Ranae Holland is the only thing that keeps the Finding Bigfoot team from going off of the deep end sometimes.
With true believers Matt Moneymaker, James “Bobo” Fay and Cliff Barackman always ganging up against her, Holland is typically able to keep her backbone stiff and stay reasonable in the face of the opposition. This week, for example, when examining a set of bigfoot prints, Matt, Bobo and Cliff were all in on their authenticity, but Ranae was still looking for the hoax—exactly what a good scientist should be doing in such a situation. Although the stride length was long, and keeping the footprints in a straight line would be difficult, Ranae was not ready to rule out the possibility of a hoax, although she did say that the difficulty in pulling off such a would-be hoax was something to consider.
“Ranae’s skepticism in my opinion sometimes comes across as illogical,” Cliff said in a camera cameo. “Sure, a human being can replicate 57-inch steps, but remember, each footprint was between 15 and 16-inches long. Are you going to strap some boards on the bottom of your feet and then run in a tightrope-walking pattern with 57-inch steps for 150 yards? I doubt it.”
Why not? If you were going to do a bigfoot hoax, why wouldn’t you do it as elaborately as possible, for exactly the reasons Cliff is citing as “evidence.”
“I’m a scientist,” Ranae told the camera. “I want tangible, hard proof. Tracks that could potentially be hoaxed; visual sightings that I wasn’t present for; blurry photographs; it doesn’t matter the context.”
But, on this same investigation, the gang potentially had the tangible, hard proof Ranae wants.
Not Horse or Bear, but Is It Bigfoot?
“When Roger pulled out some hair that we can take to a lab," Ranae said, "I’m like, ‘Hallelujah!’ This is the stuff we need to focus on.”
Roger Roberts, a resident of Oklahoma, said that he had not ever had the potential Sasquatch hair—which was recovered from a branch about eight feet off the ground—analyzed, because it was cost-prohibitive. But, the Finding Bigfoot team gladly took the responsibility to visit a lab with the sample, and see just what they had. Or, at the very least, what they did not have. Everyone on the team agreed that it was neither bear hair nor horse hair—but was it the key to unlocking the ever-elusive bigfoot debate?
Well, it was not human, based on microscopic observation, and the hair had not been cut, which would be consistent with a bigfoot living in the wild, not having regular trips to the salon. But the DNA was very degraded, and the initial planned testing would not have been effective for a highly degraded sample. The sample stayed with the laboratory, however, and additional testing will be done, in hopes of finding something definitive. But, at least one team member was not optimistic about the chances of finding something from the sample:
“We’ve got a sample that isn’t gonna give us the answer we want,” Ranae said, disappointed.
Better luck next time, Finding Bigfoot team; keep on Squatchin’.
Finding Bigfoot airs on Animal Planet on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. E/P
Image: Animal Planet