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In Movies & TV Commentary

Have you found the evidence of bigfoot? You could probably get your own TV show. (PHOTO:

What's with all the Bigfoot shows?

I was driving through the farmlands of central Wisconsin on Wednesday, passing a number of small clusters of tree-filled forest lands. And I start thinking to myself, "What's with all the Bigfoot shows?"

There's the biggies, like "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet and Spike has "Bigfoot Hunters." There's other miniseries and specials on other channels, like "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science" that I watched on Destination America on Wednesday.

Sometimes TV shows need to be brainless fun, you know, give our minds a chance to relax and zone out. It's the reason why we can call the TV the idiot box. However, some of these programs that focus on the research tracking bigfoot, treat themselves like the greatest of scientific documentaries. Here's where science and brainless merge.

Filled with highly-respected anthropologists and museum curators, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization on its website at bills itself as "The only scientific research organization exploring the bigfoot/sasquatch mystery." I've found that this organization is great at involving itself into these TV specials, and promoting its cause.

What I've learned about "squatches":

  • Unlike gorillas and chimps, their family/groupings are small and mobile, making it very difficult for modern humans to hunt them.
  • Their impact on the land is so subtle that it takes a trained eye to even notice it.
  • They can operate nocturnally, sometimes close to rural communities of humans, and be only occasionally seen, heard, or detected.

Now whether or not you believe in these beings, or ancient aliens or ghosts for that matter, you can't ignore the impact of what these shows have had on our society through popular culture.

During the Television Critics Association's press tour last August, the group of writers took the panel on "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet to task. The thinking is two-fold. First, if the creators of the show truly found evidence, the news would be so large that it wouldn't wait for the next airing of an episode.

The second is why would a cable outlet that has programming to inform and enlighten us about the animals that live around us take the time to air a show about something not known to us.

"Animal Planet has many shows about animals that may be more familiar to you," said Marjorie Kaplan, Animal Planet's president. "Finding Bigfoot is an exploration of the secret corners of the planet … There are places on this planet that we know about and places we don't … New species are being found all the time."

The plain truth, I'll spell it out here rather than the political speak Kaplan spewed forth ... the show, and the special on mermaids that the channel aired earlier, brought in ratings. Bring in enough eyeballs, and a station can charge more for advertising. It is as simple as that.

As much as I love a show on the eating habits of animals in the arctic, or the latest trends among household pets … more people are going to watch people stomping through the trees with night-vision cameras searching for 'squatches.

I better end this here, or I'll miss the next airing of "Southern Fried Bigfoot."


SteveKabelowsky | Jan. 11, 2013 at 9:14 a.m. (report)

SuperDuperE, it is a little out there, that's for certain.

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SuperDuperE | Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:04 p.m. (report)

I have made so many Facebook status updates about hating Finding Bigfoot and the "scientists" on the show, that I'm sure some have unfriended me. How do the know that donuts are the "Squatch's" favorite food?! Leaving that stuff out in the woods for other known animals is irresponsible! I think you shouldn't be allowed to call yourself a scientist if there isn't any factual evidence of what you're researching!

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