Finding Bigfoot made its debut on Animal Planet two years ago and has become, needless to say, appointment television. Finding Bigfoot is a documentary series chronicling the nighttime, backwoods, completely sober adventuring of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO).
The BFRO was formed in 1995 by ironically named unemployed law-school dropout Matt Moneymaker.
Moneymaker says he encountered his first Sasquatch, or “Squatch” as the BFRO calls them, in 1994 while on an investigation at a wildlife refuge outside of Kent, Ohio. After his anus healed, the BFRO was born.
Moneymaker’s right-hand man is fourth grade teacher and mellow jazz guitarist Cliff Barackman.
Barackman says on his website that he’s been known to spend as much as 200 days a year in the field hunting for Bigfoot. Which means his fourth grade class has probably watched The Neverending Story on a tape-loop about 178 times.
James “Bobo” Fay is the BFRO’s muscle. Bobo (yeah, that’s right, Bobo) is a commercial fisherman and former roadie for the band Sublime.
Bobo (He answers to it with no sense of shame, I swear to God) serves as the “Squatch” stand-in during the video and photo re-creations on the show. Bobo (I know!) claims he and “veteran” Bigfoot researcher John Freitas, all alone on a deep woods expedition, stumbled upon his first Bigfoot in 2001.
Rounding out this group of BFRO regulators is an actual scientist, Ranae Holland.
Holland is a fisheries biologist who has spent time with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She specializes in interactions between brown bears and salmon and you might be asking yourself, “What in the holy hell is she doing on this show?” Well, Holland is, of course, the “skeptic” who is there to keep the rest of the researchers honest, using real science and observed animal behavior to, as Moneymaker sees it, totally ignore the mountain of evidence he continually finds.
With a crack team of experts like this, what won’t they be able to find?
No. 7: Bigfoot
This is going to be the saddest thing you’ll read on the internet all day; there is no Bigfoot. Hey, it hurts me just as much to write it.
On average, two new animal species are discovered every single week. In 2010, more than 2,000 new animals were added to the Earth’s Wikipedia page. And these aren’t just species of plankton and monster fish too deep for even Aquaman to yell at.
Use your inside voice, douche.
It includes bigger animals like the Walter’s Duiker (a West African antelope) and even new primates. In fact, in the last decade alone 63 new species of primates have been discovered, including a noseless monkey with Elvis hair in Southeast Asia and the awesomely named titi monkey in Brazil.
Somehow Bigfoot, which would be the largest primate on the planet, has eluded discovery.
In spite of thousands of people spending every free moment of their lives scouring the forests for Bigfoot, not a single specimen, living or dead, has been found. There are numerous reports and videos of Sasquatches crossing roads, but not one has ever been hit by a car. And before you object, saying that Sasquatches are too smart to be hit by cars, let me remind you that actual people are hit by cars every single day.
Bigfoot sightings have been reported all over North America and a breeding population for a species ranging from the Arctic Circle into the Florida everglades would be huge. Plus, most damning, really, there’s not a single piece of fossil evidence showing the migration to or existence of a large primate in North America.
Yes, it would be awesome if Bigfoot was real. I would easily pay upwards of $20 to watch one drink a Yoohoo chocolate drink while I toss apple slices at it through its cage bars. I can see in my mind’s eye right now Daniel Tosh, wearing a hand-knitted Rick Santorum sweater vest, ridiculing a video of a drunken obese woman falling into a Sasquatch enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. Could you saddle a Bigfoot and race it? Could you take a photo with one smoking a cigarette and flipping the bird? Sadly, we’ll never get to know. It’s just not going to happen.
No. 6. The Consistent Correct Grammatical use of the Word “Foot.”
Multiple times per episode Moneymaker says, with no sense of irony whatsoever, the word “Bigfoots.” That’s right, “Bigfoots.” He says shit like, “This area has the perfect habitat to support a colony of Bigfoots.”
Why not “Bigfeet?” What’s wrong with that? Or just use “Bigfoot” like you would the word “Deer,” as in, “The reason we seem to be unable to capture evidence of any Bigfoot in this area is because pretend animals do not exist.”
“Bigfoots” is a stupid word so it’s no surprise that Moneymaker uses it since he’s an idiot, but Cliff, a man with at least a 4-year college education, has no excuse for the term he created, “Bigfooting.”
“Bigfooting” looks like a word you’d be deathly afraid to Google. What most of us would take for granted as a term for a frightening sexual fetish involving the calloused toes of shoeless WNBA superstars, Cliff uses to describe the act of hiking through the forest searching for an 8-to-10 foot tall, 500-pound hairy bipedal primate that, for some crazy reason, will not materialize out of his imagination into the real world.
What nice big feet you have...
No. 5. Human Dignity
Have you ever heard a grown man stand in the middle of the woods and imitate the guttural, broguish, echoing call of a leprechaun? No? How about the plaintive whinny of a unicorn? You haven’t? Surely you’ve heard a human male, of sound enough mind to be allowed to walk the earth freely without being tackled, subdued and whisked away to the nearest mental health facility, stand in a clutch of trees, do a perfect imitation of a female minotaur and then eagerly listen for a response from a distant male minotaur? Nope?
