The Finding Bigfoot crew was back with a new episode last night, examining what they thought could be the first video footage of a Bigfoot in Idaho, and starting the evening with some frank talk with the executive producer of the series on Finding Bigfoot: Untold Stories.
Keith Hoffman, executive producer of the show, sat down with the four Bigfoot experts—Matt Moneymaker, James “Bobo” Fay , Ranae Holland, and Cliff Barackman—to get their points-of-view about “squatchin’,” and to give viewers an inside look at making the show, the Animal Planet reality series Finding Bigfoot. One interesting moment was the discussion on production interference on the final cut of each episode. Viewers often speculate that, if the team cut the film themselves, they might get a different—perhaps better—understanding of what really goes on before the editing; those speculations were basically confirmed in Untold Stories.
“It’s obvious they care about the subject,” Cliff said about the camera crew, but “creative editing” has been a problem the team agreed, especially in the earliest days of the show.
“Let’s talk about Florida and the horse,” Hoffman said, indicating that the uproar around the episode almost caused the Matt, Bobo and Cliff to quit before the show ever really got started.
“I kept saying over and over, ‘It’s just a horse,’” Matt said of a sighting in Florida, “but then when it was edited together, it was edited so it made us look like we couldn’t figure it out, then it finally ran off before we knew what it was, leaving the viewer to think, ‘Well, it may have been a bigfoot.’ So, it was putting us in the position of almost looking like hoaxers, which we didn’t want to happen.”
Hoffman explained that he was telling a story, and thought that it would be a good idea to “leave it a mystery.” But, he admitted in the show that he was wrong to try to confuse and fool viewers.
Now, the team does get to preview the final cut of shows before they air, unlike the “horse” episode, which Ranae indicated they did not have the opportunity to view before it hit the airwaves. “We saw it on the television,” she said. Of course, having the opportunity to preview does not necessarily mean that they have any authority in the editing room, but at least they don’t have to be blindsided again, and, in an extreme situation, such as the horse debacle, perhaps something would be done before the show went live.
First Bigfoot Footage in Idaho?
Following the Untold Stories conversation, the team was shown in Idaho, not known to be a thriving home of sasquatches in the past, but, with a new video showing a bigfoot hiding in the trees on a hillside, that belief is now in flux. But, was the video real?
The team—at least Matt, Bobo and Cliff—agreed that they felt the video was real, and the boys saw a honest-to-goodness sasquatch; not surprising. But, Ranae did feel that there was still room to question the validity of the footage. After all, the video was taken by three teenage boys; not to disparage teenage boys but, really, is there any group out there more likely to be getting their kicks with a bigfoot hoax? They all agreed that the boys seemed to be telling the truth, but, practically speaking, one really does have to be a skeptic on this one. After all, it could have been someone hoaxing the boys, wearing a costume. Still, Ranae said she did question their judgment.
“It took me 15 minutes to climb that hill,” she said, referring to the fact that the boys had indicated it took them over an hour to get to the top of the hill where the Bigfoot was filmed. “So, as far as their judgment and perception goes, I’m a little hesitant to give them 100% in the accuracy.”
Additionally, Ranae added, “These three guys, they’re nice, they’re charming, I have no reason to believe they’re part of a hoax. I also have no reason to believe they saw a sasquatch that day. I hiked that hill myself, and it wasn’t that difficult. In my opinion, that easily could have been another hiker in heavy winter gear.”
No doubt debate will go on, not just for the Finding Bigfoot team, but for fans of the show, as well.
And, not to be ignored: Bobo is known for thinking outside-the-box. But, last night, he went way beyond the box, throwing a rave in the woods to try and bring a squatch out of hiding:
Well, you never know until you try.
Finding Bigfoot airs on Animal Planet on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. E/P.
Image: Animal Planet
Video: Animal Planet/Finding Bigfoot