ritual, from drinking locally brewed moonshine, to participation in local Indian tribe blessings, to dances and cook outs. All in celebration of the elusive Sasquach.

I admire the dedication and enthusiasm of the hunters. I also am amazed at their dedication and adherence to their belief in the creature who is yet to be seen or found. It's true. The team has yet to capture a shred of evidence that Bigfoot actually exists. But I am going to keep watching. What if they find one and I miss the episode? No way that's happening.


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