Well, congratulations good sir or madam, you are in for a treat.
Yes. That really happened. And shit like that goes on nearly every episode. Cliff, Matt and Bobo will stand in a big circle jerk and just rattle off Bigfoot calls like they shouldn’t all be hit in the head with shovels. Not only that, they’ll bang sticks against trees and crack rocks together, each time cocking their ears into the night, listening intently for a Bigfoot to reply back with the opening drum solo from Hot for Teacher.
Sadly, the worst examples of this problem are the poor, pathetic witnesses the BFRO drag out in front of the world at their “Town Hall” meetings at the local Boar’s Nest in whatever town they happen to be close to. There, inevitably, some meth-addled slackjawed toothless shithead will stand up and recount the time they saw Bigfoot steal a picnic lunch, dunk a basketball over Lebron James or peek into the bathroom window of a 1972 house trailer.
Again, I refer you to the show itself.
Now, to skip the obvious thought you’re having here (that Bigfoot must love crispy blonde hair, a 70’s bush and big, floppy, potato-shaped naturals), I want you instead to think of the old woman/witness that seems convinced that she saw a giant hair-laden man-ape fogging up a trailer window when, presumably, Dog: The Bounty Hunter, was nowhere near the area.
I'm relatively sure he wasn't, anyway.
This is someone’s mamaw, for God’s sake. Somebody’s crazy, lying mamaw, sure, but a sweet granny nonetheless. And now she’s made herself look even dumber than the actual non-Ranae members of the cast. A cast that includes a guy that has no problem at all responding to the name “Bobo.”
No. 4. Lost Time.
“I’ve been tracking sasquatches for 25 years,” is the first words you hear from Matt Moneymaker in the show’s opening credits. Ponder that for a moment. Twenty-five years spent traipsing around the countryside, not enjoying the actual wildlife and wonders of our natural world, but instead beating the bushes on the most epic snipe hunt of all time. For a quarter of a century Moneymaker has been misidentifying bear pawprints, deer shit, owl hoots and pothead teenagers in Pantera shirts.
It's an honest mistake.
All because in 1994, while on a “stakeout” specifically to get proof of Bigfoot’s existence, Moneymaker had his “close encounter.” A “close encounter” that somehow resulted in not a single piece of hard evidence of sasquatchian shenanigans. It’s really too bad no video capturing or photographic technology existed way back in 1994.
Cliff’s biography will just break your heart. While Moneymaker looks like he’s constantly battling back a quesadilla burp, Cliff seems to be a relatively normal, nice guy. He’s a teacher and a musician and looks like he showers regularly, but instead of dating, socializing and generally trying to live a human life… maybe get married…have a couple of kids… Cliff spends two thirds of a year in the woods stomping through poison ivy, yelping to the sky and whipping sticks at trees in hopes of getting the attention of absolutely nothing.
As for Bobo. Well, hunting for Bigfoot is probably the most productive thing that guy can do until Jackyl gets back together.
It could happen at any moment.
No. 3. Scientific Acceptance
Let’s go back to the Elvis monkey for a minute. Scientists first heard about the snub-nosed King of Rock and Roll from local Myanmar hunters in early 2010. They were told, but had no evidence of, a large monkey with Elvis’s pompadour and Michael Jackson’s nose. A nose so stupidly designed by natural selection as to force this monkey to actually tuck its head between its legs when it rains so as not to drown.
The scientists were like, “That really sounds crazy. We’ve never observed anything so dumb in all of human history. We’ll probably need some actual evidence before we believe that load of bullshit.”
So the hunters went back out into the jungle, shot the Elvis/MJ hybrid monkey in the eye, brought it back to their village, made it pose for photos, then fucking ate it.
Now, I don’t doubt that a Bigfoot might be absolutely delicious. Nothing would please me more than to watch Chairman Kaga whip away the satin veiling revealing freshly sliced Bigfoot cutlets for an epic Kitchen Stadium throwdown between Iron Chef Morimoto and Bobby Flay. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
If memory serves... I will most likely eat only the sasquatch's scrotum.
But that’s all just a dream. A sweet, flavorful, succulent, mint-jellied dream that can never come true no matter how badly we all, each and every one of us… generally speaking everybody reading this and hoping not to be judged… would give almost anything to sink my… I mean our teeth into the tender, savory, well-marbled flesh of a sasquatch. Dammit.
Regardless, that’s what science needs; proof. Proof so real you could, literally, taste it. Proof that, after 54 years of non-stop searches by thousands of people, has somehow not come to light.
No matter how hungry we all have been for it.
No. 2. The Proper Application of Occam’s Razor (by someone other than Ranae.)
Occam’s Razor is a principle that basically states that “the simplest explanation for something, everything being equal, is probably true.”
