There have been quite a few Bigfoot shows already, including my personal favorite, Finding Bigfoot (see my review). This new show claims to have a new and unique approach. They use tech tools to analyze bigfoot sightings over time, in order to create a bank of data to attempt to track Bigfoot; it’s possible location and movements. They create an algorithm that tells them where Bigfoot is going to be and when it is going to be there.
Cast members include:
Investigator Bryce Johnson, age 42, from Iowa. Bryce studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He is a professional actor, and has been in a few tv series and made for tv movies. He currently lives in Hollywood California.
Investigator Ronny LeBlanc is a researcher and an author (Monsterland). He has been featured on Finding Bigfoot, In Search of Monsters, and currently runs a podcast titled, Monsterland, which covers a variety of paranormal topics.
Russell Acord, an ex military survivalist, is a professional film producer and an author on all things Bigfoot.
Dr. Mireya Mayor is a researcher, lecturer, and tv host. Her nick name is the female Indiana Jones. Also a mother of six, she is a respected Primatologist, National Science Foundation Fellow, Fulbright Scholar and Emmy Award-nominated wild life correspondent for The National Geographic Channel. She has also written a book.
Eric Thompson, who is the narrator/voice of Expedition Bigfoot, is an accomplished professional actor, known for his work in A Murder of Crows, Pegaus Prime, and Nox.
Ryan Golembeske, a.k.a. RPG, is a bigfoot researcher, producer and writer. He was also on an episode of Finding Bigfoot.
The team travels to remote locations in the wilderness of Oregon to study nesting sites, footprints, and vocalizations. Unlike other paranormal shows, which only tend to spend short periods on the site of activity; anywhere from one day to a week, this team spends an extended period, over three weeks, conducting experiments. They claim that they show the audience “how to conduct a legit scientific investigation. All the technology we had at our disposal is unlike anything else you’ve seen. We use an artillery of tools most scientists don’t have the advantage of having.” Says Mayor. Tools used include drones, thermal cameras, trail cams, 3D image scanners, and night vision goggles. They spray their clothes with “Ozonics”, which is a spray that eliminates the human scent.
There have been a total of eight episodes for the first season. I have watched all of them. Here are my comments and conclusions.
First, about the cast. Yes, there is one highly educated and accomplished, real scientist on this team. That person is Dr. Mireya Mayor. Her credentials are impeccable. However, the rest of the cast are all experienced actors or producers. Bryce Johnson is an actor with his education at an acting academy and experience in tv and movies. The rest of the cast are all experienced actors or producers.
This cast reminds me of the cast of Mountain Monsters. They are also all actors masquerading as real hunters or investigators. We get the sense that these people also want us to believe that they are genuine Big Foot experts. They are not. And where you have actors, you inevitably have a script.
The claims made include using technology that, “is unlike anything else you’ve seen.” Um…this is just silly. Anyone who has watched any paranormal show, from Finding Bigfoot to Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, etc, has seen these teams using all of this technology: night vision, infrared cameras, thermal cameras, drones and robots, trail cams, 3-D scanners, etc. So, how is this innovative? The claim is blatantly false, even laughable.
They claim to show the audience “how to do a legitimate scientific investigation.” However, what I have witnessed is a team of people running around in the woods with flashlights and cameras, whispering, shouting, and acting frightened at every little noise. In one episode they hear something that sounds just like a bird call. One team member claims it has to be bigfoot communication. While sleeping, Mayors has a dream about her kids talking to her. When she awakens and tells her team member about it, he insists that what she experienced was Bigfoot mimicking children because they have been known to do that. On one of the last episodes they find a cave entrance and act like they have found the motherload. “This is what we have been looking for and we have finally found it; Bigfoot’s cave!" They send a drone in, which captures almost nothing before getting hung up inside the cave. They collect hair and send it to the lab, who’s findings are inconclusive, at best.
So, like Finding Bigfoot, which ended its run on TV by NOT finding bigfoot, this team has not gotten any farther.
There is also something going on with this team that is unique to bigfoot hunting. For claiming to be scientists, they discuss Native American folklore and, at times, claim that Bigfoot has been connected to paranormal activity, being seen around cemeteries, being connected to orb sightings, and even connected to UFO sightings. Ok. Let’s just lump all of the unsubstantiated claims made by every ghost hunter out there and stick it onto poor old Bigfoot. Is he or she or it now an alien? A ghost? A dinosaur? Something paranormal from another dimension or another time? Hey, with the total lack of scientific procedure and thinking, anything is possible.
They also claimed to have found a witness who took a picture of Bigfoot. It is one of the worst pictures I have seen yet. It looks like a tiny black shadow on a tree from very far away. They also captured a thermal image of something moving in the woods. It could be an animal but it is just too far away to tell. But these scientists declare that it just has to be Bigfoot. What else could it be?
There was one mysterious incident. One of their trail cameras was obviously moved. By what or whom? Who knows.
To stretch credibility even further, they find a marble that they left as a “gift” for Bigfoot. The theory is that Bigfoot will take it and leave his own gift. Well, one of the cameramen find the marble in the woods a long way from where it was originally. Ok, now you're claiming that, in this huge, dense forest, you just happened to stumble on a teeny tiny marble? Really??
My conclusion is that this show is mostly scripted and fake; unreliable at best. It also lacks the personalities that Finding Bigfoot had. There is no Bobo or skeptic Renae to keep us
entertained. There is no one making bigfoot calls or tapping on trees. Well, there are a few calls and taps in one episode but it's no where near as entertaining as Finding Bigfoot.
I miss you BoBo. Wow, I never thought I’d say that…
Expedition Bigfoot airs on the Travel Channel. Check listings in your area.
Information on the cast from online biographies. Information on the show from the Travel channel and my own viewing of the show. This review is my opinion only.