To put this into perspective with the show, let me give you a hypothetical situation. Say you’re at the bottom of a steep hill and find a skeletal deer carcass with a broken leg.
Do you think,
(A) The deer was killed by one of the many deadly predators such as bears, wolves, mountain lions or coyotes in the area, possibly snapping its leg in a fall down the hill or when one of the common predators was feeding on it?
(B) A large, 500-pound, 8-to-10-foot tall heretofore unknown by science primate, living unobserved, unkilled and uncaptured in all 50 states of the most technologically advanced society on the planet, stalked, killed the deer and snapped its leg either in the attack, or while feeding on it?
Don't answer yet. Let's see what Matt Moneymaker thinks about this very problem.
So Matt chose “B.” Because there’s absolutely nothing else that could have happened to that deer and Matt is dumb enough to begin eating his own poop at any moment.
No. 1. A Life’s Dream Fulfilled.
We’ve had a good time here, you and I, with this show. We've had some laughs.
But nothing I have written here will be as funny as what I’m about to show you. Before you watch this video though, you need to understand Bobo’s main purpose on the show. I mentioned at the beginning of this article that Bobo serves as the sasquatch stand-in for the team when they’re investigating a Bigfoot photo or video. At 6-foot-4 and 300-plus pounds, Bobo was absolutely born for this job. Certainly no other human I can think of is better suited to represent a giant, grunting, putrid-smelling, humanoid ape than Bobo. He has found his bliss.
Each episode usually begins with the team on their way to parts unknown to investigate a grainy photo or out of focus video of a sasquatch. They meet and interview the witness while looking at the video or photo and, inevitably, Moneymaker, Cliff and Bobo will determine with little doubt that the large dark blurry blob (or glowing night-vision blurry blob) in the photograph in question is a Bigfoot. Then, Matt and the team high-tail it to where the photo or video was recorded and reenact the photo with Bobo replacing the ‘Squatch.
That really happened. The Finding Bigfoot team completely proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the “Bigfoot photo” they were investigating was just a dude in a winter coat… on a mountain… in the winter… in the snow.
Except none of them, with the exception of Ranae, believe that at all. They still think it’s a Bigfoot. Watch this one.
Yeah. So Mike Greene filmed himself in a gorilla suit reaching for a candy bar and left it out of focus just to cover his ass. Man, look at how Mike nearly shit himself when Bobo, not wearing a fake monkey suit, still gave off the exact same heat signature he did in his hoax video.
The team, again with the exception of Ranae, is completely flabbergasted at the results and begins to come up with all sorts of technical reasons why their recreation video is completely identical. Cliff even says aloud, dumbfounded, “You cannot ignore the context of the film. Mike was there at the entrance of this area here. He knows no one else was in here.”
Cliff, none of us has any doubt at all there was no other person besides Mike in that area. I believe, wholeheartedly, that Mike was the only person anywhere near his camera when he was filming his “sasquatch” eating a candy bar.
While Cliff is saying all this, Mike turns his eyes straight to the ground, looking like he could begin vomiting milk chocolate, peanuts and nougat at any moment.
Snickers really satisfies...
My favorite moment of the whole thing was Ranae, trying to fight a smile while saying, “In my opinion anyone of Bobo’s size and stature could have been captured in Mike’s video.”
Hey, you didn’t happen to notice how tall Mike Greene was, did you?
This kind of thing happens in every single episode. Every time Bobo and the team recreate the photo or video exactly, proving instantly it’s either a fake, a misidentified human or rotten tree stump. No sane person would believe anything else.
So, needless to say, Moneymaker, Cliff and Bobo all still believe the photos/videos are of a Bigfoot, grasping at any straw, no matter how thin to show that there’s no doubt that a fuzzy photo of a guy taking a steaming dump next to a river is, in fact, definitive proof of sasquatch’s existence.
Matt, Cliff and Bobo all claim to have had personal experiences with Bigfoot. Actual sightings that proved to them, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that sasquatches are real and, if their diet is any indication, in need of extensive diabetes testing.
It'd be ironic after all this to have to lose one of those feet, big guy.
But there’s no reason for us to believe these experiences were any different than the “evidence” presented on the show. They are TRUE BELIEVERS and there’s nothing they’ll come across in the woods that the BFRO won’t first think is a couple of Bigfoot recreating the final kung fu battle from Karate Kid Part 3.
Proving Bigfoot is a real animal means everything to these people. It’s made Cliff give up on any semblance of a normal adult life, it’s turned Matt into a raving lunatic and it’s forced Bobo to put off joining the Ron Paul 2016 Presidential Campaign full time.
"I just can't do it without ya, Bobes."
Cliff, Matt and Bobo are destined to perform this quixotic quest for our amusement as long as Animal Planet sees fit to air it. By God I won’t miss a single episode.
So ‘squatch on you princes of Bigfooting. You skunk apes of the wildwood. May your calls all be loud, ridiculous and continually filmed.
"Come at me, Bro!"